Friday, August 26, 2016

Emchas hold out against StuG III's (FOW)

Today I have another Flames of War battle report with my Soviet Hero Lend-Lease Tank Brigade taking on ze Germans!

We played a 1750 point game with the Hasty Attack mission, and my Soviets were defending.

I was running, what is becoming, my standard force of Hero Emchas from the Berlin (digital) book. It contains Dmitriy Loza, four 76mm Emchas, three 75mm Emchas, four Valentine VIII's, three ISU-122's, three SU-100's and a battery of four 122mm Mortars. All of my force were hero units.

Grayson was running his German StuG batterie with an HQ of Stug III's, three platoons of 2 StuG's and a StuH each, two Tiger I's and a platoon of pioneers.

The terrain was rather open with a few small fields and woods scattered around with a village blocking most of the center of the board.

Loza and the 76's holding the right most objective.
They need all that fuel for the push on Vienna.
Holding down the center.
SU-100's on the far left.
Grayson concentrated his forces on my right side objective.
The board before the game began.
But my reserves are delayed and he rolls for his on turn one.
Going "gone to ground" with Tigers watching.
The Panther is standing in as a Tiger I today.
I begin to shift the SU-100's over to the right as it looks like that will be where the main push happens.
Very cautious StuG's.
Once again my slow tanks are out of position. I have to worry about my flanks as he has reserves.
Very good rolls for saves.
Bad firepower rolls on my part...
It is a grind to knock each other out.
Things are getting hot for the Emchas.
More StuG's arrive!
Grayson used his stormtrooper rule very effectively.
I made some oldschool bailed out markers.
It is a stalemate.
But the Germans are closing in.
My ROF 1 assault guns are really struggling to move up and hit the Germans.
The Pioneers rushing up for the second Soviet objective suddenly have a bad feeling about this.
I go "gone to ground" trying to save my last few 76's.
I was very cautious with my assault guns, not wanting them to get behind me.
Only Loza remains on the objective.
He stays gone to ground and is veteran.
But that doesnt save him from the ROF 3 Tigers, but the mortars come in where in need them.
The assault guns are grinding down the Germans.
That is a lot of front armor 9!
The Tigers want no part of those guns!
A StuG platoon fails its check to stormtrooper.
There was an entire German pioneer platoon in there earlier.. but no more.
The StuG's get aggressive, bailing two ISU's!
This is not the combat any of these vehicles were design to fight.
Again my 120mm Mortar commander is saving me by contesting the objective.
Hoping no one notices him.
The Valentines are slowing coming to the rescue!
But the net is closing in.
The Panther/Tiger I fails a stormtrooper roll.
The StuG bails another ISU.
He stormtroopered away from the SU-100's but found more danger.
It was a Valentine from the front that ended the StuG.
The ISU-122's clean up the other remaining StuG and the Germans are left with only a single Tiger I.
Just to recap and fill in some blanks from the pictures above. The less frequently I play the rustier I get! I once again deployed my SU-100's poorly, they should have been in the center where they could more easily shift to one side or the other, as their range was useless due to Grayson great maneuvering. Also one of them bogged in the woods and stayed bogged for several turns.

The StuG's and the 76mm Emchas fought in out for far longer than Grayson or I would have thought, as we both either struggled to hit or to pass firepower tests. I didn't get many pictures of his pioneers as they came on, then doubled for the far left objective the next turn, then I rolled and got both the 75mm Emchas and the Valentines right in front of them. I shot up the doubled infantry and the next turn assaulted the few remaining teams. The 75mm Emchas the rushed around to Grayson's deployment zone to take his objective. That is why the last Tiger hung back for the remaining two turns.

Grayson did very well, especially with his movement, by hiding from my big assault guns for several turns while he engaged the Emchas. The only thing that I think hurt him was stormtroopering his Tigers so much. He would move them back behind the buildings each turn so that the 76mm Shermans could not see them. While that is a good most of the time, he was rate of fire 3 with his Tiger ace skills for the commander, so moving back up each turn really limited his shots and he had StuG's right in front of me as well so it would have made me divide my fire more.

Another fun game of Flames of War!

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