J43 3rd RTR in the Rain

Oi .. we are playing in the rain this time.  Heavy rain that adds +1 LV every 6 hex.  That’s also why all our VASL screens looks .. well, rainy.

The 9 squads of Queen’s Victoria Rifles are rushing in to grab 6 buildings out of 8 from 5 squads of Germans.  There are of course 5 AFVs helping the Brits out against the 3 German ones, well, 3 German AFVs AND an AT gun.

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CH18 Raging Furnace

This week we started with an old design, CH18.  The Germans have to take 2 out of 3 hilltops and earn more CVPs than the Russians.  Aside from the standard CVPs, the Germans get points for clearing out the six hexes around the hilltops.  Likewise, the Russians get (a lot more) points if they can stay around the tops.

This scenario has a very interesting simultaneous setup with a die roll deciding who’d go first.  As my opponent quipped, going last might not be a bad thing as you can simply advance onto the hilltops.  The nature of this arrangement means opposing forces might “materialise” right in front of you at game start!  There’s an SSR that gives the defender in the first Prep Fire phase the ability to Gun Duel and shoot back.

The German entry edges are the top and the left.  However, since the Russians can only setup in the red circles.  Germans can attack from the right if they like, if they are comfortable with Russian reinforcements coming in behind them from the right and the bottom of the screen.

I am very mindful of a few things when I did my Russian setup.

  • I can’t win shootouts between the Russians and the Germans AFVs.
  • I can put my AFVs in trenches and thereby HD’ing them even to same level shots but that will condemn us to doing frontal shootouts (and the lost of all mobility) when the Russians really need to get in side shots to kill the German AFVs.
  • The high ground the Germans have on the top left will be used to sweep the hill tops, especially with the Tiger + Armour Leader
  • I can use my 76L artillery gun (s8!) and a combination of the Russian .50cal, the 10-2 (aka Jedi Master), the ATR and the Hero to setup a pretty good firebase on the bottom right of the screen to contest the hill tops a little.  That’ll be -3 out to 12 hexes and -2 out to 16 hexes.

img_3122Ladies & gents – don’t be like me.  I misread the SSRs to this scenario and thought that German reinforcements can only come in from the top and to the left.  No – the German reinforcements come in from the top and the RIGHT and the Russian reinforcements come in from the bottom and the left.

Let me elaborate further.  This scenario has a rather creative SSR which allows you to purchase half your lost CVPs as reinforcements.  The restriction is that you can only purchase half the # of each unit type in your OB.

While my 76L Artillery (hill top on the bottom right) finally fixed itself and did a number on a German deathstar, my deployment was oriented towards attackers coming in from the left and not the right.  *Horror*

The Germans sent a STuG up Y9.  Since it’s bypassing the woods, it’s considered on the upper level.  Non Turreted as it is, its TH after all the modifiers was comparable to mine, even though all I had to do is to turn my slow turret.  I fired and missed, APCR and all.  He fired and connected.

The Germans then sent a STuG up “behind” us on the right, looking to take out the KV1 with the 9-2 Armor Leader.   Fortunately its’ within reach of the Hero & his ATR on the hill on the bottom right.  He directed the pinned HMG to stun the STuG crew.  The KV1 then swung his turret around and Shocked him.

Unfortunately, the Germans got rid of that Shock immediately after.  The KV1 now faced a choice : whether to run or to shoot the STuG again.  If I run, it’s quite likely that I will be shot.   If I stay and shoot, my TK is 13(+1) vs his AF of 8.  I have a 3 CVP 9-2 armor leader in this thing.

I shot, connected and killed the STuG, much to our relief ..

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One more German move to go and all three hill tops are still under Russian control, Germans resigned.

A44 Blocking Action at Lipki AAR

I love PTO.  However, jungles do not present decent tank country.  Too much time spent in the PTO as a newbie can result in lopsided development that is short on armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) experience.

This scenario took place near Borisov (Russia), mid-1941 – the opening stages of Barbarossa.  Elements of the 1st Moscow Motor Rifle Division was sent to block the spearhead that was Guderian’s 18th Panzer Divison.

001 Turn 2 German Rally-proc

North is on the right of the map.  The Germans deployed on the top map (west) and the Russians came in from the bottom (east).  The Russians win when they exit more than 15 victory points (VPs) off the top edge of the map between the road on the top middle to the road on the top right. The other way to win was to kill enough Germans.  The KV2 was worth 7 VPs, the T-34 was also worth 7 points and each squad was worth 2 points.  As you already know, the Russians had a KV2,  a T34 M40 and a couple of BT7s.  The Germans had a couple of PzIIIGs, a halftrack sporting a 37mm gun with a high rate of fire (I forgot about the ATR that it also carried) and a couple of halftracks with the usual machine guns.  They were backed by a 28mm antitank gun and further reinforced by a pair of PzIVEs in Turn 4.

