Monday, April 20, 2020

KG Klink in Greece, Fight #7


Morning, 12 April 1941

Here we are, continuing Kampfgruppe Klink's campaign in Greece.  The first battle saw Captain Freitag's 1st Schutzen Battlegroup take a key mountain crossroads manned by members of the British Royal Engineers supported by Armored Cavalry from New Zealand.  The fight saw the Germans infantry nearly eliminate the Commonwealth battlegroup, which fell back in disarray.  Captain Freitag pressed his advantage, immediately pursuing south down, where it ran into defensive positions manned by the remnants of the New Zealand 21st Infantry Battalion.  1st Schutzen then evicted the NZ 21st Inf Bn from its positions, forcing them to fall back.  The third fight saw 1st Lt Ginter's 2nd Schutzen moving secure a crossing over the D3 bridge, forcing the 27th MG Battalion back.  The fourth fight saw Major Bohm's 2nd Recce Battlegroup push back the Australian 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment after some fierce fighting.  The fifth battle saw Captain Freitag's beleaguered 1st Schutzen Battlegroup defend the B3 bridgehead against attacks by the British Rangers/9th King's Royal Rifle Corps, and the Royal Engineers/New Zealand Cavalry, pushing the former back and destroying the latter!  The sixth battle saw Battlegroup Wehner (1st Recce) attack and destroy the Lee Force/Australian 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, though they suffered so many casualties they were in then combined with the 2nd Recce battlegroup.  Now we move further south to carry out a meeting engagement between Lt Loeb's Panzers and the Allies' 4th Hussars.

Overview, north is down.  This is a meeting engagement, so the Germans will enter from the east and the Allies from the west, with both sides entering on their own table edge.  The road is improved (at least in terms of 1941 Greece), there is a small hamlet consisting of three stone buildings at bottom center, and a few patches of trees scattered about, but the dominant terrain feature is the hilltops dotting the countryside (clockwise from bottom left): Hill 98 (bottom left), Hill 215 (top left), Hill 276 (top right), Hill 211 (bottom right), and Hill 113 (center left).

I'm playing with very simple terrain so that I can lay it down and scrape it up as quickly as possible, to get in a lot of games as quickly as possible.

I'm playing solo using Too Fat Lardies' Chain of Command, modified a bit.  I've bumped it up a level (using multi-based stands, not individual troops), I simplified fire and melee combat, and morale (5Core concepts, as always), as well as movement (I like dicing for movement, but it significantly slows things down for me).  I changed the CoC Dice so that it represents indirect supporting fires from Higher HQ, and I did away with the Patrol Phase.  I love the Patrol Phase, but it doesn't work for me playing solo, so what I do is designate an attacker and a defender; both sides start completely off table, using their Command Dice to deploy on table (as normal), but where it differs is that I basically give the defender a deployment area of half the table, and he can deploy anywhere in that area, even dug in, so long as it's at least 6" from any attacker.

If you're now wondering, then, why do I still call these rules "Chain of Command," it's because the entire game revolves around the use of Chain of Command's brilliant activation system (command roll/Command Dice), the use of leaders' command initiative, and the 'Force Morale' concept of declining Command Dice and morale to breaking.  To me, that's the heart of the system, and it makes for a fun game.

The opposing forces, with Germans on the left and Commonwealth on the right.

I'm playing these games in 10mm using figures from Pendraken and Minifigs UK, roads from Fat Frank, hills from Warzone, buildings from Crescent Root, rivers from Wargamers Terrain, and trees from Gunner at Signifer.

Battlegroup Loeb (AKA, Panzer): consists of the CO stand (far left), one platoon of Combat Engineers in trucks, two platoons of Panzer Mk IIIs led by their company commander, and one platoon of Panzerjaeger Is.
*This battlegroup is actually being personally led by Colonel Klink, represented by the CO stand, while the battlegroup commander, Lt Loeb, is the single Panzer IV at top left.

