First Tank Battle
Eastern Front #25
|(Attacker) Romania||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Romania||1st “Romania Mare” Armored Division|
|Soviet Union||16th Tank Division|
|Overall Rating, 21 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 177 of 573|
|Parent Game||Eastern Front|
|Maps||2: 1, 8|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
The Royal Armored Division crossed the Prut River into Soviet-occupied Basarabia on 3 July 1941, and on the next day fought its first tank battle against the Soviet 16th Tank Division near the town of Brinzeni. Romanian morale would never be higher than these first days of combat, when the troops saw themselves as liberators of Romanian national territory.
The Romanians out-maneuvered and out-shot the Soviet tankers, who reacted very slowly to the Axis attack. The Royal Armored Division rolled on toward the Dnester River bridges.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
This was my first Romanian scenario to test out their units. Both sides started off board so there was no setup to start. The Romanian tanks are slightly inferior to the Soviets so they will have to try to manuever and try to force the Soviet tanks toward the AT guns. The Soviets must move quickly to establish a good line of attack to force themselves through the roads. The scenario starts with the Romanians getting two activations before the Soviets move. They move the tanks up the road and the AT guns to follow to set up a road block as close to the border of boards 1/8. An motorcycles follows with the remained of the infantry moving up to establish flank security in the woods and fields on board 1. The Soviets move on board with all units moving up the road, trying to stay together to maximize firepower. The Romanian motorcycle leader orders the OBA to harrass the advancing Soviets. The next turn has the Romanians starting gain. The get the 47mm AT guns setup on the road to prevent the Soviet tanks to rumble down the road. The motorcycle company move foward to try to get the Soviets to deploy there infantry soon than they would like, while the Romanian tanks move to the flanks north and south, while infantry get into a position to support the AT guns. The Soviets move forward and engage the motorcycle company with the Soviet tanks score some disruptions. The Soviet tanks deploy to counter the Romanian flanking manuever by having the T26's move to a position to attack them on the next turn. Soviet mortars deploy and the infantry moves up but does not deploy. Romanian OBA tries again to harass the Soviet infantry. At 11:00 the Romanian tanks engage the T26's, shots miss and the Soviets engage and score one kill. Romanian OBA finds its target and demoralizes a Soviet mounted infantry. Soviet infanry move up out of range of the Romanian AT guns and dismount. Romanin infantry finish diging in around the AT guns and look to engage them in the next turn. The Soviet T-28's move up with the infantry to support their attacks. The next turn lights up with two engagements, the tanks to the north and the Soviet infantry looking to assualt the Romanian AT guns. The Romanians win and start with the tanks fight. This time the Romanians score a kill but so do the Soviets. The Soviets move up the infantry on the AT guns. Romanian OP fire slows the advance with several disruptions, support fire from Soviet HMG's disrupt some of the dug in infantry. The Soviet T-28s look to flank in the south but run into a platoon of R-2's with infantry support. Romanian OBA targets the center Soviet attacks with no effect. Next turn starts with Soviets moving first, they continue the assualt in the center, one Romanian dug in infantry is assaulted without effect. Other Soviet infantry recover from disruptions. Romanian tanks continue to engage the T-26's and score another kill. The T26's retire back to the road. The T-28's trade shots with the R-2 platoon with no effect. The Soviets continue the center assualt and attack another dugin infantry. Both assualts yield no results other than tying down units. The Romanian tanks chase after the retreating T26's to try to flank the Soviets. The T28's retires to support the T26's.
Halfway though the scenario has the Soviets with a frontal assualt on the east-west road while their flanking manuevers have failed and the Romanian tanks look to flank them. The Soviets push the center attack, get the assualt results of a disruption and demoralization. The Soviet tanks take fire from the Romanians without effect, while they score another kill on them. At this point the Romanians see they are outnumbered and look to pull back. The motorcycle company moves up to cover the tank retreat. The Romanians look to counter the center attack by moving up the R-2 platoon and infantry company in the woods on board 1. They engage the southern most Soviet infantry in the center attack, this will draw off units from increasing the assualts on the center. But the Soviets attack is having an effect as the demoralized Romanian infantry retreats opening a line of attack on the AT guns. The Romanian casualties are accumulating and noe the Soviet have an edge on the initative. The Soviet infantry assualt one of the AT guns and get on board 1 road hex. The remaining R-2 and the motorcycle company move back from the flanking move to counter the assualt. The T28's and a Soviet platoon move south to counter the southern Romanian advance. The next turn has the Romanian AT gun destroyed by the Soviet assualt. The counter attack by the R-2/motorcycle company, but are hit by HMG fire leaving the R-2's on their own. The southern counter attack hits more of the supporting infantry with no effect. The attacks and counterattacks continue without any side getting an advantage. The Soviets were able to establish control of two hexes on board 1 east-west road and win the scenario.
