Fire on the Kinzigsee part 3
The Soviets are ever so close to prying open the road to the north map-edge. Let’s see if they can finish the job this turn.
Once again the turn starts off with the Fox 2/11th ACR. The Soviet infantry didn’t get a chance to rally last turn and so the M1 in 1K11 decides to fire on them again. It gets two hits and the infantry whiff on them both and is eliminated. The ITV fires at the BMP/HQ stack in 2F9. It is at Extended Range but the ITV still manages to get two hits which the BMP fails to save and it is Disrupted and reduced.
Next out of the Activation Deck is the Cobra. The T-80s in 2O10 are the obvious targets. The Cobra sends an ATGM towards the reduced T-80. The Cobra gets three hits but the T-80 saves all but one and is Disrupted.
The second 1/4 11th ACR card comes out next and the Cobra will this time target the full strength T-80 in the same hex. It gets four hits this time and the T-80 can only save two and is Disrupted and reduced.
The M1s from the C1-32/3 3rd AD are activated next. The full strength M1 and HQ fire at the T-80/HQ stack in 2M12 and gets three hits. The T-80 saves none of them and is wrecked. The HQ is reduced and sent to the Suppressed HQ box. The reduced M1 fires across the river at the reduced T-80. It only gets a single hit but the T-80 saves it.
The Fox 2/11th ACR have their second Activation card drawn. The ITV switches direction and aims a shot at the T-55 in 1K3. It only gets two hits but the T-55 wasn’t built for this sort of firepower and doesn’t save any of the them and is wrecked. The M1 fires at the BTR-60 in 1G7. It only gets one hit but the BTR is unable to save it and is Disrupted.
The Battlefield Event card is drawn next and a 6 is rolled and the US gets the Overwatch Set event. The C1-32/3 3rd AD is chosen and the Ops Complete markers are removed from them.
This is fortuitous as the Soviet 2/15th GTR is activated next. There is no HQ and so all of the hexes have to test to see if they are Out of Command. Only the two full strength T-80s in 2M11 are Out of Command. Three of the other units fail to rally and so there is only a single full strength T-80 in 2M10 that can activate. It doesn’t have an LOS to the M1s in 2P10 and if it moves to fire it will get hit by M1 Op Fire. Not a fun situation to be in. It decides to move into 2N10 and try to fire. The full strength M1 in 2P10 declares an Op Fire action but it only hits once! The T-80 saves the hit and fires at the reduced M1 in the hex. It only manages to hit once though and the M1 easily saves it.
An End of Operations card is drawn and then the C1-32/3 3rd AD have their second Activation card drawn. The full strength M1 fires at the top T-80 in 2O10. It only gets two hits which the T-80 is able to save. The reduced M1 fires at the exposed T-80 in 2N10. It doesn’t want to shoot into 2O10 and potentially unblock the bridge for other T-80s next turn. It fires and hits once and the T-80 is able to save.
The 2/120th GMRR is activated next and that means that one of the reserved EoP cards is put back into the deck. It is only at this point that I realise that the loaded BTR-60 in 1J2 is outside the range of the HQ. I still move the HQ to 1J2 as this is where I deem it more important to be as I need that BTR-60 to activate and unload. The two other units check and are both Out of Command. The BTR-60 in 1G7 tries to rally but fails. The other BTR unloads the Soviet infantry into 1J3. Hopefully next turn it can fire a Sagger at an M1.
The 3/117th GMRR is the last formation to activate. There are now only two End of Operations cards left in the deck. The HQ redeploys to the BMP in 2J8. The BMP in 2F9 fails to rally and then other BMP tries to fire at the Cobra hovering in front of it. It misses and that flurry of inactivity ends the turn.
The Soviet 2/15th GTR HQ is moves from the Suppressed Box and deployed with the T-80s in 2M11.
The Soviets were not able to force their way through 2O10 this turn but maybe their luck will change for the better in the next turn.
