Saturday, October 27, 2012

Revenge of the Rifles

This week Pat and I ran another game with our LWGT armies. With only a few weeks to go, there's not much more time left for last minute tweaks to our armies. I'm pretty happy with the list and not much fundamental has really changed in my force, but I wanted to try something funky with my company: the Scrapyard Tank Platoon out of Devil's Charge.

By converting my Rifle Company from Turning Tide to Devils Charge, I basically saved 40 points because I don't have the extra 2x HQ Bazookas. Further, I dropped the Bazookas from the anti-tank guns to save 60 more points. What was left I put toward am I&R Platoon to increase my recon screen and up my platoon count to 10 (which is huge, because I can now fully attach out my HMGs and still have 9x platoons)



Junkyard Wars
I replaced the 3x Trained M4 Shermans to run the Scrapyard Tank Platoon. I was inspired to use this platoon after doing some reading into the 740th Tank Battalion and the 30th Infantry Division in Stavelot and La Gleize. I was impressed by the Assault Gun platoon's performance there and wanted to take that platoon with my Vet rifles. My configuration was driven by both historical and gaming motives. All of the tanks have Breakthrough Guns and one is a Bunker Buster - exactly the sort of firepower I needed in my last game!

The Scrapyard Tank Platoon


My Scrapyard Tank Platoon
(195pts - Confident Trained)
2x M4 Sherman (105mm) - 45 pts /ea
2x M7 Priest - 25 pts /ea
1x M12 155mm (SP) - 55 pts

The List

(1575pt - 2ID)

HQ
Rifle Platoon (2/3 Strength)
Rifle Platoon (2/3 Strength)
HMG Platoon (Full, w/2x Bazookas)
Intelligence & Recon Platoon (4x Jeeps upgraded to .50 cal AA MG)
Mortar Platoon (4x tubes)
Anti-tank Platoon (3x 57mm Anti-tank Guns)
Scrapyard Tank Platoon (see below, CT)
Cavalry Platoon (1x Patrol)
Field Battery (4x 105mm)
Field Battery (4x 155mm)
AOP


The Game
We played the Pincer mission, with my Rifles in the attack. That suited me fine as I wanted to test out the Scrapyard boys on the attack. Patrick set up his force of two SS Panzergrendier platoons to guard both objectives. He placed his (damned) 88s along his back table edge to give him the best fields of fire covering both approaches to the objectives. He places a PaK40 platoon in Ambush. In reserve was two more SS infantry platoons (one kampfgruppe), a mortar platoon, and 4x Marders.


My deployment was dictated by getting to the road objective as soon as possible. To that end I wanted to get my 155SP as close to the buildings as possible as quickly as possible. The 105 tanks flanked either side of the beast to offer more firepower against the village in the middle of the table. Rifle platoons were next marching along the flanks of the tanks to sweep the village. The anti-tank guns and mortar platoon held the extreme flanks, but remained close at hand to act as infantry support guns, should the Scrapyard platoon need help digging out the enemy in the village. The artillery park sat at the back, spaced out for no particular reason. The Recon screen was stationed all along the front.

First moves were simple. The recon screen pushed out as far as it could to keep those PaK40s at arms' length. The Scrapyard platoon pressed up the road and got into position for the following turn. The rest of the army except for the artillery surged forward. The artillery zeroed on some SS troops (TOT on a 6! Yes, it was going to be one of those games!) and killed a team.

Pat ambushed the Pak40s on my left and despite the combined fire with the 88s, he only managed to Bail Out three of the 105 tanks! A stray MG bullet KO'd a recon jeep, but that was the extent of the turn's casualties. Lucky!

A PaK40, cleverly disguised as a Tiger I
The following turn, the Scrapyards unleashed hell into the village but only killed one team. The mortars tear into the Pak40s and despite needing 5s and 6s to hit, all three anti-tank guns were wiped out, leaving the command team on his own! The Recon jeeps score a kill in the village as do the 57mm anti-tank guns. The artillery opens a duel with the 88s. They range in, but fail to hit, but that 88 crew would be crapping their pants.

Pat's turn managed to see two of the 105 tanks knocked out, one M7 and one M4. The village MG teams carry on shooting, causing some no real damage to the closing rifle platoons.

I rather clumsily left the house without my
Scrapyard Tank platoon, so a few proxies
had to step in!
Turn 3, the rifles go in for the kill. So far the Scrapyard platoon has not had any more kills, and the 155 has not hit a thing all game, but for a mere 195 points, I'm not too worried about it. The mortars fail to dig in, but the 57s carry on shelling the enemy, pinning them down but causing no damage. The artillery park registers some success. The 105s dispatch one of the 88s, while the 155s ranged in but failed to kill the remaining gun. The Rifles assault the forward buildings and sweep out the defenders for the loss of a Bazooka team. The remaining platoon members fail their Fearless morale and leg it, with the company commander chasing them hurling abuse at them! The way to both objectives was wide open.

Pat fails to get any reserves. There was nothing for it, and he had to relocate his SS infantry platoon onto the objective to hold out for his reserves. The 88 misses the Scrapyard platoons, which is becoming harder to locate in the village.

Turn 4 saw my rifles consolidate their holdings in the village. The recon screen leaps forth and sits on the objective with a Greyhound. All of the automatic weapons from the two rifle platoons ripped into the SS grenadiers caught out of bulletproof cover, miraculously no casualties were sustained, though they were well and truly pinned down.
Eww. Blurry photo. Sorry!
The Scrapyard platoon came through in a big way, knocking out two teams, while the Greyhound .50 cal'ed them at close range and in the open to knock out two more. The platoon, under strength, failed its morale and bottled out! The 155s finished off the 88s and that too failed its morale.

Incoming Mail!
With literally one team left on the table (the PaK40 platoon HQ which had been making its way to the rear of the table, passing each Last Man Standing roll required), Pat is forced to take a company morale, which he automatically failed due to losing his CiC earlier. 6-1 USA!

Aftermath
The dice really hated the Waffen-SS in this game! Despite its low performance in this game, I'm convinced that the Scrapyard Platoon still has great potential. With 10 platoons in the company now, its not so much a liability, but it will need to be closely watched. I'd say it was a successful test in that regard.
Mission almost accomplished.

Now, all I've got to paint is the AOP and the mortar platoon... but let's not talk about mortars...

October is Mortar Month!
Let's talk about mortars. I've painted a lot of mortars this month, and I still have several to get done before the end of the year. So, the count is:
4x British 4.2"
4x 81mm German mortars (2x pictured above were previously done for a heavy platoon)
3x 81mm Finnish

Still to do:
6x 81mm US mortars (for the LWGT in three weeks)
4x 3" British mortars (Italy)
3x 120mm Finnish Heavy Mortars

After that, I think I'll wait a bit before hammering out my 12cm German heavies for my Panzerbrigade...

So, enough about mortars... unless you're a North Korean army minister...


4 comments:

  1. I'm really digging your terrain... specifically the roads and planted field. Please share how you made those!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! The roads are just a bit of MDF cut into strips. I think they are nearly 12" long and about 3" wide. Using a bit of PVA glue on either side and down the middle I put some sand. Painted a few shades of brown and then static-grassed. Simple for an afternoon's work. I need to do some more actually, so maybe I'll do a how-to for them.

      The plowed fields are basic BF battlefield-in-a-box terrain with static grass attached with small beads of PVA glue. The grown fields are simply cut-up welcome mats.

      Thanks again!

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