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Friday, August 8, 2014

Desperate Measures Hero Motostrelkovy vs Panzergrenadiers (Cauldron)

By Steven MacLauchlan

Sean and I wanted to get a follow up to our 1942 desert battle, and opted for a Desperate Measures era scrape. I put together two interesting late war Flames of War lists, and we rolled to see who ran what. The mission we rolled for was Cauldron. Sean wound up running the Germans, and I the Motostrelk. The Soviets are on the attack!

The Manor house and fields on the left are the Germans' area of the board. Objectives are near the left-most bridge, and on the right between the two fields on the left.

Sean starts the game with a Panzergrenadier platoon, his Pak 40 halftracks, and his Panthers (in immediate ambush).

Panzergrenadiers fill the houses, while their halftracks are parked outside with the engines running!

The Soviets begin with both infantry platoons, the artillery, and the T-34s. Infantry and T-34s both start opposite the bridge.

Holding the bridge.

As the defender gets the first turn, Sean drops his Panthers opposite the artillery.

Rudel zeroes in on the T-34 platoon commander.
Halftracks get out of sight of the Zis-3 guns.

Pak 40 halftracks adjust, ready to react to the T-34s.

On the opposite flank, infantry moves forward under the watchful eye of the guns.

Rudel claims a victim.

The Soviets decide that delay would lead to their death from Rudel.

T-34s nail one of the halftracks. Artillery joins in, bailing another one. The Soviets decide not to assault.

Left side top of two.

Right side top of two.

Panthers knock out a gun.

The pak 40 halftracks, feeling confident Rudel is going to deal with one more T-34, open fire on the infantry; and knock out 4 stands.

Rudel does indeed claim another.

The Company commander joins the tanks in order to give them a re-roll...

The last tank and the attached CO fail their fearless morale check, and quit the field. Sean rolls the 5+ to actually destroy the CO. Ouch.

But the Motostrelkovy unpin! The 76mm guns drop a barrage on the Pak 40 halftracks, miraculously bailing 3!


The assault is successful...

And the other two pak 40 halftracks do not, in fact, enjoy the war! Morale is low for everyone in this game! No Soviet reserves have yet arrived.

Sean also fails to get reserves on the top of 3. Halftracks roll out (staying in command of a dude in the building) to shoot at the infantry now holding the bridge and the objective.

Panthers again pound away at the Zis guns, knocking out two more. Soviet infantry takes up position in the woods, but have no chance of launching a successful assault with all of the houses full of Panzergrenadiers.

Right flank bottom of three.

Left flank bottom of three.

Soviets push into the manor house.

As 3 SU-100s arrive from reserve!

The remnants of the Motostrelk dig in (We discussed whether to let them dig in on the bridge, but decided they "fortified" the position, didn't actually dig holes into the stone!)

Su-100s kill one and bail the other.

SU-100s now threaten the panthers.

On the top of 4, Sean moves his Panthers out for safety.

Halftracks keep blazing away at the motostrelk holding the bridge objective...

Killing the commander! The next team still holds the objective, but only just!

Panthers and Panzergrenadiers tear into the manor house, pinning the soviets down.

As Rudel knocks out an SU-100.

Soviet AA arrives on the bottom of 4- a day late and a dollar short.

SU-100s drive forward (which was stupid- I wanted to use them to shoot Panzergrens, and forgot they were trained! I could've hit on 6s with re-rolls AND kept hull down!  D'oh!). The guns also walk forward.

The developing situation on the bottom of 4.

Sean gets two reserves on the top of 5! First up, his armored rockets.

Secondly, some heavy recon which races up a flank.

One Panther moves out to take shots on the SU-100s

The other stays put to fire on the motostrelk in the manor house.

An SU-100 gets bailed out, but survives! Why he has an ace dice? Not sure.

Soviet reserves arrive- the Spetsnaz surround the Heavy Recon!

Both vehicles are bailed out by MGs!

On the other flank, Zis guns tear into the panzergrenadiers... pinning them down, and knocking out 2 stands.

The Heavy Recon is captured easily.

SU-100s return fire on the panthers but whiff.

On the top of 6... Sean fails to unpin his Panzergrenadiers... and with his Heavy Recon knocked out, he can't get to the objective! He decides to pour everything he can into that unit hoping to either kill the one team contesting, or break the platoon.

His last reserves arrive.. directly behind the Spetsnaz!

A Panther nails both SU-100s!

MGs pour into the Spetznas, knocking out two tracks!

The Motostrelk hold the bridge, despite taking a massive volume of fire! Surviving Sean's last hope- the rocket barrage, means the game will go to the Soviets.

But just to finish it out for funsies, Sean launches a mounted assault on the Spetsnaz!

Who are shot to pieces, but two teams escape!

Closing Thoughts: Well, I think this is a case of Sean thinking he had time, then finding himself pinned at a crucial time! I held the objective for 4 turns with a battered unit. Everything else was pretty much a sideshow. Still, this was a fun game! Always fun to play with Sean! 4-3 to the Soviets.

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