29 May 2011

4000 pts Axis vs 4000pts Allies (Early War)

This is a battle report for a game played this Saturday, I initially thought it would be a 2vs2 with 2 maybe 3000pts per side. It ended being a 2vs2 with 4000pts per side!

The army list for all 4 participants can be seen below



----------------------------------------------

Polish Infantry Battalion (boosted with extra armored vehicles)


Battalion HQ w 2 81mm mortars                                              
1st Company: 1 platoon (anti tank rifle + light mortar) + HMG platoon   
2nd Company: 1 platoon (anti tank rifle + light mortar)           
Scout Platoon: 2 sections + anti tank rifle                               
37mm AT platoon:                                                                   
75mm Light Artillery battery + observer team:                         
1 cavalry company: 1 platoon                                                
Armoured car platoon                                                            
1st 7TPjw tank platoon (5 tanks)                                            
2nd 7TPjw tank platoon (5 tanks)                                        
TKS platoon + Roman Orlik                                                 
Armoured Train w 2 Light Artillery Cars                             

2655ppts

French Fussiliers

Command HQ                             
Fusiliers,                     
Fusiliers,                     
Fusiliers,                    
2 machinegun sections              
2 mortar sections                        
75mm artillery battery                 
FT-17 tank platoon                   
4 Somua S-35                                 
                
1380pts

(4035pts combined strength)

--------------------------------------------------------------

Czech Armoured company

HQ 2x Pz38(t)B                   
Pz38(t)B platoon (5 tanks)                 
PzII C  platoon (5 tanks)                   
PzIV D (5 tanks)                   
1x 8.8cm flak 36  AA gun +8 crew + halftrack+command + field car   
3x Pz35(t)                      
2x Sdkfz 221 (MG) + 2x Sdkfz 222 (2cm)           

2000pts

German Rifle Company

HQ 2x Company Command SMG teams               
3x Rifle platoon + Anti tank rifle + Light mortar
MG34 platoon                   
8cm mortar platoon (6 mortar teams)   
3.7cm Pak36 AT platoon (3 guns)     
Recon platoon                   
2x 7.5cm IG gun                   
Pioneer platoon (3 flamethrowers)     
4x PzJäger I                      
10.5cm artillery battery + limbers + observer 
3.7cm Pak36 AT platoon (4 guns)  
          
1990pts

Combined strength 3990pts

--------------------------

Notes
Polish Cavalry was held in reserve as part of the “Bypassed” special rule.

Allied turn 1
It should be noted that the French failed to dig in over the course of the game despite of their 3+ dig-in special rule. The running joke was that the Polish troops had stolen their trench tools as the Polish managed to dig in with most of the units who made an attempt.

Bypassed Cavalry does not show up, which is a good thing as they would have been slaughtered upon entering the table.

The allied first turn was mainly made up of a infantry push at the center and exchange of artillery fire with the Germans.

Polish 37mm AT platoon and battalion command mortars dig in.
French 75mm artillery fired a bombardment and managed to destroy 2 out of 4 10.5cm artillery pieces! Crippling the combat ability of the enemy artillery severely.  Polish and French mortars fire at German infantry, killing little but pinning them down. The Polish armored train fires a bombardment against the enemy 3.7cm PaK36 platoon and destroy one of the guns.

Polish 7TPjw Platoon on the left flank move up a little, Polish and French armor in the center and on the right flank are held back.

Axis Turn 1
1 infantry platoon and the PaK36 platoon in the center fail to recover from being pinned down.

German artillery starts bombarding the allied thrust in the center, hitting both the Polish scouts and French fusiliers but fail to kill anyone. Both platoons become pinned down amidst the rubble. German mortars range in on the French 75mm artillery near the armored train and manage to destroy 1 artillery and hit the Polish HMG platoon which successfully avoids  getting  killed by rolling two 6’s on their save.

More German artillery fire rain down on the allied left flank, this time hitting the French HMG platoon and the dug in Polish 37mm AT platoon. The Polish survive unscathed but the French lose 1 HMG team.

