Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Battlereport 1750pts - Finnish Jägercompany vs German StuG Batterie

Mission:

Free for all

Battle setup:

1750 points per side, using free for all as mission.

Forces:

Finnish Jägercompany
-Company commander and 2nd-in-command with one Panzerschreck team
-Jäger platoon with 8 SMG teams and Panzerfaust in command team
-Jäger platoon with 8 SMG teams and Panzerfaust in command team
-MG platoon with 4 guns
-Anti-tank platoon with 2 75mm PstK 40
-Anti-tank platoon with 2 75mm PstK 40
-2 KV-1e
-3 T-34/76 with cupolas

Heer StuG Batterie (me!!)
-Company commander in StuG III G
-StuG platoon with 2 StuG III Gs and 1 StuH42
-StuG platoon with 2 StuG III Gs and 1 StuH42
-Sturm platoon with command SMG/Panzerfaust team, 4 MG/Panzerfaust teams and 2
MG teams
-Begleit platoon with command assault rifle team and 9 assault rifle teams
-2 Tiger I E
-Rocket launcher battery with 3 Nebelwerfer 41s, command team and forward observer


Objectives and deployment

Finnish ammo dump is placed on the upper right corner of table, looking from Finnish side.
Field sauna is placed about middle of German deployment zone. German forward
command post is placed one third from the left corner of Finnish side, and wrecked
Panther hull one third from the right corner.

Germans deploy their Nebelwerfers at the middle of their zone, hugging rear table edge.
Sturm platoon deploys in front of them, on a sparse line. Begleit platoon deploys to the
corner in front of ammo dump. Tigers take up positions near the sauna. One StuG platoon
goes behind Begleit platoon, another goes behind a small steep sided hill. Company
commander deploys behind them. Forward observer team goes on top of the hill in front of
the StuGs. Tigers roll their skill, and come up with 'For the Fatherland'!

Finnish heavy artillery takes up positions near the Panther hull, their captain leaning on the
Panther's front glacis plate. First AT-gun platoon is deployed to deny two narrow passes on
the Finns' right flank. The second AT-gun platoon goes to the middle of Finnish deployment
zone, covering the middle of the table. Machine gun platoon is divided to two and it's guns
attached to jäger platoons. First jäger platoon with their support units cover the right flank
together with the AT-guns. The second jäger platoon deploys to the command post
objective, next to some more anti-tank might. Captured Soviet heavy tanks are positioned
to the left flank, with T-34/76 platoon behind them. 2nd-in-command with Panzerschrecks
goes next to jägers at right flank, while company commander joins the ones in the middle.
Artillery forward observers hike to hills near the corners.

All forces deployed.

Looking from the German side.

1st turn
Finns begin by moving jägers on the right flank forward, hoping to get to good positions
before Germans advance to firing range. 2nd-in-command and the Panzerschreck team
move forwards. Jägers at the middle advance towards the roads, lead by company
commander himself. Both tank platoons move forwards, trying to get a better line of sight
to something. T-34/76s try to cover each other by forming a diagonal line so that the Tigers
can't shoot more than one of them. KVs try to shoot at Sturm platoon, but miss. Two T-34s
fire at Tigers, one of them hits their frontal armour but does not penetrate. As the Finns are
affected by meeting engagement rule, they can't dig in yet.

Finnish right flank, jägers moving forwards.

 KVs and Panze... T-34/76s firing their first shots.

Germans begin by moving begleit platoon at the double to hug a hill on the other side of
the road. A StuG platoon moves forwards to harass jägers, while their Sturmhaubitze goes
near the table edge to try to take a potshot at the AT-gun lurking there. Another StuG
platoon tries to move to a steep hill, but two of them get bogged on the rocks. The other
Tiger moves behind a stone house, seeking cover from Finnish AT-guns. The other lurches
forward. Sturm platoon advances near the roads. Tigers open fire at the T-34s, one hits,
pierces the frontal armour and causes an explosion that throws the turret off. A lone StuH
at the table edge also misses it's chance to blast the 75mm gun. It's platoon mates, the
StuGs also miss their targets. Nebelwerfers open fire and bombard one AT-gun to
smithereens, pinning the platoon. All StuGs use stormtrooper move to retreat to safety.


