28 September 2013

Polish 7TP vs Soviet Fast tank company AAR

Having painted up a third and final platoon I had a complete 7TP company and David was more  than happy to try his Fast Tank company against it. Historically the Soviet's never encountered any Polish tank forces, by the time they had invaded most of the Polish armor had already been lost to the Germans during the heavy fighting along the western front.

So as this was a "what if" scenario we did not play anything from my September Campaign. Instead I asked if David wanted to try out "Dust Up", a scenario I usually hate because it makes no sense unless you have two identical - or at the very least two mobile - forces fighting it out. Playing Dust Up with infantry vs tanks is just plain dumb. In our  case however, two tank forces worked quite well.

The game was 1500 points and our armies (lists from the September Campaign v.2 book) looked like this:

Polish 7TP light tank company
1x7TP HQ
3 platoons of 5 7TP tanks each
1 platoon with 5 MG armed TKS tankettes
1 motorized anti tank gun platoon (Warsaw Armoured Motorized Brigade)
1 75mm light artillery battery without observer
1 Infantry company, with a single infantry platoon

Soviet Fast Tank company

1x BT-5 HQ
3x platoons of 4 BT-5 tanks each
1x platoon of 4 BT-7A tanks
1x armoured car platoon of 5 BA-10
Limited air support, Polikarpov with bombs
Since David had forgotten to bring his anti-tank guns we agreed that he could field a single T-28 tanks instead. Normally it is not part of the Fast Tank company list, but I figured it would not make a huge impact on the game.
........

I started with infantry, 75mm artillery and a single 7TP tank platoon on the table, pretty much hugging the small cluster of ruins in my corner of the table. David started with two platoons of BT-5 tanks and his armoured cars on the table, and spread out to prevent me from making any attempts on flanking his position. We soon realized that this scenario is all about waiting for reinforcements - so that is what we did. And with our luck it took 3 turns before things started to happen, as the first "pity" reinforcements began arriving (this is probably the single best change in the version 3 Flames of War book).

David's plane managed to bomb my positions and reduce the strength of the 75mm artillery, but I had enough guns left to keep his tanks and armoured cars away. A small skirmish took place between one of my tank platoons and his armoured cars that lasted 2 turns during which a single 7TP was destroyed.

It wasn't until all reinforcements arrived for the Poles that things started to happen, a massed tank attack on the left flank with Polish tank platoons at close range - exposing myself to crossfire from BT tanks and BA cars. A fierce duel saw the destruction of the Soviet tanks in the woods, but the Poles also suffered several  casualties in all of their tank platoons.

Meanwhile on the opposite flank, freshly arrived Soviet artillery tanks began destroying infantry positions and the remaining 75mm guns, the Polish line was under heavy stress.

It was at this point when the Soviet's managed to seize the objective outside of the ruins and threathened to win the battle. The Poles sent forward the 75mm artillery commander on a suicide run to contest the objective and buy some time. As this was going on another Soviet tank platoon was rushing on the double towards the objectives in the Soviet deployment zone under threat of being captured by advancing Polish tanks. The hasty countermeasure would prove to be the undoing of the Soviet tanks, as the Poles rushed forwards and with the help of the freshly deployed anti-tank gun fired at both the tanks and the armoured cars, destroying and bailing everyone. The tanks were destroyed but the armoured cars stayed in place - it was a moment like this that I wished I had some infantry to finish off those baied out enemy tanks.

The Soviet side once again captured the Polish objective, having killed the artillery platoon commander. The only way to prevent instant defeat was to send forth the company commander who had been left with the infantry to precent the defense from routing. The company command tank was the only model with enough range to reach and contest the objective -and that is what happened. The Soviet tanks tried to destroy the Polish commander, but only managed to bail him out! Finally the Soviets threw their T-28 into the ruins and attacked the infantry which was pushed back - but all objectives in the Polish deployment zone were still under Polish control.

On the other flank, the Polish tanks now captured one of the Soviet objectives and the game was over. It had been an intense fight, and though the Soviet side lost more tanks the Poles were quite badly beaten up across the board - even though they had only lost a single platoon (the 75mm artillery).

4 comments:

  1. It looks to be a well balanced game and a lot of fun.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, games between the Poles and the Soviet lists from my book have been "on the knife" most of the time and I've had a lot of fun playing with David. David in turn is more than happy to play, as my Soviet lists are played on a smaller level compared to the official lists from Battlefront. This means that he often gets to try out new units and play with new models ahead of having complete official EW/MW lists from the Battlefront briefings.

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  2. Sounds like it was a lot of fun! Great report with pictures!

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