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An example of friction during combat... This outside RAKOW. So backstory - so far my attack has pretty much rolled forward much as it did on the 11th August 1944. My advancing armour has come und

The tank riding, no prisoner taking, one eyed, Forward Observer.    

Getting ready for 'Fire & Rubble'...  

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The Alley Cats don't run in front of the Panther, but instead attempt to park themselves just to its front-right. The lead man doesn't even get a chance to think about pulling out a grenade, though. SMG fire from enemy infantry down the street cuts him down as soon as he stops. The two remaining Alleys displace again. Where you ask? Why...

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Back down the alley!

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Meanwhile, a tank is ordered to move up and finish off the perimeter threat currently duking it out with Based LMG Guy. He pulls up and stops on the north side of Pointy's building, being very careful to avoid the LOS of Ranbo and his panzerschreck. The tank puts several rounds into the perimeter threat's location.

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Speaking of Pointy...despite getting off a number of rifle rounds, Ranbo recovered, switched back to his MP40 and won the duel with Pointy. RIP Pointy!

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An adjusting friendly artillery round then lands right beside the north tank, damaging a track lightly, but luckily nothing else. Let's hope that's the last one of those because...

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The reserve platoon of 1st company is taking position to join in a combined arms assault on the Panther and Ranbo. The pieces are in place and it's time to avenge Pointy!

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Tune in next time for the plan and the action!

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17 hours ago, Macisle said:

Now, someone like Pointy or Based LMG Guy might hesitate when stumbling onto a live Panther. Men like that might, say, stop and chuck a few grenades at the rear of the beast. But not the Alley Cats! Are you kidding?! Not when an unexplored road into enemy territory is right there only a hop, skip and jump in front of the Panther's MGs and canon.

I have a feeling this won't end well!  :unsure:

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The plan:

The bulk of 3rd Platoon (minus 3rd Squad: the Alleys), reinforced by an MG team will rush Pointy's building to put fire on Ranbo and engage any other infantry screen remnants that pop up. One AT team split off from 2nd Squad will run down the alley and stop at the right rear of the Panther for close assault.

Additionally, a veteran team of consisting of the last four men from 1st Plt, 2nd Squad will quickly funnel through the building right next to the Panther to close assault from the same spot that the AT team is heading for. Various delays are added to hopefully help the infantry get into position with good timing.

In support, 1st Plt, 2nd Tank will wait 30 sec for the infantry to clear out Ranbo and then move forward E from his spot just N of Pointy's building, turret facing S, to engage the Panther. After 15 secs in that position, he'll edge S a few meters and free up his turret facing.

Lastly, a SU-76 south of the block will wait 30 seconds and then move up N on the Panther. By then, the Panther's turret will hopefully be facing somewhere else.

The results of the Action:

The terrifying prospect of a friendly artillery round landing right on my assault units thankfully fails to materialize. Friendly infantry elements move forward into position. First contact is made when the veterans of 1st Plt, 2nd Squad and Ranbo spot each other.

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Ranbo raises his MP40 to fire, but the LMG gunner across the street is a hair faster and drops him with his first burst. That's a downpayment for Pointy.

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The team heads out the door to take up their close assault position, squad leader first. As soon as he clears the door, a rifle shot rings out from Ranbo's building. The bullet grazes the leader's arm. He was the last unwounded man in the team. Now, all four men are fighting with injuries.

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In a reversed replay of the last duel between Ranbo and Pointy, the German rifleman gets off some shots, but the Soviet team's SMG man returns fire and nails the rifleman.

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With the Panther's bodyguards successfully dispatched, it's time for the hunters to focus on the main prize. The veteran team tosses a grenade while 2nd tank and the SU-76 start their run.

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As the grenade knocks on the Panther's door, it turns to engage the thrower. However, 2nd Tank is in position and lands a solid rear shot on the beast.

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It's a kill shot and the surviving crew members bail, while the veteran team decides to take cover back in the building.

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The German tank commander is immediately cut down by MG fire from 2nd Tank.

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In a fitting tribute to Pointy, the T-34 sprays a canister round into the remaining three Panther crew members, while the veteran team squad leader empties his magazine into them as well before joining his team in the building.

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2nd Tank edges up as the overwatch MG and infantry spray area fire into the building areas that housed the German infantry screen. The Panther is dead. Ranbo is dead. Pointy is avenged!

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No men lost. Now that was a good turn!

