My army comprised as per last blog here
I was playing against our regular Soviet Player, Tim Miller.
He was fielding the Soviet Heavy Assault Gun Company which is not affected by the new Hens & Chicks rule in V3.
Roughly he had:
1 x IS2 tank (Command IC)
1 x ISU 122 platoon (3 ISU 122 w. tank escorts & V.S. Rat as Hero)
1 x ISU 122 platoon (3 ISU 122 w. tank escorts)
1 x KV85 platoon (3 KV85)
1 x AA Platoon (3 Bofors 40mm AA w. Command team)
1 x Sturmovik (Limited Air)
So we were playing on this table featured below
Are we in Frenchie Bocage country Herr Leutnant? I thought we are in Russia!
We rolled for the mission to play and rolled Dust Up (Fair Fight). Tim had just steam rollered another Panzerkompanie list by our resident FOW player and organizer Derek since he was playing only PZ IVHs which can't pierce Tim's thick front armor of his ISU 122 assault guns. So he was quite confident to face my list as well.
For me, I was frantically assembling and painting up my PSC Panthers for the past few days and was on adrenaline rush to try out my Panthers.
I chose my Panzer Scouts and Pz IVHs platoon in reserves while Tim chose his KV85s and another ISU 122 platoon in reserve. We had indicate our objectives as close to our deployment zone.
I started first as attacker and decided on a shoot and sneak tactic with my Panthers. My armored cab AAs were placed around my Panthers to ward off those damn Jabos. My Panthers hid behind the hill and waited for the Soviets to move. The stalking has begun! Suprisingly my Sporadic Air showed up and got blasted apart by 40mm AA fire from the Soviet AA guns dug in around the objective!
Tim moved his ISU122 out of cover and moved towards his objective. He launched his Jabos to my Panthers and were promptly shot down by my armored AAs (in V3 Sturmoviks no longer has the reroll hits ability, but receive a +1 to firepower to destroy.)
Seeing the ISU122 coming out of cover, the Panther commander promptly signalled to his platoon to take hull down position over the hill and try some long range shots. One of the shots promptly hit and destroyed a ISU122! The Panther platoon stormtrooper back behind the hill to avoid the ISU 122 return fire. The Panther 2IC decided an audicious move towards the objective nearest to the Soviet deployment zone.
Air support - failed to appear.
As one of their comrades exploded in a shower of steel, Tim decided to take the safest approach and tried moving out of firing fields of the Panther platoon. They knew as well they need to eliminate the Panther 2IC.
They send the Jabos again and the armored AA managed to shot down both Jabos!
The Panzer IVH platoon deployed into the reserves quarter and moved towards the Soviet AA platoon dug in around their objective corner.
The Luftwaffe as well promptly....didn't appear. The Panthers moved up the hill again and their shots missed. The Panther 2IC scored a hit but no damage to the ISU122s.
Tim rolled for reserves as well and none came. He maneuvred closer to the objectives. He also moved his IC moving in his IS2 tank toward the objective. The Jabos came again and screamed down towards the Panthers with AA fire bursting around. This time they managed to destroy a Panther! (We were joking the armored AAs ran out of ammo as they shot the Sturmoviks).
Arrghh!! The Jabos got me!
The Panzer Scout platoon came and motorcycled their way to the edge of the field of the nearest German objective. The Panther 2IC tried a long range shot at the rear of the IS2 IC tank which gave him a hit! But the IS2 IC just bailed out...The ISU 122 platoon had inched forward toward the objective in the German corner blocked by a building.
The PZIVH platoon came on and shot their MGs towards the Soviet AA platoon and promptly pinned them down. Of which they assaulted the lonely AA gun. (the rest were deployed further away from my assault range.) Their tracks grinded the stricken AA gun crew! I realised then we can't do breakthrough assaults in V3 and therefore my PZIVH platoon is now in the open!
The PZIVHs charged the Soviet AA positions!
The Objective that Tim was aiming was the green base on the right of this picture where as I was aiming for the US marker with my Panzer Scouts.
Both of Tim's reserves came onto the board, his KV85 platoon moved forward to support the push towards the German corner objective and the other ISU122 platoon came onboard as well.
Soviet Reserves came onboard and joined into the armored storm!
The ISU122 platoon that had been hiding in the treeline came out and shot at the PZIVH, the IS2 IC went back to his tank and tried shooting the PZIVHs as well.
Their combined shots destroyed two of the hapless PZIVHs.
Long range shots by the Soviets destroyed the 1st PZIVHs and later another one...
The Panther Platoon w. Panther IC decided to move to contest but may not be enough time to cover the distance. (One of my tactical mistake...!) I moved as well my exposed Panther 2IC towards the objective. I eventually had a Stuka came in and managed to get a shot at the ISU 122 that was inching towards the building but failed to hit! The omens are showing....
The Panzer Scouts dismounted and started moving through the field towards their objective.
The PZIVH platoon decided it's better to continue the assault against the Soviet AA platoon then getting stuck against the IS2 and ISU122. Their assault managed to destroy another AA gun crew and its command team but Tim rolled their morale check and they managed to stay onboard!
The IS2 and ISU122 platoon now decided to pay attention the audicious Panther 2IC and promptly blew it up to bits! The KV85s tried shooting the Panzer Scouts which destroyed 2 squads. Meanwhile the ISU122 platoon moved closer to their objective. They have controlled 1 objective and contesting 2 objectives.
This was turn 5 at least when the ISU122 platoon was inching towards that building which is near to the objective.
The PZIVHs consolidated behind the hill and realised the IS2 and ISU122 are nearby to contest the objective. The Panzer Scouts decided to dig in and survive the HE bombardments by the Soviet tanks. The Panther Platoon is now moving towards the objective and concluded they are too far away to contest the objective.
The Panzerkompanie decided to retire from this battlefield.
Objectives Contested : 2
Objecties Lost : 1
Conclusion: 6:1 Win to Soviets
It was really a fun game with low platoon strength (it was 4 platoons!) and I was quite pleased with the Panthers' performance in LW. Their gun was a deciding factor where even heavy tanks such as the IS2 and ISUs quaked in fear to such firepower. It's quite telling the obselescence of the PZIVH in LW as their 75L40 gun is unable to pierce effectively even the rear of a IS2!!
In V3 I realised the importance of AA coverage as well the effect of air support even if you are using Sporadic, it does provide intimidating factor to your opponent with their auto range in.
I was hesitant to move up my Panthers agressively and thus giving Tim the initiative for his ISU122s to creep to the objectives.
There's always another battle to try again!