PzJäger I’s kill 1 Polish rifle team and the German 3.7cm PaK36 platoon kills 1 Polish scout team. Pz38(t) platoon and German Scouts each kill 1 Polish rifle team.

Overall the allies rolled far above the average on their saves this turn, saving a lot of troops from getting killed.

Allied Turn 2
All allied troops except for the Polish scouts left out in the frontline of the center section recover from being pinned down.

Bypassed Cavalry does not show up this turn either. Still not really a good time for them to arrive anyway.


Polish armored vehicles race up to face the 3.7cm PaK36 platoon in a dashing death or glory move – guns blazing they somehow manage to kill another gun team.

Allied infantry and tanks along the frontline move closer towards the German lines and open fire, killing but a few infantry teams and bailing 2 armored Cars. The French Somoua tanks roll up to the right flank to provide support.

The German pioneer platoon becomes the punching bag of almost all the Allied artillery during turn 2. Taking mortar and artillery they lose only a couple infantry teams thanks to the cover of the ruins they occupy.

The Polish train ranges in on the German HMG platoon and blows up 2 HMG teams.

The thrust in the middle was halted by the pinned down Polish scouts.’

Axis turn 2
3.7cm and HMG platoon fail to recover from being pinned down. 2 Scout car crews fail to to remount their vehicles.

German mortars range in on the Polish armored cars and bail 2 out of 3 cars, while German infantry guns fire a barrage that pins down the Polish anti tank guns on the left flank. The Czech panzer force starts to move out, 35(t) tanks on the left flank advance slowly and opens fire at the Polish 7TP tanks, destroying one and bailing one.

In the center the German PzJäger I’s emerge from behind some ruins and open fire onto the Somua’s supporting the Polish infantry destroying one of the heavy tanks and making another one bail.

At the same time the German pinned down 3.7cm AT platoon tries to wipe out the Polish armored car platoon, and destroy the only car that was still operational. The remaining 2 bailed out crews pass their morale check and stay in the fight. PzIV’s move close to the allied left flank and destroy one of the French 75mm guns, while the PzII’s roll out and lay down a withering hail of fire – that fails to kill a single Polish infantry team! The Polish just roll crazy good infantry saves and the Germans keep rolling awful Firepower checks against the infantry throughout the game.

The real blow comes at the right flank where the 38(t) tanks roll up to face the incoming wave of Polish 7TP tanks and Tankettes. They score 6 hits, and manage to score a penetrating hit with them all. 2 Polish 7TP explode in flames, the remaining 3 bail out fast as hell – though they pass their immediate morale check.

Allied Turn 3
Bypassed Cavalry does not show up this turn either, sadly. This turn they would have made a huge difference if arriving on either the back of the German lines or in the top left corner – attacking soft artillery and mortar targets and reducing the amount of indirect fire.

What’s worse is that the Polish 7TP crews on the right flank flee the battle, leaving their vehicles in such a way that they effectively block LoS for the Polish tankettes.
This will be the only allied unit that was forced to withdraw from the table.
While not a complete disaster it sure weakens the right flank as those tanks would have been useful for a push against the 38(t) tanks with the help of the AT gun equipped tankettes led by Roman Orlik.

The tankettes now have to move in a wide bow around the abandoned tanks and wrecks and don’t manage to do much. Orlik fires 2 shots and hits with both but to damage any of the targeted 38(t) tanks.

The remaining French Somua tank make one platoon of German scout cars flee while the Polish infantry on the right flank assaults the remaining scout car and its bailed out friend. The operational scout car withdraws but gets stuck in the ruins and is overrun – both German scout car units are wiped out.

In the center the Polish scouts and French infantry make an assault against the Germans in the ruins, the German infantry fail to stop the charge but the attacking Polish troops fail to inflict a single kill! The French manage to kill 1 German rifle team which is enough to make the Germans panic and retreat – losing 4 more rifle teams in the process and have Polish troops moving further into the building to consolidate their positions. The French, drunk on success follow up towards the German PzIV’s but fail to do any damage and are forced to flee back into the ruins.


