Sunday, May 31, 2009

Firestorm Campaign Turn 4 Battle 1

At Barrie's on Sunday
Jim's Motostrelk v. SteveJ's Panzers - Germans attacking Bobruisk from Berezina.
1500 points plus Firestorm troops - Russian artillery & T34/85, Germans 2xTigers - Cauldron Mission, Russians defending.
The table did not favour the Russians, there being a stream running across the table between the cauldron & their reserves, & much better cover on the German side of the table. The Germans also did well on random deployment - none being left exposed ont eh wrong side.
The Germans took a cautious aproach, standing back & blasting away while waiting for their reserves - not a bad option when you have 4 Tigers & a heavy battery. The Russians brought on their heavy battery, but it only fired once before it was pinned by counterbattery fire & never unpinned to fire again. They brought on their rockets & they were pinned by artillary & didn't unpin until the battle was lost. They brought on their armour and rushed it forward, but the steam disrupted their advance while providing no cover. The Tigers killed some on the bridge and destoyed the rest of the platoon as they struggled over the river. The Firestorm troop of T34/85s got 2 over the stream while the Tigers were busy destroying their mates. One bogged at the ford & didn't unbog. The 2 used a village as cover to advance & enagage 2 Tigers, but failed to hit anything before they were destroyed by the Tigers & artillery. With no armour left & their artillery reluctant to fire the Russians were doomed. They did kill off an infantry platoon with infantry fire, but half tracks & Tigers were steadily chewing their way towards the objectives. The Russans tried a last charge to try & knock off another infantry unit so they could have a chance at a firestorm kill dice. The Germans had 11 dice at 3+ to get 10 kills, which they got & the Russians conceded a 5:2 loss.
The Germans retake Bobruisk & capture the Firestorm troops.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday Knight Crusader Battle

Rich's Crusaders v. Jim's Saracens

The Crusaders deployed in a tight formation, infantry (spear & crossbow) & Sergents in the centre with some skirmisher bowmen in front, knights on the right, turcopoles on the left. The Sacarens put their heavy cavalry on a hill on their left supported by some light cavalry, their light sprearmen in the centre with a swarm of bow skirmishers in front & light cavalry on the right.
On their left & centre the Saracens sent their skirmishers forward holding back their formed troops. They soon swept the outnumbered Crusader skirmishers away & began picking away at the Crusaders as they lumbered forwards. On the right the Saracen light cavalry attacked the Turopoles - pinning them frontally, then outflanking & destroying them. On their left the Saracens waited for the Knights to get close then charged downhill at them while manouevring other light & heavy cavalry into their rear. This should have won the battle, but the knights did a good imitation of a Tiger platoon - their armour had saved them from the skirmisher's arrows in their aproach & both units just survived the flank/rear attacks & continued fighting surrounded. They still should have lost, but the Saracens just couldn't nail them & eventually the Saracen pinning units routed. The knights were all on wood by then & pursued off the table before a stray arrow could rout them, but the remaining Saracen cavalry pursued after them so all the Saracen cunning came to nought.
In the centre, the Crusaders lost a lot of casualties to the skirmishers, but not enough for the weak Saracen infantry to be able to hold them off when they finally got up to them.
By now both sides had lost nearly half their armies, but neither was able to clinch victory & a draw was agreed.
A draw is perhaps not a surprising result with 2 such different armies, but the more experienced Saracens generally outmanoeuvred the Crusaders but still couldn't win. I needed to consider if this was due to; bad luck, insufficient penalty for flank/rear attacks, rules misinterpretation, or light troops not being cheap enough points-wise. On reflection, I think I missed a -1 for the surrounded knights & the Saracens did throw awful dice in the critcal combats, so I have decided it isn't a problem with the rules.

Pic 1 is the start from behind the Saracen right.
Pic 2 shows how the battle developed.
Pic 3 shows the Tigers being surrounded.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Firestorm Campaign Report

Turn 4 about to start

The campaign phase between turns 3 & 4 has been completed.

The Russians were somewhat restricted in what they could do because their failure to take Orsha made a big gap in their rail network. They made a general move west on the whole front with a concentration pointing at the all important Minsk.

The Germans were restricted in what they could do by Partisan activity and Russian exploitation moves almost closing up the pocket between Minsk & Bobruisk. They pulled back from Zholbin & strengthened the Minsk garison.

