I managed to get in a second Operation Sea Lion FoW game this week. This time I was playing Dave (Hangfire from the Exiles Gaming Group) and his German Recon force. Dave was on a high after handing out a beating to Adam's Manitoba Dragoons. So the allies were looking for some payback. I'd finished off my new 1500pt Russian force so I decided to give them a run out. The battle was taking place near Cirencester in the Gloucestershire and my list was as follows:
Guards Heavy Tank Regiment - Fearless trained
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Polk HQ - 1 KV-85
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Company - 5 KV-85
Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy Company - 5 KV-85
Priority Air Support - Il-2 Shturmovik
While Dave took:
Recon Co - Confident Veteran
HQ - 1 Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma
Panzerspah Plt - 3 Sd Kfz 234/2 PumaPanzerspah Plt - 3 Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma
Panzerspah Plt - 3 Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma
Heavy Tank Plt - 3 Tiger 1EAssult Gun Plt - 2 StuH 42
AA Plt - 3 Sd Kfz 7/2
We rolled for the mission and got Fair Fight, so nice and straightforward. The terrain was set up as shown below. I set up on the left edge while Dave set up on the right edge.
|The terrain layout|
With only two platoons set up didn't take me long. I placed one platoon covering each of the objectives (Panthers without turrets) in my half of the table with the CiC behind a wood halfway between the two platoons. Dave set up his Tigers, CiC and one plt of Pumas on my left. The StuH's, another plt of Pumas and the AA in the centre. On my right flank he set up two more Puma plts. Those of you who can count may have noticed that Dave deployed four plts of Pumas instead of three. He was so used to playing at 1750pts that he just put them out automatically. He didn't notice this until he was putting away his forces at the end of the game. Did it affect the outcome? Well read on and see!
|My left flank after deployment|
|The centre after deployment|
|My right flank after deployment|
Dave did his recon moves and then we rolled to see who went first, it was Dave. With only having two platoons Dave's mobility posed a real problem for me as I needed to both guard the objectives as well as capture one to win. I decided to sit tight and use my RoF 2 to thin out the opposition and hope my thick armour would bounce his shots.
He did a general advance with his units. The recon units staying close to cover to give them some protection. But his main threat, the three Tigers, moved menacingly over the hill towards my left flank KV-85's. Luckily for me all his fire was ineffective.
In my turn I stayed where I was and opened fire. Ten shots from my KV's only managed to bail two of the Tigers. But I was luckier on my right flank knocking out two of his Pumas forcing a morale check which he passed. My Sturmis got shot down by Dave's AA whilst trying to attack his StuH's.
|My left flank at the end of Turn one|
|Dave's left flank at the end of Turn one. |
The two brewed up Pumas are on the right
|The view from Dave's right flank at the end of Turn one|
Turn two saw Dave manage to remount his Tigers and his general advance continued elsewhere. In his shooting phase his Tiger's 88's showed their worth knocking out three KV's and bailing a fourth. Luckily I made my motivation roll due to being Fearless.
I was in serious trouble now with only one active tank to contest the objective. Of course my Fearless Russian tank crew failed their remount roll to make things worse. So I called in my Sturmis to attack his Tigers, moved my CiC over to the left to support what was left of the platoon and the right flank KV's started to head towards their objective. I was just hoping I could hold on at this point. In the shooting phase I got a big slice of luck. Despite a bucket load of dice Dave's AA only got one hit on the Sturmis and he failed his firepower test. The Sturmis rained bombs down on the Tigers and when the dust cleared there were two destroyed Tigers. The third showed his true nature and ran off the battlefield. The rest of my shooting was ineffective but at least I had given myself a chance now.
|My left flank at the end of turn two.|
|My right flank at the end of turn two.|
|Gratuitous close-up of the Sturmi's attack on the Tigers|
Turn three saw Dave press his assault on my left flank with his Pumas and StuH's closing into to kill off the last KV's. On my right another Puma plt started to head round my flank to threaten the objective that was now open after the defending KV's had advanced. Thick Russian armor protected the KV's on the left from the Hitlerite fire enabling them to hang on for another turn.
I again failed to remount the bailed KV-85 and decided to remain stationary and hope to get a couple of hits to thin out the opposition. The CiC moved back towards the right flank objective hoping he could get there in time to contest it. The right flank KV's continued their advance towards the objective firing on the Puma in the fields but missing. The Sturmis swooped in on the AA as it was the only eligible target and survived their fire to knock out one of the AA trucks.
For some reason I don't have any photos of the situation at the end of turn three.
Turn four saw Dave still advancing on my left flank objective and his other Pumas continuing their sweep round my right flank to grab that objective. The shooting phase saw more frustration for Dave as his puny guns were no match for good Russian steel.
In my turn I at last remounted the bailed KV and moved it back to also be in a position to contest the left flank objective. Elsewhere my slooow advance on Dave's objective continued. I needed to do something to stop the flanking Pumas so I decided to call in the Sturmis. It would mean they had to range in as the Pumas were close to buildings, but I figured I had no choice but to risk it. The dice was rolled and came up a four so they had ranged in successfully. The subsequent fire saw one Puma brewed up.
Turn five and the battle over the left flank objective continued unabated. Concentrated fire from the Hitlerites finally saw the one of the KV's brewed up. Thankfully I made the motivation roll. Shrugging off the previous attack from the Sturmis the remaining two Pumas finally took my right flank objective. The situation partway through turn five can be seen below.
|My left flank after Dave's turn five action.|
On my left flank the lone KV fired at the Pumas in the field but missed. But on my right flank I managed to kill the Puma hiding in the field with a lucky shot while I continued my advance on Dave's objective. The Sturmis again rolled in to attack the Pumas now holding my objective but only managed to kill one of them forcing a motivation check. Luckily this wasn't needed as my CiC opened up and brewed up the last Puma.
Miraculously it looked like I now had a chance to win a game that seemed well beyond me in turn two. But if Dave could clear out the last KV the odds were still in his favour.
|The Sturmis continue to wreak havoc on Dave's forces|
|My right flank KV's nearly at their objective.|
Turn six saw Dave surround the last KV and hit it with everything he had but to no avail. Out of options on his left flank Dave had to move up the AA trucks to contest the objective.
|My left flank after Dave's turn|
|My right flank after Dave's turn|
I decided to stay where I was on my left flank and the CiC and the last KV put four rounds into the Pumas sandwiched between them knocking out all three! On my right flank I moved up one of the KV's to contest the objective and then fired seven shots into the two AA trucks destroying both of them.
It was at this point we called the game, with me as a very surprised victor. Dave had to make a company check as he'd lost all but two of his platoons but this was irrelevant as he had nothing that could stop me claiming the objective while I still had my lone KV contesting mine.
|My left flank at the end of the game|
|The Kv's hold the game winning objective.|
The AA in the background being destroyed
A really fun game and one I never thought I would win after Dave's Tigers had decimated my KV's. The Sturmi's were the star of the show having removed a platoon of Tigers and a platoon of Pumas. I would like to say the win was all down to skill but it wasn't. I was very lucky with some key die rolls and Dave could easily have beaten me. Still a win for the Allies 6-1 and revenge for Dave's mauling of the Manitoba Dragoons