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47 minutes ago, IanL said:

Hell yeah. Looks like the timing worked out nicely. And you had the correct amount of force to deal with the tank crew - as in overwhelming.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Other than the veteran team being a bit early and the insurance AT team being a bit late, it went textbook good. I great minute indeed. 🙂

However, a lot of off camera prep work went into the shown assault. The platoon of Panthers is in a E-W line facing S, one per block. Each block has infantry, but I don't know where. Most likely, the AI has set them up to guard each Panther pretty well. My battalion was advancing two-up with 1st Co. on the left and 2nd on the right. After locating the Panthers and judging the terrain (my first time testing this area of my map), 2nd Co. decided to hold just out of contact and let 1st Co. push on the far left.

With the help of a platoon of T-34s, MGs and medium mortars, 1st Platoon was able to clear out infantry and an AT gun on the extreme left to gain rear access to buildings on the 3 o'clock of the westernmost Panther. However, that area didn't offer a vehicle exit for flanking the Panther. Meanwhile, 2nd Platoon was able to fight its way to get access to the Panther's 9. Then, I attempted an infantry pincer with a single T-34 charging up the street, hoping to catch the Panther while it was focused on the infantry.

However, the Panther's infantry screen was deeper than I thought and the assault failed. The veterans in my right infantry pincer had trouble organizing themselves on their destination action spot and that gave the Panther time to get off a shot at them and drive them off. Then, a new PS team popped up and nailed my tank as soon as it rounded the curve. Along with that, my two AT teams in the left pincer got intercepted by more surprise infantry. Finally, the Panther turned its attention to my overwatch infantry team in a building and wiped them out with a single round. After that, I regrouped and spent time clearing out the additional German infantry around both sides of the Panther. Eventually, I was able to bag it with another infantry pincer (no tank the second time).

Killling that first Panther gave me access to a vehicle entry point into the inner block area that would give me a chance to flank the second Panther. In order to do that, I had to take the factory talked about in my pic series as a first bridgehead. The defenders there put up a good fight ("No ground given lightly" pic). That fight also confirmed the Panther had a solid infantry screen in the building on its 9.  The "intel" pic was of them taking out my tank supporting the factory assault with a PS throug the alley. Then, I called in an extended barrage on the Panther hoping to eliminate it and its infantry screen without a fight.

While that went on, I used scout, bleed and whack-a-mole to ID and deal with various inner-block defenders denying me a path to the 3 and 6 of the Panther. Eventually, I eliminated or drove them into the out-of-LOS areas of the perimeter buildings of the inner block. The N perimeter buildings are still injun country. All scouts sent in there have died immediately. However, I was able to get them off my back as far as setup for the Panther assault was concerned.

At a certain point, I decided it was time to call off the arty and scout the status of the Panther and infantry screen. That's when the story of Ranbo and Pointy came into being. That takes things up to the assault and results.

The terrain goal is a number of blocks to the N. This is just the first leg to get me past the first (yes, the first) line of Panthers. The perimeter buildings to the N of the current block border on a wide avenue I need to cross to get to the next leg. The "sniper" MG team is in one of the tall buildings on the other side of that avenue covering the same road as the first Panther.

As things stand, 1st Co. is badly mauled. I'm shifting 2nd Co. W to relieve them and push on a single company front, rather than 2-wide as I began. 3rd company and my combat engineer platoon are still in reserve. Alas, 3rd Company is not my best and also took some casualties from stray German heavy rockets in the opening minutes (along with THREE of my AFVs and an AC 😮😭). It might be better to advance with 3rd Co. now and hold 2nd in final reserve.

Anyhoo, it's going to be a long battle and my force may not be enough to get all the way through. I need to be very careful where I spend resources and try to be as smart as possible. If I don't need to take a block, I should bypass it. And, there will be a triggered counterattack at some point, but I honestly can't remember where the trigger is. Dem be Tigers.🙂. I have my battalion ATGs with trucks to help with flank defense.

Not sure if I'll post more pics. I don't what to give too much of the map away. That's why things are staying at eye level, with limited views of the map area.

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PBEM conclusion> How the Guardsmen fight!

The battle was concluded by cease-fire. The game counts it as a German victory. The objective was one giant blob, my opponent occupied it. Such is life. Anyways, the Germans lost 127 killed, 53 heavily wounded and 4 missing in action, while 3 tanks were destroyed (one Tiger II and two Stugs), while the Soviets lost 34 killed, 31 heavily wounded and 4 tanks destroyed. The Germans were played by Kondziu, you can find his youtube channel here > https://www.youtube.com/user/kondziuorisit He posts CM videos.

