As promised,here is the After Action Report for the Flames of War battle I had back in August. Given the amount of time that has passed, I’m a bit sketchy on the detail, but there are plenty of pictures and I recall enough to give a general outline of the order of the engagement.
Both forces were 1000pts (from memory)
The Hungarian force consisted of:
Three Puskas platoons with three sections each – although I can’t recall if I made them Rifle/MG teams
A weapons platoons with three HMGs and two light mortar teams
Two MG platoons with three HMGs
A mortar platoon with four mortars and an observer team
Puskas anti-tank platoon with four 40mm guns
Artillery platoon with four 149mm howitzers and observer team.
A tank platoon with five Panzer T-38Gs.
The Soviet force consisted of:
A HQ with two obr1942 45mm anti-tank guns
Three strelokovy companies, each with two platoons, a Maxim HMG and light mortar team
A mortar platoon with three squads and observer team
A light tankovy company with 10 T70 light tanks (T60 models used in proxy)
Completely treeless and using two of the three hills I had finished at that point, the Soviets would be attacking from the farm side of the field, moving up the road, over the rail line and across the open ground with the objective of capturing one (or both) of the two hills.
Unfortunately my mate was a little under the weather from the night before, so abstained. So I got to enjoy an excellently poured poured beer on my own.
I deployed my weapons platoon with HMGs and light mortars on the western hill, the AT guns in the centre of my line on the road and another HMG platoon on the eastern hill. The observer team was on the outside edge of that hill, spotting for the howitzers at the very back of the field. The rest of my force was in reserve, I placed the Panzers in ambush. The soviets were deployed in a massive horde at the southern end of the field. Western flank held the T70s, then the strelokovy stretched the rest of the line, with the mortars back behind.
Order of Battle
The Soviets, being the attacker, had first turn and moved everything up. What little shooting there was caused no casualties, although my HMGs on the western hill became pinned (if I recall correctly).
In response my 40mm guns took out a single T70 to draw first blood.
In turn two the Soviets continued their advance while their shooting remained as fruitless as the first turn. The issue was that the Hungarian forces were in prepared positions and the Soviets lacked the fire power to clear any teams out. The MGs and AT guns were pinned, but promptly unpinned and in response took out another couple of T70s. Also on the western flank the Panzers sprung their ambush from the back of the hill, knocking out another T70. Meanwhile on the eastern flank the strelokovy were pinned by MG and artillery fire, though casualities were limited.
Turn three was the turn mistakes were made – both of the error of judgement kind and the error of rules (possibly) kind. The strelokovy on the eastern flank failed to unpin (even with the Commissar’s “encouragement”) but the rest of the forces moved up. Shooting took out a single AT gun after which my mate decided he would assault the T70s up the western hill into the MGs in an attempt to dislodge them. At this point I conducted defensive fire, however it only occurred to me after that tanks might not be able to use main guns in defensive fire. I’ve not actually doubled checked this, but if it is the case, then the assault would not have been the disaster it turned out to be. Or at least more T70s would have made it in to base contact and the odds would be far more favourable than they turned out to be. In the end the charge was a disaster: a number or T70s were taken out when they gunned their engines into the MGs. The lone T70 that made it through was eventually overwhelmed and promptly surrendered.
That mistake (either on my part or his) really made it an impossible task to take the western hill. The strelokovy on that flank were gunned down over the next two turns. Meanwhile on the eastern flank the lead strelokovy company was whittled down and, if I recall correctly, pulled back to the rear rather than destroyed. The company that followed suffered the same sorts of debhilitating losses as it crossed the rail line and so we decided to call it there.
The image above goes a long way to detailing the Soviet’s failures, but a different outcome for the T70 assault would likely made for a much closer game – my reserves didn’t start showing till turn 4!
That all said, the game did actually make for some nice images I think. I really need to get some Zis-3s for my Soviets or other heavier firepower to deal with dug in units. I think next time if we do a defensive mission I’ll make sure the T34s and Panzer IV F2s are fielded to give an assaulting Soviet force a more significant punch.
Victory to the Hungarians!
I’m not sure when our next game will be, but I’m very much hoping we can play on a more regular basis and probably rotate through Flames of War, Bolt Action and SAGA – when forces for the latter two are ready. I’ve finished off my Anglo-Danes and hope to post up images this weekend. I’m also on the home stretch with my next 10 28mm trees so they’ll not be far away either. I’m not sure if I will get stuck into my Welsh or continue with the German infantry I started getting together last week next, or maybe do something completely different… Until next time, happy wargaming.