Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Czech Panzerkompanie vs New Zealand Infantry in Hold the Line

Panzers ready to assault!

So now that the holidays are over, it's back to our weekly game night here in Gagetown.  Tonight, I played an early war match, 1390 points.  For my list, I took the following for my Czech Panzerkompanie from Barbarossa, Confident Veteran (except as listed):
HQ: 1 x Pz 38 (t) B, 1 x Pz 39 (t) E
Pl: 3 x Pz 38 (t) B
Pl: 3 x Pz 38 (t)
Pl: 3 x Kradschützen MG squads, with AT Rifle
Pl: 2 x NbW 35 (with spotter)
Pl: 2 x Flammpanzer II
Pl: 1 x FlaK 36 with extra crew (Confident Trained)

We rolled off for mission, and we got Hold the Line.  As a tank company, I had the honour of attacking. My opponent had an early war infantry company of New Zealanders.  He started with the following on the table, the remainder in delayed reserves:
Infantry Platoon
2 pounder platoon
Arty Platoon
The layout was as you see here
This is looking from my end as attacker.  He placed his objective in the back area surrounded by the hedges.  I put one there on the right, the German Cross.
I had three options.  I could go left, and strike deep at his arty platoon and AT platoon, I could go in the middle, turning near the rubbled church and then split the defences, or I could go right, and use the woods and the house there to mask my approach.  I went with the latter option.

This is how I set up.  I intended to use my recce move for my motorcycles to go for his spotter who was in the tower.  The two 38 (t) platoons would simply move up and engage his infantry on the objective, staying out of the line of sight of his AT guns in the back.

And my Flammpanzer II platoon would follow, getting ready to make some 'smores out of the defending infantry!

Hiding the fact that they are only primed, my Kradschützens move up on the spotter in the rubble.

Following my recce deployment, this is how I saw the table.  I was in position to go for his spotter on turn one, hopefully negating his artillery off the bat.

This is how my tanks ended up after moving on turn 1.  I was now within 16 inches of his trained troops: 5+ to hit!

Meanwhile, within 40 inches of the defending infantry, my FlaK 36 (work in progress, almost complete!) was ready to add its fire on the objective as required.

After assaulting and destroying the observer (who actually got a hit and killed a stand of infantry in his defensive fire), my dismounted Kradschützen platoon moves up to the woods to get to their attack position.

My entire company is in the attack position.  The infantry are within 10 inches of his, and the tanks are all within 16 inches.  My Flammpanzers are within 10 inches so that they can move 6 and spray their flames 4 inches.  All is set!

When you get this close to the killing, it's in black and white!  My two tank platoons move up for the kill on the dug in infantry.  All that remains to be seen is if the NbW platoon can smoke off the AT guns, which my enemy has skillfully placed off to the flank to cover this objective.

There's no kill like Over Kill.  Even my infantry have moved up, 5 MG teams ready to rip into the defending Kiwis!

Overview just as the NbW 35 platoon gets ready to attempt to range in for a smoke mission.  The rounds are in the air.  If they range in, the smoke will isolate the objective!

Aftermath!  The smoke ranged in, and the 2 tank platoons have cleared the objective.  They are consolidated now, awaiting the initial reserves.  With the defender's turn 3, there's a 1 in 3 chance that something will show up.  I'm ready for him!

Reinforcements!  New Zealand Valentines (proxied here by Pz IIIs, far right of the map) show up, and all they can hope for is to make a platoon roll off the table in a failed morale check, and for the arty to cause the other platoon to do the same.

The price of victory was too high for this tank crew, but it was enough.  The enemy arty failed to range in, and though they scored 2 hits on the Pz 38 (t) platoon, one bounced.

End Score: 6-1 for the Germans

Key Lesson:
For me, the key lesson was capitalizing on the terrain to make the most of my combined arms.  My infantry cleared the route to the objective: if the enemy observer had been left alone, then his guns could have disrupted my attack throughout my depth.  My tanks stayed out of the line of sight of his AT guns in the hedges, and used their mass firepower and shock action to clear the enemy objective.   This was made possible by the effective use of smoke to isolate the objective.
Finally, speed was of the essence.  With only three platoons on the table to start, I had to act with speed of thought, not rashly, in order to take and hold that objective.


  1. Nice write up and a great result too! Classic German precision and efficiency at work :-)

  2. Thanks. The dice in this one were about even: no really odd results. And my opponent even got his reserves on his first opportunity.