1st Lt Loeb (veteran of Poland, France, and now Greece, with five tank kills to his credit, winner of the Iron Cross 1st Class and 2nd Class)   

2nd Panzer Platoon - Officer Cadet Fahrmann (2 tank kills)
Vehicle Two - Sgt Fittzbaum (1 tank kill)
Vehicle Three - Sgt Mayer (1 tank kill)
Vehicle Four - Cpl Peske 
Vehicle Five - Sgt Mettner 

3rd Panzer Platoon - Sgt 1st Class Friessler (4 tank kills)
Vehicle Two - Sgt Jurgens 
Vehicle Three - Sgt Zedler 
Vehicle Four - Sgt Harms 
Vehicle Five - Cpl Geiger (1 tank kill)

Panzerjaeger Platoon -Sgt Dittrich (IC2, 2 tank kills)

2nd Anti-Tank Vehicle - Cpl Hamburg 
3rd Anti-Tank Vehicle - Cpl Halstenburg 

Assault Engineer Platoon - 2nd Lt Orstens
1st Engineer Squad - Sgt Barkstrom (IC2)
2nd Engineer Squad - Sgt Klivens 
3rd Engineer Squad - Sgt Hafl (IC2)

4th Engineer Squad - Cpl Dilbertt 

The Commonwealth force: 4th Hussars, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment
Commanding Officer: Major Willoughby
Carrier Platoon (Platoon Commander, three Rifle Sections, a 2" mortar, a Boyes Anti-Tank Rifle and six Universal Carriers)
Tank Platoon ("Heavy Tank Platoon, " 1 x A10 Cruiser, 1 x Matilda II)
Tank Platoon ("Medium Tank Platoon," 2 x Matilda I)
Tank Platoon ("Light Tank Platoon," 2 x Vickers Mk VI)

Time to fight!  Normally the attacker goes first, but as this is a meeting engagement, I held a simple roll-off and the German are going first.  Colonel Klink and 1st Lt Loeb waste no time getting their forces into the fight, with every unit jumping on the table.  From top left to bottom left: 2nd Panzer Platoon, PzJgr Plt, 3rd Pz Plt, and the Engineer Plt.

The Tommies respond: Major Willoughby brings on his heavy and medium tank platoons in the center (far right), as one of the Vickers Mk VIs from the light tank platoon goes barreling down the road (bottom center), heading for the village (off camera to bottom left).

The British A10 Cruiser (bottom right, with the two Matilda Is of the Medium Tank Platoon at bottom left) spots SFC Friessler's 3rd Pz Plt (top center left) and opens fire!

And Friessler's Panzer III is immobilized!!!  Though he's slightly wounded (earning his 2nd Wound Badge), he and his crew stay with their vehicle.

In the north (bottom), Lt Orsten's Engineers, still in their trucks, continue pushing to get into the village (just visible at bottom right), as Sgt Jurgens pushes his tank up next to SFC Friessler's...

Sgt Jurgens (bottom left) calls out: "Gunner, enemy tank, 400 meters, armor piercing, fire!" "On the way!"  The Panzer III rocks as its main gun discharges a 37mm solid shot towards the British tanks (top right)… but he misses.

The Engineers' trucks reach the village.

Officer Cadet Fahrmann leads his 2nd Pz Plt forward (top left).  Also, the Germans have received their first CoC dice, so Lt Loeb calls for Stukas to strike the British heavy tanks.

Sgt Jurgens pushes his Pz III forward (center, from bottom left, with the Engineers at bottom right and 2nd Pz Plt in the trees at top left).  Sgt Jurgens takes another shot and misses.

*For you 5Core fans out there, I've changed up how I do things.  I've got Pz IIIs going against Cruisers and Matilda IIs; the only way they can penetrate those British tanks is to get on their flanks at close range, but the British tanks can still be immobilized and/or have their morale affected.  So I'm rolling 1K 1S, with Shock dice behaving as normal, but the Kill dice only working on a '1.'  A '6' would be a kill, but the panzers can't kill them, so I'm only using the '1,' which is signifying a shot that immobilizes the British tank, which makes it pretty tough.  To wit, Sgt Jurgens just rolled a '6' on his Kill dice, but it counts as a miss.

The British Light Tank Platoon continues pushing to get into the village (far left).

The British Medium Tank Platoon moves up (left, with the Heavy Tank Platoon at far right, puffs of smoke showing Sgt Jurgens' two misses), where the halt and fire on Office Cadet Fahrmann's 2nd Pz Plt (top left), pinning the German Platoon Commander's tank.

The British Heavy Tank Platoon moves up (far right) and opens fire on Sgt Jurgens' Pz III (top left), but both shots miss.

Major Willoughboy brings on his Carrier Platoon in behind the Heavy and Medium Tank Platoons.

And then the roar of engines are heard, specks in the sky, followed by the shriek of the German dive sirens, as Ju-87 Stukas dive on the British tanks!!!

