‘Afternoon

I’m not very expereinced at writing battle reports, especially when I am writing them a full week after the fact and with only a handful of poor quality camera phone images to go on.

Ah well. Keep calm and carry on….

I wanted to do a quick run-through of a game between two friends of mine from last week, mainly because  I took some photos and wanted to make use of them, but partly because I’d like to practice.

The game was between Luke (with his British) and Topher (with his Russians).

This will be a fairly general battle report rather than a detailed ‘blow-by-blow’ account. I’m doing this from memory and it may be hazy.

Here’s the breakdown:

The Game

  • The game was 1250 points a side.
  • The mission was ‘Double Envelopment’, or at least it was meant to be.
  • The rule-set was V2 (though we’re still learning it)

The Forces

  • Toph’s army was taken from one of the Russian theatre selectors and was a mixed bag. It consisted of two or three units of 10-man infantry squads (including the free one), a squad of tank riders where every man has an SMG and a squad of 8 Assault Engineers with body armour and a flamethrower. The infantry were backed up by a sniper team , a heavy mortar and two medium tanks.
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Nothing says North Africa quite like snow effect.

  • Luke’s force was just an expanded generic platoon (I think). It consisted of a good core of medium sized units (including some home guard), a large number of small teams in jeeps and a PIAT. His force packed muscle in the form of an SAS squad and a Cromwell tank.

The Battlefield.

As you will see from the images, the battlefield was a North African town with a central core of buildings along a major road junction. This was in turn surrounded by fields and fences, with some small woods. There were some tank obstacles on the roads, but otherwise no defensive structures. Deployment was along board edges.

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Toph and Luke set up for the first push into town

The objective was to get your forces off your opponent’s board edge killing as much as possible along the way.

The Battle Begins

Like most V2 games, we started with an argument. The rules for the Double Envelopment mission wasn’t clear, and so we couldn’t decide on how the mission was meant to be deployed. The way we read it seemed to imply that one person had a massive and unfair advantage, with no downside.

In the end it was decided to deploy half of each force in reserve, but allow things to roll for arrival on turn one. We still aren’t sure what the intent of the rules are, but this seemed a good compromise.

Turn 1

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The game opens with a strong push from both sides towards the centre. Toph’s vehicles charge directly ahead while the infantry occupy the buildings on the outskirts. In response, Luke’s forces do much the same, occupying the large building centre-left and calling down an artillery strike before burning shuffling off this mortal coil. Much of the reserve stays there.

 

In short, the first turn is uneventful; a smattering of pins and a few casualties on both sides. The only eventful death is that of the FAO, whose position in the ground floor of the large building saw him meet an ignoble end to HE fire.

Turn 2

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The Russian charge expands outwards. One squad hops between buildings, while the tank riders dismount and occupy another.The British turn up in their transports, assisted by the Cromwell, but fail to make an impact.
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Perhaps the highlight of turn 2, Luke’s PIAT team rush the soviets (still in their undercoat) and try to get a shot on the second tank. Sadly, while they score a hit, the shot fails to do anything and their fate is sealed.

Turn two was likewise a fairly uneventful one. Both sides spent much of the turn maneuvering around each other and occupying buildings ready for the clash both players knew was coming next turn. Of the two forces, Toph’s Russians managed to do the most damage,  wiping a squad and a weapon team off the nearside flank, for only minimal damage suffered in return.

Turn 3

Let’s just say everything goes wrong for the British.

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The Russian continue to press, crushing the units occupying the large building and melting the units moving up the road to support them.
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The Brits counter, unloading the SAS and trying to shoot the Engineers, who have now disembarked from their truck, hoping to do some damage. The shooting is terrible however and only one engineer falls (curse that body armour), leaving the SAS exposed to retaliation.
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Retribution is swift. The Russian Engineers shred the SAS with their SMGS, and roll one of the greatest to-wound rolls we’ve seen in a while. 8 Veteran kills from less than 15 dice. Even for me, who wasn’t playing, this was painful.
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Adding insult to injury, the second tank moves around the now clear nearside flank and shoots the transport  the SAS arrived in, blowing that up too.

Turn 3 was simply brutal. The Russians took the initiative and some favorable rolling (*cough*) combined with some good positioning on Tophs part the turn before really punished the Brits. I’m not sure of the total, but a little over half of the British force had been killed or fled, effectively abandoning the center of the board. The problem was exacerbated by Luke’s repsonse, which failed to do much.

With the SAS gone, the remaining infantry squads didn’t have an answer to the Engineers and so added a few pins but little else. The Universal carrier and the squad it was with advanced to within smelling distance of the board edge (and freedom) but needed to stop short, while the mortar did nothing.

Turn 4

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The Russians mop up in the centre and continue to push the advantage.
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The Mortar, hilariously, hits the transport, forcing it to reverse. Because the carrier reverses at full speed (rather than half) is flees away from the edge and forces it to be a target another turn. Desperate to do something, a squad disembark but fail to do more than a single wound to the Inexperienced artillery.

In turn 4 things went from bad to worse. With nothing left to stop the soviet advance the Brits make a desperate rush for the board edge, only to be denied by the most unlikely source. The Cromwell fails (I think) to kill a Russian Tank, but does survive itself. Last of all, the lone Lieutenant charges the Engineers, but gets cut down for his trouble.

End

From the end of turn 3 the outcome was clear, but it was at the end of turn 4 that Luke conceded with nobility and grace/grudging negativity. We didn’t bother to add up the results, as it was clear that the Russians were well placed to get at least 5 units off the board in the remaining two turns.

Topher wins!

Footnotes.

  • Vehicle flamethrowers are really variable. They either do nothing or are completely devastating. For 80pts (2x vehicle mounts) they are a big investment, but for games like this (bigger than 1000) they’re brilliant.
  • Assault Engineers in body armour are expensive, but utterly filthy.
  • Running between buildings (out of one and into another) seems counter intuitive. As does disembarking from a vehicle directly into a building.

 

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