Tuesday, November 13, 2012

WW2 battle report - East Front 1941 Floznia (Take Cover) 6mm

Introduction
This is the third game (game 1 link and game 2 link) in the mini-campaign taken form the IABSM Vzyama or Bust scenario book (available at the Too Fat Lardies site). I am using the rules Take Cover!! (see here for a review) that are similar in play and scale to Rapid Fire.  I am using 6mm with one base = 1 squad and the board size in 2'x2', so converting all measurements from inches to centimetres.

Rule Changes
I am using card activation for each unit rather than the normal turn sequence (game 2 describes this) as it worked well last game.  I also discovered in game 2 that the scenarios have too many bases in the game for my liking and so seem crowded. So I am reducing to about half the number of bases in a company, compared to normal Take Cover org charts.  I've made one change to the morale rules to reflect reduced bases per infantry unit: Infantry always perform a morale test with a -1 die modifier, and each base lost over the threshold is a -2 modifier, rather than a -1.  This change was necessary as infantry morale tests usually occur once a unit loses a base over a threshold, which is 30% (rounded up) for regular troops. A company of 12 would test when it loses its 5th base, and tests each base lost thereafter.  A company will tend to pass, and not have much of a chance, if any, of a bad result for another 2-3 casualties.  This does not translate well to 6-7 bases to a company.  So I've done a bit of number crunching and my changed modifiers seem to produce a reasonably similar outcome to the original rules.

Scenario
Russians hold a large village on a river. Germans enter from the northwest to take the village.  As the Russian force it quite small, this is likely to occur.  However, Russian reinforcements being to trickle in from the north-east.  The winner is who holds the village bridge at the end of the game.

The battlefield

Troops
German
Battalion HQ
  2 Rifle Squads (one is the battalion commander)
  1 PzB39 ATR base

2 x Companies
  6 Rifle squads
  1 50mm mortar
  2 trucks

Support Company
  2 MMGs
  1 Truck

Engineer Company
  2 Pioneer squad
  1 Flamethrower
  1 Sdkfz 251/1

Artillery
  2 x 75mm Infantry Guns + Horse limbers

Tanks
  1 x Panzer 1
  4 x Panzer IIIF

Germans infantry is veteran.

The German troops

Russian
Battalion HQ
  1 squad

2 x Companies
  6 Rifle squads

Support Company
  1 MMG

1 x NKVD platoon (must stay south of river)
  3 Rifle squads

Armour
  1 KV2

Artillery
2 missions of 2 x 76mm (was 4x76mm but reduced the number as less infantry on the board)

Reinforcements
First
  2 x T-26
  2 x BT7

Second
  6 Cavalry squads (4 are at -1 to fire as they have no inherent LMG)

Third
  6 Rifle squads
  1 50mm mortar

All Russian infantry is Green (treat as Militia for Take Cover) except Cavalry and NKVD.

Russians, including offboard reinformcements.  Don't look too hard for the cavalry, I have no figures for them so they are represented by infantry stands.


An 2 picture aside - child play
My 4 year old loves moving the 6mm figures around.  So before actually playing I let him move the soldiers around.

4 year old starting to set out the troops.
You may not be able to see so well, but every stand and vehicle has been placed on the board.  He had fun.
Deployment
Russian NKVD must deploy and stay south of the bridge, other can deploy anywhere south of the road fork.  I opted for a combination of forward defense and defense of the bridge.

Russian deployment.  Stands are behind the building they occupy so I remember where they are.

The Germans enter on the road to the north-west and spend a few turns on trucks advancing to the crossroads in the centre and unloading.

German 1st Company one deploying into the field. 2nd Company has deployed in the woods behind them.

Parts of German 1st Company charge the outer part of the village hoping that there are no Russians in the houses.  There are and subsequently melee - Germans repulsed with all three chargers lost.  Close combat in Take Cover is easy - each roll 1d6 + number of figures and a few modifiers.  Winner loses one stand, loser loses 3. Fast.  Deadly.

The Germans on the right are eliminated in the melee.

The other part is moving to secure the farmhouse on their right.  After securing the farmhouse they go through the village to ensure no enemy. 

