Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Red Bear pt. deux (Battlereport)

Heavy firepower, but not a lot of it.

Whether it is just that time of year (football season in a college town, War Eagle), or waning interest, we haven't played any Flames of War in the shop for a few months. However when the updates to Red Bear came out I got, the arch rival, Robert out for a game of FOW.

He put together a good ole' fashion Soviet tank horde and I just ran my standard Panzergrenadier list from Nuts... poor decision on my part. Things have changed again, and what worked against Soviet lists in the past don't have the same effect.


My list was Confident Veteran Panzergrenadiers with 2 Panzergren platoons, 3 PaK40's, 6 152mm Howtizers, 3 Panzer IV/70 A, 2 Panzer IV/70 V for around 1750pts. Its a list build for tank busting, and it can put out a reasonable amount of high AT shots to take out those pesky 4 or 5 tank platoons.


 Roberts list was a Confident Trained Tankovy with 21 T-34/76's, 10 Stuarts, 5 SU-85's, 4 SU-100's and 6 BA-64's.

Worn and dirty late war grenadiers.

These all should be Soviet 15.2cm KH433(r) , but I'm not going to buy two boxes of Soviet heavy arty to get the guns.
Here is where I show the hallmark of a great after action report, I can't remember the name of the mission we played... I being the defender, place one objective in Roberts deployment and one in mine, he then placed two in mine and removed one after deployment. I had delayed and scattered reserves with an immediate ambush, and Robert had reserves.

2iC holding trying to get the secret paper out of the wrecked Messerschmidt.

Panzers IV/70 A's watching the center.

The big guns hold the right flank.

The spotter gets a bad feeling.

BA-64's on the move.

The ground begins to shake as the horde arrives.

SU-100's in overwatch.

The Pak's come out of immediate ambush to take on the T-34's.

Watching the left flank.
Robert deployed 1 platoon of T-34's, the SU-100's and BA-64's. I put out the 15.2cm artillery, Panzer IV/70 A's and Pak40's. In hindsight this was one of my mistakes, I should have replaced the Pak40's with a grenadier platoon dug in tight on one objective, to hold out for reserves, then I could have focused my AT assets on the Soviet spearhead. But instead I was spread thin all over the board and couldn't deal with very mobile soviet companies.

Rob rolled for reserves the first turn, and here come the Stuarts.


A less than stellar turn of shooting saw only one T-34 burn.

You're going to need to do better than that.
On the first turn Rob moved up and somehow killed three dug in gone to ground 15.2cm guns with 6 shots, that is not good. My return fire from the Panzer IV/70's and two Pak's killed 1 T-34... that's not going to cut it. He also had the stuarts come in from reserve.

The Panzer IV/70's go after the doubling T34's.

The T-34's come around the right flank.

But the pinned 15.2's open up over open sights and kill three.

Far fewer T-34's burn than I would like.
The previous turn I had left one Panzer IV/70 just a 40 inches to one SU-100 it could keep the T-34's in its sights. On turn two Robert gets more reserves and brings on the second T-34 platoon. Everything on the soviet side moves up aggressively. Now back to that Panzer IV/70, Rob takes one shot a six and misses, but with the new Cat Killer rule he re-rolls it and gets a 6, dead Panzer IV/70. I kill a bailed T-34 from last turn.

Turn three and Robert gets his final company from reserve and doubles up the Stuarts and T-34's towards my left objective, knowing that I can't kill both platoons. His T-34's on the right move up to assault the artillery, and the BA-64's move up boldly to shoot up the Pak's. I get no reserves and shift my Panzer IV/70's to the left. He then pins the artillery and Pak's but doesn't kill any guns from either. My shooting kills three T-34's from the new platoon and the pinned artillery manages to kill three T-34's on the right.

Surrounded!

There just aren't enough Germans to go around.

Defend the guns to the last!

Burning tanks in from the the artillery positions.
Turn Four and the end is drawing near as no German reserves show up. The T-34's move up on the left, the Stuarts surround the 2iC and objective and the BA-64's run right into the faces of the Panzer IV/70's. On the right the T-34's knock out one 15.2cm gun and pin them in preparation for the assault.
I lose a Pak40 on the right to the T-34's and another to the Stuarts, on 4 MG shots through the back of the woods, one Stuart kill the Pak. The rest of the Stuarts MG the 2iC on the objective and take him out. My shooting is incredibly bad and the Pak's and Panzer IV/70's  only kill 2 T-34's, the Pak's command team kills a BA-64 with his panzerfaust. The assault against the artillery on the left is annihilated by defensive fire, as both 15.2's hit and the CiC hits with his panzerfaust, only the battalion commander and one T-34's survive. The last T-34 on the right runs.

That's all for the left flank.

The Panzer IV/70 V's come on the right.

Those don't all look like Stuarts.

And that's that.
The final turn and I finally get one platoon on from reserve, and with scattered reserves it come on to the far right, and that is that. The Stuarts, T-34's and SU-85's surround and destroy the last two Panzer IV/70 A's on the left and the BA-64's take the last Pak 40 then run over the command team in an assault. My two Panzer IV/70 V's take out his Battalion command on the right, but fail their storm trooper and are wiped out by the Cat Killers, re-rolling misses on the hill.

In summary I just didn't have enough shots to kill all the Soviet tanks, and they maneuvered all around my static units while the SU-100's overwatched. Really bad dice rolls to hit hurt me as did not getting reserves until turn 5 or 6, and my Pak40's never unpinned after the third turn, but none of those thing lost me the game. Robert maneuvered very well and massed for his attack on the right until I just couldn't fight it off no matter how good my shooting could have been. I've been fighting American and British forces for too long and had forgotten how to deal with masses of tanks and heavy tank destroyers. I think its time to get the Hetzers back out...

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