14 May 2011

Polish tank company vs motorized Germans

Mission briefing

Breaktrough, the table is divided into 4 sectors. The defenders dig in on 2 diagonally adjacent quarters. The attacker deploys in one of the remaining quarters and has as his objective to break through the enemy lines diagonally to the last sector and capture one or both objective markers.

Germans held one mechanized infantry platoon in reserve.

The Polish held a platoon of TKS tankettes led by Roman Orlik, a platoon of cavalry and a platoon of FT-17 tanks. All these Polish units would enter the battlefield nearby the objectives, in a wide flanking move.

Reserves would arrive at the battlefield from turn 3 and onwards with 1D6 rolled on turn 3, 2D6 on turn 4, 3D6 on turn 5 etc. All results of 5+ resulted in reinforcements entering the battle.


Forces:
Both forces very made up of a backbone army organization, with a few additional troops that would normally not serve inside that particular army build. For instance, the Polish tank company would usually not include mortar teams, cavalry and FT-17 tanks. Since this the first time me and my friend played together we wanted to get a feel of the units and have fun rather than play "hardcore" by the book. In the end I think it worked out rather well. Both sides had 1325pts

The Battle


The Polish rolled to be the attacking side, the Polish battleline was made up of a stretched out infantry platoon supported by 2 medium mortars, 1 HMG platoon and a platoon of 37mm AT guns. This force was flanked on both sides by a 5 vehicle strong 7TPjw tank platoon. The Company commander was riding solo and not attached to any of the platoons – I wanted to have him at hand to support either flank if need be.

The plan for the Polish was to try to smash the Germans on both flanks with the 7TP tank units and push forwards with the infantry – grinding as much of the enemy force as possible and hope that when the Polish reinforcements arrived it would be pretty much clear around the objectives. I picked reasonably fast units to be my reserves. The cavalry and Tankettes would both be able to take the objectives upon entering the battlefield. The FT-17 tanks were just meant for cannon fodder/diversion tactics.

The Germans deployed in a diagonal line across the table. On one flank the Germans had 2 sIG33, on the other flank they had 4 Panzerjäger I. In the middle they had a platoon of infantry, and 2x2 Sdkfz 231 with 2cm guns. And at the back a unit of 6 medium mortars.


Turn 1-2
Poles go first, being the attackers. The7TP tanks and 37mm AT guns unleash a volley against the Panzerjäger tank hunters and manage to destroy 3 out of 4 tanks. On the other flank the 7TP manage to bail 1 sIG33 tank destroyer Moving forward seems like a stupid idea until some of the Germans have been cleaned off the table.  Machineguns strafe the forest and dug in German positions. Polish mortars manage to bail the other sIG33 and kill one HMG team – pinning the rest. Germans  retaliate by dropping mortar shells amidst the Polish lines killing 4 units of the infantry platoon, 1 medium mortar and 1 hmg team. The sIG33 crews  fail to climb back into their vehicles,  German Sdkfz 231 appear on the open battlefield and fire a salvo against the 7TP tanks attacking German sIG33 positions. The Sdkfz 231 units manage to destroy 1 and bail 1 other 7TP tank.

Polish armor move slowly forward on both flanks to get better firing positions, and knock out one of the Sdkfz 231as well as one of the bailed out sIG33 tanks.  More German mortar rounds rain down amidst the Polish  but only manage to kill 1 infantry team. The Polish pass all their morale checks with ease and determination. All except the remaining medium mortar team. Bailed out Polish tank crews also quickly jump back into their vehicles to continue the fight.

Turn 3-4
First chance to get some reinforcements, no Polish reinforcements enter. The fight continues to smash the German armor on both flanks. The Sdkfz 231 scare the crap out of the Polish tanks with their AT5 firepower 5+ guns and RoF3 attacks. The sneaky Germans withdraw their Sdkfz 231 out of line of sight before they can be attacked again though. Infantry clash in the middle, the German platoon assaults and kills the Polish teams that managed to reach the boccage. What remains of the German HMG platoon withdraws on the double back towards the objective markers.

The remaining sIG33 is mounted up again and destroys one Polish 7TP tank with ease. Germans enter with their mobilized infantry, mounted up in trucks they cross the stream at the far back of the table and move towards the objectives. The Polish maul the German infantry platoon in the boccage with all they got, firing with infantry platoon teams, 37mm AT guns, machineguns and the Company Command tank. Reducing the German platoon to a couple of stands.