Camp Cromwell 26/05/09

Practice FOW battle:

Jim's Motostrelk 2000 pts defending a Trenchfight v. Richard's Panzers & Steve's Sturm, both 1000 pts - on 8x6 table.
The Russians put 1 Strelk on the table dug in in between a cluster of swamps on the forward objective with minefields & wire in front. They had a 2nd Strelk in ambush & 4 IS2s, 10 T34s & Katies in reserve.
Richard's Panzers advanced on the objective on the the German left, stopping short of the wire & blasting away. Steve's infantry advanced on the right while his heavy artillery sat back and blasted away.
The Russian ambush was dropped behind ridge, rushed out & destroyed a German infantry unit. But a storm of MG & artillery fire persuaded then to retire back over the ridge. The IS2's & T34s came on and advanced to meet the 7 Stugs & 2 Tigers. They might have had a chance if it was just the panzers against them but Steve's heavy artillery was deadly. The T34s went quickly. 5 Stugs died, but the Tigers were hard to hit & with Steve's heavy guns helping out the IS2s gradually got picked off. With them gone it was game over. It was an enjoyable battle with everyone being a bit braver than usual with no Firestorm pressure, but getting value out of IS2's is an art the Russians here haven't mastered yet.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Firestorm Turn 3 Battles 5 & 6 at Barrie's

Russians in Gorki attacked Orsha
Leigh's Motostrelk attacking Barrie's Sturm in No Retreat 1500 pts + FS troops (6x4 table)
Germans reduced to 1200 pts due to Out Of Supply but had Festerplatz defenses.
Leigh was faced with a fairly open battlefield in front of a strong German position with hedges for cover & a solid front of minefields & wire. Only on his left was there any cover - a village. The Russians advanced on both flanks - Strelk on the right & Strelk & ISUs through the village. Massed artillery supported the advance. The ISUs were bested by Hetzers in the hedgerows & the Strelk bottled up in the village. On the right the Strelk in the open were decimated & stopped by German fire. Leigh conceded that he couldn't win in any reasonable time & withdrew.
Russians in Lepel attacked Smolevichi
Richard's SS Panzer (ROH) v. Jim's Motostelk (FE) in Free For All 2000 pts + FS troops (6x6 table).
The Germans had a lot of MkIVs & Stugs supported by infantry, heavy artilley, SPAA & 88s, plus MkIV & Panzergrenadier FS troops.
The Russians had 2 Motostrelk, 10T34 (1/2 85's), 4/57mm a/tank, 8 Kats + extra crews, S85's. plus T34/85 & Sturmovik FS troops.
The main feature of the terrain was a lot of small woods scattered about.
The Russians precipitated a tank v. tank battle in the centre while trying to supress the German artillery with Rockets & Sturmoviks. The Germans allowed the woods to fragment their Panzer force & while the Russians had their difficulties finding clear shots, they took advantage & took out all the Panzers in the centre with the T34's. The Germans had dispersed their effort by sending 3 MkIVs down their left flank towards the Katies. These were intercepted by infantry in a confined gap between a wood and the table edge & after a bloody fight destroyed. On the other flank, MkIVs took the bait of rear shots at the 3 FS T34s. They took them out, but were then surrounded by SU's, a/tank guns & T34's & wiped out in turn (3 T34s for 7 MkIVs was a good deal for Ivan). Meanwhile, the German Heavy Artillery had been destroyed by the Katies & Sturmovics. With no armour, artillery or HQ left the German position was now hopeles, & when the T34s picked off the Panzergrenadiers it was all over.
A 5:2 victory for the Russians. The Germans lost their MkIV FS troop.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Third Crusade at Camp Cromwell 22/05/09

