Tuesday, 12 June 2012

FoW: Operation Sea Lion - Cauldron

Last Thursday saw me take a trip over to Adam's for another Operation Sea Lion game. As Adam was using his Paras I had to forgo my usual Soviets and switch to Germans. We had a chat about what mission to play and eventually settled on Cauldron with me as the attacker. My force was as follows:

HQ - 2 Panther D's
Panther Platoon - 3 Panther D's
Panther Platoon - 3 Panther D's
Anti-tank Gun Platoon - 2 PaK 40s
Rocket Launcher Battery - 3 Nebelwerfers

While I think Adam took:

Lt. Col. Frost
2  Paratrooper Plts
1 Paratrooper Plt w Flamethrowers
1 17 pdr Plt
1 artillery platoon (105s?)
1 6 pdr AT Platoon
1 Mortar Plt
Sporadic Air Support - Typhoons
plus I think he had some more stuff in reserve that never came on.

The initial terrain layout is shown below. I think the boards were from GW. Anyway the board had a very large hill off to one side with limited routes to the summit. I've never played a game with such a large hill dominating the terrain before but I quite liked it as it provided a new challenge.

A large hill overlooking a village in rural England

Adam deployed first and had to keep half his troops in delayed reserve. He choose to deploy two Para plts, the 17 pdrs and his howitzers. He deployed one Para plt covering each objective, his 17 pdrs were spread out to cover both objectives and his howitzers were deployed along the base line. I also had to keep half my plts in reserve so I just deployed my two Panther platoons.  I deployed one on the road up to the large hill and the other behind the cornfield on my right. This is where I made my first big mistake. I forgot to make sure that only one of the Panthers could be caught by a template. We then deployed independent teams. Adam put Frost up on the big hill while I had my CiC deployed at the crossroads and my 2ic in the cornfield where it could threaten the howitzers.

My Panthers waiting to attack the objective which is just
out of sight behind the trees at the bottom of the picture.

Adam went first and sure enough called in his Typhoons on my Panthers by the cornfield. He didn't move any of his forces as he was happy with them as they were. His artillery missed its target but the Typhoons rolled three sixes knocking out two of the panthers and the last one failed his motivation check. 560 pts gone before they even got a turn!

At least I had some luck and made a successful roll for reserves bring on my Nebelwerfers. Here's where I made my second mistake. I placed them in the cornfield which was right next to the baseline where Adam could bring on his reserves, more on this later. My other Panthers stayed where they were and mg'd one of Adam's observers killing it. My 2iC opened up on the howitzers knocking out one gun while my CiC  moved up behind the village to engage the troops on the large hill.

My 2ic lining up to shoot the howitzers

The place where my Panthers used to be!

My Nebelwerfers arrive

Next turn Adam again got his air support, not very sporadic if you ask me! Sure enough they go after the other Panthers. At least they are near trees so he'll have to range in to attack them. Again he doesn't move and he has no visible targets for his artillery. His Typhoons make their roll and range in, then open fire hitting two Panthers bailing one and knocking out another.

What's left of my Panthers after his Typhoons have finished with them.

On my turn I remount the bailed Panther, get my reserves again, PaK 40's, bringing them on near the cornfield. I leave everyone else where they are. My CiC and 2iC both miss. Dug in and concealed Fearless Vets are hard to hit. At least my 'werfers kill one of the Paras on the big hill pinning the unit.

Paras & 17 pdrs guard one of the objectives

My PaK 40's arrive from reserve

Turn three and Adam get his first roll for reserves and makes it bringing on a Para Plt with flamethrowers right next to my 'werfers. He leaves his other forces where they are and then opens fire on my 'werfers with the newly arrived paras destroying two of the guns. He then assaults them and wipes them out. That's two out of four platoons dead.

I continue to fire on his troops and continue to do no damage.

Turn four sees Adam bring on more reserves. This time it's four 6 pdrs. He moves them up to threaten my remaining Panthers. His artillery hits my PaK 40's but only pins them. In my turn I fail to unpin the PaK 40's and turn to face the 6 pdrs and their transports. My shooting destroys all the transports and one gun.

The after effects of my Panthers fire on the 6 pdrs

Turn five sees Adam bring on more reserves. This time it's a mortar section. He opens fire on my Panthers with his six pdrs but does no damage. His artillery again fail to hurt the PaK 40's.

Time to try and take the objective on the hill. I move up my Panthers and open fire on the paras and 17 pdrs knocking out one of the 17 pdrs. Which is a shame as it now means my CiC no longer has a target in assault range. So my two remaining Panthers assault. After some initial success Adam bails one of the Panthers and the other has to fall back. The bailed out Panther is captured forcing a motivation check which I fail, I also fail the company morale check so its a 6-1 win to Adam.

The aftermath of my assault

Overall an interesting game. I enjoyed playing on the unusual terrain. But I was well beaten by a combination of rookie mistakes on my part and dug in, gone to ground and concealed Fearless Veterans. I learned a few lessons the hard way so hopefully they will stick. I also need to rethink this force. It's really just a 1500pt all tank force I bought to help me learn the game. I added some random units I already had to make it up to 1750 pts but it's not a coherent force. So I've had a rethink and decided to go with the revised list shown below. It has the benefit that I already have all the models I need, I just have to get them painted up.

Confident Veteran Panzerkampfgruppe
Armoured Battle Group
German Late-War

Panzerkampfgruppe HQ p.5
2 Panther D or A or G 375
Combat Platoons
Panther Platoonp.5
3 Panther D or A or G 560
Panzer Platoonp.5
3 Panzer IV H 285
Weapons Platoons
Panzer Anti-aircraft Gun Platoonp.7
3 Sd Kfz 7/1 (Quad 2cm) 135
Divisional Support
Walküre Platoonp.11
Confident Trained
Cmd Panzerfaust SMG team
Rifle/MG team
Panzerspäh Patrolp.13
3 Panzer II L Luchs 145
Rocket Launcher Batteryp.14
Cmd SMG team
Observer Rifle team
15cm NW41
Company Points: 1745
Source document: Panzerdivisions Ost PDF


  1. If you ever figure out how to beat his Para list, let me know...I hates it I do.


    1. We all hate Adam's paras! But I reckon Ben's Hungarians with breakthrough guns could give them some trouble.

  2. Awesome battle!

    I would recommend something along the lines of:
    195 2 HQ Pz IVs + Bergepanther
    360 4 Pz IVs
    360 4 Pz IVs
    560 3 Panthers
    110 2 Mobelwagens (3.7cm)
    160 4 8-rads (2 platoons)

    That gives you 6 full platoons, plenty of vehicles, good AT, recon to prevent ambushes and lift gone-to-ground, and AA to ward off those pesky Typhoons. Also, I would recommend Jenka's article on the BF forum here:

    Hope that helps!

    1. Thanks for the feedback I'l take a look at that list.

  3. Good looking game and nice report. I'm glad you have added some AA to protect your panthers. I too have found Typhoons can seriously spoil your day if you're a panzer commander caught out in the open with no AA to help!

    1. Yeah it's getting that AA is a must for all lists these days.


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