Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bat Rep! Kradschutzen v. Panhorde (Our first early war game)

My homie Ben "Loon" and I are hard at work on putting together our early war armies. As you've seen from the blog I'm doing French, and he'll be joining with a German list.

Yesterday, we decided to put the paint brushes down and get in a game.  Our first in the Early War era (well, I played a few at NOVA last year but not with an army I'd want to play :) There had been much smack talk around the hacienda recently so we decided to put our money where our mouths are.

Ben is bringing his motorcycle gang (Aufklarungschwadron to you historically minded folks) while I'm throwing down the always loveable Panhards in a 1625 point hold the line scenario with the Germans on the attack.

First off, the lists!

Weighing in at 1625 points with 8 platoons, including the fearsome Bunkerflak, Loon brings the Nazi's on motorbikes.

And in the very very French corner weighing in at 1620 points with 8 platoons are the gentlemen in their armored jalopys!

Now, on to the game! (After the break)

The board, I chose the far (top of pic) side to deploy. 

I placed my objective in the trees (top left) and Ben placed his on the road (center pic)

Starting on the table were the platoon of infantry and the arty with the Somua's and the Laffly's in Ambush. The 3 platoons of Panhards and the Mortars are off board until turn 3. 

My plucky French post up, dug in and gone to ground, by the road objective in an area that will become known as "the cauldron"

Arty goes in the rear with the gear.
Ben put's the Panzer II's on my Left (mostly undefended) flank and the large portion of his recce, bikes and the Bunkerflaks on the French Center/Right. 

At the very beginning those Krauts get to recce move most of the army, of course Ben botches a series of bog tests. 

Resulting in a bogged bike and 2 bogged 6 rads. 

Despite the bogs, the bikes move up quickly to start getting shots off at the dug in infantry. 

Moving on the Right, Center and...

To a lesser extent on the Left.

I'm a little concerned early on to due to the lack of protection around my objective in the trees. 

Suffering more than 50 shots and 12 hits I lose only two stands out of my infantry platoon. PHEW!

The Somua's, skulking behind the trees, show themselves!

As do the Laffly's on the French right, to counter the PZ II's and the one bike platoon

My fire takes one team each from the bike platoons. But the cycles are undeterred and press home the attack on my infantry, moving up to where I lost my first two stands. 

The Laffly's move up and score a kill on one of the bike teams forcing them to displace

As the Somua's threaten to envelop the bikes going after the road objective

Withering fire from the French MG teams eliminates the first platoon of the game, those audacious German's payed for their insolence. 

But they decide to up the action! They send more platoons into the Cauldron, running one up to replace their fallen comrades and another to sit directly on the objective. 

Meanwhile, the Pz II's creep up and take some shots at the Laffly's

Scoring 1 kill. 

While the Bunkerflaks, lurking in the backfield take out a Somua

The other 3 read the writing on the wall and scoot out of line of sight in order to help defend the road objective. 

While the Laffly's open up on the Pz II's

Bailing 2 and killing 1... Stupid dice!

The Bike team on the objective takes fire from the infantry, losing 1 stand and runs away, right into the sights of my 1IC, who scores another kill on the unit. 

The other MG/Bike team takes fire from the Arty and the Somua's, killing 1 team and then they too disengaged. 

The Pz 2's Open up on the Laffly's

Scoring 2 more kills (but I make the morale) and then creep out of sight during their stormtrooper move. 


German bikes open up on my infantry scoring another kill while the Bunkerflak's take out my arty observer (who was in that building on the left hand side of the image)

First platoon of Panhard's arrive and double time it into the fray. 

The Somua's spread out to take shots at the Bikes while doing their best to stay safe from the Bunkerflaks

The Surviving 2  Laffly's displace in the face of aggressive movement by the German Bikes on the Left

Ben continues to be aggressive, pushing his Pz II's down the road where they miraculously score a kill on a Somua, and pushing two 6 Rad's right on to the objective. 

But the Laffly's take the devils due, eliminating both Recce teams. 

While the Somua's pin the bikes in place

And the Laffly's score 2 kills on the Left Bike team, who fails their morale and books it off the table. 

The bikes on the right look for another way in by sweeping around the trees. 

And the Bunkerflak's take out another Somua but I pass my morale! Are we sure these are French troops?

The Pz II's flood the objective and take out another Laffly, but the last one decides to stick it out. 

The center bikes begin to move up. 

And then all hell breaks lose. My last two panhard platoons show up. 

And begin to open fire. 

Along with the remaining Laffly and Somua they manage to kill all but 1 of the Pz II's. The cauldron is awash in smoking wreckage/ 

One of the 6 Rads sneaks around for a shot on my Somua while the remaining teams from one of the bike platoons sets up for an assault on the same. 

The remaining Pz II takes his revenge on the Laffly's killing the last truck!

But the assault on the Somua, which went back and fourth for 4 turns, fails to go the German's way. They lose 1 stand and fail the morale check forcing the last remaining team to bolt. 

The Germans have one last card to play as one machine gun toting motorcycle gang scoots up to the objective. 

At the top of my turn the Mortars show up but... meh?

My arty opens up on the bikes and...

Kills both!
The Somua opens up on the remaining 6 rad and...

Kills it!

The Panhard's open up on the remaining Panzer II and kill it as well. 

These guys were about to try to sneak around and take on the Bunkerflaks next turn when...

At the top Ben's turn he fails his company morale check, losing the game 4-3 to me! The French are victorious with the loss of the infantry platoon and the Laffly's while Ben lost 3 Bike platoons, 2 6 Rad Platoons and his Pz II's. Tough fight, good any time I can beat Ben :)

I have to say, Early War is amazingly fun! It's a very different world from the hulking machines and bazooka toting bad asses of late war. We both had highly mobile armies so the maneuver and tough tactical decisions we were both forced to make made the whole thing just a blast.