In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Blooding the Soviets

Had a couple of games of I Ain't Been Shot Mum lately, because 1. Scott is available (being temporarily free from mandatory overtime) and he likes WW2 and 2. I want to play with my new Soviet tanks.

Two weeks ago it was a Sept 1941 game; a German light panzer company (Pz IIs and Pz IIIs) with some panzer grenadiers and attached panzer jaeger 1s is rolling towards Moscow or Leningrad or something. In their way is a scratch force of infantry, 45mm AT guns and a KV2. A platoon of T34s and a mixed platoon of BT7s and the T26 are coming on to reinforce.

Mike and Dick were waaaay too cautious to be running the Germans. They sent one armour platoon to their left against a wooded hill to uncover a section of 45mm AT guns. A platoon of panzer grenadiers got bogged down in a fight for the village (featuring the spiffy Eastern European church Mike found for me at Fall-In last year). Dick went to the more open ground on the right and put a panzer zug in overwatch on the hill while his panzer grenadiers rolled forward under blind. The supporting Stuka missed anything of importance. Scott rolled his KV2 out to demolish Mike's lead panzer zug, causing the following one to hide behind some trees. The panzer jeager Is could've hurt it, but they were no where to be seen (Mike doesn't get the idea of overwatch or fire and maneuver or that maybe a wooded hill isn't the best objective for some tanks). When we called time, Scott was all set to unveil his second position behind the village, where the rest of the 45mm AT guns and the Maxim guns were ready to shred Dick's advancing grenadier zug.

The Soviet tanks were still coming up the road. I'd hoped for a nice armoured duel in the open ground on the German right. But no.

So pictures:

Fascist invaders

Defenders of the Motherland

View from German end. Mike went left and Dick went to the right. Scott had infantry in the village, infantry and AT guns in the wooded hill on the left and AT guns and Maxims in the woods behind the village covering the open flank where Dick was maneuvering.

New Soviet AT guns look great while drawing first blood

Panzer grenadiers looking very photogenic doing what panzer grenadiers do

KV2 unleashes 152mm worth of whoop ass and then breaks down in a nice position to shell the panzer grenadiers
Onto the second game. I was thinking mid-war and putting the recently repainted PzIVs and my neglected Marders on table, but Scott suggested late war and using the King Tigers. Well the King Tigers haven't been out of the box either so, sure, why not? So surprisingly similar layout, except the bigger town was more thoroughly smashed. Desperate German rearguard holding back a Soviet advance somewhere in Eastern Europe in the fall of 1944. The Soviets have a company of 9x T34s (to Scott's chagrin the T34/85s aren't painted yet), a platoon of T70s and two companies of infantry, each of two weak platoons. One is rifle troops and the second is SMG armed assault troops. The company commander can call in support from a battery of 120mm mortars.

German view. Two infantry platoons hold the ruins. Coy HQ with the MG42s, FOO and two Pak 40s are dug in on the hill to the right. King Tigers behind on blind. Third Pak40 covering the left of the town from the wooded hill.

Wall of Soviet blinds. Infantry on the right. Tanks on the left.

Scott's main attack is revealed

This causes me to unleash my Pak40s (shot from late in the game when they've been taking hits from Soviet mortars and HE from the T34s)

And the King Tigers roll out from behind the hill to look menacing and then spend the rest of the game waiting for their card to turn over

Meanwhile the Soviet infantry get cut down in the open advancing on the ruins

SMG troops close assault and get a foot hold

Soviet armour advances using the tank platoon orders (indicated by the green dice). A T70 (foreground) has fallen victim to a panzerschrek in the town.

After spending a lot of time shelling the Pak40s Scott turns on the King Tigers. 6 hits, only one is effective. The Soviets claim a moral victory. The King Tiger card doesn't come up all game....

T34s getting bashed up but only two kills from the Pak40s.
When we decided to call it we flipped quickly through the card deck to see that the German Paks and the until now idle King Tiger cards would come up before the T34s got to move or fire again. Some quick die rolling had all but two T34s now burning. So this Soviet advance was blunted.

Very similar games in retrospect except the Germans and Soviets traded places of terms of mission and quantity vs. quality. Although I suppose the second game was the more classic match up. I find the early lighter German armour a lot of fun and makes you think. It also shocks the heck out of players more used to 1943 or later German forces. I've noticed that many gamers, even when playing 1940-41 games still leave out the ubiquitous Panzer II.

But good to play with some, until now, unplayed with toys.

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