Thursday, June 18, 2015

9th Panzer on the Road to Dunkirk

A Headless Body Production

Flames of War After Action Report: Leichte Panzerkompanie vs Compagnie de Fusiliers-Voltigeurs (Active)
Location: Regency at Providence Community Center, Phoenixville, Pa
Game: Flames of War, Early War 1390 points

Mission: Hasty Attack
Players: Phil Gardocki, Leichte Panzerkompanie (
              Bruce Potter/Steve Turn,
Compagnie de Fusiliers-Voltigeurs  (defender)

The Forces: 3rd Leichte Panzerkompanie Kompanie, 1st Abteilung, 33rd Panzer Regiment, 9th Panzer Division  (defender) 5 Zugs containing 4 Panzerbefehlswagens, a recovery vehicle, 6 Pz I’s, 13 Pz IIc’s,  9 Kradschutzen teams (6 MG’s, Mortar, Light AT, and Leader).  

The French were running the Compagnie de Fusiliers-Voltigeurs (attacker) 9 platoons containing 3 R-35’s, 5 Panhard’s,  28 infantry teams, 4 75mm towed guns, 3 mortars, 2 4.7cm SA-37 antitank, 3 2.5 SA-34 antitank, and 4 MG teams.

Scenario:  Following the French Retreat along the Rue Nationale, near the coastal town of Zuydcoote.

The Board: The coastal town of Zuydcoote, where French forces have established a blocking force to deny access to the Rue Charles Pichon leading to Dunkirk.
The town of Zuydcoote.  The Rue Charles Pichon runs long ways in the French deployment area.  At the bottom along the wood line are are 2.5cm AT guns.  The rails are possibly a fireworks launcher, maybe set up for Bastille Day?  In the distance are an infantry platoon heading for the woods and a Panhard Squadron on the road.
A close up of the east side of the board. 
The Germans will have to make of note of the "Fireworks" launcher.  They may have a use for it in a year or four.
In the German deployment area, the Kradschutzen deploy on the German left flank.  Supporting a Kampfgruppe of Panzer I's, II's and Motorcycles.

German Kampfgruppe forms up to assault the second objective.

Deployment full table view. 
Both sides have half their forces in reserve.  The French reserves are in "Scattered, Delay" status, while the Germans are normal.

Reconnaissance Move:
The Panhards stay on the road, keeping their high speed options open.  The Kradschutzen move out on the reconnaissance move, but have little where to go. 

Turn 1:
No German reserves arrive.  The noise of two stroke engines is deafening as the Kradschutzen race forward to the objective.
The Kradschutzen threaten the left side objective, but this is just a feint to keep the Anti Tank guns and fast firing 75's on this side of the board.
While the Panzer II Zug gets to hose down the French infantry on this side of the woods, while remaining mostly out of range of the French AT assets.
While the Kampfgruppe get to hose down the other side.
While the Germans focus two Zugs (Platoons) of Panzers on the French Infantry, they score many hits, but no kills, and just pin them.
The French shoot at the Kradshutzen.  Using their reconnaissance ability they disengage before being shot too badly.

And while the Panzer II Zug was out of range of most of the French 75's, they were close enough and 2 tanks were destroyed.
And while the Panzer II Zug was out of range of most of the French 75's, they were close enough and 2 tanks were destroyed by well aimed fire.
The Panhards travel a bit down the road and start shooting their 25's at the German Leichte Tank Zug.

Turn 2:
German reserves arrive. A Light Tank Platoon (Lichte Panzer Zug).  The reserves race up the center of the board, but are too far away to engage anyone.

The Germans pull the remains of their Panzer II Zug away from the 75's, circling around the center woods to assist the Kampfgruppe, but will not play a part in this turn.  

With the Panhards coming into range it is time to reveal the nicest part of the Panzer II, a Rate of Fire of 3!  2 Panhards blow up, 2 more are bailed.  While the Panzerbefehlswagens and Panzer I's hose the infantry generously with machine gun fire.  The plucky French stay on the field with the help of their Company Commander with the Motivation Check.

But the French retaliate and manage to destroy 4 panzers, causing a Motivation Check.  The Germans pass, but pull out of the line to the cover of the woods on the right flank.

The Panhards are two dead and one alive.  But heeded the urging of their Company Commander and stay in the field.

To good effect, as four panzers were destroyed.  The German Second in Command pulls his zug out to go around the right flank.
A view from the German Reserve Platoon.
Turn 3:
German reserves arrive, another Lichte Panzer Zug.  They double-time around the woods on the right flank to join the German Company Commander.  The reserves from the previous turn take advantage of the smoking ruins of the burning panzers as cover and continue to hose the French infantry with MG fire.  

The French Panhards line up to face the flanking Germans.

The German Company Commander and the remains of the Panzer II Platoon head for the right flank.  The remains of the 2iC's Platoon are taking cover behind the woods.

Taking shots at the infantry while receiving cover from the smoking tanks.  To the right, the German Company Commander's tank complete their flank march and start coming in from the side.  Another Panhard blows up, and the rest of the armored cars flee the field.
Turn 4:
German reserves arrive, the last Lichte Panzer Zug.  This is looking good for a massive assault on the French infantry with 3 Panzer Platoons.  The only thing that can save them is their own reserves.  But with "Delayed" and "Scattered" Reserves those odds are slim.

Of course, that is what happened.  The French 4.7cm AT guns arrive, behind the definitely and inarguably bullet proof walls.  Lots of shooting occurs, but no real casualties.

Further French reserves arrive, 3 R-35's on the left flank.

The German Company Commander pushing the remains of the 2iC's Zug in front, and reinforced by reserve Leichte Zug.
Left flank arrival of the R-35's off in the distance. 
French 4.7's arrive behind the walls.

Turn 5:
French reserves arrive, 3 R-35's on the left flank.  The begin to head towards the German objective, which is guarded by Kradschutzen.

On the right flank, the Germans decide to assault the 4.7 guns.  Risking bog checks and bails, they destroy the two guns, but not the platoon leader, and with the help of the French Company Commander, stay on the board.

First assault in progress.  The first French 4.7 gun is destroyed, the second is in progress.

Meanwhile, the R-35's, which are classified as slow tanks, grind forward.
Turn 6:
The Germans launch their big assault.
Three assaults on the French infantry platoon.  At the end, the French are dug out of their trenches, but still fighting, and the the objective (the crashed V-1 prototype) is now contested.
The Kradschutzen dodge left.

Turn 7:
To cover the objective, the Kradschutzen now must make a stand.

They take their lumps.

And being recon, buggered out before the armored monsters.

The R-35's, now facing zero opposition close in on the objective.

At this point we called it.  Even if the Germans cleaned out French infantry platoon on the right flank off of the objective, there was a another French unit that would be able to contest the objective one more turn, so the timing was going to have this as a French win on the left flank.