For perusal Gents... Several KGN AARs from the last few weeks;
Last night was a return to Normandy in the continuing grudge match between my British and Skip's Germans! This was our third and largest battle so far with 600 points aside. This time we got 'Defence-in-Depth' and Skip elected to defend, making the British have to attack for a change.
600 Point British Infantry (with 6 x 3" Mortars off-table)
600 Point German SS (with 2 x 105mm Howitzers off-table and a single RTP)
We started slow and for once we elected to wait for our to arrive before moving out. This threw Jerry and he threw a few Panthers towards us. In a rather dissapointing gun battle, they did little, our heavy supporting guns (from two high priority requests) did even less and my 17 Pounder A/T gun, on its first outing, found itself out of ammo on turn 3 after Skip pulled an out of ammo chit (which kinda made sense as the gun tractor was blown up on the previous turn, must have been the ammo!)... But then a gaggle of Churchills turned up and put a round through the side armour of one of the Panthers and the remaining two withdrew to indulge in some long range fire.
Once our troops had arrived we began our attack. I elected to push forward Gary on the left flank in an attempt to force a breakthrough, but it stalled in the face of the Panthers fire and German artillery fire. It seemed a bit of a stalemate until we drew an aircraft chit and a Typhoon zoomed in and planted a few bombs along the road, one of which scored a direct hit on a Panther. Although the Typhoon was promptly shot down by German AA fire, he gave us the break we needed. By eliminating the Panther, he gave my platoon on the right the chance to advance in the blindspot of both German FAOs. In a fusilade of fire from infantry, Churchills, a Wasp and the mortars my troops killed off the farm defenders and advanced to the walls.
With the farm secured, we swung over to the left flank, and although taking some artillery fire, we despatched the two Panthers in a close range duel, the armour on my Churchills standing up to the Panthers rounds. The Wasp then darted for a gap in the bocage and toasted a German MG team. With the Churchill Crocodile following, the rest of the German infantry fell back. The British mortars now redirected onto the enemy held church and after a few misses, managed to score a clutch of hits that left several units, including the remaining German FAO, suppressed.
With their centre occupied, many of their remaining units suppressed and only one effective Panther, the Germans conceeded victory to the British. With only 5 morale points left out of 42, lots of units suppressed and the British easily able to knock-out several units in their next turn, the Jerries threw in the towel. Remarkably, we still had 12 morale points left out of our total of 35. Sadly we cant blame Skip's dice this time as both he and Cyril playing the Germans did pretty ok on the dice, especially for artillery and activations (plus Skip scoring a six to shoot the Typhoon down). What really lost the game for them was choosing at the start to have the Panthers all ontable and most of their infantry as the reserve off-table till turn 4. When it finally came on (staggered over several turns) it had to walk on from their table edge as they didnt buy any trucks. By the time they got near the church, the front had collapsed and the Panthers were burning wrecks. Had they left the Panthers off to act as reserves, their high speed could have allowed them to charge into action down the road from the table edge and given a far stronger defensive line. Also a number of the Germans units (the Pak43 and the 88) did very little and they would have been better served with more artillery support in defence. I think if they had used the infantry to form a stronger frontline, things would have been rather different for us.
Last edited by Piers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Last nights game was a 500 point test of Kampfrgruppe Tobruk played between my 8th Army and Skip's DAK. To say it went well was a bit of an understatement, the game was a nailbiting classic!
The engagement started well for the British. With no German recce units chosen I was able to choose table edge and got first turn. I took the end with alot more cover, forceing the German deployment (we rolled corner to corner deployment) to be at the exit of a pass between two ridge. This area was devoid of cover. On an unoppossed first turn my recce raced for the central ridge, closely followed by my vanguard of a Carrier Section. In the first two turns these were able to get into position on the ridge, and as the first German tanks streamed out of the exit to Hellfire Pass, the Carrier Section piled out into the trenches and the Recce Commander began to call in off-table mortar fire. Along with this the FAO arrived and set himself up on the Rocky Massif behind the ridge. The first salvo of 6" fire scored a gaggle of direct hits and soon burning tanks and suppressed troops littered the desert floor.
