After winning one and loosing one battle, the Romanians were still looking forward to their last Encounter with the enemy. This time, the faced it off with the British paratroopers. Fortunately, there was no option for an allied night attack as this was a Fair Fight battle. The enemy forces were an interesting mix. With a good amount of artillery, infantry and zero mobile anti-tank they seemed to have been built with offensive in mind.
Platoon 1: Full paratrooper platoon
Platoon 2: Full paratrooper platoon
Platoon 3: Para engineers (full platoon - around 9 bases)
Platoon 4: 4x 3" mortar
Platoon 5: 4x 6pdrs
Platoon 6&7: 2 gun troops of 75mm pack howitzers + medium battery support (5/2+ in repeats)
Platoon 8: another infantry platoon but can't remember what was it exactly
When I saw this force, I also remembered this article of mine. The big issue with the paras was that they lacked any meaningful direct anti-tank and only relied on repeat bombardment artillery.
In any case, we started off deploying on what was a pretty balanced table. I selected to have an infantry platoon, the Panzers, 47mms and pak40s in my first wave. My opponent put down 2 infantry platoons, one unit of pack howitzers and 6pdrs.
I started off moving my tanks slowly forward towards his howitzers.
First round bombardment by the Brits saw one of the panzers bailed. It failed to unbail next round, was hit by a repeat from the medium battery but fortunately rolled a 6 for the save. Phew...
During the initial rounds, there was not much going on. I could not really risk moving my gunline forward, since templates dropped from the little guns could cause damage which I wanted to avoid at this stage of the game.
The situation started to develop with the arrival of first reserves. I rolled my one die and got a success! Also, my roll for scattered reserves was not so bad since my cavalry was able to deploy 16" from my right flank corner, getting really close to the british observation post position with its first move. At the same time, the Panzers started harassing pack 75s with gunfire, hiding from advancing 6 pdrs behind a hill. The British anti-tank guns had a hard time to get to the tanks since they had to move across open ground and that meant taking some shots from the pak40s over on my left flank. Also, they were already reduced to 3 guns due to a bombing run by my Stuka plane.
On round 4 I already had 3 reserve platoons on the table (again got lucky with the reserve roll). This meant, I could start a heavy push on the right flank with Panzers, an infantry platoon and cavalry. In the meantime, my gunline was slowly making its way forward in the center and left backed up by a platoon of reluctant/trained infantry coming out of reserves. The shooting phase meant some success of Romanian troops again as my pak40s and Schneiders took out 2 more 6pdrs. On the other side of the table, Panzers were causing some casaulties on the exposed 75mm. Shortly after, my cavalry was assaulting a lone observer team to limit the visiblity of the howitzers and get a slight speed bump.
This tactic worked, as in the next turn, it was already assaulting 75mm positions. At the same time a shooting battle between my tanks and British guns was almost completely won by the axis forces. To add insult to injury, there were 2 reinforcements coming for the Brits in a place that was devoid of any major terrain. They were doomed right from the start (event though my opponent admited that he thought I would not send the Panzers to deal with them). They were easy prey for the tank mgs though. Too easy.
In the following turns, with right flank wiped almost to the last man, I switched the focus of my offensive to the left. There was a failed attempt of an assault on my part (with the reluctant/trained troops which managed to kill 1 base, loosing 3 in the process), but still the most effective tactic proved to be shooting everything that moved over on the British side with 2 remaining cavalrymen lifting gone to ground status and disengaging at the first signs of trouble.
To cut the long story short, with such a huge advantage in firepower I managed to kill almost every single platoon the Brits fielded. They tried a last ditch assault but it failed miserably (props for trying anyway).
Victory for the Romanians!!
I think the opponent lost the game with list design and deployment really. For the whole game, my Panzers were pretty much free to move around the board and kill whatever needed to be killed. If I was him, first of all I would not use so many infantry platoons with so little support. Also, I would put the 6 pdrs in a position where they would be able to support the howitzers without moving so much. Placing them on one flank, meant that I could wipe out pieces of his army at a time, rendering the rest completely impotent. Hopefully, this at least is a lesson learned.
With this game, I reached my 8th tournament game with this list, having a very good win ratio of 7/8. I really, really like it, although I think I can make a better one :)