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Friday, October 3, 2014

Barbrossa Battle: Tankovey Battalion Vs. Medium Panzer Company

By Eric Lauterbach & Luke Melia

Barbarossa has started! Yeah!  Luke and I decided to give it go and test out the new lists.

I started to throw together some forces and I quickly found out if we want a tank on tank fight we need massive points.  So it ended up somewhere in the 2000 to 2400 points on the board but really it looked like a 1500 point Flames of War mid-war battle.

I made both lists out of what forces I had on hand at the time so they are not really optimized combined arms armies. We rolled a random mission got hasty attack and then rolled random for who got to be which side. We made a mistake with who gets to be the defender in the mission we missed that Tankovy is always attack.  Oh well... get it right next time its a first game with these forces.

For the German Medium Panzer Company Luke had 6x Panzer IVs (two in HQ), 10x Panzer IIf (two platoons) and 5 Panzer 38t.

The Soviet Tankovy force was fearless conscript: 5x T-34 (one in Hq), 10x T-26s, 6x Armored Cars BA-6, and 3x AAA trucks.  Both forces with four platoons so it was going to be good fight.

The table a Russian village

T-26s start on table for the Soviets

T-34s start on table.
My thought here was to push the left flank as hard as I could.  I left my right flank deliberately open with only my 2iC in the general area.  I figured if Eric went for my objective it was a win win for me.  That would pull the T-34's off my main attack and I knew my reserves would be able to "feed" the objective long enough for me to keep my objective.  I got reserves turn one and pressed them to my attack.
The Germans start with PzIVs and 38t tank platoons.

I purchased Panzer IVd models for the list but we messed up and played them as Pz IVe with better front armor than we should have.  That is what you get when throw things together.

T-26s defend the objective.

Germans get the first turn and move out!

Luke moves toward the objectives he also got his first PzII platoon and reinforced his objective.

Soviet T-34 Battalion commander does not fear PzIVs.

T-26s DO fear the PzIVs and hide like little girls.

The T-34s move towards the enemy objective with worry nothing can kill them to the front only bail.

38t sneaking forward

Luke's turn two and he has all his forces on table.
It's about to get ugly.

I put three full platoons into the attack.  I wanted to get Eric into a position where he would have to move to shoot me making it extremely hard or even impossible for him to hit me.
T-34s going for the German Objective.

The Germans move in for the kill.

The German shooting is terrible
My luck was pretty bad here.  Either I didn't hit or I couldn't make a firepower.
The T-26s get off easy.

The German then fail the stormtrooper: a string of bad luck for Luke.

T-26s get in position to shoot. Its all about numbers.

T-34s shoots and Luke bounces it.

I realize that Luke has enough tanks to feed into the German objective to keep it defended a long time vs. Hen and Chick T-34s... this attack was a bad idea.

With Hen chicks the T-26s do not get many hits and Luke bounces those as well.
  Because of the buildings I am having difficulty getting into a great shooting position.
German turn and Luke grabs some cover and continues the fight.

Panzer IIs get set for some shots.
I have to take advantage of ROF 3.  With so many Soviet tanks I need to put them out of the fight quick.  I am slowly moving my Panzer MK IV's to be able to move to get side shots on Eric, hopefully forcing him to move.
Bonk! the HQ tank gets bailed!

T-26s get off light with only one killed two bailed.

The 38ts also get their shots and bail one.

The T-34s turn around to help and shoot the impossible shot needing sixes.
BOOM! three sixes!
Eric got me good with this shooting.  If those 38T's had been able to stay in place then stormtrooper out of the way I would have been able to put a serious hurting on those T-26's.
Two dead one bailed.

T-34s did well. The T-26s ...not so much. They bailed a PzIV and killed one PzII with 18 shots.

The Soviets also had a reserve come in 6 BA-6 which shot and missed.

The Germans blast the BA 6s as even machine guns cause problems for these guys.
 The MG's actually save the day and end up forcing most of the bails.
Luke also killed two T-26s and bailed 3.
Having to split my fire was not advantageous to me and I would have liked to not have to do it.  I underestimated the ability of the Panzer II's and 38T's to effectively kill.  The fearless rating is extremely important in EW.  It is really hard to kill tanks in EW and bails are very common.  Being able to get back in your tank / vehicle is extremely important.
On the Soviet turn a PzII goes down to the T-26s

German turn and Luke goes for it.
I even asked Eric, "You sure you don't want to move your T-34?"
Luke also works over the BA6s

38t and Panzer II shoot it out with the T-26s

The T-26 commander blows up....not good. Plus the T-34 commander gets bailed.

The silly BA6s who are easily bailed by machine gun fire fail their morale check and 4 tanks leave the table with only two actually killed.  ...Man I really hate that.

Of course my T34 Battalion commander fails his fearless morale check to bail back in.... game.

ERIC: Well that collapsed quick for a mostly fearless army. I made the tactical mistake of trying to threaten the German objective with the wrong unit.  The T-34s should have stayed back and defended the objectives which would have made it real hard for Luke to even come forward at them.  The Germans really need an answer for T-34s and KV tanks.  I think every German force needs at least one of these three things:  German Pioneer platoon, Stuka's, or a Flak 88 platoon. Those are the affordable options for taming the Russians bears.

LUKE: I agree with Eric.  88's are going to be important.  These tank platoons are supposed to be auto attack, so the German player will often times be the defender.  I think upgrading the MK IV's is a waste of points.  I would rather have some more units on the table.  This was our first battle and we did make some mistakes with points and set up, however you can not underestimate the power of the T-34.  It is going to make it tough for the Germans.  In addition, these lists are going to be extremely difficult to make with only 1500 points, which is a common amount of points to play for EW.  If you have a 2000 point open EW game it may become bogged down by sheer volume if one chooses to play infantry.  The face of EW has definitely changed.

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