Sunday, February 28, 2010

East Front - Surprise for the 17th Panzer

Am presently playing the final stages of a EF low-moderate complexity 1941 scenario, "Surprise for the 17th Panzer". Again, playing by email exchange of turns. This one looks like it will be a major victory for the Axis (me).

Later edit: major victory for the axis (me).

Broad situation: a 10km penetration to the East by german armoured and recon battalion through scattered woodland and potato fields, taking highway towns and intersections as they go. Late arrival of russian light tank regiment, with a company of T34s and a KVI to assist, hitting the german in the northern flank of his extended line. So far, as we enter the final couple of turns, the german has captured the high value central built up objectives and all major road intersections along the highway.

Highlight to me has been the daring sweep of main force of recon battalion (M/C, A/C and support units) along secondary southern road to join in pincer movement, with detached company of armoured cars that snuck through several kilometers to the north, to capture and hold deep objectives.

This is the second game in a row where I have managed to coordinate an assault with units that are marching isolated for up to six turns (in the last game, it was the remergence of survivors from early attacks from their hidden pathways in forest and fen in the final turns of the game, to threaten recently won russian objectives and divert valuable units from the final assault in the centre). Pleasing.

I am also finally getting the hang of how to use anti tank guns (after all these years). An 88mm looking down the main road with automatic weapons hosing down any threatened infantry attacks against its position, 50mm's setting themselves up in objectives newly seized by columns of armoured cars and motorcycle troops, smoke still in the air. Very useful support for light armed mobile units.

Perhaps the most enjoyable moment, though, was the complete destruction of a BT7 company by a lurking Jagdpanzer I (!) unit in some wheatfields to my rear. Coming on late, the JgdPzs (under armoured and undergunned for close in swirling tank combat) were detatched to rear security duties along most likely axis of any potential russian deep flanking sweep. They were actually going to sweep up around the area themselves, but became aware of strong russian forces moving in their direction due the fleeing soft transport from a 37mm AT company that had been overrun while acted as a northern outpost. Even at this stage of the war, these guns were virtually useless.

Its heavy AT guns having been sent to join up with the armoued companies, the JgPz company changed its mission from driving up the northern road to waiting for something to drive down it. Having just enough time to organise themselves, they watched a company of BT7s burst from the woods and (not seeing the tank hunters in time) drive within point blank range. Eliminated before they knew what hit them. The JgPzs then pulled out of sight as heavier tanks blundered past and are presently securing an 'industrial' village against desperate attacks by fragmented russian light armour units.

This will probably be the last game we play with our old EFII disks as Wayne now has a copy of the Matrix version of this classic game.

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