And what a great day it was! It all went very smoothly – a tribute to the obvious hard work of the chaps of SESWC – and the show seemed very well attended as usual. There were 3 Lardie games there (Dux Brit and ITLSU as well as my CoC game) and we were all grouped close together, which was ideal.
Anyway, the game. I had 2 people who had not played CoC before and who were keen to give it a go. This was yet another scenario in the ongoing WINTER STORM campaign and, by this stage, we are well into the German drive on Stalingrad. The main defensive lines have been broken, 4th Cavalry Corps, which had posed a threat to the left flank of 6th Panzer Division, has been dealt with and the Panzers are driving north. They have crossed the Aksay River and pushed ahead to meet the Soviet reinforcements rushing to the area, aiming to defeat them in detail as they arrive.
The scenario itself saw 11th Panzer Regiment clash with the lead elements of 13th Tank Corps in an all armour battle. The Germans has 3 x Pz IIIJ (one with a senior leader) and one Pz IVG. The Soviets had 3 x T34/76 (one with a senior leader) and 2 x T70. The Germans had a radio net and a pool of 4 extra Command Dice to use one at a time at their discretion and this command and control advantage was to prove key!
We ran a patrol phase first – it suited the meeting nature of the engagement and I had tanks deploying from JOPs, which also worked well. The Soviets pushed forward hard on both flanks whilst the Germans held the centre. First on were the German Senior Leader in his Pz III and the Pz IV. Both deployed right centre. Two T34s then appeared on the Soviet left taking advantage of a forward JOP and they proceeded to try and turn the German flank on this side. The combined fire of the PzIII and PzIV gradually dealt with the second T34 – it’s main gun went, it was immobilised and the crew finally bailed. This prompted a Section Breaks throw on the Bad Things Happen Table. Meanwhile, the other T34 had turned the flank and engaged another Pz III that had come on in the centre, wounding the tank commander. That Pz III moved into dead ground and started towards the German left/Soviet right – more of this in a moment! The Senior Leader’s T34 then engaged the German senior leader’s Pz III, finally knocking it out (a Section Lost throw). The senior leader dashed across to the Pz IV and the duel continued with the T34 taking gun sight damage.
The other flank proved, however, to be decisive. The 2 Soviet T70s had come on here and tried to turn the German left, where there were also some vulnerable looking JOPs! They pushed forward hard and all the Germans could do was deploy the last Pz III to counter them. A firefight ensued with the Germans taking hits and being immobilised but the first T70 went up in flames (Section lost and Junior Leader lost tests! Soviet force morale was dropping). The second T70 forced a bail out but the other Pz III from the centre, shock recovered and with its commander slowly bleeding into unconciousness, had put itself into a prime position and KABOOOOM! Up went the second T70 and Soviet morale failed.
What of the 3rd T34? It made it on in the centre, but was not able to influence the action. So, another German victory and the march goes on!
How did the rules work in this all armour clash – brilliantly! No adjustment was needed at all. I didn’t use the more devastating advanced rules and this proved sound in this case; with more tanks, I would have done just that. The real difference was the C2 – the Germans on average activated 2 tanks each turn, although one was often by radio – to the Soviet’s 1 1/2. The Germans used their extra dice well to try and seize and maintain the initiative, allowing them to exploit opportunities better and it was this C2 that made the difference. The Soviet commander found it all a bit more disjointed, as it should have been. Overall, a great success – who said CoC is only for infantry!
Monty the Desert Rat
And here are the photos: