Tuesday, May 22, 2012

German FJ versus US Stuarts in Late War Hold the Line

I had the chance to throw some dice against Alex's new FJ company recently. A great looking company constructed from Hells Highway. I really like that book and have made a few FJ lists myself from it but this time I would be facing them instead of commanding them. Alex made a very interesting version and included 4 x Panzers of the Confident Trained variety (two of them are Panzer III) and also made a really big Kampfegruppe infantry unit. It was the first time I played 'Hold the Line' mission from version 3 rules. When the 'No Retreat' mission was released I was no longer interested in playing HTL. No Retreat addressed a lot of possibly un-balanced factors that I struggled with like starting 24inches away as the attacker. This Version 3 HTL has 2 Ambushes but you deploy just over 16 inches back from the center so it seems OK.
I put together a Light Tank US Company from Turning Tide. I have used a slight variation once or twice before with no success but it is early days and I am sure that I can learn some tactics that will make a challenge for some opponents.
HQ 2 x Stuarts
Combat One 5 x Stuarts
Combat Two 5 x Stuarts
Weapons/Support Platoons
Recce Platoon with a Bazooka Team (on foot as I haven't built/painted them any vehicles for them yet)
3 x 105 Shermans
3 x Priest Battery with Sherman Observer Team
4 x 155 Self Propelled Guns
and an AOP

6 Platoons with 3 of them able to fire Artillery bombardments and all Confident Vets except the big SP Artillery. A fun list that I will try again.

Anyway I lost the game but learned a lot about my list and my tactics in using it. Stuarts with a 16 inch move = cool but, just because I can assault in Turn 1 (or Turn 2) probably doesn't mean I should. I went headlong at this one and perhaps that was role playing in the general spirit of how I recall a lot of WWII history when it comes to US armour or I have been thinking about Saga too much. Assaulting FJ pioneers is never a good idea unless they have been severely reduced but by doing so early I did manage to pop an evil Flame team (and a couple of other teams) but losing a Stuart Platoon by doing so was not a good idea so early in the game.
I sent a Platoon of Stuarts and the Sherman 105 platoon on an odd mission as well. A deep strike at the rear objective. It pushed the Ambush back but the FJ and Pak 40 Anti Tank gun platoon was not going to let the objective be taken. Anyway here are some images I captured.

Table Layout (I forgot to bring down my small box of linear items, Hedges and walls).
Pop goes the Stuarts (Cool flame teams...very easy to spot).
Big ambush getting deployed (Gulp!).

Despite the trees being temporarily removed this is a woods area. Now with a big 2 platoon Ambush to protect the rear objective.
FJ push out of the Forest and get pushed back from an Assault with Defensive Fire from the 105 Sherman.
Later on at end stage the 105 Shermans are gone.
My foot slogging Recce Platoon swung towards the near Objective but got Flamed then assaulted out of the game.

Alex's German Paratroop company had a lot of Peter Pig miniatures that I have never seen before (besides in blogs). The tanks while not finished have some excellent moulded on stowage and the PaK 40 Anti-tank guns have some cool camo material on them. Very nice miniatures.

A great way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon.
Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi).


  1. A great looking game. Very nice photos too.

  2. You clearly had a fun game. Nice buildings too.

  3. Thanks Scott. Yes...it was a lot of fun. It is very seldom that I don't enjoy wargames these days. The buildings are from Crescent Root. An excellent product. I don't think they get produced any more...not sure.

  4. Lovely looking game, thanks for that!