02 September 2011

Last two SoTR 2011 tournament AAR's

"Double pincer maneuver"
US Armoured infantry vs British Paratroopers


UK PARA PLATOON: "Sikil"

Elite - 3
Armour - 3

Para CMD - 9
Lt with Optical range finder, Assault Bren, underslung GL & Webley
Sgt with Scoped Lee-Ensfield & 'splosives
Medic with Webley & Medikit
Radio Op with Assault Bren & 'splosives
Pvt with Boyes Anti-Mech Rifle
+ Attatched 3" Mortar Team (4 crew)

Para Squad - 9
Cpl with Sten-B
LCpl with Sten B & 'splosives
1x Pvt with Boyes Anti-Mech Rifle
1x Pvt with Assault Bren & underslung GL
2x Pvt with Assault Bren & 'splosives
3x Pvt with Assault Bren
1x Pvt with Scoped Lee-Ensfield

Para Squad - 9
Cpl with Sten-B
LCpl with Sten B & 'splosives
1x Pvt with Boyes Anti-Mech Rifle
1x Pvt with Assault Bren & underslung GL
2x Pvt with Assault Bren & 'splosives
3x Pvt with Assault Bren
1x Pvt with Scoped Lee-Ensfield

3" Mortar Team - 4

Crusader - 5

Staghound - 9

Diamler Dingo - 4


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

A somewhat tricky scenario. Basically both players start at each other’s throats. The defending player is surrounded but can keep up to 50% of his platoon in reserve. I knew I would get pounded with mortars and the massive fire power from the paratroopers would slaughter my infantry so I kept 2 fire teams in reserve. They were meant to arrive once I’ve cleared some enemy vehicles and troops with my own tanks.

Battle begins, the enemy Staghound drives up between the buildings and reduces my command squad to a single model then opens fire at the side armor of my Sherman but fails to penetrate. Being somewhat safe with what I had left I took my chances to activate Liberty instead of one of my tanks as I wanted to maximize the amount of AT fire from my vehicles at the enemy Crusader. Liberty ran up and planted a uppercut on the Staghound, scoring a penetrating hit which killed the entire crew inside!

Not a bad start, and the first time Liberty had done anything valuable (not counting the immobilized mecha in my previous battle). Enemy mortars fired from both flanks but thankfully scattered wildly even though they were awfully close to my open topped Wolverine. My Sherman positioned itself obscured behind one of the houses and opened fire at the enemy Crusader, hitting but failing to penetrate! The Crusader returned the favor by planting a shell in my front armor which immobilized my Sherman tank. Driving up at crawling speed my Wolverine positioned itself so that it could fire at the side armor of the Crusader and managed to score a penetrating hit of little value as the enemy tank was immobilized.  Well at least I had a Mexican standoff in my favor between the 3 tanks in that little junction. Taking more casualties from enemy small arms fire I rushed up with my mecha and scorched a few paratroopers with my flamethrower making them disorganized.

My greatest concern at this moment was actually the enemy Daimler Dingo, its light vehicle armor was tough enough to resist my small arms fire to the front and it has ridiculous speed making it able to hit anything within my deployment zone. As soon as it had appeared and reduced another fire team to scraps I rushed it with explosives but failed to destroy it, though it too was immobilized! My attacking soldier was blown to bits and the Dingo crew remained inside their damaged vehicle as their passed their cool.

Things looked not so bad, the casualties I had taken up to this point were severe but predicted. My main concern was to knock out the enemy remaining vehicles fast so that I could clear some enemy infantry and bring in my reserves to capture objectives with. Unfortunately what occurred over the next 3 turns was a bizarre show of durability from the enemy Crusader. I kept hitting it with Sherman and Wolverine shells from the front, Light mecha flamethrower from the back. The damn thing would not die! It got tracks blown off, engine destroyed armor penetrated multiple times but the enemy crew must have been either laughing their assess of or knocked unconscious because they simply wouldn’t bail! This ate up valuable time and momentum. In retrospect I should have driven away with my Wolverine and Flamethrower mecha sooner. Enemy infantry destroyed my Sherman with AT weapons fired at its side. My M10 was immobilized and then blown up by enemy explosive charges. The enemy Crusader was finally destroyed – or should I say Liberty had to kills her way through the enemy command squad in order to rush in and save the situation with her fists again. And not even this time did the damned thing blow up, but the vehicle crew bailed out – and it was only then I could neutralize the whole situation by roasting them with my flamethrower mecha. Good riddance.

By this point the defending player zone was overrun by enemy infantry from two flanks, and I could not bring in my reserves on the northern flank. When I tried to bring in some reserves I only managed to bring in 1 out of 2 fire teams which wasn’t enough to secure anything. Liberty was hit by a mortar and as she was Down on the ground the Paratroopers finished her off with a well placed grenade attack.

My opponent really played this one well, he was aided by the insanely durable Crusader tank which just refused to die, and I focused too long on the last enemy tank while actually forgetting to bring in my reserves a bit sooner. This was a game that started out in my favor but victory slipped out of my fingers and it ended a crushing defeat in Victory Points, 9-0 to Sikil.






.....................


"The last Stand"
US Armoured infantry vs UK Rifle platoon.


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


UK RIFLE PLATOON: "Knarloc"

Bodyarmor 3 RP
Elite 5 RP

Command section 4 RP
Medic, 2 * Explosives

Rifle squad 7 RP
30 cal, Antimech rifle, 2 * PIAT-D

Rifle squad 7 RP
30 cal, Antimech rifle, 2 * PIAT-D

Bazooka team 2 RP

Bazooka team 2 RP

Mortar medium 4 RP

HMG 3 RP

British Steel 6 RP
3* Packed Vickers, 2* anti mech rifle
Para Sniper 6 RP
Templar assult squad 6 RP
30 cal


Last game during the tournament was played against Knarlor and his UK rifle platoon, and out of all the platoons I’ve met up to this point it was the most “regular” out of them all. It was a well rounded and balanced infantry force which I foresaw would provide a balanced challenge.