The birds of prey swoop past as their bombs strike, ravaging the British Heavy Tank Platoon.  Both the A10 Cruiser and the Matilda II are hit and immobilized, with the Cruiser crew bailing out, although the Matilda II's crew hangs in there.  The lead two Universal Carriers are suppressed and pinned, respectively.

In the north, Lt Orstens orders his Combat engineers to dismount.

While on the German left, Officer Cadet Fahrmann leads his 2nd Pz Plt forward; they fan out (bottom left) and open fire on the British Medium Tank Platoon (top center right).

Both Matilda Is are knocked out, with Sgt Fittzbaum racking up his second tank kill of the war and Sgt Mettner getting his first!

Sgt Dittrich pushes his PzJgrs forward in the center, as Sgt Jurgens pushes up to the wood (bottom right)...

His (bottom center) gunner continues firing on the Matilda II (top left) bouncing shells off the British beast's thick armor, keeping the crew suppressed.

Major Willoughby (center) tries to rally the troops: the Matilda II's crew (far left) is good to go and back in the fight, as is the Carrier Platoon's 1st Rifle Section in its carrier (top center), but their Platoon Commander panics and falls back (far right)!

*But he didn't leave the table, which would have cost the Brits even more Command Dice and Force Morale, which is already plummeting with the loss of their Medium Tank Platoon and PC and their Heavy Tank Platoon PC.

The freshly rallied Matilda IIs crew (bottom center left, surrounded by burning friendlies) sights in on Sgt Jurgens' Pz III (top center) and fires...

Knocking it out!  Sgt Jurgens and his crew bail out, having been very lucky to suffer no casualties.

Office Cadet Fahrmann pushes his 2nd Tk Plt forward on the far left flank (top center).

As fighting heats up in/around the village: the Combat Engineers have their 2nd and 3rd Squads fire their MG-34s and anti-tank rifles at the nearest Vickers Mk VI, as Sgt Barkstrom leads his 1st Squad forward, out onto the road...

Sgt Barkstrom orders his flammenwerfers into action, and they brew up the British light tank!

Having knocked out one British tank, Sgt Barkstrom orders his men forward to cover (center), where they open fire on the other Vickers Mk VI with their MG-34 and ATR, pinning the crew.

But Sgt Dittrich, Platoon Commander for the PzJgrs, solves the issue by ordering Cpl Hastenburg's vehicle forward (center, from bottom center left).  The young Corporal moves up, sights in, and fires on the remaining Vickers Mk VI (top right)...

The 47mm round makes quick work of the British tankette!

As Cadet Fahrmann's 2nd Pz Plt gets his vehicles into a flanking position (top center, from left) on the British center...

The German tankers (bottom center/left) are licking their chops as they sight in on the crippled Matilda II (top center left) and open fire...

The Matilda II goes up in flames, a victim of Sgt Fittzbaum's crew, getting their third tank kill of the young war.

2nd Pz Plt's fourth and fifth vehicles (bottom center) open fire on the British Carrier Platoon (top center)...

Three carriers are knocked out, one of the Rifle Sections are killed off, while two other Rifle Sections dismount, suppressed, and the last two Universal Carriers are pinned as Major Willoughby and the Carrier Platoon's Commander (far right) look on helplessly.

The few remaining Tommies raise their hands in surrender, thus ending the plight of the 4th Hussars.  With all their tanks knocked out and all their infantry killed or captured, the 4th Hussars is eliminated from the campaign, a veritable route for Lt Loeb's Panzer Battlegroup.

With the death of the 4th Hussars, all Commonwealth armor has been eliminated from the campaign (4th Hussars, Lee Force/Aus 2-7, Brit Rangers/9KRRC (not eliminated as a battlegroup, but their armor was destroyed/abandoned), and even the RE/NZ Cav, if you want to include their armored cars), all that's left is foot mobile infantry units, and they're badly flanked.  Looking at the photo here, I realized I made a big mistake: owing to the fact they won a 'breakthrough' victory against the 4th Hussars (I'd say one tank immobilized and one knocked out vs six tanks knocked out and a Carrier Platoon killed or captured is a breakthrough victory), the Panzer BG was entitled to immediately take a movement of two squares in exploitation of their victory, prior to the next campaign movement phase, but I forgot to do it!!!  They should have immediately moved to D7 to cut off the retreat of Aus 2-8 and isolate the objective (Servia, E8).  Alas...