Germans approaching a farmhouse on their right flank.  There are no Russians but the Germans don't know that until they get there.  Troops in buildings not firing or moving are only spotted on a 5+ at 4cm

Russians call artillery onto  2nd Company in the woods.  2 stands lost and company is suppressed. Suppression is automatic for off-board artillery if a casualty is scored.  Suppression effects is 1/2 move and no fire for the company;s next turn, normal move and -1 to fire the turn after, then back to normal.

Flamethrower with the Pioneer platoon takes out 2 Russians stands and suppresses what is left of the company.  At the next activations,the Russian company routs (no real surprise).  The village to the right of the bridge (viewed from the German side) is now almost entirely clear; the Pioneer platoon enter and meet up with the remainder of 1st Company.

NKVD take out a section from the German 1st Company in the village, the 1st Company had just taken out the Russian Battalion HQ (-1 to all morale tests from now on).  The German 1st Company in the village manage to spot the pesky MMG across river and open fire. The NKVD is  also spotted - it had taken out a few German squads but the NKVD routs in the end from fire and losses.

Germans (at left) trading shots with the MMG to the right.  MMG ends up a casualty

And the Panzers are coming now the infantry have scouted out a lot of the enemy troops.

Panzers coming down the road to assist with the infantry assault in the village.

Pioneer platoon charge into left hand village which has element of the Russian 2nd Company in it.  Pioneer platoon wins and Russians are down to one element in the village.

The last Russian unit (lower left) in the village hangs on, but routs at the start of its next turn.

German 2nd Company finally gets to advance like it wants to towards the other farmhouse of the left, not knowing the KV2 and a platoon of Russians is there.

Germans (at the back) advancing towards the farm with the KV2.


KV2 opens fire on a Panzer IIIF, disables it and then later destroys it.  A Panzer IIIF can only disable the KV2 on a 6, and only if it hits.  Not fun for the Germans...The German 2nd Company advances on KV2 and the farm but is mostly wiped out by the KV2 and the Russian platoon in the farmhouse.

KV2 destroys a Panzer (at the rear of the photo).  Russian platoon in foreground is actually in the building.  The German infantry at the right is destroyed soon after this moment,

Panzers and KV2 trade shots but both don't manage to hit, or hit but with no damage.  The Russian tank reinforcements arrive.

Russians tank reinforcements arrive from the North.

BT7 on its first stationary shot kills a Panzer III.

BT7 (at right) first stationary shot destroy the German tank in the centre with a good flank shot
 KV1 finally gone by a flank shot, after a number of hits.  Tough customer.

KV2 eventually taken out with a flank shot.  4 panzers were required to take it out and two did not make it.


I will just mention at this point that the Germans just seem to suffer from an enormous run of 1s and 2s for firing, inflicting very little infantry casualties.  And as I write this and suddenly the dice became hot for the Germans for the end game!

Another Panzer II is gone by the BT7s and the last one runs away.

An AT rifle disables a T34 near the crossroads, but the tanks inflict infantry casualties on everything they can see. So an infantry gun goes...then the AT rifle...and another infantry gun...the flamethrower (that could have been useful against the tanks).

Not the best picture to dissect but this is the intersection with two destroyed panzers (right), destroyed Russian tank (left) and the antitank rifle team that took the tank out to the  bottom left


More Russian reinforcements (14 squads) arrive quickly after this carnage.  The Germans have passed a few battalion morale tests but now fail one and pull back for 2 turns.  With the arriving Russian reinforcements, it is unlikely they will still be able to recover from pulling back and take the town.  A victory to the Russians.

End game; there are still Germans in the village but they are pulling back and will not be able to retake the village with all the Russian reinforcements coming.
 
Verdict
This game was a bit long as the game felt over when the Germans took the village but then the reinforcements arrived.  I think I still have the board a little long still and so the reinforcements took a little while to get to the action, especially as i am using cards and also forgot I have the house rule where units can move at double time if unspotted and out of range of enemy units.  I still like the Take Cover rules as I only really need suppression markers, casualties are simply removed as the base unit is a company, and so figures/stands are removed to indicate damage to the company.