I found this to be a very nice scenario. Well balanced, good unit composure and the scenario coming down to leaders and strategy.
|una grande battaglia di carri|
La situazione è abbastanza chiara, il sovietico deve cercare di penetrare nel territorio rumeno (mappa 1) e cercare di rimanerci sino alla fine. L'alternativa è occupare esagoni di strada, cosa che mi pare più complessa. L'idea del russo e inflitrarsi e muoversi/sfuggire sulla mappa 1. Un altra buona idea è occupare hex di foresta costringendo il rumeno a lentamente 'pulire' gli hex occupati. Più facile a dirsi che a farsi.
I carri rumeni hanno il vantaggio del movimento e della corazzature, i russi più lenti dispongono di una migliore forza di fuoco. vedremo.
La battaglia inizia con il rumeno che sfruttando il miglior movimento dei propri carri si dispone creando molti possibili 'fuochi incrociati'. Disporre del +2 per l'AT fire è di fondamentale importanza in questo scenario. Il sovietico avanza,smonta la fanteria in prossimità del nemico e si approssima ad attaccare il campo rumeno. I carri dell'asse eliminano la maggior parte dei carri sovietici, il fuoco incrociato fa' il suo sporco lavoro. I sovietici dal canto loro con basso morale fanno fatica a recuperare e non sono quasi mai pericolosi. Unità di fanteria russi si infiltrano, intanto negli esagoni foresta della mappa 1. I rumeni vincono la battaglia di carri, perdono 4 step ma eliminano tutti i carri sovietici (in realtà rimarra un solo step che non riuscendo a recuperare il morale sarà costretto a ritirarsi).
A nord altre unità russe si infiltrano in territorio nemico. A questo punto per vincere il rumeno attacca sia a nord con le unità motorizzate che a sud negli hex foresta con le unità di fanteria. A 2 turni dalla fine il rumeno elimina tutte le unità sovietiche e vince la partita.
Gran bello scenario. Gran bella battaglia.
|The mistakes we learn from|
This one was very early in my playing experience. I have to say that I have a soft spot in my heart for the Romanians and will play their scenarios just to see those yellow units. In any event, this was the scenario where I found that cross fire on AFVs is critical when you are undergunned, that loss of leaders is massively important (duh), that assault can be useful to pin a position as well as to take it, especially when you are working with small numbers of troops, and finally that moving weapons within direct fire range is suicide (see Civil War experience forward to today). Still the experience was fun and the results fascinating as a very simple game system was reproducing historically valid lessons.
|From My 'Make Beliveve' Romanian Official War Reporter Papers|
ADVANCING INTO BESSARABIA With prisoners rounded up and the tension in the air now completely gone, I was able to share a morsel or two with the brave men of the 67th Reserve Regiment. I had been favoured to witness a great moment in our army’s history and in person too! But now it was time to move on. Yes, time to report on yet another fine unit. By evening tide, I would be in the company of the Royal Armoured Division. They were following across the just taken Prut that had been secured by the infantry, and from there would push on towards Brinzini. Morale could simply not be higher as the troops liberated town after Bessarabian town from the Soviets.
FIRST TANK BATTLE
(Eastern Front Deluxe Scenario No.25)
My journey with the Royal Armoured Division carried us along the main highway towards and just west of Brinzini. By the next day, the 4th July we were very much closing in on an area occupied by the enemy and as a result the CinC of the Division decided to send forward a company of motor-cycle recon troops supported by 20 R2’s, 2 companies of infantry in trucks and some AT gun support. I was able to guest as a passenger in a side-car of one of the motor cycles that sped eastwards along the Brinzini highway and was anticipating what battle I would be reporting on next.