King Rich's Crusaders v. Jim & Thomas' Saracens - Camp Cromwell Rules

Mission based on Arsurf & Hattin.
The Crusaders have to cross the 8x6 table lengthwise & get off the other side with their baggage train & at least some Knights. Desert terrain with a road down the middle with hills, sand patches & salt pans scattered about. Crusaders deploy first within 60cm of back table edge. Saracens deploy second - anywhere on table except not closer than 30cm from any Crusaders. Crusaders get first turn - all units are considered moving under existing move orders. Saracen units start stationary & have to activate Initial orders.
The Crusaders win if they get their baggage train & at least 1 unit of knights off the far edge of the table. The Saracens win if they take the baggage train or rout all the knights. The army morale test rule doesn''t apply to the Crusaders, but does to the Saracens.
Crusaders: 2x3 Knights, 2x4 Sergeants, 2x4 Turcopoles, 4x4 spear & crossbow, 1x4 Train guards with 4 waggons, 1 General.
Saracens: 1x4 Elite Heavy Cavalry, 2x4 Heavy Cavalry, 6x4 Light cavalry, 4x4 spearmen,4x4 bowmen, 1 General.
The Crusaders placed 2 infantry either side of the train & charged forward with their cavalry.
The Saracens held back with their Heavy Cavalry & Spearmen & sent all their light cavalry & bowmen forward as skirmishers.
The Crusader cavalry trotted forward brushing the skirmishers aside though losing the odd casualty. The skirmishers got out of the way then closed on the infantry around the train. In the centre the Saladin's Heavy Cavalry charged down hill at the Knights & Sergeants. The hill plus some skirmish casualties balanced the odds a bit in the centre. Saladin's guards beat one knight unit. One Saracen Heavy Cav was beaten by the other Knight unit, but they then pursued off the table. The other Saracen Heavy Cav was beaten by Sergents. On the Saracen left, the spermen were beaten by Turcoploes & Sergents who did rally, but not until they readched the edge of the table. On the right, Spearmen in a salt pan beat off Turcopoles.
The routed knights ran back towards the baggage train with Saladin's guard in hot pursuit. One of the Infantry units was sacrificed to protect the train, but the relentless skirmishing had weakened the Infantry and attacks by Spearmen and Light cavalry (some of it now reformed) finished them off.
It was a very succesful scenario which gave both sides a chance even thought they were very different armies.
The pic is taken behind the Saracen right while the main forces are still slugging it out.

Desert Battles at Camp Cromwell 15-16/05/09

Jim's Bersaliglieri v. Rich & Thomas' British Motorised

2000 pts Breakthrough, Brits defending.
The Brits had to leave a lot in reserve due to only being allowed to have 1 wheeled platoon on table. They deployed Artillery, 2pdrs, HMGs & 2 Infantry, with 1 trucked infantry, 3x3 Crusaders & bugs in reserve.
The Ities put both Bersaliglieri on flank attack with 2x5M14, Semos, L6s, a/tank, mortars, art & HMG on the table.
The Brit left was held with dug in 4x2pdrs, their rigth with 8x25pdrs & HMGs. Infantry moved off towards the 2 objectives.
The Ities engaged the HMGs & 25pdrs with 47mm, HMG & Semos while 2xM14's & L6's charged the kept the 2pdrs supported by artillery & mortar fire. The 2pdrs were over-run & the swarm broke through. The Brit infantry heading for teh centre objective were cuaght in the open by the Carri & mown down by mg fire. The 1st Bersaliglieri reserve turned up before the motorised infantry could deploy on the rear objective. They shot up the trucks & destroyed the platoon. This caused army morale failure as the Brits reserves were tardy & they had lost over half their platoons on the table.

Jim's Bersaliglieri v. Rich's British Motorised

2000 pts Cauldron, Brits defending.
The Brits had 2x25pdrs, 2 inf & 6pdrs in the cauldron with 2xGrants, 2pdrs & Inf to come.
The Ities put 75mm, 100mm, 47mm guns & HMG on the table, with 2xCarri, Semos, Bersaglieri & Guastatori to come on.
The battle started with an artillery duel as the Ities tried to soften up the Brits. The first Itie reserves, Bersaligleri, had a nice depression available that covered their advance to within strking distance of the 6 pdrs. When the Semos came on to support them the Bersaliglieri charged the 6 pdrs. The supporting Brit Inf was pinned by artillery & the 75's laid a smoke screen to cut off fire support from the 25pdrs. The 6pdrs were over-run & the supporting infantry mauled in a follow up assault. The Bersaliglieri then failed morale. The surviving Brit infantry had been driven out of their foxholes & destroyed by the 75's leaving an objective undefended.
The Brit's reserves were slow to arrive - just 1 Grant platoon had arrived and was destroying the 47mm, but they had to move the 2nd infantry over to cover the objective threated by the Semos. The Semos moved up to take the objective, HMGs & 100's pinned the Brit inf & 25pdrs, 75's smoke screened off most of the 25pdrs. 3 Itie platoons still hadn't arrived. Finally all the Brit reserves arrived, but it was too late, they couldn't get close enough to fire on the Semos, the few 25pdrs able to fire only managed 1 kill & 1 bail so the Semos held the objective.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Camp Cromwell Firestorm Battle 19/05/09

