jbertles Opponent

jbertles Opponent
Scenario: Wet Triangle
Player: jbertles
Opponent: Green Hornet
Score: jbertles 68 – Green Hornet 32
Group 2
jbertles email: [email protected]
Set-up
The Plan: Analysis of the map demonstrated that there were six possible passes through
the woods on the east side of the map. The three Panthers set up on the western ridge
could cover some of those passes, so the tank-killing infantry units were set up so as to
block the remaining passes. This enabled the Panthers to assume hull-down positions on
the left and center, while the right Panther’s role was to command the road down to the
intersection.
Note the position of the Ridge of Death to the south of the map, where the LOS of the
Panthers on the western ridge would really start to take effect.
Turn 2 – First Blood – looking east
At turn 2 my opponent rammed a tank force through one of the middle passes, and
although he was able to push a Sherman through, another got taken out by a Tank Hunter
team. This would be the only armor kill by the infantry. Note more armor approaching
on the right-most pass.
Turn 4 - Breakthrough
By turn 4 my opponent had broken completely through my infantry screen. Although I
only did manage to kill one M4/76, I certainly knew where they were coming from!
Turn 7 – Road Panther opens up
On turn 7 the Panther positioned on the road opened fire and quickly took out a Sherman.
Turn 9 – Road Panther knocked out
In the interval between turn 7 and 9 the center Panther opens up and scores an armor kill.
At the same time the left Panther moves up to another position to the left of the woods for
a better angle on the Ridge of Death. This was vital because it was clear that my
opponent had committed to a concentrated advance down the southern side of the map.
But near the end of Turn 9 the right-most Panther defending the road dies after only one
kill, which doesn’t bode well, percentage-wise.
Turn 12 –Ducks in a Shooting Gallery – looking southeast toward Ridge of Death
Here the two remaining Panthers are in good hull-down position and are just hammering
the armor coming across the Ridge of Death
Turn 13 – Facing South
On turn 13, a major setback. A gun hit on the central Panther leaves me with one
remaining Panther to deal with any other armor advancing – and that unit is in a terrible
position to cover the low southern shoulder of the Panther ridge.
Turn 14 - Dilemma
The illustration above shows the problem. My one surviving Panther was in a terrible
position to cover the open fields to the right. In order to get to a good firing position he
could take the quick but exposed route to the left around the woods. Or, he could take the
far less-exposed but much slower route (due to more turns) to the right of the woods.
In the event I chose to take the safer but slower route to the right.
Turn 16 – Fish in a Barrel
The slower right-hand route indeed allowed several T-34s to exit the map, but any
remaining armor that crossed my path once I had gotten into position was pretty much
dead meat.
After the final armor had been killed there followed a shameless mopping-up to the end
of the game – tracking down and killing every crew I could find. Here my anti-tank
infantry were invaluable in running after the crews and massacring them with their
SMGs. The gun-hit Panther even joined in the killing spree. I wondered briefly if this
was gamey, but after my recent crushing in St. Eds I decided I needed every bit of help I
could get (which was also gamey, but what the hell..). So I apologized to my opponent
(who was very gracious) and - crushed them like bugs.
What worked: The careful hunting for hull-down position was key in this battle. Note
that I never used the D command , but only eyeballed the possible hull-down positions.
But time after time the shells from the T34s would just bounce off the Panther turrets.
What didn’t work: The Panther on the road was too wide-open to a multiple attack from
the road and Ridge of Death, and died quickly as a result of not being able to be in a hulldown position.
My lucky break: My opponent never really took advantage of the smoke possibilities of
the Shermans. He was in an excellent position of smoking out my central Panther with
the Shermans still near the intersection, while moving his T34s up on the right (which
would be masked from my left-most Panther). But the only smoke that showed up
seemed to have been triggered by the reactive AI for the Allies.
Final thoughts: I really enjoyed this game, and not just because I managed to squeak
out a victory. The premise was good, and it was a fast and furious battle. As an exercise
in defense it was very edifying.
The main problem lies in the conception of the map. Terrain-wise the map is fine. It’s
just that it’s too narrow. I suspect that in RL a gaggle of tanks would try to break to the
sides to seek more advantageous terrain rather than advance straight at a defensive line.
Our game was essentially over by Turn 16, which still left a lot of time left that my
opponent could have used to maneuver around my more-or-less static Panthers.
MVP: Central Panther – 6 tanks, 13 infantry
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