AAR: 3rd Armoured Division vs Panzer Kompanie (Lehr)

Hey folks, Its been a while since I wrote a blog post, I’ve still been active hobby wise just not writing much about it, but as we get into the build up to Corrivarly i’ll be hoping to change that. Last night I went to Andys house to play a 1750pts game, Corrivlary is 1800pts but the lists are quite similar and the only real difference is an AOP to stop ambushes in the 1800pts version which I could do with practicing without.  I have decided to take the new 3rd armoured lists from Bridge at Remagen after reading up on Bill Wilcoxes chaffee list I opted for the slightly cheaper (money wise) version using M4A3s so I could pick up the new plastic kit. My list for the game looked like this;

Tank Company (3rd)  
  •   Reluctant  
  •   Veteran  
Tank Company
POINTS
1750
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Headquarters
Tank Company HQ (3rd)   p.11
1
1
M4A3E2 Jumbo
M4A3E8 Easy Eight
265
Combat Platoons
Tank Platoon (3rd)   p.12
4 M4A3 Sherman (late) 380
Tank Platoon (3rd)   p.12
3 M4A3E8 Easy Eight 405
Weapons Platoons
Armored Mortar Platoon (3rd)   p.13
1
1
2
Cmd Carbine team
M2 half-track with .50 cal AA MG
M4 81mm MMC
70
Light Tank Platoon (3rd)   p.15
4 M24 Chaffee 295
Recon Platoon (3rd)   p.21
1
1
1
1
Cmd Rifle team
M2 half-track with .50 cal AA MG
Rifle team
Jeep
55
Support Platoons
Mine-exploder Tank Platoon   p.28

Confident  Trained
4 Sherman Crocodile 280
Bridge at Remagen – USA Late-War

 

Andy used his tried and tested Panzer Lehr list, I’ve played this list a few times at 1500/1650 and 1750pts, its a pretty well rounded but front loaded German Armour list. The mission we rolled up was no retreat.

Confident    Veteran   Panzerkompanie (Lehr)
Tank Company
German Late-War
Tank Company
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Headquarters
Panzerkompanie HQ  p.103
2 Panzer IV H 180
Combat Platoons
Panzer Platoon  p.103
5 Panzer IV H 450
Panther Platoon  p.104
3 Panther A 560
Support Platoons
Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier Lehr Platoon  p.108
1
3
3
1
6
Cmd Panzerfaust SMG team
Tank-hunter team
Sd Kfz 251/1
Sd Kfz 251/10 (3.7cm)
MG team
290
Puma Panzerspäh Platoon  p.124
2 Sd Kfz 234/2 (Puma) 100
Rocket Launcher Battery  p.227
1
1
1
3
Cmd SMG team
Observer Rifle team
Kubelwagen
15cm NW41
105
Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon  p.129
2 Sd Kfz 10/5 (2cm) 60
Company Points: 1745
www.EasyArmy.com Source document: Atlantik Wall book

My list is always attacks so Andy would be on the defensive, with one Ambush and half his force in standard reserves.

Deployment

Looking from the south, Andy deployed his Panzergrenadier platoon on the western flank, just behind the centre line, with his Panzer IV platoon on the eastern flank making use of concealment. His Panther platoon remained in ambush. I countered with the Crocodiles facing the off against the infantry and the Easy Eights and Mortar on the western flank and the M4A3s and Chaffees running up the eastern flank, the recce remained central and used their recce move to jump behind a woods with the aim of dismounting in the first turn.

 

Deployment + Recon Move

Turn 1

I pushed forward, the Crocs took refuge behind the woods to wait until some of the tanks of Andys force had been neutralised, the Easy Eights pushed forward on the western flank with the 2IC in a jumbo babysitting them, the chaffees also used a wood on the eastern flank for cover whilst the M4a3s and the 1IC advanced up. the recce jumped out of their transports and took up positions in the wood peeking out so they could see all the German front lines.

Initial Advance.

Andy opted to pop his ambush and try and nail the Easy Eights as soon as possible, the Panthers ambushed at long range but were able to use the hedgerow for concealment and opened fire, the Panzer IVs also opened fire at the oncoming M4A3 platoon. He also got his first reserves so pushed the Nebelwerfers into position. The Panthers got three hits and despite the jumbo taking and bouncing a hit off, 2 Easy Eights were brewed up, the lone platoon commander passed his test, which was lucky as joining the Jumbo would have meant he would run off as well.

…bugger

The Panzer IVs got 3 hits on the M4a3s but one was bounced but again two more Shermans were destroyed, however the M4A3 platoon had 4 tanks in it, so no test for them.

 

Turn 2

With my two more heavily armoured units (with the mighty FA7!) crippled, I felt I needed to push and try and knock out some of Andys platoons, The Chaffees darted from behind the woods to behind the hedgerows directly facing Andys Panzer IVs and the M4A3s stayed stationary to fire at full ROF, only the 1IC in his Easy Eight moved up. The crippled Easy Eight platoon and the 2IC used their dead buddies for cover so now both Panthers and Easy Eights would be hitting each other on 6s, hopefully the prospect of a sniping war and the added jumbo would put Andy off engaging them to finish them off. The Crocodiles pushed up through the wood, to threaten the infantry on the next turn as well, sadly one of them bogged on the way in.

Target Rich environment

The mortars tried and failed to put smoke on the Panthers to cover my advance so I needed to fire platoons in a particular order so I would have a chance to smoke the leftovers.

