'Operation Illium' is aimed at reclaiming key junctions and choke points in Southern England. It is made up of two sub operations, Paris and Hector. Operation Paris is the Allied air drop by the Paras, and Operation Hector a ground assault to link up with the Allied air drop involving the Free Soviet tank forces. You can read about Operation Paris here. This report details what happened in Operation Hector.
The Free Soviet tank regiment was tasked with moving south to attack the Axis forces covering the main road into Wiltshire and then join up with the Paras should both operations be successful. The Soviets bivouac'd for the night in some woods just off the main road heading to Wiltshire. In the morning they get a nasty shock when they discover they've bivouac'd in the middle of a Hungarian Assault Gun Battery. Surrounded the Soviets dig in and prepare to resist the Hungarian assault.
The battle was taking place near the Wilshire border in 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 Ben fielded his Hugarians:
Rohamágyús Üteg (Assault Gun Battery) - Confident Veteran
HQ - Zrinyi II
Rohamágyús Platoon - 3 Zrínyi IIRohamágyús Platoon - 3 Zrínyi II
Assault PioneersHarckocsizó Platoon - 3 Panthers
Rocket Launcher Battery - 4 43M Rockets
Sporadic Air Support - Stuka
We rolled for mission and got 'Surrounded', with me as the defender. Below is a view of the terrain before deployment.
|The main road from Gloucester into Wiltshire|
I set up my KV's on the edge of the woods to provide cover and make air attacks more difficult. Ben set up his rocket launchers, Panthers and one platoon of Zrínyi II's on my right flank. The other Zrínyi II platoon and the Pioneers were on my left flank.
|The left flank|
|The right flank|
Turn one saw Ben do a general advance, looking to get his units some protection from my Sturmi's. All his shooting proved ineffective.
I called in my Sturmi's onto his Pioneers killing one base and pinning them. My CiC moved out to attack the Zrinyi on my left flank. The rest of my Tanks stayed put to maximise their shooting. This proved a sound strategy as they destroyed one of the rocket launchers and one of the left flank Zrinyi.
|Ben's Zrinyi advanced into the wood|
|The Panthers look to threaten my KV's in the wood|
|The knocked out Zrinyi by the house.|
Turn two saw the Pioneers unpin and move in to assault range of my tanks. The right flank Zrinyi moved towards the edge of the wood and the Panthers remained stationary. The extra fire from the Panthers proved decisive with them knocking out one of the KV's and bailing another. In preparation for the assault Ben dropped smoke on the left flank tanks and then assaulted. He managed to bail the tank but a counter attack drove them back.
In my turn I moved two of the KV's out of the wood to give them a shot at the pioneers with their mg's. I also called in the Sturmi's again. Everyone else stayed where they were. The CiC opened up on the Zrinyi near the house and knocked it out forcing a motivation check which they passed. The Sturmi's and KV's then opened up on the Pioneers killing enough bases to force a morale check which they failed. Things were looking good for me now. My left flank had been cleared bar one Zrinyi allowing me to concentrate on the right flank.
|The right flank Zrinyi still hiding in the woods|
|The Pioneers just before they rout off the table|
|But the Panthers are starting to do damage|
|The CiC poised to go after the last Zrinyi on the left flank|
Turn three saw Ben stay put with his force and try and blast my tanks with his Panthers but couldn't do any damage.
My CiC moved after the last Zrinyi on my left but his shot missed. In the centre I started to redeploy my KV's to go after the right flank Zrinyi. My long range shots at the Panthers just bounced off their armour. But my Sturmi's did manage to knock out another of the rocket launchers.
|The CiC goes after the last Zrinyi|
Ben again stayed put and tried to blast my KV's with his Panthers and this time he managed to knock out another one. His Stukas arrived and managed to bail one of the KV's moving along the road between the woods.
In my turn the CiC continued to chase the Zrinyi this time managing to knock him out. While in the centre I got aggressive and moved some of the KV's forward to threaten the Zrinyi in the wood.
|My left flank was now clear of the enemy except for an artillery observer|
|I get a bit too aggressive and push the KV's forward|
Turn five saw Ben move up his Panthers to give him short range shots. This allowed him to bail another of the KV's. His Stukas dove in on the KV's in the open and bailed one causing me to rethink my aggressive move.
Not wanting to throw away a good position I move the KV's back towards the woods. I remounted the bailed KV's and returned fire on the Panthers but to no effect. The the Sturmi's dove in on the rocket launchers again knocking out another one forcing a morale check which they lost. This meant that Ben now had to make a company morale check, which he failed giving me the victory.
|The final position in the centre|
|The Sturmi's again win the day for me.|
So a 6-1 win to the allies and Operation Hector is a success, allowing my Free Soviet forces to link up with the Paras.
Ben's list wasn't really suited to taking on heavy tanks, his Zrinyi having no chance of penetrating the front armour of the KV's. His Panthers knocked out 2 KV's and bailed a couple more but it was just not enough to turn the tide his way. I'm sure he'll get his revenge next game though.