Mike gets cracking. I've circled our jump-off points. Note how shite mine are.
My MMG team and yellow squad were my only troops to begin with. We've been exchanging gunfire here for a little bit. Oh, due to a sad logistical error, there were no proper roads available at the game store, thus the classy "black-outline" roads.
Ah, that's what I'm talking about - the reinforcements arrive!
The Germans in the woods ahead of my positions pull back thanks to some fine gunnery by the Red Army. This would give me lots of opportunity to maneuver.
Which is exactly what I did - sending red and blue squads out to my right.
Blue (center) and Red (right) squads complete their extension of my lines.
Two MGs and a Panzerscheck unload on my weakened MMG team running them off. Bah! Most of my fire was concentrated on the team to my left, circled in orange. I managed to break them after piling enough shock markers and casualties.
I then forgot about taking pictures for a bit. All of my squads moved forward to the woods in the middle. There was a bit of gun fire as the nearest German team tried to run off the beat up yellow squad (the first squad I had on the table to my left). Yellow squad survived. Blue squad in the center launched an assault towards that German team and wiped them out, but took four casualties in the process. Hurrah!
This of course left blue squad as sitting ducks. Mike seized the opportunity and unleashed a hail of bullets at them. Lucky for me, I was holding onto a Chain of Command die and burned it to interrupt his action. My "interrupt" was to move blue squad back, out of line of sight. Brilliant!
We were both now reduced to 50% or less of our starting troops and neither of us was in a situation to attack the other. We both had two machine-guns and two few troops to cross the gap without being wiped out. We called a truce there as dusk set in.
As usual, CoC delivered a fantastic game. I was on the ropes to begin with, with a terrible deployment situation and Mike halfway across the board with very good jump off points. Some brilliant fire from my MMG put the Germans on their heels midway through the game which allowed me to turn the tables and push him back quite a bit. One stupid move by me with my far right squad got them shot to bits and ruined any chance I had of winning - they got caught crossing open ground. They took six dead in one volley!
It was Mike's first game of CoC and he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. It took him a little while to figure out the best use of leaders and activation dice, but by the end of the battle had everything working like clockwork. I'm looking forward to Part II of this battle. We've got enough pictures of the battlefield to re-create it without much trouble. A draw such as this won't stand for long!