This continued to be the theme for several turns, artillery fire, suppressed or destroyed Germans, Matlidas too adding their fire and the Carrier Section Anti-Tank Rifle team even managing to suppress a Panzer IV! This pounding was further compounded by the Germans rolling a whole load of '1's the worst of which were three rolls to remove suppression that were all '1's. At this point after 5 or 6 turns it looked like a good old British drubbing of the DAK was going to happen. The Germans had a pile of ten Morale Chits to a single British chit.
Then it all turned...
Firstly a German Stuka was rolled up and it screamed in over the ridge. Then one of the remaining Panzer IVs fired suppresion at my FAO and scoring two direct hits, left a red smear where he was. Between Stuka bombs, German artillery fire and various other things, I went from a single chit to ten and was left with only nine morale point. With an FAO dead and a killed Recce Commander I was also left with no supporting artillery as I tried to move new commanders into position, I suffered another turn of all out attacks and I drew yet more chits as the Germans secured another objective. With three morale points remaining having taken a total 32 morale points, 30 of which occured in two turns, it looked all over for the British.
Then it all turned...
First a British plane turned, I managed to roll a '6', and it strafed the German '88's. But crucially I got my artillery back in action and kept the enemay artillery suppressed as it was all on table. I managed to direct enough fire to stabilise my line and cause the Germans to take more chits, but after drawing yet another I was left with two remaining morale points. The Germans then unsuppressed all their troops and I had one turn before I would feel the full force of everything the Germans could throw at me. Knowing I had two morale points left, I threw caution to the wind!
Two of my HMGs moved up and took positions on the ridge among the rocks and directed fire onto the German infantry and trucks. Heavy fire wiped out one unit, losing the Germans an objective and the second HMG managed to destroy a truck, killed a German MG team in the process, forcing two more chits, then promptly cut down the rifle team as they fled the burning truck! The chits began to mount! My infantry engaed anything they could, killing more German infantry, and my Matildas went hell for leather after a Panzer III that they knocked out eventually. With my final actions I called in all my artillery on the German FAO and infantry hiding around a rocky escarpment. The spotting round was direct on target and the German FAO took a direct hit from a 6" howitzer shell... The resultant morale chit pushed the Germans '1' point over their limit and their army withdrew leaving a battered, but victorious British force holding the pass!
Was a superb game, and the early war actions seem very finely balanced given a very exciting and tense game for both sides. To say the game could have gone either way was an understatement. Looking at the armies before the game we expected a German massacre of the British as they took so many tanks, but these soon littered the valley burning. Artillery once more proved utterly crucial in forcing a result and was key to the British. I also had a smidge more luck than the Germans who with the 'Curse of Skip' rolled alot of '1's at the start. All in all though a tense, hard fought game that went down to the wire. It ended with the Germans one point over their morale value and my British with two morale points remaining...
Last night we played a 600 point battle using the Escalation scenario and the Kampfgruppe Kursk supplement that Warwick is writing. We pitted the German Panzer list against one from the Soviet Tank Corps list to see how the supplement played out with larger forces than we have previously used (and an excuse to use all my T-34s!).
600 point Soviet force not showing the Radio Truck and Supply Truck.
600 point German force supported by one battery of 81mm Mortars and one battery of 120mm Mortars, both off-table.
We set up a fairly simple table layout and placed objectives, then rolled off to see who picked which end. The Soviets choose ends, and as I hadnt managed to fit any recce in, got the first turn, and secured a number of objectives before I had even got on the table and I had to take two morale chits! Luckily one of them was an aircraft, though it failed to arrive!
Looking towards the German Lines...
Looking towards the Soviet Lines...
