Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Red Heroes

Just finished a game of  TFLs Chain of Command. The scenario was Red Heroes from Skirmish Campaigns Russia 41 - Into the Ukraine book. I was keen to see how well CoC played using an armour heavy scenario having previously only fielded one piece of armour.

Plus I wanted an excuse to put my Christmas presents, four Russian buildings from Total Battle Miniatures  into the action.

The German base force consists of 4 Pz IIs, 2 Pz  IIIs and an infantry squad, a variable attachment is diced for and they get an extra section. The Germans are well trained regulars T2 in skirmish campaigns, we give them 6 command dice in CoC.

The Soviet base force consists of 3 BT-7s ( I used BT-5s, little difference in most rule sets ), 2 BA-10s, 1 recon section and a platoon HQ, they also get to dice for an attachment and get a BT-7 with senior leader. The Russians are Green and T4 in skirmish campaigns, they get 5 command dice and rated Green in CoC.

I used scenario two: the Probe, from the Chain of Command rule book. The German objective is to exit a team or panzer off the Soviet board edge.

Click on any picture to enlarge. All figures 15mm.

Near Berestochko, Ukraine.
The Russians deploy an armoured car, near the barn.

 The Germans deploy a PzIII. ( Plastic Soldier Company )
 And an infantry section.
 The LMG team deploys into the field.
 An overview of the table, the Germans are at the far end and the Russians the near end.
 A closer shot of the village.
 The Germans deploy their second PzIII which is engaged by the BA-10 armoured car. It may only be an armoured car but its main gun packs a punch for 1941 !, but the panzer survives taking a point of shock.
 The Russians deploy a section into the woods. The stream which runs diagonally across the board is crossable by infantry and tanks who have to test for bogging down.
 The view of the BA-10 commander. A straightforward shot, but the raised bridge between them makes this a slightly obscured shot. ( BA-10 from Zvezda )
 The exchange of fire comes to an abrupt end when the Panzer scores a decisive hit. ( the Russains should have only thrown three defensive dice but it didn't make any difference. ).

 Another tank enters the fray ( PzII from Plastic Soldier Company ).
 The Russian second armoured car deploys. One advantage wheeled vehicles have when being deployed is they can move in the phase they are deployed. Other units cannot move in the phase in which they deploy.
 The Germans start to move into the village ( tactical reduces their speed but they make use of cover ).

 The Russian player deploys a BT ( Zvezda BT-5 )
 The Russian player has now covered each side of the road.


 The German tanks move toward the village.
 German infantry clearing the village.
 German tanks push further into the village.


 The Germans are confident the village is safe from the Ivans.


 The Russians have been holing back their PTRD (  anti tank rifle ) teams.


 From the cover of the woods they take pot shots at the panzer.
 The PZ II takes a point of shock and some engine damage.
 The Pz III has pushed further forward ahead of the supporting infantry. ( not a wise move, the Russians are sitting on a Chain of Command dice. This gives them the option of an ambush move. )
 Russian armour on guard.
 Another section is pushed into the village to protect the armour.
 No surprise here ! A Russian ambush, another PTRD team pops up to the rear of the Pz III.

 Luck is on the German side, two points of shock and it is forced to retire.
 Things are not  going well for Ivan, the Pz II with its 20mm gun has killed two and routed the survivor of one of the PTRD teams.


 Both PTRD teams are now in rout.  One of the drawbacks of small teams on their own, Russian morale is about to suffer.
 German firepower is starting to come to bear.


 The soviet section is being whittled away.
 The last armoured car loses the duel with the Pz III.



 The inside of one of the buildings.



 The Russian morale is not looking good.
 The section in the wood finally breaks and the Russians concede defeat.

 The next two pictures are out of sequence and should be at the beginning?
 Russian green section deploying into the woods. By remaining tactical they lasted most of the game even  under fire.

A German victory.

The Germans lost 3 men and two engine damaged panzers.

The Russians lost 2 PTRD teams and a section of infantry plus two BA-10 armoured cars.

I played this scenario again, the outcome couldn't be more different with a Russian victory. 

It takes a little getting used to playing with armour rather than infantry but the rules work well. The armour still doesn't dominate as you can't activate everything in one phase. Infantry can still get the drop on you especially with the use of an ambush. 

I can't wait for the official 1941 stats to be released ( 1939 & 1940 stats are available free on the Lard Island blog ).

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