Tuesday, March 04, 2014

RM12.1 The Return of the Black Guards


This game was played on 22 February 2014.
Players were Jan, Andreas, Goeg and Palle.

For convenience, I shall refer to the left and right flanks as seen from the perspective of the map.

Both sides deployed across their edge of the table with the Black Guards (Palle and Goeg) deploying their tanks at once. Goeg positioned his first tank on the left flank, guarding the forest road, and he placed his second tank on the parallel road, facing towards the bombed out tank factory. Palle placed both his heavy tanks in the open ground of the far right flank, using the trees as partial cover and left his light tank to cover the ruins of the centre. Andreas placed his commander's tank in the trees facing Goeg's tank on the left flank. He left his second tank off map. Jan placed all three of his tanks in the centre ground of the railway siding. Palle and Goeg concentrated their infantry behind the central ruins whilst Jan and Andreas spread their infantry between the centre and left flank. Most all of Andreas' men were on the left flank.

Firing commenced with Goeg opening up a barrage against Andreas' forces on the left flank. Having established that the T-28 was impervious to his K4's guns, Goeg turned his attention to the infantry. He kept up a prolonged barrage that lasted for most of the game and which, despite their using cover to their best advantage, eventually annihilated a large proportion of Andrea's foot soldiers. Jan's Aglatean infantry hesitated for lack of movement points and were unable to move much from beyond their initial starting ground.

 Both sides held their ground cautiously for most of the first half of the game. Palle and Goeg were wary of the T-35's greater fire power, and Jan and Andreas were out numbered. The T-35 dominated the central ground but largely by default as it wasn't really being challenged. Eventually Goeg moved his second K4 heavy tank up the central road but Jan countered this with his light tanks, blocking the road and using the flame thrower tank to set fire to the tank factory building.

Palle edged his two tanks closer up the right flank in order to find a way of combating the T-35, but this was countered by Andreas who brought his second T-28 onto the map, behind the rail workers shack (not actually shown on the map as it was a later addition) on the far right flank. Trying to establish a lethal cross fire was very much the order of the day with both sides having difficulty bringing enough guns to bear to do any serious damage.

With both sides idling in an apparent Mexican stand off, Andreas then played his joker, a Polikarpov I-16 with six underwing rockets and twin 20mm cannon. He deployed his aircraft against Palle's tanks which were close enough together to bring them both within the rockets damage radius. Unfortunately Andreas rolled badly (both sides were plagued with poor dice rolls all day) and the joker failed. Palle continued to edge for a good firing position with both sides trading ineffectual shots across the right flank.

 Eventually Goeg brought his second K4 far enough up the central road to threaten the T-35 from the left. Palle brought both his tanks up and threatened from the right. It looked for a while as if the T-35 might be knocked out, allowing the Black Guards to secure the centre. Whilst this was happening however, Jan's two light tanks were moving in and around the centre with the twin turreted T-26 engaging the infantry who were trying to close on the storage building (even running some of them over) and the Kht-26 flamethrower tank moving right around the left flank to approach from the rear.

The game ended before either side could deliver a decisive attack and the end result was a narrow victory to the Black Guards, largely thanks to the initial bombardment of Andrea's infantry by Goeg's command tank on the left flank.

I think we had a good game and fun was had by all. I missed Oleg's presence, but in a way he was with us in spirit as the tank factory was one of his models I had completed, and then named after him. There will be a smaller follow up game in the next few weeks but Andreas was only with us for the one session unfortunately as he lives in Oslo. 

No comments: