Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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.

No comments: