Sunday, October 23, 2011

Flames of War After Action Report: Leichte Panzerkompanie vs Escadron de Fusiliers Portés

Location:  Delaware Freezer Company
Players:    Phil Gardocki, Leichte Panzerkompanie (attacker)
                    Robert (no last name given), Escadron de Fusiliers Portés (defender)
Game:      Flames of War 1500 points

Round 2 of my first FOW Tourney placed me against a major infantry force backed by major artillery.  A battery of 105’s and a battery of 75’s.  The French also had an ability to trade out infantry support to suit, so his HMG teams were now 4.7cm teams.  (Gaak!) 

The Forces:
Leichte Panzerkompanie (attacker)  4 platoons containing 3 Panzerbefehlswagens, a recovery vehicle, 4 Pz I’s, 11 Pz II’s (late), 4 Pz III’s, with Limited Air Support. 

Escadron de Fusiliers Portés  (defender) 10 platoons containing 4 platoons of infantry (one all HMG’s), 4 Panhards, 3 25mm AT Guns, 3 47m AT Guns, 4 75mm towed guns, 4 105mm towed guns, and 3 AA teams.

The Board:
                4 by 6 feet.  A large town was centered on the 6 foot side of the board, but about one foot from the 6 foot “North”, edge.  There was a road running through along the 6 foot side, through the town, with a T intersection running to the “South” side of the board.  A deep river running along the 4 foot edge of the board North to South.  The rest of the board was a combination of woods, hills, and fields, with a few small enclosed fields in the town.  Two Large wheat fields were near the towns NE and NW quadrants.  
                Two objectives were placed in the town. 
Mission:  Breakout
                Game ends on turn 6.  Attacker wins if he holds either objective on turn 6.

German:  Starts with only two platoons.  1 in the NW Quadrant, the other in the SE Quadrant.  Cognizant of my opponents massive artillery support, I lead with my two Leichte Platoons, holding my heavier Pz II’s and III’s in reserve. 

French:  The French deployment zone is in the NE Quadrant.  Having only 2 square feet to deploy he fills all the available space. 

Turn 1:
During the recon moves, the French move to secure the first objective in the town.  Air support is called in and some 12-15 teams are under the template, including all the artillery.  The Germans move 2 Pz II’s to the road on the edge of town, and line up a few shots on the Panhards, which escape, but are forced to reorganize.  The two Pz I’s of that platoon sweep wide and close in and secure the other objective.  The other Leichte Platoon, off in the other quadrant of the board, is making a multitude of bog checks while traversing the woods, which was the only space available that was not on the wrong side of the deep river.  With them is the 2IC and the recovery vehicle.  But its services were never required, as none of the tanks bogged down for the entire game.  It looked bad for his artillery as the Stukas dived, but they failed to “Range In”, and were unharmed.
The French pushed forward their infantry teams and some of the AT teams.  But even spread out, it looked like it was going to be bad when the Stukas return.  The French spotters were in action though, and put the German 1IC, and two other tanks under the template, but all the shells missed, but a left a convenient targeting reticule on top of my 1iC “for later.”

End of Turn 1.  German panzers by the dice and right arm.  The French are the horde in the upper left.
Turn 2:
                Failed the reserve roll.  Failed the Air Support roll.  I reassessed the SE Leichte Platoon in the woods, whom I originally intended to link up with the Leichte Platoon in the town.  Instead I moved them to the woods edge to Machinegun the infantry filling the wheat field there.  It was just too tempting a target.  The dice rolled predictably, and the infantry took many hits.  In the town, the Pz I’s took up defensive positions behind a wall defending the objective, and Machine-gunned the other approaching platoon. 
                The approaching French infantry, both pinned, failed to unpin, and failed to dig in.  It didn’t look good for them.  But the artillery, unlimbered and with spotters everywhere, targeted the woods line.  But either windage or bad angle tables, or old ammo, they failed to “range in” on my firing line, luck goes both ways.  Still, the French had to be aggressive.  With me holding an objective, they had to attack to win the game.  His AT Guns got into positions for some shots, but missed, while the Panhards rolled around the north edge of town and pinged the Pz II’s being used as a road block.

Turn 3:
            Rolled both reserves, but failed the Air Support roll. 
On the South East tree line, The Leichte Platoon, joined by the another tank from the command staff, destroyed the first infantry platoon, and started working on the one behind it. 
In town, the Pz I’s and Pz II’s picked up another infantry platoon.
The Panhards on the north edge of the board are suddenly facing 2 new platoons of tanks rolling in on them.  A Pz II bogged in the woods, but the Pz III’s were spread out and only one at a time could be targeted, should the artillery look their way.  My thinking was to kill the Panhards, and then the path would be clear to the 105 battery.  But the Panhard’s luck held, as they failed to make a forced reorganization, and only 1 was bailed. 
The French started sneaking another infantry platoon around the north edge of town, to both support the beleaguered Panhards, and run an assault on my woods bound Pz II Platoon.  But they were not well motivated, and were stopped short on their assault.
GOTT EN HIMMEL!  The 47mm’s have an AT value of 9!  I didn’t need to roll an armor save, rolling a 6 is still a “Fire Power check” for a kill.  I took the kill on a Pz I, and resolve to target those guns next.

German reserves arrive (upper right), Stuka orbits uselessly.
Turn 4:
            No reserves to roll, failed Air Support Roll.
The Leichte Platoon, in the SE woods abandoned their tree line concealment to advance on the 47mm guns.  I know they are going to get hammered by 105’s and 75’s in bombardment, but those 47’s are the real threat.  Besides, if the French focuses on them, he is not focusing on the objective.  They rolled 4 20mm shots and 15 MG shots, and manage to kill one 47mm gun.  Not optimal, if I managed a second, then it could have caused a platoon motivation check.
In town, a brace of Pz II’s advance to engage the 25mm AT guns, but the supporting Pz I, bogged climbing the intervening trellis.  So they only threw 2 main gun and 2 MG dice to no effect.  On the north edge of town, the French Panhards luck ran out, receiving 12 shots from AT7’s, 12 more AT5’s, and 16 MG’s.  3 Panhards brewed up, and the remaining crew bailed out and fled. 

It was at this time the 2 hour limit was reached, and the game was called.  The Defenders lost three platoons, to the Attackers zero.  Since the Attacker wins only if he holds either objective on turn 6, and we only reached turn 4, the defender won, 5-1.
End game, Panhards (left of town) about to get a full ROF from Pz III’s (lower) and Pz II’s (left)

Lessons Learned:
                I am beginning to question the value of Air Support.  Unopposed, they only came in once, and then failed to range in.
                This reinforces my view that infantry is just points hanging around waiting for the tanks to pick them up.

1 comment:

  1. Things happened for a reason so be thankful for everything. Thank you for your wonderful article. I hope you could inspire more people. Please visit my site.