Turn 3 Battle 4

Finally (on the 14th attempt!) the Germans won the Firestorm Initiative roll for the first time & Steve attacked Berezina from Osipovichi.
Steve had a Sturmkompanie plus Tigers & Luftwaffe attacking Mark's Tankovy plus Pioneers & IS2's in a No Retreat Mission on 8x6 table.
Barrie & Jim observing, Byron present for a short time.
The Germans put an objective close up on their extreme left flank where a ridge made it hard for the Russians to support its defence. The Rusians defended it with their Sappers, put their Strelk on the rear objective & T34's in ambush. Paks, 3 shot Tigers & Heavy Artillery gave covering fire as infantry crept forward ont he objective. The Sappers died, but bought time for the Shermans to come up and retake the objective. The Shermans copped a pounding from Heavy Artillery, Paks, Tigers & Hs129Bs. Mark had to go so Jim took over at the death. The IS2's were still lumbering up so the T34's had to come out of ambush to replace the doomed Shermans. They took out a Tiger, but the Luftwaffe, Heavy Artillery & remaining Tiger decimated them. They failed morale. In a desperate move, the Commander tried a re-roll, but failed. That left only the 2 IS2s available to contest the objective. The Tiger bailed one & the surviving 2 infantry of a platoon assaulted the other through smoke & killed it. That was the battle - a decisive 6:1 for the Germans.
Berizena has fallen to the Germans restoring supply to the Tigers in Zhlobin & cutting Mogilev off.
There were no Firestorm Troop losses.

Firestorm Battle at Barrie's 17/05/09

Sunday at Barrie's (from our Acton correspondant)

The Russians today won a 3 nil victory in Lepel
The Germans deployed with a medium Bty, Sturm Pl and HMG Pl on the left and PAK 40s and a three gun Field Bty in the centre with a second Sturm Pl, AA and Stugs on the right.
These were face by a Russian Gods Bty and two Strelk Coys facing the German Left a Medium Bty and a Tankovy Coy of T34/76s in the Centre and a third Strelk Coy plus T34/85 against the German right.
The Germans won the first turn and dug in everything except the Mdm Bty, they also advanced on the right with the Stugs and AA causing several casualties on the Russian Strelk on that flank.
The initial German aggression caused some consternation which soon turned to joy as the Russian Airforce arrived and took out one of the Stugs in the Russian first turn despite the proximity of the AA Pl (three planes helps!)
The second turn saw ineffective firing by the German Artillery and a Russian Infantry attack mauled by the massed HMGs on the German Left, the German Paks in the centre also destroyed two of the T34/76s.
Subsequent turns saw the Russians withdraw and go to ground on the German Left while a a long range fire fight in the centre was distinctively beneficial to the Pak 40s. The Stugs had been using a low hill to advantage on the right popping up shooting at the T34s in the centre and then storm troopering back out of site. Then disaster in one turn the Stugs failed their Storm Trooper move and were subsequently blown away by the Soviet tank horde in the centre, the Sturmoviks arrived again in numbers and destroyed two of the three AA with the T34/85s disposing of the third AA.
This left one Storm Pl supported by Paks in the centre but with restricted arcs of fire due to a low ridge to face the combined might of a Strelk Coy supported by a T34/85 Firestorm Troop and he the remainder of theTankovy Coy which had abandoned its central approach and moved to the German right flank.
Eventually the Strelk Coy on the German right was able to seize the right hand objective and pass numerous moral tests for under half strength to win the game. In the end there were only three teams out of an original 27 who proudly flew the Hammer and Sicle over the Objective while the much vaunted Russian Armour skulked out of line of site of the Pak40s. So a decisive Russian Victory.
The Russians had Stormoviks and T34/85s as Firestorm troops the Germans had none.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nick in Launceston

Three tables at the club tonigh for FOW. 12 tables in total.

Nick refereed James vs Rob. Robs 4th or 5th game. James was new too. James with Germans vs a British tank horde.

In summary, typhoons are lethal to JagdPanthers! The British tank horde won.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

15/05/09 at Barrie's: Firestorm Battle Turn 3 Battle 2

Firestorm battle: Russians attacking Zhlobin from Bykhov.

Barrie: Spevverband 2,000 pts + FS Tigers & Panzergrenadiers. Rolled 5 for Out Of Supply so no penalty.
Leigh: Motostrelkovy 2,000 pts + FS Sturmos & Heavy Artillery.
6x6 table Free For All Mission.
The Germans had 2 Tigers as well as the 2 FS Tigers, otherwise, the usual stuff.
The Russians had a normal battery + a heavy battery, 2 Strelk & 10 T34s as well as FS Heay Batt & Sturms.

Both sides adopted a cautious approach, digging in at the start. The ony advance was on the Russian left where both sides sent infnatry forward into a large village. There was a bit of sniping of T34s by the Tigers who popped some before they the rest hid behind the village. Meanwhile the Russians artillery & air tried to soften up the Germans - causing intermittant, but ultimately significant losses. The Russians attacked in the village. They pinned the German infnatry with SMG & flamethrowers reducing the Germans to 11 dice. But the Germans managed 10 hits at 3+ to stop them. The Ivans unpinned & tried again - another 10 hits from 11 dice stopped them again. The Ivans unpinned again & charged a third time. This time they killed a couple with prep fire & with 9 dice the Germans couldn't stop them charging home. The Germans were overwhealmed & the Russians took the village.
The German objective was now only 30cm away from the Strelk but it was after 11 oclock - the agree finishing time so the battle was a timed out draw.
The Germans had lost 2 platoons, infantry in the village & 2 Tigers to air & art, the Russians had lost no platoons so VPs were 3:1.
The Firestorm dice were low so no Firestorm casuaties & with a draw both side retain their own starting areas.

14/05/09: Camp Cromwell Firestorm Battle 1 Turn 3

Firestorm Battle 1 Turn 3

Jim's Tankovy attacking from Rudina v. Richard's Spevverband in Vitebsk.
Encounter Mission, 1500 points on 6x4 table.

Soviet Firestorm Troops: Heavy Battery + SMG + A/cars + Off table Art.
German Firestorm Troops: Pioneers.
Germans were out of supply & dropped to 1200 pts + F/S but had Festerplatz defences.
The minefields & wire caused the Russians to take it slowly, deploying Sappers, SMG, Heavy Art & Rockets with the armour in reserve.
The Germans deployed Paks, 88s & 2 infantry, with 105s, Hetzers & 2 more infantry in reserve.
The terrain was pretty close with hills, woods & villages restricting lines of sight.
With disadvantages of numbers it was a difficult task for Richard. The Soviet command took no chances and systematically used their numbers to grind the Germans down, winning by Army Morale Test.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Camp Cromwell 08/05/09

Jim's Bersalglieri v. Rich's Indians.

2000 points Cauldron on 8x6 desert table, Ities defending.
Rich was content to sit tight while gathering his forces before attacking. 3 Infantry & an HMG deployed around the Cauldron waiting for 8x25pdrs, Valentines, Matildas, 2x4 2pdrs & the RAF.
The Ities in the Cauldron (2 inf, HMG & 4x75's kept their heads down waiting for the cavalry to arrive 2x5M14, 6L6, 4 Semo47's & 4 Semo76's.
The cavalry came on in a rush. The L6s doubled towards the 25pdrs on their left, the M14's charged the infnatry near their edge of the table & the Semos headed around the right to support the Cauldron. The L6's drew the 2pdrs to the flank away from the action. The M14's & the infantry mutally destructed. The Valentines attacked the line, made a hole & were then blown away by the 75's. The Matildas were then destroyed by the Semos & 75's. The Indians had to throw HMGs then 2pdrs forward to get within 40cm of the objective - only to see them mown down & the battle lost anyway.
A very enjoyable battle though, with lots of silly hats and choice of silly accents. I do love the desert & it's the best place for the Cauldron Mission.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Tuesday 05/05/09 at Camp Cromwell

Firestorm Battle: Turn 2 Battle 5 - Russians attacking Vitebsk.

Mark's Tankovy v. Steve's Sturm troop in No Retreat with Festerplatz. Supply dice 1 = down 1 morale step.

Mark put in a pretty good attack. The line of minefields & wire was a real problem - especially when the sappers got pinned down by mortars & stayed that way. But he cleared most of the defence with tank fire & pressed on ove rthe wire. Enough tanks got through to take the objective, but the Germans blew them back off it, mostly with their artillery which had deployed out of reserve. The Soviets took it again, but again got blown away & this time failed army morale. A 5:2 victory for Germany & the heroic Vitebsk garrison held off the third attack on them.
The first pic shows the wall of Ivans line dup for the attack, the second shows the burning wrecks around the objective.

This was the last battle for the turn - we now go to the strategic phase between turns 2 & 3.

Practice Battle:
Byron's 7th Arnour v. Richard's Spevverband in 1500 pts Breakthrough.
The battlefield was pretty open giving the German 888's & Hetzers great lines of fire. Byron couldn't find a way around that & it was a comfortable German victory.

Nick in Launceston

Nick vs Rob. It was Rob's third or fourth game. He had a beautiful British armoured force he borrowed vs Nick's 12 SS Panzers from Cobra. Unfortunately Nick arrived at the club late, so the only table left was in Sci-Fi colours! The battle was a cauldron. The hero was a Luftwaffe 88 in the middle of the cauldron -- it took out 5 tanks! The SS Panzergrenadiers were pinned by flamethrowers, and never unpinned. But the SS Panzers methodically took the British apart platoon by platoon.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Camp Cromwell Firestorm Campaign Turn 2 Battle 4

James' Tankovy attacking Bobruisk v. Richard's Sperrverband (from Berizina)

Mission: Cauldron with Festerplatz defence.
Firestorm Troops: Soviets - 2 Artillery, Germans - Pioneers.
The Cauldron was ringed with minefields & minefields defended by a Sperr Inf, a Sperr Pioneer, a Pioneer & 2 88's. The Germans had Stugs, Hetzers, 105's, Sperr & Mortars in reserve.
The Russians put their 2 Firestorm heavy batteries & their Sappers on the table with T34s, Shermans & Honeys (10 each) in reserve.

The Soviet sappers cleared the minefield where it passed thru a village & formed up the Honeys to charge through, but the Stugs came on, fired down the road & the road became blocked with a pile of burning Honeys. So the sappers had to get to work clearing another minefield as the Shermans & T34s tried to supress the German fire on them. The Germans 105's & Hetzers arrived a bit late, but soon made their presence felt destroying the Shermans & making a hole in the T34s. But the Soviet artillery was making a big difference - for a change. They had popped the 88's early on & evetually 2 Stugs, 2 105's & 2 Hetzers as well. James had belatedly realised that the shit fight wasn't right place for the Honeys & they swept around the German's left to finish off the 105's. The T34/85's finally finsihed off the Hetzers, then the last pesky Stug. This left the Germans in a hopeless position. The Soviets could just stand back & blast away until the Germans' failed Coy Morale & there was nothing the Germans could do as they had with no artillery or Armour or anti-tank left.

The battle looked a hard ask for the Germans, but as always they are tougher than they look. RIchard put up a good fight & the Stugs & Hetzers almost turned the game. In the end it was the Soviet artillery that won the day (good Firestorm choice by James). It was a 4:3 victory for the Soviets & Bobruisk falls. The Firestorm rolls lost the Soviets one of their Artillery, the German Pioneers retreated to Osipovichi. The Soviets can move their surving Art plus up to 3 other 4 Firestorm troops from Berizena to Bobruisk.
Pic 1: The start. Soviet batteries in the distant corner, Sappers lined up to clear teh village.
Pic 2: The Tankovy line up.
Pic 3: The end - the Germans still hold the objectives but have lost more than half their platoons & would have to survive at least 20 mg dice at 4+ to launch a counterattack .

Total War 02/05/09

Jim's Tankovy + Strelk v. James: Panzer + Spevverband in 3000 pts Total War on 8x6 table.