Begleit platoon hiding from view behind a hill.

2nd turn
Concerned from possible attention to his guns, the artillery battery commander orders
foxholes to be dug. At the right, 2nd lieutenant tries to remove pinning from his anti-tank
men, but fails. Another AT-gun platoon manages to dig in. 1st jäger platoon near the corner
advance a bit more to cover the gap left by the killed gun team. 2nd-in-command orders
his brave tank hunters to take better positions on the hill. At the midfield, the company
commander pushes his troops forward, approaching an Y-intersection at the road. All tanks
drive behind a hill to harass German infantry guarding the corner. Both the KVs and one of
the surviving T-34s open up with machine guns to Germans on the hill in front of them.
They fail to cause casualties, but the sheer amount of fire pins the enemy platoon. No one
else has valid targets in line of sight so the turn goes to Germans.

2nd jäger platoon and a destroyed T-34.

Leutnant commanding the Sturm platoon fails to rally his men, but they manage to dig in
and prepare for possible onslaught. Tigers maneuver a little to get T-34 platoon to their
sights again. One of the bogged down StuGs gets free and moves around the hill. Other
StuG platoon moves just barely to 40cm of jägers at the right. Begleit platoon hurries to the
hill, finding some Finns with Panzerschercks. These poor guys are mowed down by new
assault rifles. Three StuGs, one of them the company commander, fire their MGs killing
one team of jägers. Their StuH blasts off a 105mm HE-grenade obliterating another jäger
team. The amount of hits pins down the targeted platoon. Nebelwerfers calculate some
trajectories and a barrage of rockets falls down on Finnish artillery, threatening one
howitzer, but luckily they had good foxholes so no one dies this time, but they are pinned.
Tigers send some 88mm greetings to T-34s again, causing some scary hits and forcing
both surviving tank crews to bail out and crawl to somewhere safe. Luckily they decide to
stay on the field rather than run away. StuGs at the flank spread out using stormtrooper
move, other StuGs closer to the middle retreat a little with their stormtrooper move.
Company commander reverses behind a hill.

Sturmhaubitze in action.

3rd turn
Things at the Finnish right flank are starting to look hot, and thus the 2nd lieutenant of the
jäger platoon fails to remove pinning from his men. nearby anti-tank unit removes pinning.
Both platoons dig in to get some cover. Artillery stays pinned while last rockets explode
nearby harmlessly. Battery commander swears angrily to his troops. Crew of the other T-
34/76 remounts but their platoon commander stays bailed out. Near the Y-intersection
company commander orders the jägers to change direction and advance right towards a
house. Their heavy machine guns open fire but miss. Both KVs move closer to the corner
and fire at some dug in infantry with their main guns, but miss.

Trying to kill veteran infantry that is concealed and gone to ground.

Begleit platoon on the hill moves closer to Finnish positions, preparing to do their duty.
Both StuG platoons together with their company commander advance and fire, killing a
few Finns. Nebelwerfers attempt to range in on enemy infantry, but fail. Sturm platoon
opens up on nearby jägers, killing some of them. Tigers aim once again at the pesky T-
34s, firing full 4 shots, but miss altogether! Brave Begleit platoon fires a few shots with
their assault rifles, killing some jägers, and then assault. Both the jäger platoon and the ATgun
platoon give defensive fire, killing one team, but it is not enough to scare away the
Germans. A bloody close quarters combat ensures, hand grenades and close range bursts
are used to sweep foxholes clear of the defenders. Finns lose their nerve and fall back,
what a rare incident... Begleit platoon consolidates a bit forwards and spread their
formation, afraid of artillery barrages. Other StuG platoon uses stormtrooper move to
reverse a bit.

