Thursday, March 6, 2014

1485 Mid-War Batrep: Soviet Tanks vs. German Panzergrens

Continuing with my dual goal of playing more Mid-War games while also using non-veteran lists when possible, I was happy to get a game in a few nights ago with a new army. My opponent and I are both gearing up for a MW tournament on March 16th, but I'm also trying a completely new army for me: the Soviets! Yes, I finally took the plunge and have started collecting a communist horde. I found that my motivation stemmed from the models, not competitiveness, which helped me clear that final motivational hurdle. I really don't have the urge to play Soviets in LW at this stage, but in MW they're Just look at the KV-2:

We had a shortage of objective markers, so the Sturmtigers subbed-in

The list I was running was built around the goal of fielding the KV-2's, which narrows it down to either Motostrelkovy or Mixed Tankovy. And so, in the spirit of adventure, I took the Fearless Conscript Mixed Tankovy into my first battle fielding Soviets.

My list was what one might call "direct" -

10 Fearless Conscript (FC) T-34's (so far I only have five completely finished in the winter scheme)
8 FC Stuarts (using my American model Stuarts, just FYI the Soviets use the M3A1 Stuart's stats)
3 KV-2's
3 BA-64's (slight proxying, get over it, it's not a tournament)
Limited Shturmoviks

Mixed Tankovy use a platoon commander as the 1iC, so I gave that job to one of the T-34's. The air support is really my only tool against heavy armor, which of course is a concern. I'm hoping that the lower point levels will keep most of the big cats away.

My opponent's German Panzergrenadiers:

HQ - 1iC and 2iC with panzerknackers
3 7.5cm PaK97/38 guns (a hidden gem in the Eastern Front Axis lists, take notice!)
2 CV Panthers
4 Panzerwerfers with extra crew

My opponent is still pretty new to MW, and I counselled him that in the future he will want to try and get to 6 platoons, especially in missions that are half-on-half-off.

Right on que, we rolled "Encounter" for the mission, so we would both be placed in pretty uncomfortable circumstances.

I chose the near edge in the above picture. Like I said we needed the Sturmtigers to sub-in as objectives. I figured the woods along my left flank would help my advance.

KV-2's guard the right objective 

T-34's take cover from the Panthers and Nebelwerfers

Unfortunately, I really can't comment on my deployment without spoiling the outcome of the battle. I really should have deployed my Stuarts instead of the KV-2's. My rationale at the time was that the KV-2's are slow, and if they came in at a bad spot for scattered reserves then they'd never get into the fight. However, their lack of speed also meant that they wouldn't end up having much effect on the main fight either.

Then again, I also don't know why my opponent deployed the Panzerwerfers as opposed to some infantry or the AT guns.

Panthers shift over and nail a T-34

T-34's move out, but two bog despite their wide tracks 

Planes swoop in and hit the Panther with rockets, but he rolls a 6 to save! 

One more T-34 is KO-ed by the Panthers, but he also failed firepower on another two of them 

Meanwhile, the KV-2's have been slowly lumbering out

The planes make a second pass, this time ready to pounce on a failed stormtrooper roll! 

T-34's move up, now having to contend with his reserves 

I hit all three teams under the template and he rolls two 6's!!! Then I can only bail the other Panther!!!

The un-bailed Panther nails a KV-2...conscript is awful! 

As an aside he made every reserve roll, so his army is now completely on the board. Not only that, but his AT guns showed up exactly where my T-34's were pressing.

KV-2's manage to kill a Panzerwerfer (all they had to do was hit, they're firepower 1+ bunker buster) 

But are then wiped out by the Panthers 

My Stuarts arrive too late to the battle and in the wrong position, the best they can do is kill this observer

None bogged on the way in, three bog on the way out... 

...and one is lit up by the Panthers 

T-34's kill one AT gun and pin the rest 

Then move into the assault

One German team is killed, the rest wisely pull back 

The Panthers only bail two T-34's, and I feel lucky! Then the AT guns slaughter the rest. With that the game is over.

What can I say? I lost this game on deployment. Had the Stuarts been on the table then they could have been ravaging his Panzerwerfers, forcing my opponent to split the attention of his Panthers. Also, my opponent got VERY lucky on his armor saves against the Shturmovik (which is a beast! Rockets in MW are awesome). He very easily could have lost one if not both Panthers had any of his three (three!) 6's rolled up as anything less.

My opponent said that had I deployed the Stuarts then he would have possibly deployed an infantry platoon, but even then the lack of integral AT means that I can assault them easily. He really has to get his list to 6 platoons.

On the plus side I think I used the T-34's fairly well, as evidenced by the face that I kept 8 of them alive to try and make the final thrust to an objective. In the future I'll be using the KV-2's as deployment bait for enemy heavy armor, as people seem to be more scared of them than they should be.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun with the Soviets. I'm really going to enjoy bulking out the army for MW and even EW (trying to gaze into the future for Barbarossa, whenever that book gets released). 

Thanks for reading, for more FoW content follow me on Twitter @piflamesofwar 


  1. Another nice report. Yeah I've been playing war games for a couple of decades now mostly 40k but with that game system currently in a state of flux I have turned my attention towards FoW. Finalizing my list for late war then it's time to get some models and some play time.

    1. It's a great game for both tournaments and casual play, whereas 40k has gotten aggravating on both. which nation did you pick? and I generally recommend people start with LW before branching out to Mid and Early since it's simply the most popular time period

  2. I've started with Germans from DM's but have recently been looking at Panzers to the Meuse pdf and comparing the two. Both have things I really like, just need to make decision and go with it.