Thursday, 26 March 2015

Wednesday Wargaming - Flames of War Market Garden

So Wednesday wargming is finally returning. As previously discussed we decided to start things off with a very nice city fight, I have been thinking of this as taking place in Nijmegen, but really it's just a bunch of the buildings that we had, on a map I had which is even intended for a different game/scale.

I went with a US Para force and Serge had the Germans. Here is a look at the forces:

So as you can see we approached things quite differently, I went for a small number of big elite platoons, and the Germans have a big bucket of stuff. The Germans are only trainees hah so I assume it should be easy to beat them. Honestly my first mistake may have been in the list building, I took the mortars thinking they would be very useful to fire directly and take out some heavy machine gun positions. However as it turned out in a city you could only see 6" most of them time, and they have to be 8" away to fire. So that is not brilliant. My other option was to take a big platoon of 8 light machine gun platoons, but I was thinking if I went crazy with machine guns it won't make for a fun battle.

We ended up doing the Dust Up mission, I rolled on the table but vetoed the missions I thought would not be fun/interesting. This is the one where you defend diagonally opposite corners and the reserves come in on the other side close to the opposing objectives. Actually quite like this one.

So here is a shot of the starting set up: Serge brought some ruins so we filled in a section of destroyed city.

I forgot to have no flash until later, I blame serge for this

So I started with my artillery and mortars in the big rubble area, and my engineers then dug into the road. Not I forgot that the enemy had placed an objective in the forest until turn 3, another piece of not brilliant generaling. So that left my 2 strong infantry platoons and the recon in delayed reserve to attack the enemy objectives.

I don't remember exactly the German reserves but they more or less had the opposite plan and started with their strong platoons, and had some weak small ones in reserve, generally speaking.

So here is a shot of like turn 3, I finally noticed the plane in the woods and moved to cover it, and the Germans have been force marching a big platoons across the table to get ready to attack. I bombed out a few things here and there with my artillery and a few pot shots with the sniper but not much happening. On the right flank the Germans moved up there other big platoon to prepare a defense.

Stugs cruise down the road, leader is the StuH very dangerous to infantry with his big cannon

On turn four I finally got a reserve in and took an infantry platoon to attack the park. To much stuff defending to assault right off, but my plan was to re-position the sniper to get a pin, and or use my platoon commander to call in the artillery since he was close and could hopefully see a guy. But a big danger remains of getting shot up by the 4 heavy machine guns and all the infantry teams.

The Germans brought in some half tracked recon with a bunch of machine guns to help get ready for there own big assault. I was sadly still not in an ideal position and not dug in due to previous mistakes!

The Germans tried to dig in instead of moving, so my platoon was spared a torrent of bullets, but they storm troopered out of the sight of my commander, foiling my artillery plan and getting a bit better defensive position.

So I out my sniper just in range of 1 team, and the got to bring in my jeeps to shoot them up a bit. I got a pin out of the sniper, and the jeeps maybe killed a stand or something. But this allowed for a reasonable assault, the Germans had like 11ish dice of defensive fire and got only 4 hits! So just barely but the assault went in and I ended up breaking the platoon and taking the position.

This park now belongs to the 101st Airborne
Ah bit of a gap in picture taking now as the game was getting interesting, but the Germans didn't want to be out done so they had a similar assault against the other park but a bit less successful and my platoon was not broken right away.

I thought I had the game in the bag now and after killing the German second in command who delayed my win for a turn, I set up in the street to make it impossible fort the Germans to contest without an assault. But the German in the street is 4.001" away so we are having some hard measuring.

But the half tracks assault and despite a bail just managed to get in, I counter assaulted and got a fair amount of hits but they made there saves. Now my platoons decided to fail it's motivation test to counter assault again, despite being fearless. So I was pushed back and the Germans had a clear contest to the objective, crap.

On the other side the same thing was happening in reverse and bad things were being done to my poor engineers. As you can see here they are pushed back almost into the street.

So the grind continues, I keep try to hold my objective solidly but the 3 half tracks stubbornly won't go down, and I keep failing motivation test when I have them in an assault I should be able to win. My other Infantry is coming in to back up, but will they have time to get in there?

Well no as my engineers are gone and I am down to technically contesting with jeeps and really stretching that I guess. But the StuH has a jeep vaporizing cannon so that just lasts a turn.

The half tracks finally get rid of the depleted platoon, and took back the park. Although the second platoon is there to take it back again if given half a chance.

But on the other side I don't quite have anything to contest with so ends up as a German victory. But very close game and a change to a motivation in a couple of spots could easily have swayed things.

At the start I was worried that the wide streets, more then 6", were going to badly impact the game but it worked out alright really. I really like this mat but it would be nice to have a 15mm scaled one with more turns in the streets. Still I think this was a nice looking set up, and you probably don't want many more buildings than this or the game becomes un workable.

List wise I was very happy with the sniper, and that was fun to use. The mortar platoon was useless, and I would have been better off with the machine guns. But eh I am not sure that would have made things more fun so maybe this was better. The air landing 105mm platoon continues to be an incredable value, line of sight was a problem in this game but it was still bringing down some pain with time on target attacks and forcing people away from the edges of terrain limiting the effect of all those machine guns some what. Plus my guys with city bases finally got to get in a fight in a city!

Not sure what is the plan for next week, maybe try out a Samurai game if I can get enough stuff re-based.