D-Day Global Campaign

Flames of War Global Campaign

Hard Charger

50 POINTS
United States
Harry Notcher
VS Axis
Hoffmann

HARD CHARGER

50 points - Annihilation

Veteran tanks of the US 2nd Armored Division race inland from the beaches, quickly linking up with the paratroopers, who have held out so far. But Jerry isn't sleeping and hastily assembles a force of elite Fallschirmjäger and assault guns to counterattack. As the best of the best approach a small village, there's no telling who will come out on top...

(A) 76mm Sherman Plt, (B) 75mm Sherman Plt. + Sherman HQ, (C) Paratrooper Plt. // StuG Commander to the left of (D), StuG Plt. above (D) // Fallschirmjäger Plt. left of (E), StuH battery to the right of (E)
An aerial view of the quaint French village.
US paratroopers, firmly dug in, denied the American right flank to the enemy.

Despite the Americans' swiftness in reaching the outskirts of the village, Fritz beat them to the punch and aggressively moved his troops into position to take it. Fallschirmjäger and assault artillery moved to seize the village, while the StuG battery's commander threatened the other flank, with the StuG platoon as the central element to provide firepower wherever it was needed.

The German guns roared to life first and displayed their incredible skill; despite the long range and the Americans' concealed positions, three shells hit home and tore one of the 75mm Shermans to pieces. The rest of the unit thanked god (the church had blocked line of sight to all but the one vehicle) and got ready to strike back!

The Fallschirmjäger soon reached the buildings at (G), overlooking the square, and had their flank secured by the cautiously advancing assault artillery.
The experienced German crews made short work of the one Sherman, that was unlucky enough to be caught in the open.

The American tanks rumbled forward, making excellent use of the available cover. The 76s would flank Jerry to the left, making life difficult for the outgunned and outnumbered StuG commander, while the 75s swung around to face the village center - out of sight of the StuGs and facing the infantry and StuH head on.

"Good hit, target on fire."

As planned, the fast and heavily armed 76mm Shermans made short work of the enemy commander. In the village the Fallschirmjäger were pinned down by mortar shells and their supporting assault artillery had trouble placing effective hits on the paratroopers foxholes.

In contrast of the stellar gunnery of the 76 platoon, both the command tanks and 75 platoon failed to score a single hit on the StuH showing its side armor. But how hard could they fight back against twice the numbers with their slow loading, two-part ammuniton?

With the tanks pushing into the village from their left and no suitable targets in range for their rifles, the paratroopers put their 60mm mortar to work against the Fallschirmjäger in the building.

Two explosions later the Americans had their answer: both HQ Shermans went up in flames, with the crews barely making it out. Following their supporting tanks' example, the Fallschirmjäger slowly crawled toward the enemy Shermans as well, readying their Panzerschreck. After a few near-misses and bounces, they convinced the Shermans to slowly retreat and spew their .30Cal and .50Cal machine-gun fire elsewhere.

The Sherman command tanks set ablaze by two expertly placed shells from the German Sturmhaubitzen.
"Na kommt doch her!" the Fallschirmjäger taunted the US tankers, who wisely kept their distance.
The powerful 76mm guns of the Americans working as intended.

The StuG platoon was caught in the open by the rapidly charging 76s. Two shells hit, one destroying an assault gun outright, while another one was abandoned by its crew. With his commander gone already and two vehicles down, the acting platoon leader decided to withdraw the remaining vehicle. The tide seemed to have turned for good!

"Vorwärts, treibt sie aus ihren Löchern!"

The Fallschirmjäger however had a reputation to uphold and wouldn't quit, just because they had lost 60% of their armor. The infantry pushed through the village to drive back the remaining two Shermans, while the StuH turned to make sure the American paratroopers kept their heads down.

A 105mm HE shell ripped apart the platoon's light machine-gun team.

By turning however, the remaining German tanks had opened up their weak side armor to the American tankers. The 75mm Shermans were unable to maneuver into a favourable position; to the front, Fallschirmjäger angrily waved Panzerfausts and all other routes were blocked by buildings and the wreck of their command group.

The commander of the 76mm platoon though was a hard charger and hastily gave an order to "just go". While the platoon advanced in a quite disorganized fashion, they managed to get the German assault guns in their sights and, with one of the unlikeliest hits ever witnessed by any of them, actually hit.

Utilizing the stabilisers at long range against a concealed target and confused by the platoon leader's vague order the 76s nonetheless landed a hit and saved the day.
The remaining Fallschirmjäger decided to withdraw and form a new line further south, vowing to be back soon.

