Friday, March 2, 2012

1941 - somewhere in Russia

The early war collections got a workout last Sunday.  Ostensibly a 2000 point battle the sneaky Russians shorted themselves but didn't tell the Germans.  So the attacker-defender game was somewhat off from the start.  Of course, with a bit more planning....

Comrade Toddovitch ponders.

Commissar Bobovitch considers options.

The battlefield was not friendly to any attacker.  Woods on one flank meant that someone had to walk into a meat-grinder before effectively engaging the enemy, so the German left/Soviet right was quiet for much of the day.  The center was relatively open so advancing across it in the face of artillery would be difficult.  That left the German right/Soviet left for most of the action.

The view of the German right, big guns in view.

StuGs redeploy from center as the Soviets roll.

Imagine the horror of the infantry as a pair of KV-1s rumbled forward.  The Schutzen had no effective means of stopping them.  Sturmgeschutz to the "rescue!"  They maneuvered to get onto the flanks of the KV-1s and German infantry were ground under treads and evicted from their positions, only to discover that even in the flank they had no chance of even forcing a bailout.  One German commander threw up his hands and said, "we might as well run, we have nothing to stop them."  But I was wrong.

The Soviet air support was active if not effective.
The bizarre result of lucky and bad dice.

I don't know what the mathematical odds would be, but first the German 105s came down on the first try.  Then they scored hits on both Soviet tanks.  Needing only a 3+ to shrug off the large shells the Soviets rolled a "1" and a "2."  The firepower test (4+) resulted in a blow up and a bail out.  The course of the battle did a complete 180 at this point.  The German infantry rallied and took out the bailed KV-1 while the StuGs now sought meatier targets.

Meanwhile on the German left the Panzerjagers had engaged T-34s in a game of cat and mouse around smoke screens and ineffective shooting.  The armor of the T-34s shrugged off the light shells from the Panzerjagers while the Russians rarely got a shot against the Germans.

German left with Panzerjagers facing T-34s.

The other flank defeated, they seek decisive action here.

The T-34s and a company of infantry raced forward to close with the Germans.  The Panzerjagers got lucky but enough T-34s survived to close with the German infantry who were again helpless against them.  Crushing some and forcing back the rest the tanks found themselves surrounded on both sides by German armor and succumbed.  A last ditch infantry assault was easily repulsed and the game called.

In the end, despite the armor superiority the Soviets were utterly defeated again.  A recurring theme in our games that again makes me wonder if the Soviet lists are flawed.  In '41 conscripts against veterans is a thankless task.  It takes a good sport to play them.  Fortunately our group has them in abundance.

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