This new turn starts out with the plucky lads from the Soviet 2/120th GMRR being activated. Their HQ is redeployed back to the T-55 in 1G6. The BTR unloaded last turn and it isn’t necessary for it to do anything now. Interestingly enough it passes a check and is still in command. The Disrupted BTR in 1G7 fails to rally but that is also unimportant. The infantry in 1J3 equip the Sagger and then fire a round at the M1 in 1K11. It hits with all three dice but with its reactive armour the M1 saves all of the hits. The T-55/HQ stack moves into 1H6 and announces a Move and Fire attack at the M1. The M1 declares Op Fire and hits once. Normally this would be a ‘gimme’ but this is a T-55 so when the unit actually saves it is a relief. The T-55 shoots and actually hits once but this time it is a ‘sure thing’ and the M1 saves.
Perhaps the T-55 and Sagger fire woke them up but for whatever reason the Fox 2/11th ACR get their first activation. Both the T-55 and the Sagger infantry are within regular range but not at Point Blank. The Sagger is a more pressing threat and taking out the HQ at this point would be meaningless since the formation already activated. So the M1 rotates the turret and sends rounds downrange at the infantry. It gets a single hit and the infantry do not save it and are disrupted. The ITV doesn’t want to change position to the other side of the hill as it would be a much juicier target for the Sagger. Instead it stays put and continues to fire at the BMP/HQ stack in 2J8. With the help of its HQ it gets five hits(!) and there is nothing the BMP can do but explode. The HQ is already reduced and it is moved to the Suppressed Holding Box. The ITV fails its Ammo Check and is marked as Loading.
Next out of the Activation Deck is the Battlefield Event card. This time the roll is a 4 which is a weather change. Excitement builds but the roll is an 8 which is Clear Weather. Boo!
The battered M1s of the C1-32/3 3rd AD are activated next. The HQ decides that since both T-80s in 2O10 are Disrupted that an Assault is what is needed to take the village back. The stack moves from 2P10 to 2P9. None of the GO T-80s have LOS and so there is no Op Fire. They continue into the village and Assault the T-80s there. The M1s get three hits and the T-80s get none in return. This wrecks both T-80s and the American tanks triumphantly take back control of what little remains of the village.
Two End of Operations cards are drawn in succession and the turn ends. Two EoP cards are kept out for the 2/15th GTR and the 3/117th GMRR as well as the Cobra from the 1/4 11th ACR.
They ended turn 7 and they start turn 8, the M1s of the 1-32/3 3rd AD get to go first. The reduced M1 fires at the adjacent T-80 in 2N10. It somehow only gets one hit which glances off the T-80’s armour. The full strength M1 fires across that T-80 at the T-80/HQ stack in 2M11. It gets three hits on the top T-80 which saves all potential damage. Hopefully they will get to act again before the T-80s are activated.
Next to go is the Cobra. It has been hovering over this tree for so long that it has started to make a nest. The T-80 stuck in the open at 2N10 makes a tempting target and the Cobra fires an ATGM at it. It generates two hits but the T-80 saves them all. At least it passes its Ammo Check.
The Battlefield Event card is drawn and it is the High Rate of Fire event which goes to the Americans. They choose the M1s. We go through the exact same process again. The reduced M1 fires and manages to Disrupt the T-80 in 2N10 and the full strength M1 fires at the HQ stack in 2M11 and manages to Disrupt the top T-80. Nothing exciting but at least they will have to make Morale Checks before they can try to take the village back.
The Fox 2/11th ACR card is drawn next. The ITV fails its Reload Check and is marked with a Low Ammo counter. Before I decide what to do with the ITV, the M1 fires more rounds at the Sagger infantry in 1J3. It only gets one hit and the infantry are able to save it and avoid being reduced. That makes moving the ITV to the other side of the hill a worrying prospect since it will certainly melt if it gets hit with a Sagger round. Instead it will Move and Fire at the T-55/HQ in 1H6. The T-55 sees what is coming towards it and Op Fires but is unable to get a round on target. The ITV fires and manages to Disrupt the T-55 with its last TOW round.
