For our Saturday game, Dan Best and I selected another of the new scenarios from the Action Pack 13. Our selection would be AP122 Mechanized Sacrifice (designed by Bill Sisler) . We don't often play armor only scenarios, so it was a nice change of pace. And this one involves a lot of early war armor, which often means a lot of wrecks before the game ends!
We rolled for sides and Dan would be the Russians and I would have the Germans. My force would be elements of the 14th Panzer Division. I would have 2 x MKII's, an SPW 250 with 37L, and SPW 250 with LMG, and the ubiquitous PSW 222 Armored Car. A 2-47 with an ATR and 8-0 for leadership would round out my initial entry force. On Turn 3 I would get 4 x 50 MKIII's.
My Germans would enter second after Dan's Russians entered the game first.
Dan's Russians would be elements of the 19th Tank Division, 22nd Mechanized Corps. Dan's entire force would enter at game start. He would have 8 x T-26's, 2 BA-6's and 2 x BA-20 armored cars. 12 x 45L Guns would be a tough force to contend with.
Dan's forces would only have the half their movement on Turn 1. This would severely handicap the T-26's as they entered the map.
The victory conditions were simple, the Russians would win immediately by exiting 5 or more AFV's. And this number would drop by 1 for every 2 German AFV's knocked out.
Despite having numerical superiority in this scenario, Dan's forces had to contend with some difficult terrain, which ultimately would funnel them into the sights of waiting German guns.
The armored cars jumped out in front as the T-26's trundled along behind. Platoon movement would also add to Dan's logistic woes as he moved his force towards the exit.
I had a limited force to begin the scenario and knew I had to place them in optimal positions or risk having Dan's forces blow right by them.
In the north I sent a MKII and the SPW 37L to cover the hill, while my PSW 222 Armored Car took a hull down position in the center. On the south, I placed a MKII and the other SPW 250 on the elevated road to control both the center and south. And lastly, my 2-4-7 and ATR took up position in the house on the south to act as last line of defense.
Dan's armored cars drew first blood and succeeded in stunning my MG SPW. It would not contribute the rest of the scenario.
Dan's armored cars would be the focus of my primary defensive fire. My 20L's would prove to be just strong enough to deal with these.
Turn 2 - Dan's forces made a strong move towards the center.
With my forces in position, I simply had to wait and watch to see what Dan's Russians would do. He had 4 of T-26's moving on the hill and two armored cars headed south. Dan was definitely going to try and stretch my defenses along the entire front.
In the center things really heated up. Dan's BA-20's drove up onto the elevated road and both were destroyed. Then in an amazing sequence of shots, my PSW 222 went on a rate tear and would destroy two more Armored Cars and one T-26. Dan managed to take out my SPW with the 37L, but my PSW 222's performance would be the best of the game.
Black circles indicate the AFV's lost in Turn 2.
Turn 3, my reinforcements arrived. I planned to send two of the MKIII's south and two to the north. With the Russians caught in the middle, I felt confident that my 4 x MKIII's would secure the defense and prevent any Russian AFV's from exiting the board.
Dan's Russians returned fire on my units in the center, but couldn't get the kills needed. My PSW 222 would gain a 4th kill and my MKII on the elevated road would contribute another kill.
My MKIII's quickly moved into position.
With a cry of "Hold my Beer and watch this!!!" Dan launched his boys at me full tilt. He was looking to blow past my line with as many of his AFV's as possible.
Dan's rush on my southern line would be stopped cold.
In the center, only one Russian T-26 with a MALF'd MA would make it through the gauntlet of German fire. It would fall victim to one of my Panzer MKIII's that was covering that part of the battlefield in the next turn.
In the north, it looked like Dan's forces might succeed in exiting the board. I quickly sent my forces to intercept.
Dan and I battled it out on the hill. In the far north, my Panzers were registering multiple hits on the T-26's, but I couldn't roll a kill as my shots bounced again and again.
Caught in the crossfire, Dan's lead T-26 in the north was finally shocked. At this point in the game, Dan had less than 5 AFV's left to try and exit. As a result, the Russians couldn't meet the victory requirements.
As we wrapped up Turn 5, Dan gave the concession. The Russians were down to just three AFV's and all of them were confronting German Panzers from the front and rear.
In the post-game review, Dan and I both liked this scenario, but also agreed that the Russians have a tough time due to terrain constraints, which definitely allowed the Germans to make the most of their smaller force. Dan's Russians also spent valuable time trading shots with the German Panzers, which we agreed in hindsight slowed down the Russian assault. Most of the hits sustained on the Russian tanks occurred after they had stopped to trade fire. But again we both agreed it was a great scenario.
My thanks as always to Dan for another awesome Saturday night of ASL.
Saturday night Cardboard via SKYPE ASL!!!
See you next Saturday as we clash once more in AP131 Crickets in Spring!