Devil's Brigade - First Special Service Force vs 26. Panzerdivision Panzerkompanie

Allies: 4 | GenPatton88
Axis: 3 | ColJohan

This was something we had talked about amongst ourselves, what would happen if a highly trained and motivated infantry force ran into an Armored unit. Normally you'd think the tanks would mow down the grunts. However, both of us being old foot trooper (well I am, ColJohan had been in several types of units) we figured we'd try a mission where the tanks didn't know where the grunts were coming from. We set up a Cauldron mission, which neither of us had played before, with the Americans (me) as the attackers. I opted for lots of terrain (woods, hedges, walls, anything that gave me concealment and hopefully bulletproof cover).

German Forces: 26 Panzerdivision Panzerkompanie
Panzerkompanie HQ (2 Panzer IV H and Bergepanther rec veh) 195
Panzer Plt (5 Panzer IV H) 450
Panther Plt (5 Panther G) 940
Schwere Panzer Plt (2 Tiger I E) 430
Total 2015

American Forces: First Special Service Force
FSSF HQ (CiC smg tm, 2iC smg tm, 2 bazookas, 3 snipers) 215
FSSF Plt (Cmd smg tm, 60mm mortar, bazooka; 2 sec of 3 rifle/mg tms) 230
FSSF Plt (Cmd smg tm, 60mm mortar, bazooka; 2 sec of 3 rifle/mg tms) 230
FSSF Plt (cmd pioneer smg tm, 60mm mortar, bazooka; 2 sec of 3 pioneer rifle/mg tms) 265
463rd Parachute Artillery Battery (cmd carbine tm, staff tm, obs carbine tm in jeep, 2 sec of 2 M2A1) 210
Corps Field Artillery Battery 155mm (cmd carbine tm, staff, obs in jeep, 2 sec of 2 M1A1 155mm How) 250
Naval Gunfire Support (Light Cruiser) 250
Anti-Aircraft Artillery (SP) Plt (2 M15 CGMC and 2 M16 MGMC) 200
Priority Air Support (P-40 Warhawk) 160
Total 2010

As he only had three plts John held his Panzers in reserve and placed his Panthers, holding his Tigers in immediate ambush. with 6 plts I had to hold back three (both FSSF plts and the anti-aircraft plt). The random deployment had my 463rd Arty very close to the Panthers but my Corps arty and FSSF pioneers off in both right corners.

On turn 1 The Tigers revealed themselves on the far side of his deployment zone and facing my troops. I got pounded by tank main guns and mg fire, luckily I only lost one gun from the 463rd arty btry (hoorah for saves and failed fp checks). His Panthers tried to kill my FSSF pioneers but infantry saves came through and I only lost two tms. My turn1 was a bit different as I moved up my FSSF pioneers and let loose with my arty and NGF as well as my Air Support. My Warhawk took out a Tiger, my NGF destroyed 2 Panthers and bailed out another. The 463rd arty had recovered and shot directly at the Panthers, bailing one out. The Corps Arty bailed out two of the Panthers, since one was destroyed already that meant one was destroyed. The Panthers managed thier morale test with a 4.

Turn 2 and the German Panzers failed to come on from reserve. His Tiger killed my staff and cmd tms of the 463rd arty while his just recovered Panthers finished off thee guns. The American turn was even more bloody as my P-40 came on again and rolled three planes so re-rolling misses was up. The last tiger was the tgt and lucky for the re-roll as my first was a 1 but the re-roll was a 5, that Tiger was destroyed. My FSSF pioneers moved closer yet, not shooting and ending up very close to the Panthers. The Corps Arty and NGF hit the Panthers hard but only destroyed one more, they made thier morale test with a 5.

Turn 3 the Germans Panzers came on this turn and he needed them, though they were a ways off from the fighting. He made a b-line for my Corps Arty and took out the staff tm and a gun. His Panthers were down to two but he knew if stayed put I was gonna sneak up on them with my FSSF pioneers so he moved back and shot at them, killing two tms. My turn was promising as I had a FSSF plt come on opposite of my pioneers placing the Panthers in between. My P-40 came on again and wrecked 3 Panzers while my Corps arty took another, the last Panzer passed the morale test with a 6. My NGF couldn't lock on to the Panthers.

Turn 4 the Germans were in desperate form and the remaining Panzer shot up my Corps arty again, killing two teams, being only trained my roll of a 3 wasn't good enough for the morale test. His Panthers shot up my pioneers some more and killed two more tms. Dang I had lost two plts now so only could get a minor victory but I was confident I could do it. On my turn that Warhawk came on again and destroyed the two Panthers. The NGF finished off the last Panzer.

I had won, without my infantry really taking any tms from the Germans. I had brought the big guns to the fight instead of foolishly sending in waves of infantry to take out heavy armor. My Air Support, Arty, and NGF was devastating!