Friday, September 24, 2010

FoW Motostrelk vs Finnish Armour

After work yesterday I drove up to Christchurch to have a game vs Jason at the Cavs. We had arranged this game a couple of weeks ago but the earthquake meant we had to delay it. I've never faced Finnish armour before so this was going to be interesting- actually it was all my own Soviet armour, press ganged into fearless veteran status and with H&C removed! Hey no fair!

My list was the same one I used on Wednesday night vs Kent.

Jason's list.
  • Co T26 & 2iC t34/85
  • 3x t34/85
  • 4x T28
  • 2x kv1
  • 2x ba10
  • Full 9 stand con vet pioneers
  • 2x pak40 with 1 close defence team
  • 4x con vet 122mm howitzers
  • Limited ju-88s
I love the terrain they have at the Cav's, they have some great stuff for the guys to use. Poochie helped set up a table and we rolled for misison and got a Fighting Withdrawal. With my list this was going to be hard for Jason- or at least I thought so...

I love the paint job that Jason has done. T34s and land battleships (T26) prepare to advance.

On your marks.... get set....go. The infantry double timed into a central wood! WTF? Hmm better watch them.

They were such a juicy target how could I not ambush them? My ambusihing T34s leapt out- only 3x T34/76 were able to hit 3 infantry teams (with 8 dice each) and only caused 1 casulty. My T34/85s meanwhile hit 2x T34s, killing one and bailing the other and one t34/76 bogged going over a hedge to try ot MG the pioneers. Not the world's most effective ambush.

Actually it was one of the silliest ambushes I've done in a long time. My plan was to hose the infantry and go after the soft targets- T26, 122mm artillery and pak 40s- it didn't quite work out that way...

Unlike the Red Airforce the JU 88s knew what they wee doing and KOed a Suka. think the JUs got one and paks or T34/85s got the other. The survivor passed his motivation and then withdrew. The T34s didn't fare so well and were cut down to 3 working tanks and legged it! 122s + Jus + T34/85s+a pak 40 + pioneer flamethrower meant that they were cut to pieces very quickly.

The T36 hid in the woods for most of the game but I am embarassed to a dmit they did manage a side shot which destroyed a T34/76! The one facing the wrong way is bogged.

The Zis 2s managed to kill a T34/85 but the 122s started to range in on the Zis 2s and almost wiped them out with a couple of turns left I withdrew the survivor leaving only 2 infantry near- but not on the objective and my SU 152s across the other side of the table trying to hunt T26s!

Turn 7. Jason had stopped a couple of turns to deal with T34s and then to try and winkle out my infantry. I thought the game was well in hand as I didn't think he had time to advance his tanks far enough to grab the objective. No worries, until those pesky Finnish pioneers raced (double timed out of the woods) and towards the objective. I was down to 2 companies of infantry and some SU 152s- which were trying to keep his tanks away from the obective by threatening his guns- it sort of worked. I think they claimed a T34/85 as well as a T26, but also managed to stop all his tanks concentrating on my infantry.

I have just managed to unpin one company and send teams to contest- the CO was out of range, My kommissar had been killed in a bombardment so I had two 50/50 rolls to unpin a company and not lose!

In his 8th turn Jason killed a few infantry but I passed 2 motivation checks to stay on the board for being under half strength. He then assaulted my company commander drawing in the remains of one company- I had 2 shots on defensive fire and killed the team that contacted my company commander- only eligible target. His remaining team missed my battalion commander who promptly retreated and thus won me the game even though Jason was firmly camped on the objective. Had he made his run at the objective a turn earlier it was all over the other way.

Result 5-2 to the Soviets.

Good game Jas, you were robbed!

It was a great game, played in a fun atmosphere with lots of banter about him handing our tanks back and instructing our crews how to drive without H&C! It was always going to be tough for his force when I could ambush with T34s but my recklessness nearly cost me the game. I think he could have sent one of his less valuable units across to threaten one of the other objectives to put more pressure on but he was worried about the Zis 2s having a nice field of fire. FW is still one of my favourite missions as it almost always goes down to the wire. I think Jason lost track of time around turns 3-5, when I had not much to do except roll for air, and this cost him dearly.

However my silly ambush gamble didn't pay off. I knew where I should have ambushed (eh, Poochie) and that should have destroyed his T34/85s and recon and minismied return fire, but I decided since this is a test of new ideas to try something different- better now that at Conquest.

The Red Airforce turned up once and didn't spot anything and Jason's 122 gunners had a woeful day rolling 3 ones to range in a couple of times, but they did manage to range in with their last roll and cause some damage several times.

I really liked the Finn force- very flavourful and quirky. I may have to look at building one myself :)

I like the balance of this list, and think it can do well attacking or defending. I decided that given so many missions where I start with 1/2 on table that the Sukas are better value than heavy mortars as they can come on and direct fire if needed- and be another manoeuvre element. They are doing okay and were unfairly targetted by JU 88s on turn 1 and then T34/85s! Jason suggested SU 122s and they might be worth considering- it would mean losing a T34/76 but in might be able to squeeze in an HMG as well. I will consider that.

Other changes? I almost always run the 2-2 formation but both companies are only just about the numbers for QoQ and so might try a 3-1 organisation, taking the small company as SMG teams when defending so that the deployed company is a bit stronger.



  1. Glad you enjoyed it- we were joking round for most (all) of it so didn't really keep track of the details and so didn't not many action shots from a wider angle to show where units were in relation to each other.