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Soviet Tankovy is on the frontline - battle report part 3

Ok, last game report of the tournament. This time, my opponent was US infantry in No Retreat mission. His setup of forces was quite interesting:

Barebones HQ
2x minimal infantry platoons
1x anti-tank platoon (3x 57mm)
1x cannon platoon (2x 105mm HMC)
1x tank platoon (4x Sherman)
1x M10 platoon (4x M10)
1x armored recon platon (4x recce vehicles)
1x full 105 battery
1x half 105 battery

A very interesting setup and with some optimization, could be turned into quite a competitive force imo.

Anyway, the table we played was not perfectly suited for tanks as there was very little cover and los blockers that the vehicles could hug to minimize incoming fire. Also, it meant that no matter where I went, I would be under the ToT fire of the 105mm batteries. Time was working against my forces so I had push forward as hard as I possibly could.

I started off deploying my KVs and T-34s to counter the Shermans hidden behind a cluster of houses in the middle of the US deployment area. To push back the ambush of TDs (I think it was a mistake not to use both the ambush AND the TD rules), I used scout redeployment and the initial move of my BA 10s which went deep into his defended zone. On the other flank, my T-60s spread out and moved towards his edge, trying to dodge templates of doom and the anti-tank platoon. I also got lucky with my only shot of the turn and managed to take out a Sherman with an 85mm round of a Gvardievski KV.

His response was obvious - reveal TDs and pound my tanks with artillery. The surprising bit was that the Shermans, after loosing one of their guys, decided to stay put behind the houses. The volley of TD fire hit my KVs taking one out but artillery did not manage to do any damage.

My response was quite punishing. I pulled up every single tank unit I had in the immediate vicinity of the Tank Destroyer platoon and returned the salvo. As a result of this return of fire, two M10s were dead and another one was bailed. Fortunately for the Americans, they did not fail their platoon morale check.

This was not much of good news for the US player as his M10 did not unbail at the beggining step of his turn. With a grim look on his face, he decided to commit all his tank reserves to the ongoing battle. Shermans abandoned their safe hiding place and rushed to take on the T-34s with all guns blazing (stabiliser style). The armour of the Soviet tanks was hard enough however to bounce away all the shots but one, which destroyed a T-34/76. On the opposite side of the village, the lonely M10 was fighting a lost battle against the KVs and failed to score a penetrating hit on the steel monsters.

My turn was what can be best described as a coup de grace. With all meaningful enemy forces now revealed, I concentrated my fire mostly on the Shermans, while the KVs took out the remaining M10s. Although I got a bit nervous after a salvo to the flank from 5 of my BA 10s which caused only a bail, my T-34s were a lot more lucky and managed to wipe out his tanks completely. After a few weeks (yesterday actually) I found out that I rolled too many dice for my T-34/57s thinking they are the mobile counterpart of a Zis-2 gun (rof 3, AT 11, fp 4+) which could have made at least some difference but do not think would change the outcome of the battle. In any case, I feel bad for this and I am sorry Ink!!!

Back to the battle report, however: with the last remaining US tanks gone, it was wipeout time. BA 10s, T-34s and KVs destroyed the only arriving reserves - armored cars and mechanized 105s, after which the armored cars assaulted the rear of the 57mm guns along with T-60, taking over the objective.

Again, I feel sorry for this big mistake that I made during the game - hope I will be more careful next time :(

In any case, it was a fun, although a bit one-sided game. I would recommend to my opponent to use the terrain in a more efficient way next time (I think the TDs could have been deployed behind a hill in a hull-down position to fire on the KVs) and most of all, concentrate his forces more to kill single platoons - instead of coming in isolated units making it easy to focus them down with 2-3 platoons at a time.

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