Saturday, August 28, 2010

FoW: LW Motostrelk vs Sperrverband

Dale and I managed a game of LW FoW (1500 pts)- sperrverband vs Motostrelkovy last night.

My Motostelkovy consisted of:
  • 2x 2 platoon companies
  • 3x BA 64
  • 4x Zis 2
  • 3x 82mm mortars
  • 8x Stuarts
  • 4x SU 122s
  • 5x T34/85s

The stuarts and 82mm mortars were last minute changes, dropping an ATP platoon to do so (which I was to regret).

Dale took his speerband, which is an interesting but very defensive list:
  • HQ + 2x shreks
  • 2x speerband platoons (both minimum strength)
  • 4x hetzers
  • 3x stugs
  • 2x88s (luftwaffe- reluctant trained)
  • 3x hummels
  • Sporadic HS 129s
We set up a relatively closed table- lots of forests, steeps hills and a central village. Then we rolled a Free For All so there were going to be few long lines of sight.

Mine was simple- one motostrelk on each flank, supported by armour (T34/85s on one, stuarts and SU 122s on the other) while the mortars and the Zis2s stayed central covering the village and hope he could not cover both objectives. With HS 129s hovering I needed to get in close before they did something dramatic!

Dale was stretched thin, with only 2 small infantry platoons he had to dig in and hope to parry my assualt with his armour. One platoon was covered by stugs, the other by hummels, while the hetzers and 88s were central- the hetzers making use of a cornfield to use their manouvre and fire special rule.

I was quietly confident that I had the numbers to overwhelm him...

The battle
I advanced on both flanks. I wanted by Stuarts to rock up and engage the hummels before his armour could intervene. Alas, Dale quickly repositioned his stugs to protect his hummels, so my stuarts moved through the village and even managed a shot at one hummel but missed. The SU 122s closed into short rang of the now dug in sperrband but one was knocked out by an airstrike and 2 bogged as they retreated to cover away from the stugs- failing to unbog both were then destroyed. The infantry, also pinned in the airstike failed to unpin and started taking casualties (I failed at least 50% of my infantry saves all night). Eventually we unpinned and moved forward only to be MGed by stugs and reduced to 5 men! The stuarts bravley tangled with the 88s and also the hetzers. For three round Stuars zipped out and MGed and shot at the nearest 88 which took several hits but passed every gun save! My 82mm mortars also snuck up to within range and started to lob shells but failed to destroy the gun- although they did pin it.

(The 88 not only successfully passed 4 out of 5 guns saves but I failed my FP test the only failed one, they also unpin twice- needing 5+s -grrr).

Meanwhile on the other flank my infantry advance was halted by a barrage of hummel fire- and despite having the CiC nearby they too failed to unpin and also took heavy casualties (stupid failed infantry saves!). By the time they unpinned (thanks to the kommissar shooting a team) my T34/85s were behind a hill on the German flank, and tried to take out the 88 protecting the objective, but this 88, like its partner on the other side of the cornfield wouldn't die. The hetzers intervened and eventually the panzershreks did too and soon there were 5 burning wrecks. The surviving ten or so soviet infantry tried to launch an assault but failed to pin and the Germans drove them off, and this platoon too was reduced to less than 5 teams.

Game 6-1 to Dale!

Wow, talk about one sided!
What went wrong? I failed to unpin didn't help but trying to attack both flanks with infantry supported by tanks was probably a bad idea, both companies should have acted together and I should have screen the other flank.

The 88 failing to die was very frustrating! It halted my stuarts and prevented me getting near the hummels- my primary target.

What worked what didn't?

Zis 2s: Never had any LoS but dominated the central board, Dale was not keen to press forward in that area due to their presence so they had an indirect affect. Lack of transports prevented my from repositioning them where they were most needed. However, they did manage to snipe one hetzer at the death.

