A Streak of Tigers: KG Hummel vs US 3AD Batrep

Firstly I must confess I had to look up what a group of Tigers was called.  Fun fact they can also be known as an ambush, however that could have confused matters.

With the new Bulge German book upon us, I managed to get a pass from fatherly duties for a morning to play my friend Thomas and his shiny new German forces.  As a big cat fan and he couldn’t resist giving KG Hummel a go with the opportunity to place 10 Tiger on the table.  Not knowing what I was facing I rocked up with the US 3AD Vet Sherman’s as I wanted to try a version I had been planning for a while.

The Forces

Thomas: KG Hummel : Attack

Hq 1 x Tiger
3 x Tiger
3 x Tiger
3 x Tiger

1 x Sturmtiger
7 x R/MG Beach defenders with faust

100pts

Mark: Vet Sherman (late) formation (3AD): Attack

Hq 1 x 76mm Sherman (Late), 1 x M4 75mm Sherman
3 x 76mm Sherman (Late), 1 x Jumbo 76mm, High Velocity Rounds.
3 x 76mm Sherman (Late), 1 x Jumbo 76mm, High Velocity Rounds.
3 x M4 Sherman 75mm, 1 x 75mm Jumbo
3 x Armoured Mortars

3 x Priests
Cav Recon Patrol (short)
Battle Weary Rifle platoon (Short)
Patton

100pts

The Game

With both of us picking attack we rolled up Free for All.  Thomas went first and we both spaced the objs out across each deployment zone.  Thomas had a Tiger platoon protecting each obj, with the HQ on 1 and the infantry on another.  The Sturmtiger took midfield with lots of LOS along with 3 more Tigers.

Meanwhile I spearheaded on the right flank into a farm complex.  I was going to put the infantry in there but I needed to protect my obj and there were houses nearby that would make it a pain for the enemy to dislodge me from.  This allowed me to weight the left flank with with the HQ, and 76mm platoons while the M4s and Priests took the centre.

Tom got first turn and tried to blitz into the field only managing the HQ, in  the centre he moved up into cover and advanced on his left flank.  With my GTG status all his shots went wide.

With a rubble of engines my Shermans advanced line abreast on the left flank, moving at a dash using cross here to get over the hedge (well except a heavy Jumbo).  I held my breath as I called in smoke, especially as the first 2 dice were 2’s, however with a sigh of relief the 3rd dice did it and a 12 inch screen of white rose up screening my advance.  Yup, knowing Patton was watching I was going for broke, storming forward to try a coup de grace, aiming to knockout the 4 Tigers before they could be reinforced.  The M4 Shermans moved up to the cover of some ruins and fired smoke shells at the centre Tigers scoring 2 hits.  Meanwhile the recce dashed up the right flank towards the other obj.  

Seeing the threat from the wall of Sherman’s and knowing he had to back off and buy time, Thomas fell his Tigers back behind the obj, he couldn’t risk some Blitz, move, flanking shenanigans.   The other Tigers realising the threat started to move towards the left flank firing as they went at a couple of Shermans visible behind the smoke.  Once again 6s to hit proved too much.  The Sturmtiger lobbed a massive shell but it was wide of the mark. 

As the smoke dissipated the Shermans advanced forward again, this time firing their 76mm guns with Stabilisers as they advanced.  Several Tigers took a hammering with one blown apart and another double bailed (passed motivation).  Again the M4s fired smoke and again a couple of Tigers where hit.  The Priests had a cheeky bombardment of 3 Tigers and a Sturmtiger but caused no damage.  The recce moved up further towards the infantry.

Tom failed to remount his Tiger but they didn’t quit the field.  He was now desperately advancing, firing everything as he went. Again he failed to land a hit, although the Sturmtiger did bail a Sherman 76mm.  On the right flank the beach defenders made short work of a jeep. 

I pushed the Shermans up to contest the obj knocking out the remaining 2 Tigers.  My Greyhound feeling brave (well Patton is watching) charged the beach defenders, and killed a stand.  Surviving the counter attack he thought discretion of the better part of valour and fell back.  

Have it!

Thomas knew he was licked but with German determinism wanted to see what he could kill.  His Tigers opened up again and again couldn’t hit anything!   To add insult to injury the Sturmtiger failed it’s roll and also missed.

Game to the US 8:1.

Post match washup

Lets be honest, Thomas had a terrible run of the dice.  Not hitting a single Sherman all game!  The Sturmtiger only managed to range in once as well.  Cautious troops kept at long range and in cover are just so hard to deal with, it is easy to forget how survivable they become.  On the flip side the Tigers being aggressive means they become a lot easier prey for my 76mm guns.

I was really happy with my list.  It ticks all the boxes (AT, Cautious, 2 x templates with smoke, recce and infantry) plus had a 14 medium hulls inc 3 x Jumbos.  Originally I was going with 5 x Chaffees instead of the 75mm Sherman Platoon and tbh in this game it wouldn’t have made much difference.  As always AT13 is game changing and smoke is always key.  But beyond anything luck changes everything.

Despite the result, Thomas was just happy to play with so many Tigers!  He really wanted to try out the Sturmtiger although we both agreed it is purely a fun unit and not something you would use in any competitive game.  He hasn’t been put off though and is determined to use 2 in a bigger game, so he gets another dice to range in.  We did discuss how to make KG Hummel list work better.  It is a very tough formation to use and despite a few people online ‘crying’ over 8pt Tigers, they are a very different beast to the normal Heer and SS versions.  They are slower, aggressive lack the 2+ remount and last stand, trained and the actual formation has no other options.    Therefore you are petty much tied to 10 if you want a variety of support to round out the force.  

If I was going to run it I would go:

Hq 1 x Tiger
3 x Tiger
3 x Tiger
3 x Tiger

4 x Volks 10.5cm guns (with command card to make them Pak40s).
SS Recce patrol
Volks Rifle Platoon
Beach Defence Platoon

In this game it would have meant that Tom could have optimised his deployment with recce, and had guns and beach defenders on 1 flank, with the Volks (and their double faust) on the other.  This would have allowed the Tigers to deploy more centrally to go where they are needed.  Even so it is a tough formation to use and will really struggle with reserves.

Category: Battle of the BulgeBattle ReportBattlefrontGermansLate WarList DiscussionUSA

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One comment

  1. Great report, short but fun. I feel for Thomas, I have the same bad luck with dice rolls. It is very annoying, but it did make me not feel any pressure to want to win, but enjoy the game as is, and always play the army I want to play, without any meta stuff to worry about. =D Looking forward to the next report.

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Article by: Mark Goddard