Guards Armoured hits a roadblock   Leave a comment

With the Recent Release of the Hells Highway intelligence briefing, I wanted to try out my recently completed German FJ army and a Guards Armoured Company that I have just recently augmented with 5 more tanks.  Capturing the initial thrust of XXX Corps as it entered Holland would be our first attempt.  The armies were an Irish Guards and a 6th FJ Regiment force.   Both armies were close to 2000 points.  This was also the first time we used a warrior in a game and out of 6 turns we only remembered to use his ability to move the tanks 4″ further one time.  The RAF FAC was useful in that we could have units 12″ away from the Typhoons plus the Typhoons could reroll the first attempt to range in.

Guards Armoured:

  1. Company HQ
  2. Armoured Platoon (2 Sherman V and 2 Firefly)
  3. Armoured Platoon (2 Sherman V and 2 Firefly)
  4. LTC Vandeleur plus RAF FAC
  5. Guards Rifle Platoon
  6. Column Platoon with 3x universal recon carriers
  7. 8 gun Field battery
  8. Priority Typhoons

6th Fallschrimjager

  1. Company HQ
  2. FJ Platoon with Panzerfaust upgrade
  3. FJ Platoon with Panzerfaust upgrade
  4. FJ Kampfgroupe w/ three teams from platoon 1 and 2
  5. Fallschrimjager AT platoon with 4 PaK 40s
  6. SS Tank hunter platoon w/ 4x Jagdpanzer IV
  7. FJ AA platoon with 3 x 2cm FlaK38
  8. SS AT platoon w/ 2x PaK 40s
  9. SS Motorized Artillery Battery w/ 4x 10.5 cm guns

The terrain is exceptionally open and flat for what we usually have with a main road running the center of the map.  There was a forest and river running the entire east flank.  A couple groups of forest were scattered around the map. All ground off the road was considered difficult going to represent the soft ground.  

The scenario is Hold the Line from the FOW main rule book.  Objectives for the game were a clump of trees in the center of the map and a bridge toward the northern boundary.

First turn looked brilliant for the Guards Armoured.  Aircraft arrived on station and took the first blood from the kampfgroupe by rolling a six and passing the reroll.  The dice were being good!  Artillery was able to pin the center force which allowed the UK infantry platoon to move forward without harassment.  The armoured platoons were able to make good progress with only one tank getting stuck in the soft ground.  The Germans were unable to convince a confused Battalion HQ that reinforcements were needed.  Both first platoon and the KG were unable to unpin.

The second turn saw the confident Irish Guards making an advance against the center FJ force holding the first objective.  The two batteries of eight guns were able to knock off one more center FJ team.  The infantry platoon moved aggressively into the open to prepare for an assault the next turn.  The Shermans were able to knock out two more teams from the center platoon.  The Typhoons demonstrated typical results by doing nothing worth while this turn. 

Second turn for the Germans was pretty lively.  The FJ initiated an ambush with 4 PaK 40s killing one Firefly and one Sherman V.  The hard hit Sherman platoon passed a morale check and remained on the field.  The were also managed to bail the Company CO and one other Sherman Firefly.  The SS intercepted pleas from the FJ for reinforcement and detached a platoon of two more PaK 40s.   The Germans were going to set up a PaK front to prevent the Guards from making a breakthrough.  The Center FJ platoon was able to rally and unpin causing great damage to the Guards Rifle Platoon.  They managed to get four hits and the Guards managed to fail all four. 

The Guards Rifles managed to keep pressing the objective on the third turn and were with range of an assault.  The RAF made a show of force with three Typhoons directed at the PaK40s that made the ambush.  German AA fire chased off two RAF Typhoons, leaving only one to launch rockets harmlessly into the woods.  Artillery failed to range in on the PAKs.  The assault by the Guards Rifles was able to destroy two FJ teams at the cost of two teams destroyed during a counterattack.  The tenacious FJ managed to keep their ground.  The Guards Armoured reconsidered the situation and changed the axis of attack away from the center and east and more toward the west away from the PAK front.

The German PAKs were only partially successful during the third turn by bailing two tanks.  The SS continued to support the beleaguered FJ with an artillery battery. 

The Guards Rifles made one more assault during the 4th turn.  They were able to kill one of the two remaining teams, but the FJ counterattacked sending them back.  Both infantry teams were down to one command team each and both failed morale checks and left the battlefield.  This event left the center objective open with no German force contesting.  The nearby Kampfgroupe was under immense pressure of the realigned armoured platoons.  The RAF and artillery failed to be effective this turn. 

The SS committed their last available reserved this turn in the form of 4 Jagdpanzer IVs.  This platoon made haste toward the center objective to prevent the Guards from capturing the objective.  The PaK 40s were able to claim another Sherman this turn. The XO was able to escape the burning wreck of his third Sherman.   Artillery was ineffective.

With time running out the guards armored consolidated the remaining two tanks of the beat up first platoon around the center objective.  Second platoon tanks set up a force to pressure the FJ kampfgroupe which could conceivably contest the center objective.  A Firefly from first platoon got a lucky shot and knocked out the first Jagdpanzer IV coming over the bridge.  The indirect fire special rule for the UK was instrumental in getting this kill.  Artillery and the RAF were ineffective.   

The Germans pushed their Jagdpanzer IVs up on the fifth turn.  The PAK front was out of the game as all the Guards Armoured tanks ran away like little school girls.  The Jagdpanzers had bad dice this turn and landed no hits.  Artillery was ineffective.

The Guards Armoured unleashed the RAF on the last turn.  Three Typhoons made a rocket attack on the three Jagdpanzers killing one vehicle and FJ team taking cover nearby.  The Fireflies where able to bail another Jagdpanzer leaving the last one to perform a morale check which it passed.  Artillery used the all guns repeat and Mike Target to great effect in pinning the FJ Kampfgroupe. 

The Kampfgroupe remained pinned and was unable to make a last moment dash to the center objective.  The remaining Jagdpanzer was too far away.  As a result the game goes to the Guards Armoured.  The Guards Armoured were able to hold one objective uncontested with both sides losing one platoon.  The result is a Major Victory 5.3 according to the Main Rule Book.  Based on the actual situation I wouldnt call it a major victory because it would have been extremely difficult to take objective two with the remaining forces.

Artillery wasnt very impressive on the offensive with the Guards Armoured.  The +5 firepower of the 25 pdr made digging out infantry tough.  Plus the Guards had a lot of bad dice.  I havent seen it so bad in long time.  The PAK front mixed with AA was very effective.  The RAF could not put much firepower down and the royal artillery had an extremely hard time ranging in on the hidden guns.  If we were to try it again, we would bring more infantry and less artillery.  The Typhoons were marginally successful.

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