Thursday, March 18, 2010

From the fields of France to the Steppes of Mother Russia....

Hundreds of miles and over 1000 years in time is an abrupt change of pace from my last post, but my mind tends to work in strange and mysterious ways......

This is a WW2 scenario I concocted to test some rules I came up with for small-scale AFV/Infantry actions. Strangely enough, the inspiration for the AFV rules came to me in a dream, which I shall not bore you with here and instead bore you with this after action report !

The scenario is Summer of 1941, Southern Ukraine. The German juggernaut in the South had a much harder time than the Northern and Central Armies because of the sheer number of Soviets they faced and the fact that they had a reduced number of Panzer Divisions to deal with this threat.

A Soviet small local counterattack has broken through the lines with 2 T-34s heading toward the rear to mess with the supply troops. A lone German early MK III which had been in the vehicle park under repair is the only thing stopping these rampaging Russians.

The Pz III manages to ambush then two tanks by hiding in a small wooded ravine (the wood template I have serves as a stand-in for wooded ravine) as they made their way toward the German rear. At Start:

The German successfully hits the lead T-34, with its 2nd shot, immobilizing it with track damage. A third (and final allowed shot this turn) manages to even penetrate the turret armor (barely) but is a dud. The Soviet crew bails out in a panic. Now the odds are 1:1 !

The German kicks his tank into gear, figuring that a moving target has a better chance to avoid the remaining T-34s gun. This is good choice- the Soviets don't hit as well as the Germans, and with the German commander exposed (CE) the German has a better shot back on the move than the Soviets, something these early model T-34s with their 2-man cannot do (the commander was also the gunner).

The Soviet wins the initiative roll, pivoting and coming to a stop in order to get a better shot (firing while moving is not very effecient.) He manages to pop a shot that misses by a mile. His MGs however (as he is close enough to the German tank) spray the German tank good, causing his commander to check whether he has to button up or not. He passes, but barely.

Pre-German Turn 2 (T-34 has moved and fired).

The German has almost no chance of penetrating the front armor (either turret or hull) of the T-34, but decides to fire anyway and hope for luck (it is usually better to fire early in a turn instead of later, as the further you move and use MPs, the harder it gets). Of the 3 shots, 1 hits the front glacis and bounces, a 2nd manages to hit a hatch on the front glacis (Non-penetrating, causes a shock check for the Soviet which is a good thing for the German).

As his tank is in motion, the German continues moving forward and around the flank in the hopes of getting a better shot. The Soviet, being close enough, gets a chance to snap shot at the German as he runs across his front. He fails, probably from not hearing the commander over the ringing in their ears from all the hitting-non-penetrating shot bouncing off the hull !

At the start of turn 3:

The German wins the iniative and manages to score 3 hits on the T-34. All non-penetrating but causing further shock checks. He continues to wheel around the flank and towards the T-34 rear.

The Soviet passes the shock check, and manages to re-start and spin in place and stop again(vehicles that are stopped must attempt to start and may fail based on reliability and training), taking a shot at the mobile Panzer. A clear miss. His next shot should be better as he will not be in motion and he will only suffer turret movement penalties if the Panzer moves out of its line of fire. The Dance of Death continues....

Turn 4

The Soviet gets the iniative and promptly misses its shot (its Rate of Fire is very low). It sprays turret MG fire in frustrated rage, but the German commander in the command cupola does not budge. To top it off, the T-34 fails to re-start, so it cannot pivot its front facing toward the German.

This is the chance the German was waiting for and he got it. He hit the side of the tank and the AP round (before firing you declare what type of round you are firing, usually AP, but HE vs soft targets and some have smoke as well). burrows into the innards of the tank, destroying it decisively. The Soviet penetration is halted !

The home-brew rules are pretty simple and I use AFV cards to hold a lot of the info for the game (They are also able to be written on in eraseable marker to note things that can change from game to game or to denote extra damage).

This is an example of an early T-34:

Where do I go next ? I am not sure. I guess it depends on who shows up to play in our next session and what they feel like playing (The Vikings and Carolingians are still out :D)

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