15 June 2012

Poles vs Czech Panzers, 3 AAR's in one post

Played a couple of games with my Polish infantry battalion against Patrik this past weekend.
I reworked the contents of my army to be better suited to handle tank companies (but still plan to play my old list in EW tournaments).

As such my army included

HQ + 2medium mortars
3 infantry platoons with anti tank rifle upgrades
2x 36mm AT gun platoons
1x Infantry gun platoon (2x 75mm guns)
1x 7TP tank platoon (5 tanks)
1x Train with heavy artillery car

Patrik ran his Czech Panzers:

2 Pz38t command tanks
2 platoons of Pz38t (4 tanks in each)
1 Platoon of Pz II (5 tanks)
2 88's with extra crew and transports
5 dice of air support


The mission was Hold the line, and I started with 2 infantry platoons and 1 AT gun platoon on the table. Second AT gun platoon was in ambush. The train, tanks, infantry guns and 3rd infantry platoon were in reserve.

The battle was tough, I did not receive any reinforcements until turn 3. Patrik pressed on with his Panzers and was digging up my entrenched infantry on both sides of the tracks. I did manage to destroy a couple of his tanks with AT guns and made them retreat with infantry counter assaults - but the enemy tanks came back and pretty much wiped out both platoons (the game was so intense that I forgot to take pictures of the Polish remnants.

I lost my ambushing AT gun platoon first, bombers and tanks ripped it apart. The remaining AT gun platoon was holding up fairly well and was positioned in a good spot - but there was a bunch of blind spots where the enemy could use. The amount of obscuring terrain features were also quite high so only a few shots actually hit the enemy tanks.

Once my reinforcements arrived Patrik was sitting on top of the railroad objective for the second time, now with nothing which could remove those tanks. I was torn between bringing in my train or my 7TP platoon. In the end I brought on the 7TP platoon since it would be 5 shots instead of 2 (only 1 turret would have LoS to Patriks 38t tanks). I moved up my 7TP platoon, and 5 tanks and 3 Anti Tank guns only managed to kill 1 and bail 1 tank. Patrik had to roll motivation for that platoon but passed it. And since I wasn’t able to reach him and prevent him claiming the objective I lost.

Biggest lesson learned from this battle was to place objectives as far back towards your own lines as possible so that friendly reinforcements can protect them upon arrival. The objective Patrik captured had been placed by himself so there was little I could do about its location though.



Fighting Withdrawal

Same forces as in the previous battle.

Since the battle was rather underwhelming and I had only played with half my army vs the whole of Patrik’s we decide to run yet another battle. This time we rolled "Fighting Withdrawal". I deployed along the entire table - the train would arrive on my turn 1 instead of starting on table. This time I finally felt that I could deploy my units in a way so that they could perform better, tried to create as much crossfire possibilities as possible. The line of dug in Poles looked pretty impressive.

The battle started badly for the Poles who lost 3 tanks and got 1 bailed immediately by enemy 88's firing at long range into concealment (reminded me of how frail the 7TP are and that I should have placed them far back and used them as a on table mobile reserve unit instead).
Enemy air support knocked out one of the 75mm infantry guns.

The tanks were pretty much screwed after that when enemy 38t's rolled up and opened fire. Killing the bailed command tank and making the last tank flee. I wasn't too bothered at this loss, but annoyed at myself for that stupid deployment. BUT the worst mistake was that I (as always) forget that if you use a commanding officer for re-roll of morale checks he is attached to the platoon. Of course trying to save the last tank - my idiot move made the commanding officer run away with the last tank!!

Still, my train arrived on turn 2 and I had a fantastic turn. Train artillery guns and AT platoons wiped out the entire Pz II platoon and killed 4 Pz38t tanks. It was just brutal.

The train artillery car was then hit by 88's and blew up, but since the locomotive was still working I just removed the train as my first platoon so I did not miss it too much. It does feel a lot less worse now when you play with 260pts worth of train compared to a 700+ pts train. The remaining 38t tanks started dodging move around and behind terrain to avoind the left AT gun platoon and destroyed the remaining 75mm infantry gun. While German air support arrived again and killed 1 of the right flank 36mm AT guns. The enemy tanks ended their movement in a field facing 2 infantry platoons and 2 AT guns. It sucked a bit that those 7TP tanks had died already because now was the time where I would have benefited form something mobile to threaten the enemy armor.