The scenario was a “land grab” scenario. With enemy deployment zone sectors being worth 2VP , middle one 2VP and middle flanks 1VP each. My greatest advantage was my 3 armored vehicles. To my disadvantage was the  enemy units and fire teams that all packed more firepower than my own fire teams and the relative open ground in the middle of the table. I simply had to mop the most dangerous parts of the enemy platoon such as the Templar Assault squad and the British steel off table before making any attempt of advancing into the victory zone.

The game started out superb for my platoon, partially due to my opponent’s mistake of deploying both of his Bazooka teams in the same area. We realized that a couple activations into the game else I would have allowed for a redeployment. Anyway, my Sherman made up for its crappy die rolls in previous games up to this point. It opened fire with its 2 LMG’s and the pintle mounted HMG at Templar Assault Squad and the both bazooka teams. This reduced the Templars to half strength with only 2 man left standing and 1 wounded, 1 bazooka team was wiped out and the other was reduced to 1 Down soldier. I actually felt a bit bad, that is the truth of tanks in this game – they are incredibly devastating if you have multiple targets within LoS.

Being a good sport I did my best to hide my great relief. My opponent was a bit shaken by this but kept his cool which in the end would provide a tough challenge for the remainder of the game. The enemy kept me from moving out of  cover with small arms fire that reduced my squads bit by bit as the turns progressed. The enemy also had a large forest area in one corner which I decided would be a good target for my flamethrower armed mecha. I ran up and set some forests on fire, had the incredible luck of disorganizing the closest unit which had explosives and were in assault range buying myself some time on that flank. My Wolverine dodged enemy mortar rounds and drove slowly forwards firing its pintle mounted HMG at the enemy. Enemy sniper and riflemen managed to kill my HMG gunners in both tanks – the Wolverine crew panicked which was typical as I had just begun my right flank sweep.

With my Wolverine halted I tried to get some more infantry up towards the enemy but was pretty much kept in my original position by their assault rifles. This is where things good incredibly outlandish when it comes to the die rolls. My command squad sniper spends 3 turns trying to kill the enemy anti tank rifleman who is part of a UK fire team and is endangering my Sherman tank. With that utter failure the UK anti rank rifle hits and immobilized my Sherman tank. My incompetent crew decide to retaliate at everything in LoS and starts out rather well by killing half of the enemy British Steel squad, fails to kill the enemy Para sniper and kills the enemy HMG team.

My mech gets blown up completely halting any advance on the left flank and I have to rush a fire team to save my home deployment sector from falling into enemy hands. Liberty runs back and forth between cover, without any targets and just trying to stay alive. I end up hiding her behind a small wooden shack within inspirational range to my Sherman tanks – because that seemed like a idiot proof way to keep my crew cool.

I slowly advance with a fire team and my Wolverine on the right flank, enemy mortar shrapnel keeps killing my HMG gunners and the enemy Medic packing a god damn Webley Sabot pistol starts picking off my soldiers one by one with firing range precision. Now my incompetent Sherman crew would make something incredible, for the duration of 2 turns, I spent 40 LMG/HMG die rolls and 1 AT shot at the enemy para sniper keeping my center and left flank under constant fire. I figured opening fire with everything I had TWICE would be enough to kill him. But guess what. Not a single 6 to hit despite my 40 rolls, AND to top it off my cross eyed main gunner failed to hit the edge of the forest on a 3+ LOL!

If I could only swap the tank crew of my Wolverine and my Sherman then my Sherman would over perform and my Wolverine would be decent. I suspect having 3 machineguns and seemingly unlimited amounts of ammo does not force a “make ‘em count” mentality the same way that my single HMG Wolverine had.

In the end I managed to save my home deployment left flank, the enemy actually manage to make my moronic Sherman crew to BAIL OUT! Despite having Liberty 2 feet away waving her flag for inspiration. I had to roll 10 or lover on 2D6 and roll 12! Gah… Liberty saved the conquest of the center zone at least, and what remained of my Wolverine crew took their vehicle into the enemy right flank deployment and conquered it as well.

This was a absurdly close game despite my apparent advantage. With my mecha destroyed , my Wolverine under constant mortar bombardment and my Sherman being manned by monkeys the rest of my platoon was pretty much deadlocked with the enemy fire teams , both sides trying to reduce the other player in manpower so that it would be safe to move out.

A really tense game, another great game despite the frustrated tone this AAR may have. I actually laughed in disbelief rather than became annoyed at the statistically impossible rolls I kept rolling with my sniper and the Sherman. The game ended 5-1 to me, my opponent although coming close to capturing my home  deployment zone had in the end only control over one flanking sector.

…………..

Some thoughts on the tournament as a whole. I had a great time playing during both days. My matchups were pretty OK and all the games were actually surprisingly close and tense. What looked like an easy game turned into a battle for survival, what looked like a hard game turned out to be a bit easier than I thought. I’m not a tournament player as such, but I did enjoy the “performance pressure” that the tournament created, it made the battles and the outcome of each battle mean something more than just a moral victory.

The whole tournament experience was rather enjoyable, no problems, annoyances or grievances in any of the games that I played. For next year I will play a completely different platoon. What made my force suffer was the lack of ranged AT guns (only 2 and those were mounted on my tanks), but the real problem was the lack of manpower. 1 command squad and 4 fire teams is just too little for my taste. In retrospect I would have thrown out Liberty and added a Engineer squad and a Bazooka team, maybe swapping out the Sherman and included some tough infantry support like the APE’s instead.

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