Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Panzer Attack at Bastogne (Part 2)

OK, on to the finishing conclusion!  As we last left the German attack, the Panthers and Panzer Mark IVs were trading shots with a LOT of American Shermans, who had just managed to hit and destroy a Mk IV.  This panzer platoon was not long for the table . . .

Massed American fire destroys two more Mark IVs.
Another view of the burning panzers.  That is what you get when you proxie panzers.  The last one is destroyed shortly thereafter removing this platoon from the fight.  
The higher level view.  The Panthers smoke another Sherman on the hill.
Meanwhile the American paratroopers on the hill south of Marvie dig in around an objective and watch the Tank Hunters move up.  
The American tanks get too close to the still pinned Panzergrenadiers and their panzerfausts.
Another Sherman bites the dust (well, snow).
Meanwhile the action shifts to the center of the table.  The heavy platoon moved up the hill to shoot at the entrenched paratroopers only to be annihilated in a hail of fire.  Another dumb move on my part.  The Panzer Mk IVs and Panzer Mk IV/70 (V)s move up the hill (less two bogged down vehicles) to attack.
The Mk IVs assault and manage to kill a couple of stands.
The Paratrooper engineers press their attack on the Mk IVs.

Close assaults finish off the Panzer Mk IV platoon.
The Panthers kill off some more Shermans causing both platoons to rout.  
Meanwhile, the Panzer Mk IV/70 (V)s manage to get up the hill and assault the Paratrooper engineers which they cause to rout.  A counterattack by a Paratrooper rifle platoon is slice to pieces by the Panzer Mk IV/70 (V)s and the Panzergrenadiers who had occupied houses in Marvie.  This causes the rifle platoon to fall back leaving the Germans in control of an enemy objective, winning the game.  
The thrill of victory!  The thrill of new units actually performing better than their commander!

A win is a win but we were pretty rusty.  Luckily the forces weren't too bizarre, and CV and FV troops cover up a lot of poor decisions.  The American tanks, though numerous, weren't numerous enough.  Oh yes, don't stay in range of panzerfausts.  Thanks again to the WWPD group that generated the campaign.  Next time . . .

Panzer Attack at Bastogne (Part 1)

I was unfortunately not able to participate in the WWPD Bastogne Fire Storm campaign.  They did create a whole bunch of very interesting scenarios to fight for Flames of War Battle of the Bulge (LW BOTB) forces.  I have only painted up a weak company of LW BOTB Panzergrenadiers (two Panzergrenadier platoons and a HMG platoon) but when used in the scenario with a lot of German tanks, it was enough.  My son's paratrooper forces and a whole bunch of LW US Shermans fill the rest of the ranks.  We played a slight variation of the Turn 4 scenario at Marvie:

All credit due to the WWPD guys for creating a really neat campaign.

Turn 4 of the WWPD Bastogne Fire Storm Campaign.  All credits to their site.  

In this scenario elements of the 101st Airborne Division and the 10th Armored Division are attacking to the east at the same time the main attack of the Panzer Lehr is attacking to the east over the same territory.  This of course leads to an interesting match up.  We did the Free for All mission as it looked like the best mission for two attacking forces lumbering into one another.  The scenario calls for poor weather, and we rolled for moderate rain, which led to important tanks bogging down at the most inopportune times.  The game is a Dawn Attack, which means the first few turns use night rules for spotting and moving.Here is the Marvie map from the WWPD site:

WWPD: Map of Marvie and environs.  
The WWPD map is 4 feet by 6 feet.  We used our standard 6 feet by 8 feet table and elongated some of the distances.  I draped some cheap snow material over the green hills to make it look more wintry.  All BOTB battles must have snow and trees covered with snow so that is what I did.  Here is our representation of the WWPD map:

The south edge of the battlefield looking north.

The east edge looking west.  The unseemly gap should have been covered or overlapped better.  NEXT time!

