Played a couple of games with a Soviet tank company in Early War (EW) and thought I’d write some battle reports about it. I will do a short introduction to the force I picked, describe the games and finish up with my thoughts on the force. I always had fun with EW, so decided to give it a go with painted models. I decided on a company that kind of looks strong on paper and has bad ass looking tanks. Two out of four platoons are Soviet Big Cats which seem immune to most EW weaponry, making this company hard to break. The accompanying sappers have terrible stats but they are cheap and come in large numbers. The T-26s should be able to destroy most opposition with their impressive 45 mm cannons. Hopefully, the units should be able to support each other on the table and win through combined arms.
I have the tanks available from a Mixed Tankovy finished ages ago. Quite happy with the end results. Since the models come from a Mid War army pressed into Early War, I will ask for forgiveness for the crime of proxying later T-34/76s and KV-1s as earlier types. On to the first game.
Game 1 – Japanese Infantry Company (Fearless/Veteran)- Counter Attack
First up was against a very nasty Japanese army. We used some kind of hypothetical scenario. Japanese forces attacked in the winter of 1941 occupying several villages. It was up to the steel colossi of the Red Army to take the righteous land back. The Japanese force had:
A very nasty army that has no problems with heavy tanks. It can either go for quick knock out punches with the self reliant infantry, or play the attrition game with heavy artillery and the unmatched survivability of dug in fearless veterans. My plan was to somehow avoid the heavy artillery while advancing, sending the infantry supported by T-34s towards the far objective and the T-26s supported by the KV-1 towards the closest. Splitting the army is usually a bad idea, but it is hard to have so many teams in a limited space. As for the objective, I tried to put it in the open and away from difficult terrain.
My opponent puts his heavy artillery in a forest where their AT13 can cover both approaches to objectives. All while staying hidden from direct attacks behind the church. They were going to cause me a lot of trouble. The ice lakes are impassible to tanks and so is the rocky side of the hill. Craters are very difficult going while the railroad and woods are difficult going and concealing terrain.
Result: A very painful 1-6 loss.
Is it possible that the idiots at Scattered Dice played another shitty Soviet Flames of War army and lost horribly? You bet. And this time I even had the favor of the Ol’ Dice Gods. In hindsight, think I could’ve made a couple of things different. First was the terrain, agreeing on so many pieces of impassible or difficult terrain was a bad move. It would either mean clustering my army, letting the heavy artillery have a field day or taking about 5-6 turns just driving to the objective. I dealt with the artillery, but never got in a position to really threaten objectives. I prefer nice aesthetic tables to featureless fields, but there is no need to screw yourself harder than you have to.
Secondly, since I planned to attack the undefended objective, it would have been better to switch places with the sappers and T-26s in deployment, that would’ve been a shorter drive. It was so disappointing to see the Japanese infantry could consistently bail out T-26s and force morale checks with just rifles and machine guns. After I lost the T-26s, I should have kept the remaining tanks together with the KV-1, to mass defensive fire and let the out of position sappers die horrible anime deaths to Katanas folded a million times. The Japanese could probably get through a screen of 12 MG shots with their banners but not 16. Better luck next time. I hope.
Shout outs to Macde for the solid trashing and nice pictures.