Sunday, 15 September 2013

1500pt FoW 51st HD vs 21st Panzer Division AAR (Part 2)

Continuing the AAR from my previous blog entry with the start of turn four. I had forgotten to mention that in YD's turn 3 he had called down a rocket barrage onto my own artillery OP and killed the OP's Universal Carrier and my company commander!

I started by rolling for reserves and come up short again.Three turns with nothing and four platoons in reserve. With YD's Panzers closing in, things are looking a bit grim.

With nothing moving this turn (my infantry either failed to dig in again or I forgot to try) I settled down to shooting. My 6 pdr guns that could see the Panzer IV's opened fire, only succeeding to bail one of the German tanks.

While one of my more central 17 pdr guns sends a shell into one of the Panzer IV's on the left flank. These guns are rapidly proving their worth.

Unfortunately the other guns fail to take out any of the tanks on the left and the 6 pdrs that could see targets found them to be out of range. My infantry on the left held their fire and made use of the gone to ground bonus.

YD pushed his tanks forward again, edging forward on the left:

And made some small moves on the right. In the centre, his infantry moved more fully into the wood - finally presenting a target for my own infantry!

In YD's shooting, his Panzers on the left opened fire on another of my 17 pdrs... Being dug in didn't help and the gun was destroyed.

Another of his tanks fires on one of my 6 pdrs and leaves the gun a broken and mangled mess.

While on the right his tanks fire into my infantry and I managed to save all the fire.

My turn 5 starts with me rolling 5 dice for reserves, and finally getting two of my platoons on. Thinking that the game only lasts 6 turns (a hold over from my earlier 40k days) I chose to bring on my Shermans and MMG platoon. These both end up over on the right flank - which is thankfully where I can use them.

On the left, one of my 17 pdrs rotates to face the flanking German tanks. On the right my Shermans send shells every which way other than into the two German tanks to their front. Similarly the 6 pdr gun there only manages to bail one of the German tanks.

My artillery is again pretty useless. All game the most it has done is bail a few German tanks and otherwise miss everything it's fired at.

YD's turn 5 sees him continue his advance, creeping tanks forward on the left and staying still on the right to put fire on the Shermans. A flurry of shots sees one tank bailed...

And my Firefly vanish in an internal explosion.

My turn 6, I manage to get my Sherman crew back in their tank and return fire - doing nothing to the German tanks. I manage to get another reserve platoon on, this time my infantry and in the centre. I moved them over towards the 17 pdrs as a last ditch against YD attempting to grab the objective there. One of those guns managed to brew up another German tank, and the other bails one.

The last few turns there has been an infantry engagement going on over on the left between my infantry in the building and YD's in the forest, but no casualties inflicted.

YD's turn 6 - his forces continue to creep forward. The most devastating aspect of this turn is a rather nastily placed Nebelwerfer barrage...

That the following turn I reciprocate onto his two Panzer IV's with my 25 pdrs, destroying one tank and bailing one.

But not before he managed to bail one and destroy another Sherman.

My turn gets me my last remaining platoon on, my pioneers. They arrive on my left flank and start moving into the wood there. Finally, my 17 pdr on that flank knocks out another of these prowling Panzer IV's.

On my right I throw my remaining Shermans forward in an attempt to get flank shots on the Panzer IV's. My Universal carrier also surge forward in an attempt to find targets and get out of the Panzers line of fire.

Sherman fire bails one of the Panzers. At the end of the shooting YD rolls platoon motivation for both his Panzer IV platoons... and fails both. He leaves the tanks on the table, but gleefully tells me the crews are getting shot when they return to his lines.

His Pak40's move up onto the road to block the Shermans - thankfully missing with their fire against the Shermans. The Nebelwerfers spotter fails to call in fire this turn.

The table at the end of turn 7 (note, in my recounting I may have got mixed up - I think I took these photos at the end of turn 6!)

