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Thursday, June 30, 2016

FoW Batrep: Tankovy Batalon vs. Panzer Kampfgruppe (Trained)

My good friend Dennis Jensen has been working on his Soviet tank forces for the last year.  To test the latest additions to his army, we get together every 2-3 months at Island Games in Chantilly, VA.  For this go around, Dennis is playing a Confident Trained Tankovy force from Red Bear, while I am fielding a Trained Panzer Kampfgruppe from Desperate Measures.  I might be fielding portions of this Kampfgruppe next month at the FoW Doubles Tournament at Historicon, so this game is a small tune-up for me.

The armies courtesy of Easy Army:

We rolled randomly and came up with Hasty Attack as the scenario, Germans defending.

I chose to defend the near side of the table.  I was worried the ridges on the far side of the table were a barrier in case I needed to shift my forces.  We played the rail line as a slow-going embankment.

I placed my objectives on the road on the Soviet side and dead center on my side.

Dennis placed a disabled IS-2 Stalin on either side of my objective to represent the Russian objectives.

One of these objectives is going to be pulled.

My initial defense is small - King Tiger and a Panther platoon.  The KT rolls Every Shot Counts for it's Tiger Ace skill.

My infantry will be my immediate ambush while I hold my AA, rockets, recon, and second Panther platoon in reserve.

Hopefully Rudel makes a contribution.

Dennis pulls the left objective.  He starts the game with his large T-34 platoon w/tank escort, a platoon of SU-100s, and Spetsnaz. 

I drop my company commander at the edge of a woods.  Then I fan out my infantry near he objective.  I try to spread them out so I can get at least 3-4 panzerfaust shots no matter how Dennis tries to attack.  I push the transports forward in a vain attempt to detect any infiltration move.

And it's not successful, as Dennis executes a perfect infiltration, getting all of his tanks forward into a field and woods, with no bogs.

But I luck out and roll an "I95" six to detect the infiltration.

Rudel arrives and pegs an SU-100 but whiffs with his second shot.  The KT and the Panthers take out a pair of T-34s and bail one.

The SU-100s nail my CO.  Not a critical loss at the moment, but it's my only tank near the objective.

This battle is about one thing, can Dennis route me off the objective before his tanks fall to long-range fire from my heavy tanks.  His Spetsnaz lift my infantry's gone-to-ground, and I lose a stand and get pinned in the ensuing shooting.

Dennis sends in four tanks to assault the left side of my infantry.  It limits my panzerfaust shooting to two stands, but I get lucky despite being pinned and roll a 5 and 6 to repel the attack.  The Soviets don't lose a vehicle, but I buy myself some time.

Turn 2.

With the fields and the rail line being slow going, I don't think I have time to drive my tanks over to the objective to support the infantry.  Instead I focus on shooting, killing another T-34 and bailing two.

Rudel arrives again, scores two hits, but fails both firepower checks.  I'm 1 for 5 this turn rolling firepower checks, but Dennis fails to remount both SU-100s.
The lone SU-100 scores a hit on my platoon commander, but I roll a six to bounce it.

Dennis does not assault my infantry on turn 2.  Instead, he focuses on shooting, trying to soften my defenses.  I lose a few halftracks (they soak off a number of shots), but none of my infantry.

Turn 3 sees the game swing decisively for the Germans.  I destroy four more T-34s; that will force a morale test.

Rudel again bails two SU-100s, but they both fail their double-bailed morale tests.  The platoon then fails morale and the remaining SU-100 leaves the table.  The Russian morale continues to crumble.  Dennis fails the morale test for the T-34s and then fails the re-roll with the battalion commander.  At the start of his turn, with no CO and only one platoon, the Russians are finished.

On first glance, the Germans scored a decisive 6-1 victory.  But I had some very timely rolls: detecting the infiltration, repulsing Dennis' turn 1 assault.  I was able to avoid a full assault by 5-6 tanks with escorts and that was the key.

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