Army Lists, Scenario and TerrainWe have modified the exisisting army lists to reflect this period of the war.
We played an expanded and modified version of the 'Patrol' scenario from the rulebook.This is essentially an encounter scenario, where two forces of roughly equal size, and without much support, bump into each other in the open.
My Soviet force consisted of:
- 1 Infantry Platoon (Regular)
- 1 Tank Platoon with 3 T-34/76 M41.
Jeppan's Finns fielded:
- 1 Infantry Platoon (Regular)
- 1 Tank Platoon with 2 T-28E and 2 BT-7
Both sides advanced onto the table and (unsurprisingly) bumped into each other in the middle of the table. The Finns used their superior leadership to maneuver infantry sections rapidly forward and grab control of some farmhouses and woods on the flanks, while their tanks advanced up the middle of the table.
The Soviets aren't so flexible, so had to concentrate their infantry on their left flank and centre of the table, with the tanks on the right. In previous games the Finns have managed to knock out many Soviet tanks with molotov cocktails and explosives, so I tried to get the tanks to protect each other.
The Soviet infantry tried to advance on their left flank and centre to get get into superior positions, but the Finns beat them to it and established powerful bases of fire on the Soviet left suported by the 2 Finn BT-7s. This effectively pinned the Soviet infantry in some woods and behind a hill.
Only one Soviet section managed to advance into cover slightly farther forward, but was then struck by enfilade fire from flank and front.
Soviet attempts to knock out the Finn BT-7s with AT handgrenades damaged, but did not knock out, the BT-7s and they continued to menace the Red infantry.
In all this, the Finn tanks and infantry inflicted quite a few casualties on the Red infantry. Things weren't looking too good for the Soviet foot-sloggers. If the Finns could keep the pressure up, the Soviet infantry would be forced to withdraw (the Red infantry platoon's morale was getting quite low).
Heavy Metal - Soviet StyleWhile the Red infantry were being pummeled, the Soviet tanks were doing a lot better.
The T-34 are very fast and managed to advance rapidly to a position where they could engage the Finn T-28Es, while keeping an eye on a sneaky Finn section creeping up behind some woods.
Soon both T-28s were disposed of (one knocked out, the other forced off-table).
The Red tank platoon also managed to concentrate fire on the Finn section lurking in the farm houses and Woods with their molotov cocktails. Subjected to concentrated tank fire the Finn section finally routed.
So at this point, the Finns were wearing down the Soviet infantry on the left flank, while the Soviet tanks were victorious on the right. And both sides were losing morale rapidly.....
End-GameTo save their hard-pressed infantry, the Soviet tanks advanced to engage the Finn infantry and the remaining Finn BT-7s. The Finns, at the same time launched a bold offensive to knock out the Red infantry platoon before the soviet tanks could intervene.
The Soviets were lucky again, and T-34s managed to knock out a BT-7 while Soviet infantry had their revenge, and cut down charging Finn infantry that were just about to reach a Soviet Jump-Off Point (base).
If the Finns had managed to reach the Jump-Off Point, Soviet morale would almost certainly have collapsed. But these losses were too much for the Finns and they were forced to withdraw.
This was a very enjoyable and even game. It could so easily have gone the other way. The T-34/76 are very, very good and in this game they made it count.