 In my turn I throw my MMG carriers forward again, firing on his Pak40's and killing one. On the left my infantry does well vs his infantry in the forest, taking them below half strength - aided by an artillery barrage. They pass their motivation and keep fighting. My Shermans also engage the Pak40's but manage to not hit anything.

One of my 6 pdr's fires on his Nebelwerfer spotters jeep, knocking it out. But the damned spotter leads a charmed life and survives.

YD fires the Pak40's at my Shermans again, doing nothing. One fires on the MMG carriers but does no damage either.

My turn and the MMG carriers move on the objective, putting the hedge line between them and the guns. They fire on the Nebelwerfers and wipe out the whole platoon. The one MMG out of LOS of the Nebelwerfers fires on a visible Pak40 and takes it out. YD fails the platoon motivation and then the company motivation. Game over.

A close win for me as it was looking distinctly dodgy for quite a few turns with those tanks bearing down. I was very disappointed with the performance of my artillery and very pleased with how the 17 pdrs did, although they took nearly 50% casualties they did manage to hold up Young Davids Panzer IV's and it was terrific to do unto the German tanks what is done unto my poor Shermans!

It was also a nasty shock to be on the receiving end of those Nebelwerfers - either through luck or bad dice rolling on my behalf these seemed a lot more effective than my guns. My MMG carriers proved to be a very useful unit - even on the move getting 3 dice each, they did a lot of damage in wiping out the Nebelwerfers and killing the Pak40 that cause the German company morale failure.

What would I have done different as the Germans? I would have deployed only one tank unit at the start, and had the Nebelwerfers and spotter in place early. We also need to look at the national rules again, as I think we have totally forgotten about them. Transports for the guns are a must in this sort of game - especially if they are starting in reserve. Both of us could have done with more mobile units, but then I have a lot less aggressive play style than YD - as shown by the fact I didn't even think about capturing my objective until much later in the game. I need to learn to take the initiative a bit more rather than sitting back and waiting to blunt the attack.

Playing again as the Brits I'd remember my infantry transports and have had a mobile platoon! I also should have been more cautious with my Shermans, perhaps using smoke to cover them. Not sure about taking the artillery again, I may need to use them some more to decide.

A good game and we both enjoyed ourselves. From my side very closely fought and a good display of the different kit the axis and allies had.

Edit: Just a slight change to the wording in the third last paragraph as I may have sounded a little bit judgemental of YD's playstyle when no judgement was intended! (thats what happens when you spend hours on a post and rush to get it finished!). An outcome very much determined by the dice rolls.


  1. A good read sir.

    Yeah, those Stormtrooper moves are a Nazi player's best friend. Means they'll either be in your face way sooner than you expect, or poking out from behind cover then stormtrooping back behind it afterward and you never even got to shoot in response!

    Don't forget - when rockets fire, they leave smoke trails meaning you can try to barrage them without having to have an OP with line of sight. (Still have to range in and hit though.)

    1. Thanks Dai,

      I only read the special rules for the Nebelwerfers last night - suffice to say I didn't know about the smoke trails rules during the game! I also didn't know that you automatically get reserves after so many turns! Probably should have read that section a bit more closely on the day...

    2. Hehe, hope I"m not sounding like some annoying sod sticking his beak in where it's not wanted. I Just remember starting this game and seeing all the masses of rules to learn and was rather daunted. I was very lucky to have a mentor to show me what's what.

    3. Not at all Dai, we are learning as we go so all input is valued - one of the reasons for having the blog! I've read _most_ of the rulebook several times, but it's only through playing (and making mistakes) that I am actually putting the rules together.

    4. Well it's easier to follow how you are getting on with your lovely AAR's, so keep them coming mate.

      I'm still learning this game. Seems there's always some rules "discussion" that I end up having with my FoW gaming pal Densmol.

      Speaking of which, I need to stick up a new post.

  2. Your Sherman models are outstanding, even if they cant damage the Germans! You need to get your 25pdrs into play.


Please feel free to leave a comment - it will appear once moderated! Thanks!