The scenario has a staggered arrival of forces from Turn 2 onwards. The Soviets got the better of this with far more arriving than the Germans each turn, but the first few German units were the Tigers and Panzer IVs. As Russian tanks arrived a bit of long range gunnery started (in KGK some German guns, such as the Tigers '88' have an extended range band allowing extreme range shots) but it proved ineffective and the Tigers elected to move up to the fence line and remain on Covering Fire. In the village a marauding T-70 took yet another objective, for which I drew a Mechanical Breakdown chit that immobilised a T-34, before it was despatched by the German commander who had just arrived in his Panzer IV.
The battle moved onto the German left flank in the main, with the prescence of the Tigers forcing all Russian armour to deploy over that side. With the Germans in the village in force, comprising tanks and infantry, the Russians attacked with a number of T-34s carrying SMG equipped Tank Riders. German tank fire, which failed to penetrate the T-34s at long range did however force the Tank Riders to throw themselves off and they fell to the ground suppressed with light casualties. This direct fire was followed by a mortar stonk that suppressed a couple more T-34s and actually fluked a hit that knocked one out (a double six needed and attained!).
This battle on the left raged for most of the game with the Russians trying to close the distance to make up for their poorer chances to hit. This was supported by a huge mortar salvo that managed out of 8 shots to score 6 direct hits on the German tanks! Sadly all failed to do any damage at all... However after a couple of turns of fighting an accurate Russian Katyusha barrage hit the German armour in the town dead on. This again caused several direct hits and these knocked-out a Tiger (already immobilised by a lucky shot from a T-34) and more importantly the German Commanders Panzer IV. With these two destroyed the remaining T-34s rushed the town, and although taking losses, knocked out two more Panzer IVs, including the German Forward Signals unit. The last Panzer IV quickly withdrew and the remaining infantry hunkered down in the buildings.
By chance, one of the morale chits from this devastation brought the Germans another aircraft chit and this time a Stuka arrived sporting under wing 37mm cannons. It swooped over the attacking T-34s and with its cannons spitting fire, one T-34 erupted in flames. The arrival of more German infantry and the final two Panzer IVs allowed a counter-attack on the village to take place, destroying a further T-34, and allow troops to move into a position to attack Russian troops holding an objective on the German right flank.
A rather confused engagement took place. The Russians having suffered heavy losses found themselves with little armour left and had to bring forward their mass of infantry. This, having been neglected at the back, had some distance to travel. German mortar fire cleared one objective of enemy troops and the Russian morale looked in a serious situation. However a heroic T-34 managed to storm forward and with the luck of the devil, took out the Tiger commanders tank. His victory was shortlived as the remaining Tigers turned his tank into a charred hulk. The Stuka, after doing very little once more dived in for the attack and in two turns took out the Russian Battlegroup Commanders tank and the T-34 Company Commanders vehicle. With German infantry still clinging on in the village, the German troops attacked the Russians on the hill on the right flank. Concentrated gunfire wiped them out, causing the Russians to take two chits as they also lost possession of an objective. The rest of the Russian infantry, all SMG armed, lacked the range to provide any support. As German gunfire knocked-out the last remaining T-34 and another unit of infantry was forced to withdraw due to casualties from mortar fire, this pushed the Russians over the morale limit and the Germans took victory.
The Russians took 46 morale points in total (their breakpoint was 45) to the Germans taking 27 (out of a total of 40). What really plagued the Russians was the use of their activations. With so much artillery, they were using up to 7 activations a turn to use all their artillery and mortars. While effective, this did not allow them to capitalise on the effects as they lacked enough activatiosn to move forward, and the dispersal of the T-34s meant that they only had one opportunity to use their Steel! Steel! Steel! special rule. Even so, it was still a close game despite the morale tallies and as the German commander I certainly felt hard pushed until the Stuka turned up. Once again the Kursk supplement gave a very exciting and tense game for both sides and played very differently to the usual Normandy fare. Back to Normandy next time, but lots more Eastern Front action to come as I think Comrade Gary is developing a fondness for theT-34...
