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Battle report!

Lord Hanaur

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Battle Report of a returning soldier.

So this happened.  It's always intense (and slightly embarrassing) when you have to re-learn a game you feel you knew so well!  Thank you Barca and Zeke for both playing me.

In game 1 Barca faced off against me in a Meeting Engagement with the considerable firepower and fortitude of the Grant tanks arrayed against me.  His command squad and two platoons of the goliaths formed a formidable wall of iron that trundled at me unabated.  Despite my two batteries of PAK 38's (cleverly disguised as PAK 40's) the Grants were untouched late into the game.  His back up was an artillery group who made it a point to remind me that this isn't Warhammer 40K, and clumping IS a bad thing.  His infantry held one objective (the one to my left)  while the Grants just pushed forward forecefully, daring my infantry platoons to even try to get past them and their plethora of shots up the middle while his sneaky spotter tank meandered about. 

As expected, the things I didn't know slowed us down, but I managed to slowly grasp the changes as we played, and the right questions started to form.  The dice positively hated me in the first three rounds as I failed nearly every skill test and every attempt to dig in and so on.  A particularly aggressive and Rommel-like push up the left flank by my INfantry Squad II had us finally jetting towards the weakened infantry squad holding the left objective and my Company Commander bravely led the men to push the enemy off the objective!  My artillery continued to pound them to dust until they relented, forcing the enemy infantry  BACK from the objective.  One of its tank units had to rush backwards to avoid a loss the next turn.  Meanwhile my PaK 38's had been sweeping VERY slowly around the right flank, having terrible luck landing shots.  Finally paid off when Barca's Command Squad lost its 2Ic after having to turn its back to the Pak38's which were going to kill me Infantry Squad I (which the Commander did anyways afterwards).  The Company Commander was now exposed!  Realizing that they had been very lucky so far, the Command tank and his Grant were going to smash into my second PaK 38 unit and then prepared to do the same to the rest of my guns.

UNfortunately they could not stop the Infantry behind them from snaking their way to the central objective and with no time to get back to it with the Grants, the enemy artillery needed to save the day.  The bastards tried to range in on the recalcitrant Germans ...and...could not.  This effectively ended the contest with my Infantry having VERY slowly and VERY laboriously made their way to midboard and then suddenly in that final round, all the rolls went my way in order to get within the distance I needed.  His Artillery failed him in his greatest hour of need after doing so well to that point.

The Second game was against an equally terrifying armored foe.  there must have been almost 30 Stuart Tanks on the field and they could basically move closer before the game even started.  There was a recon unit with them and they had TWO planes for bombardments.  It was delayed reserves and random reserves this time.  He left the planes and his second Formation of Stuarts off the table while the rest of the mass swarmed onto the table.

I reserved all my Infantry.  I got turn one.  My PaK 38's and artillery positively crashed down with force upon the bloody shoals of his armored column.  This game got ugly really quick.  On my left flank a small unit of 5 shermans never made it past just the three Pak 38's left there.  They were wrecked by turn two and I had tabled his Formation by turn 3 .  I only needed 2's to hit, and even with range and cover to start, it was still only 4's to hit, when it was at all.  The Shermans were evaporating from the table in handfulls.  I literally had nothing to do turn 3 except for roll for reserves and wait for his second formation to show up.  I had zero shots in turn 3 because there were zero targets left.  

His second Formation rolled for reserves and brought on its planes which attacked infantry and again I had no shots to make.  Turn four?  Show up they did, and they made a bit of a comeback, inflicting some damage on my infantry and essentially trying to stay out of my gun range while they battled the Infantry trying to reach the objectives.  They weren't missing much but the tough Germans made miraculous saves as well.  the PaK 38's had been and continued to advance as fast as they could to the fight, which wasn't very fast.  Once in range, it was like that moment when Gran Moff Tarkin says "You may fire when ready".  The tabling was complete. 

To be fair, his strategy STRONGLY relied on going first (as he would tell you) and when he did not, the wheels fell off.

So despite my difficulties getting the hang of it, I felt at least somewhat better able to form intelligent questions and now I can go back through the book and read it again in context.  I think it will really help. 

Again thanks for the games and the patience Barca and Zeke.

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