Jägers are forced to pull back, Begleit platoon follows closely behind.

4th turn
No matter how many profanities the battery commander shouts, the gunners are still
pinned down. T-34 platoon commander is too afraid to jump back into his tank. 2nd jäger
platoon, still exhausted from the assault, also fails to remove pinning, but fires at the
Germans, who pass their saves. Near the command post objective, Finnish AT-guns are
towed to better positions, with hopes to get some shots at the StuGs. Other anti-tank
platoon gives some HE grenades to the Begleit platoon, but misses. Their platoon
commander shows the Germans why Suomi m/31 SMG is such an excellent weapon,
killing some of them. KV platoon moves along the German table edge closer to
Nebelwerfers, firing with their 76mm guns, but miss. One operational T-34 fires it's cannon
at the Sturm platoon, hits, but fails firepower test. Jägers at the middle, lead by the Finnish
company commander moves closer to Sturm platoon, and blast away with MGs, causing
casualties. Two howitzers realize they can direct fire at German infantry, and do so. One of
them hits and instantly kills a whole team in a spectacular explosion.

The captain is down! And the platoon is below half strength.

Eager to kill more, Begleit platoon closes in with the 2nd jäger platoon, and finishes it off
with massed fire. They however fail to cause any damage to the AT-gun and their officer.
One of the Tigers maneuvers off from behind a house, and fires it's MGs at the jägers in
front of it, killing one tem. The other one stays put and turns itäs turret to face the KVs.
Two shots are fired, one of them hits, penetrates, and makes minced meat of the crew
causing a small fire. That's one less KV-1e in play. Sturm platoon fires away at the 1st
jäger platoon, killing one more team and the company commander! The captain does not
escape death this time, his career ends here on these fields, on a pool of his own blood.
Gruesome is the life of a soldier. The men are disheartened and pinned down. One of the
StuGs sees an anti-tank gun being towed forwards, and shoots at it. The truck is wrecked
and the gunners dead. All StuGs rush forward in a good stormtrooper attitude. Begleit
platoon takes the chance and advances in a similiar fashion.

Firing defensive fire, unfortunately not enough to pin down the assailants.

5th turn
Jägers at the middle recover from the loss of their captain, advance forwards and harass
the Germans. Good hits, but not enough firepower to dig them out of their foxholes.
Cowardly T-34 platoon commander still fails to remount. Meanwhile the one KV advances
inside 40cm of one Nebelwerfer, and serves some hot 7.62mm bullets, killing the crew. A
75mm anti-tank gun is unlimbered and set up. The gunners see a StuG ahead and fire,
striking through the frontal armor they have earned a kill ring! At the right flank, neither the
remaining AT-gun nor the command team are able to kill anyone of the Begleit platoon.
One operational T-34 still tries to kill some Germans lying on their foxholes but to no avail.
Having finally removed their pinning the heavy artillery fires a bombardment at the Begleit
platoon, killing two teams and rupturing ear drums of one StuG's crew.

Big guns speak.

StuG on it's roof suffering from an engine and fuel fire.

Courageous Leutnant rallies the Begleit platoon and they surround the enemy AT platoon,
wiping it out with firing. Tigers fire at the KV-1e, causing it to bail out. Two teams of the
Sturm platoon, armed with Panzerfausts try to assault the KV, but are grasped by tank
terror, even while the KV is unmanned... One StuG platoon advances closer to enemy
artillery, and fires at them, destroying one gun team. Other StuG platoon moves closer and
assaults Finnish artillery. Finnish gunners defend themselves by firing their 150mm
howitzers, hitting one StuG and totally obliterating it. StuGs fail to crush even a single man
beneath their tracks, and angry battery commander, together with a nearby forward
observer and the staff team counter assault. using hand grenades and foul language they
force the StuGs to break off and everyone returns to their positions. Nebelwerfers can not
find targets. Begleit platoon uses stormtrooper move to get closer to the panther hull
again.

