Tonights opponent was Dennis at the Deeside Defenders, and with a 2,000pt game agreed, and a Grenadier Kompanie picked, I turned up wondering what I would face. It would be Eastern Front, that was also agreed, but I had no idea what his collection consisted of, and in a paranoid fit about the possibility of it being a wave of T34’s I had kitted my grenadiers out with PaK38’s, PaK40’s, FlaK36’s and 3 StuG’s, plus 2 pionier platoons. The opposition arrived, and revealed his force – Russian Strelkovy. “Damn”, I thought, “didn’t pick my HMG’s”. The No Retreat mission was rolled and I, thankfully, was picked as the defender. I set up objectives and troops, and then watched in horror as the enemy deployed.
The lead Strelkovy company consisted of 44 bases of troops. There were riflemen, submachine gunners, pioneers, flamethrowers, scouts and anti-tank rifles. I needed to kill off 23 bases just for the company morale check, which he would pass on a 3+ with a re-roll. To cap it off they were backed up by a heavy tank company of 7 KV1e’s, some heavy mortars, AT guns and a second (thankfully much smaller) strelkovy company.
This monster deployed, then used its scouts to infiltrate, then had first turn, swamping my first line of defence in the trees. I was one pionier platoon down and the enemy were 2 teams down, it looked bad. The monster swept onwards, with its minions following at a slower rate. It crashed into my second line of the large pionier unit and my 2 HQ bases, and this, backed up by the FlaK36’s at point blank range, staved off the assault with defensive fire. Three times the Russian horde came forward, and three times it was bounced back by the smallest of margins while heavy mortar fire and AT gun shells rained down.
German re-enforcements arrived, and took up positions on the flank of this fight, with German mortars laying smoke to prevent the Russian mortars and AT guns from interfering. The third wave attack was followed by the KV1e’s assault, but this fell foul of the FlaK36’s, and the StuG’s manoeuvring on the flanks. With the German position finally stabilising the Russians had finally shot their bolt. The monster strelkovy company was unable to advance from its woods, while the German infantry risked annihilation if it went in pursuit. The StuG’s were intact, while 5 of the 7 KV1e’s burned, and the Russian CO conceded the field.
|The deployment positions, before the Russian infiltration!|
|The monster takes the first wood...|
|Followed by its KV1e backup.|
|The German positions.|
|Smoke drifts over the battlefield as the last big assault goes in.|
Post Game analysis:
The Russian infantry company was truly something I had not seen before, and an awesome spectacle of manpower and combined infantry arms. It formed up like a French Napoleonic column and came straight for my lines, with no subtlety intended! I was lucky to beat it off as often as I did, and fortune that the heavy mortars didn’t damage my FlaK36’s position until the final moments when the rest of my infantry had arrived from reserve. Dennis conceded, but a draw was more of a fair result. If I would have had to attack there would have been only one result, and it wouldn’t have gone my way! Oh, and this report took around 25 mins to complete, someone asked me that once ;-).