Saturday, July 4, 2015

Recapturing Bykhov

...yes. It is now a theme to fight over territories starting with B 2 or more times.
I kind of need to, though, because otherwise my cites Orsha and Mogilev are toast, being out of supply and bereft of good firestorm troops.

I saw Dave occupying the area with IS-2s and decided that I'd want some heavier tanks:
Jordan's Kampfgruppe Peiper (imagine it's some other SS unit):
1 Company Commander King Tiger
1 King Tiger
3 Panthers
3 Pumas
3 Gepanzerte squads
Firestorm troops: more armored panzergrenadiers and 2 Tigers

Dave took T-34/85s with some tough support:
1 T-34/85
6 T-34/85s
6 T-34/85s
4 SU-100s (AT 16 cat killers)
Some infantry (how could he not?)
Firestorm troops: 2 IS-2s, 5 SU-76s
The terrain is clear but somewhat hilly. Billiard boards don't tend to be that much fun. The mission is Encounter, which is like Free-for-All with reserves.
Here are the pics!
Deployment. Everyone's stayed out of sight.
I'm drastically outnumbered.
I kill two tanks, for the first and only blood of the first turn.
Dave's staying out of sight still.
The storm is coming. Eventually.
The chickens abound.
 SU-76s show up on my right flank, trying to steal the objective.
The central company of T-34s comes up the hill.

I'm outflanked and get some flames and a lot of Bailings-Out.
This is where some more tanks might come in handy.
...tanks like those reinforcement Tigers!
Of course, they both get bailed out! We can't make firepower checks worth a damn!
That's a lot of enemies for one tank, even a King Tiger!
Here I was thinking squares were for Napoleonics.
I've now lost all my panthers, but I'm wearing Dave down, too.
My Tiger has begun the Peekaboo process.
I get reinforcements, to inflict some casualties on Dave's reinforecments.
Our assaults tend to be very bloody.
My armor has been pretty lucky so far.
The other Tiger comes closer to help cover the objective.
My infantry sneaks up behind the defenseless SU-76s, and...fails tank Terror.

The IS-2 got bogged down, and the infantry took care of that instead.
That's it for the Tiger 1s. I just hope the King Tiger's flank armor holds.
The infantry get back in their tracks and beeline for the objective on my right,
We are now both almost out of tanks.
The SU-76s double-time to surround my commander.
...and accomplish nothing. Turns out AT 9 really doesn't do much against armor 8.
My infantry assaults the SU-100s covering Dave's objective, and the platoon loss costs Dave the game.
That is a ton of burning tanks.

I won, but it was really close. I got lucky with armor on the Tigers on my left objective, and both Dave and I were unlucky with firepower checks. Really, we always are. 
I think I did well avoiding being baited into going hunting. When you're outnumbered, you hang back on defense and fortunately I was able to.
This reopens the railroad through Bykhov to Orsha and Mogilev, which is fortunate. Those cities are important supply depots for the Soviet offensive.
Next up: I go on the offensive and try to cut Dave's supplies in Dobryna, north of Bykhov. That report will likely go up in 2 or 3 weeks. See you then!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Defense of Bykhov

Now that I have all my good firestorm troops in Berezino instead of Bykhov, Dave is attacking me in Bykhov to cut off supplies to Mogilev and Orsha.
We're playing a free-for all in somewhat clearer terrain. He's attacking my infantry with tanks! While an atypical choice for him, I have to say it kind of makes sense.
My Sturmkompanie:
2 platoons of infantry
MG platoon
Infantry guns
5 PaK40s in 2 platoons
3 flak guns
2 Tigers
Firestorm troops: 1 platoon of armored infantry
Dave's tanks:
2 T-34 companies (some 85s mixed in)
3 SU-122s
1 infantry company (nothing special for once)
6 T-70 light tanks
Firestorm troops: Air support, 5 SU-76s
Here are the pics!
Deployment. I have the half-tracks on the left and infantry on the right.
He double-timed 32 inches onto my flank! T-34s...
On the other flank he starts advancing and destroys a halftrack.
My halftracks take my first blood, then the infantry got under cover.
My tigers start playing peekaboo.
That's a lot of tanks.
It seems more manageable on my left.
The PaK40s take care of the SU-122 bunker busters.
Then I lose one of the guns.
The Soviet cowards hide in the field!
I get bombed frequently. It has no effect but to pin me. Also you will notice our incredible aviation budget. It's like staff teams.
The PaK guns kill some T-34s then move over to defend my flank.
I set up to assault the SU-76s (they are defenseless) then get pinned.
I then get counterassaulted and lose almost everyone.
A massive tank assault forces me almost all the way off the objective.
My heroic flak gun commander destroys 2 baby tanks!
My tigers have started moving to the rescue. Too slow?
The left flank seems to have stagnated.
 There was an assault. Both sides took light casualties before the Soviet cowards retreated!
They formed up so I can't contest the objective.
I duly fail to contest, then Dave wins the game.
I needed to use halftracks and/or Tigers as reserves. That or trust concealed veterancy to keep my Tigers safe and inflict heavier losses. Dave did well using his superior mobility to kick half of my forces' butts while ignoring the other half.
I've lost Bykhov now and that's gonna hurt. Orsha and Mogilev will suffer the effects of out-of-supply when Dave attacks them next.
Our next battle will be my counterattack; I hope to have it up sometime this week.