11 September 2016

Rate of Fire AAR - Eastern Front Action

Ziggy and I played a bit of the ol' Rate of Fire last evening. The 1/72s have been idle for too long, plus there's a deeply ingrained attraction in my psyche for this type of wargame, having cut my teeth on 40K many years ago.

So the set up was a Soviet attack on a German-held position. Ziggy somewhat surprisingly chose to play with the Red horde so I started looking at the village end of the table for defensible positions.

The Red horde begins working forward.

My starting troops were in hidden deployment. I had a PaK40 at position 1, infantry squad at 2 and 4, and a StuG IIIG at 5. 3 and 6 were dummy counters. The road intersection is the Soviet objective. The battle would continue for 12 turns or until one force broke.

Ah... there they are! Man that's a lot...

No need to waste any time. The StuG reveals itself and quickly knocks out one of the SU122s! That should help a bit.

A smoke screen went up in front of my StuG. The remaining SU122 relocates into the woods.

My squad at spot 4 make the sound decision to exit the woods and get to the other side of the hedge.

You can see that the mortar has created yet another smoke screen. Apparently there was next to no wind because the Soviet smoke just would not dissipate. I had moved my assault gun which is what prompted the second smoke template.

It appears that the SU122 has thermal imaging or some such nonsense as it puts a round on my StuG, smashing it easily.

Reinforcements arrive! Another squad of infantry (and a half-squad elsewhere you'll see in a moment).

I had revealed my ATG and had been firing HE towards infantry in the center. Not only had it may NO impression at all, but now it was being assaulted by submachinegunners. Three of the crew had been killed at this point.

But these guys in the woods at spot 2 open up on the Russians at the crossroad and take out three of them right away! Finally something positive.

The half-track infantry occupy the ruined building.

The big picture. My reserve fireteam that had also arrived is towards the lower left. I really could have used another tank or something at this point.

Another God-forsaken smoke screen drops. At least the Soviets have abandoned the objective for now.

My squad behind the hedge now has company. They've held up very well under a constant hail of fire. A squad of reds have occupied the ruined house in the center.

My Aufklarungs who were distracting the submachinegun squad are wiped out! They did manage to weaken the assault squad quite a bit before they departed.

I get the crazy idea to assault the Russians in the ruined house, using their own smoke screen as cover. The plan worked remarkably well, all things considered. I did lose the close combat, 4-3 and my squad was forced to retreat from whence they came. At least I wasn't completely mauled!

My squad behind the hedge is finally taken out by the Russian dogs on turn 10! The Firefight of Blood Hedge will live in our memories for quite a while.

As night-time closed in, the Russians swept over the road intersection. The depleted German force had no choice but to fall back, and quickly!

I didn't do a great job of photo-documenting everything that was going on, but I think the AAR captures most of the import action. Z and I had a good time with the toy soldiers for a couple hours. I think the scenario was fairly well-balanced. When setting up the scenario I completely forgot to limit the amount of smoke ammo the mortar had. Giving it just 5-6 smoke rounds would have been a game changer for sure. It didn't help that once the smoke landed, it steadfastly refused to dissipate. I made a couple mistakes - my positioning of the ATG was lackluster. I should have put it atop the hill on my right. I also should have tried to park the halftrack in a spot that would have been able to leverage its machineguns. Truth is, I was very afraid of the SU122 after it powdered my StuG and the halftrack would have been wrecked just as easily.

Either way... we both had a good time and I'm looking forward to another game of Rate of Fire!

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