Power Armor

Power Armor
Khurasan power armor infantry with conversions

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Column: A Sergeant's War After Action Report

I set up one of the scenarios available in my rules set, A Sergeant's War, for a quick game today. I had never actually played the game with miniatures, as I do my playtesting with paper and counters (to save time).  Here is a summary of how the game played, with plenty of pictures.

The scenario, "The Column," is centered around a road clogged with retreating German troops.  These troops are mostly combat ineffective and are essentially a moving objective.  The Soviet objective is to cut the road, whereas the Germans have to keep it open.  The sides get victory points for how long they keep the road open, or cut it closed.

I actually don't have the SU-76s noted in the order of battle, so I used stand-in T-70s. The Soviets have 8 vehicles and 2 platoons of infantry.  The initial German blocking force is very weak: 2 armored cars, a reinforced infantry squad, and a PaK 40.  A trickle of reinforcements give the Germans more troops as the game proceeds.  The Soviet need to very quickly cross the table offsets their heavy numerical edge.

The table.  In 15mm or 20mm scale, it is 6'x4'; at 6mm, it's 3x2.

Combat ineffective German troops, retreating down the road

A gully runs up the middle of the board

The main German force

A PaK 40, with a German leader nearby
The game opened with the Soviets surging forward across the open fields.  The PaK 40 managed to silence a T-34/85, and German MG fire inflicted casualties on Soviet infantry.  The Soviet drive broke into two pieces: one, up the middle, the other pushing hard on the German right flank.  This drive broke down into a hard firefight between a Puma, panzerfaust-armed German infantry, and Soviet tanks and SMG infantry.

The Soviet drive up the middle.  The T-70s with yellow bases count-as SU-76s in this game. 

View of the Soviet advance from a German MG position

A StuG III-G arrives as reinforcements

Germans send reinforcements against the Soviets on their right flank

Puma trading shots

Panzerfausts destroy a T-70

SMG infantry overrun German troops

Panzergrenadier counter attack

The Puma is destroyed by a T-34

Meanwhile, in the center, Soviet armor broke through to the road.  A T-34 parked next to the trucks and started shooting them up; German infantry attempted to destroy the T-34, but were unsuccessful. A German armored car drove up behind the T-34 as well, and traded shots until it miraculously destroyed the T-34.

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The Sdkzf 234/1 first tried to take out the T-34 by flanking it

The T-34 crossed the road (to get to the other side, obviously), and got in a duel with attacking German infantry and the same German armored car.

The armored car knocked it out.
German reinforcements, in the form of a Panzer IV-H and a Panther, arrived on the German right flank and quickly went to work. After a short gunnery duel, the Soviet armor remaining on the Germa right flank was burning and out of action.  This allowed the Germans to focus all their remaining firepower on the Soviet drive up the middle of the board.  Sweeping the fields with machine gun and AT fire, the Soviets were forced to fall back---a German victory, but barely.  Victory point totals were very close.

German fire sweeps the fields

As far as the Soviet infantry got

The game played quickly, about 2 hours including set up.  I think the scenario has a lot of replay value. The Soviets have many options for how to advance against the road, but they do have to hurry---the way the victory points work, the Germans will win if the Soviets don't close with the road in about 5 turns.  This game could have gone differently if a few German rolls had been poorer. (The armored cars did very well this game.)

The rules are available at the Wargame Vault, here. Thanks for looking!

Models are all 6mm, mostly by Heroics and Ros.  Markers are by Litko.

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