Sunday, 2 February 2014

Propaganda Ministry Announces German Victory!

“Our glorious and brave soldiers on the Eastern Front have stopped a major Soviet offensive. Troops defending in the area made the ultimate sacrifice whilst our mighty armoured units smashed through Soviet defenses!”

 

Well technically we did….. After 6hrs of battling it out, the dust settled and the results were revealed on our 8000pt Flames of War game today.

 

Unfortunately, one of the German Generals had been summoned back to Berlin so couldn’t make it. I stepped in onto the German side to even up numbers.

 

As a recap…. the table set-up is here and the mission details are here. Soviet commanders had closely analysed the mission briefing…. German commanders less so…

 

The forces:

 

GERMAN

Defending Company: Sturm Company

Dietrich Uthoff

HQ + Panzershreck teams

2 Full Sturm Platoons (all with fausts)

3 Pak 40

Heavy Platoon with mortars

Mortar Platoon

Full Recon Platoon

Sporadic HS-129 B3

Fortifications (HMG nest & trenches)

 

Attacking Force: Armoured Company

HQ (2 Stug G)

4 Stug G

4 Panzer IV

4 Panther

Full Panzergrenadier Platoon

2 Mobelwagon (disguised as 3.7cm armoured half-tracks)

1 King Tiger

3 Panzerwerfer with loaders

 

SOVIET

Defending Company: Stelk Battlion

HQ + Kommissar + Pioneer Teams + Pioneer Supply Wagon (converted to a minefield)

2 medium sized Strelk Platoons

Full God of War

4 57mm guns

6 45mm guns

4 SU-122 Assault Guns

 

Attacking Company: Tankovy

HQ + Dedov

2 Platoons of 10 T-34, half upgraded to T-34/85, one with Tank Escorts

4 IS-2

4 SU-122

4 SU-100

Full Spetnaz

3 Katy’s with Loaders

 

So… on to the battle! With all that was happening each turn, it’s hard to give a detailed overview. Here’s how it kicked off (I’ve captioned all the photos):

Soviet Commanders at the start of the battle

 

(The German team was too busy discussing tactics to have a picture taken!)

 

German forces won deployment and chose the abandoned fortifications as the deployment zone for our defending company. That meant the Soviets had the old Russian village:

Abandoned forts Old Russian village Abandoned forts Sturm platoon deployed Loads of Russians!

 

German forces deployed a Sturm platoon, the Recon platoon and held the Pak 40’s in ambush. The logic behind the Recon platoon was to race it across the river to give support to the German attacking forces by lifting GtG on the defending Soviets.

 

The Soviets deployed both Strelk platoons and the full God of War. Soviet Russia has no need for ambushes.

 

Then the attacking forces deployed. Loads of tanks. The Soviet forces split their tank platoons.. 1 per flank. The Germans concentrated on all the armour on one part of the line for a powerful Schwerpunkt.

German armour ready for attack The Kingtiger presented with a rather unpleasant sight Comrade Woodovski recieves strict instructions As does General von Grey T-34's More T-34's Soviet deployment Soviet deployment

 

It’s at this point that German High Command spots the location where the Panzerwerfer observer has been deployed. On the opposite side to where our main attack will take place! Suffice to say that High Command is not amused and threatens to send the offending Commander to the Russian front. ‘Cept we’re already there!

I see nuthing!

 

Let the game commence! Soviets win the initiative and decide not to infiltrate. First turn is relatively uneventful as the main attacking forces move into position. The defending forces tremble at the sound of the tracks rumbling closer…. also seems to scare off any reserves as none are seen for the first couple of turns for either side. The Pak 40 ambush reveals itself…. in the most unlikely place…. :)

Spetnaz rush to an objective Ambush! German armour advances I don't know what these two are up too... T-34 traffic jam Uh oh

 

The German armoured advance effectively stalls in the face of a wall of Soviet guns and infantry. Next few turns are spent trying to whittle down the emplaced guns who annoyingly stay silent (and therefore GtG!). More guns arriving from reserve are quickly dealt with, but not without making their presence known. The Recon platoon makes it to the bridge in the middle of the table, but Soviet tanks chase them and mow them down with machine guns.

