Well a quick report to say the KWC's interest in FoW continues.
When I turned up last night at the club to do the participation game, one of the guys; David, had been and bought two starter sets, and another; Jaydn had bought the rules. They were both keen to join Paul and I for our participation game.
The setting was southern Italy, with a 1500 point Midwar tank match up.
I took a German PanzerKompanie (Panzer III L-Ms proxied by Panzer III H’s), back up by 2 x 8Rad armoured cars, 2 x Pak 40s, and a battery of four 10.5cm artillery.
Paul took a Canadian Sherman Armoured Company of Sherman III’s support by 3 armoured cars, and a battery of four 25pdr artillery.
We played the Free for All mission.
I won the roll off for attacker, picked our table edge and started deploying, alternating platoon for platoon with Paul. I then also won the roll off for first turn.
I apologise that there are no pictures – I forgot to grab my camera in rush to get everything packed (troops and terrain) and down to club in time for the start…
To start with it was a bit of a shock, fielding a German Panzer force, to find I actually had an inferior tank than my opponent, poorer range, and penetration and firepower! At least we had the same front armour… The thing was I was Veteran against his Trained so he as easier to hit… but he had more tanks then me… Plus the Canadians have a special rule that allows them to reroll motivation to remount bailed tanks, much like Panzers ‘Protected ammo’… It was going to be an interesting game…
The opening moves saw the armoured cars engage each other across a field on our left flank. The bulk of our panzers headed up the centre and up our left flank to get towards the easier looking objective. Paul spread his Shermans from the centre to his left.
Early exchanges of fire went in favour of the Shermans and we lost two Panzers up the middle. However within a turn or two, our Panzer force had got past the armoured cars, and onto the objective. This forced Paul to turn his recce armoured cars back round to contest the objective, and to swing his army around to bring all to bear as quickly as possible on the captured objective. A small stream slightly hampered his movements.
The following turns saw a growing number of wrecked and burning tanks and armoured cars at, and approaching, the objective. Luck swung both ways, with a series of great saves by the Panzers and some well aimed artillery.
It actually looked as though the Panzers were going to hold on and win the game. At this point I kind of slipped in to my “we’ve won it” mindset and then failed to concentrate on the little details…
Paul, ever a shrewd and canny opponent, spotted the last chance he had to win the game, and dropped an artillery barrage on the Pak40s that had been slowly advancing to keep weight of fire covering the objective. One gun had previously been lost, and at the last moment I forgot to try and stormtrooper them forward from under the prior ranged in artillery. A couple of dice rolls later, the last gun was destroyed, forcing a platoon morale check which the platoon commander promptly failed… this with the prior loss of one panzer platoon, and the 8rads forced a company morale check… and both the CiC and 2iC had just been bailed out of their tanks and couldn’t roll for the check… ergo, the company withdraws, and a win to the Canadians, despite us holding the objective with one remaining tank, uncontested!
Waaarrghhh, it’s just not fair! So close and yet so far…lesson learned again… concentrate to the end, especially if you’re playing Paul ;-)
I think I must put the blame squarely on a lack of proper paintjob for my poor performing Panzers… the quartermaster general will get a severe reprimand! ;-)
A great game and my first real ‘tanks only’ battle.
The guys at the club thoroughly enjoyed it too , both David and Jaydn , and other frequent spectators from the club.
Looking forward to more…
Now having watched "A Bridge Too Far" again, I’m all fired up to get my Shermans done and I cracked open the first box of two PSC Shermans last night and got the first one assembled before bedtime… 9 more to make over the weekend and I can do some tank on tank home battles.
More FoW goodies are due to fall through my letterbox over the next few days from Maelstrom, plus I’m hopefully off to Wargames Supply’s last day closing down sale tomorrow, in Wellington, to see if I can grab any last minute bargains… I’ll keep you posted with paintwork as I get it done, as usual.