Saturday, 10 August 2013

CTA 2013 - Mechanised Mayhem and Misadventure - Game 4 - Free for All - "Machineguns in the snow"

Day two of  Call to Arms got under way on Sunday with the traditional 'Beauty Pageant' of all armies put out on display. I was going to do a picture dump of all the armies that featured but its already been done by other bloggers - nicely here from John at Stumpy Heaven.

Once all the armies had been admired, judged and photographed, it was on with the fun! I was looking to put the woes of the previous day behind me, and 'Keep Calm and Carry on!'... ;-)

My first game of the day I was drawn against Robert Higgins, a relatively new arrival in Wellington, from Dunedin, and fairly new player to FoW. He had brought with him an extensive Soviet infantry force.

Roberts force was;

Red Army Strelkovy Batalon (Red Bear)
Strelkovy Batalon HQ 30
Add 2 Sniper teams 100
Add sapper platoon 85
Add Pioneer Supply Wagon 20
Strelkovy Company - 2 Platoons 240
Add Maxim HMG 25
Strelkovy Company - 2 Platoons 240
Add Maxim HMG 25
Upgrade to SMG teams
Add Komissar 15
Strelkovy MG Company - 2 MG Platoons 150
Strelkovy Mortar Company - 2 Mortar Platoons 95
Add observer Rifle Team 15
Tank Destruction Company - 4 57mm ZIS-2 155
Guards Heavy Assault Gun Company - 3 ISU-122 345
Air Support - Limited Il-2 Shturmovik 200

The mission for this first game of the day, was Free for All.

Bearing in mind my more mobile force against Roberts foot slogging infantry, who would have to try and defend my objectives and risk a foot slog across the board to attack his, I was confident of carrying the initiative through the game.

Objectives went down in their typically spread to flanks fashion and alternating deployment commenced....

Free for All vs Robert Higgins Soviets (my halftracks are loaded up, the infantry are just on board to be easy to grab when needed)
I put the Paks on a hill overlooking the board from my left, supporting Nebs to their right, to hold the left objective. Recce went in the middle early with a view to heading in either direction depending on final dispositions, one GPG down right flank,and the second centrally, again to go either way, and finally KTs ended up supporting the right flank attack. I held these till last hoping to angle them towards Roberts ISUs, but these were tucked up behind the central woods and all the cluttered central terrain would make marking them as targets difficult..

Robert had put a Strelk on each flank objective, with mortars to far his  right behind a hill, Zis guns behind central woods beside the ISUs. HMGs were centrally positioned behind the woods.

I got first turn, and headed off trying to get some MG fire at the Strelk before they dug in. Pumas swung left going for a position to shoot up the mortars, assisted by the 2iC halftrack. The central halftracks negotiated the terrain, to make it to the central road area, supported by CO. The flank GPGs zipped forward with Von Sauken(VS) nearby to assist stormtrooper moves towards terrain, as I was wary of getting caught in the open with the Shturmoviks circling overhead... The KTs followed the GPGs looking to angle to get some shots on the Zis Guns if they turned towards my halftracks...
My observer looked to get into the church steeple, but found the door frozen shut...

I started putting some hurt on the right side Strelk with the GPG Mgs...

In return Robert dug in his Strelk, but not the mortars preferring to fire these. His Zis guns turned to fire at the distant GPGs... one gun concealed by woods had no shots, so three shots on a 5, I was not overly concerned... 3 hits! Darn , two wrecked, one bailed... luckily I managed some infantry saves, only losing a couple of teams... GPGs fail motivation for their halftracks who depart..., leaving the infantry feeling rather exposed... at least they have KTs behind them...

The planes tried to hit the KTs, but they had kept near the woods and the planes missed... Robert advanced his HMGs through the woods to fire on the central half tracks to little effect... Robert also advanced the ISUs up through the wood in support of the HMGs again to fire on the GPGs but missed...

In my turn, the central GPG paused, and took the opportunity to shoot up the Soviet HMG teams, killing several, as did the CO and Pumas... the HMGs were destroyed...

I brought back up the halftracks on the right flank to support the exposed infantry there.

The exact sequence of event now gets a bit muddled but the gist of what happens next, included the Right side GPGs continuing to shoot up the flank Strelkovy, whilst the KTs tried to shoot up the Zis guns. The remaining infantry there and soviets went head to head in assaults battering both sides, leaving the strelk greatly reduced and Germans down to one lone isolated team and a few half tracks, backed up by the KTs... I think we may have got the Soviet 'quality of quantity' rule wrong here, in Roberts favour, but it wasn't a biggie, and I wasn't going to worry over it... just something to double check later on...

I did make a mistake here at one point, trying to get out of LOS of the Zis guns and wary of planes I pushed forward to the woods the strelk were in, knowing I still had enough MG fire if they came running out at me... and of course crucially forgot the sneak up on tanks rule - doh! As it turned out I dodged a bullet here as the soviet assault achieved little, top armour saves being made, and I broke off... close shave though...

That was the right flank fought out and just left the KTs sniping the Zis guns...

Had I been desperate here I could have assaulted with the KTs through the wood into the remnants of the strelk, to capture the objective behind them, but there were still some engineer teams alive and knowing me I would bog down in the woods (KTs bog on a 1-2), so I called that flank quits...

Back to the centre, and an airstrike by the Russian planes hit the GPG there... I gleefully got ready to fire my passenger fired AA guns from the half tracks which I don't often get to use, only to be informed the plane was classed as a 'flying tank', and my AA MGs couldn't hurt it... curses! Half tracks were hit including the CO who died... the GPG failed their morale check and half tracks bugged out leaving the grenadiers on the road behind a wall.

The Paks now saw a chance to shoot up the ISUs, but they either missed or the ISUs passed front armour saves. With the soviet HMGs dealt with, the dismounted central GPGs decided to go for glory on foot and assaulted the ISUs in front of them in wood, knowing there would be no defensive from these behemoths, and with them, being in the woods there was also a chance they'd bog if they moved. I just needed to pass tank terror on a 4+... passed! In we went but the Panzerfaust hit was saved. However the ISUs failed to motivate, broke off back through the wood with the command tank bogging and being captured and destroyed... this left the two remaining ISUs stuck behind the wood unable to move further...

On my left the pumas and 2iC skirted the left side hill and started shooting up the soviet mortars who had not dug in, eventually destroying them, but the strelkovy there had dug in and were a tougher proposition to shoot up, and an assault against their numbers seemed unwise, so a stalemate occurred there... and that was about it...

The game ending as 3-1 in my favour as I had destroyed the HMGs and Mortars for no lost platoons. Not brilliant but not bad , and at least I scored some points...

Robert was a very likable chap, keen as mustard on FOW, and I think we'll be seeing a lot more of him on FoW scene...

So 4 games played and I am up to 8 points, one game to go, can I break double figures...?


  1. Good job Scott. I will ave a look out for Robert as he would fit in well with our crew here.

    1. Thanks. Good idea, I told him to look you guys up, via the 50mm Gamesroom blog...

  2. Well played Scott. You played aggressively, which is the way to go in these missions, and even though you didn't get a win you got three points. Just reward for seizing the initiative having a crack!

    1. Thanks mate, yeah it kinda went to plan... If we had had a little more time I would have tried an assault for the hell of it on each flank, but at the time we stopped play there was only about 5 mins playing time left... not enough to complete a turn, nor to let Robert to complete a turn so we'd played a an equal fair number... and even if all went peachy, I'd still need to start my next turn holding the objective uncontested to win...