MarkO's Fucilieri v. SteveP's Strelkovy (MW)
Hold the Line, Ities attacking, 2000 pts, 8x6 table.
Steve deployed Strelk on his right in cover well in front of the rear objective & his GOW across his rear. Another Strelk was in ambush.
Mark deployed all his Fucilieri in a column on his right along with Brexias & a/tank. His 3 artillery batteries lined his rear. The L6s lurked in the village on his left. Pak 40's & HMGs in the centre.
Scared of the GOWs, Mark made a painfully slow advance with the Fucileri column while digging in everything else. The Stukas & artillery started on the GOWs & eventally the Fucileri got to the centreline. The Russians dropped their ambush around the objective & then counterattacked the Fucilieri. The lead Fucilieri was destroyed but the follow up assault was stopped by RMG fire from teh 2nd Fucilieri. Then the Ities dropped a storm of artillery & rmg fire on the Strelk - dropping it below half . The Strelk then failed morale & the komisar shot himself. The Strelk evaporated allowing the Ities to get a team back across the centreline & save themselves from defeat by the no-one over the centreline rule. But the T34s had come up into a position to attack the Fucileri & the Ities still looked doomed. But then the Regio Aeronautica struck - they took out the command T34 & it all changed in an instant. The T34s were frozen leaderless in the standing crops mostly unable to fire at anything & unable to move - & the 2IC was across the other side of the table.
The Ities now had a foothold over the centreline & had time to bring up the rest fo their force - all the time whittling away with their 3 batteries. The 2nd Strelk tried to cross to objective & take the 2IC to teh T34s, but were mown down by HMGs & L6s. The 3rd Strelk came up, recovered the objective & destroyed the 2nd Fucilieri, but it ran out of men & the 3rd Fucileri finished it off. When the artillery finished off the Anti-tank guns, the Russians had lost more than half & the CIC had died with the 2nd Strelk. The Ities had also taken the objective.
A remarkable battle. Mark seriously stuffed up his attack and was dead lucky to avoid defeat on turn 6 by the no-one over the centreline rule. Then the Regio Aeronautical won the game by taking out the command T34. The T34's would have had to have driven the Fucileri back if they weren't immobilised by lack of command. With them frozen, the Ities bought time for the belated advance of their force and for the artillery to do their work.