Still playing some early war desert games, this time I decided to set up a bit of a halfaya pass table and try out the breakthrough mission. I had a tank company so was the attacker this time.
I went for:
Panzer 3 Commander
4x Panzer 3
4x Panzer 2
2 Units of Armored Cars
2x Pak 36
Having guns in a tank list maybe seems like an odd choice but it was a couple of cheap platoons, and also I feel like having infantry is allot more viable in early war so having things to shoot at them is allot more important. Also Panzer 3s are crazy expensive and 2s are kind of crap.
The british had a guards rifle company, similar to last game but only 2 Matildas and a bit of stuff moved around I think the artillery added in.
Since I had tanks I was attacking so it was my job to get up the pass. This is another one of the missions I really like as it forces both sides to move around and make choices, and you can't just sit in one spot and wait until you win. So it's more interesting to me at least.
Here we are set up before recon moves. Have a big giant hill which almost fills a quater of the table with other hills and tombs. We are imagining that it slopes up from the bottom right to the top left. I figure the pass is not as hard and flat as the upper plains so we are not treating the sand as road this time just regular ground.
My plan here is for the Panzer 3s to stay as far from the Matildas as possible at all times and hopefully kill the artillery guns before we all die. The recon can harass, the HMGs want to pin the British infantry in place and amke it hard for them to go be on the objective and the anti-tank guns are now anti-artillery guns. I have the Panzer 2s in ambush as the breakthrough, and the brits have portee guns and carriers in reserve due to the mobile reserves special rule.
Turn 1 went very well for me, everything that could fired at the artillery and got me a kill, the infantry fired at the brit infantry which I used the recon to pull gone to ground from and got a kill.
The British came back with 2 guns shooting at my tanks but no hits due to range, and one at my cars but they disengaged. All the infantry and guns on the left made a run for the objectives, and the Matildas launched an assault on my guns position to try and foil my plan. But they got no kills and just pushed me back.
Turn 2 I kept my tanks moving away and hitting the guns, which got me another kill. My HMGs moved up on the hill to catch the running infantry and killed all the teams that were in range. The Matildas assauled a second time and got a kill a gun before I could break off. The artillery went for my armored cars who had been doubling all around them to try and cut them off. They got all but 1 but I passed platoon morale.
Turn 3 my tanks came in, very prompt! I kept circling my Panzer 3s around the artillery and killed the last two. My HMGs and extra stuff started surrounding the infantry heading for my objective. The brits took a risk and doubled the Matilda platoon, since I basically can't hurt them. The portee guns also game on and had a couple of shots but just got a bail.
Turn 4 the battle continues. I tighten the net a bit on the gone to ground infantry wearing them down bit by bit. My tanks moved and took a couple of side shots on the one Matilda. Was a chance for a double bail but I just got the bail. The rest shot up the annoying gun truck but one managed to survive.
The Matildas fired back of course but between them and the guns only got one kill. I was expecting it to be much worse, but when you think of the odds that is about right. At this point the Panzer 3s gave up going to the objective they just want to delay the Matildas now and keep them distracted. A carrier platoon also showed up and tried to kill my gun, but couldn't get past the gun shield and my sweet luck.
Turn 5 time to get an objective locked down. I played the same game with the Matilda again, no bail this time but I got the last truck. My one anti-gun fired on the carriers and got a kill and a bail. My Panzer 2s moved into position to block the british infantry from being able to contest. It turned out that they had stopped with the closest team just outside of range. I was thinking of assaulting with the tanks but was to scared, so instead sent in some armored cars. Even that was looking grim but we remember that the HMGs can't shoot backwards so they got in easy and took out a few teams. I failed my platoon morale and the british infantry passed theirs, but they were left pinned down.
The brits retailated as best they good, downing another panzer 3, and shooting up a couple of HMG teams. But their infantry was stuck pinned. A HMG tried to move for a lucky pin but no dice. Finally the commanders tried a desperate assault but failed a tank terror test. So I was left with the objective when it became live in turn 6.
So I actually won one for once! Nice. The Panzer 3s really proved their worth in this game I think just by surviving. I think it is worth choosing them over 4s having 3 armor all around makes life a bit easier. The 4s have a bit better gun but only 2 side armor. I only found that the gun teams worked out quite well, but allot of that maybe has to do with the mission.
I am really enjoying the desert games, and especially the mobile battles. The campaign starts on Sunday so hopefully that will be alright as well.