Panzerkompanie 21. - North Africa book
HQ: Pz III G + Pz IV F2 + Josef Rettemeier
Platoon 1: Pz III G + Pz III N + Pz IV F2
Platoon 2: Pz III G + Pz III N + Pz IV F2
Platoon 3: 2x 8-rad
Platoon 4: 4x Captured 25pdrs
Platoon 5: 2x Sd Kfz 10/5 (2cm)
Platoon 6: 4x Captured Honey Stuarts + Rommel
I kind of liked the opponent's list. It was a decent mix of firepower and assault capability, backed up by some recon and smoke. Maybe, it was a bit light on anti-tank but going against me it was not an issue.
Anyway, since he was leading a tank company and Romanian cavalry is mech I felt relief. With only 7 turns to hold out I was pretty confident I could make it on the defense. The table was again pretty even (good job by the organizers) so I picked my deployment and placed my objective centrally so that I would not have to run around the board like a crazy man :)
I deployed both platoons of infantry on the flanks (where the enemy put both his objectives) and stretched a long line of guns to cover as much table as possible. My ambush platoon were the German Pak40 guns.
The Panzerkompanie was deployed in two bunches - one in the center, to limit my ability to move forces from my right flank to the left one and possibly shift the direction of the attack if needed. The second one was placed on my left flank, right in the corner with most of the tanks crammed into a very narrow front. Also, Rommel was overseeing progress of this concentrated leftward thrust.
The opponent was trying to convince me that he is a newbie and to lower expectations by saying he only plays 2-3 tournaments per year but his opening moves did not reveal any incompetence whatsoever. All available panzers, Stuarts and recon went directly against my weak left flank. In his second turn, he was already assaulting. The first assault was initiated by a panzer platoon. He went in, survived the only defensive fire shot I could muster and killed 2 infantry bases, opening a route to bypass my troops in the next turn. I made my counterattack roll but with only 1 Vanator de Care and 1-2 infantry stands able to make it into strike range I decided to break off. I knew that if I would continue the fight I would loose all of them. Then came the assault by the Stuarts. This time, one of the two AT8 defensive fire shots connected and immediately destroyed an assaulting tank. Since some of my infantry was located in a forest, he had to perform a couple of bogging checks too. He made them and scored a few hits. This time though, I decided to stand my ground. I managed to get 3 Vanator de Care into combat, along with 4-5 regular infantry teams and as a result, 2 more Stuarts were burning. My opponent wanted to continue (since he knew he had to roll for platoon morale anyway) but his counterattack roll, repeated by Rommel failed. This way, by the end of 2nd turn I managed to get the Stuart platoon down to only 1 tank (he did not run away) and lost 5-6 bases of my infantry.
In turn 3 the tide began to turn in my favor. Even though the Germans were making pretty good progress on the left flank, my units were winning a shooting battle with the central force. In my shooting, I only managed to score 6-8 short range hits on his tanks but there were 2 cases where he failed his saves and I made my firepower rolls. The depleted platoon (which made the platoon morale check) started to withdraw towards the left flank. In the meantime, I started moving up my mounted scouts and Pz35s towards the endangered sector.
Also, turn 3 was the right moment to reveal my pak40 ambush. I chose a convenient spot, I marked my target - only needing 4+ to hit and ... scored 2 hits. Moreover, one of the saves was armour 6 and a roll of 6. I also failed my firepower test on the only penetrating hit I got. This meant that the panzer platoon, ambushed by the pak40 survived practically unscathed. I was afraid that this was the end of good luck for me.
Unfortunately for the opponent, he did not realize that it was now the time to strike against the exposed guns. He only launched some limited action against them and eliminated 1 and the command team. In the center, I managed to get rid of Josef Rettemeier, since his tank was bailed out and assaulted by my infantry. Also, my cavalry was shifting the direction of the counterattack more towards his deployment area since only one tank remained there and was bogged. Still, it was a long run to make.
Around turn 5 I have already withdrawn some units but felt pretty confident with the developments on the table. The Germans were still struggling to get rid of the pak40s before they could actually start working on the infantry hidden in the woods. His recon also got into a battle with my Pz35s but since one of them survived, I was able to pull them off the line. This has drawn the 8-rads close to my 45mm guns which have mercilessly pounded them with some anti-tank rounds. In the center, the remaining tank of one of the panzer platoons was still bogged and this seemed to be a very tasty trophy for my cavalry unit. I charged in and dismantled the tank without a fight. Consolidation move enabled me to close in on the German artillery unit and Rommel. Turn 6 was the first one where the enemy had to roll for his company morale. By then, he had lost: mobile AA, panzer platoon, Stuarts and 8 rads. He made his roll though.
This gave me the chance to do a complete wipe. A combination of a cannonade of the guns, an infantry assault on the remaining German tanks and a cavalry charge on Rommel and the artillery unit were all successful. There was not a single enemy unit left on the table. A complete victory for the Romanians and a bitter lesson for the 21. Panzer Division units.