The 2/15th GTR is activated next so their reserved EoP card is put back into the Activation Deck. Unfortunately for the M1s, all of the Soviet tanks make their Morale Checks and rally. The T-80 in 2N10 moves to 2O9 and fires at the reduced M1. It only hits once and the M1 easily makes its saving rolls. The reduced T-80 in 2M10 fires at the same M1. It hits with both dice but the M1 saves the damage again. Finally the T-80s and HQ in 2M11 decide to rush into the city and Assault the M1s. If they don’t break through now they can’t win.
Each side generates three hits. One T-80 is reduced and both are Disrupted. They retreat back into 2N10. One M1 is reduced and both are Disrupted but they manage to just barely stay in control of the village.
The US Fox 2/11th ACR has its second Activation Card drawn. The HQ transfers to the M1 and the ITV retreats back into the woods in 1L11. The M1 decides to fire at the T-55 to see if it can remove the formations’ HQ before it activates. And that is exactly what happens. The M1 gets four hits and the T-55 saves none of them. It explodes and the HQ is reduced and moved to the Suppressed Holding Box.
An End of Operations card is drawn and then the Soviet 2/120th GMRR are activated. All of the units fail their Command checks and are marked as Out of Command. The BTR and the infantry also fail to rally. Well that was a quick activation.
The last unit of the 3/117th GMRR now gets a chance to activate. The reduced HQ is placed with it in 1F9 and it attempts to rally which it does. There are no valid targets for it in its current position so it moves north to try to help out the T-80s. It moves around the east side of the woods to avoid being a target for the Cobra and ends in 2K13 but it doesn’t have an LOS to the M1s in 2O10 from there.
The M1s are activated next. Both of the M1s manage to rally and they really have no option other than to fire. The M1/HQ fires at one of the reduced T-80s in 2N10. It gets two hits but the T-80 saves them both. The other M1 fires into the same stack and isn’t even able to get a single hit.
The Cobra is activated next. It fires an ATGM at the T-80/HQ in 2N10. It gets three hits of which the T-80 saves two which is enough to Disrupt it.
The second End of Operations card is drawn to end the turn. The Soviets have seven ground units left and have enough troops to possibly win but they are now too far away from the north edge of the map to make it and so the game is called and the Americans are given the win.
I spent a long time thinking that this was going to be a cakewalk for the Soviets after the US lost two Bradleys, a Cobra and had an M2 reduced. Once the Hind-E was removed from the game and the BMPs from the 3/117th GMRR were taken out, the Soviets didn’t have enough of a threat to the American units on the table. That might have been less of a problem if I remembered to use Volley Fire for the Soviets. Oops.
The Hind was pulled from the game just as I was moving it to engage the M1s. I think that if I was able to use it to take out even one M1 that the GTR formation would have been able to push past the village in 2O10 and start heading north. Perhaps next time I will dedicate the Hind to finding the M1s and taking them out?
I also should not have split the Cobras up. I think they would have been much deadlier as a pair attacking the same formation. Similarly the Chaparral was poorly placed and I need to spend some time to think about how to use it. On this map it was quite easy to keep the Hind out of LOS and I had originally thought that the Hind would be at a height such that the hill the Chaparral was behind wouldn’t be a problem. That was never the case. Always check the terrain table.
On the face of it this looks impossible for the US to win but even losing the Bradleys wasn’t as much of an issue as I thought it would be. The two GMRR formations are not well suited for it but I think that they need to keep on the move and not get bogged down trying to fully engage the US forces. Perhaps some sort of two-stage ‘move and shoot’ where part of the formation moves and the rest stays and fires?
The Soviets don’t have any AA in this scenario but the T-55 proved to be more than up to the task. The gun is quite horrible but the effect of that is that the T-55 is almost unaffected by the modifiers for firing at a flying unit. This isn’t a bug or a glitch but just an example of how a bad vehicle can still find a niche in a game.