Small report of a small battle

A few days ago I played a Flames of War battle against Lex, a new found opponent. Lex is a long time wargamer who just started playing FoW; picking me as a trainer won't help off course, but results in very interesting battles :-)
His friend Guus showed up to watch and was so kind to take some pictures. So all pictures courtesy of Guus ©.

In our preparation of a tournament that will take place at Table Top Kingdom, we played late war lists. Lex took a British, excuse me, Scottish infantry list. My list was a German tank army from the Desperate Measures book, shown in the table. Playing trained panzer instead of the usual veteran waffen ss infantry would require a new approach.

We decide to play the 'hasty attack' scenario. Half of my opponents force would be in reserve at the start of the game. Lex decided to place all his anti tank guns and infantry on the board, and place his mortars, hmg's and M10's in reserve. Having the M10's in reserve was a bit dubious (and Lex had meant them to be in ambush), on the other hand they were save there for any long range gunnery.

The battlefield (photograph on the left, Lex force was deployed on the left side of this picture) looked very very nice with a small village half way between the forces at my right flank. Through the village a road stretched across the full width, as a border between the two parties. On the left of the village some bushes were located on either side of the road.

Trying to make use of the absence of half my opponents units (still in reserver), I rushed all units forward (with the exception for the nebelwerfers). Lex' anti tank guns tried to respond to this, but were hindered by the woods on his side. Further more it turned out that despite having quite a few anti tank assets in number, they lacked the power of hurting the panzers at lange range. (And that's not even taken into account Lex's dice rolls...).

The first wave of attack took place on my left flank. The StuG's went forward, hiding behind a little wood. The Panzer IV's joined the Panthers and also went forward, but a little more cautiously. My infantry tried to keep up and at the same time stay out of sight of the Scots.

Lex' response came in the form of the arrival of the M10's, who came in from reserve, ready to kill off my StuG's (a completely overlooked the possibility of the immediate arrival of reserves). However, both M10 and StuG crews turned out to be hopeless gunners and would shoot each other for two round without any result other than bailing a crew. In the long run I was very lucky on that flank, when my StuG's blew up the M10's just before a unit of Scot infantry failed their tank terror test. The picture shows Lex' forces on this side of the battle (with a poor burning StuG hidden in). After driving off my attack on this flank, his troops pushed forward through the woods.

At the right flank my Panthers supported by the grenadiers managed to rush through the village without losses. The second in command Panzer IV was blown up and the first in command almost suffered the same fate, being bailed. In the last turn the Panthers assaulted the unit guarding the second objective on the right flank and managed to wipe them out. As there were no way for the Scots  to challenge this objective, the Germans won this battle.

As for the aftermath... It was a very nice and hectic game, played in some very nice scenery. The lack of 'big guns' in Lex' list gave me the opportunity to maneuver freely with my tanks. Having a 'stormtrooper' move' boosted this even further. I was very very lucky when the M10's showed up and managed to miss all shots.

This panzer list does not leave much room for compensation of losses. The Panthers and also the modest Nebelwerfers performed outstanding. The Nebels pinned the anti tank guns almost continually through the game (and at the same time Lex failed to unpin them almost every time..).

Time for a rematch! ;-)

(Ook gepubliceerd op NLFoW)