First up though, today's adddition to my force, a Warlord Games SDKFZ 251/1C.
As with or recent games we were playing 1200 pts and using the BoltAction. Net prices for LMGs (5pts each) as well as their rules for gun teams (can turn on the spot and fire at a -1 penalty to hit)
Craig's Italian Front Germans (13 order dice)
Reg 1st Lt & NCO
2x reg squds (2x SMG, LMG, 5x rifles)
1x Vet squad (2x SMG, LMG, 5x rifles)
1x Vet Assault Pioneer squad (2x SMG, flamethrower, 5x rifles)
1x Reg MMG
1x Reg Med mortar
1x Vet sniper
1x Reg Flak 36 37mm AA gun
1x Reg 233 armoured car
1x Reg Stuh 42
1x Reg Kettenkrad
1x Reg 251/1 half track
My plan? Put the Vet infantry in the hanomag and use them as an assault force, the pioneers likewise would provide a second strike force (possibly backing each up with a regular squad). My 233 and stuh's role is to blast infantry and the rest is to support my main attack (assuming I am attacking). In defence a similar situation really, put the regular infantry on and possibly flank with the hanomag and vets, depending on the mission.
My cunning plan...
In the end we decided to rerun our last battle with my Germans attacking in a Point Defence. I decided to try a right hook (flank attack) with my regular infantry and (hopefully) the stuh (which came on in the first wave) would offer some much needed fire support to them while everything else was going to go for the left hand objective.
Kent's US Paras.
Vet Lt & NCO
2x Vet Para squads (9 or 10 men with LMGs)
2x Vet Para Squads (11 men, BAR- tough fighters)
1x Vet Sniper
1x Vet Med Mortar
1x Reg Sherman
1x Reg Greyhound armoured car
1x Vet Jeep
1x Vet bazooka
Before we began we got to compare my Rubicon Sherman (left) with Kent's Warlord Games one (right).
The Warlord games one (right) has a much taller hull which makes it look squatter. I prefer the Rubicon one.
Turn 1 Paras prepare to fortify an old monastery.
My kettenkrad tows my flak 36 on table.
The 233 armoured car probes forward on my left flank.
In the centre the Sherman dominates, the building in the foreground has a squad of paras in it and the bazooka lurks behind.
The hanomog, which contains the vet squad and my commanders, supports my advance on the left.
The flak unlimbers in the cornfield as my sniper and assault pioneers cross the open ground- each takes a pin from fire by the US infantry.
At the end of turn 1 the Sherman fires on the stug, hitting it but fails to penetrate the stugs armour. The sniper managed to kill my MMG as it attempted to deploy in a hedgeline. First blood to the Americans.
Turn 2, my infantry squad debusses from the hanamoag. In the distance the flak 36 opens up on the sniper but fails to pass its firepower test (rolled a 1) to kill him
Turn 2, the engineers make it to cover behind the building, the sniper has now occupied the building.
The American mortar observer in the belltower ranges in the mortar on the flak 36, knocking it out.
Turn 3, the flamethrower armed pioneers advance on the building, but veteran paras arrive from reserve to cut them off. I lose a couple of pioneers to small arms fire leaving the squad with only 3 men.
The Greyhound also makes an appearance.
I got the first dice next turn and attacked with the pioneers flamethrower, killing 1 team (note: we've decided to abandon the must pass a morale test after being hit by a flamethrower, the D3+1 pins is bad enough). My flamethrower then ran out of fuel, leaving the assault pioneers with only 1 team.
Midgame. At this stage I was still feeling confident. I'd lost my flak 36 and MMG team but was putting pressure on the left hand objective. Kent had reinforced both the left and right objectives (each with a big squad of tough-fighting vets). The stug managed to miss the paras in the monastery twice but had survived two direct hits from the sherman. All in all, things were going okay.
Turn 4: the greyhound took a shot at the 233 which recced away behind the hedges (we've decided that to break off you need to pass a morale test if you have any pins). The infantry and hanomag continue to pour fire on the pinned para squad in front of the building.
Kent responds by assaulting with the squad in the building, wiping out my commander. Maybe that was a tad rash on my behalf.
The stug continues to do sweet FA, missing is about all it does all game- if only I can hit with the 105mm howitzer will make a mess of a squad! My infantry in the foreground are caught in an enfilade by ambushing paras.
On the left things are not much better, my hope for a draw, my infantry FUBAR and make a full move away from the objective!
Turn 6 starts well when the 233 hits and knocks out the sherman.
Then paras rush out of the monastery, pouring fire on my infantry near the right objective.
Result: Victory to Kent. I really struggled to make inroads vs the big (10 and 11 man) squads of veteran paras. Regular squads can't hack it vs larger veteran squads unless you can whittle them down a bit and I failed to do that. The hanomag was fun to use- I'd like to include another one and this game certainly showed me the potential that transports can have, the key being to time when to use them better!
Back to the drawing board, I've a bit of fine tuning to do...