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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

AAR: Russians vs. Finns in Fighting Withdrawal Infantry Battle

Steven and I continued our "Get Jon's Stuff on the Board" series, where I play things I have painted, but have not yet played.  I started the Finns a long time ago, but have not got them on the table at all, as I was slowly building up the force so that it can fight from Early War to Late War.

We played the same day we recorded a Know the Mission for Fighting Withdrawal, so we went ahead and played that mission.  We rolled a die, and I got to be the defender.  We decided it was snowing, so we basically treated everything as Slow-Going.

Jon's List:

I am pretty limited in my choices of platoons - due to what I own - so I basically put a list together with all my Early War appropriate models.  Steven put together some Strelkovy.

Steven's List:

I deployed this infantry unit in the woods on top of my right-most objective.  I was going to have to count on this unit to hold off the horde.  I put the two attached HMGs on the edge of the wood (on is behind the tree) to give me to option to shoot the blob as it got closer.

I put my artillery just slightly to the right of the center objective, and in a wood.  I wanted to be able to use the guns in direct fire and as artillery to support both the middle and right objectives.

I put my other infantry unit on the center objective, but fanned out toward the left objective.  With only two infantry units, I needed one to do double-duty.

I put the T-26s on the far left, supporting the left-most objective - it is off-screen in the woods ahead of these tanks.  A 81mm mortar platoon is right behind them.

My air spots the massive horde of Soviets -- this isn't going to be pretty.

This is the blob attacking my right objective.  I plan to mortar this, shoot it with the T-26s and shuffle some infantry over to cover.

This is the horde attacking my left objective.  I plan to cry myself to sleep.  The plan was to shoot up the gun teams with as much as possibly, then deal with the tank, then the infantry.  Sounds good, but hard to execute.

Steven moves everything up, so I spring my Ambush.  I figure with 10 shots at a 3+, only 5+ saves and 4+ FP, I should kill maybe 2-3 guns.  I then hit'm with the arty, and I luckily got planes.  I should shoot'm up ok, right?  I also get in position where I am Concealed for return fire.

So, I kill two guns.  A grim situation is looking even more grim.  Steven made about 2/3 of his 5+ saves with these guys and I missed some Firepower tests.

The plane shoots MGs and hits a bunch, but Steven makes every 5+ save.  Where is Steven's customary dice failure on Turn 1?!?!

The wave of humanity and steel moves ever forward...

Steven moved up and shoots.  Cover, long range -- how bad can it be?

Oh, how about two tanks dead, one Bailed Out.  Gah.  Steven also took out a gun team.

A ton of rifle shots get a Bail.  This isn't funny any more.

Steven takes out my HMGs.  This is not looking good.

...and the tanks are finished off.

On the other side, the T-26s shoot up the Strelk pretty good, but they keep coming.

I start to drift the T-26s over to the right while still shooting the blob on the left.  I have also moved the infantry up a bit to challenge more.

My artillery really shoots up the Soviet guns, but they make the Morale Check.

...and here comes the Assault.  Amazingly, I really shoot up the incoming attackers, but....

...yeah.  This is over.  6-1 to Steven.

Concluding Thoughts:

I think this is a pretty tough match up for my list.  Steven and I reflected a bit, and we could not come up with a ton of missions where I might have the advantage against him - maybe Encounter?  From my standpoint, I would probably put the T-26s closer to the middle to mass my tanks a little.  I thought my Ambush was a bit risky, but I really expected to get some more kills in and survive.  The reason I sprung it was to get shots in before Steven shot my arty to death.  There was no way I was sitting there, not firing with the artillery, and I was not about to get volley-fired to death by eight guns.  This was a good opportunity to get my Finns out and we had a good time!

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