Friday, December 20, 2013

Volkgrenadiers grind down Soviet armor (FOW)

A few weeks ago Robert and I got together to keep testing out the new Soviet points from Red Bear. The first game we played with the new points saw Rob's Soviet tank horde run roughshod over my panzer grenadiers. There were just to many tanks for my troops to deal with, but I refused to abandon my infantry lists. This time I brought out my veteran Volksgrenadiers to take on the Red tank force.

My list was:

Volksgrenadier Sturm Platoon-Full-PS
Volksgrenadier Schutzen Platoon-Full
7.5cm PaK50-4
7.5cm Pak40-3
Volksgrenadier Scout Platoon-Full
Jagdpanzer 38t-4
Panzer IV/70 (A)-2
Air Support- FW190


The Soviet force consisted of:

HQ-T-34 obr 1942
T-34 obr 1942 - 10
T-34 obr 1942 - 10
M3 Stuarts - 10
SU-85M -5
SU-100 -4
BA-64 - 6

Total-1750ish (I'm not sure if he added cupolas)

We then rolled for mission and came up with caldron... of course. Although it seemed absolutely fitting the have late war German infantry surrounded by Soviet tank forces.

 I was surrounded and half of my force was in delayed reserve, I chose to deploy the Hetzers, and both infantry platoons. It was then I realized that I'd made a rookie mistake and had 7 platoons... that meant only 3 on board and 4 off, dumb. Rob had half his force off in standard reserve. He deployed, the recon, SU-100's and a T-34 platoon on board.

The first turn and I stayed put waiting on the Soviets to come to me. Rob moved his forces up slowly, a few SU-100's and his HQ bogged.

Turn two and the Hetzers knock out a few BA-64's that stuck their nose to far out. The Stuarts came on from reserve on the flank of the Hetzers and the T-34's move up. The Stuarts knock out a Hetzer.

I reposition the Hetzers to avoid getting flanked by the Stuarts, and bring on the scouts from reserve. I don't bring on the Panzer IV/70's because the Stuarts would be all over them in a furball. The Hetzers shooting is horrible and they only kill one Stuart.The scouts move up aggressively towards the center. The BA-64's remove gone to ground from the forward Volksgrenadier platoon, and the T-34 pound on them, killing a team. Both the T-34's and SU-85's come on the far flank behind the Hetzers.

The forward Volksgrenadier platoon decides not to wait around and get shot to death by the T-34's so they rush up the hill and are just able to contact an SU-100 that got to close. The scouts also continue their mad rush at the bailed Soviet HQ tank, but are just short his turn leaving them dangerously exposed on the hill. I bring on the Pak50's behind the stuarts and with the hetzers manage to kill a whooping three more...horrible shooting needing just 3's. Air fails to kill any of the SU-85's even though all of them are hit. The assault kills the SU-100 and a BA-64 that was close enough to be assaulted, Robert pulls the rest of forces back. In his turn the stuarts flank and bail a hetzer, the newly arrived T-34's kill another hetzer but I pass my moral check. The SU-85's with cat killer somehow use that to shoot my scouts on the hill and hit 4 times but I pass all saves. The BA-64s move to the edge of the woods and shoot the infantry inside, killing one. The T-34's on the right move onto the objective.

In my following turn I get just the Panzer IV/70's from reserve. The hetzer remounts and they move to contest the objective. The volksgrenadier platoon in the center move up to the edge of the woods and knocks out a BA-64 with a panzerscheck, and kill another bailed one with a stationary panzerfaust team. The scouts assault his still bogged HQ and destroy him, they then consolidate towards the objective. I didn't have the points to add any panzerfausts to them, but they will be the bane of tanks on this day. The PanzerIV/70s and Pak50's somehow manage to kill zero stuarts... with 8 shots needing 3's or 4's. The hetzers bail two T-34's on the objective. His T-34's move up and kill one of the panzer IV/70's and the stuarts bail both of the hetzers and they then run. At this point I really think I have no chance of winning this game, I am just failing to kill anything.

Then my infantry just decide to do it themselves! I move the scouts out of the woods towards the objective and the last Panzer IV/70 does the same thing. My Pak40's come on from reserve. The infantry in the center move to the treeline to shot the last few BA-64's which were backing away down the hill. The Pak40's kill one T-34, the Pak50's bail one and the Panzer IV/70 bails another, I couldn't believe how bad my shooting and firepowers were. But then the much reduced Volksgrenadier platoon on the hill kills and bails a BA-64 and the last one runs. In the center I realize that suddenly there are four T-34's on the objective but none are active, and there are no active enemy tanks in range. I measure and the scouts are just in assault range! They storm down the hill and capture four T-34's with just rifles! The last few T-34's in that platoon then fail their morale check and run.

I was a crazy last few turns. The reduced volksgrenadier platoon on the hill decides to do something about those stuarts and moves to take them on. The scouts move in on the objective and get in the buildings, they are at half strength after being shot my the stuarts. The panzer IV/70 hops over the hill and kills an SU-100 then storm troopers back over, the last SU-100 stays. Pak40's start to fire on the far T-34 company and knock out one or two.  The pak50's clean up the bailed stuarts they can see and drop them below half but the little tanks stay around. Rob finally moves aggressively towards the second objective with the T-34 and SU-85 companies.

On the last turn the volksgrenadiers assault down the hill at the last three active stuarts, two survive defensive fire and kill two stuarts, the last stuart counterattacks and kills one grenadier. The volksgrenadier commander counterattacks and kills the last active stuarts. That leave one volksgrenadier team and one bailed stuart, they both then fail their morale checks and run. At half strength and very frustrated, Rob goes for it all and assaults the far Volksgrenadier Schtuzen platoon in the woods. They are pinned and the SU-85's go in first, two bog in the woods, the infantry hit twice with panzerfausts and stop the assault. Then the T-34's go in, with just four shots needing 5's, I hit every time and destroy three T-34's. Both assaults are stopped, the T-34's are almost at half strength, the SU-85's have no active vehicles and Rob calls the game.

It was an incredible game, the infantry clawed their way back into it for the win.
In the end I had 10 infantry teams, 6 guns and one tank left. Robert had 12 tanks left and only 6 were active out of a total of 40.

Friday, December 6, 2013

E-100 (Krupp) Pt. 1

I just received my 15mm E-100 with Krupp turret from Heer46. Like the Lowe, I've reviewed before, this kit comes well packaged and the resin is crisp with sharp details and almost no cleanup is necessary. Most of the pieces fit together perfectly. The side skirt on the left did give me some trouble to fit on as a single piece, but since I planned on having one section off, it didn't matter. Also a change from the Lowe and E-50 kits that I already have, is the option for an open commanders hatch. (I just found out that I put the hatch on wrong, it should twist around instead of opening backwards.)

The kit looks incredible, I can't wait to begin painting this tank. I plan on using it to represent my command Tiger II for the new Panzer Ausbildungs Abteilung 500 list from desperate measures. Sure it may be a little different than a King Tiger but who's going to notice :).

Next up will be the painted version.

The E-90 Lowe on the background.
The tank commander is an American body with a German head and I added a hood for his parka.

With a tank this difficult and expensive to produce, I gave it an escort.