Soviet IS-2s attacking German Grenadiers in The Big Push
12/19 THE BIG PUSH (first time ever playing this scenario for both of us!)
IS-2s led by Colonel Tom Demayo:
2 platoons of 4 IS-2s
Pioneers full str w/ wagon
GRENADIERS led by Hauptmann Steven MacLauchlan:
HQ w/ fausts & mortars
2 Grenadier Platoons w/ fausts
Battalion Pioneers w/ faust
3x Pak 40s
10.5cm Artillery battery
3x Stug IVs
4x Marder III M
The Germans deployed a broad front of mine fields and barbed wire, deploying the pioneers, a grenadier platoon, the pak 40s, and the 10.5cms.
An HMG bunker was also emplaced covering the left flank.
*The 10.5cm battery in the backfield
*The Pioneers holding the right (From Tom's objective)
*The left flank with bunker and pak 40s
*The Bolshevik pioneers
*Pioneers scout ahead of the main attack, ready to punch a hole through the defenses
The Preliminary Barrage is intense, but only manages to wipe out 2 infantry teams from the Grenadiers on the right flank, and 2 of the 10.5cm guns,
neutering the battery.
The German positions are pounded by a massive artillery barrage!
TURN ONE SOVIET:
the entire soviet Battalion advances to the edges of the fortifications.
MG fire rakes the trenches, but has no effect.
*The order is given
TURN ONE GERMAN:
Everyone but the HQ mortars and Pak 40s manage to unpin.
The weakened artillery batter ranges in on the horde of pioneers, but only manages to kill one stand.
MG fire from the grenadiers in the trenches kill another stand.
*The Soviets begin to take heavy fire from the defenders
TURN TWO SOVIETS:
The Pioneers unpin. On the left, the IS-2s cross the mines. One tank hits a mine and blows up, but the other 3 manage to cross unscathed.
On the left flank, the pioneers remove the mine fields, clearing the way for the tanks!
*The Soviets penetrate the outer defenses!
TURN TWO GERMANS:
The Pak 40s unpin and open fire on the IS-2s, bailing one.
A repeat barrage from the 10.5cm battery kills 2 more pioneer stands.
Rifle fire from the grenadiers drop another 4 stands. The Sappers break, and begin to fall back... The Battalion commander tries to rally them, but
gets caught up in the panic, and the whole lot flees the field! Cheering erupts from the trenches.
*The pioneers take heavy casualties before being routed!
TURN THREE SOVIETS
The IS-2s advance where the Sappers used to be, and annhilate 1 pak 40.
Meanwhile on the right, the IS-2s charge forward with MGs blazing, and assault the Pioneers!
After a few rounds of combat, 1 IS-2 is bailed, and 3 pioneer teams are dead. The Pioneers retire the position and fall back into the woods.
*The heavy Soviet tanks crash into the trenches
*Meanwhile, on the other flank, the IS-2s blast away at the pak 40s
TURN THREE GERMANS
A Grenadier platoon moves on from reserve, and the pioneers unpin.
The 10.5cm Artillery battery ranges smoke in on the IS-2s on the left. The Pak 40s open up on the only visible IS-2 and manage to bail it.
On the right flank, the Pioneers charge the 2 IS-2s, losing one stand in defensive fire, and subsequently being destroyed to a man in a horrible round of assaults.
*The Soviets are jealous of our smoke abilities
The Pioneers make their final charge
TURN FOUR SOVIETS
The bailed IS-2 on the left unbails, but the one on the right stays bailed. Subsequently, the two right-most IS-2s all bog down in the small wood behind the trenches where the pioneers were wiped out.
Another pak 40 falls to the heavy cannons of an IS-2.
*The IS-2s line up and continue firing on the pak 40s
*The IS-2s crash into the woods
*And both tanks become stuck
TURN FOUR GERMANS
The HQ mortars finally unpin, and the Marders come racing in from reserve, but 2 bog in a wood.
The 10.5cm battery ranges in on the IS-2s who are newly repositioned on the bridge, and the HQ mortars drop smoke on the one that was left behind.
Meanwhile, the company commander seizes an opportunity, and together with one of the 10.5cm observers assault the IS-2 platoon that has no working tanks, capturing all 3!
*The battlefield from soviet reconaissance planes
*The marders arrive from reserve
*The view from the trenches
*The company commanders and his ad hoc assault group with an observer team from the 10.5cm battery seize an opportunity, earning the CO a Knight's Cross.
TURN FIVE SOVIETS
Down to only 4 IS-2s, the Soviets continue the attack! Volley fire from the massive guns annhilate the remainders of the Pak 40 platoon.
*The IS-2s volley fire on the Pak 40s
*The Pak 40s are eliminated
TURN FIVE GERMANS
No reserves arrive, but the stuck marders free themselves and take positions in the woods.
The 10.5cms continue barraging the IS-2s, but do no damage.
*The Marders advance in the woods
*The view from the German lines
TURN SIX SOVIETS
The IS-2s charge the trenches! Defensive fire from the panzerfausts bail an IS-2. the Is-2s crash into the trenches haphazardly and score no hits.
The Germans counter attack and knock out an IS-2. The IS-2s then fail their motivation and fall back, leaving two more dead! With only two IS-2s left on the field, the Soviet commander concedes the battle, and pulls back.
*More IS-2s fall, forcing the soviets to pull back and let the penal battalion handle this region
Colonel Demayo: "I am not pleased with my Guard's motivations"
Hauptman MacLauchlan: Tom must have the worst luck ever. He failed every important motivation check and bogging those two IS-2s may have been what really cost him the game.
In hindsight I honestly don't think Tom did anything wrong... when you fail every important morale check you need to make, fearless or not, what can you do besides grin and bear it?
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