Monday, March 08, 2010

AAR - March to the Front

My first foray into an official game on the Blitz Ladder resulted in a Major Victory. I don't know if I'll always do an After Action Report, but thought I would for this at least. To left is a 2D version of the map used. Highlighted with MS Paint are main axes for German and Russian.

1 Inf Coy with MG support advance into village against russian opposition of aprox 1 battalion and initial light tanks forces. The bulk of the russian infantry retreated back to Andrey, the tanks also. The Gn Coy spent the last half of game securing against a lone russian company at the top of the farm and lining the orchards to the East (1a), threatening to adv to the town while securing against a counter attack.

2 Inf Coy secure initial deployment site, maintain artillery observations from hill top (2a) and then advance to take half of the next state farm. Advanced about 3 kms in the open, through hill, ravine, mines, artillery against russian battalion. The number '2' also shows the location of where I parked onboard artillery battalion.

3 Last Inf Coy of the 1st Battalion, assist to clear up harassing activities of Russ armoured cars during deployment turns, then advance to seize road junction behind russian tank penetration. Finish game holding southern flank against light russian pressure.

4 Tank Company, 3 platoons of PzIIIs, one of PzIIs (HQ). Delay initially to clean up russian rear raiders (4a), detach one platoon to bolster defences of state farm (4c) and hold the central approaches (4b). This last also cleaned up the russian armoured penetration of the mid game after they came north (rather than keep going to my undefended rear lines).

While I'm on the subject of 4b, I should speak a little about the impact of air power in the scenario. I tried to use my single air attack early in the game when could see russian armoured reinforcements arriving (southern point of R1). For some reason (probably the spotting unit becoming disrupted) the mission didn't arrive and was canceled (not replaced with another). The russian flew in one air support mission, it struck my PzII HQ tank as it moved up to support the first two platoons on the central corridor. One of those platoons and the commander had, coincidentally, just moved from the spot as the PzII arrived. Loss of its company HQ platoon makes it more difficult for a platoon to recover from disruption so I played my armour different from that point.

5 Battalion of infantry reinforcements, sweep around to secure northern hill line (5a), block off threatened armoured sweep (5b) and threaten to take northern state farm (5c).

As to the Russian, he was pushed back to defending the Eastern half of the map. R1 shows the general flow of his reinforcements, which I think were pouring into defending the high VP township against my 'threatened' assaults. The greatest threat he made was the penetration of an armour company (R2). Lucky for me he swung this north to its eventual destruction at the hands of my PzIIIs, rather than keep going west and clean up my artillery which was undefended and scrambling to limber up as he approached within a couple hexes (was hidden from him by buildings). That took nerves.

Was a great game. Although the last 4 of 16 turns were a bit of a german procession, until my Pz IIIs had cleaned up the armour penetration I had the feeling that it could have bogged into a draw as I had no reserves and everything was committed. The grand deception of threatening the township (never in my sights) was perhaps what saved me.

The wrap up was Major Victory to the Axis. On the Blitz ladder we have both moved out of Bootcamp with the completion of our first ladder game.

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