Tuesday, May 5, 2009

WW2 AFV Action- the setup

Eastern Front, July 1941, North of Staraia Russa:

Soviet Brief:
The Facists who are attempting to take Leningrad must be stopped ! To that end, all front armored reserves have been mobilized and ordered to counterattack behind the salient formed by the 4th Panzer Army whose reckless thrust has put them in a position of danger. You are to take your tanks and breakthrough into into the rear areas, relentlessly bypassing infantry concentrations but engaging and destroying all tank and/or AT defenses encountered. You will be followed up by infantry formations who will complete the destruction of the Facist invaders. For Mother Russia !

German Brief:
The thrust toward Leningrad continues to gather momentum that must not be stopped. As a result, the southern flank lengthens in the face of considerable enemy forces who have been bypassed. Enemy counter-attacks are inetivable. To that end, small mobile "containment forces" have been mobilized to contain any breakthroughs. It behooves the front line forces to hold their ground, regardless of cost, and keep the breakthroughs to a minimum. It is imperative that you cut off any penetration so that it can be dealt with by the containment forces in isolation. Remember, you are not alone ! The will and faith of the German People is behind you ! For the Fatherland !

The scenario is about a Soviet armored column (6 early model T-34s) that have broken through to a containment force (maybe a 37mm "doorknocker" and/or a PzKw38(t) tank). A definite mismatch for the Germans. Or is it really ?
The Germans are set up hidden and waiting to spring an ambush and get the first shot. The Russians, sans infantry support, are confidently hurtling down the road looking to cause havoc amongst unprepared rear-area personel.

The early model T-34, although a great peice of military hardware for 1941 and in almost all ways better than any German equivalent at the time, had some major defects. Russian tank gunnery (both sights and training) were inferior to the German practice and principle. Also the tank leader was also the gunner. This slowed the rate of fire considerably. It would be worse if he exposed himself out the turret to get a better line of sight on any valuable targets. So the Soviet tanks will operate as buttoned up, which will hurt their already poor targeting.

The Germans will operate with their commanders exposed in the hatches, a little more dangerous, but increasing the chance to acquire and hit the target that is being shot and as a result also be able to better react to Soviet moves and hit targets while they themselves are on the move.

So the German advantages will be in firing more often (and on the move) and having their commanders exposed (increasing to hit and reaction fire chances). Their disadvantage is their weak 37mm armament and their weak armor. The Russians will fire slower, hit hit less, react less, but be very tough to knock out due to their armor vs the weak 37mm weaponry of their foes.

Here is the scenario as set up. The column is about to be fired on by a PzKw38(t) in the northern woods. To prevent spoilers to any of my players who may be reading this, I've kept the German forces vague so as to increase the fun and unexpectedness of the scenario. I'll post the results when we finally get to play it.

I've played it several times solo (a good way to quickly test rules to see if they 'feel right' etc. I am using a homebrew set (DSR World War Two Fire Team or DSRWW2FT) and the Germans, with a little finesse, should "win" about 1/2 the time. A little luck never hurts either (some critical hits and/or special damage to tracks/guns is nice as well).

1 comment:

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