Around 1000 hours, I had my answer. We spied the Soviet troops in the distance. These turned out to be from their 16th Tank Division. Around 2 companies of infantry and 28 tanks, made up of T28’s and T26’s were now closing towards us. Our 47mm AT guns unlimbered 100 yards behind us on the road and commanded a radial view of the flat land for a distance of 2km’s. Our R2 tanks were nearby for support both in front and behind us and the recon company dismounted ahead of the AT guns. For an hour both sides jostled around in attempts to gain the best ground and position. But a bolt from the blue came when some AP rounds from one of the Soviet devils split through two of our R2 tanks from a distance of 1200m and set both vehicles alight and killing both crews outright. If this was what they wanted, they were about to get a reply!
Our tanks had readied themselves to reply with a salvo or two of their own, as were the AT guns on the roadside. No sooner had our R2’s been hit, four Russian T28’s were ablaze much to the cheering of our own infantry. Battle had been joined. The recon units, MG platoon and eight R2’s made off to the south where a small hill area was located. From here, they were able to command a good sight of the Russian approaches. This approach included a wooded area and now, small amounts of artillery supported our machine guns and tanks on this hill as they set to repulse any incursion and sweep any movement the Soviets might take towards the highway.
By midday, two hours into the battle, Soviet losses had risen to 10 of their 28 tanks lost and around 75 infantrymen. Four Rumanian R2’s had been lost at this stage. The Soviets were now pressing at the highway and others of their numbers were trying to slip westwards without drawing too much fire. During this period, the AT guns managed to knock out 4 more Soviet tanks and their tankers morale and cohesion was beginning to suffer. What was more, in some violent close combat, many of their infantrymen suffered casualties for negligible losses of our own. That was not to say that the task was easy for our troops. On the contrary, the battle, at this time was still very much alive as the communist enemy refused to leave the field or give up their dug-in postions. But their impact was dwindling slowly.
It was only when many more of their soldiers and tanks had been cut down or blown away that in the end, any thoughts they had of advancing had finally subsided. They were also unable to cling to any toe-hold on this part of the Brinzini highway as well. Rumanian losses had totaled 6 R2 tanks lost and a handful of soldiers. Deservedly, the Soviet occupiers suffered 20 tanks knocked out and 276 infantry casualties. This had been a day of exultation for the Royal Armoured Division. The Division would now roll on to glory and the Dniester River.
|First Tank Battle|
Excellent scenario. Our games had lots of movement initially as we both tried to jocky for the best postions. The Russians took out a R2 early in the game but that was about the best they could do. The Romanian motorcycles made pests of themselves and took good early postions, although a meeting enagagement the Roumanaian should win the first initiative and be able to dictate where bthe main battle will be. This cause the Soviet player to make a choice of either fighting a defensive battle digging in around the east-west road or pushing onto board 1. I tried to do both and just failed to do either however a close and ejoyable game.
|Teaching a Noob.|
I played this one against one of my regular ASL partners who wanted to try out the PG system. This was his first game of PG. I was the Russians and decided to try to get on the opposite map fast but realized that the Romanians were coming on hard so I stopped and dug in the infantry along the road with a tank screen to the front. The Romanians tried to move around my right flank with their motorcycles and infantry but lost the leader commanding that force that stalled their attack. After that it was pretty much a firefight with Russians gaining the upper hand. By Turn 14 it was apparent the Romanian attack was stopped completely and my opponent threw in the towel. I'm going to try this one solitaire as I think the best strategy for the Romanians is to rive their tanks right down the road as far as they can on the first turn and not allow the Russians to get out and dig in along the road.
|The Romanians take a beating|
After playing this one against another person which i won as the Soviets by digging in after coming on the board, I wanted to try and see what happens if the Romanians blitz across the map with their motorcycles and tanks. But the PG Gods didn't smile on me as the Russians got the first initiative and drove fast for board one.
Immediately a swirly battle ensued at map center and the Russians got hot dice. They downs a few steps of Romanians tanks early on, sent a couple Romanians leaders running and tied one up in an assault. This bogged the Romanians and caused them to lose initiative. The Russians thus gaining freedom of maneuver moved to the NW field and got a majority of their force on Board 1.