Turn 6 couldn't have gone better for the Germans, with 1st Recce destroying Lee Force/Aus 2nd Bn 7th Inf Reg and Pz BG eliminating 4th Hussars, clearing the road to campaign's objective, eliminating the Commonwealth armor/mobile reserve, and outflanking the remaining Commonwealth infantry.

That fight went much easier for the Germans than I thought it would; they had really good Command Dice, receiving back to back phases multiple times, getting a CoC dice that allowed the Stukas to come in and rough up the British heavy tanks.  Some heroics by the Engineers, holding their own by fighting off the British light tanks at the village helped to, as did the British inability to get their Carrier Platoon into anywhere to do anything.  The funny thing was that I tried something different with the German force: I added a second 'CO' to the mix. Normally they just have their Battlegroup Commander, in this case Lt Loeb, the Panzer Company Commander, but I added Colonel Klink, the overall Kampfgruppe Commander, to the mix.  But to show you how wild the German Command Dice were, neither German 'CO' made it onto the table, I didn't roll a single 4 the entire game!  It was all unit activations or 5s and 6s, which gave the CoC dice so quickly and gave the back-to back phase activations.  The one thing I'll wonder about is if I didn't screw the Brits over by allowing the Pz IIIs to penetrate the Matilda Is from the front at combat range.  Maybe I should have only allowed it at close range?  Or not at all, only the flank at close range, as I treated the A10 Cruiser and Matilda II?  I'm not a treadhead, so I'd love to hear you guys' opinion on the matter.

German losses: 10 casualties and 2 Panzer IIIs damaged, though both were able to be salvaged
Commonwealth losses: 45 casualties, 40 captured, with two Matilda Is, one A10 Cruiser, one Matilda II, two Vickers Mk VIs, and three Universal carriers destroyed and three more Universal Carriers captured

Sgt 1st Class Friessler received his 2nd Wound Badge when he was lightly wounded


Next up we deal with the campaign map moves for Turns 7 and 8.



  1. Great AAR and I'm surprised at how easily the Germans won, but sometimes the die rolls just go your way. From memory the Matilda II was impervious to shots from 37mm and 47mm ATG from the front, requiring the 88 to take them out.

    1. Steve,

      I was expecting a rougher fight myself, but what really did it was the Germans getting a CoC dice right off the bat and calling in the Stukas, which knocked out the A10 and immobilized the Matilda II.

      I agree that the Matilda II should be impervious (at least in terms of penetration, not in terms of getting tracked) by any of the German on-table weapons. Here's how I played it (from above):
      "For you 5Core fans out there, I've changed up how I do things. I've got Pz IIIs going against Cruisers and Matilda IIs; the only way they can penetrate those British tanks is to get on their flanks at close range, but the British tanks can still be immobilized and/or have their morale affected. So I'm rolling 1K 1S, with Shock dice behaving as normal, but the Kill dice only working on a '1.' A '6' would be a kill, but the panzers can't kill them, so I'm only using the '1,' which is signifying a shot that immobilizes the British tank, which makes it pretty tough. To wit, Sgt Jurgens just rolled a '6' on his Kill dice, but it counts as a miss."

      So the Germans couldn't defeat the Matilda II from the front, they had to get to the flank AND get to close range to penetrate it, and that's what they did, with three of them getting on the flank and firing from about 75 yards away.


    2. Or did you mean the Matilda Is? I felt pretty comfortable with how I handled the Matilda II; you could argue that a 1 in 6 chance of immobilizing it from the front is high, but that is merely an issue of using a D6-based system.

      But yeah, I probably was too easy on the Germans in terms of the Matilda Is, which were both knocked out at battle range from the front by 37mm fire...


  2. Agree with Steve, tildas were beasts...

  3. Another great report. And with the Germans getting so many activations, it was not going to go well for the Allies. Ah well.

    1. Thanks, Shaun, I'm glad you liked it, and with so many British, Australian, and New Zealander readers, I'm really starting to feel bad at how much the Germans are getting away with...

      All I can say is, trust me, I know how this ends, the Germans are gonna get theirs! ;)


  4. the depth and breadth of your gaming endeavours is always inspiring Jack. Keep it up man. Love the batreps

    1. Hey, I do what I can ;) Thanks a bunch, I'm glad you're enjoying them, next fight coming right up.