The West Germans returned to the field, trying to prevent 4th Motorsierte from establishing themselves in Lichtenau
The pivotal battle of Lichtenau continues with 4th Motorisierte first capturing the ground and then defending it. Put a different way, this is the second battle Friday against Dave, after we did the hot wash of the first (disastrous) battle.
This time Dave hid everything he could, although as it turns out, he could have done a little better with the Jaguars and his company commander. In hindsight, it would perhaps have been better to squeeze around the corner more with the Leopard Is on the eastern flank.
I don't usually dwell on movement, but as it turned out, this was the dominant feature of this game. I needed to blitz the T55s for them to have any target at all, and did so - successfully. To climb the hill and prevent Dave from placing an ambush, the infantry had to blitz, and also did so - successfully. And just for further injustice, the 2nd Kompanie of the White Battalion also blitzed, lining up for possible long shots to center.
The eastern, or right flank, after the successful blitz moves - my tanks knocked out a Leo I but the real stars were the infantry. They burned down 3 LARS with small arms fire (thanks in part to Dave's inability to roll tank saves) and the other five teams managed 2 hits on Leo Is, bailing both.
Dave's center setup was better, but the result of depriving me of easy targets was that a lot more dice were concentrated on a few. Between a few rolls at 4+ and a number at 6+, the Jaguars died. I also used my standard stabilizers on my T72s, already at centerline from a spearhead setup, to slide forward and get a clear shot on his company commander. The commander vaulted into a nearby Luchs. The only surviving units in the center were the Luchs, who managed to pass morale.
The turn began with a failed remount attempt by Dave's Leo I on the objective. Dave's position was hopeless so from this point he was playing for points, trying to stall my eastern flank while causing casualties. The Leo Is on the far flank drifted out of the woods and gunned down my T72s. He placed his ambush, but because I was on top of the hill, and had sight lines down many lanes, he couldn't get them close enough to the objective to even defensive fire. He elected instead to move on stabilizers to get as close as possible, and ended up shooting those Leos at BMPs in cover, for 3 dead BMPs out of 6. The Luchs managed to bail another, but no morale check.
My turn consisted of the execution of the surviving LARS by infantry small arms fire, and the two Rolands by T55s, as depicted above. Then an assault killed the bailed Leo I and carried the objective they had begun the turn contesting. Game over.
That went so much better...not. We discussed this at some length. One thing that we hadn't discussed in the first hotwash was positioning his OBJECTIVE. Sticking it in the middle of the table is almost de riguer but in this case, with poor cover, unwise. Something to think about for future.
The other thing was lack of infantry. Dave plays with another group, and they favor pure tank formations, so he doesn't see a lot of infantry, and has no counter for them in his current list. We discussed artillery, his own infantry (he owns them) and similar, as what he really needed here was something that could safely dig in on top of the hill to protect his Leos from what happened - a rapid advance with RPGs. Leo IIs can shrug that off, but Leo Is, not so much