Friday, January 27, 2012

Australia Day - EW North Africa Escalation League (6)

Last night I celebrated Australia Day  by going to Adler Hobby for one of my infrequent Thursday night visits to play in the early war North Africa FOW escalation league. I missed this past Saturday due to other commitments so I wanted to get in a game or two. My first game was a 1750 point game using new scenario called "Pincers" which will be in the new 3rd edition book. This scenario had my Australian infantry deploying half their force with delayed reserves against Adam's attacking German armor force.

Adam's force contains two platoons of tanks: one Panzer IVd and one Panzer IIc along with some pioneer infantry, a battery of 10.5cm leFH18 artillery and a single 88 AT gun. Very high quality, but low quantity. My Australians are quite the opposite, I had ten (10) platoons all fairly inexpensive, with the exception of my battery of OQF 18/25 artillery. To reach 1750 points I to have to use everything I have painted up for the Aussies, including much to Adam's dismay three platoons of AT guns and two platoons of light Italian tanks (which never got to the battle).

I was afraid of being overrun by Adam's tanks early so I deployed both of my infantry platoons on the table to act as a 'speed bump' delaying force while I waited for reserves. Behind them I put my artillery in a direct-fire position supporting the infantry, one platoon of captured Italian 47/32 AT guns on one flank and I held a platoon of 2 pounder AT guns in ambush. They were placed interspersed with the artillery on my first turn.

This was a tough draw for Adam as far as match ups go. My AT assets are a nightmare for a small tank force and I had early success with my 2 pounders and 18/25 artillery firing over open sights against Adam's Panzer IVd platoon eliminating it, and my Italian 47/32 AT platoon scored just enough bails and kills on the Panzer IIc platoon to cause it to take a platoon morale check which it failed. I also was VERY lucky with all my saves from Adam's artillery and 88 hits in his first turn making 5 gun saves in a row - all sixes, three in one turn shown above.

Adam took everything in stride and was an excellent sport about it and chose to continue attacking with his infantry. He knew it was a lost cause, but took the sportsmanly route to finish the game aggressively rather than concede the game early. I have to compliment him on this I can't say I would have had the fortitude not to toss in the towel. On my third turn I received one reserve unit and chose my scout patrol of six Bren carriers. With Adam's tanks all but eliminated the bristling Bren and Boys guns on the carriers made short work of the remaining infantry. For Australia day my troops were able to celebrate a victory.

Our first game finished so quickly that we finished before Gordon and Chris could finish setting up their game. Instead of sitting around Adam offered me a re-match with his Free French against my German Stutzpunkt. For this game we had to play at 1250 points as that's all the Germans I currently have painted up. We rolled in Gordon's new random scenario book and drew the "Counterattack" scenario that neither Adam or I had played before which had me defending one corner while Adam attacked it or another objective in the corner opposite his deployment. I was fortunate in that I only had one platoon with vehicles (four Panzer IIc tanks) so I was able to start with my entire small force on the table. Adam's giant free French force also started on the table and Adam wisely used his national ability to move the unguarded objective even closer to his deployment zone.

With recon moves and first move Adam was contesting that objective on turn one. We miss-read the objective and didn't realize that the objectives don't go 'live' until turn six (6) so I double timed my Panzer IIs to contest bogging two on the railroad tracks and another in the rough terrain near the objective. A single brave Panzer IIc stood between me and defeat! Adam was able to soften up my Stutzpunkt by surgically destroying my gun bunkers with his artillery direct fire and silence the rest of my static forces with smoke and pins from his copious mortar fire. My Stukas were ineffective all game so it was up to my Panzer IIs and a tiny infantry gun platoon to secure the remote objective. My MG gun pits seemed to be holding the line on my objective.

Honestly I thought this game was all but over on turn one. After 6 more turns Adam's Hotchkis tanks and my Panzer IIs were still at a standstill although I was able to dispatch his Australian Bren carriers and most of one of his AT platoons. In the end we had to call the game at 1am as a draw. This was a MUCH more exciting and fun game than the first one. I only wish we could have played it first so we could have finished it.


AdamC1776 said...

1st Scenario was Pincers. 2nd Scenario was Counter attack.

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Thanks Adam. I've updated the blog post. I'm glad ONE of us didn't space out on the scenario names.

AdamC1776 said...

Well I was the one with his 'dice' in between the pincers ;)

DeanM said...

Great looking game - awesome terrain! That dice pit has me thinking about trying something similar out - it would definitely keep the table a bit tidier. Dean

RazorOne223 said...

Thats a nice looking setup you have there. Also I wanted to say I like your work, keep it up!