Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WW2 Action ...

My previous posting showed the early moves of a 1944 Russian Front confrontation played at the Woolston Club a fortnight or so back. The map in the previous post showed the Soviet (my) moves and plans. Now here is what developed:

The intended Soviet thrust up the road was at once stymied by a couple of panthers off to the right, between a tree topped hill and a line of poplars. Their first shot kbnocked out a T34, which was bad luck for the four riders scrambling to dismount. My return fire wasn't too bad - hits scored - but they did little more than scratch the paintwork.

That pretty much set the tone for the day. It wasn't long before the lead tank platoon bugged out. The second took its place, and fared even worse. Two of its three tanks were quickly knocked out, including the platoon commander, for precisely no harm to the enemy, whereat they, too, headed back east, at a rather faster pace than the first platoon had done.

Meanwhile, the respective forces closed up on the centre. There was a brisk exchange between the remnants of the lead SMG section and the advancing panzergrenadiers which wiped out the former for the loss of three Germans. There followed no further action in the centre as neither side wished to try the defensive mettle of the other. Nor would the IS2s advance beyond the field of haystacks.

The Germans did feel, however, that something might be tried on their extreme right flank. The first T34 platoon had joined the LMG platoon in hull down positions to await the enemy next move.

It was not long coming: the preparations had already been made. A platoon of assault engineers joined the platoon already on the west slopes of the hill, whereat the latter surged over the crest. At once the Russian light machine guns opened up, felling a number of the enemy, but the return fire, in much greater volume, exacted a heavy toll. The tanks supporting the LMG platoon refrained from firing. Armed only with AP ammunition as they were, their commander unwisely attempted long bowls again with the panthers, which had, in the meantime, drawn a little closer. The result was no better than those earlier - a single 'clonk' of a non-damaging hit. The panthers gave their usual demonstration of marksmanship; at once the second platoon commander's tank started belching smoke. The remaining tank abandoned the LMG platoon...

The action petered out here - we agreed that the Germans had got the better of it, but the Russians were still in a position to defend the ground they held, except on that extreme flank. But the Germans will not have found exploitation of their success there all that easy. The Russian still has two T34s available in rear of the woods ready to try conclusions with the panthers at much closer range. Elsewhere along the front was pretty much a standoff...

The rules used for this game were Panzer Marsch a favorite set of my opponent, Tony Ormandy. But you can see that my army is more designed for Command Decision. Unfortunately, several rifle brigades of CD infantry don't translate to much more than a rifle company under PM!

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