The Easy Eights opened up first, the platoon (or what was left of it) tried and missed the Panthers, and the Jumbo also failed to put any smoke down. The M4A3s having pushed up, used their stabilisers to roll more dice and managed to get two hits which resulted in one dead and one bailed Panzer IV. The 1IC Easy Eight also couldn’t hit his target which left the M4A3s the desicion of trying to to destroy more Panzer IVs or smoke them for security, I decided to play it safe and put some smoke down but only one round found a tank, however I did put it on the tank at long range of the Chaffees so that tank would now be forced to move to shoot.

Smoke cover to limit line of sight.

Andy consolidated his Panzer IVs to shoot everything down the Eastern flank and Panthers remained where they were now a new target had appeared, he also got another reserve platoon in the shape of the Pumas however they chose to hang near the back of the board away from any of the scary American tanks.

The Panthers opened fire at the Shermans, two of them were caught in the open but at long range however even at range they still couldn’t stop the Panther rounds, towing fuel trailers made no difference as they went up just as quickly, with one of them stuck bogged in the woods it would be a morale test for that platoon. The Panzer IVs faced a difficult decision of whether to try and finish off the M4A3s or deal with the Chaffees who could make a push for their flanks next turn, Andy decided to split his fire, which resulted in one hit on the chaffees and two hits on the M4A3s, the Chaffee didn’t stand a chance but one of the shots on the M4A3 bounced however a bail on the other shot still put the platoon on a test.

The two platoons needing tests both failed and quit the field. Leaving me with 3 chaffees, 1 Easy Eight, the 1IC, 2IC and two support platoons to finish the fight, it was not looking good.

Turn 3

To stand any chance of winning this fight, I needed to reduce Andys numbers in this turn to stall the panthers targets, the Chaffees pushed for flanks shots where they could, using their stablisers to keep the ROF high, two of them made it to flanks however one had to keep shooting to the front. The 1iC in his easy eight now had open ground to slowly move up, keeping his full ROF.

The Easy Eight and Jumbo decided they would need to stay out of the line of fire for a turn or two, so moved back behind the trees with the aim of tree hopping for a few turns. The Mortars tried to lay down some smoke on the panthers but failed to range in.

The combination of Chaffee fire and Easy Eights was too much and another two panzer IVs fell to the US tanks, this put the platoon on a test, that was all the shooting I could muster and luckily for me the Panzer IVs quit the field, taking the 2IC with them as he had joined the platoon from the chaffee fire.

putting pressure on the Panzer IVs

The Chaffees punch through the German Panzer IVs but take casualties in doing so.

Andy got his last reserve platoon, which was 2 AA half tracks who arrived and hid behind the woods as they couldn’t contribute much to this fight but could have caused a company break if I had the opportunity to clean up squishy support platoons. A couple of panthers needed to move to get shots on the chaffees and the 1IC decided to stay gone to ground as he wasn’t confident of taking out the US company commander and feared retaliation from the Easy Eight.

the Panthers long range shots managed to knock out another chaffee however not enough for a test, two Chaffees would survive for another turn. The pumas contemplated opening fire to try and finish the chaffees off, however they decided to stay gone to ground instead to conserve Victory points.

Reserves arrive, all of Andys force is now on.

 

Turn 4

Numbers were running low for me and it would seem I maybe wouldn’t even last the full 6 turns, we checked victory conditions and I had until turn 6 to be within 16″ of an objective so even if I lost the chaffees I would still have a turn or two to potentially clean up some platoons. The Chaffees used their speed to zip around to get shots on the Pumas, one managed to get a clear line of sight however the other one could only see through the corn field. 2 shots on stabilisers needing 5s and 1 shot needing a 6 resulted in one hit, which converted, but not enough to put that platoon on a test.

The Chaffees try desperately to kill off some German platoons

The 1IC was continuing to move up however was struggling for valid shots, at long range the pumas were too hard to hit, and the Panthers had started to move around towards the back of the board. He tried a pot-shot at the 1IC in a panzer IV but missed.

In Andys turn, the puma opted to return fire to the front, rather than have a single shot on side armour, he was able to hit and penetrate one but couldn’t pass the firepower roll so the Chaffee was bailed.

The Panthers moved up again for single shots on the chaffees, but missed. The 1IC Panzer IV The Panzer IV went for a side shot on the jumbo and bailed it out.

The Jumbo gets bailed by the German 1IC

Turn 5

With the Jumbo failing to remount, the Easy Eight platoon (of 1 tank) was now running out of time and it was looking like a last gasp attempt with the chaffees to engage the pumas, the bailed tank failed to remount, and the single tank stayed where it was to try and finish the puma platoon off, but missed, the Easy Eight broke off and pushed past the buildings to try and nail 2 panthers for luck, but missed, and the Jumbo tried to Smoke a panther but…you’ve guessed it, missed, the Mortars were missing a suitable smoke target so started to move up to find a better viewpoint.

in Andys turn, the Puma managed to get one of the Chaffees which was enough for a test, and the Panthers were able to find enough shots on the Easy Eight to finish him off , which was enough with all 4 of my tank platoons now gone, the game went to Andy.

The Easy Eight pushes through…

 

5-2 to the Germans.

Conclusion

Looking through the images as I write the report, my initial advance was truly awful, the smoke screen covered an area that was already providing concealment and would have been better placed on the most western part of the board, giving Andy shots in the open (even at long range) was just too tempting a target and losing two of my 4 AT13 guns in the first turn made it too difficult to really contain the panthers.

Once the Easy Eights were crippled I lost control of the game and pushing the Crocodiles up with the Panthers still in the area was another great mistake, overall I think I split my force too much and was a little too gung-ho in the early turns considering nothing of Andys reserves was really much of a threat to anything except a Chaffee I should have played a more long game and used the trees and my speed to re-position my tanks and force Andy to move to engage.