Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Battle report FOW 1500pts Hammer and Sickle Tankovy vs Sperrverband

Jason dropped by last night to test out his new Sperr (from Hammer and Sickle). He just got the models for Christmas, so consider that his excuse for the blinding silver and grey 'paintjob'  I thought his 'fortifications' (bottom of pic) were a nice touch. :P
 Seen here are the WIP cheap-shop buildings. I've got as far as basing and base coats on five, and my lovely wife just got me a surprise of five more today. Apart from the annoying combination of thatch and tile on the roofs, I think these are impressively detailed given their sub-$4 NZD cost! I probably need something to be the base for the 'area terrain' village though. I think that once I get even more (so there are fifteen), I will be able to set it up so that models block LOS sufficiently to do away with the the Area Terrain base - which is there at the moment to stop units shooting straight through a village from multiple angles.  Lists were: Tankovy (Confident Trained) HQ, Dedov, 10x T-34 (4x85mm) w tankos, 8x T-34 (4x 85mm), Razvedki platoon in captured German HTs and Spetsnaz platoon in even more captured HTs. Jason had HQ with 2x 'Shreks, Sperr platoon, Sperr Pioneer platoon, Panzer Pioneer platoon, 4x RSO SP Pak 40s, 3x StuGs, 3x Hummels.

Jason proposed boring old 'Free for All'. However, since this was the iconic match up of Soviet exploitation forces vs a German blocking detachment, I reckoned 'No Retreat' was the correct mission. Jason's objective is at the back on that hill, and I placed mine in that village. Then, I decided to attack the other flank. You can see the terrain ratings in the photo. The Spetsnaz successfully infiltrated and (under cover of the drifting snow) led the first tank coy around the side of the wood, where the Germans least expected it! I used my first turn to then full-move the lead tanks up even further and get their accompanying tankodesantniki right through to the other side of that forest, ready to approach the hill. I then doubled up the Razvedki platoon, but only full-moved the following second tank coy.
 Jason got a reserve first turn and brought up the StuGs. He had selected the village the benifit from the special tank hunter rules, but put the tank hunters into ambush. While they were surprised by the Soviet angle of approach, they were professional enough to get themselves up on that ridge line before the hammer fell. I suffered light damage from enemy fire, except for the poor Razvedki, who lost half their number to a Hummel barrage. See? no harm doubling a platoon when you know that the enemy does not dare ignore the two coy of tanks driving toward their lines. Fatigued from their repositioning, the Tank hunters fail their 2+ roll to get out of the line of fire! uh oh.
 Bang go two of the Tank hunters, while the Razvedki doggedly push forward.
 Jason's StuGs were keeping out of harm's way but that only minimised the fire I was taking from them. My boys were taking heavy losses, but the hope was that they could see of the German ranged AT, then shoot up the Germans at their leisure. Though the poor Razvedki had been really hammered, they held on and raced up, clown car style, with four teams in the HQ half track. You can see it above, just ahead of Dedov's (red flag) tank, infantry teams piled on top.  In my turn three, I finished off the RSO tankhunters and began to harass Jason's StuGs, while sneaking Dedov and the lead tank from the first coy forward (stupid Hens and Chicks) to begin annoying the Hummel battery. Jason had kept devoting only one StuG's fire to that Razvedki clown car and I actually got it into flamethrower range of a bailed StuG.
They got out in turn four and flamed up that bailed StuG. However, it passed all its motivation checks and kept on fighting. The Razvedki had passed both platoon morale (for losing 3/4 of their teams) and then 'man alone' for turn four. The flamethrower was the last remaining team, so the Razvedki left the table having not been destroyed, but not killing anything either. Oh well, they were one heck of a distraction. I tried out some assaults on the top of that hill, but it just wasn't happening. I really needed to do some more work prepping the defenders with tank gunfire, but I was at the mercy of the mission special rule: Jason had to go at a certain time. I did at least claim the second Hummel, bringing the battery down to one tube.
 Jason brought his platoons in the village around to threaten my flank in his turn five, smoking my second coy to restrict my return fire. So when my turn six rolled around, I reckoned I could kill a few, but ended up only getting the one. Oh dear. Stubbornly, I decided to assault them anyway - time was of the essence! That didn't work out. Sperr have pretty good defensive fire with their Panzershreks and are nasty in close assault. The Sperr are all fearless in assaults vs tanks and Sperr pioneers are AT 5. The sole aim was to pull them out of foxholes long enough to have them exposed in a following turn. It was not to be though, losses were too high in the assault and I was left with too few tanks to continue.

The German line held here - Marshall Zhukov is not going to be happy at all!

Sperr infantry (cheap fearless!)  instead of the Panzerpioneers, losing the mortars, and getting something like gun-Stukas. The proper way for me to attack would have been to revert to slowly shelling the infantry to death, once I had seen off his ranged AT. Stukas strafing the lines, with AT 11 shells in the side, would have cramped my style. If I had tried to go close, Jason's boys could just retreat back and let the planes in... if my tanks did not bog on that hill.

As for me: Short game means no trickiness - I should have gone for the close objective. Silly, silly boy.

Good game, as always, Jason. I'm looking forward to seeing those boys painted up.


  1. Those buildings look good, where did you get them?

    Nice minefield, Jason obviously put a lot of thought into it!

  2. They still need some work, but are less embarrassing than before! I figure that I can work toward a nice village of the things. It'll not look quite authentic, but it will be cheap! I'll have to ask my wife where they come from, sorry - some cheapie shop or another. I know there is one just opposite where Jason works in the Palms and another opposite the Subway in Eastgate (or at least somewhere in Eastgate.)