RPT168 Belgian Centurions

The Purist

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Three Strikes and You're Out

Every once in a while one plays a scenario where everything just works and the VASL dice bot cooperates exactly when needed. While I am not a huge fan of FW (never bought) I have played two scenarios now, both in tournaments. What follows below is one of the shortest games I've ever played but there was not much my opponent could do accept drum his fingers on the keyboard as he clicked through the log file.

The Chinese have six 6-2-7 squads and a 2-2-8 crew led by and 8-1 and a 9-1. The Chinese also bring along a number of dummy counters, an LMG, DC and Baz 44. The Belgians have two 4-5-8, five 4-5-7, a 9-1 and 8-0, two LMG, a Baz 50 and a half dozen dummies. Along for the fun are three Centurion tanks with SM8, HE8, Gyrostabilizers (very important for the future) and powerful 83L guns.

Both sides are looking for CVP with the Chinese gaining extra CVP for having units make it as far as hex numbers 10+ and then exiting the way they came. The Belgians need to eliminate the Chinese to prevent these extra CVP.

The Chinese entered and rushed south in two main groups on each flank with the intent to disperse on later turns to make the job of the Belgians and British more difficult. Seeing the opening move I decided to send the Centurions with Riders straight up the road, followed by a second platoon on foot double timing. The intent was to smash into the Chinese right and hopefully destroy that wing before the two groups could unite or the Chinese disperse. The opening moves looked as below with no shots fired other than the Centurions laying down ATT acquisitions (one Centurion running out of HE in the process).

19300


The Chinese turn two saw a race by the Chinese left to close up on the UN forces without getting shot up. In the meantime, the force directly in front of the Centurions and Belgians pushed a scout out to see what was there. The scout (a 6-2-7) was shot to pieces, although it took just about everything the British and Belgians had to do it. At this point I figured the stack in A7 were dummies or the 2-2-8 with DC.

19301


With the Chinese Baz 44 now confirmed to be out of position I decided to try to use the SM8s to assist a full assault on the platoon in B8. I hoped for all three to blind the Chinese but odds were I would get two smoke. One would have been a problem as I needed to push the infantry into their face while the Centurions needed to get behind the Chinese positions to block movement/rout. As the platoon in I10 withdrew from LOS I had no prep and went straight to movement.

The first Centurion went left, deftly placing a Smoke mortar round in B8 before continuing on to B5. The second tank placed smoke in B9, giving excellent cover to the infantry. It then rolled north to E7 where the gyrostabilisers did their magic for both MA and CMG. The CMG managed to roll double ones and break the leader in I9, stripe two squads and pin the Baz squad. It got better.

The two elite squads (one with ?), a 4-57 with the Baz and the 9-1 then entered B9, not drawing any fire (understandable given the high hindrance modifiers). The third tank then placed one more smoke in C9 before rumbling north to E8. The platoon of regulars with the 8-0 back in C12 then sent a squad to support the assault while the rest of the troopers moved to begin to pressure the second Chinese platoon.

The coming CC in B8 promised to be a 'hammer and tongs' affair. But I get ahead of myself.

19302

The advancing fire phase gave my UN troopers two (maybe three) timely DRs for the two remaining Centurions. The tank in E9 had a TH# of 2 and the dice bot came through, although no critical hit. The IFT attack on the 16 FP table was a 3, resulting in a 1KIA. Random selection killed one squad and the 8-1, breaking the other squads. The LLMC pinned the Baz squad and broke the remaining HS in I9. This was immediately followed by an ATT shot from the Centurion in B5 against A7, who scoring a hit and revealing the stack to be dummies. I did not have to worry about a DC attack in the following turn.

The final act came in the CC phase where we both had -3 to the ambush dr but neither succeeding. Both attacks were 1:1 with a -1 and we managed to each roll 4's, annihilating each other. With the Chinese reduced to a single reduced squad, a crew and a broken HS the Chinese conceded the match as the CVP spread was now too broad to close.

19303

I admit the win was not all that satisfying. Getting those 3 or 4 low DRs when needed combined with the Chinese not having time to disperse from their initial movement made for a 'hot dice' game rather than one based on give and take.

I suppose this is a good case for reinforcing the old adage - "don't stack".
 
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macrobo

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Hi

Thanks Gerry for a great write up - a pleasure to play and great game even though you handed me my derriere - looking forward to seeing how others solved the problem of the anti-tank capability of those Chinese - One Baz and One DC is not much
Played them a couple of times - glad they were recon units in this one so no platoon mvt - but they are not like IJA with TH heroes etc that add that extra danger to tanks. - The only other time I played Centurions - I ran out of HE quite quick so you were much more effective here!!

Cheers

Rob :)
 

The Purist

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Hi Rob,

I had the same thought when I looked at the Chinese OoB. If the UN forces can get behind the Chinese and keep the Centurions front AF to the Baz 44, there is little the Chinese could do but rush the tanks. The Belgian infantry seems capable enough to support the tanks provided they don't get separated. The Chinese squads have only a 2 hex range so,.... I think it's a tough row to hoe for the forces of the global proletariat.

I am not sure our game will be representative of the scenario played by others. While there were a number of 6s, 7s, 8s, etc. It was those four critical DRs that decided things.
 
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