This won’t be nearly as detailed as my other battle reports. It will be more a summary of the game. Today I played another new-ish player to our gaming group who fielded an Axis Force while I went with a SSU one.
The Army Lists
Medvedi x2 24pts (SSU Rifle Platoon)
Chinese Volunteers x2 10pts
Frontoviki 7pts (SSU Rifle Platoon)
Red Thunder x2 16pts (SSU Rifle Platoon)
Red Fury x2 (14pts)
Lavrentiy Beria 23pts
Walker Transport Helicopter x2 22pts
This army list was made up of a bunch of units I really like. I have been wanting to field my areo-walkers and chopper transports for a long while. I also wanted a Lavrentiy Beria, but I wanted to have it charge at the enemy so I also took a Melor to keep it in good repair. I actually wanted to trade out one of the Medvedi for a troop transport helicopter, but I didn’t have any more room to carry another chopper.
Battle Grenadiers 8pts
Recon Grenadiers 9pts
Sturmpioniere x2 18pts
Heavy Recon Grenadiers 11
Heavy Flak Grenadiers x2 24
Heavy Laser Grenadiers 13
Herman x2 20
The Mission Scenario
Once again this was a custom scenario. The defender placed 3 objective markers within 8″ of their long table edge. For the defending player to win they needed to keep control of all objectives at the end of 5 Rounds. The attacking player had to control (within 4″, no defending units within 4″) at least 2 of the objectives at the end of a round to win. If the attacking player only had control of one of the objectives the game would end in a tie.
The defender selects any number of units they wish to be placed into Reserves. The remaining defending units could be deployed anywhere within 12″ of the defending player’s long table edge. However, all units that begin the game on the table are subject to an artillery barrage. The artillery barrage consisted of the attacking player rolling two dice per unit. Any faction symbols placed a Under Fire or Suppressed token of the target unit.
The Attacking player entered from off the opposite long table edge as a Meeting Engagement.
Once again the game took place in the fiction town of Progress, Alaska. Some of the terrain rules were infantry required 8″ to move up a floor from the outside of a building but only 4″ from the inside. Vehicles on the road count as difficult terrain for vehicles meaning Tracked and Wheeled vehicles must make a bogging check to move through them.
From the photograph above you can see that the Axis player (the Defender) placed his three objectives all on one half of his long table edge (distal in the photo). If I remember correctly, he placed around half of his units in Reserves. Personally, I thought it was too much considering Under Fire/Suppression isn’t too difficult to get out of, but it actually work out for him for the most part. Because of Meeting Engagement, I kept my helicopters and areo-walkers off the table until Round 2. I think this was a mistake because with the two-story buildings I could have placed in spots where the Axis player wouldn’t have managed a shot anyways and the choppers would have used their machine guns a little further in. I am still not used to playing on a table that can block line of sight to aircraft.
I knew that Panzerprinz and the Wotan he was piloting was going to be a problem so I focused my Red Furies to dispatching it. I have finally hit armor with the weapon tractor after so many games with them . Of course it still took 4 activations (and like 6 dice rolls) to get a single hit. I loss both of the tractors fairly early attempting to take on the Axis laser walker. The Wotan was ultimately destroyed by my Lavrentiy Beria after Panzerprinz failed Ace Pilot and still went hunting the SSU super heavy tank.
The Axis had some incredible luck with the Heavy Laser Grenadiers who completely destroyed one of my Chinese Volunteer squads in a single move and attack rolling 7 hits on 6 dice. You gotta love/hate lasers sometimes.
The Axis player also stalled me quite a bit on my left flank with nothing more than a squad of Heavy Recon Grenadiers (pictured above). I hit the Grenadiers with the Lavrentiy Beria 2 times along with my Chinese Volunteers who were chewed up but not completely destroyed when the Moved into position to get all of their SMGs on the Heavy Recon Grenadiers who Reacted with a Sustained Attack.
