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Bud Backer

Bud's Russian Attack AAR: Красная молния

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Posted (edited)

Minute 33-32 AOA 2

AOA2 was my first thrust against the fascist aggressors, and unlike AOA1 it was not without cost. I dropped 192 rockets on the houses and trees behind them several minutes ago, and I have no way of confirming their effectiveness. My units made their way through the woods along the eastern edge of the map, which was, of course a predictable course, as it is the only avenue to the objective that offers almost continuous cover.

My men faced panzerfausts, which destroyed two of my three armoured cars. I ran into ambushing troops and my opponent even placed a minefield to make me cautious. I had Tankodesantniki scraped off their T34s in a rush toward the houses. They appear to be cleared now, at least, but as my earlier post indicates, one platoon is down 75% and the other 18% so the losses were somewhat severe.

You can see a breakdown of the squad numbers below.

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With no enemy immediately in sight I set out to move my 1/1 and 2/1 squads out of the minefield. I’m not sure how large it is, so I am careful to move around to each side to clear it. Accompanying them is 1/1 T34/85 to provide fire support if they get engaged from the treeline beyond the gully. These are the most intact units I have on AOA 2 so I need to take good care of them. 

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It looks like my opponent has not abandoned all the buildings after all. Heavy fire that sounds like an HMG fires at 3/1 squad. The Nearby T34 can’t get a good angle from their current position to fire on the enemy. I want to displace it but…

Also a new contact appears, a HQ apparently. That unit…

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...Opens fire from the treeline, nearly missing the 1st Tank Platoon CO.

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Despite buttoning up, the T34 fires an accurate shot…

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...That takes out the shooter.

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My infantry, despite being suppressed, spots the MG 42 firing on them. I order 1/2 T34/85 to advance to the abandoned foxholes and to blast HE into the building to drive the HMG crew out.

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There are contacts that I believe are from fleeing, long-departed enemy units near those foxholes, but to be sure, I have 1st Tank Platoon CO’S T34/85 perform area fire in the vicinity to protect the other tank.

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Despite all the action nearby, 1/2 squad, 2/1 squad, and 1/1 T34/85 skirt the minefield unmolested and eye the distant treeline, waiting for the inevitable order to advance. For bounding overwatch I have split both squads, hence the A/B designation. 

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2/1 T34/85 hangs back. Despite the trees, it has fairly good vision all the way past the gully to the distant treeline, as you can see in this demonstration. It’s able to overwatch the advancing infantry and its sister tank. From its position it can see the wrecked Marder. Impressive to see the 85mm shell passed entirely through the enemy vehicle. 

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In the distant tree line a solitary German soldier is spotted, but he vanished before he can be fired upon. My opponent is shifting forces around. I’m not entirely sure what to make of some of these movements. It may be part of a unit that was supposed to provide support for the now-dead Marder nearby. In any case, I think unit shifting is a good sign: it means I’m not where he wants me to be and he has to adjust.

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Now, I must admit his infantry worries me - a lot more than his armour, which so far I've seen only two Marders. Knowing my opponent well, I can surmise a few things:

  • He likely did not buy heavy armour. So I don't expect any of the big cats. While a Marder or Panzer IV can easily knock out my tanks at this range, my tanks have all the advantages, if no cats are present: heavier armour, bigger guns, faster speed. He has radios, and most of mine don't, but with so many infantry and tanks concentrated in a small area, I am confident that what one T34 doesn't see another will. 
  • He doesn't have a lot of (any?) Anti-Tank Guns - or else they would be protecting his HMGs, which I have been able to blast at stand-off ranges with my tanks. I can't discount a surprise or two in the town but if he had serious firepower I can't imagine he's waiting for me to be right in the town to use it. 
  • My opponent favours infantry. So I am expecting a fair bit of it, as much as he can afford, and that includes panzerfausts. Other games I've played made it clear they can take out a T34/85 at beyond 100m range - I thought that is almost a freak shot. I’m not looking forward to moving into the town with my tanks... but I’ve succeeded in bringing a fairly powerful force to his doorstep. If my forces on AOA1 can advance into the town, and I'm able to provide heavy HE support with my tanks, my SMG troops are well suited to this kind of warfare.  and I don’t think it’s a fight he can win. 
Edited by Bud Backer

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Glad to see you getting back to this...

