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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hero Soviet Tankovy Versus US 80th Infantry Division

By Luke Melia

Andy and I are at it again. This time he wanted to try out his late war Soviets against me.  We did not know what each other was playing and I actually thought he would be bringing Germans to the table.  This was a big surprise for me!  We had decided to play Late War at 1420 points and we set the table to not have a ton of linear obstacles, but we did use a lot of wheat fields.  We rolled for the mission and we played no retreat.  The 80th was the defender.

Andy's List Fearless Trained
Hero Tankovy from Red Bear
Command T-34/85
3 Platoons of 3x T-34/85s
1 Rota Platoon
3x BA-64 Recon
1 Platoon Heavy Mortars

We have all seen a horde of Soviet tanks staring down at us and for me this scene always fills me with a sense of dread.

I placed my objective in between the buildings in the almost dead center of my deployment zone.  This would allow me to use the buildings and other terrain to my advantage. Andy put his objective on my left in the wheat field.  Having eight platoons, I opted to deploy one infantry platoon, the 155's, the tank destroyers on the table with the 57's in ambush.  I was put in a bad situation in where I had to deploy my artillery in front of the woods because placing them behind the woods would have meant that I could not fire a bombardment.
That infantry is spread pretty thin.

BA-64's advance with eyes on the howitzers.

Apparently the Garand rifles are particularly good at shooting holes in BA-64 gas caps.  The artillery bombardment bailed one, but rifle shots kill one and bail one.  They pass their morale and are ready to come back for more.

Pinning the artillery, the BA-64's try to take out them out, but are stopped cold in defensive fire.  Meanwhile the T-34's begin shooting at the artillery as well and a couple take out a jeep from tank destroyer platoon.

Andy slowly advancing while taking shots at the artillery and infantry, splitting his fire. 

My version of an alpha strike.  M-10s and 57mm AT guns both springing from ambush at the same time  Only three tanks and two bailed for all those shots.. 

Turn 4 and I get two units for reserves.

Return fire is hell on a tank destroyer platoon.  The M-10s are left with two dead and one bailed, but make their morale check and remount the next turn.  One 57 is also killed.

Andy goes for the kill.

The mortar platoon has been pinning the artillery every turn.  As a matter of fact, by turn five the artillery has only been able to fire a bombardment twice because they can not unpin.  So to keep the M-10s alive they take out the observer with plans of killing mortar teams next turn.

The Shermans enter the fray taking out two T-34's.  A successful bombardment kills at T-34 and a few infantry stands.

Andy shooting the artillery finally manages to kill one.  He also kills an AT gun and a bazooka team.  The 57 platoon is now at half strength.

Infantry reserves arrive. 

The T-34's go all in and assault the guns.

Defensive fire kills the T-34's.

The Soviets are pretty battered at this point and Andy concedes the game with an American victory 6-1.

I think Andy's mistake was splitting his fire.  He constantly shot his T-34's at my infantry and 155mm battery.  The BA-64's should have lifted the gone to ground (the artillery was constantly gone to ground because they stayed pinned most of the game due to mortar fire) and focused the T-34's to kill the artillery, while his Rota screened the flanks of the tanks and kept the ambushes from getting prime positions for their deployment.  We had a fun game, but there is no doubt that my ability to make saves on my artillery saved my bacon.  If I rolled with average results the guns would have been dead by turn three, but the dice gods smiled upon me this game.

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