On the other flank the Polish unharmed 7TP platoon moves up to get a better firing position, and target the sneaky Sdkfz 231 bailing 1. The Panzerjäger moves up around the hill and in turn bail one of the 7TP tanks, while the remaining 2 operational Sdkfz 231 bail another.

German mortars smack the Polish infantry over the head once again killing 2 teams. The Polish fail to bring in any reinforcements on turn 4 as well, while the Germans move into position with the remnants of the HMG platoon and set up shop near one of the objectives. The German mobile infantry move closer in their trucks. The last sIG33 is knocked out leaving the left flank somewhat open to Polish 7TP tanks.

Turn 5-6
Polish reinforcements finally enter – TKS platoon drives onto the table and parks inside one of the fields. The German platoon in the center of the table makes one last stand as they are utterly destroyed by massed crossfire. Only the German company commander remains – and being a hardass he answers the Polish attack with his own SMG fire killing 1 Polish team reducing the Polish platoon to 7 out of 15 teams and force them to take platoon morale test – which they pass. The German commander is soon after killed. The Polish 7TP tanks remount and destroy the remaining Sdkfz 231 and Panzerjäger. 3 7TP tanks race ahead to support the tankettes – which are also backed up by freshly arrived cavalry.

In one last attack the tankettes fire at the German mobile infantry to bring down their numbers while the cavalry chage into the thick of it. Germans kill 2 cavalry stands with defensive fire but are hacked to pieces, cavalry remnants turn around and attack what remains of the German HMG platoon and destroy it as well. 3 Polish 7TP tanks,  4 tankettes and a couple of cavalry end up holding both objectives and secure a Polish victory.



Some thoughts

First of all, this was my first game of FoW on my own, using my own stuff – both me and my opponent had to check the rules frequently, but, it was a very enjoyable game. The amount of terrain was just about right and the forces were fairly balanced.

Sure I had a few units that were not supposed to be in my army if it had been a “proper” army but as we wanted to try out most of our stuff we didn’t bother with that. In the end it didn’t really prove to be such a big impact. The FT-17 tanks never entered the battle and the Tankettes would most likely have held the line until the 7TP tanks reached them anyway.

I think I learned a lot about my units in this battle though.

7TP tanks, I had toyed with the idea of playing reduced strength platoons. But I really think that they should be played maxed out. The amount of fire power from a full platoon was impressive – at the same time they are easy to bail or destroy. I will play them with 5 tanks every time.

Tankettes, hard to pinpoint if they were good or bad. In a tank company you can only have 3 platoons of “real”tanks, so the tankettes make a 4th “light tank” platoon. I included Roman Orlik and he really kicked ass. I like his special rules, being able to fire full RoF while moving, re-rolling missed attacks and be harder to hit in terrain. I will most likely include him every time I include a tankette platoon.

Polish infantry platoon, it is massive, it is easy to pin down –but the Polish are tough enough to shake of any morale associated effects with ease. I actually think I prefer Fearless over being Veteran. Sure they are being hit more often as Trained , but being Fearless over Confident makes a huge impact on the “recovery” rolls which affect the Polish a lot. 15 stands makes the platoon a beast. I can’t wait until I play the infantry battalion with 3 platoons!

Cavalry, I love the unit on its own. The rules, with 2+ to kill during 1st round of close combat is fantastic. I had to support them quite a lot in this battle, and I think it would take a more fleshed out cavalry company to make a frontal assault on its own. However, as a flanking “bypassed” unit I think they will rock on their own –chasing down artillery and mortar teams.

I’ve played FoW 4 times now, this was the first time with my own miniatures. I can safely say that this is a fun game and I’m really relieved it was even more fun with the Early War armies.


I look forward to play more battles in the near future and try different Polish force compositions within the Infantry battalion and tank company organization charts.


3 comments:

  1. there seem to have been a lack in discipline. the officers of the German company ordered the troopers to storm the poles but nothing happened. leaving the panzerjägers in the open was not a smart move, though.

    mortars sre no good at bailing/destroying tanks.

    lesson learned.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think we should look at this game as a "training" battle. I think we both learned a lot about our units. Next time I hope to meet you with a "legal" infantry battalion instead :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. and ill bring a few stukas..

    ReplyDelete

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