Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012 Chicago Tanks-giving

My old gaming group got together for their annual Tanks-giving event at Chicagoland Games this past weekend and I was able to attend. Between chowing down on gyros and drinking beer, I've tried to recollect as much of the action as I could for this post. The board itself was a massive 8' x 16' and represented a typical East European battlefield. Standard Tanks-giving rules were in effect with the slight change of deployment being in diagonal table quarters - a setup that gave the game a more realistic feel, with advantages shifting between the sides each turn.

The yellow flags in the pics below denote where an objective was placed.

The German players consisted of my Tiger Schwere Panzer Co., a Panzer Co., a King Tiger Schwere Panzer Co. and a Panther Co. The Russian sides consisted of a Guards Heavy Assault Gun Co. and 2 Tankovy Co.

Turn 1 (German)
German Pz Scouts make a Recce move up the center of the table. Multiple Russian observer teams deploy in the field pictured below. The Germans are attacking and get the first turn, moving half their force towards the town area on their left flank to take the objectives there. Meanwhile, the Pak40s move to the edge of the wood in the table center and the Panther Co. advances on the far right flank. Almost no shooting this turn.

Turn 1 (Soviet)
The wily Soviets spring an ambush in the town centre, deploying a Tankovy Co. firing from their newly revealed positions. Fortunately, their fire only bails one Marder III M. In the table center, the Strelkovy Co. advances towards the wood with one company of ISU-152s coming up close behind. The remaining tanks advance on the Russian far right flank towards the stream.

Turn 2 (German)
The Soviets have given themselves a huge strategic advantage by ambushing from the town. My company is now forced to engage in a running gun battle before I can enter the town and take the objectives. This will tie me down for a couple of turns. My Tigers engage the T-34s, knocking out a couple, while the Panzerpioneers fire their Stuka Zu Fuss, knocking out 3 more. The Panzer IVs continue towards the turret objective, helping my Tigers to engage the T-34s in town.

The King Tigers arrive from reserve and deploy on the right flank in support of the Panthers, who all advance on the marshy river crossing.

Turn 2 (Soviet)
A Strelkovy Co. deploy from ambush in the farmfields to take the objective on the Soviet far left flank, while a Tankovy Co. and IS-2 Co. come up behind them. 

On the Soviet right flank, the IS-2 platoon crosses the stream except for their commander, who bogs down in the mud. They are followed by 2 T-34s from the Tankovy Co. The Soviet "God of War" rears its ugly head and drops a devastating bombardment on the PzIVs and my Tigers, thankfully only bailing out one Tiger. Soviet 120mm mortar fire destroys 2 Pak40 guns and bails out one PzIV in the center woods.

Turn 3 (German)
The Germans decide to roll for an air strike and get it, concentrating on the IS-2s that have just crossed to their side of the river. The airstrike is devastating, knocking out 2 IS-2s and a T-34 and bailing 2 other IS-2s! The Marders and Tigers continue to advance into the town, knocking out 1 T-34/85, with the Panzerpioneers coming up close behind. The 88s and Panthers on the German right engage the Strelkovy in the farmfields, but do little damage.

Turn 3 (Soviet)
The Soviets launch a tit-for-tat aristrike on the Marders and Panzerpioneers advancing into the town, but only succeed in killing one pioneer team. Shots from the T-34s in the town fail to do much this turn. More T-34s cross the stream on the far Soviet right moving up behind the remaining IS-2s, which advance to the roadway escarpment and begin sniping the German Tigers. In the Russian center, the Strelkovy finally reach the shelter of the woods and engage the German Panzer Scouts, who are subsequently wiped out.

Turn 4 (German)
The Marders succeed in knocking out the last T-34/85s. Contrary to the text in the pic below, my Tigers fail to KO 2 T-34/76s this turn. They will do so in Turn 5 and then turn to engage the IS-2s. The Panzer Co.'s Tigers have moved up to the edge of the small woods and they destroy 2 IS-2s advancing towards the center of the table.

