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Friday, January 1, 2016

Late War Fighting Withdrawal - Germans vs. USSR

by "Dirty" Jon 

Tarzan and I decided to play a Late War game of Flames of War before recording the podcast.  We wanted to do something weird, so we jacked up the points and both picked lists that are not great. I wanted to get the old Panzer IV/70s on the board - which I love.

I went with an entire company of CT PzIV/70s, some Nebs, Ostwinds, a little Infantry, a CV King Tiger and Rudel.

Eric made up a hero IS-2 list and we went at it. His list had three platoons of two IS-2s with the FA 11 upgrade.  He also had a unit of T-34/85s, some arty, two Assault Guns (I think ISU...something) and air.

We rolled up a random mission and got Fighting Withdrawal.  I won the game roll (by rolling low) and got to Defend - yay! 

Zee Germans take the lower half of this board.

I set the board up with lots of terrain so Eric would feel comfortable.  This also worked to the advantage of the PzIV/70s when defending....which was nice.  If I had to attack on this board, it would have been trouble for sure.

I put my objective in the dead center (in the woods) and Eric put his two on either side.  I chose to deploy everything but a platoon of PzIV/70s, which I held in Ambush.

Zee Germans

Eric lined up his forces to attack my right objective, near the house.  He led the assault with plenty of IS-2s and his Assault Guns.

The King guards one objective.  I put the Ostwinds over there to keep his plane in check.  I rolled a crappy Ace skill, Schnell!

On Turn 1, Eric charges forward.  He gets up close and personal, his only real chance.

The bombardment does nothing to the PzIV/70s.

The return of Ghetto Smoke!  I smoke some stuff to make the huge Russian monsters move.  With that gun, my tanks can get ripped to pieces.

I blow up some of the T-34/85s, but they stick around.  Rudel Bails one of the assault guns.

Stupid Russian arty starts blowing up tanks!  This is a real weakness with Trained TA1 assets.  Sadface.

Russian shots do some damage, and it isn't looking great for the Germans.  Return fire better do something, for sure.

Smoke, smoke and more smoke.  I try to keep as many of the big guns moving as possible.

We get a few results, killing an IS-2 in the middle...

...and blasting a platoon on the right.  I really try to concentrate fire and knock out platoons.  There is no way I am winning this without a Company Break.

Rudel does nothing.  The tough armor on the Russians is bad news for an otherwise very effective hero airplane.

 I decide to move the King out before I lose the objective and the game.  He takes a shot at the T-34/85s and...

 ...send them on their way.

The situation is looking fairly grim.  If Eric has a good round of shooting, this could be curtains.

Eric fans.  He misses a bunch of 4+ shots.  ROF 1 is killing the Russians, for sure.

I move out my Infantry to take on the IS-2.  Every stand has a Faust and I have 2 Schrecks, so I try it.

I manage to blow up Eric's Staff Team, which has been repeat bombarding me.  Hopefully, this will help.

Rudel comes in and claims an Assault gun.

More tanks go down to the PzIV/70s.  These front shots are not great, but the volume is finally catching up with the Russians.

The Tank Assault pays off and scratches an IS-2.  I almost didn't make it in!

I retreated the Ostwinds, so the King is out there by himself.  Luckily, Eric fans.

PzIV/70s run out to take side shots.  If we kill a few more things, it will be over for the huge Communist tanks!

I roll pretty well and take out enough to force a Company check.  With no CiC or 2iC, Eric fails automatically.

I think this was won and lost on determining the Attacker.  If I had to run into those IS-2s, in cover, with Trained tanks...yeah.  Also, I think it is important to remind everyone to pick a vision for how to win a game at the beginning.  I decided from the get-go that I would not be able to hold out until Turn 8 and win - I HAD to get a company break.  This meant that I sometimes took risks to achieve that goal.  I shot instead of keeping Gone To Ground; I ran out and attacked with my infantry; I move the King Tiger over aggressively.  Make sure that your individual moves support your overall strategy for victory.

I am not exactly sure what I would have done differently as Eric - he seemed to do everything pretty well. He rushed forward as quickly as possible to get within 16" and blast away at my CT tanks.  Eric was quite unlucky with air, as it either didn't show up, I shot it down, or it simply missed.  These lists are just for fun - not tournaments - and we sure did have fun!

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