Last week, I finally got involved in our Firestorm: Lorraine campaign. So far, Matt and Pete have won one game each leading to the Americans crossing the Moselle and cutting off the Panzers in Luxembourg. I entered the fray by arranging a game with Pete, which meant that I would be commanding the Americans as Panzer Pete tried to break out of the encirclement around Luxembourg (I managed to lose the initiative roll). The scenario was 'Surrounded', and I imagine that the Germans had launched a series of encircling manoeuvres to destroy the Americans around Mairy (Pete spotted the chance to breach the US line and cut off the Tank Destroyers across the Moselle.
US 4th Armoured (Confident Veteran)
HQ Platoon - 2 M4A1 Shermans
Sherman Platoon 1 - 5 M4A1 Shermans
Sherman Platoon 2 - 3 M4A1 Shermans
Stuart Platoon - 4 M5A1 Stuarts
Tank Destroyer Platoon - 2 M10 Tank Destroyers + Security Section
Recon Platoon - M5 Half-Track, 2 Jeeps with AAMG, 3 stands + Bazooka
Infantry Platoon - 7 stands + Bazooka (FIRESTORM)
Priority Air Support (FIRESTORM)
Herman Goering Panzerkompanie (Confident Veteran)
HQ Platoon - 2 Panzer III
Panzer Platoon 1 - 2 Panzer III, 2 Panzer IV
Panzer Platoon 2 - 2 Panzer III, 2 Panzer IV
Assault Gun Platoon - 2 Stug G
Schwere Panzer Platoon - 1 Tiger 1E
Panzergrenadier Platoon - 7 stands
Tank Hunter Platoon - 3 Panzer IV/70 (FIRESTORM, Reluctant Trained)
I deployed my tanks within the town, trying to hide from the inevitable German long range barrage. The infantry platoon dug in out on a limb to guard the objective beyond the river, whilst the recon platoon cowered behind the stone wall of the field guarding the other. Pete massed his Panzer III's, Panzer IV's and Panzergrenadiers to the east. whilst the big guns were lurking in the woods to the west.
Did You See Anything?
The tank destroyer security section use their recce move to scout out the farm just in time to get eyes on a wall of German steel rolling towards the town.
Not So Clever Hans
The Panzer IV/70's (played by Panthers), the Stugs and the Tiger roll out of the woods but suffer a bout of failed bogging checks.
What Would Patton Do?
With the big guns stalled, I take the chance to launch a massive attack on the weaker German tanks. The Tank Destroyers appear to support the Recon platoon whilst the Shermans and Stuarts decimate Panzer platoon 2.
My 1iC takes the opportunity to destroy the isolated Stug.
Despite the clear skies, the USAF begin what will be an underwhelming performance as they miss the Tiger.
Watch Your Six!
Having gone all out to destroy the Panzers coming from the east, I left my tanks exposed to attack from the rear from the long range guns of the Panzer IV/70's and it cost me a platoon.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
In a delaying tactic, I pour smoke at the incoming Tiger to reduce its effectiveness.
Speed vs. Strength
I launch the Stuarts at the remaining German tank, the 2IC. Whilst the Shermans and the M10's move back to defend the bridges from the big guns.
Unable to hurt the German tanks to the front (save for the M10's, which were fluffing), I resort to smoke to hold them. However, worried about their flanks, the Panzers don't push through the smoke. Eventually the M10's find their range and the Panzer IV/0's are broken.
With the destruction of the Tiger, without their commander, the Germans are forced to retire. The breakout from Luxembourg had failed.
The German Panzer firestorm troops were captured on the retreat, leaving Luxembourg looking vulnerable. However, the important fact from the game was me learning that my peashooter armed M4A1's and Stuarts can beat German tanks if I use their speed and mass their firepower. I'll admit I still need to paint some of my own M10's but I was able to use speed and terrain to beat stronger tanks.