The Romanians countered and then the Russians headed for the town causing a running battle to take place. The Russians got an infantry company in the town followed by the Romanians. house to house fighting continued to the end of the game. The Romanians attacked through the fields clearing but only to face a strong Soviet tank/infantry position on the other side. the Romanian motorcycle company rallied and went for the dug in Russians on Board 8, a small force. They had a bit of success and then got hammered and ran away. It was clear with both Romanian efforts faltering the game was over at Turn 14 for a Russian win. Once the Romanians fell behind they never really got back into the game with the Russians forcing them to do too much with too little.
This play was completely different from my previous play of this scenario. The former one was more static with the Russians digging in along the road while this one was fluid across the whole map.
|First Tank Battle|
4 Jul 1941
The Royal Armored Division crossed the Prut River into Soviet-occupied Bessarabia on 3 July, and on the next day fought its first tank battle against the Soviet 16th Tank Divisions near the town of Brinzeni. Rumanian morale would never be higher than in these first days of combat, when the troops saw themselves as liberators of Rumanian national territory.
I have given some names to the leaders in this game. The Rumanian leaders are Capitan Vasile 0-6-0, Locotenent Illie 0-9-1, Locotenent Stancu 0-8-0 and a Plutonier [unnamed hero]. The Soviets highest ranking leader is Capitan Popov 0-9-0, Lieutenant Morozov 0-7-1, Lieutenant Bogdanov, Lieutenant Vasilyev and Sergeant Kozlov.
None of the leaders on either side has a good combat rating and few will help with morale either. Both sides have three tank leaders. The Rumanian side has a 10 factor off-board artillery shot each turn, while the Soviets have an 82mm mortar. The Rumanian R-2 tanks have better firing range and speed than the Soviet T-26’s and T-28’s, which gives them the advantage. Also the Rumanians have two 47mm AT guns which pack a decent punch at 6 hexes.
The Victory conditions require the Soviets to either have units on board 1 (west) or on the main road on board 8 (east). The Rumanians off course, must prevent this. The Rumainians have high morale and a good beginning initiative rating, but they are fragile and degrade every two steps lost. Tanks double. The Soviets are a little better and loseinitiative after every three steps lost.
Both sides enter the area along the east-west road and engage in the center. The Soviet troops set up on the road and dig in. Rumanian off-board artillery issues fire but misses. Rumanian HMG fire hits the Soviets but they all pass their morale checks. Meanwhile, the Soviet commander orders his 82mm unit to set up on the hill south of the main road. Rumanian HMG fire is ineffective, but the off-board artillery [1-10] hits the Soviet Sergeant and demoralizes his 4-2 infantry platoon. The Soviet 82mm hits Capitan Vasile, a 0-6-0 leader.
1100 The Soviets seize the initiative by one activation. Rumanian off-board artillery fires with little effect. Soviet T-26’s use direct fire on the Rumanian motorcycle platoon with no effect. Capitan Vasile rallies. Suddenly, more fire from the Soviet mortars hit Vasile again. He becomes disrupted and his motorcycle platoon becomes demoralized. The Rumanian motorcycles on the left flank run from the Soviet T-26’s.
At 1115, the Rumanians take the initiative back with two activations. R-2 tanks combine direct fire with Rumanian 4-2 infantry but miss. Rumanian HMG’s fire on the Soviet point position and disrupt the 4-2 infantry platoon. Capitan Vasile recovers his morale, but his motorcycle platoon flees.
Soviet T-26’s advance on the Rumanian left flank, which threatens the position. Rumanian R-2’s respond and move toward the Rumanian left flank, behind the field. The Soviet commander orders the 82mm’s to issue more fire on the Rumanian front lines. The shells hit Locotenent Stancu and the HMG and infantry with him. All of them pass their morale checks. Rumanian off-board artillery fires [1-10] but misses.
1130 The Soviets again have the battlefield initiative. T-26’s fire on the Rumanian left flank using direct fire. They miss. The Rumanians begin to move into position to assault the Soviet front line. A 4-2 infantry platoon is hit with opportunity fire and is disrupted. Another Rumanian 4-2 is hit with opportunity fire and loses a step and is disrupted. A third 4-2 infantry advances and becomes demoralized by Soviet opportunity fire.