Surround and destroy.

6th turn
The T-34 platoon commander finally crawls to his tanks, and forwards they go. They drive
around a hill and see some men from Sturm platoon lurking near the KV. Few long bursts
and the Germans threaten the heavy tank no more. KV crew jumps back to their vehicle
and fires at a Nebelwerfer, but miss. Remaining jäger platoon surround the Sturm platoon
behind the house and starts firing, missing totally. Remaining two howitzers direct fire at
Begleit platoon, missing them just barely. Forward observers on the hill try with their rifles,
but miss. The only anti-tank gun on the field has no valid targets.

T-34s beginning to clear the area around KV-1e. Other one still burns.

Both Begleit platoon and one StuG platoon move just next to the nearest howitzer, killing
it's gunners and the battery staff team with MGs and assault rifles. They then advance to
empty positions. Other StuGs use their Sturmhaubitze to eliminate the last howitzer,
forcing the battery to make a motivation test. They pass their test and the command team
stays on the table. Nebelwerfers have had enough of the KV, and send it some rockets.
They fail to destroy it. Other Tiger tries to fire at the T-34/76s, but misses. As does the
other, targeting the lone KV. Sturm platoon returns fire to the jägers, but miss.
The battle ends. StuGs contest one objective but that is not enough for victory. So it is a
draw.

Objective contested and another StuG wreck burning.

After battle commentary - Finnish player
I think my list was quite balanced and a working one, most failures were in the first turns of
movement. I exposed my infantry by allowing them to push too far. Another failure was to
stay put with my tanks and try to dig out the Sturm platoon's rightmost teams, I should
have passed them and pursued the objective as I originally had planned. T-34/76s were in
the list for testing purposes (which explains proxying them with my opponent's Panzers),
and they were quite good for their cost. For 250 points they survived well enough,
panicked his Tigers and killed some infantry. Next thing to experiment with should be their
big brothers, T-34/85s.

The artillery was a little frustrating, even though they are fearless, they stayed pinned for
two turns which should have been used to cause serious havoc to Begleit platoon. 150mm
howitzers are very good, as one barrage and two rounds of direct firing caused half of his
total casualties. If only they could have started bombarding from the very beginning... My
trusty 75mm anti-tank guns worked well, while they only killed on StuG, they denied a
huge area from them, even forcing the Tigers to stay behind a house. Without these the
Germans would have steamrolled to the objectives in 3 turns.

After battle commentary - German player
As my army was in for the first tryout, I had no expectations for them. I knew that they
could dice out a lot of fire both in attack and defense. As for my plan, there was none, only
a few guidelines to try.

First of: Use my Begleit platoon, StuGs and Nebelwerfers to
support each others on one flank. This worked very well as my Belgeits cleared the AT
threats and after that the road was clear for StuGs to dig out the enemy. Nebelwerfers kept
the enemy pinned for my Begleits so there was little or none defensive fire coming prior to
my assaults.

Secondly: Use my Sturm platoon do defend the other flank, they are hard to
dig out and can put out a lot of firepower, also against tanks as I had 5 Panzerfausts with
me. Also backing them up where my two Tiger I E tanks, to fend of enemy tanks and to
give some heavy support for Sturm platoon. This gave the enemy a very tough nut to
crack. Overall my army performed very well and I'm going to field this army again at some
point.

Then about my enemy. He played damn well too, just had some bad luck with the dice. His
plan to attack my Tigers and Sturm platoon was very well planned and if timing and dice
would have been on his side, he could have won, no doubt. His infantry came to me as
planned (I think) but his tanks got slowed down so lost the momentum there and gave me
time to kill his infantry. His defensive side was well placed making a hard nut for StuGs to
come by as he got a lot of firepower pointed at them, and boy those 150mm guns hit hard
with direct fire! Only problem was the little forest... Gave me enough cover to get close
with Begleits.

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