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!