The above was the German Turn 2.  You can see the two Panzers on the left lying in wait and hoping to get a first shot at the Russians.  The antitank gun was towed to a clump of woods near the exit for a last-ditch defence.  The half track with the 37mm gun was on the right and they could hear the speedy BT7s and a convoy of trucks rumbling towards them.

002 Turn 3 Russian Move HT37L blew up BT-7 rof-proc

 

This was the Russian Turn 3.  The T34 came up the left and the PzIIIG fired, looking to scoot behind the woods quickly afterwards.

I rolled a 1,1 .. and  a 1.  Critical Hit!!

The T34 exploded into a burning wreck, and the German tankers sat stunned as bits of Russian tank rained down.  On the right, the 37mm gun pumped shot after shot into one of the BT7 and killed it.

001 Turn 3 German Idiot Move ATR-proc

This was the German Turn 3.  I am very inexperienced in tank warfare so you won’t see an end to idiotic moves in the near term.  This was one of them. I backed a PzIIIG up over the bridge on the left in the hope of being able to get away faster when the Russian tanks appear.  Not only did I presented my rear facing to the Russians, I forgot to button up.  The tank was immediately stunned by infantry fire and then killed by a Russian antitank rifle (ATR).  Things worked out better on the right as my 37mm gun shocked the other BT7.

005 Turn 4 German DPh Capers abound-proc

This was the German Turn 4.  To the left you can see another one of my moments.  The Germans were hoping to crash a halftrack through the woods on the left, get back on the road and circle around the back of the Russian trucks on the right.  However, they realised that trail breaking took a little time and by the time the half track emerged from the woods, it was looking down the barrel of a KV2!  So instead of breaking to the right of the map, they sped towards the left to escape.  The KV2 fired but the halftrack speed and its size saved it.  The surviving BT7 recovered from its shock and killed the gun-toting halftrack.  Unfortunately the reinforcing PzIVEs arrived and got it bracketed from two directions.

008 Turn 5 Russian DFPh Truck immo-proc

This was Russian turn 5.  Our escaping halftrack on the left had a Russian ATR squad on its tail.  The KV2 on the other hand laughed and used the trail-break created by the charitable halftrack to get to the “inside line” of the Germans.  The BT7 blew out its gun in a shootout with the PzIVe on its left (which also malf’d its gun) and was killed by the PzIVe on its right.  The right PzIVe proceeded to shoot up the Russian trucks one by one.

009 Turn 5 German MPh Berserk Charge Killed by Sniper-proc

During German turn 5, one of the German half squad had a berserk moment.  They got tired of the shooting and concluded that the proper thing to do was to charge the Russian medium machine gun.  So off they went.  They ran through Defensive First Fire, then Subsequent First Fire … jumping into the MMG nest, they survived Final Protective Fire!!  “.. and THIS is how it’s done!!” they yelled.  Meanwhile, Katya, the peasant girl sniper rolled her eyes, spat and muttered “Men” before shooting up the marauding German half squad and ended the lunacy.

011 Turn 6 Russian DF KV2 moved up German shot up trucks-proc

This was Russian Turn 6.  During the last German turn, the only Panzer with a functioning gun sped into its final position while its colleague proceeded to kill all the Russian trucks with its MGs on the right of the map.  However,  the KV2 killed the halftrack that tried to escape from in front of the wooden house.  The escaping halftrack to the left survived another shot from the Russian ATR and ran.  The KV2 crew watch incredulously as the crazy halftrack ran across its covered arc.  Then it realised that KV2 can’t intensive fire.  The halftrack disappeared behind some woods.  In this turn, the KV2 followed.  I can only imagine the commotion on the halftrack as the KV2 reappeared on its “rear view mirrors”.

012 Turn 7 Russian AFPh KV2 Malf-proc

This was Russian Turn 7.  The mighty KV2 lumbered towards the goal line.  The PzIVE and the antitank gun bounced shot after shot off its front armour.  The KV2 went to a “fork” position, threatening the German truck with its rear MGs while shooting back at the antitank gun with high explosives from its terrifying “bunker busting” 152mm gun.   The antitank gun crew worked as fast as they could, dreading the massive fireball that the next moment must bring.

Then for a moment, there was silence – the 152mm gun malfunctioned.