38t's parked in the fields and opened MG fire at the Polish positions pinning infantry and the AT platoon which had previously left their foxholes to change direction and move closer. This was followed by a charge that killed both AT guns and some nearby Polish infantry teams including one of the AT rifles and my 2iC. One of the platoons was badly beaten up and had to roll motivation - failed and fled. Now I was below half strength of my army and without officers to lead the rest of the army packed their bags and left the field.

I did so many retarded mistakes in this battle that I hope I will learn from this experience to:

1) Not risk company commanders to save remnant platoons when it's not risking a company morale check.

2) Keeping my damn 7TP platoon out of LoS and enemy contact until the shit has hit the fan and I need to help out a section on the table - then use the 7TP as a mobile reserve to get there quickly.

3) Noob mistake during deployment, just baffled me how I could set up my first platoon so that it minimized enemy artillery templates - but then placed a second platoon with units too close which exposed the first platoon just as well. What the hell...


The whole day was a long learning experience, played a 3rd battle against Patrik - but this time we switched roles and he borrowed my Poles and I played his Czech tanks. The scenario was Hasty attack.

I started with 88's and a platoon of Pz38t's on the table. Patrik started with 2 infantry platoons, 75mm infantry guns and both 36mm AT gun platoons. In this game I learned something about my Polish army which I think I will adopt in any future battles. Patrik merged my HQ medium mortars with the infantry gun platoon, and thus created a 4 gun artillery battery (with crappy mortar rating but nonetheless).

Patrick blocked one of the objectives by covering it with 6 AT guns so I had to backtrack around a forest and over a river with my lonely tank platoon. Of course I failed to roll for reinforcements even during turn 3. Thankfully Battlefront has tweaked that reinforcement rule so I at least got 1 platoon arriving on the table. I had lost a fair bit of momentum, and in retrospect I should have started with 2 38t platoons instead of the 88's.  Patrik's train arrived and cut off the second objective, my right flank 38t tank platoon was still trying to reach the left flank. The left flank was overrun by a Polish infantry platoon which I bombed and shot up badly but which still managed to unpin. It ran into the nearby forest.

Now my PzII platoon arrived and I did yet another retarded thing - but this is a typical Flames of War problem which I hate. PzII tanks covered the hill with the infantry, while my nearby 38t platoon moved forward. Now the Poles were half an inch inside the "contest the objective" range and managed to capture it. I really need to read the scenario descriptions more closely, this is not the first time I have lost because I have not measured everything and anything around an objective in this game. Frankly I find this part of the rules boring as fuck, that so much depends on measuring ranges to and from the objectives at all times,, but it is how it works and I will just have to deal with it and learn from it. So through my stupidity and some luck Patrik claimed that objective and humiliated my ass. He offered to play on but I declined and said we should count it as it was - his victory. Though I think it sucked that Patrik did not get around to playtest all the Polish units. I offered that we play with each other’s armies again next time we play FoW. It was an interesting experiment.

6 comments:

  1. Nice batreps. Good to see I'm not the only one that makes dumb mistakes. :-)

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  2. Yeah I was amazed of myself at the end of game 3. Patrik commended me for having learned some general FoW game tricks while we played game nr2 but then my brain just died at the end of the day completely.

    I did learn a lot from the asskicking I received though. And I look forward to this Sunday when Patrik is going to play my Polish army again. We should have done that a long time ago, better learn from a veteran gamer than going "trial & error" myself.

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  3. Really looking foward to this next sunday.
    Hopefully I wont humiliate you again...

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  4. Havent tried FoW, is it friendly to people with little experience of wargaming?

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    Replies
    1. There are quite a lot of rules and I think FoW is one of those games that you need the help of an experienced gamer to guide you along- both in terms of picking a period (Early / Mid / Late-war) and army, and how to build an army.

      There certainly is a lot of prep-work to be done. The core rules are easy enough to get into and to get the hang of. The advanced rules are a bit more difficult.
      Not completely sure if this is a game that newcomers to the hobby will pick up as a first, I think most FoW gamers come from other games such as Warhammer Fantasy or WH40k.

      My best advice would be to seek out a group that plays FoW locally and have them show you the ropes. It's great fun once you get into it, but can be a bit daunting to make sense of all the periods, then campaign books, then armies and so on. I also hope that this doesn't scare you away from FoW!

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  5. Thx for a good informative answer! I was looking at this: http://kulturkommissariatet.se/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1420&products_id=11918 and thought it looked cool. I´m new to w40k and like the sf-part of that. Trying to get the hang of that ruleset but also likes the historical ascpect of ww2-games. Actually have a club here in town, maybe should visit them and have look then.

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