Stuarts: almost the entire game I was wishing they were M3A1 scout cars with 50 cals! They could have gone after the hummels and the infantry (with a flamethrower) gone for the 88s and hetzers.

mortars: ranged ina few times but failed the FP tests- if I can find points I might look at upgrading them to 120mm ones.

T34/85s: Lacked numbers. Must boost numbers by adding some T34/76s! % tanks was too fragile.

SU 122s: The command tank managed to (finally) knock out the 88 but by then it was to late. The 24" range wasn't enough vs the stugs and the stugs dominated them. Rolling 2x ones to enter a wood didn't help either! I may upgrade them to SU 85s.

Recon: Lost 2 to the hetzers when they too went after the 88.I forgot their recon move at the start and was not able to remove GtG.

The main one will be to swap in the ATP for the stuarts. I could also look at dropping the Zis 2s (until 1750 pts) and so bulk up the T34s and upgrade the assualt guns to SU 85s- I will think on that.

A few pictures:

Stuarts and SU 122s advance.

The wheels are about to fall off- in the distance the hummels and stugs prepare to halt the attack.

On the other flank the T34s and infantry advance- alas they were pinned here for two turns taking more casualties in the process.

The reluctant trained (reluctant my arse) 88s and hetzers worked well together and were a tough nut to crack.

Dale painted these jagdpanzers a few years ago and I really like the ambush scheme he did.

Stuarts position themselves to snipe an 88- but it passes its saves!

That's not looking quite so good!

5 onto 1. That's good odds right?

What about 1 onto 1? The hetzers had used their maneuver rule to fire at full rate of fire and then stormtroopered back - one of them was then in range of 2x Zis 2s (at last) and died but too little, too late).

It was good to get a game of FoW in at last and hopefully we can start to play every couple of weeks or so, I've a couple of ideas I want test out ...


  1. Dale's list made me look at it as a 1750 version.

    Dave E's list is very defensive and the best he has maanged vs me with it is a draw. However, if you take Hummels and Hetzers it can have three mobile AT platoons.

    So HQ +2c 'Shrek
    Full Sperr Pios w PF
    Full Sperr w PF
    Full Sperr w PF
    Mortar section
    5xPz IVs
    4x Hetzers
    3x Hummels

    If you were on in half/half vs Tanks that would be full Pios with attachments + 3x Mobile AT units incl arty starting on-table. Not too shabby. If you dropped a Pz IV, you could have Bunker-Flaks.

  2. Funny you say that, I've been trying to fit armoured Panzer pioneers into his list!

    Hummels and HS 129s forced me to close much sooner than I would have liked- protecting the hummels is very important so they can have time to rain down death and destruction but between them and the HS 129s the Russians can be in for a world of hurt!

    IMO it is one of the few lists where hummels are very viable


  3. Well the Sperr Pios are a mandatory platoon, so you have to have those at least - presumeably he had one Sperr plat and one Pion Plt?

    HS-129s could easily be had by losing a tank and a 'Shrek, and (now that you mention it) would probably be a better option than the Flak.

    If you really like armoured Pios, you could have even less armour and swap them for one Sperr plt. However, the LW mech inf costs are still silly -20/30 pts each for the HT + we thought the old MW Rota was harsh.

  4. Yes- both with 5 teams IIRC

    I know what you mean re armoured pioneers. It goes up from 195 to 320 for all 7x HTs- and at that price you have to spend the extra 15pts to get the extra 3 HTs.

    I can almost do it using the Esatz Pioneers (CT) as you can get away with 2x 7 team platoons for only 300pts and max out the rest of the support as CV panzer support. By the time you factor in the panzer pioneers it starts to reduce amount left for toys- such as decent AT.

    The "best" sperrverband I've come up with is:

    HQ + 2x Shreks
    7x sperr pioneers
    5x sperr + 1x HMG
    3x stugs

    4x hetzers
    3x wespe
    7x armoured panzer pioneers
    (2x stuka ze fuss)
    Sporadic HS 129s