30 August 2011

SoTR US Armoured infantry vs Swedish partisans

“Escorting thru enemy lines”
US Armoured infantry vs Swedish partisans


This was my first game during the tournament, check the mission briefing for full details about the scenario. Army lists for both armies are below.

US ARMOURED INFANTRY PLATOON: "Anatoli"

Veteran + Body Armor 5RP
1x Sentinel 7RP
1x Command Squad 6RP
(incl Sniper & Medic)
2x Armored Infantry squad with packed LMG & 3x explosives 14RP
1x Comanche with light armor, assault pod and flamethrower 4RP
1x M10 Wolverine with improved sights 7RP
1x M4 Sherman with improved sights 12RP

SWEDISH PARTISAN BAND: "Defender of Sweden"

Green         3 RP
Lion of the North, Mounted    5 RP
Rå        5 RP
Swedish partisan band, Mounted, SMG     6 RP
Swedish partisan band, SMG            4 RP
Swedish partisan band, SMG        4 RP
Heavy machine gun team        3 RP
Heavy machine gun team        3 RP
Sniper team            4 RP
Sniper team            4 RP
Saboteur team            5 RP
Saboteur team            5 RP
Anti mech rifle team        1 RP
"Light" Mortar team        3 RP

The Swedish partisans, or any partisan list straight out of the book with no changes, is a rather fragile bunch of units. No long range AT weapons except for 1 single Anti Tank rifle, the platoon relies heavy on the explosive charges each member of the platoon carries – the saboteur specialist units are pretty much a pair of one trick ponies that will use deep insertion to deploy in your face and then use their infiltrate movement to get close enough to your vehicles so that they can be blown up before you can react. This of course makes the partisans also rely heavily on their “hero” character – in this case the Lion of the North with his Cool 10. So they pretty much had the turn initiative in their pocket for as long as he was alive.

The scenario wasn’t ideal for any of us, night fighting with 18” LoS limit made it extremely dangerous for my tiny 6 man fire teams to get into enemy range as they would be massacred by the 30 SMG shots fired by each partisan unit! On the other hand the partisans were unarmored, had no grenades and no vehicles. My initial plan was to use my Sherman and my Wolverine to squeeze my opponent from both flanks  - my Sherman was supposed to lead the way as it had machinegun power enough to kill 1 unit per gun.

Now as the game starts, I had of course completely forgotten about the enemy saboteur units. The first thing I see is one team deploying and moving up to my tanks on both flanks so that no matter who won turn initiative one tank would be in serious trouble. True enough, the partisans won turn initiative and picked the prime target and the most dangerous unit in my platoon – the Sherman – and immobilized it with explosive charges to the soft side armor. This also blew up half of my nearby fire team making them disorganized and made the crew bail out!

Not wasting any time I activated my Wolverine, but realized that I would  not have enough killing power with just 1 single pintle mounted HMG to kill the nearby saboteurs so taking no chances I made full speed backwards and backed away as far as possible then opened fire – indeed only managing to “Down” one out of the two saboteurs. At least I was out of assault range.

The interesting thing now was that my left flank was basically neutralized and in a deadlock. I still had the saboteur team near my bailed Sherman, Swedish cavalry partisans totting SMG’s riding towards me, an Anti tank rifle team in my face and  a sniper lurking about holding my 2 fire teams, Liberty and the platoon medic at a safe distance and in place. My right flank was too weak to do anything more this turn. My center moved cautiously forward, wary of the SMG hordes.

My pregame thoughts about a relatively easy game were pretty much smashed with that bailed Sherman and I would have to be very careful with the tiny amounts of men I had as they were my only way of controlling the prisoners that were escorted and had to be brought at least into “no man’s land” but preferably into the enemy deployment zone to score full VP’s.

Turn 1 was over and the partisans won turn initiative for turn 2 as well. The left flank saboteurs wasted no time so they attacked again this time blowing up 4 out of 5 crewmen from my bailed out crew as they were caught in the blast from the partisan explosive charges! Seeing that the Partisans moved towards the center of the table I rushed up with my flamethrower mecha to set the nearby forest on fire – catching their supernatural unit, the “Rå” in the fire and killing her before she could pull off her nasty psychic manipulative attacks.  Sniper and anti tank rifle fire started picking off my left flank troops and the Swedish cavalry moved close but still kept out of visibility range.

