Following last week's victory for the Axis forces the Russian's decided to mount a Delaying Action
to buy time to consolidate their forces. If victorious they would have the option to mount a spoiling counter-attack, and if not they should have a stronger defensive line. In the Delaying Action
scenario the attackers must capture a specific enemy Jump-Off Point as nominated by the defender.
This weeks table was a rural affair with a mixture of hedges and light woods, with a farm in the centre of the Russian position. On one flank stood a small chapel, almost compulsory now I've bought it! The game objective was in a small field to rear of the farm.
|View from the Russian left |
|View from the Russian right |
|View from the Axis right |
|View from the Axis left|
The Patrol Phase was fairly even. It left the Russians with a solid defensive line around the farm with woods and hills to the flanks. The Germans deployed on the Axis left moving towards the chapel through some woods and the Finns on the right attacking towards some hills.
The battle opened with the Russians deploying a solid-looking line of infantry and Maxims around the objective and quickly getting their KV-1 onto the field.
|Russian defenders take-up position |
|Soviets occupy the woods|
This looked like a sensible move by the Russians but they counted without the wargaming gods who made a telling intervention. A series of double, triple, and even quadruple 6's lead to a whole succession of phases and turns for the Axis forces. The Finns used this to push forward rapidly and capture the woods immediately in front of the Russian position. The Germans deployed all four infantry sections and mowed-down the Russian infantry. Only the KV mounted any resistance.
|German LMG teams deploy in a central position|
|Finns advance to the woods - very much at home|
|More German LMG teams and a panzerschreck|
|Germans sneaking down the side of the chapel |
The tide briefly swung towards the Russians when they finally gained the initiative for a while. They were able to destroy both the Panzerscrekt team and the Finnish BT-42. With the Finns Pak-38 positioned in defensive position, this left no serious threat to the KV-1.
The cheer was short-lived through as a another run of double 6's allowed the Axis troops the inflict further heavy damage for no effective response. This period left the Axis troops poised on both flanks and the Russians rapidly running out of troops.
|Finns on the move|
|Russians huddle for cover near the objective|
The battle ended with Comrade Bosski's platoon's Force Morale reduced to zero thus breaking the Russian's. A decisive Axis victory.
This battle was certainty dominated by two periods where the Russians went a series of 2-3 turns without taking any action. Memory is a fickle and biased thing but it did feel like more than a coincidence and perhaps other battles had contained similar phases of play. It could be that the presence of two elite platoons on the Axis side (each with 6 initiative dice) means such periods are fairly likely to occur in long battles.