Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BA: Italian Front Germans vs US Paras

After our last game it was back to the drawing board to tweak my force and make it more competitive. My cunning plan this week? Fight fire with fire and run the bulk of my troops as veterans. I envisioned this force representing a reinforced platoon from one of the motorised panzer grenadier regiments fighting in Italy during the autumn winter of 43/44. The core of the force being built round the ubiquitous MG42 teams- 2 defensive squads each with two MG 42s and two assault squads (armoured panzer grenadiers in a half track, and the pioneers, each of which has 3x SMGs for extra close combat omph). The rest of the force being very similar to the last game. The upgrade to veterans meant I lost the kettenkrad and the MMG team.

Craig's Italian Front Germans (11 order dice)
Vet 1st Lt & NCO
2x Vet squads (1x SMG, 2x LMG, 5x rifles)
1x Vet panzer grenadier squad (3x SMG, LMG, 6x rifles)
1x Vet Assault Pioneer squad (3x SMG, flamethrower, 6x rifles) 
1x Vet sniper 
1x Reg Med mortar 
1x Reg Flak 36 37mm AA gun 
1x Reg 233 armoured car
1x Reg Stuh 42 
1x Reg 251/1 half track
Kent ran the same force as last time with 11 order dice:

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

We decided to play envelopment, but decided that only troops that started on table could leave off the opponents edge. We rolled and I got to attack. Unfortunately I rolled a 1 for the bombardment.

Turn 1: I advance onto the board, with my panzergrenadiers, stuh and 23 armoured car ob my left flank, my two other veteran infantry squads on the right. The pioneers advance towards the building sin the centre. My 233 maanges to hit with its first squad a squad huddled behind a wall, killing 5 teams!

Turn 1 the Stuh races up the road, forgetting Kent had a bazooka behind the building in front of it.

The 233 armoured car moves on board.

The hanomag contains the panzer grenadiers and my officers.

A large para squad protects the US left flank.

The 233 hit the infantry in the foreground killing 5 teams.

Turn 2, I continue to advance. The Greyhound and sherman come on form reserve for Kent, my panzer greandeirs debuss and attack the decimated squad in the field, killing another man. My mortar fails to range in on a building housing a squad of infantry, likewise Kent's mortar fails to range in. His bazooka however hits the stug but fails to penetrate the front armour. I then kill the loader for the bazooka. On my left flank the panzer grenadiers assault the remenants of the infantry squad behind the wall destroying it 

Turn 2 the advance continues.

 The Greyhound moves on to counter my armoured car and hanomag. The infantry debus and pins the remains of the infantry squad defending the wall.

Meanwhile the pioneers advance in the centre.

On my right flank the other infantry squads advance towards the wooded hill.

Realising the danger Kent reinforces with a second alrge (tough fighting) para squad.

The greyhound collects pins.

Turn 3: Kent gets the first dice and fires the bazooka, knocking out the stug! The greyhound then knocks out my hanomag, killing my NCO but my officer survives the inferno. My mortar ranges in on the building pinning the troops insie, while my pioneers advance into a front yard in preparation for assualting the paras in the building. On my right flank the infantry start moving towards the centre of the table rather than through the woods. I was about to race the hanomag and my commander off the board but Kent had other ideas, he fired at the hanomag with his greyhound, destroying it. 

But still manages to knock out the hanomag.

 Kent gets the first dice on turn 3 and the bazooka team knocks out the stug,

The pioneers shelter in the front yard but lose 4 men!

Meawhile the panzer grenadiers have killed the remnants of the infantrty squad and the sniper.

Turn 4: Kent moves his one of his large (11 men) tough infantry squads towards the centre, his mortar ranges in on the pioneers in the front yeard while the paras in the building opposite them pour fire into the pioneers positon, hitting 4 and killing all of them!  Kent now contrates on pinning this unit as he is worried about their flamethrower, pins quickly accumulate. My mortar again hits the paras in the building but the shell lands in the cellar so kills nobody. The sherman hits and kills 4 or 5 men from my infantry squad advancing to support the pioneers. I manage to keep pins on the greyhound and it is again neutralised. Kent also continues to focus on pinning my pioneers.

Kent moves a squad right to reinforce his centre and right flank.

Turn 5: The pioneers are eliminated as is the remnants of the veteran infantry squad that was trying to assist them. My other veteran infantry on the left flank manage to destroy the sniper team in hand to hand combat. At the end of the urn my other veteran infantry squad moves through the woods on the rigfht flank (both Kent and my infantry in the woods were on ambush).

Turn 5 my infantry advance into the woods.

There are now two para squads holding the centre for Kent- the guys by the building and another squad in it. My 37mm Flak 36 is starting to have an impact on the visible infantry, killing 2-3 teams per turn

Turn 6, my panzer grenadiers make a run for the table edge but just fall short. This forces Kent to focus all the forces he can on them. On the right my other squad charges out into the open, killing 2 of the mortar crew but the survivor remains. If the game ends now I've 3 units in Kent's deployment zone which will give me 6 points. Kent rolls ot see if the game ends and rolls high so there will be a 7th turn- which is NOT what I wanted.  

Which doesn't end well as Kent does all he can to eliminate the squad.

Turn 7: Unfortunately at this point my camera's batteries went flat. Kent rolled for a turn 7 (I was hoping the game would end at the end of turn 6) then got the first dice so I lost the last man in the panzer grenadiers unit to be denied 3 points; then his large veteran tough fighting squad slaughtered my infantry in his deployment zone on the other flank (22 assault dice=one dead squad) . My platoon commander managed to exit the table though for a consolation prize. 

Result: 12-7 to Kent.

A bit of a thrashing but had we not had a turn 7 it would have been a draw. Another fun game and it really see-sawed, I started off well but Kent came back strong at the end. I really don't like those large (11 man) veteran tough fighter units, they are damn nasty and take a lot of stopping. 

 The last turn went against me but it was close till then. Having all the infantry as vets really helped and the flak 36 really performed well this game. Letting the stuh get taken out by the bazooka team was another mistake but a bit more luck and the result could have been very different.

Not allowing flanking forces to run on and off for easy points worked well. Don't see me making any changes to this version of the list, though I would like to include a second half track.The 37mm Flak 36 realy performed well for me tom, keeping the Sherman at bay and killing several infantry. Its 72" range and 2 dice- doing 1-2 hits each is really, really handy. 



  1. Thanks Dean, hopefully we can get a replay in this week.

  2. I've been reading your blog this past few days and I totally love it; great bat reps and awesome table. I'm just starting an American army (already bought a starter and a howitzer) and your battle reports gave me some perspective on how you use it.

    Btw, Im from the Philippines and our bolt action group here continuousky grows. Keep up the good work man.

    Cheers - Ian