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Flames of War: The World War II Miniatures Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: US Light Tanks vs. Panzergrenadiers X2 rss

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Charles Stampley
United States
Austin
Texas
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I was finally able to play my US Tank Company consisting of two platoons of 5 M5A1 Stuarts with two plts of infantry in half-tracks and a secttion of 2 M10 tank destroyers in support at today's FOW tournament at Great Hall games in Austin. In my two games I went up against two similar Panzergrenadier companies which both easily defeated me.

My force is based on speed-light tanks move 16" as opposed to 12" for other tanks. My half-tracks are designed to get my infantry to objectives as soon as possible. In addition US infantry can double time 16'' instead of the usual 12" for dismounted troops. However the frontal armor on both my Stuarts and the M10s is rated 4 while my half-tracks only have a frontal armor of 1 which means I stand little chance in a slugging match against Panzers or AT guns--both of which happened today.

My first game was the free-for-all scenario where I am basically attempting to cross the board and secure two points on the opposite side of the table. My opponent placed 2 88 guns in the center of the board which was very open. Knowing my Stuarts could not take much damage from these, I placed both my tanks and infantry on both flanks where they were protected by some woods and hills. The plt on my left got into a quick firefight with three PZ IVs hiding behind a hill from my Tank destroyers. My opponent was using the special stormtrooper rule which allows him to move 4" in the assault phase provided he passes a skill test to move out, engage my Stuarts, and then move back behind cover. With this threat I dismounted my infantry and attempted to move them through some woods to get a bazooka shot on the German tanks. In the meantime my Stuarts were dying, and some of my infantry took casualties from the tank MGs. Finally the tanks failed a skill check and were stranded in the open and my M10s were able to destroy all three, but without me losing a tank plt. and close to a plt. of infantry.

In the center of the board, I was attempting to get my air support to destroy the 88s, but to no avail. A mounted panzergrenadier plt was also inching along toward me to capture one of its objectives. Another plt dismounted on my right flank and was uing the MGs from the half-tracks to fire into my dismounted troops. I attempted to maneuver my other tank plt to fire upon the German infantry, but was not able to due to the 88s. Finally I was able to get two lmg teams into range of the 88s and put one out of action. My aircraft were only able to destroy one artillery tractor. The dismounted Germans did a good job of using the MG fire from their half-tracks to pin me for their infantry to assault my infantry. Once my infantry on the right flank broke, my company failed their motivation test and the scenario was over.

My second game was the breakthrough scenario and my tanks would be attacking. I placed both infantry and the tank destroyers on the table and my two tank plts in reserve. This time instead of 88s, my opponent had a plt of Marders on a hill and a pair of Pak 40 AT guns in the center of his line. Due to this threat I dismounted my infantry and sent the half-tracks to the rear. This proved to be a huge mistake. Again my Air Force was useless as they helplessly attacked the Marders. My infanty, without a ride, had to cross a huge open area. My tank destroyers could not dislodge the emplaced Pak 40s, but did destroy a half track. Once my infantry came within range, they were met with a hail of MG fire from the German half-tracks as my two tank plts refused to enter the table. Finally after I had already lost all my infantry, my tanks made an appearance, but had two plts of grenadiers and the marders waiting for them. My tanks destroyed some infantry, but the Marders killed all 8 Stuarts.

This was the first time I have played Flames of War in nearly two years and despite the outcome had an enjoyable time. A few lessons I learned the hard way:

Take into account the German stormtrooper rule. Try to have something ready to take a shot at anyone stuck out in the open if the German fails his skill check.

Don't rely on airpower for anything. In my two games I destroyed one artillery tractor.

Remember that if troops who double-timed are fired upon, the attackers get to double their attacks.

US LMG have a ROF of 5, even more than a HMG.

US infantry can dismount the .50 cal from their half-track and use it in place of a rifle team BUT YOU MUST HAVE THE MODEL AVAILABLE.


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Stephen Harper
United States
Maricopa
AZ
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Jeesh.....Stuarts and M10's against MkIV's and 88's. You must be a glutton for punishment!
 
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steve hedges
United Kingdom
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If you want the mobile option with a bit more armour protection, try 7th armd Div with Cromwells and Sherman VCs for a bit of punch. 7th armd are veteran, and although reluctant, the Cromwell protected ammo gives you 2 chances of getting back in. Cromwells are 'light' so can storm up the board. you can also play a Czech option where the tankers are only trained, but get an extra 4" move (ie an astonishing 36" in one turn if doubling!) Furthermore, the British tankers if firing long range and remaining stationery get to fire twice and reroll misses - making them formidable opponents in long range tank duels. You can take some of your beloved Stuarts as recce option - enabling them to sneak up in cover and get 'gone to ground' even when moving - till they get to a position to take on the inf with ROF 3 plus MGs, or engage ATGs

I have used 7th Armd twice successfully against German mech/tank forces (and once unsuccessfully although i didnt handle them well), although I havent been playing long. My oppo, a very experienced German player reckons they really give him a run for the money.

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