Saturday, 18 June 2011

LAAR: 9.SS-Panzer vs 15th Scottish (Operation Epsom)

Hi! Blackwolf here again with another AAR. Once gain its Griddon vs myself, Britain vs Germany, in an epic struggle to claim Normandy and all its fat cattle. The game took place at our local club, the Western Suburbs Wargames Association. My 9.SS-Panzerdivision ‘Hohenstauffen’ boys were pitted against their familiar enemy, the lads of the 15th Scottish Division.

The Lists
For a bit of fun, I decided to write my list from the ‘Panzerregiment Bake’ PDF from the Battlefront website (You can find it here).

9.SS-Panzerdivision – Confident Veteran

HQ – 1 Panther
Panzer Platoon – 3 Panthers
Schwere Panzer Platoon – 3 Tigers
Rocket Launcher Battery – 3 Nebelwerfer NW41’s + 1 PaK40
Gebirgsjager Platoon – 3 squads + Panzerfaust upgrade

Griddons list was the same as from our last AAR (found here), from Fortress Europe.

15th Scottish Div - Confident Trained

Rifle Platoon – 3 Squads
Rifle Platoon – 3 Squads
Rifle Platoon – 3 Squads
Anti-Tank Platoon – 2 6 pdr’s
Machine-Gun Platoon – 2 sections + carriers
Tank Platoon – 3 Churchill VI’s + aplique armour
Tank Platoon – 3 Churchill VI’s + aplique armour (only on 2)
Anti-Tank Platoon (SP) – 4 M10C’s
Field Battery, Royal Artillery – 4 gun sections

We rolled for the mission and got Breakthrough. I would be the attacker, being an armoured company.
Griddon deployed first, but had to hold 2 of his 3 armoured platoons in reserve due to the ‘mobile reserves’ special rule. He deployed a rifle platoon and a Churchill platoon on one flank, with the other two rifle platoons, 6 pounders, machine-gun platoon, and eight gun battery deployed on the other, more wooded, flank.
I chose my infantry platoon for the flank attack, then deployed the rest of my force, with the Nebelwerfers in the corner, the Tigers facing the eight gun battery, and the Panthers on a hill facing the Churchills hidden behind another hill.
The eight gun battery of 25 pounders
The two objectives near an orchard
The Churchills and Rifle Platoon, playing 'face off' with the Panthers
The German deployment, with the Tigers facing the 25 pounders right of screen

