After a short hiatus, I decided to bring my FJ army for a spin at my local gaming store PI.
Since I'm such a lazy git, I decided to use a similar list as my last FOW tournament albeit with some subtle changes. Here's the list played at 1750 points.
1 x HQ (IC,2IC)
3 x PzSchreck Teams
2 x Mortar Teams
2 x FJ Platoons with Pzknackers
1 x FJ Pioneer Platoons with Pzknackers + Pioneer Supply Truck
1 x FJ Inf Gun team
1 x Mortar Platoon (2 Sections)
1 x Luftwaffe Heavy AA Team w. Extra Crew
1 x Panther Turret
1 x HMG Nest
1 x Flak Nest
2 x 75mm PAK nest
It was an infantry heavy team but designed to make any opponent to grind through my troops before they are able to capture any objectives. But if I am the attacker (which is unlikely since I am using Fortifications in my list, which I will always be the Defender : P ) I will be aggressively massing my platoons into huge hordes and try to overwhelm the enemy.
So with that strategy in mind, I went down with my bro, Eddie (he's playing a Wiking list) and met the rest of the players who had scheduled to play on that Sunday. I was matched up with Derek, who lacking the infantry stands to play the Nisei list, decided to go full Armoured as the 2nd AD. He had roughly the following list :
1 x 2 Shermans + Recovery Tank (IC/2IC)
5 x Stuarts
1 x Recon troops in Jeeps
2 x Tank Destroyers (I can't recall whether they were M10 or M20)
5 x Shermans
5 x Shermans
5 x Shermans w. 76mm
1 x 105mm Battery
(Surprisingly...No Air Support!)
So we rolled for mission and we got.....Hold The Line!
It's kind of weird since now we got a classic Infantry vs Tank match up and to boot I have Fortifications. We quipped we are now fighting in Italy since the terrain table was hilly and had a church as well!
I chose the defending board and conveniently placed my Panther turret on a hill top and grinning widely as it is able to scan the wide expanse of the attacker's deployment zone.
My fortifications are typically placed up front in my deployment as I want to downsize Derek's tanks as much as possible BEFORE he reaches the objective markers. I deployed my FJ platoon near the objective and put my FJ Pioneer platoon in ambush. My Luftwaffe flaks was placed on the long road leading into the town and hope to be able to add to the expected carnage when Derek's tanks try to rush down. The rest (my mortars, 1 x FJ Platoon) were placed in Reserves.
Derek decided to put most of his tanks to one unprotected flank (but away from the objectives) and decided his Stuart platoons will act as a "forlorn hope" team by rushing over the bridge and straight to the objective despite the fact there's an 88mm Flak staring down them. (Did I mention most of my AT elements had open view of the tanks? )
Derek started first by rushing his Stuarts across the bridge and aiming straight for the little town.
His Shermans moved on my left flank and realised there's a minefield laid down the previous night by my FJ Pioneers! Tried smoking the bunkers but Alas this is FOW v2 (v3 will allow smoke bombardments on bunkers...) His Tank Destroyers and Recon troops inched forward as well taking stock of the scenic Italian landscape.
The 1st FJD was quite surprised with the courage of those small Stuart tanks as they crested the bridge and radioed their hidden PAK nests and Panther turret to trim them down. The drafted Luftwaffe flak crew trained their 88mm Flak on those diminutive tanks as well. A command was given and a flurry of AT shots which left four Stuarts in flames. The last remaining Stuart was resolved in his given orders and gunned through the smoking hulks. The other 88mm Flak for need of better target shot at the gaggle of Shermans and destroyed a dozer Sherman.
The last remaining Stuart tank passed morale check (he will survive till turn 6!) and move into the town. The other Sherman tanks moved nearer to the minefield. A platoon of Shermans moved across the bridge as well with trepidation as they saw the burnt out hulks of the hapless Stuarts.
My AT fire (Panther Turret, PAK Nests, 88mm Flaks) destroyed a Sherman and two tanks destroyers. My FJ Pioneer platoon decided to pop up from ambush and realised we can't assault directly. So they let fly their attached PzSchreck teams which destroyed another Sherman and bailed out another. No reserves came in for this round.
The lone Stuart shifted into the town and shot at my FJ platoon but they are too well dug in. The Shermans on my left flank tried to dig out my FJ Pioneer platoon as well with the same result. His Shermans on the bridge edge closer and knocked out my PAK nests. His 105mm howitzers now roared and dropped smoke on my now annoying 88m Flak. Derek now realised my Panther turret is causing a lot of trouble and decided to send his recon troops to scale the hilltop.
My first reserve came in (my second FJ platoon), they streamed down to stem the Stuart from causing more havoc. With PAK nests knocked out, I'm left with my panther turret and 88mm Flak. Shot up another Sherman on the bridge. My newly entered FJ platoon decided to assault the lonely Stuart but they were too spread out and got riddled by its defensive fire, they decided to back off and give it a go again next turn.
My recoiless guns give it a go as well (they were on my left flank as well) and rattled a Sherman.
His lone Stuart managed to clear off one of my 88mm Flak but realising he had left effectively two more turns to challenge the objective, disengage his Shermans from my FJ Pioneers and moved towards the town as well.The Shermans shot at my FJ platoon that had disengage from assaulting the Stuart and killed one stand. He dropped an artillery bombardment on my FJ Pioneer platoon to pin them down. His recon troop were still trotting toward my Panther turret. It was basically the make or break moment as Derek has left enough force to push through IF he doesn't suffer crippling casualties.
My other reserves came onboard (2 x Mortar Platoons, Kampfgruppe 2IC and HQ mortars) and got nothing else to do but picnic in the nice Italian town!
My Panther turret roared again and another Sherman blew up! My remaining 88mm Flak picked off another Sherman on my left flank. (there were two platoons of Shermans on my left flank which had been whittled to dangerously below half strength). My FJ Pioneer tried to unpin themselves and failed! (Due to uneven terrain, it was too muddy....blahblahblah....) My FJ platoon decided to throw themselves again at the Stuart, this time they had more Pzknackers with them! (my IC and the command team) and a burning Stuart marks the end of Derek's suicidal bunch of light tanks! My recoiless guns managed rattle another tank (recovery tank). The fight hung on the balance for Derek as he tries to minimise his losses but it seems too late.
The Recon troops had started climbing the hilltop and could see the Panther turret spitting fire onto their hapless Shermans. Derek had the remnants of about 2 Sherman platoons to push through. He tried to whittle down my FJ platoons but no success. His 105s threw a bombardment at my 88mm Flak which destroyed the remaining gun. Now Derek needs to hope that his tanks survive the turn.
My Panther turret picked off another Sherman and forced them to roll morale check but left ONE Sherman in the centre of the town. The Sherman platoon flanking on my left was assed by my FJ Pioneer platoon who flame throwered the tanks and cooked the Sherman off, below half strength, Derek failed the morale check.
Facing such horrendous losses, Derek threw in the towel and called it a day.
It was a pure lucky moment that I rolled the hold the line mission which is in favour of my force composition.
The fact that it was an open terrain which Derek struggled to overcome plays into my largely static force. It was a fun game and left us wondering if we are playing in Version 3, would the outcome be the same?