Hi folks, so we got together again for another Wednesday wargaming event and played a game from our ongoing Firestorm Loraine campaign at the club. This is the first of the second phase of turn 2 games. We played the allied attack into Dompaire, so I got 2 platoons of US infantry to add to my force, and the Germans got 3 Reluctant Trained Panthers.
Here are the forces:
And here is the battle field:
So we decided to have it a bit more open for a change, with a giant forest on one side, and a farm on the other, plus a few hills and a road. The whole area of the forest was treated as woods not just the individual bases.
We then rolled for a mission and got Hasty Attack which sounded fun. I guess Patton got a bit annoyed with the slow progress of this sector and is pressing for some action. In hasty attack basically the attacker me, would have to capture one of 2 objectives on the opponents side, while defending one of my own. My reserves would be coming in right away, while Serge was in dellayed and scattered reserves. Although as you can see this force was picked so that reserves would be quite insignificant.
I elected to start with a platoon of tanks, mortars dismounted, and infantry to guard the objective and or advance as the opportunity presented. My plan was that the tanks would go into the forest to hide from the panthers, knock out the Panzer IVs and take the objective. The infantry meanwhile would bother the other objective to keep the Panthers from attacking to much.
So that is what I did, the Germans brought up the Veteran Panthers to chase my tanks, while the reluctant ones stayed by the farm. On my turn I brought in some more tanks from reserve and smoked the Panthers on the road to force them to move. I don't want to fight those Panthesr with my tanks but not going to have a choice.
The Panthers killed one of my tanks, but nothing serious. I keep pressing in after the retreating Panzer IVs, they have to hold the objective so I am forcing that battle to happen now, and my tanks go after then Panthers. On the other side I doubled up one infantry and brought up a second from reserve. The trained Panthers had doubled towards the tanks and that is not good so I had to press that objective to force them back.
This is where we really found out this game was gong to be a slog, somehow no one was getting many tank kills even with good odds, but there was allot of bad odds as well. In the forest nothing much was happening except for allot of noise. My Shermans had bailed out 1 of the Veteran Panthers thou, and they guy was doomed to stay bailed for the rest of the game. Meanwhile my rush in with the infantry and light tanks had got the attention of the trained panthers, although it cost me a pair of stuarts.
Here we have the high water mark for the Americans, I destroyed two thirds of the trained Panthers, and my stuarts got rid of one of the AA platoons that was threatening my infantry, but 2 more came in from reserve mind you. Sadly that last Panther passed his test to stick around. Still things were looking up.
Sadly not so long afterwards the battle in the forest finally hit it's stride, but not as I had envisioned. The Panzer IVs killed a bunch of tanks and my platoon withdrew along with the company comander. To make matters worse the Panthers had finally be able to deal with my other tank platoon and the stuarts got killed by the new sets of AA. This meant the Germans would just need to kill 1 more platoon to break my company.
I made an assault against the Panther and the AA around the farm to give it one last good try to secure that area. But the Germans managed to get 5 out of 8 hits in defensive fire and push back my assault. They then took a couple of turns to kill off the defenseless mortars and the game was over. So a 5-2 loss for the Americans, but it was a very interesting and different game. Both of us were really feeling the pressure of the unlucky dice and it just so happened that it was the Germans that managed to pull it out.
I think I had an alright plan just got unlucky in the forest a bit, but I am not certain, maybe going in there was a horrible idea from the start. But at the same time it can be a big challenge to fight Panthers especially veteran ones on their terms.