Thursday, 8 March 2012

FOW - Mid-War Panzergrenadier Kompanie Vs. Hungarian Motorised Company

A first meeting with the lessser spotted Hungarian, and as it turned out only about the 3rd time the lesser spotted Dave the Hungarian has been out in the wilds of the FOW world.  Given Daves (apparent) inexperience we stuck to a 2,000pts Mid-War battle, and rolled up the mission 'Surrounded'.  The Hungarians were happy to be stuck in the middle and left me with the first tactic decision of the battle, and one which I promptly got horribly wrong.

Surrounded allows the attacker turn one, but also gives the option of deploying a minimum of one platoon on each side of the battlefield.  Despite every instinct screaming 'don't split the army!' I couldn't resist and, guess what, split the army 50/50.  The pioneers got some mortar backup, a couple of PaK40's and the captured KV1e heavy tank to make sure the Hungarians on what I will refer to as the right side stayed put, while the bigger force of 88's, StuG's, HMG's and two panzergrenadier platoons (truck mounted) started on the left.

The Battle:
Having committed a glaring error already I then underestimated the Hungarians abilities, only to discover too late that they are essentially german grenadiers (confident veteran rifle/mg teams) but in larger numbers and with fewer decent support choices.  Their CO turned out to be highly capable as well, and notinexperienced as I expected.  His opening gabit was to use Recon moves to reduce the effect of opening salvo, then, with me managing to strand the StuG's in a nasty position on a hill he swiftly about-turned and agressively charged his T-38's (?) light tanks into their ranks.  It turned out that even their puny guns were enough to destroy two STuGs and give the third enough of a fright to scare it from the battlefield.

This happened simultaniously with his airforce (Stuka's, on the irony) wiping out the 88's while I bemoaned my shocking saving throws.  Suddenly the future looked bleak; most of my AT support had been wiped out, and my main assault of panzer grenadiers were on their own.  The only good news was that my KV1e survived an attempt on its life by the Hungrian pioneers, and they were worn down until they were almost wiped out.  My own pioneers and PaK40's were stalemated though, unable to advance in the face of mortars, Hungarian infantry and machine guns.

My panzer grenadiers attack bogged down in front of the (now virtually invincible) armoured cars and the infantry they were supporting and disaster loomed, I seriously considered surrender and starting again.  However it was too late in the evening to get a second game in, so I resolved to invoke one of my better traits - sheer bloody mindedness - and fight to the bitter end.

I concocted a high stakes plan with little chance of success using the KV1e to provide invincible support to the remaining grenadiers.  The KV1e part went well, and it stormed the objective, but lacked the firepower to drive off the surrounding Hungarians whom its armour made it almost impervious too.  The panzer grenadiers however took heavy casualties fighting their way towards the tank, and when the T-38's finally caught up to attack them from behind the two platoons were wiped out, along with the company CO, and I automatically failed the company morale check.  Defeat was mine.

Well that went badly.  Ably assisted by my glaring tactical errors the opposition proved himself a worthy opponent and I was soundly beaten.  The Hungarian infantry were as tough as the german grenadiers, and their anti-personel weaponry was enough to see off any infantry-based force.  Their AT was much more ropey, but I solved this issue for them by throwing away 25% of my army (the StuG's) for the cost of one T-38.  Against an armoured company they might struggle more, but dug in they will always provide a tough challenge. Their 'Hussar' move also gave me a couple of frights!  Hopefully I'll get round to adding some pictures inside the next week, but only a few have come out so don't put your life on hold.

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