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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Early War Strelkovy vs Panzer Schutzen (Fauxbarossa)

By Steven MacLauchlan

The man himself- Throck Morton, came down to Richmond for a lil' Flames Of War. I whipped up two lists: Panzerschutzen from Blitzkrieg, and Strelkovy from Rising Sun. I wanted to play "Fauxbarossa" so came as close as I could to creating appropriate lists. That, and, I really wanted to have as many T-28s on the board as I could! We rolled to see who ran what, and determined I would run the Germans, and Throck would (for the first time ever!) push the Soviets. I told him to call on his inner sadist- there are gonna be casualties![I was terrified and bewildered! ~T] The mission came up as Counter Attack. Interesting, since Jon and I had just played this, it was fresh in my mind.

Throck puts the 45mm guns in ambush.

 The Soviets choose the "South East" quadrant to deploy in.

The massive horde prepares to move out! Note the flags in the background, depicting the Battalion Command group. Remember, in Early War, Soviet platoon (company) commanders must be within command range of the Battalion commander to receive the re-roll.

 The Germans deploy in the adjacent quadrant. The two objectives are in the top right, and the top left.

 The mechanized column rumbles forward!

 So. Many. Soviets.

 Panzer IIs deploy facing off a Strelkovy company.

 Panzerjaegers and halftracks roll out!

The 2nd Panzerschutzen moves at the double to hook around the hill!

Mortars direct fire smoke after everyone opens up on the Soviets with everything. They kill one stand and bail a T-28. Not a great opening turn!

The mortars lay down tons of smoke!

The one bailed T-28 on the bridge.

On the bottom of the turn, the Soviets roll out!  T-28s fire wildly, but Hen and Chicks sees their shots go wide.

 Even through smoke, enough HMG and rifle fire bail two of the Panzerjaegers.

 The red tide rolls on.

The Panzerschutzen accompanied by the 2iC keep rolling! They're taking the long way 'round to keep from bunching up. The Chaikas intercept the Stukas for the second time.

While the main thrust comprised of the Panzergrenadiers and the Panzerjaegers shift towards the town and the far objective.

 Jaegers line up shots on the T-28s.

MG fire knocks out a handful of stands, and the mortars then direct fire smoke to keep the HMGs from tearing into the Panzerjaegers.

 Boom! One T-28 goes up in flames.

 The Soviet horde.

 They continue to rumble forward, taking the village east of the road.

 Turn three. Both Germans and Soviets are working their way laterally towards the far objective.

 Panzerjaegers take cover in the fields, and nail another T-28.

 The 2nd Panzerschutzen platoon shows up. 8-rads take up position near the objective.

 The battle is getting hot and heavy!

 Panzer IIs charge forward!

 Grinding a few stands beneath them...

 Before finally being forced back and losing one tank!

At this point, we take a break and I have a few too many margaritas. But the game must go on!

 The Soviets push forward!

 The T-28s stay stationary and the gamble pays off! Two Panzerjaegers go up in flames from one T-28!

While the other T-28s knock out one 8-rad and bail the other. The remaining 8-rad manages to pass his motivation test!

 The 2iC and 2nd platoon form up, ready to move on the objective.

 While first platoon along with the CO prepare to launch an assault to forcibly vacate the new tenants!

 Some of the halftracks are left unmanned, and tear into the advancing Strelkovy.

 For the first time all game, planes show up! They don't do much but kill a handful of rifle teams. [First time because my doughty little bi-plane kept intercepting them! ~T]

 The Panzers IIs go in again! They're stubborn!

 The grind continues.

 But the Soviets just keep throwing bodies!

The Soviets score a few hits and the Panzer IIs are forced back. They'll be back!

Mortars lay down smoke to clear the way for the Panzergrenadier assault as the Panzerjaegers drop another T-28.

 German infantry charges in!

 And the Soviets have no problem pushing back. The fight goes back and forth for several turns.

 In fact, the Soviets give at least as good as they get! [Better than they should have really! ~T]

The bodies pile up. The Panzerschutzen wound up losing 5 teams, but pass their motivation test to stick around! [I think those infantry missed the day when the Drill Feldwebel was teaching close infantry tactics! ~T]

Bottom of the turn. The Soviets roll with it- not even below half strength left. The Panzerschutzen platoon, on the other hand, are battered.

Throck sends forth the assault! The Germans get 15 dice in defensive fire, and Throck has Quality of Quantity plus smoke and various other concealment. Throck's T-28s shoot at the Halftracks, hoping to scare them off. He bails one, but they stick around.

 Urrah! (the smoke markers indicate the corners of the smoke barrage from the German turn)

But the Germans score exactly 10 hits, stopping the assault cold. The casualties do enough to push the Soviets below half strength, and even with a total of 3 motivation rolls, they flee in terror!

 The Germans are still facing down 4 T-28s, but the wind has been taken out of the Soviets' sails.

 The other side of the table.

 2 Stukas swoop in. A few Germans have to move back a bit to keep the Stukas from getting waved off!

 Halftracks pour fire into the remaining Strelkovy platoon.

 Panzerjaegers drop another T-28.

 The T-28s are reduced to three tanks and are now below half strength!

 They also fail. Throck has failed 4 motivation checks in a row. Bummer! [Sometimes, if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have none at all! :) ~T]

 And the Panzer IIs of course come back in! And again they are forced back- losing another Panzer II.

 It is now Throck's turn. His Strelkovy unfortunately do not return with "wave attack". With that, he's not going to be able to contest the objective.

Throck gets a single Chaika.

 And his 45mm guns pop their ambush.

 The end result is one dead and two bailed Panzer IIs.

 Who quit the field!

And so the Germans start turn 6 with the objective.

Well, it all sort of collapsed for the soviets there! Dealing with those T-28s was going to be very difficult. still, the bigger they are, the harder they fall! 5-2 to the Germans for this one.

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