My army consisted of; the company HQ (2 independent teams), 2 infantry platoons (each 10 stands), a heavy tank platoon (3 Panzer IV F2), a light tank platoon (5 T-38), a self-propelled AA platoon (2 Nimrods), and sporadic air support. Against this Jamie had; a tank company (9 T-34's, including 3 T-34/57), an assault gun company (4 SU-122), two Rota platoons (15 stands transported in 5 halftracks), and a self-propelled AA platoon (3 DShk trucks).
We rolled randomly for mission, and got Surrounded. I was defending so I deployed an infantry platoon dug in on each objective, put my light armour an Nimrods in the center ready to move were they were needed, and my heavy armour in immediate ambush. Jamie deployed one rota platoon in each end of the table, his mortars to my right... and all of his armour to my left. My immediate ambush deployed behind some hedges near one of the infantry platoons, ready to move to engage his armour.
|My deployment - two infantry platoons on objectives, with light armour in the middle|
|Jamie's armour, massed to my left|
As attacker Jamie got first turn. His armour advanced towards my far infantry platoon, although (with the +1 to hit from the new H&C rule) he couldn't shoot them this turn. His rota platoon to my right cautiously advanced, while the rota to my left cautiously pulled back. During my turn my air support failed to turn up, my Panzer IVs moved towards his tanks, and my Nimrods and T-38's moved right to ward off the advancing rota platoon.
Over the next few turns our medium tanks duelled around the center of the table. While I was surprised how well my tanks did when outnumbered 4:1 (I had forgotten how much of a difference Veteran status makes in FoW), by about turn 5 my panzer IVs had been eliminated. However they had knocked out 5 T-34s before they went, leaving the company too weak to assault my infantry by themselves.
|T-34's and Panzer IVs duelling|
At this point (about turns 6-7) my light tanks (which, having forced the right-hand rota to back off, had moved back to support the now-struggling left flank) made a suicide charge. With 4 T-34's and 4 SU-122's hanging around there was no way they would survive... but I figured if they could cut the rota platoon down enough, Jamie would not have enough to push my infantry off the objective. As expected the died, but took about six stands of rota with them before they went.
|Charge of the light platoon - my T-38's advancing to certain doom|
The last turn saw Jamie's forces line up for a final push. With with my infantry platoon having 8 stands left (including 3 pancelvadaz) against 2 lots of 4 tanks, plus around 10 stands of rota, I thought I still had a (small) chance of victory. Sadly it was not to be - a lucky shell from one of Jamie's armour units killed my company commander.With me having lost 3 out of 5 platoons that was automatic company motivation fail, and game to Jamie.
|Endgame - Jamie's forces massed around my infantry platoon|
So a good hard fought game, and a deserved win to Jamie. Some observations...
- First impression, I like the new H&C rules. It still limits the Soviets, but in a way that encourages movement. I want to play a few more games against it before making a final judgement (and there is the question of whether the existing points costs are balanced under the new rule), but in this game I thought they worked really well.
- I hadn't played the Surrounded mission before, but (and again this is first impression) I like it. Simple, slightly different, and seems well balanced.
- Sporadic air support giving only a single, solitary aircraft over an 8 turn game! Bah.