Saturday, 25 April 2015

Part Five - Chase or Trap?

 Having interpreted their 'stand or die' orders in the light of the current fluid situation (ie, up the creek) Herr Dryer's kampf group falls back by company onto what they hope will be a stronger line...
They leap frog each other. Basic fire and manoeuvre stuff...
"Zui! keep up or we leave you to Ivan!"
 ...until they reach the higher ground flanking the town.
 The valley is swarming...
 Mortars and Nebelwerfers, tanks and MG's have a target rich environment...
 ...but there is never enough to cover all the bases
 Russian casualties are horrendous...but that's what these recce columns are all about. Trade casualties for speed, distance is knowledge.
 The chase is on over the fields...
 ...but the Germans have it covered by 81mm mortars.
 If the Russians suspected it doesn't show. They just keep on.
 It looks like they are trying to cork a sieve rather than a bottle..
 Meanwhile, smoke is laid across the road to cover movement...
 ...but it is only partially successful.
 The bombardment doesn't let up...
 Panthers attampt to move onto the Russian armours flank...
 ...breaking cover...
 Alan C brought some reinforcements along and, on the principle of more equals merrier, they rolled as to where the would come on...Nice roll, Alan.
 Move spotted. Kate answers.
 Typically appalling response to movement.
 Huzzah's from the valley floor.
 Nobody wants to be left behind.
 RF makes it clear that approaching occupied positions is a risky business.
 Not a healthy place to park

 Mixed rounds.
"Guys, where's the instruction manual?"
 Somebody threw a high die!
"Don't look at me. I ain't got it."

 Panthers drive for cover.
 Assault pioneers move to the flank

 The crossing's in sight!
 Flame-thrower's pour flame (literally) on the enemy armour
 Russians button up.
 A volley of 75mm AP shot crack over the field.
 SU 100's prepare a reply...
 Birds eye of the action.
"Er, don't open the door"

"Knock, knock!"

"Maybe if we keep going we won't be shot by our own side"
Through it all the infantry keeps going...

Have the Russians run out of steam?
Are the Germans going to blunt the charge?
Will I tut and raise my eye brows at the next desperate election promise?

Tune in next time to be underwhelmed!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Part Four - Unstoppable v Immovable

Faced with ever stiffening resistance Ivan de-buses and advances on foot. He must clear the area of the bombardment or perish in even greater numbers. The crossings are tantalisingly within his grasp shock, luck and bottle (the famous solicitors) are his ace cards....but is it enough?

The junction and the road line are clear of Germans...
 The last PAK 40 covers the retreat of the first defence line...
 Last out of the village (after an attack of Deli-belly) is Herr Ointment. He has another attack on meeting a T34 at the bottom of the stairs...
 He doesn't miss the sitter but isn't missed in turn by the support (posthumous order of the Bog Roll)
 "On to Berlin!" is the cry as the spearhead is tempered with Nebelwerfer fire

 Little Kate and her sisters reply with interest

"Up, move, time to go! Raus! raus!"
 The pressure is relentless. Artillery, so the Russian saying goes, is the god of war. They are faithful practitioners of its potency...
 RF requires random diced subtractions for obstacles. Clever use of this fact keeps Ivan in the killing zone for longer.
 The infantry is pulling back...but only to dead ground...
"Mortars? aww! I wanted to be hit by Katyusha's"
Their movement, however, attracts all kinds of grief...

With two of the crossing points effectively blocked by destroyed armour the Russians must contemplate a narrowing of their front and the likelihood of a serious concentrated counter-attack at a point of the Germans choosing.

Will the Germans cork the bottle?
Are the Russians on a roll?
Is the most dangerous man an officer with a map?

Find out next time we play with toy soldiers

Friday, 10 April 2015

Part Three - Skill at Arms

Unknown to Pte Zuisidelitz  a six was thrown and he became stupid/brave (delete as applicable) and dashed along the low hedge to the cover of the toasted Puma...
Objective: a flank shot on the advancing T34's which, with supporting infantry, was threatening to break into the coy positions in the village.
 A shot,but alas, no coconut!
 But at that very instant a salvo from the nearest Nebelwerfer landed amongst the Russians in mid 'huzzar!' mode...
"Discretion seems the better part of valour...let's leg it!" 
 320 and 280mm rockets arrive and get mixed in with the German Bn mortars laying smoke
 With disgruntled Ivan's firing into the smoke, Zuisidelitz doesn't need to be told twice
 the rest of the coy are up ahead of him just getting to the corn fields
 Meanwhile an IS2 cooks a 234 and then atempts to shove it away from the bridge...
 ..he is successful...but falls into a well laid ambush
 From here he's a sitter and is taken out
 The cross fire is already set in train but the left flank misses
 Blasting away merrily is of no further benefit as Ivan is dead on the bridge and blocking it for the foreseeable future.

 These and other losses cause some Russian units to disengage and retreat/rout to recovery positions

 The battalion moves back from the village and the crossing...
 ...covered by another coy to watch for any sudden flanking move
 The 81mm's drop HE as their Bn FPF but it doesn't phase the stoic Russian infantry...
 The Russians have a hard time as the forming up point for the push through town and across the stream gets continually harassed
"OK, no drinking from the font and the comrade Colonel wants first dibs on a cuckoo clock"
 ...still, the village is theirs!
 The problem of the Nebelwerfers has been noticed
 ...but the carefully placed flakverlings have them covered...
 ...suddenly, it's Guy Fawkes night...

Heavy and accurate they blast the IL2 out of the sky

Can the German line hold?
Was Alexander the Great really Irish?
Am I crazy to be playing with toy soldiers at my age?
Tune in next time to find out...