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Monday, November 3, 2014

Barbarossa Battle German 38t Company vs Russian T-34 Tankovy

By Eric and Luke

Luke and I were ready for round two of Barbarossa battles, this time it would be something more reasonable: 1500 point armies.  I whipped up two tank armies for a fun quick game. The German list is based on 38t tanks and Russian based on T-34 tanks.

We rolled a random mission and came up with Pincer and used the new version where the defender declares his side his reserves come in.  We rolled who would be the auto attacking Russian and it was Luke.  The German forces were 38t HQ, two platoons of four 38t, a platoon of pioneers, a captured T-34 obr 1941 and a platoon of two 8-rads.  The Russians had T-34 obr 1941 HQ, a company of two T-34s, two companies of eight T-26s, and a company five BA-10s.   As the German with only five platoons I made a kampfegroup to make six platoons so I could get 3 on the table.  The Germans started with pioneers and the captured T34 guarding the objectives and the platoon of four 38ts in ambush.

The table with the objective behind the town and one in the top wood line.

The non recon BA10s lead with their face.
My thought here was I wanted to do at least one of two things:
A. Draw out Eric's ambush away from the main fighting.
B. Have some AT 7 assets that could shoot flanks and threaten the right side objective forcing him to spread out.
The two companies of 8 T-26 and company of T34s

Pioneers and the lone captured T34 on table

The BA10s move into town and the Russian wave moves down the side of the board.

I pop my ambush on the BA10s looking for the quick point with little return fire.  Bad shooting and firepower happened next, and missed the stormtrooper move....not good.

With three bailed one dead no morale check the BA10s on their turn return fire and kill a 38t
These guys died the next turn.  It would have been more advantageous to keep these guys on the flank as a threat.  With four platoons I should not have been so willing to take risks with them.
The German T34 gets one T-26 ...15 more to go.

German next turn the 38ts finish off the BA10s

The Russians drive forward another 8 inches slow and steady.

The German T34 faces off the Russian horde

The German T34 gets another T-26...14 more to go.

What became the theme of the game the dual of T-34s Luke's 3 versus my one.
Originally, I wanted to hold a unit of T-26's back to take on Eric's reserves as they came in.  However, in short order,  he began to slowly diminish the numbers of my tanks.  Feeling the pressure, I decided to move the tanks into the trees to try and take the objective.

The T-26s pressing the objectives.

The 38ts pick off a couple of T-26s and the Germans nab a T34 as well good turn of shooting.

Luke and my T34s played cat and mouse around this wood line shooting and running to the other side.

It is a slow grind killing a couple of T-26's each turn.  It is getting extremely frustrating not being able to kill his captured T-34.  I decide to stop holding back and commit everything to killing the T-34, thinking I can pull the T-26's back to safety afterwards and take out Eric's remaining 38(t)s afterwards.
Luke thinks about going for it and assaulting the pioneers but decides not to with the German T34 sitting there.

T34s bouncing shots off each other.

The German 2ic KG platoon comes on board and scores some hits.

Shoot and stormtroop to the other side of the woods.

Luke moves in for the kill.

The tough hide of the T-34s bounce the shots.

A critical mistake... I move my reserve platoon and start shooting..

But I forgot to move these 38t guys.....DOH!!!! and have all ready started shooting.
I offered to let him move, but he declined.
Ooops... these bums I forgot to move are totally out of position and exposed.

Luke will make me pay for being stupid

Finally his T-34 is dead, but my force is mostly gutted.  I try to hide my remaining T-26's to keep from having to take a company morale check.  Eric is very aware of this and goes for my battered light tank platoon. 
The 38ts get pasted one dead one bailed... AND the German T-34 gets blown up as well.

I fail the platoon morale check for the 38ts and the CO reroll losing three tanks that would have been in the fight had I made one of those rolls.

I now have nothing but the pioneers left that can deal with the Russian T-34s .. time to go to work.

My only hope is the kill the T-26s and force Company morale checks. Luke keeps passing platoon morale one T-26 left in one company.

The Germans have killed fifteen T-26s by this point and the lone last one needs to be hunted down to force company morale checks.

The T34s make short work of the 8 rads.

The Germans hunt down the last T-26s killing him and forcing company morale.

Eric has left his pioneers relatively exposed and I take some shots on them while they are not in bullet proof cover.
Luke passes the first company morale check and starts working on the pioneers.

The pioneers hide from the dreaded T34s and the remaining 38ts scatter for cover.

Luke passes another company morale check!  

The Pioneers get shot up in the woods
I discuss the odds of assaulting with Eric.  We both determine it is a bad idea, but I told him I didn't think I could make another company morale.  Invoking the name of Riha to invoke the dice gods and beat the odds I move into the tree line and kill two stands, Eric fails the counter assault roll.
And of course fail their morale check.....
Then fails the second check, the morale check and the pioneers run.
With the CO gone the Germans can not roll company morale and the game is over.
Eric's thoughts:  It was a pretty good game with lots of excitement.  I think I would modify the German 38t list and try to get 88s or air into the list.  At 1500 points I am not sure it can be done in a way that I would still like the list.  The Russian T-34s  are a beast but for this game I think it was the T-26s that were the hero for Luke; they never failed a morale check and I had to kill every single one of the 16 little buggers.  

Luke thoughts: This was some of the most fun I have had in a game in a while.  It was a real nail biter.  Sometimes the dice go in your favor.  It seemed like when I really needed the dice they were there for me. Overall I think the Germans have to bring 88's and or air support.  They need something to counter the heavy tanks and provide additional support.  I am officially done with T-26's.  The 8" movement is terrible if you are Conscript. I am going to look at BA-7s in the future in combination with T-34's.

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