The Panther Co. crosses the marshy area to get into the Soviet flank. The King Tigers also KO 3 T-34/85s that were advancing behind the Strelkovy in the farmfields.

Turn 4 (Soviet)
The Strelkovy in the wood advance to the edge of the woods but cannot lead a crossing of the bridges without coming under sustained fire from the Pak40s, 88s, and tanks in the center. Their ISU escorts try to come into the woods behind them but 2 manage to bog down.

This turn consists of the Soviets shifting their forces to concentrate on other areas, with little shooting happening. Heavy mortar fire manages to KO 2 PzIVs in the center of the table. The last T-34/76s in the town manage to KO and bail 3 of the Marders, who fail their motivation and retreat.

Turn 5 (Germans)
A massive reserve roll to get out the Marder Hs utterly fails. My Tigers mop up a T-34 in the town, and an assault by the Panzerpioneers destroys the last remaining one. They use their consolidation to dig in around the town objective. My CC Tiger manages to KO an ISU-152 holding the Soviet fuel dump objective, while the Panzer Co. Tigers advance to the roadway escarpment, putting pressure on the IS-2s.

The King Tigers finally cross the marshy area to support the Panthers in their engagement of the Strelkovy in the fields. They also force the ISU-122s in the Soviet center to fail back.

Turn 5 (Soviet)
Soviet firepower KOs one of my SPAA 7/1s and a PzIV in the German center. Continued artillery bombardments destroy the remaining Pak40s in the center woods.

Another T-34 Tankovy Co. arrives from reserve and moves towards the Soviet center. The ISU-152s un-bog themselves and advance in support of the Strelkovy in the woods, who have decided to start the river crossing - even though plenty of German tanks hold the other side!

Turn 6 (German)
The Tigers have finally cleared out the town and start advancing on the Soviet right flank. This is too little, too late and their fire is ineffective against the IS-2 guarding it. A Stuka Zu Fuss bombardment manages to destroy an ISU-152 and several Strelkovy teams as they make their river crossing.

Sustained MG fire from the Panthers and King Tigers destroys half the Strelkovy Co. in the farm fields. The StuGs adavnce into the marshy area but their fire is ineffective against the crossing Strelkovy.

Turn 6 (Soviet)
The T-34 Co. that arrived from reserve last turn move up and manage to destroy 1 Panther. They are supported by the last ambushing T-34 Co, which deploys in the center woods. Another artillery bombardment KOs a PzIV in the German center.

The IS-2s near the roadway escarpment manage to KO 2 of my Tigers - a full platoon - this turn and valiantly hold their ground, while a few more T-34s cross the stream behind them to take cover behind the burning IS-2 wrecks. T-34 fire manages to bail 2 PzIVs in the German center.

Turn 7 (German)
The final turn. The Panthers and KTs finally manage to KO most of the IS-2s in the Soviet center, but they don't retreat. They also KO the last ISU-152 holding the fuel dump objective.

The final reserve unit of Panzergrenadiers arrive from reserve. A last Stuka Zu Fuss bombardment fails to do much of anything.

Turn 7 (Soviet)
The T-34s in the Soviet center fire on the Panthers but do no damage, while the T-34s in the center woods manage to KO 1 StuG.

No other meaningful gains are made this turn - a largely ineffective round for both sides.

Well, it was a close-fought battle but the the Soviets won with 21 Victory Points, compared with the German's 15 VP. Their tenacious holding of objectives and shifting the focus of the fighting to the German left flank won them the day.


Dai said...

I take it that Fritz won the day?

An epic battle with loads of HUGE tanks. As a burgeoning Brits collector, I feel more and more intimidated by all these heavy tank lists. :)

K.Seward said...

Nope, as stated, the Soviets ran up a few more points that the Germans. They were steadily making up ground when time was called.

Ancientsociety said...

@Dai: Nope, Soviets won. Something happened with the text not displaying when this originally posted.

As for dealing with heavy tanks, Tigers don't like it when you get close...