Monday, November 11, 2013

Udarny vs. Puscasi AAR

Andrew and I got in a game last weekend, which I was really looking forward to. I've not had the chance to play many games with my brother since he has arrived, but we managed to squeeze one in.

Andrew really wanted to play his beloved Romanians, so with his army state-side I loaned mine to him. It didn't have nearly enough infantry Andrew is accustomed to playing, but he managed to make it work.

I wanted to try out the revised Udarny Strelkovy from Red Bear. I got a few playtest games in earlier, but this was strictly for fun so it was far more enjoyable!

We rolled up Counterattack as our mission. My Udarny have Always Attack other infantry companies, so I was the attacker.



Before we dive in, I need to honor the Veterans who have served and sacrificed. I greatly appreciate being able to do what I do every day, thanks to you. Lest we forget.



Andrew's Batalion Puscasi
(Rifle Battalion)



HQ25
2x Panzerfaust SMG+30
Pucasi Platoon
(1x Platoon)
155
1x Panzerfaust SMG+10
Pucasi Platoon
(1x Platoon)
155
1x Panzerfaust SMG+10
Pucasi Platoon
(1x Platoon)
155
1x Panzerfaust SMG+10
Pucasi Machine-gun Platoon105
Pucasi Heavy Mortar Platoon
(with 6x 120mm Mortars)
140
Heavy Anti-tank Company
(with 6x 75mm Resita guns)
285
German Panzer Platoon
(with 5x Panzer IV H)
450
Total:1530

Andrew seemed to have an endless mass of troops jammed into his table quarter. With Mobile Reserves and having only one mobile platoon, Andrew got to start with everything on the table, with the Panzer IVs in ambush. Yeesh! This'll be tough!

Mike's Udarny Strelkovy Batalon
(Shock Rifle Battalion)

HQ40
Udarny Strelkovy
(2x Platoons)
190
add HMG+25
Udarny Strelkovy
(2x Platoons)
190
add HMG+25
Shock Artillery Battalion285
add Observer Rifle team+15
Guards Heavy Tank Company675
add 5x .50 cal AAMG+25
add 5x Tankodesantniki+50
Total:1520

Seasoned Soviet players will probably be thinking that I've lost my gourd. No recon? No infiltration? No flame-throwers? No HQ attachments? Four Platoons? Two small Udarny platoons? Five IS-2s? Well, let me just say this, I built this list to try out two things: I wanted to field five fully-pimped IS-2s, and I wanted to use the Shock Artillery Battalion (which bombards as veterans). That doesn't leave many points left, but honestly I don't think that other stuff is absolutely necessary. It'd be nice, but I can roll with out all that fancy kit. Plus, I'm not playing for VPs (I rarely do, in fact), but if I was, I may make some effort to include a few of these things. 

I set up to put pressure on the center and the open objective on my left. I wanted to draw Andrew's infantry off to defend the open objective and then hit the other one with a concentrated hammer assault of IS-2s. I set up my 76mm guns from the God Of War on my right to direct fire on Andrew's Resitas using Volley Fire. The infantry was on the left to screen Andrew's ambush, and the IS-2s in the middle. 

The Game
I kicked off with a general, aggressive advance up the middle. The 122s failed to range in, but the 76s knocked out several anti-tank guns (Volley Fire!). The IS-2s crunch forward and KO an anti-tank gun with massed .50cal AAMGs (a must-buy, in my opinion).

Andrew ambushed with his Panzer IVs in the middle and crash across the railroad tracks, taking advantage of the fact I failed to keep my infantry up to the front. He got some Panzers into the flank of the IS-2s. Luckily I get away with only a couple of bailed out results! Andrew then assaults with the Panzer IVs and scares off my infantry allowing him to breakthrough further into my flanks.


