So I've been messing round with ideas:
- 8x sextons + 4 (or 8) x 5.5 artillery in support- slightly silly
- US 105 artillery + shermans & fireflies?
- 1 or two platoons of shermans?
|5x||57mm AT + bazooka- jeep||180|
|6x||105mm Artillery (CT)||165|
|3x||105mm Artillery (CT)||90|
|4x||Shermans (2x fireflies)||390|
I was expecting something nasty from Chris and he didn't disappoint:
- HQ 2x HMGs + mortars
- 2x panzer pioneer platoons
- 4x panzer IVs
- 4x brummbars
- 3x panzerwerfers
- 3x hummels
As you can see I weighed my right flank with all my infantry and had my hull down Shermans covering the centre of the table. Vets, range, cover. What could go wrong?
Chris deployed near a central hill with most of his force and had a single platoon, backed up by HMGs and mortars on the far side of the village opposite my two infantry platoons.
Chris got the first turn and moved his panzer IVs into hull down position in range of the shermans, and managed to kill a firefly (gun tanked it!). In reply my air support and artillery failed to range in on anything!
My shermans missed the panzer IVs and the next turn the brummbars continued to lumber forward. Again ineffectual artillery fire from both of us and the panzer IVs and shermans once again missed each other.
Turn 3, the brummbars lumbered into range of the concealed shermans...
He eneded 6s to hit. WTF!We re-rolled the cocked dice but even so two shermans were destroyed and the "unflappable" surviver flapped off! There goes my mobile support- so much for being cunning and using range and cover to survive another round!
Now facing 4x panzer IVs and 4x brummars with little mobility I was going to have to rely on my artillery and air support a lot!
Unfortunately Chris decided to concentrate all his artillery on my infantry that continued to advance. The platoon below has just survived being hit by: panzerwerfers, hummels, mortars, HMGs, observer half track and assorted R/MG teams- about 30 saves and "only" 4 dead teams! Lucky. Very, very lucky!
Grasping at straws!
The bazooka from the 57mms tries to take a pot shot at the brummbars- a miss. Chris assaulted the remnants of my infantry with his pioneers but missed, I killed a team and the survivors retreated- as did the brummbars.
The next turn the brummars again attempted to assault but this time two died- or did I assault them? Can't quite recall but either way two died.
Another assault finished off the last two brummbars, and the infantry- but at the loss of my platoon. My other platoon- which was also being decimated by artillery then moved to support the (now destroyed) first platoon. Mainly because I did this as Chris had retreated his infantry on the objective back out of assault range and so I wanted the brummbars to at least get a point! (The panzer IVs were a turn away from interfering at the objective so I didn't think I had the time, or numbers to grab the objective)
The four teams near the company commander all failed saves in the next turn (MGed by the panzer IVs) leaving the company commander by himself- he didn't last much longer.
With my infantry gone and company commander by himself he too was quickly destroyed and the panzer IVs marched to the objectives. I managed to get 3 under an artillery template but only killed 1 (and I forgot about time on target- doh!).
The end is nigh!
My surviving artillery (several guns had been MGed by this time as I never dug them in) tried in vain to destroy the last panzer IVs without success and when the panzer IVs destroyed the guns and their command team of the artillery my force broke.
My air support eventually managed to kill a hummel and a panzerwerfer to reduce the effectiveness of the artillery but I could not concentrate enough on them to destroy them. My plan to use cover to keep my Shermans alive failed spectacularly and in future I won't be so forward with them. I really could have done with a second mobile platoon.
My AoP will be dropped as I can't take him and the observer.
Not an ideal start but given how one sided things were looking early on I was happy to claw a 3-4 out of it and was still trying hard to grab an objective (with my 57mm command team, bazookas etc) at the end. The paras were definitely able to take punishment and dish it out. Its now a matter of sorting out the support balance. Perhaps two mobile platoons is the way to go. Will have a think on that.
At the very least I will drop down to 2x 3 gun 105 batteries and concentrate on smoke and the occasional bombardment- 90pts for time on target is a steal, even if only trained!