Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Battle for Vitebsk

We fought the battle for Vitebsk, and it went pretty much as expected.
I had some German infantry defending against Dave's typical Russian horde. He also had some extra tanks and artillery from his firestorm troops, while I just got even more infantry! How exciting. Also, I'm out of supply, so I only get 1200 points instead of 1500. And we're playing No Retreat because it fits with the attacking-a-city thing so I have reserves. I get to start with 600 on the table against Dave's 2000, but it's not rigged or anything...
Here are the pictures:
The town that represents Vitebsk.
The Horde® rolls out in typical horde fashion.
The tanks are weighted towards his left flank, where the terrain is better.
My few forces are deployed as well as possible. Hoping for early reserves.
The first PaK40 is killed.
By these guys, the firestorm troops of all people!
The horde rolls on. It still seems that I have a couple of turns, though.
My one PaK gun stares the tanks down. (I lost the other one in the interim.)
Now they've gotten awfully close. And killed my one remaining gun. The artillery again!
The horde moves closer.
They've started encroaching upon my buildings, too!
I've now been assaulted out of the south part of town. Casualties were surprisingly light.
I even held the other platoon company (I hate Soviets) off.
I had infantry guns, then the artillery kicked in. Now that infantry is on its own.
Except that the pioneers show up. Also, more infantry shows up in the south.
My first real round of shooting inflicts heavy casualties.
The situation is grim on both objectives.
They assaulted me out of the middle of town, too!
No matter how hard I try, I can't kill anything, just bail it out.
 My first successful firepower check all game! On a panzerschreck, no less!
Not that it looks to matter in the scheme of things.
I'm assaulted off the objective, causing all of one casualty.
Just when my left flank was looking secure, too.
 I'm not sure how I'm supposed to deal with that.
Amazingly, in one of my pictures, the light bounced off a chicken just perfectly. This is the result. A symbol of my loss, perhaps?

Tactical: I think it's really hard to stand a chance in the face of a 3-1 advantage, especially when you only make one firepower check all game. Also, thanks to his sheer numbers, Dave was able to pressure the "back" objective and make me fight for both, which is not typical of No Retreat and hard to deal with when you only start with 3 platoons!

Strategic: I've lost Vitebsk. Now Dave can push supplies through on the northern part of the map. I also had my engineers captured, which gives him extra campaign points and ensures that I don't get that troop back as reinforcements.

Our next battle is over Berezino, a wooded territory controlling supplies to Orsha, Mogilev, and Bykhov, a total of 6 firestorm troops, a lot of victory points, and 2 crucial rail depots!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I'm Back!

After a 10 month leave of absence, I am finally back.

Pretty much what happened was I was off for the first month or two of school, then I needed a major back surgery in November, so that had me off for a while. Then I missed school and had to play catch-up there, which took some time. Before I knew, it, I had spring break then AP tests, then finals. I'm finally here but it took me a while.
I know those are mostly lousy excuses, but it's all I've got.

To provide some momentum, my father Dave and I started a campaign: the Flames of War Firestorm campaign Bagration, the Russian offensive of 1944 to capture Minsk.
He will take the Soviet horde, while I will attempt to stem the red tide with my Germans. With as few of my own bodies as possible, obviously.
Here is our initial picture of the campaign map:
I feel...outnumbered, to say the least. But we'll see what can be done.
The first battle is Dave's assault on the surrounded city of Vitebsk up north. Everything is set to play tomorrow, and I'll have the AAR up by the end of the week!