April 28, 2012

Battle Report - Panzers/Grenadiers vs. Guards Tankovy

Another test run of our Panzershrek Doubles list the other night up against Tom who was taking on the role of two players and bringing a Guards Tankovy list against us - with 2 Platoons of KV1s and 2 of T34's plus some AA in the Hasty Attack Scenario.

Battlefield Set Up - Germans on right hand long table edge, Soviets on Left.  You can just make out the two objectives in our area.  Panzers are deployed away from them due to Scenario rules. 
PzIVH's proxying as PzIIIM's & PzIIIM's waiting for the advancing KV1's
Soviet armour complete with Tank escorts start massing.  The 32" movement of the T34's was a big shock and caused us to deploy our immediate ambush of Pak40s out in the open on the right flank.
PzIII's (proxied by PzIV's - as my PzIII's still havent arrived) use the village as cover to flank the advancing KV1's and get into firing range on their weaker side armour.
NW41's open fire on the Soviet AA Guns while the dug in Grenadiers and Infantry guns wait for the advancing armour.  The Rockets did a good job throughout the game particularly later against the T34's with their weaker top armour.  The two 75mm infantry guns also kept the KV1's honest keeping one bailed for 3 turns after hitting it in the side, they then went on to do some serious damage to the assaulting T34s killing the Soviet CHQ.
Panzers continue their flanking move and get solid firing positions on the Hill and village where they can use their higher ROF to their advantage.  Just hoping like hell the Soviet reinforcements don't come on behind them.
Damn Soviet armour is proving tough to defeat.  3 attacks by Stukas, a couple of shots from Paks and a barrage of fire from the PzIII's and the only result is a single bailed out KV1 - but at least they have stopped their advance.
Ambushing Pak40s blast away at the T34s to their front, unfortunately Soviet armour proved unusally resilient and the Paks were only able to bail the majority of the tanks they hit before being killed themselves.
Stukas come boring in again, we got air support nearly every turn but it just couldn't do any damage to the KV1's.  It was only once the Stukas turned their attention to the T34s that they standard to earn their points.
The PzIII's take a punt and decide to run risk of Soviet reinforcements appearing in their rear and race around the hill to get to the rear of the Soviet KV1's.  The Soviet tanks have effectively remained in place unable to move forward.  If they do the PzIII can hit their flanks, if they turn to hit the PzIIIs the Grenadiers Infantry Guns and the PzIII CHQ can hit their flank.  Still if Tom had rushed the road based objective with them the game could have been over in Turn 3
More Stukas and more bombs that just seem to bounce off the KV1 armour
        
PzIII have nearly completed their end around and get into firing position on the KV's who have been forced to turn to deal with them.
Bugger - the 2nd Soviet KV Platoon appears in the rear of the PzIII's
The result one burning and two bailed out PzIII's
Things now get nasty as the T34s get set up for the assault.  With the CHQ of one Company dead one T34 Platoon is stuck in place leaving only one free for the assault.
Soviet Tank Escorts cant pin down the Grenadiers whose defensive fire, including from the 2 infantry guns proves deadly.
The decisive combat where Jeremy turns the game in our favour.  The T34s manage to push the Grenadiers off the objective after a couple of assault/counterassault phases.  But the Grenadiers return and assault the remaining T34s knocking them all out and retaking the objective in the next turn.  While nearly half of the infantry are dead the Soviets have lost nearly 2 entire T34 Platoons - only 2 active tanks left by this stage.
With time running out (it was getting very late) the second PzIII Platoon which has finally come on as reinforcements (all of our reinforcements arrived in the corner furtherest away fromt the objectives).  They go for broke and try and flank the KV1's and manage - finally - to kill one.
Game End - Grenadiers have retaken the central objective and the T34s can't advance any further toward them. The KV1's though are still active and with a couple more turns would have chewed us up.  All in all a draw?!? 
 A fun game but I learned the hardway that PzIII's need to stay put and make use of cover to draw the heavier enemy armour in close.  Rushing forward so early wasn't a good idea.  The Pak Guns probably should have gone down first in the central forest with the Infantry deployed in immediate ambush around one of the objectives.  PzIII's are good but question is do I continue to run 8 of them with 3 Paks and AA, or try and add in a couple of PzIVG's - for the same points I can take 2 x PzIVG's and 8 x PzIIIMs without AA or Paks.  We need that AT11/12 just a question of which version of it is the most effective.  

No game next week - date night with my wife - but more FOW the week after, and next weekend its down to Wellington for my 2nd WHFB tournament of the year Horned Gobbo.

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