Axis turn 3
The 35(t) platoon bail out one more 7TP tank while the German artillery and mortars fire with everything they got on the newly lost ruins containing the Polish scouts and French infantry – not killing a single team!

The 3.7cm infantry guns bail out the remounted Polish armored car but fail to break the unit, tough suicidal bastards as they are. PzJäger I’s re-emerge once more to knock out 1 more Somua tank.

Small arms fire received along the Polish/French frontline inflicts minimal casualties, but the 38(t) tanks on the right flank switch their priorities from Tankettes to infantry that have advanced to their side as part of the consolidate move due to wiping out the scout cars. But the tanks fail to kill anything. The German command tank alone destroys one tankette and make another one bail and the German PzIV’s  simply move up and open fire against the Polish armored train. They inflict 2 hits against the only visible targets which are the artillery cars but both cars roll impressive armor saves and survive without problem.

The battle ends unresolved due to time restrictions.

List of KIA units:


Polish 6 Rifle teams, 6 7TP tanks, 1 Tankette, 1 Armored Car

French 2 Somua, 1 spotter team, 2 artillery, 5 Rifle teams

Germans
17 Rifle teams, 1 3.7cm AT gun, 2 10.5cm Artillery

Czech
4 Scout cars


Thoughts
The battle ended due to time restrictions but it was left at a very interesting time. The Allied infantry had driven a wedge into the center of the table and were dangerously close to the German 3.7cm and Mortar platoons. On the right flank the Polish infantry platoon had managed to get up to the ruins flanking the 38(t) tanks, the Polish and French armor on that flank was badly beaten but the wrecks would have blocked any thrust south against the allied artillery and instead forced the Axis tanks to move into the open and into 75mm artillery fire with the risk of being swarmed by Polish infantry.

The Situation on the left flank was mixed. The enormous Polish infantry platoon was holding its ground valiantly, surrounded by German infantry remnants and lots of tanks their movement would be thwarted for a while longer until they got some reinforcements.
The left flank really screamed for those bypassed Cavalry as a swift cavalry charge would have wiped out the main threat of the anti tank guns allowing the Polish anti tank guns to push forward and the remaining 7TP tanks to move up to soften up the German tanks in the area.

The heavy PzIV tanks failed to to anything against the train and were left in a very vulnerable position, crossfire from the artillery cars, direct fire from surviving French 75mm guns and lots of infantry surrounding them.

The battle would not have been a cakewalk with the amount of Axis tanks  but I think the allies would keep up their advance although a bit more slowly for the remaining 3 turns. It felt as if we were in adequate control using our infantry to not panic for the loss of armor.

This battle also pointed out the main weakness in both mine and my allied players army list. We really lacked artillery with good firepower during bombardments. I’ve ordered some 105/155mm artillery and one more 37mm anti tank platoon to remedy that problem. And a 2nd HMG platoon to support my 2nd infantry company.

Even though we didn’t manage to finish the game (I was surprised to learn the size of the battle upon arriving at the club on Saturday – as I had thought it would be 2000pts per side) it was still a highly enjoyable afternoon of gaming. Thanks again to Mikael for supplying us with the bulk of the terrain, Peter for bringing the Polish armored train and David for being a damn good ally! Looking forward to the next game. And with a few games under my belt I feel ready to make a review of the rules as well, so there will be a review of the core rules up on the blog next week.

Make sure to check out the video recording I did of the entire battle if you want to see a bit more animated shots of the battle from all angles.

And here are even more still pictures


3 comments:

  1. Now that's a game report..Great pictures and even video. Really nice. Thanks and to pick just one thing out: fantastic train...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Peter who owns the train did a great job on it. He said he still had a few details to add to it. He also speed painted the Polish infantry for the assault car in the middle of the night just before the game! They never got around to leave the train though.

    Had we played a few more turns and those PzIV's would have been knocked out I would have backed up a bit with the train and driven it straight up into the German lines instead to support the allied infantry on both sides of the rails.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome, thank you for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...