Using the playtest version of KG-Kursk along with some bits from my next set of lists, last night we played out a game based upon the Rapid Fire scenario from the Third RF Supplement.
The German forces must assault the Soviet defence line located in a forested area. To do this the Germans had a much larger force - three full platoons (a total of 40MV) with support against two understrength Soviet rifle platoons with some support (a total of 30MV). This was an opportunity that the KGN rules will work fine for historical, non-point based encounters. The German objective was to break the Soviet defences and knock-out the Soviet army.
The game played out very well, remaining close for the entire battle. The Germans found it tough to break the initial line due to heavy enemy fire, with progress made at a snails pace until German reserves pushed into a blind spot in the Soviet line. However the Germans took considerable losses in doing so and the Soviet bunkers proved formidable targets. Even with two Stukas, the Germans found it tough.
In the end however the Germans managed a win, causing the Soviet morale to eventually crack. At the games end the Soviets had broken on 30MV but the Germans were just as fragile on 35MV. It could easily have gone either way for either side. It turned out that using the RF scenario as a basis gave a very well balanced encounter, and I will be using more of the superb RF scenarios and playing them out in KGN.
Last nights game saw my freshly painted British take on Skip's Waffen-SS in a 500 point bash. As a change I built my force from the British Armoured list and Skip went with SS Panzers too. What was expected to be a bloodbath of the British, turned into something totally unexpected...
The game commenced with only Recce and HQ units on the table. Here the British had a big advantage as we possessed armoured recce in the form of three Cromwells. These raced forward, shot up an enemy Puma and then bolted for the middle objective taking it early. At the sametime the British BGHQ (another Cromwell) took another objective. At the end of the 1st turn, the Germans had already taken four morale chits...
This all looked like it was to change when six Panthers rolled onto the table. While the British had elected to bring on infantry first, the German Panthers raced on and made a beeline for the three recce Cromwells hiding behind a hedge. Expecting the worst, the British commanders prepared several smoke markers... But somehow all the Panthers missed. This was to become something of a theme.
After that, it really all went wrong for the Germans! A hesistant German attack down the road lost them two Panthers, one to a Firefly and the other to a close range frontal shot from a very lucky Cromwell and the supporting Grenadiers who took cover in the farmhouse suffered a blaze of fire from an entire inafntry platoon, supporting tanks and direct fire from the two 25 Pounders set up to provide gun cover! The Germans were wiped out to a man. All the time the Germans seemed unable to hit a single target, though after nearly all their rounds had been expended, one of the recce Cromwells, and then another, finally got brewed up.
By this time however, four of the six Panthers were burning, casualties were mounting in the German infantry ranks and their artillery kept failing to do anything of worth. The Germans decided to fall back on their village and hit the British as they advanced. Lady Luck then dealt the Germans a final kick in the teeth...
Out of the clouds, a rocket armed Typhoon dived in loosing off salvos of rockets into the parked German supply and radio trucks. This was all too much for the Germans, their morale broke and the army fled.
What was remarkable was the sheer kicking my British dealt out to Skip's Waffen-SS. We drew 9 morale points, while the Germans totalled 35! We lost two Cromwell and five infantrymen, the Germans lost four of their Panthers, most of their half-tracks and half their Grenadier platoon and all their recce troops!
It was a rather spiffing first outing for the 3rd Foot & Mouth, and even the newly painted 17 Pounder chalked up its first kill, popping a Panther at a full 47" away! Man of the Match though has to go to the Cromwell Recce Troop who for almost the entire game went toe-to-toe with Panthers and kept them at bay while the rest of the army got into position to administer the coup-de-grace.
Excellent stuff. Not seen the desert battle before .
Just how large is your WW2 collection Piers and where do you keep it? Never seen so many vehicles and troops together painted to a consistantly high standard.It certainly gives me something to aspire to .