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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Southern Front AAR

Huge thanks to Chris Berry et all who made the tournament at The Southern Front event in Raleigh NC a blast.

I ran German Pioneers from the .pdf.

My list was:
HQ w/ mortars & HMGs
3x Full Strength Pioneer platoons
one with the supply truck
4x Brummbars
3x Panzer IV H
Armored Panzerwerfers w/ extra crew
Sporadic Hs129B

Joe's list (from memory) was
HQ (1x T-34/85)
10x T-34s with the hero (is it Dedov?)
6x T-34s (5 up gunned to 85s)
3x SU-85s
Full SMG Motostrelk (or were they rank riders? Huge infantry blob :P )
6x Heavy mortars
2x Panzer IV Hs (spetsnaz)
Honestly, this game was VERY difficult for Joe. The terrain was monstrously heavy (rivers criss crossing, which at some points were impassable). And his dice completely stabbed him in the back.
Joe's luck went incredibly south when he tried to cross his big T-34 blob across the river, even with wide tracks I think 6 of them bogged down. After shooting at them with brumms and airplanes, 3 in total were knocked out, leaving him with something like 1 or 2 fighting and 3 dead forcing a morale check. He promptly failed, attached his company commander for the reroll, and failed that. Out of 11 tanks, only 3 were actually knocked out, yet they all fled the field. That was ugly.

In the end I drove off his other T-34 platoon, Heavy mortars, and SMG company which knocked him below half in the same instant I captured the objective. 6-1.

THOUGHTS: Honestly, if all of the boards were this heavy I would've said the TOs needed to rethink the terrain. Joe was definitely hosed on this one, but my next game proved that the door swung both ways. Joe is a great guy, and laughed off his horrible rolls, and sped up at the end which ensured I got the 6-1 rather than a 3-1 draw, which was very sportsmanlike of him. I'd happily play another game with Joe any day of the week.

Will's list (from memory)
HQ (T-34/85 I think?) + 3 AA vehicles
2 full Tankovy companies, each with 5 T-34/85s
3x IS-2s with tank riders
Spetsnaz platoon (3 stands with 2 captured German halftracks)

This table was the polar opposite of the previous one with Joe. Wide open spaces made it very daunting for me to get my pioneers to the objective, and allowed fairly free movement for his tankovy.

I deployed 2 pioneer platoons around his starting box, a 3rd ready to race forward to the objective, and my panzerwerfers. My panzer IVs and brummbars were both left in reserve.
He deployed 1 tankovy blob and his spetsnaz. His IS-2s and the other tankovy blob were in reserve.

This was looking ugly- wide open spaces for his tanks to squishy my pioneers. On turn one he came crashing forward and assaulted a pioneer platoon. They were spread very thin so they broke off. I don't remember the exact order, but at some point some very lucky shooting from the panzerwerfers + flamers + smoke from the HQ mortars made it feasible for my pioneers to assault his tankovy. We destroyed a handful- enough to force a check, but the pioneers were reduced to 2 stands. I passed my motivation, but Will failed his even after the company commander, leaving just his spetsnaz on the board. Very soon thereafter the spetsnaz were hit by an air strike, knocking out a transport, though the passengars escaped unscathed.

Meanwhile on the objective, my pioneers failed 2 turns in a row to dig in! And naturally his reserves came on right in front of them. 10 T-34s rolled on, MGs blazing. The pioneers evaporated. Slowly but surely I was running the last full strength pioneers towards the objective knowing I had a few turns to get in range. My brummbars and panzer IVs arrived from reserve and drove forward earnestly.

A few turns passed quickly with his IS-2s and tankovy locking down the objective, but I was able to feed a pioneer stand to keep the game going. After softening them up with brummbars, Panzer IVs, panzerwerfers, and flamers, the pioneers were able to assault the huge tankovy blob and ran them off. But my panzer IVs and brummbars had taken a beating. 1 brumm left, 2 Panzer IVs, 1 pioneer platoon with 2 stands, and the other down to around 5. Will was advancing his scouts towards my panzerwerfers when suddenly I remembered the panzerwerfers are tank teams with AA MGs! I raced them forward and shot the spetsnaz up, knocking them below half- though they passed their motivation.

I made a daring attempt on the IS-2s, surrounding them with Panzer IVs and the last brummbar, but utterly whiffed it. But my Panzerwerfers chased down his spetsnaz, and assaulted into some woods to kill off the last stand and eliminate the platoon. Will started his turn below half, and with no CO left. This was a very very hard fought battle, and I truly believed it was over for me when he held the objective with 13 tanks in the wide open. I lost a pioneer platoon and my panzer IVs, making it a 4-3.

THOUGHTS: I truthfully thought I was hosed, especially when an entire pioneer platoon evaporated in the face of 40 MG dice. One or two die different could've lost me this game handily, and I was quite stunned I pulled it off. Those Panzerwerfers were the true star of the match. I admit that having my artillery charge out and go hunting might be a bit gamey, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Keith's List
HQ (T-34/85)
8x T-34s, 4 upgraded to 85s
8x T-34s, 4 upgraded to 85s
5x SU-76s
3x Heavy mortars
10x T-70s
3x SU-122 (or were they 152, I don't recall?)

And again, the terrain swung heavily in my favor. A very difficult river crossed the table short-ways, with 1 bridge and 1 ford, providing me a very very effective line of defense. I felt bad about putting my mine-field across the bridge exit, but such is war I suppose.

Keith did all he could, charging forward with everything, and actually got quite a few tanks across the river. In the end though, pioneers and brummbars with HS 129Bs in support are just too much to handle, especially when contending with a river to cross. I knocked out his T-70s, both T-34 platoons, and his SU-152s along with the company commander knocking him below half. Again he was a great sport, and did actually manage to knock out a pioneer platoon. 5 - 2

THOUGHTS: Like I said, Keith had a very tough time of this. I will say, however, a big infantry platoon could've really helped him here. Since he had zero soft targets for my rifles, I deployed my pioneers entirely out of sight since they didn't even need to shoot at anything. an SMG company would've terrified the hell out of me here.

This is the first time I've ran Germans at a tournament, and I was quite pleased. This was also the first time I've ever played against Tankovy (Except for Guards tanks- played a game vs IS-2s and a game vs KV-85s, see my blog for those batreps). I've always been afraid of the massive blobs of T-34s, but in total my pioneers killed or ran off somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 russian AFVs.

I got 2nd overall, with 15 total VPs. A huge thank you to Chris Berry again for a well run event. And another huge thank you to all 3 of my opponents who were all excellent sports- that really makes this game what it is.

Hopefully Joe can post a few pictures from our battle, he snapped quite a few.

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