Thursday, October 18, 2012

Battle Report (with pics)

A buddy of mine and I decided to play-test our Mid War Warstore Weekend lists (1500 points, have to be taken from North Africa). Unfortunately this meant playing Americans vs. Americans, but it's not too big a deal because 1. This would be a good simulation against any FV infantry for me; and 2. The tournament will not be entirely Red vs. Blue. We decided to roll on the Fair Fight missions, and drew Encounter. Again, I think this is a very good play-test mission as you have to deal with reserves while trying to cover two objectives.

I was running some mighty American tanks!

Well, I don't know about mighty, but I love me some Stuarts.

HQ - 2 Stuarts
4 Stuarts
4 Stuarts
Armored Rifles (ARP)
Recon (two jeeps, one armored car)
3 M8 Scotts
4 M10 Tank Destroyers

6 platoons at 1500 points. I was going to bring the half-track TD's and air support instead of the M10's, but had I done that I would really be lacking a unit that can put the fear of God into enemy armor.

My friend was running an American Parachute Company with two full platoons of airborne troops, 5 Shermans (at 575 points!), 4 105's, and limited air. That's four platoons at 1500 points. I don't think he realized how many points are eaten-up by those Shermans, but it's too late for him to change his list now!

Here was the board:

(for this battle report I'll use top-right-bottom-left directions based off of this picture)

Off to the bottom right was a small hill, and the bottom left had a small patch of woods. My deployment zone was at the bottom, and objectives were placed near the wheat fields and over by the patch of woods at the bottom left. In his deployment zone an objective was placed in the wheat field and then another in the open space between the house and the trees on the right. I deployed my ARP in the center of my deployment zone, my Stuarts on their right, and my Scotts on their left. Once I evaluated Brandon's deployment (artillery on the top-left objective in the wheat fields; an infantry platoon on the top-right objective) I decided to go for a lightning-strike against the artillery. I could assault by turn 2, and then if he didn't get reserves in I would win (we would keep playing afterwards had that happened, but this was tournament practice so I was going for the jugular).

On his first turn he dug in both platoons and did nothing else because of the Meeting Engagement rule. In my turn I raced my Scotts and Stuarts behind the blue building and the patch of woods. I also double-timed my infantry to the center of the village. On his turn two he fired his artillery but did no damage, and his solitary plane failed to hit (however, from turn two onwards, he never failed to receive air support). On my turn two the Scotts and Stuarts raced forward, shot everything they had into the guns, and forced them to run away. My Stuarts were now sitting on the objective. All I had to do to win in a tournament setting was to hope he didn't get reserves.

Well...he did get reserves, and the next two turns were ugly. He shifted his infantry over toward the objective I was sitting on, but his saving grace was getting the 10 shots from his Shermans onto my trained Stuarts. They fell like wheat before the scythe (including my 2iC), and the Scotts suffered a similar fate in the next turn. Any that didn't fall to the Shermans fell to the planes.

Burning men

When I managed to get reserves I double-timed the M10 security section behind the patch of woods by the blue building. I tried to shoot with the ARP's light machine guns and the 1iC Stuart's MG's, but did minimal damage. By now he had both infantry platoons and the Shermans on the board, but he didn't advance against me because he was having such good luck with his air that he didn't want to have to wave-off any flights. His planes killed a couple infantry teams (pinning them), some tanks, and really started getting in my head.

 They are coming...

Who will save us now??!!

To make matters worse, a lucky bazooka round destroyed my 1iC. I had two platoons destroyed, but two still on the table. If he kept hammering away at me I would automatically fail a company morale check.

Then the cavalry arrived. The M10's popped out of the woods, ready to exact revenge.

Would the infantry be roused from their foxholes to help them out?

No, no they wouldn't...they were cowards for a few turns.

I got some more reserves in the form of Stuarts, and they raced forward to try and mow down the infantry covering the top-right objective. The plan now for me was simple: break his company. I just started hammering away, letting loose with everything I had.

 M10's do their job.

Stuarts rip into the infantry. You can see the burning 1iC by the building.

I started focusing everything on the platoon covering the top-right objective. The M10's moved over to shoot their .50cals at them. The infantry moved their guns into better positions. My last reserve platoon, the recon group, moved up to fire with their MG's. Slowly, I whittled him down, but his planes continued to rip me up...

...culminating with this: the destruction of the Stuart platoon by the planes - he rolled one dice and got three planes. I was down to half platoons, and so was he. But, eventually, the mobility of my vehicles and their firepower left only his 1iC standing among the platoon at the top-right (the 2iC died earlier). My shooting couldn't take him down, so I had to assault with the M10's. I only hit once, but I made the roll to kill the warrior. With that, my opponent's company broke. 4-3 to me.

Obviously going for the early victory was risky, but it carried a 2/3 chance of a 6-1 win; I defy anyone else to say they wouldn't go for that. I would still do it again, but after seeing him get reserves I should have at least moved my Scotts away to salvage them for later in the game. As for getting my 1iC killed, it really was a lucky shot by the bazooka, but I still have to remember that I'm playing with trained troops. A trained rating doesn't offer much protection.

Overall I like my list and I'm looking forward to Warstore Weekend.

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