Nick and I have both been playing FoW since V1- in fact we both attended the first Conquest (I had Strelk, he had British Rifles supported by Churchills). Although we didn't get a game in at that comp we've played at many Conquests, Southcons, TAGCONs and Day of Days since and I've a pretty good record against him. However, he is currently ranked number one in NZ so I knew I was in for a tough game.
Nick's Kiwi Rifle Company
- HQ + 2x pioneers
- 2x rifle platoons
- 4x 6 pdrs
- 3x Staghounds
- 2x 3 Shermans
- 4x M10s
- 4x US 105s (firing "freedom" rounds)
Of course Nick did a night attack to minimise damage in the initial rounds.
Nick's objective is placed beneath Cassino walls so my FJ have to cover this and my left flank.
Nick then deploys on my right flank!
Staghounds lead the way.
I had to start shuffling my defence right to cover the assualt...
We both rolled badly to spot so not much action early on till morning arrived, although the Sherman's (or was it staghounds?) did manage to snipe a pak nest, but not before I knocked out a Sherman.
M10s deploy in an orchard to give covering fire- they lost one to a nebelwerfer.
Infantry advance through shellholes supported by Shermans. Although under pressure I've managed to keep my ambush hidden. However, probably the biggest saving grace was that my stummels pinned a rifle platoon and it failed to unpin for 3 turns meaning that the infantry assaults vs my FJ were only by one platoon rather than both coordinating 1-2 routines.
A pivotal turn. A Sherman platoon roars round my flank, the one in the open missed the flank of the stugs and the stug's glacis bounced a front shot. I then ambushed with my marders destroying the platoon and relieving some pressure (well also getting an all important VP).
The stug in the vineyard managed to bog 4 times. It bogged, unbogged them promptly bogged again! This ineptitude was only matched by the "Freedom rounds" firing 105s which failed to range in 3-4 turns in a row. The one turn they got a ToT bombardment I rolled 3x 1s for my saves and Nick matched that with 3x 1s for firepower tests- followed by a 4th one for his next firepower test the next turn.
Now I was overcommitted dealing with infantry, 6 pdrs, M10s, staghounds, which are excellent at cleaning out pak nests BTW, all threatening to capture the back objective. At this point the commander of the other Sherman platoon (actually the last tank) roared back to a almost contest the front objective with very little to stop him! A stug managed to get into position though and end that threat.
The next turn the stugs missed the (last) M1o and it missed them with its return fire (summing up the final couple of turns for Nick), then I finally managed to knock it out- finally forcing a company morale test- with votes back in NZ being important the Kiwi's decided to call it a day.
The picture and report really don't do justice to this battle. I almost lost 1st platoon twice and it was down to 2 teams at the end (rolled 1s for platoon morale tests and the CO rolled 2s when he attached himself :). Nick's infantry assault with 1 platoon were devastating and well executed. Had both platoons been able to coordinate their assaults I think I would have been very hard pressed to halt him, as it was only the stummelwerfer pins and some poor motivation checks disrupted his main attack being coordinated better.
There were several brutal infantry assaults though buildings and Nick's troops got the better of me in a couple of them, but in most situations I retreated to try to keep my troops intact- only to counter attack isolated teams in one building to minimise DF so I had a reasonable chance to win without too much risk- this attrition tactic eventually paying off.
Nick switched his point of attack skillfully several times and really exploited any opening. He cleaned out 2 pak, the HMG and flak nests easily and really had me on the ropes. I think the failure of his artillery (except in the 2nd to last turn when it finally managed to range in AND do some damage- killing 2 teams, my CO and 2iC!) also helped. The score does not reflect the hard fought, close nature of the game and although I kept my entire force intact for a 6-1 it really was a very, very close game.
Well played by Nick and an ounce better luck and it could easily have gone the other way.
The nests often had limited lines of sight but accounted for a couple of Shermans and M10s. However, Nick was very adept at knocking them out with staghounds and Shermans- watch out for Staghounds with CS artillery options as bunker busters! The HMG and flak bunkers were quickly dealt with to make it easier for the infantry to press home their attacks. Towards the end Nick finally failed a firepower test with his staghounds and the nests accounted for the last two of them.
Memorable Quote from Nick:
"I put my first hit on the platoon commander!"
[Rolls a 2.]
"Excellent- I now use mission tactics to appoint a new commander. If you've got special rules you might as well use them!"