Early Action
My Panthers rolled towards the centre of the battlefield, with one of them able to draw a bead on a Chruchill. It cracked off a shot, and was rewarded with the sight of the Churchill brewing up. First blood to the Germans! (To make it even sweater, it was the platoon leader that was killed, this Churchill platoon would take no further part in the fight). The Nebelwerfers zeroed in on the opposing eight gun battery, knocking out a 25 pounder, and pinning the platoon. The Tigers, who had sat still, opened up on the enemy artillery too, but failed to hit anything.
As is normal for Griddon, he was able to roll up a reserve immediately, and brought his M10C’s on next to his Churchills, who were able to hit a Panther in the rear and knock it out. The Panthers had stormtroopered after killing the Churchill, and exposed their backsides! The Tigers received some attention from the 25 pounders, firing direct fire smoke rounds.
The M10C’s received some unwelcome attention as the Rocket Launcher Battery’s PaK 40 slammed a couple of rounds into them, followed by some accurate fire from the HQ Panther. When the smoke cleared, 3 M10C’s were burning. The remaining Panthers assaulted the Rifle platoon emerging from the farmstead, but lost a tank to a Piat, so the surviving tank beat a hasty retreat. Meanwhile, the Tigers edged closer to the 25 pounders while the Nebelwerfers caused some minor casualties amongst the opposing artillerymen.
The victorious Rifle Platoon, fresh from their victory over the Panther Platoon, chasde down the HQ Panther and knocked it out in assault. These guys seem to have a taste for big cats ;) On the other hand though, another Rifle Platoon fails its motivation test to assault the lone surviving Panther. The 25 pounders take revenge on the troublesome Nebelwerfers, smashing 2 of them in a barrage.
The 25 pounders direct fire smoke rounds at the Tigers
A Rifle Platoon emerges from the farmstead
The M10C's pop a Panther from a hull down position
A Rifle Platoon prepares to assault the HQ Panther
The PaK40 lining up the M10C's in the distance
Mid Action
The Tigers, deciding to finally get in on the action, assault the 6 pounder’s, wiping them out, but leaving one tank bogged on the edge of the wood. The surviving Panther heads straight for the objectives, parking next to an orchard.
The Panther killing Rifle Platoon decide to try their luck with the Tigers, charging into assault. After a lot of back and forth, which saw 2 Tigers bailed and 3 infantry stands die, the Rifle Platoons nerve finally falters, and they flee from the surviving Tiger. The other 2 Rifle Platoons, having closed the distance, also try to assault the Tigers, but their morale fails them both, the Tigers obviously looking very menacing. By now the last Churchill Platoon has shown up from reserve, driving on next to the other Churchills and the burning M10C’s. They double time their way towards the objectives.
The 25 pounders fire another ‘stonk’ at the Nebelwerfers, blowing up the final rocket launcher. The platoon leader and PaK40 fail their motivation, and flee the field of battle. The surviving Panther edges its way around the orchard, and fires on the charging Churchills, managing to bail one. The Panther then stormtroopers back out of sight. Meanwhile, the bailed out Tigers remount, and the platoon moves toward one of the Rifle Platoons that failed to assault them. After some effective MG fire, the Tigers charge in and kill off a few more infantrymen. The Rifle Platoon break off, not quite as brave as their Panther killing brethren.
The Rifle Platoon take out the HQ Panther
The blood soaked ground marks where the Nebelwerfers used to be
A second platoon of Churchills passes an allied tank graveyard
The Tigers, having just seen off an assault by some brave Brits
Every German anti-tank gunners dream
Late Action
The Churchills edge closer the Panther, while 2 of the Rifle Platoons fail to unpin. The 3rd fails its motivation to assault the Tigers. Meanwhile, the HMG Platoon has positioned itself to overlook the objectives.
The German flank attack finally shows up, with the infantry platoon moving up behind a hill, staying out of line of sight of the HMG Platoon, but getting close enough to an objective to be able to claim it next turn. The Panther pops out from behind the orchard and fires on the approaching Churchills, smashing a round through the front of an oncoming tank.
The 25 pounders zero in on the newly arrived German infantry, killing a stand and pinning them down. The Churchills, not able to hurt the Panther from the front, fire smoke at it. There’s not much more the Brits can do, and as turn 6 starts, we find that the surviving Panther is within 4 inches of an objective, and the battle ends.
The Tigers finally break free of the British Infantry, a bloody trail left in their wake (and one bogged Tiger!)
The Rifle Platoon that would never pass a motivation to assault the Tigers
A Churchill burns after some accurate fire from the Panther
After Action
I got pretty lucky early on in this game, killing the Churchill Platoon leader. The rest of the platoon remained stuck behind a hill for the rest of the game. Also, 3 long range shots from the Pak40 and HQ Panther resulting in 3 dead M10C's was an awesome stroke of luck. The surviving M10C had no bearing on the rest of the battle, meaning my tanks only had to worry about the hordes of British infantry swarming around them.
Griddon's luck ebbed and flowed. He was able to get both of his reserve platoons with his first 2 reserve rolls (A feat he performed in our previous battle too!), but then his luck turned sour as his infantry failed most of the motivation tests to assault my tanks.
A great game, with lots of blood spatters and burning vehicles, just the sort of game I like!
Here's some final shots of the battle. Enjoy!

Total carnage on this side of the battlefield
The Panther, just holding the objective
The 25 pounders, didn't have much impact, other than to silence their opposite number in the Nebelwerfers.


  1. Excellent AAR! Great pics, models, and terrain!

  2. Thanks Steven, I have to say, we at the Bunker draw a lot of inspiration from you WWPD guys, including the blood spatters!
    Pics arent the best, the lighting at the club is quite poor when the sun isn't shining. I must remember to get more close ups in the future too. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the AAR :)

  3. love the terrain and figures, great job.

  4. Hanging my head in shame again a bit here. Man, yesterday was an exercise in my not engaging my brain at all. What I like about FoW is that it really rewards careful thought, planning and execution. I had no plan and I screwed up what little of it I did have with execution.
    1) Idiot move having my Troop Leader on the Churchills being nearest the edge of terrain.
    2) Didn't really plan on sending infantry after the objective to sit tight so when Mat broke free I had to hope that I could knock out enough stuff to force a Company check. Didn't happen.
    3) M10Cs are still a learning point for me. Love the idea and I'm toying with Task Force A soon so I must learn an appropriate way to use them. When Facing the big cats, especially Tigers, I'm needing them to do some serious damage.

    Good games Mat. Great learning as always. I'll have to vary my force soon so these AARs don't get boring. Might replace the 25pounders with some mortars and get some Commandos on board. Dunno.

  5. Griddon, it didn't even pop into my head that I had taken our the troop leader until you swore, haha.
    Personally, I think you're a better FoW player than myself due to the fact you've used the same list over and again. I like to chop and change too much, so never really get to practice with the same list.

    Cbaxter, glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Something to be said for sticking to the same list for a while. You really can develop the best way to use it most of the time.
    Great report guys.