STUNNING US VICTORY!

The game went back and forth quite a bit. Losing a Sherman at the very beginning by three hits on sixes was a heavy blow to morale. Especially because much of the US tanks' success would hinge on succesful Blitz orders, of which they failed quite a few.
Taking out the StuG commander and subsequently enough of the StuG platoon to force a test was a relief, especially when they actually failed the 3+ roll to remount and then the 3+ roll to pass Last Stand. With the StuG gone, the Americans could now push into the village more aggressively, but the Fallschirmjäger pushing back and actually having one of the Shermans bail out (which would have been catastrophic had my opponent decided to assault) almost cost me the game. That is because the paratroopers are a Support Unit and do not contribute to formation morale. Had I lost the 75mm Sherman platoon as well, that would have been the game for me. My opponent on the other hand, running a StuG Battery, had no such worries; all of his units were part of the formation.
I was really lucky with the final hit of the 76mm Sherman platoon (1 hit on 8+), that caused my opponent to not drag out the game unnecessarily and surrender. The Fallschirmjäger Platoon still could have threatened my 75mm Shermans, but his lone StuH would have had to test every turn anyway, so I could've driven away and won anyway.

Lessons Learned

- 50 points are enough to make for a fun game, but every team lost gets the heartrate up!
- I underestimated the Panzerschreck and my opponent's determination of putting it to use a bit
- His StuH could have caused great damage firing bombardments into my paratroopers, but didn't, as they weren't part of my formation. Still I consider this a missed opportunity by him. On the other hand, having them move forward allowed him to kill off 2 of my 8 tanks.
- 76mm Shermans and stabilizers are amazing, but you have to minimize effects like long range and concealment to make up for the stabilizers.
- Keep your commander close to your units, and try to not have him be the easiest target. :D We both last our HQ rather ungloriously...

All in all it was a fun game and a fantastic start for our participation in the campaign!

Cpt. Harry Notcher, 66th AR, 2nd AD

Movements throughout the game.

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12 People Recommended Harry Notcher for commendation

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United States
Harry Notcher
Wins

16 Comments

  • Harry Notcher says:

    Thank you very much, I’m really glad to see so many people enjoy the report! And I’m really excited to have my report featured on the official page! 😀

  • Recce Forever says:

    Congrats Yankee, excellent AAR, supportes by good pictures and asthonishing Geo support

  • Recce Forever says:

    Congrats Yankee, excellent AAR, supportes by good pictures and ashonishing Geo support

  • All American says:

    +++ Congratulations on Battle Report of the week !!!

    🙂

  • Harry Notcher says:

    Kantoken, I’m experimenting with a new way of portraying unit movement in the reports, it won’t make it into the next one due to lack of time, but I’ll try it in the one after that one. Thanks for giving me the idea!

  • Harry Notcher says:

    Thank you for your feedback! 🙂

    I’ll try and add 1-2 more maps for the next game (which we just finished a few hours ago), maybe, but I really don’t like turn-by-turn analysis and narration. And to be fair, this game did end rather abruptly.

    The small games are out of necessity. As you can see, not even the minis we currently use are fully painted and since it falls to me to paint both armies, it will take some time before additional units make it to the table.

  • Kantoken says:

    I would have loved to see the detailed map of where the troops were after every turn, because I was kind of surprised by the ending of the game. It was very sudden, and it didn’t like the Germans were losing that bad.

    Great vocabulary though (a lot better than the usual FoW AAR text), and good photo’s of the action moments.

    I’d advise against small games, however, as a single action (or unlucky roll) can have a too big of an impact on the game, and won’t have much room for mistakes (and through mistakes we learn the most).

  • James Westerfield says:

    Great report. Liked the use of the map.

  • Hoffmann says:

    As the opponent i must say: this was a nice and exciting game! iam still learning the game, so mayby next time… 😛

  • Harry Notcher says:

    Thanks everyone, very motivating to read your comments! 🙂

  • Otto Von Haberer says:

    Agree with all, expertly written report. Bravo!

  • Guderian67 says:

    Exciting report. Particularly like the map showing initial deployments; makes the photos and the text a lot easier to follow

  • Oberst Nagten says:

    Nice report

  • All American says:

    TOP NOTCH!

    10/10 and a commendation. Well written, photos well spaced. Even maps. Excellent.

    I agree on small games, they are a completely different kind of challenge. I played one today and it was great.

  • Red Beaver says:

    This is among the top reports posted so far. 10 stars and a commendation is well deserved.