 

As for the Soviets…. one platoon of T-34’s advances directly towards the German defending position while the remaining main Soviet force slowly… very slowly… makes it’s way around the flank destroying everything in its path (i.e. one HMG nest :) )..

Soviets using tactics! Soviet advance Germans advancing Recon team make it to halfway! The Soviet juggernaut Too many Soviets!

 

Reserves start arriving. The German Sturm platoon arrives and immediately starts making a beeline towards to the Soviet defending force only to be have their reserves arrive (SU-122’s). The German’s decide survival is the better option and hide around the wrecked train. Off course…. the SU-122’s have breakthrough gun…. so that was never going to last long. The German mortar platoons also arrive and start firing smoke all over the place.

 

Both attacking forces still work on making a hole in the defending forces. Progress is steady, but slow.

Sturm platoon arrives Main German defensive position Hardcore gaming! Bye bye Stugs What more guns!?! Soviet forces continuing to flank SU-122's arrive. Sturm platoon hides German defensive position Loads of Soviet tanks

 

By this point in time, the German defending Commander has gotten bored with just weathering a storm of fire. A panzershreck team and Uthoff make separate charges against a group of T-34’s….. unfortunately the results are predictable, but at least they die a glorious death. Iron Crosses all round.

Faust jump!

The turns are creeping on by this point. Turn 6 approaches and neither attacking force has really dealt a major blow to the defending companies, but the German defending company is not looking good…. not good at all…..

 

The German attacking forces finally deal to the Soviet gun teams and the assaults on both sides start rolling in.

Assault! Battle rages! IS-2's approach the main river bridge Lining up for assaults Soviets close in The Sturm platoon sees a chance ...and kill 2 SU-122's German Panther's assault The Soviet jaws close around the main defensive bunker

 

The closing turns roll in…. Soviet assaults completed destroy the German defending company. The IS-2’s and remaining SU-122’s finish off the remaining Sturm platoon that’s trying to withdraw.

 

Both the German Panthers and Panzer IV’s assault the Soviet Strelk platoons destroying them completely for the loss of a couple of tanks. We’ve finally broken through…. but to little too late. The German defending company is long gone! The big heavies see each other across the river and the King Tiger can’t resist, so takes a shot, but misses (even with re-rolls!). A Panther knocks out one IS-2 though. The game is drawing to a close……

IS-2's hunt down Sturm platoons T-34's close in on the bunker German forces finally breakthrough The heavyweights! Carnage! :) Bye bye Sturm platoon Soviet advance BOOM! Dead IS-2 The final assault

 

The Panzer IV assault finishes claiming victory over its immediate foes…. the dust settles and the commanders step back to view the battlefield…. a pretty clear victory for Soviet forces. Nodnol’s hat is safe.

 

The VP tally is as follows:

 

Soviet:

Objectives held – 4 VP’s

German platoons destroyed – 8 VP’s

TOTAL = 12 VP’s

 

German:

Objectives held – 2 VP’s

German platoons at or over 50% strength – 5 VP’s

TOTAL = 7 VP’s

 

One remaining objective was contested by both sides and a the final objective was uncontested by either side. The Soviet defending company was also broken at the end of turn 8. With it’s CiC gone, it would have auto failed company morale had there been another turn (although company morale for the defending companies was irrelevant at this point). The main Soviet attacking force was hardly scratched…. the platoon of SU-122’s had been destroyed. Otherwise it had lost a few T-34’s and one IS-2. Had the game continued, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened as it would have just been a straight up, pretty even pointed, armour clash. But it was late in the day. Time to pack up.

 

So well played Soviet commanders, a pretty solid victory. Here’s a pic of them afterwards…..

Soviet win

 

All in all… good fun and enjoyed by all. The mission works really well for a large game as it generally keeps all players involved throughout the whole game. I do think the VP calculation needs some tweaking. It is pretty harsh on the Germans.

 

Unfortunately for the Germans, we were a little hamstrung by force selection. The defending company really needed another platoon of Pak 40’s. You may have noticed that I have not mentioned the German air support at any point in the batrep…. good reason for that…. they never did anything! The one time they did…. High Command ordered them to attack some SU-122’s by a forest…. where they failed to range in!

 

Thanks guys for getting behind it all and turning it into a pretty fun and exciting, but friendly game! :)