Saturday 25 October 2014

WW2 Battle Group Ponyri campaign Day 2

After an adventurous Saturday evening where we learnt that road works can make you hotel a lot further away than you thought combined with 'everything looks different in the dark' despite SatNav resulted in a very late meal and missing the pub meet up.

Sunday morning found me refreshed and raring to go. I'd learnt a lot Saturday and I was keen to put in to action.

I took a different force Sunday as it was a meeting engagement scenario where the Soviets were on the counter attack. I therefore took a more defensive force and included a Ferdinand for fun. The scenario rules were adapted like Saturday to get the forces on quicker. 2d6 from turn 2 for both sides and the weather was fine if you were using aircraft.


Total Points 602
Total BR        35
Officers           4

Pts Forward HQ (L,AFS) BR Men

24 FHQ 251/1 (r) (SnrO, AS,U) 3 3

26 LAC kubelwagen (r) (O,3+AiS,U) 1 2

18 Forward Signals truck (r) (Comms) 1 3

Pts Infantry (R,E,S) BR Men

100 Pz Grenadier Plt  (r)  11

5 Pz Gren Plt Command (O, MS) (At gren) 6
15 3 x Squads AT Gren 15
3 x MG34 9
24 80mm mortar 1 3
12 50mm mortar 1 2

Pts Tanks (R,E, L, S) BR Men

150 3x Pz IV H squ (r) (1 x O, MS) (U, Un) 9

Pts Artillery  BR
72Off table 2x120mm mortars  0

Pts Recon Units BR Men

15 1x Sniper & Spotter 1 2
18 Motorcycle recon patrol ( r) (s,ms) 1 3

Pts Logistic Units BR Men

8 1 x Med truck (i) (rsp, un) 1

PtsSpecial UnitsBR
135  Ferdinand  5
Ferdindand HE 0
AP 5
111  Pz IV H squ HE 2
AP 6
112  Pz IV H squ HE 2
AP 6
113  Pz IV H squ HE 2
AP 6

I didn't take notes so my write up is based on memory. All faults as usual are mine.

Game 3

My  opponent for the last game was Jonathan a local gamer with a lovely painted collection of Soviets. We had a great time chatting just as much as playing which swung this game in to my favorite of the weekend.

Jonathon gained a SU122 from the Soviet pool. I think I was unlucky to face both reserves out of 3 games. This increased Jonathan's overall BR, as did his d6 roll for taking an NKVD officer.

Unlike Saturday I was out scouted, by a neat trick of taking lots of snipers. Snipers had the advantage of not counting towards BR when destroyed. A trick Jonathan picked up from Guy my regular opponent!

So first blood to Jonathan.

T34 platoon rolls on board to support the snipers

Snipers reach the outskirts of the village

Artistic shot of the T34s

My first move. What you see is the PzIV platoon command left to call in the mortars and the forward HQ in the half track which can also call in mortars.

Jonathan contemplating his 40 plus BR of forces.

Flash. You can see my radio truck centre which I needed a lot for re-rolls to call in my mortars. In the left hand woods touching the board edge is my 80mm mortar. In front of that wood in the house is my sniper team. In the central wood is my motor cycle recon team.
80mm mortar

Move 2 and the Soviets take me by surprise covering so much ground. The T34 has a special mobility rule that enables it to go over most terrain without all the normal penalties. The coloured cotton wool is the objective for both sides.

My troops on ambush fire. I really liked these counters of Jonathan's and I'll look to pick some up. I could have purchased them from Stafford Games but I needed to head off back home so missed out browsing the shop. Plus I'd just spent my allowance buying Guy's force.

Ambush fire orders 

My 120mm mortars destroy a T34. Huzzah!

Soviet snipers infiltrate the village. This chaps lips were painted. I say this to illustrate the level of detail. I did make the faux par of asking if he was one of the dreaded Soviet female snipers

A Sturmovik arrived and attacked causing me to take a chit. I think it's useful to take some air assets just for the automatic taking of a BR counter.

More Soviets pour on. An infantry platoon and some T70s and  more T34s.

Soviets dominating the village

My troops before the start of my turn 2.


The rest of the PzIV platoon arrives plus my Ferdinand and a squad of infantry. I've moved my HQ to the wood since the motor cyclists are no more (BR chit for me). Luckily I had dismounted them so I didn't take a BR chit for the vehicle. You'll notice I deployed my platoon command in error when I dismounted the half track. You'll also notice an extra PzIV that has crept on. Oops. In the meantime another Sturmovik dives in pinning lots.

The Ferdinand pinned result is courtesy of the T70. Cheeky blighter but good tactic. Spot the T34 ready for a flank shot 

My mortars strike again destroying a T34

Add caption

Cheeky T70s

Unhappy Ferdinand

The T70s take the objective. Another BR chit for me.

My infantry reinforcements heading for the right hand woods and the hidden T34

The T70s charge on and fail to penetrate the Ferdinand's side armour. The loose infantry on the left is my sloppy removal of the destroyed forward HQ. 2 BR for losing senior officer. Boo - but not surprising I had unwittingly pushed him far forward. I had mistaken the half track for the platoon command.

My forces. I can't remember which turn this is. Not everyone is on board. I was rolling poor command dice so not everyone was moving. I had spotted my error of too many PzIVs and removed the offender who unfortunately had been the only undamaged tank in the centre (mainly because he hadn't come in to  the play being behind the others). The T34 side shot doing it's job. More BR chits for me.

This turn I failed to get my 120mm mortars in to do more damage. All Soviets are now on table, with 2 German still to come on - the supply truck, and the LAC.

My Ferdinand target 2 T34s just out  of shot centre bottom and ... 

... Misses one and destroys one. My disabled PzIV on the left takes out a T34. At the rear you can see a jeep. This is the senior Soviet officer which I discovered when I played a low ammo token which Johnathan failed and he retired off board. 2 BR chits for the Soviets.

My Ferdinand misses a point blank side shot at a T70. My 120mm mortars come through and destroy a T70. Another T70 having survived an ill advised area shot from my PzIV (should have fired direct AP) moves in to attack from the side... and misses

Atmospheric shaky shot

The final move. My infantry continue their assaults on the T34s in the left hand field to no avail. Lots of poor dice here with no results except I lose a squad.

My left flank is blown. My centre is being held by 1 squad and a 50mm mortar. My supply truck cannot rearm the Ferdinand because the right flank is overrun with T70s. Plus time is up. We added up the chits and no shock a solid victory for the Soviets.

So a loss for Germany again. Consistent play by me. My tale of the game misses out the heroic actions we managed to get, but neither of us managed to do something worthwhile with them that I remember.

A great game but I made a few errors not least mixing my troops up. I should have brought the Ferdinand on first go and made the most of its long range. I should also have moved my tanks through the woods rather than going around as they could have engaged the T34s frontally. Like Saturday I learnt lots, this time about taking force choices that make you take chits!

Thanks Jonathan for a great game.