Second game for 2009 – scary, I know!

May 3, 2009

Two fridays back Peter and I had our second game for the year. Last year so many events worked against us playing – we only had three games for the year…and so far it’s been a game a month (effectively). Yay!

Since we had an armoured slugfest last time, we decided to revisit the infantry-vs-infantry style of game that we had enjoyed last year.  In fact, it even ended up being infantry and artillery only – no armour or SPGs at all (although if fellow club members could’ve loaned me six Wespes, I woulda gone for some mobile artillery too). I had a few vehicles – some Opel Blitzes and two 251/1Cs, but none were meant to be used in the attack. It was just going to be my Infantry company with some Offboard Artillery against whatever Peter had points for.

Let me detail the agreements made pre-game. This was to be a Quality German Attack – so whatever Point Value (PV) total I had, Peter would have half that for his forces. We agreed on No Vehicles (meaning no tanks or SPGs that were also tank destroyers). We agreed on each having Offboard Artillery. I ended up with approximately 2200 PV, so Peter had to take half that. In Panzerfaust: Iron Fist, German forces are expensive because most troops have good experience and Morale by default. Peter may have had only 1100 points to build his army with, but I knew he would end up with at least an Infantry Company plus some Offboard Artillery because Soviet troops are so cheap. Whatever else he was able to afford would prove interesting and challenging.

Here’s the map/board for the night: map-for-april-2009

The idea was for the terrain to represent a village or hamlet in a valley. Thusly I placed as many hills and elevated ground around the edges of the board as I could. The village was just four buildings, with a pond in between two of them…it represented a clean source of drinking water (maybe a large well or natural spring). Some good-sized fields of crops and an obligatory apple orchard on the edge of town…apples were a popular crop back in Russia and the Eastern Front in general…and it’s easier to buy the pre-made trees or components to make apple trees than to try and do something more exotic like cherry trees (and not Japanese cherry trees, or poor old Anton Chekhov would really be rolling in his grave). Some copses of trees on the town outskirts and some trees on the hills too.

Preparation: a Light, Westerly wind was rolled. My troops were coming in from the Western side of the board. The Objective that I had to reach in 10 turns was the road in between the four buildings.

Turn One – my forces came on board safely, in the Northwest, travelling Southeast. My 150mm Offboard Artillery was aimed at the nearest edge of the nearest house to my forces. Before I began rolling, Peter said he had deployed badly – but when he heard I had 150mm artillery, he said it would be a quick game! (He even suggested post-game that if I had selected only 105mm artillery, then I would’ve had much more trouble breaking his troops’ Morale).

I had two pairs of 15omm guns. I rolled two hits and two misses – killing a Soviet platoon HQ base and squad straight off. A good opening for me!

Turn Two:  Now I could see some of the defenders, russians-now-in-sight right in the outer edges of the fields, closest to me. Peter had opted for an aggressive defence and deployed accordingly.  He had mortars – they rained down fire on my Company HQ as it was moving down to its intended position. The Russians opened up on my infantry with MMGs, LMGs and rifles russian-mmg-lmg-fire for a fierce 46 Fire Factors at 25cm range. He rolled a 6 to get +1, but then suffered -2 for being Conscript troops. So, in conclusion he was -1 at 40cm…I lost 7 bases, which I spread out amongst the squads. I had to test Morale for 4 squads…the overall platoon was fine but some squads were Shaken, so they hit the deck and were just going to fire back.

My 3rd Platoon also came under heavy fire, losing the Platoon HQ. I rolled a 6…-5 left me with a final result of 1…that platoon was Shaken. They also were going to stay still and just shoot back, too.

My Artillery now came down. Even though I rolled shockingly, I still wiped out all the troops concealed inside the building, forcing Peter to test Morale.

The Germans returned rifle & LMG fire, killing a Russian MMG and some grunts. The killing of the MMG was due to Peter determining that my German LMGs could target the MMG, with leftover factors carrying over onto the surrounding bases as “splash damage”. This is an unofficial decision that worked well and will need codifying somewhere…stay tuned.

The nearest platoon of Russians have had enough and began to Retreat – the first time I’ve ever got Peter to retreat! Still, the Russian Company as a whole rolls 3 Morale, so they are OK…just.

The Russian mortars come down again on my Company HQ and softskins – killing my Company HQ. For once, I roll well in testing the Company Morale in a crisis – and get 8, leading to a final result of 1. We are Shaken for a turn but still in the game.

Turn Three – No more advancing for me – I’m Shaken so can only stay still and fire back. I disembark the four 120mm Battalian Support mortars out of the surving Opel Blitzes – they can fire on Turn Five. The 251/1C in front of the Opel Blitzes that I was using to make a FAO mobile  kills off some Russians with its LMG, so the other Russian bases near it surrender to me.

One of Peter’s platoons continued its retreat fleeing-russians but sadly for them they ran into my 150mm Artillery Barrage and were all killed.

Turn Four – I can move again! I had set up my company 81mm support mortars last turn and they could now fire. They missed. His mortars killed off a LMG base attached to my Company HQ teams.

Turn Five – I decided to change my Offboard Artillery fire from Pre-determined as I wanted to silence his mortars and so I had to roll to Call Down my Artillery onto a new target. I succeeded and silenced one of the Russian mortars, but his Mortars hit my 120mm Mortars whom are forced to flee off the table (they were right next to it).

I roll my Company Morale again – a 3 – leading to a Retreat. Game Over. I was so close this time to forcing him into a Retreat and winning…arghhhhh.

Here’s a photo of the FAO in the 251/1C directly fighting Russian infantry: fao-and-softskins-advancing

This time I had remembered everything.  Smokescreens, the lot.  It was him hitting my Company HQ so early on that prevented me winning…I must place them somewhere safer, not on a wing, and certainly not let them start high on a hill where they can be seen and mortared!

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One Response to “Second game for 2009 – scary, I know!”

  1. Peter Stone said

    Great write-up. Certainly a close game.

    Here’s the section from the rules that let you shoot at the MMGs, since about 75% of the fire factors against you were from them.

    Shooting at HQ & Heavy Weapons bases: any individual base or unit can itself always shoot back at an individual infantry base (squad/HQ/heavy weapon) that fired at it, or that is over one base width away from all other bases of that unit. Otherwise, you cannot individually target infantry bases that are at or within one base width of another base of their section/platoon. In this case, you must fire at the unit, and the casualties are removed as desired by the player commanding the unit. See casualties below.

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