|Sowchos 79 with the Russians occupying the village on one side of the crossroad. Nice and wintery although a sudden local warm-snap had inexplicably melted the snow off several trees.|
|My Panzer III belting down the road towards town when he notices something very large and mechanical coming round the bend at the other end of town... oh crap - its a KV!|
|I rushed one section up to the other side of the road and let the Russians have it! Note jump-off marker - it was as close as I could get to the village before Andrew locked it off with one of his in the nearest house (just behind the tree).|
|Two choices facing a KV - run away immediately or just shoot and keep shooting! My plucky Panzer scored some lucky initial hits, getting three shells into him taking out the hull MG (puff of white smoke above) and giving the KV two pins.|
|The Russian response was predictably brutal with the KV putting several holes in the Panzer and killing the gunner. Also got two pin markers but remarkably nothing blew up in the tank - just a bit more ventilation - just what you need in winter!|
|The other side of the table showing Luke's men about to make the much more hazardous advance in the open. I can't remember if the STuG is his or mine but I don't think it got more than one or two shots off before the game ended.|
|Luke's men rush across the flat open steppe towards yonder Russian-infested forest. Game or what?|
|Jason's Russian AT rifle in the woods - they got some shots in but I don't know if they stopped anything.|
|Jason's commander - clearly a revisionist shirker who spent most of his time shouting orders at no-one in particular from behind the safety of a hill.|
|"If you go into the woods today..." Russians hoped to provide a big surprise for the Germans rushing at them but Andrew never managed to get enough of them on the table and I don't know what happened to his KV.|
|In contrast, without an off-table barrage to contend with, Luke's Germans had no such difficulties: a squad shelters in the woods and contemplates the hazardous dash across the open ground in front of them.|
On his side of the table Jason had not suffered much loss but it didn't matter as everything on the other side of the frozen river was gone before he could get most of his units engaged. I tallied Russian losses on my side of the table at around 40 men - three and a half squads, a Maxim HMG & 5 man crew and two? KV crew for the loss of one Panzer crewman, one NCO and four Schutzen (and two or more holes in my Panzer III). Quite a result but I will admit I got lucky - the Maxim could have easily annihilated my squad jumping the wall on the road to assault the house - had not a lucky mortar round (I think it was) took out another of the MG crew. Equally any of the three or four hits the KV got on my Panzer III could have destroyed it - then it could have been a very different story. Anyway, now they've cleared out Sowchos 79 the Germans can get on and rescue the 6th Army in Stalingrad right?
I enjoy Bolt Action but I do find Chain of Command far more satisfying. Just the difficulty of getting orders out to get your units to do what they must accurately reflects what it must have been like in the chaos of combat.
Got to thank Matt and the boys for inviting us to Goulburn and for Andrew, Jason and Luke for a great day's gaming.