On arrival, Rob and Mark had already started a game with Rob trying out a small Russian force against Mark's Brit's.
I'm not sure of the end result, but there was a lot of moaning about the ineffectiveness of inexperienced troops! I'm sure Rob will blog about the game.
Phil had been patiently waiting for my arrival, so he was keen to get a game going. Now, Mark has his sights set on attending MOAB this year, so he was keen for us to try out the BA season 2 rules that can be found on the WWPD network site (it's in this download section).
5pt LMG's... higher rof MMG's... restrictions on flamethrowers.. who was I to argue!? :-)
So after some minor list tweaking to my standard 1000pt list, this is what I would be running:
Reg. Second Lt. + 1 team mate
Reg. 8 man squad (2x smg, 1x lmg)
Reg. 8 man squad (1x smg, 1x lmg)
Reg. 9 man squad (1x smg)
Vet. 6 man squad (5x smg, 3x panzerfaust)
Reg. medium mortar + spotter
Reg. light howitzer
Reg. medium machine gun
Reg. sniper team
Reg. StuH 42
Phil was running his USMC and I have no idea what it consisted off other than 13 units, a large majority of which were small 2 or 3 man teams. I think he had 3 infantry squads and 1 engineer squad. He also had a forward air observer... :-( Oh and he had a Stuart.
Anyway, we decided to play a mission (something we don't do often enough) and "Envelopment" was rolled up. I got to pick and chose to be defender. It seemed the more sensible option based on the terrain and forces present. That put Phil in a bit of a predicament having only infantry and no transports to get across the table....
I deployed on the near side and started to set-up. As I completed Phil advised that 5 of his units were going to try for an outflanking maneuver! 5!? Why did I suddenly feel very worried....
Then it was time for the preliminary bombardment. Which did arrive and annoyingly put 2 pins on pretty much all of my deployed units.
It got even more annoying when I tried to active units in turn 1....
Still... with so many units trying to outflank and only support units deployed, Phil was unable to capitalise on my forces ability to do very little. Not a lot happens in the first couple of turns. Perhaps the only event of note is that my StuH 42 arrives and is immediately targeted for an air strike.
My Puma and the Stuart spend a couple of turns playing cat & mouse...
Before the StuH 42 catches the Stuart in the rear and rather large shell makes a rather large mess.
By now it is turn 4 and the outflanking forces are starting to arrive. The Engineers first...
Right in front of one of my squads. Phil smiles. Points out his flamethrower team, counts up the rest of his dice and remind me about point blank range.
Here's the results of his shooting....
1 pin marker :-) The season 2 rules mean flamethrowers have to roll to hit. Phil rolled a 1. They still have to roll to check fuel even if they miss. Phil rolled another 1. The flamethrower had just fizzled out. Unfortunately for him he failed to convert any of his hits from the rest of the unit into casualties.
I honestly thought that unit was toast, so I was amazed to see it survive pretty much untouched!
Retribution on the Engineers was swift.
I was still worried though. More outflanking units were due to arrive and I just didn't have enough forces on the flanks to stop them..... particularly when Phil just had a couple of units arrive and advance straight of my table edge (the delay to them arriving meant they could deploy further on with enough movement to exit the table).
But. There was a but. My forces were taking a toll of what was deployed and the units that had arrived on the flanks. I'd got enough across to stem the tide. As we entered turn 6, Phil only had a couple of units left. 3 had made it off my table edge. The rest had been destroyed.
Remember that air strike, well it finally turned up in turn 6.
And Phil rolled a 1 giving me control. The air strike and my sniper finished off the remaining USMC units (only time my sniper did something all game!).
End result 20 vp to 11. A very decisive win for Germany in the end with the USMC force decimated.
Putting such a large number of units into the outflanking maneuver was certainly interesting and had me worried, but they effectively came on piecemeal. I suspect Phil would have been better off deploying more of them as first wave and trying to capitalise on the first couple of turns where I was at a disadvantage. Numbers and marching fire may have made more of a difference there, but as Phil pointed out, he was on foot. There weren't enough turns to run/walk across the table. I suspect this game was won on the choice of attacker/defender.
From there it was onto game 2. The Russian horde!
Rob worked out a 1000pt list and bulked out his numbers with a few Japanese models. IIRC the list was something like...
Lt. + 1 team mate
2x Inexp. rifle squads
2x Reg. rifle squads
1x Reg. medium MG
2x Reg. anti-tank rifles
1x Reg. sniper team
....and an ISU-122. Crap. That thing is huge. I wasn't even sure I could scratch it.
We rolled up a mission. "Maximum Attrition". I looked at the ISU-122 again and sighed.
The game started and we both advanced cautiously. Except for some Russian nutters in a truck...
A lucky rifle shot got a pin on them, but it didn't even slow them...
I toyed with the idea of trying to get my Veteran's over to it to see what their panzerfausts could do, but the truck sitting next them was just too tempting....
It all boiled down to this though. My Puma had a chance. A slim chance, but it could hurt the ISU-122.
I rolled to hit.
A 6! A promising start.
But now it was the important roll. I really needed another 6.
I got a 5. Still, that was a glancing hit!
-3 on the damage table for glancing hits. Really!?
I'd hit the fuel tanks. The ISU was on fire! It was too scary for the crew, they scarpered (failed morale check) meaning the ISU was destroyed. I nearly kissed my Puma :-)
That pretty much ended the game for Rob and Russian's as he struggled to hit my units and I was able to get the pins mounting up on his units. Still it was hard work actually trying to destroy them.
7 - 2 to Germany.
A pretty good day :-)
As for the season 2 rules. I can't say I noticed a big impact. We don't use AT guns or a lot of transports, so most of the rules changes don't effect us. The only point where it really did was the to hit roll for the flamethrower. Under the normal rules, my unit would have been toast, but I can see why there is a desire to reduce the effectiveness of flamethrowers. No complaints from my side on this one.
I need to remember the one about fixed weapons being able to rotate and fire at a -1. I missed a chance to fire my light howitzer in the first game when it rotated.
We'll continue to give them a go over the next few weeks. Maybe I should add in my Pak 40 to give it a go.
We'll see :-)
Thanks for reading!