I destroyed the right flank saboteurs with my M10 Wolverine and threw a grenade in the face of the left flank saboteur team killing them as well. I realized my only chance to not get killed was to stay behind obstacles out of LoS and throw grenades at them. This became my prime tactic of dealing with the partisans in the center.

I took my right flank escorting unit and moved it into cover behind the forest and positioned my M10 Wolverine to cover them – behind the forest the Partisans had set up a HMG team in overwatch and held a relatively unscathed unit of SMG totting partisans behind the small building. Again the danger of moving too close or be left out in the open with tank or infantry made me try to wait for next turn to see how things evolved.

The light mortar fire from the enemy was luckily scattering wild all over the place and kept missing vital units. Ironically I was still too weak to push through in any of the 3 sectors and started to be pretty worried about the smashed up left flank.

The following turn the Swedish cavalry moved up and mowed down soldiers from various units as they had LoS to different targets, keeping that flank in a constant disorganized and weakened state. I moved up Liberty to bring some order back to the troops but that did little to help. I held one fire team in reserve up to this point but moved them up now and tried to kill some of the mounted partisans but only managed to kill and down a pair. I then used my last model from one of the fire teams to throw a grenade at the horses and managed to kill a couple more reducing the unit to just above half strength. In the middle the partisans rushed out from behind the wooden fence and blasted me with a bucketload of SMG fire but I was extremely lucky with them only inflicting 1 killed and 1 wounded, I also passed the Cool check following that shock treatment. My flamethrower mecha and that same fire team joined their efforts and together destroyed the partisan unit with a mix of flamethrower and grenades.

Partisans secured further progress in that direction by moving up a HMG team. Now on my right flank I was certain that time had come for me to punch through – I moved up my fire team escorting the prisoner into the forest and came under light mortar fire again. I took 1 down and 1 goner but passed my cool check. I did not anticipate the partisan HMG team in the area charging me – but they did and they won! They killed 1 soldier and scared away the remaining troops who left one of their wounded buddies behind! My Wolverine had to divert from attacking the partisan unit behind the house to trying to get rid of the partisan HMG team in the forest instead wasting another turn.

The following turn things went south for the partisans as I managed to run up with my unharmed fire team and throw a bunch of grenades in their faces – killing the Lion of the North and most of his unit! This was avenged by the anti tank rifle team which sniped Liberty and killed her amidst her troops, partisan sniper also crept forward and reduced my fire team by 1 man as he inflicted a headshot.

The right flank regrouped and attacked the HMG team with grenades again to make sure they were hit in the forest killing them and allowing for the prisoner to be brought some distance into “no man’s land”, the M10 Wolverine guarding their flank from any potential partisan attack. In the center my mecha was attacked by a partisan with explosives which blew off the assault pod arm and made the pilot bail out – luckily just out of LoS from the enemy sniper in the water tower.

I was still locked in the center, but cleared the partisan HMG team standing in overwatch with a grenade bundle leaving the HMG team members dead or wounded. Left flank was completely FUBAR as the partisan remnants closed in on my remnants in a war of attrition between single soldiers trying to take control of the prisoner. I rushed forward with what was left on my left flank only to get them all killed. I had to grab that loose prisoner with my fire team in the center to prevent him from ending up in enemy hands and the game was basically over after a extremely hard and bloody fight.

The end result was my platoon still holding the 3 prisoners, but I only reached no man’s land so I scored just 1 VP per prisoner. Both players scored 2VP for killing 50% or more of the enemy platoon.

So my first tournament battle ended a 5-2 victory, earned in blood. My opponent, though being a relative newcomer to the game played his platoon very well - especially taking into account how difficult the partisans are to play.

3 comments:

  1. Great looking game, and nice AAR.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very nice report full of action and swinging to and fro.

    It certainly sounded like he caught you on the backfoot at the start. Its good that you kept your cool and managed to recover.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah in situations like that you just have to brush aside the losses and focus on salvaging the situation.

    ReplyDelete

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