So after suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of Comrade Andrewski and there being loads of time left we decided to give the game another whirl. We used exactly the same set up as last time only re-rolling for morale. Philip stayed the same at 9 and I, not surprisingly, managed to drop down to 8. JOP’s stayed the same too.
Philip decided that the old maxim of ‘it aint broken don’t fix it’ was a wise one and after his first roll deployed his first two sections exactly the same as last time, one in the field by the road and one on the flank to the right. I took my first roll and oh boy what a roll, 4 sixes! This game was definitely going to be different than the last one now. Not only did I end the turn thus negating the powerful Russian pre-game barrage I also picked up a CoC dice and kept control of the next phase. I also got to roll for a random event which was that the building nearest the centre of the board caught fire which started to billow out lots of smoke.
I was just as jammy with my next roll getting a double 6! It seemed like I had used up all my crap dice in the last game so I deployed two sections on the table – one in the centre with the riflemen in the entrenchment and the MG42 outside (counter intuitive I know but that deadeye shooting section worried me and I wanted the most men in cover), and the other covering the right flank – and started shooting up the deployed Russians.
The lads on the right had definitely put more time in on the range and proceeded over the next couple of phases to shoot the Russians over on the flank to pieces, causing quite a few casualties and piling on shock whilst taking out the Junior leader and causing a 2 point loss on the Soviet morale. The surviving members of this section became pinned to boot allowing me to advance slightly however the fight over here fizzled out as the encroaching smoke from the building fire blocked the line of sight. The firefight in the centre wasn’t going as well with the Russians just receiving shock and the odd man out of action whilst the return fire started to whittle down my section – good job they were in cover!
Philip had brought on his T-34 and his light mortar moving the former forwards and cursing the latter’s complete ineptitude to cause any problems at all for my lads, he also brought on his remaining section who spent the rest of the game hiding behind the ruined farm building. I then played my trump card with my FOO popping onto the table and calling in the 81mm mortars, even the whole central Soviet section firing at him didn’t stop him. He shrugged off a slight wound and bravely carried on with his duty and the central section disappeared from view in a hail of stonky goodness that was bang on target! This barrage not only pinned the ‘sniper club’ section but also took in the platoon leader who was nearby helping to rally off shock from their firefight with my entrenched chaps. The T-34 was also covered by the barrage but it managed to drive through without any problems.
My good luck with the dice continued, building up another CoC dice quite quickly whilst Philip just couldn’t get a 5 (shame!), I also rolled a one virtually every phase which enabled me to keep causing damage with my barrage. Unluckily for me I wasn’t causing as much pain with the mortars as I’d hoped for but unluckily for him the few hits I did make all went on his Junior and Senior leaders which chipped away at his morale every time they got wounded to the point when it got down to 4.
The Russian’s only chance of victory now rested on the T-34 getting amongst my lads and causing carnage. As soon as it cleared the barrage it fired at my FOO who hit the bottom of his shell hole and came through unscathed, carrying on with his duty. The tank then moved forwards some more, either trying to get closer to the FOO or going for my left-hand JOP. We’ll never know though as I used a CoC dice (thanks Dan for the slight reminder there!) and sprung a Panzerschreck shaped ambush catching the tank in the flank and making it go boom! The resulting 2 loss on Philip’s morale meant that the game was up and he decided to withdraw while he still had a reasonable amount of men left.
Again this was a great fun game and I was helped with some seriously lucky dice (I think I got 3 double 6’s as well as the quadruple) which kept the initiative with me for a lot of the game but c’est la guerre as they say! The important thing was that Philip got some more game time in and that he enjoyed it as well. Dan even said that he enjoyed just watching the two games which just shows that they keep things interesting whilst moving along at a good pace. As Philip said both games were on the exact opposite extremes of the luck bell-curve but still two games in one night, what’s not to like about that! Many thanks to Philip for a couple of great games played in a great spirit – I think our smug factors whilst winning our respective battles balanced out nicely – and thanks to Dan for added banter and rules checking for us when we were uncertain about bits.
Honestly if you haven’t tried these rules yet and you like a bit of WW2 skirmish, do yourself a favour and give them a go.
Also, just a little taster of what is happening next week as I join Des, Martin and Ian for some ACW Gettysburg type action!