As for forces, we wanted to use all of the new stuff we had painted and hadn't used yet.  I have great trepidation here as newly painted forces are prone to early destruction or routing, but the new stuff is pretty neat so I took my chances to showcase the new units.  We started with normal 1500 points and added the Firestorm units suggested by the WWPD scenario.  The Germans had a panzergrenadier force (all Confident Veteran) with:

Panzergrenadier HQ 
2 Panzergrenadier Platoons with 6 panzerfaust MG teams apiece
1 Panzergrenadier Heavy platoon with 4 MG42 HMGs and panzerfaust command stand
1 Panther platoon with 3 Panthers
1 Tank-Hunter platoon with 3 Panzer IV/70 (V)
2 Panzer platoons with 4 Panzer IV Js apiece (I only have Hs so I used them with the J values)

The Germans forces mass to attack west.

Panzergrenadiers are ready to infiltrate into Marvie.  The snow camouflage uniforms really help.

We have a lot of panzers. 

The LW BOTB miniatures are really nice.  Painting the winter camouflage is rather easy.

The Americans had a tank company with:

Tank Company HQ with 2 M4A1s
2 tank platoons with 3 M4A1s and 2 M4A1 with 76mm
1 tank platoon with 3 M4A1 and 1 M4A1 with 76mm
2 US Paratrooper rifle platoons with 3 squads
1 US Paratrooper engineer platoon with 3 bazooka teams

The tanks (10 Armored Division) are all Confident Trained (CT) while the Paratroopers (101st Airborne) are Fearless Veterans (FV).

I think this is the most American tanks we have ever put on the table at one time.  The pictures are a bit dark as the camera flash wouldn't as the camera saw the snow as too light a background to activate.  I think.

Paratroopers on the hill south of Marvie.  

The first three turns were night so the sighting and firing was desultory at best while the rain bogged down many vehicles.  

The Germans move out, only to have the overloaded Panzer IV/70 (V)s stick in the muck.

Panzergrenadiers infiltrate into Marvie.

Paratroopers occupy the ground around a German objective on the hill south of Marvie.

There are still a LOT of German tanks.  

Two Panthers try to get a shot off on the massed US armor and fail to see them in the dark. The other Panther is stuck in the mud,

A traffic jam of Panzer Mk IVs doesn't help.

Eventually the other Panther joins his platoon mates and they mange to hit a Sherman.

There are a lot of Shermans to kill though . . .

A panzergrenadier platoon digs in around a US objective.  

The Panthers look menacing on the hill.
A US tank platoon drives up the road to get flank shots on the Panthers.  The camouflaged Panzergrenadiers alight out of their foxholes and move up to assault the Shermans.

The Panthers and Mk IVs shoot at the American tanks but only bail out 2 tanks.  The mud is affecting the Americans more than the panzers.

Meanwhile the center attack gets underway with the heavy platoon's HMG teams leading the way.  This is a bad move, but in my defense it has been a while since we played.  Some of the tanks move up.  

The sun comes up.  The Panthers strike and brew up another Sherman.  

Detroit's Finest on fire.

The Panzergrenadiers assault the American tanks . . .

 . . . only to find out that even CT tanks can put out a LOT of defensive fire!  This was another bad move on my part.  

The Panzergrenadiers run away but only lose one stand as they get pinned.  The stupid shall be punished.

Adding injury to injury, the Americans take out a Panther with a flank shot.  Numbers count!

The other massed Sherman horde bang away at the Mark IVs and kill one.  

Looks like I am running out of space so I will end here and put the exciting conclusion on Part 2.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The 2nd LW BOTB PG platoon

The Late War Battle of the Bulge Panzergrenadiers from Battlefront are very nice sculpts.  Here is the 2nd Panzergrenadier platoon that I just finished.  The winter camouflage uniforms are actually relatively easy to paint and the snow flocking covers many sins.  With this one completed I have a Company HQ and two Panzergrenadier platoons, each with a panzerschrek team.  I am working on a HMG platoon as well, so this should give me an easy 1490 points if you include a 4 Panther platoon to attack Bastogne and those accursed Fearless Veteran US Paratroopers.

The platoon commander is my favorite stand.  
The panzerschrek team keeps the American tanks at bay.

Two MG stands take cover in the damaged houses near Bastogne.  Or is it St. Vith?  

Back to painting!