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Beautiful Wed Morning! (AAR-longish)

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Ok...I usually don't like to post AARs but this is a beautiful Wed. morning. From the very jaws of defeat the vaterland snatches a probable victory!

Setup: Major Players

3 PLTNs infantry

1 Panther

1 Ostwind

1 251/9

1 250/8 (75mm HT)

In the opening phases of the combat I catch a full platoon of Amis advancing across an open stretch of land. The FOs call in two volleys of 81mm and soon the scattered remnants are clutching their dying comrades and calling for mother. My 251/9 advances to a probable hull-down position to give the coup-de-gras when an unseen Greyhound kills it (1.03 so it was the 37mm or the 50cal). No matter I think I have a PShrek in ambush and a Platoon in fine cover about 150m distant securing my left flank. If the Greyhound advances any further he will be dead. In the center of my lines, 2 platoons go to ground and set up a firing sack for any Amis who advance towards the VL. The Ostwind pulls into a central location to support the coming metal storm. My Panther sets up hull-down in the centre of my lines drawing a bead on an advancing 76 Sherman. On my right flank the 250/8 scurries to cover at the bottom of a hill, behind a house. If things go as planned he can crest the hill in a couple of minutes and pour 75mm on the remaining Amis.

Next phase: The Greyhound advances to a point just outside the trip level of the ambush and...pastes the unlucky PShrek.

Next phase: Ok...I'll run my centre PShrek over to the left flank and get that Greyhound! The Panther waits for the Sherman.

Next phase: Disaster! The panther fires on the Sherman and gets a non-fatal turret penetration. The return fire from the Sherman bounces off the Panther turret face. Then...a second unseen sherman to the left of the panther puts a 76AP round through the side turret armour. The catastrophic explosion kills the entire crew and leaves a burning hulk in the middle of my lines. That hulk is the first thing I see everytime I load the following PBEM rounds. On my left flank the Greyhound has swung almost behind my lines. It is even money (bad odds) if he will kill the Ostwind. The weary PShrek that ran to cover the Greyhound from my centre misses his first and only shot (from 50m) and is summarily pasted by the Greyhound. Now I have only the PFausts carried by the infantry, the Ostwind (poor), and the 250/8 (poor) to deal with two Shermans.

Next Phase: Realizing the Ostwind needs a flank or rear shot on the Shermans for a kill I order him to get the hell-out-of-Frankfurt and swing around in a 3/4 map arc around my right flank where he and the 250/8 can co-ordinate (slim chance) an attack on the side of the Shermans. On a good note, the Greyhound gets a little too frisky with my left flank infantry and gets a catastrophic hit with a PFaust from 60m. Boom! The critical point is that there are no crew survivors so hopefully he is not going to see the Ostwind pull out and start his big hay-maker to right.

Next phase: Artillery starts falling on my 2 platoons and from his targetting I obviously need to move them around. Moving while under fire is not good and I lose one squad while another panics and runs. His infantry start their big push towards the center again and I don't have anything to stop them. I ask my 81mm FOs to target the forest VL which he will likely occupy by the time it arrives. His shermans pour on the 76mm HE (better for me by far than 75mm HE)

Next phase: His rightmost Sherman (the Panther killer) inches forward to get a better angle on my infantry. Now I've lost another squad and a HMG. The Ostwind is almost in position.

Next phase: My repositioned infantry and sacrificed HMG has slowed his advance slightly. I obviously will lose this battle if the hay-maker goes astray. The best I am hoping for us to trade one asset a piece. Then he has more than enough assets left to paste my remaining infantry and hunt down the surviving HT or Ostwind.

Next phase: Now or Never -- I set up the HAY_MAKER with the 250/8 hopefully cresting the hill at the same time as the Ostwind. They will each target a single Sherman. Unfortunately though it's time for me to run some errands and I email the movement orders off to my opponent. I preface the file with the message "Oooh boy....can't wait for the sparks to fly! Got 20min before I leave. If you can bounce the movie back before I go I would sleep easier wink.gif" NO JOY I must leave before the movie gets back and I replay the God-damn movements in my head all night. You know -- maybe I should have added a pause or moved that hunt a little to the right.

Well...It's Wednesday morning and ain't it a beautiful day. Liefembrach (sp) all around kamarades! I check my morning mail and there is the most phenomenal sight you have ever seen. The Ostwind pulls up and after three bursts of 37mm kills the "Panther Killer" while the 250/8 digs its first 2 rounds into the earth and puts the third straight though the other Sherman. The 81mm from 2 FOs are now arriving on the Amis infantry. I AM GOING TO PLAY THIS MOVIE EVERY MORNING FOR THE NEXT MONTH! Anyone want to see it? I am the GOD of tactics! smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif (fist pumping etc...)

Gawd I love this game.

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