My infantry rallied and took on the Panzers with the help of a couple of IS-2s. I made the gamble to expose my side armor to the remaining three 75mm Resita guns to engage the Panzers. In retrospect I should have ignored the Panzers and KO the anti-tank guns. Even shooting on the side, the Panzers only have Anti-tank 11 vs my 8 side-armor rating, as opposed to 13 on the anti-tank guns. However, on the other hand the Resitas still have to roll to hit the side of the turret. Dunno. Interesting dilemma. On the day, I  engaged the Panzer IVs, hit one, and promptly failed my 2+ firepower!

Andrew shot up my IS-2s. The Panzers bagged one, and the Resitas another, both luckily hitting my flank armor rather than my front. The HMGs opened fire and bagged an Infantry stand as well. Andrew's heavy mortars then knocked out a 76mm gun, an HMG, and an infantry stand. 

Andrew kept up the relentless Panzer assault and decimated my infantry, taking on both companies at the same time. Luckily one company remnant of three teams and the other relatively unscathed company stayed in play, scaring off the Panzer IVs. By the time the assault ended, Andrew got further and further mired into my lines. So when it came time for his Panzers to break off, he ended up losing one for being too slow and another that had bogged down on the railroad tracks. This, combined with a loss in the assault caused morale check, which broke the platoon.

I gotta just say that I was very worried about this assault. If Andrew had broke out, I would have been totally destroyed. The infantry was in bad shape, the artillery vulnerable, and the IS-2s mauled and surrounded. I feel this stroke of luck is where the battle turned.

My artillery failed to unpin, but the 76mm guns still knocked out an anti-tank gun and a machine-gun. The three IS-2s pressed forward as did the infantry. After some fire, I was able get my infantry into a long and protracted assault. The battle within a battle ended up wiping out one and a half of Andrew's forward infantry platoons and my larger Udarny companies, leaving me with four infantry teams (CiC long dead), three IS-2s and my artillery. I was convinced I was done for!

Luckily, I had killed the command team for Andrew's third infantry team, meaning they were now immobile on the other side of the board. I saw an opportunity to press the assault with my IS-2s against Andrew's heavy mortars.


Andrew's return fire knocked out one more IS-2, making me dubious about victory! Fortunately the Fearless heavy tanks stuck with it. The 120 mortars knocked out another 76mm gun. His infantry remnants skirmished and assaulted mine and the two destroyed each other completely. I'm now down to 2x IS-2s and my artillery. Phew.... Let's do this!

I drove my IS-2s into Andrew's 120mm mortars and slaughtered them readily. The 122 howitzers nailed the last Resita anti-tank gun, removing my last major threat, beyond Andrew's three Panzerfaust command teams. I was now on the objective.

Andrew had about six infantry teams remaining, with half of those being fausts. But they were not keen on going after the IS-2s, but he was able to make sure he contested the objective. 

So the initiative was passed to me and I maneuvered the IS-2s to keep the objective hot and knocked out the command team for the 120mm mortars, dropping Andrew below half-strength for his battalion. I debated going in to clear out the infantry with an assault, but I decided to see how Andrew's company morale test panned out. 

As it happened Andrew failed the test and the battlefield was left to my two IS-2s, two 76mm guns, and four 122mm howitzers. Close!

4-3 Soviet Victory 


7 comments:

  1. Great looking game. Brutal too! How did you get the track marks in the cornfields?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Scott!

      It takes patience and a very small pair of scissors. :)

      Delete
  2. Great game. Got to love those close nail biters more than a big loss of victory.
    cheers

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pardon me for saying, but as far as I can see there is no such thing as a "Shock Artillery Battalion". The unit is core support, and not actually named "Shock" or "Udarny" and therefore, does not roll to hit on +3, but just the usual +4. Only units that are specifically named "Shock" or "Udarny" get the hardened veterans rule. So I guess you kinda pulled a fast one on your brother ;P
    Nice report though, beautiful table and miniatures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not quite ;)

      http://www.flamesofwar.com/Portals/0/all_images/Design-Notes/RBRevisited/p84-RedBear.pdf

      Delete
    2. Right you are! Thanks for correcting me, I hadn't noticed it had been added after the 2nd edit of the RB changes. Great stuff, certainly improves that unit immensely, can't wait for try them out. Thanks for heads up! :D

      Delete