Both of us had really good positioning in the early game requiring careful advancing on my part to get the edge in engaging. Despite quite a few early losses and having to devote more action to destroy the Wotan and Heavy Grenadiers, I still had weight of numbers to control the end of rounds. Many of my early game losses were faster than I would have liked like the Chinese Volunteers or the Red Furies, but I didn’t expect them to do much but get destroyed drawing my opponent out and activated. My Striker, on the other had, I wanted to at least get a shot off. Once again the Axis player managed a Sustained Attack reaction with his Heavy Flak Grenadiers who Salvo-ed blowing up the attack chopper two times over.
The Axis player had most of his units out of Reserves at mid game, though; he seemed to struggle getting the Sturmpioniere on the table. He was also in a little bit of shock since this was his first game with aircraft being involved.
I deployed my walker transport helicopters on both flanks. The Nastasia killed Panzerprincz after landing on the table. I was also successful reactivating it to finish off Sigrid so I wouldn’t have to fear Reinforcements or Recoveries of the Axis units I had eliminated. I had secured my left flank (where the objective markers were) and the marker located in the corner of the play area.
On the right side, my Areo-Walker Nina and helicopter where still fighting the enemy unit there, but the Axis player loss the tings he really needed to effectively engage those two units. However, he still had enough stuff that I couldn’t advance my infantry to meet up.
The center of the table was the Axis player’s. I had completely forgot about his Hermann hiding in the trees that the Axis easily destroyed my Melor. The brown two-story buildings he had both of this Heavy Flak Grenadiers and Battle Grenadiers. I was far too low on soldiers myself to mount an effective assault. At the same time, the Axis player couldn’t afford to have his units leaving the building to engage me either.
At this point the Axis player’s flanks were routed. He still had enough infantry to keep my troops from rushing the center of the table. I had taken all of this vehicles and most of this anti-armor capablity. The Axis really only had a couple of Heavy Laser Grenaders and Panzerfausts to use against my armor.
I miss judged the distance from a squad of Heavy Flak Grenadiers to one of my carrier helicopters losing it. I also had my Red Thunder squad that destroyed a Hermann surrounded (but not destroyed) by Axis troops.
After the Axis player activated everything he had I originally started to move my troop up to be able to take the objectives the following round. However, I also saw an opportunity for my Lavrentiy Beria to secure the second objective to end the game if my could get it to Reactivate. So rather potentially waste time, I had the Medvedi attempt the Reactivation which was successful. The Soviet tank rolled onto the second objective to win.
After Actions and MVPs
This game was a lot of fun all the way through. My opponent was quite good. He had a very tight defense that even at the end of the game I had to be careful how I advanced. A lot of times, games have a sort of tipping point where one side knows they are going to win. This game didn’t really feel like that. To be sure, once we had reached the beginning of Round 3 (the game ending round) the SSU had control of most of the table including one of the objectives. However, the Axis still had a castle that made going to either of the other two objectives sometime that had to be done with care.
I think the game came down to my opponent not having any experience with Aircraft particular walker transports with Air Assault. I also think his limited Officer choices as a new player made this game a little more challenged for him especially since Sigrid didn’t even had a radio. Even Panzerprinz was hard choice of using his Officer skill or attacking the SSU since I had a pretty anti-armor heavy army list. Finally, I think I managed to get the good dice rolls when they were more critical. The Axis player did get several really good rolls, but never at times or against units that I felt were essential.
MVPs weren’t very easy to assign in this game. While both sides had a bunch of stuff that didn’t really do anything, we also had several units that definately went above and beyond. I think for me I want to give it to my Nastasia. It killed both Axis heroes and secured one of the objective. It also managed to take a lot of pressure off of me for the rest of the game. For the Axis player he couldn’t easily decide on a unit either. He narrowed it down to the Wotan plus Panzerprinz for all the damage it wrecked, the Heavy Recon Grenadiers for completely halting 4 units, or the Flak Boys for providing a fortress that the SSU had to avoid and shooting down 2 helicopters. I think he decided on the Heavy Flak Grenadiers which I would agree with. That squad doesn’t get the praise that the Heavy Recon Grenadiers do, but against my SSU list, they were far more effective.