Saturday, March 17, 2012

Flames of War: Rota Surround Hungarians on the Southern Front

More Flames of War! When I proposed the Ironman challenge, I was keen to get going with my Armoured Panzergrenadiers. However, two games in, I have had to be the allied player both times. On Thursday, I was up against John's (Than's) Hungarian Motorised infantry. Way back early on in V2 he drew a line in the sand and said goodbye to all LW gaming and got rid of his (more effective) Germans and Soviets. What he tends to run now is Hungarian mechanised and armour. That's right, he set the 'Ironman Challenge' years before I wised up to the stodgy mess that V2 had become around here (should have been apparent to me by Tempest '08). In true V3 fashion, the mission was randomly determined - Surrounded. He rolled to be defender. The Hungarians had: HQ and 2plts Vet Motorised infantry, Nimrods (the point of the exercise), Pz 38ts, and Pz IV F2s. He also allegedly had Sporadic air. I had the Soviet Rota: HQ, truck mounted AA and 2plts, with mortars, of fearless trained Razvedki. Then the support was Conscript T-34s and SU-122s. So how did the Soviet tip of the spear fear in Southern Ukraine?
From the Journal of Starshiry Politruk Ormorov: We have been driving West for weeks. The Rodina is massive and it seems that the Fascists, and their Hungarian running dog lackeys always seem to have more space to run away too. We've caught them this time. In the night, Ustinov sent an Armoured Transporter platoon and some mortars to flank the Hungarians, who were holed up near a tiny farming hamlet. When day broke, despite shadowy dark clouds from the north, the Hungarians awoke to face two companies of our armour, supported by yet more Armoured Transporter troops. 
V3 note: This mission is even more nuts than the new HTL. I found it pretty fun but then I had a good armour advantage. I traded a Pak 40 with John so expect that in future he will have the unit of four to take me on. They are an obvious candidate for immediate ambush but I see BF has learned the lesson of the abomination that was V2 HA and now the attacker goes first.

Ustinov's strategy was simple and blunt. Though they had run like cowards, these Hungarians knew the craft of war. Also, they likely had some anti-tank weapons, in reserve in the middle of their force. So he simply drove all of our tanks right up to an outlying Hungarian platoon, just out of assault range, and proceeded to reduce them with fire. If the Fascists wanted to avoid their flank being overrun - they would have to come to us!

V3 Note: yes that is me within 6" of the enemy in concealing terrain. After my move, John chimed in that apparently he can tank-stalk me from 6" now. I decided to to bluster and say 'please do'. Sure it would have been risky for him but if I had lot a tank or two out of a unit of nine, then that MIGHT have been just enough to allow the Pz IVs to win their shootout...

Hah! Those Hungarian tankists are cowards! See the bulk of their armour heads for our diversionary attack and they fear to engage our mighty T-34s? Their Panzer Tank-Hunters are a little more 'brave' and carefully creep around the edge of a house (careful, Hungarians... small children may throw fruit at you...) to shoot at one of our tanks that bogged down crossing a field. However, they are committed now and we can leave the poor Hungarian peasants to scrape in the dirt, for a little longer.

Ustinov gives the signal and his former adjunct, Starshiy Leytenant Zytsev, gathers our armour and quickly makes flank speed to our right. The lead tanks come close enough to spot the exact position of one of the Hungarian Panzers. They fire, and it seems to be incapacitated.

V3 Note: I've said it before, but I love the V3 H&C. It brings up back to the original MW situation where T-34 main guns don't hit a lot unless stationary but the unit tends to be quite mobile. It always has a chance to crack off a shot if it gets close and of course can now always suppress with mgs as it advances. 

The Hungarian return fire is brutal, several of our T-34s are eliminated but we get a confirmed kill on one of theirs. Realising that our Armoured transporter troops mean to lead them on a fruitless chase, on the other flank, the Hungarian Nimrods join the fight against our T-34s and succeed in bailing one out. The cowards, they better know that unless their future actions are exemplary, they might be considered enemies of the people.

In a few more rounds of shooting, the enemy Panzer Tank-hunters were eliminated and though Zytzev had suffered heavy losses, he had his 'girlfriend' to shame him into further acts of Heroism. More enemy armour has arrived, they have been shooting at our mortars on a far ridge but Ustinov had left clear orders that not too many casualties were to be sustained while staging the diversion. So those troops withdrew to the rear slope  and the obsolete 38ts moved to fight the main attack. They are only a threat if they hit our tank's flanks.

V3 Note: Since I was attacker, I actually got to cast 'summon transports' a few times with one of the infantry platoons. With enough terrain, it is very useful and I really need to get myself M3 Scoutcars so that spell conjures up 5 50cals whenever I need them...

The Hungarians seem to realise that mgs. Then heavy 122mm cannons destroyed the 38ts... the enemy had lost many of their units. Surely these half-hearted lackey's of the Fascists must turn tail and run, soon?

Ustinov's men had come under constant fire. Several times he was wounded himself and I too took a bullet wound (though luckily it proved to be only a scratch!) to my leg. I was forced to retire but I see that Ustinov heroically remained in the fray. Fear not Comrade, I have put in for medals for both of us!
Ustinov's final act of the battle was to supervise the destruction of the Hungarian positions with a flamethrower. The Hungarian peasants, bereft of their armour, and faced with such Heroes of the Soviet union, wisely gave up the fight and surrendered.

Awesome. You fought well John but even though my armour was conscript, the amount of it I had vs your own gave me a significant advantage. I like your army and I think I will struggle more when you have that last Pak. I'm going to have to bring some recon. Cheers for the game and all the good discussion about FOW in general. 

Thanks for reading.


  1. I was going to write my post in 'journal' style, but I don't think the Hungarian commander would have survived to write one...

    But cheers for a good game. Next time the Hungarians will bring their own air force for support, rather than relying on those shifty krauts!

  2. Always good to see Nimrods on table and I applaud Than's stand on LW- although some of the LW Hungarian lists do look fun.

    I look forward to more reports- and a continued resurgence in MW


  3. Good to see you guys liking V3 - I'll be back in NZ for a time later in the year so we shall have to have a game!

  4. Hi Ben. It will be good to catch up and a game can be easily done. I just hope you are not coming early August!