The Mission is quite different from the typical in that you accumulate a VP by holding an objective at the start of your turn. There are 6 objective - 2 on each side & 2 in no mans land. Support troops are separated from the Coys and combined, so in this case we each had effectively 3 Coys - Tank, Infantry & Support. The battle ends either at an aggreed time or when one side hads lost all the Coys or all but 1 Coy & all the support platoons.
The Russians attacked with armour on the left, Staff in centre & Strelk on the right. The Russian armour won through to the objective, but just 4 Hetzers supporting the infantry made it a costly & time consuming exercise.
The straff took their objective before being slaughted by HMGs as usual.
The Russian attack on the right went pretty weel fro a while, but German counterattack by grenadiers & Panzers stoped it and the Germans took both objectives on that flank. But Russian reserves in a town stopped further advance.
Back on the Russian left, the Tankovy finally disposed of the pesky Hetzers & were able to turn right and meet the Panzer counterattack.
At the start the Russians gained objectives & accumulated an advantage in VPs, but the Germans counterattacks reversed the match & they caught up & got in front. As we had all day to fight & neither side really got on top, the battle degenerated a bit at the end with both sides all but destroyed. The germans did finally fail morale after about 5 hours, but if their ahd been a time limit, it's anybody's guess who would have been in front when the bell went. Pretty much a draw really.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Firestorm Campaign Turn 2 Battle 3

Russians attacking Orsha from Gorki

James' Sperrverband v. Rich's Tankovy in No Retreat Mission - Germans defending with Festerplatz (Jim umpiring).

Two Sperr Platoons in the front line with just 105s in support looked a bit lonely when the swarm of T34s, Shermans, Strelk, Straff & Pioneers started forward with rockets flying overhead. But they did throw a 5 for out of supply so it had no effect), were entrenched with a good line of wire & minefields & a Pak ambush to help. The Sappers got pinned by artillery & didn't unpin for 3 turns The tanks tried to cross the minefields, lost some, but got enough across to assault on both flanks. On the left the Shermans drove the infantry back, but their commander got left on the minefield & they became pillboxes. On the right the T34's also drove the infantry back, but then Stugs & Hetzers from reserve plus the Paks destroyed them.

The Straff reached the minefields and were steadily slaughtered as they failed to lift it. This distracted the Germans long enough for the Sappers & Strelk to come up. The Strelk made a gap in the minefield & charged. They drove a Stug off the objective but were repelled by the infantry counterattack - though the German infantry then failed morale. But the Russian attack had run out of steam, their last 3 Sappers, 1 Sherman, commander & the rocket battery (less 1 truck) got away. The battle was a 5:2 victory for the Germans, but they threw 1's for Firestorm casulaties and none were lost by either side.

Pic taken from behind Germans. The Shermans are on the right. On the left the T34s have been destroyed, the Straff are hung up on the minefield, the Sappers pinned down left rear & the Strelk waiting their turn centre rear.

Firestorm Campaign Turn 2 Battle 2

Russians attacking Vitebsk from Rudina (at Barrie's)

Barrie's Speverband v. Jim's Strelkovy (Steve providing unbiased umpiring).

The Germans had the usual small army of desperadoes armed to the teeth with HMGs, Pak 40s & Panzerthingies, plus Heavy Artillery over the Volga. Then they threw a 6 for the out of supply dice & became fearless. It was agreed that the Mission would be a Not One Step Back city fight (for a change). The city fight table is only 4'x3' so 32 pts of fortifications went a long way.

The Russians were fortunate to get the first turn and the sappers were up to the minefields at the start and made some gaps. The KVs & Straff headed for the RH objective & the big Strelk + SUs headed for the LH objective. The rest of the army couldn't fit in the front line. The T34/85s were deployed hull down on a hill on the right with a good field of fire to take on the Paks. The KVs were beaten off by the Pioneers with 1 killed by Paks, 1 bogged & 1 killed by the Pionners failed morale & disappeared. The Straff took over the attack & died to the last man but just couldn't get there.

On the other flank the Paks knocked off the SUs before the T34's got them all, but the big Strelk worked its way forward & actually got to the objective, but the Germans had an occupied trench line behind occupied to dispute it. The T34/85s had finished their work on the Paks, but were too far back to help much & the Strelk were blown off the objective by HMGs & heavy artillery.

But the fascists were incapable of attacking the Russian objectives so the battle was a draw. The Russians lost 3 platoons to the German's 1, so VPs were 2:0 (Desperate Battle rule). No Firestorm Troop casualty dice was required. But the Fascists still hold Vitebsk.

Pic from behind Russian line at the start.