Last week I went to Wrocław (Breslau) to refresh my Mid War skill. Like I mentioned before, I decided to go for a Soviet Tankovy this time. Reason for this being that I do not think my Romanian Cavalry is enough of a competitive force for the ETC environment (which is what I am aiming at in the end). Also, this gave me the chance to assemble and paint some of the models that were waiting for their turn for a long time and to purchase some new ones :P Unfortunately, my old, clumsy airbrush failed so I did not get the Chance to do a proper paintjob on those Soviet beauties :(
For those that did not read the previous articles, the list that I used went like this:
HQ Mariya in a T 34 + tank escorts
CP 3x T 34, 3x T 34/57
CP 10x T 60
SP 3x KV 85
SP 8x BA 10M
Since this was supposed to be an ETC list built to be more of an all-rounder than an anti-tank force, I decided to check it against one of the possible opponents for an all-comers company: Remer Gepanzerte. The scenario we played was Hasty Attack, which was pretty balanced for the rosters we played. My opponent's lineup was:
HQ + Remer
2x Infantry platoon with panzerknackers
3x Pak 40s
3x Nebelwerfers with a 5cm gun
The table was pretty heavy with ruins, which we decided for simplification were LoS blockers. We placed the objectives and he decided he would start with the following forces on the table: Remer + an infantry platoon supported by the Panthers on the central objective, Pak 40s on the flank. Pretty standard, solid anti-tank setup. Good for him!
My choice was the T-34s and BAs. I was counting a bit on the possibility that I can push the flank objective and force him to move his Panthers and while doing this creep my T 34s up to get side shots on the value 5 armor of his tanks.
The first turn went without anything major happening. I moved my forces cautiously so that he would not be able to shoot them on their way forward.
On the second turn, I got all my reserves ready to arrive on the table, so I split them up, pushing the KVs on to the flank objective, and T 60 rushing down the middle of the table. In the meantime, his Panthers began to hid behind the infantry and closed in on his Pak 40s.
Turn three saw me assaulting a lonely Nebelwerfer observer with Mariya's tank escorts and trying to shoot Pak 40s with 3 shots of KVs while lifting gtg with the armoured cars. Unfortunately, this turn I also began to loose some BAs and made a fatal error of sticking out my KV commander who got hit on a 5+, failed his 4+ to save and died on a 3+ :( This was also the turn where I realized I would not be able to take out the Panthers most probably and needed to concentrate on killing other stuff.
Turn 4 I put my plan into practice. Since he revealed his Pak 40s in his shooting phase, I moved up my 6 remaining armored cars to do some serious shooting. My T 34s approached the positions of his infantry, screened by the T 60s as the follow-up wave. I rolled the dice for shooting... and scored zero kills with around 8 hits :( But this was not the important part. The important part was T 34s assaulting a ruin full of Germans. I formed a line next to Mariya and used tank escorts to draw them out. One kill by the 2+ skill tankodesantniki made them counterattack and go base to base with my tanks. After several rounds of tough hand to hand, Mariya died but the Germans were down to only Remer, who returned to his starting position.
On turn five it was revenge time for the Soviets as the newly arrived Nebelwerfers deployed in an unprotected corner of the table and were wiped out with the T 60 MGs. At the same time, Remer got what he deserved and a salvo of 76mm shells ended his misery. On the right flank however, history was not developing so good for the Soviet Tankovy, as after another canonade of Pak 40s and Panthers, most of the BA cars were dead and the remaining ones fled.
Remaining several turns were all the same: Soviets trying to avoid the Panthers and Panthers hunting the Soviets :) Until... my opponent decided to finish off the immobilized KVs. He did manage to kill one, but the last remaining one passed the morale roll and shot back at what turned out to be an exposed side armor of one of the killer cats! The Panther exploded and all of a sudden, this mistake by the Germans became a big opportunity for the Soviets.
With only T 60s effectively active on the battlefield, I rushed them towards the flank objective, occupied by 8-rads. Bad placement of the opponent's troops meant that I could have wiped out the Pak 40s with a charge to the rear only if I could pass the defensive fire of the 8-rads. Since this was the only way I could win, I went for it. Unfortunately, my opponent's shooting was good enough to stave off the assault which effectively costed me the game.
In all honesty I was expecting such a result but I needed the physical evidence. And I got it. Now I can say for sure: my build of Tankovy vs Remer is a no-go :)
Congrats to the opponent (first time we played against each other), who also turned out to be a really nice person and a promising general!