Saturday, September 13, 2014

Viva la Muerte! -- Turns 1-3 Beware of Snipers!

Following our Pegasus Bridge contest, Big Kansas selected an LFT Scenario utilizing the Spanish volunteers of the Waffen SS. This will be my first LFT scenario, so am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

The initial set-up. I placed three of my Stugs on the hills with the intention to place smoke to cover my assault up the right side. The infantry on the left were to advance and probe the Soviet positions and distract from the attack on the right side. My 10-2 was placed on level 1 of the stone building in front the of the Stugs. Two half-squads each manned an MMG. 

Big Kansas exchanged some of the small concealment counters for the AFV sized ones and this definitely left me a bit confused. But the red circle on the far left of the picture in the orchard would turn out to be one my opponent's best placements. A hidden 82mm Mortar lurked there and would wreck havoc on the Germans moving along the left side of the map.

Spanish volunteers of the Waffen SS. Most were Blue Division veterans who elected to remain in the East following Franco's decision to bring the Blue Division home to Spain. 

Facing them are some hard-core Soviet veterans of four years of conflict on the Eastern Front. These Soviets would be some tough hombres.

I had remarkable luck in getting all three of my Stugs to successfully place smoke. My attack on the right went off without a hitch. I dismounted my riders to make a move towards the dug in Soviets along the tree line. Later in the game, once I knew where the enemy was located, I realized that I missed a huge opportunity to swing around the entire flank.

The SU-85 parked in the building was a big surprise. I was expecting an AT Gun!!!

As noted earlier...I squandered the successful smoke screen and jumped off my tanks too soon.

Anyone who has seen my ASL Scenario Archive page knows that I suck at attacking...I really do...I only win as the attacker about 25% of the time. I tried to put together a sound plan for this scenario...but it unraveled fairly the moment I began moving pieces...oh well!!!

OK...fellas we're going to move this remember don't roll less than it!?!

My opponent quickly realigned his forces in the village once it was clear that I was attacking on the right. One of the things that moved into position was a 50 Cal HMG. It quickly made its presence felt.

The Soviet SAN was a 4 and man did I roll that too many times in the earlier phases of the game. My 10-2 would be wounded, an 8-0 would be killed, squads would be broken and pinned.  It was very demoralizing to suffer so much to the snipers.

The combination of the Soviet Sniper and the 82mm Mortar ground my attack on the left to a halt.

I sent two Stugs to help get the attack on the left back on track. But the mortar promptly shocked one of them...dang mortar!!! I will never doubt the effectiveness of a mortar again!

My Tankers kept their cool and kept on moving forward. I know they were wishing that I would roll better!!!

Big Kansas rolled out the big gun as his T-34/85 trundled to confront my flanking attack. My Hetzer on the far edge traded shots with it, while I baited it with a half-track. The T-34/85 Machine gun stunned the half-track. I then had my second Hetzer rush with two hexes of the monster.

Yep this bad boy was not what I wanted to see...

The tanks traded shots...

A single Soviet 4-4-7 held their foxhole for three turns and staggered my assault on the right. I just couldn't get the low rolls necessary to oust them. They served Mother Russia good.

Bad rolls were not unique to the Spanish. My opponent malf'd the MA on his SU-85, which gave my forces in the center a huge break.

The weight of my 6-4-8's and Stug finally moved the Soviets out of the treeline on the right side.

On the left, my Spaniards had rallied and were once again moving forward...but time is running out. And my 8-0 would soon fall to the Soviet Sniper.

The Soviet Snipers continued to be deadly.

The Soviets aggressively went after my forces on the right. A 5-2-7 charged across the fields and took out my stunned half-track in CC.

Successful interrogations are becoming a staple of my games with Big Kansas. My Spaniards charmed a local Polish girl into revealing a Soviet Dummy Stack.

Turn 3 draws to a close and shows the Germans still far away from securing 7 buildings.  We will see what Turn 4 brings.

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