Thursday, February 20, 2014

Quick MW Batrep: Schwere Panzers vs. US Armor

Our next tournament at my FLGS will be 1485 points Mid-War, which most of us haven't had the chance to practice for. Generally we prefer LW at our shop, but Mid-War offers a chance to get back to basics. Frankly, I think the game is easiest to learn in MW because of the lack of special rules (that said, I love LW - I just think that MW is easier on beginners). So a buddy of mine accepted my challenge to a MW game, and brought a list that you'll see at every MW tournament: Schwere Panzers. This list will rarely win the overall prize, but there is always going to be the guy who just wants to bring his big cats to town.

We rolled randomly for mission and got Breakthrough, and I'd have to defend. This was going to be tough. I'm going to keep this report quick and let the pictures do the talking, so don't expect too much tactical analysis.

I have been working on some US lists for MW since my Germans still aren't ready, and the lower points levels really hamper the kinds of German lists I like to play. I came up with two US Tank lists and two Armored Rifle lists to choose from, but eventually let the dice decide. Here's what I was running:

HQ - 2 Stuarts
4 Stuarts
4 Shermans
4 M10 Tank Destroyers
Armored Mortars
Tank Recon w/ two infantry stands

1485 points really hurts tank armies in MW. You simply can't get enough on the board to handle every situation. I went for three strong, hard-hitting platoons that can deal with a variety of situations, backed up by platoons that can help shelter them from harm (recon blocks ambushes, AA keeps the skies clear, mortars drop smoke). At 1675 I would have added Priests, but they just don't fit into the tank lists.

My opponent basically ran the only possible 1485 Schwere Panzer list:

HQ - Tiger (For the Fatherland, and the one that you pass all bog checks on a 2+)
Tiger (RoF 3, Schnell)
Tiger (Schnell)

The command Tiger is my "let's test to see if my airbrush is calibrated correctly" model

My list can handle one Tiger. Three is going to be a challenge. He decided to only put his Grenadiers in reserve. I could only deploy two platoons due to the Mobile Reserves rule, and went with the Shermans and the Stuarts.

My general plan was to eviscerate his infantry as they arrived from reserve, and somehow bring down the Nebs and one Tiger which would then force a company check...a pretty desperate plan.

Stuarts double-time over toward the objectives, but the 2iC hangs back for a sneaky plan

Shermans double-time to another patch of trees to keep the Tigers honest 

Nebs range in, but do no damage 

In the absence of my reserves the Tigers begin to press

Shermans double-time right back to where they started 

Tigers are getting close 

Reserves finally show up and I bring the TD's on 

He also gets reserves, and my Stuarts move in for the kill

 Shermans lend their MG fire to the effort

Stuarts assault, lose only one to the Tiger's slow-traversing gun, and decimate the infantry, who flee. Phase 1 complete

But reprisal is swift

TD's attempt to enact phase two of the plan 

But can only bail the Tiger they shot at 

 Meanwhile, back in the German deployment zone, my 2iC runs amok!

Slowly he chews away at the Nebs


The Nebs would flee shortly after this photo was taken 

Smoke blankets the area as I try to maneuver the Shermans to take lucky shots and the recce teams into an assault position in case I bail a tank

Miraculously I kill a Tiger! But it's the 1iC, which doesn't put him below half

The last two Tigers finish off the Shermans

Well, that was that. Nothing more to be said really. My army simply didn't have to tools to neutralize or kill three Tigers. Against one Tiger I can just drop smoke all game long, but defending against three just won't work out for this list. I think this game took maybe an hour including setup.

Had the TD's killed one Tiger I probably would have won the game, since the other parts of my plan worked perfectly (killing the infantry and the Nebs). My opponent said that if he had to do it over he would have put one of the Tigers in the flank attack along with the infantry, which I think would have been a good move.

As always, please follow me on Twitter @piflamesofwar 


  1. Nice report, just getting started in FoW and find your reports very informative. :-)

    1. glad you enjoyed it, just posted another batrep today. FoW is a great game and since you have some experience in wargaming (judging from the blog your account links to) you'll pick it up quick