Captain Astakhov survived, caused roughly 1/4 of all casualties on German side. Molodec!

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Captain Vyroshnikov stood out as well. In the background, a destroyed Stug, his handiwork.

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Some images of the destruction. These MG 34's were particularly painful...

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What happens when you put your fire team in a building/floor with only one window. (avoid doing this)

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What happens when a tank enfilades your position.

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During the course of the battle, one Company HQ team was destroyed. (avoid sheds, they get destroyed with maybe 3 HE-F shells)

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Il-2's, when not busy dropping bombs on my tanks (none were hit), did something useful and destroyed the German Company Fire Support Group! Other mortars were damaged, too, but not knocked out. Still, they didn't fire.

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Edited by Aurelius
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The Enemy Takes Revenge!

As 1st Company assumes overwatch and 3rd Company masses for crossing a main avenue, German heavy artillery comes out of nowhere to pound key Soviet positions. 3rd Company's inexperienced infantry break and run. It is as if the enemy howitzers can read the minds of the fleeing troops. Stray rounds land in exactly the right places. Men fall everywhere.

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It is hell on earth. Soviet forward observers hug the ground for dear life as their building shakes again and again. Throughout the structure, large numbers of soldiers do the same. If building sections begin to collapse, the battalion could lose many key units very quickly.

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From their hiding places, Germans can observe the loss of a Soviet assault gun that thought it was safe enough to turn and help mop up the last defenders in a desired overwatch and jumping off position across the street. The commander of 3rd Company is killed and even 2nd Company in reserve at a distance takes casualties from stray rounds. It is a dark stretch of minutes that may have decided the battle.

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Is this the end of the line?

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Edited by Macisle
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I thought this was a neat little encounter from the last scenario I played:

I ran a full platoon of Germans up to a stone wall and unexpectedly bumped into a bunch of Soviet stragglers hiding on the other side just a few feet away. Two Germans were gunned down immediately and a point blank firefight broke out.

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One of the Germans dropped down and tossed a grenade over the wall.

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The Soviet soldier tried to duck down but the grenade landed literally right underneath him. He went prone directly on top of the grenade, covering it with his body when it exploded.

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The rest of the Soviet troopers were shot pretty quickly, with no further casualties among the Germans.

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I couldn't be sure how many more of them were hiding behind the wall though, so tanks and more infantry were rushed forward in the next turn.

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The fight only lasted a minute or so in the end. I don't think I had ever seen someone toss a grenade at an enemy so close to them in this game before. He could have reached out and touched the other guy. Usually grenades are thrown pretty far and not very accurately either.

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Great shots Bozowans, thanks for posting. I rarely watch the action from such an intimate point of view. These shots look great, especially cropped and even the flowers, which I never even notice when I am commanding from 130 feet up. That last shot, showing the skirmish line, wounded being attended to, casualties,  more men running past and the tank as well is a fantastic image.

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^^ agreed. It is highly recommended to come down from the 100ft view and watch some of the action unfold.

I usually watch the whole turn from higher up to see where things are hot and where they are quiet. Then I'll make a mental note of where I want to follow closer and re-watch the turn multiple times for each of those cases up close and personal. Often with vehicles I'll select them and use the <tab> key to follow the unit. If you leave it selected you can see the enemy it sees pop into and out of view. If you click once away from the unit the camera will still stay locked on the unit but you will have the combined view of the battlefield. With vehicles I usually do this at camera level 2 and with infantry same or sometimes even camera level 1. You can use the 'Q' and 'E' keys or the left and right arrow keys to turn the camera without breaking the camera follow.

Then you will see this great stuff unfolding. You might also see some goofy stuff to but focus on the good stuff :D

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Guards Captain Reutov spots and destroys an enemy tank destroyer.

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It is as Reutov chose this place to throw a track. From his previous actions, he destroyed an enemy Panzer IV (pillar of smoke on the right side of the image) and now a Hetzer. Who knows, maybe Company Commander won't reprimand him for poor maintenance of the tank...

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On the other side of the area of operation, Guards Captain Yakunin destroys an enemy StuG III, thus avenging the fallen comrades of 2nd tank, 2nd platoon!

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Not a sight you want to see as a German commander...

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Bad turn for my opponent...

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