3 hours ago, Bud Backer said:

Other games I've played made it clear they can take out a T34/85 at beyond 100m range - thought that is almost a freak shot.

I usually am OK with my Germans taking Shrek shots out to 150m.

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On 5/21/2019 at 11:58 AM, IanL said:

Glad to see you getting back to this...

I usually am OK with my Germans taking Shrek shots out to 150m.

Thanks, Ian! When I look back at this and the two unfinished (but to be continued!) comics, I see exactly where I was with RL stuff in my life. 

That's true! I've seen PanzerSchrek shots out that far; I just don't recall feeling very threatened by PanzerFausts at that distance. 

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4 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

@Bud Backer you are doing a fine job on this AAR.. graphics and narration are superb.

Bil

Thank you, Bil. I had a good teacher, and you be him. ^_^

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3 hours ago, Bud Backer said:

That's true! I've seen PanzerSchrek shots out that far; I just don't recall feeling very threatened by PanzerFausts at that distance. 

Oh right - I mixed up my Panzer killers. Yeah no panzer Fausts at 150 that's for sure.

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Posted (edited)

Minute 32-31:

The video above was intended to show the action from the ground in AOA 1. It is a very different perspective and impact than a static picture. But what's going on? 

This turn is a surprisingly noisy one from tank fire, but fairly quiet in terms of actual combat. It’s a turn of consolidation, and preparatory fire. The ample HE ammo the Russian tanks receive is very welcome here as my only effective source of artillery.

AOA 1

Over on AOA 1, my infantry is in the tree line, as well as the small copse at the left map edge, eyes peeled forward to look for enemy units. The HMGs that were originally spotted have disappeared after my initial tank fire but I want to make sure they are indeed destroyed or suppressed before moving forward.

In addition, the large building on the left and that vicinity has several infantry contacts and I want to shake them up. I let the T34’s hit the HMGS, and one JSII fires on the buildings. I’m hoping the massive shell will affect nearby troops and not just those hiding in the building.

My last tank, the other JSII, is set to armour overwatch. I don’t want him distracted by any infantry that pops up. If the Germans have armour here I want to be ready to react immediately.

You can see all the unit orders and dispositions in this composite shot.

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There is no fire from either HMGs, nor from the buildings on the left, but my overwatch JSII is hit with the occasional small arms round. Either the enemy can’t see my infantry or is shooting at the closest target.

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The bombardment proceeds painlessly. After a while, what may be the source of the sporadic fire, a contact in one of the houses, resolves into an infantry unit. At this distance he isn’t much of a threat, and I want to degrade the enemy closer to me first.

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Another contact appears at this time as well - another Marder, like the one I destroyed on AOA 2. The inset shows its facing, with the green arrow pointing right at my JSII. Neither of us can see one another. In fact, none of my units on AOA 1 can spot the Marder. I wonder who can?

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Zooming out, I discover that the only unit that can spot the Marder is 3/1 Squad all the way across the map on AOA 2. It can’t do anything about the Marder, but it will have its own adventure in the section for A0A 2.

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AOA 2

I’ve decided to temporarily stop pushing forward and clean up my flanks in this AOA. My infantry and two T34/85s on the far right have good sightlines ahead and I want to make sure I’m not ambushed when I resume advancing. At the same time I want to deal with the German stragglers holed up in the last building as they threaten the left flank of this force.

As I mentioned in my post for minute 33, 1/2 T34/85 is going to bombard the last house where I have some contacts. It’s the last known place that there are Germans remaining from my initial assault on the town.

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The plan is successful. The tank fire makes the Germans abandon the building and make a run for it. They are caught by 3/1 squad which is watching through a window of the third building.

Of more concern is another armour unit spotted, one that I did not know about at all.

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The unit is another Marder. This is the third one I know about. I check the contacts around the map but I can’t see a fourth. It’s possible my opponent had to trim down a platoon, but I can’t be sure so I can’t discount that there may be another lying in wait, unseen, somewhere else on the map.

The fleeing HMG team - or part of it as it’s only 2 men - is mowed down by the SMGs from 3/1 squad. It’s starting to look like I own both Key Terrain 1 and 2 on this map.

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Looking ahead:

I want to get to the buildings in AOA 1 before my opponent can shift from the east. I’m pretty sure I got his attention at AOA 2, and I want to take advantage of that. That was why I delayed appearing in AOA 1 in the first place.

 

 

Edited by Bud Backer
typos...

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