The Soviet 82mm mortars hit the demoralized 4-2 infantry but somehow, it passes its morale check. The Rumanian R-2’s advance along the Soviet right flank with the T-26’s in sight. Also a 47mm anti-tank gun is moved into position to support the Rumanian tanks. The two Rumanian motorcycle platoons on the left move up to support the R-2’s. Off-board artillery hits the Soviet troops that are dug in on the front line. A 4-2 infantry is disrupted.
1145 Rumanian force retain initiative. The units on the front line recover their morale. The R-2’s on the Rumanian left fire at the Soviet T-26’s and miss. The T-26’s respond by pulling back. Unfortunately they are still in range of the 47mm AT gun!. The AT guns fire at the Soviet tanks but miss. Soviet 82mm mortars fire at the Rumanian infantry on the front line but misses. Rumanian motorcycle troops move forward along the left. The Soviets fire at pointblank range on the attackers on the main road. The Rumanian 2-2 is demoralized while the 4-2 passes the morale check. The Rumanian R-2’s combine with the infantry and issue direct fire into the Soviet front lines. Sergeant Kozlov is hit but passes his morale check. The 4-2 [dug-in] becomes demoralized and the other 4-2 infantry is disrupted. Both Soviet units rally. Another Rumanian 47mm unit moves forward on the right flank. Opportunity fire reveals a Soviet HMG on the hillside. The OF has no effect. The HMG fires again but misses. A Rumanian R-2 platoon joins the 47mm on the right flank.
1200 The Soviet’s manage to get a sniper in range of Locotenent Llie. He misses. The Rumanians continue to maintain initiative. Another assault is made against the Soviet east position on the main road. The Soviets are dug-in and have first fire. Both sides remain intact. The Rumanians move an 8-4 HMG forward and Soviet opportunity fire misses. The Soviet 4-2 infantry [dug-in] fires on the HMG and leaves it demoralized.
Rumanian 47mm AT guns fire at the Soviet T-26’s on the left flank, but miss. The T-26’s pull back out of range. Rumanian R-2’s advance along the left flank and close with the Soviet tanks.
Soviet 82mm’s fire on the main Rumanian position along the road but miss. In the center, Rumanian R-2’s combine with infantry to fire at the Soviet infantry dug in along the center. The Soviet units all pass their morale checks. The Soviets hit a Rumanian HMG platoon which passes its morale check too. On the Rumanian right, R-2’s fire and miss the Soviet T-26’s hiding behind the hill. [Not hiding anymore!] The turn ends early due to a fog of war dice roll.
At 1215 the Rumanians take a three activation initiative. The R-2’s on the left manage to hit a group of T-26’s which take a step loss and are disrupted. Then 47mm AT guns fore and miss. On the right, R-2’s fire and miss the T-26’s to the south of the main road.
The Soviet 4-2 infantry [dug-in] in the center fires at Rumanian troops in the center and misses. The Rumanian assault continues and leaves the Soviet 4-2 infantry disrupted. It fails to recover.
It is now 12:30. The Rumanians have a three activation initiative. Locotenent Stancu [0-8-0] leads a 4-2 into the assault hex which leaves the Soviet 4-2 demoralized. The R-2’s hit the T-26 on the right flank. The Soviet tanks lose a step and becomes demoralized. The 47mm AT guns attempt crossfire on the T-26’s but miss entirely. The demoralized 3-4 tank flees to the safety of the rear area. Rumanian armor continues to press the Soviet tanks. On the north flank, R-2’s fire and miss the T-26’s. The Soviet tanks attempt to pull away out of range. In the center, A Rumanian HMG, which is outflanking the dug-in positions hits the Soviet 7-4 HMG and disrupts it. The Soviet HMG quickly recovers.
Rumanian off-board artillery [1-10] hits the Soviet position along the main road. A 4-2 infantry platoon is demoralized but the Soviet Sergeant and the other 4-2 infantry passes. Both sides attempt to recovery demoralized and disrupted units. The Soviet 82mm mortars hit Capitan Vasile, who becomes disrupted. His 4-2 infantry platoon becomes demoralized. The R-2’s off course are unaffected.
1245 The Soviets have lost 2 steps of tanks which count as 4 steps, while the Rumanians have lost one step of infantry. The Soviet initiative is lowered to one.
The Rumanians retain one activation initiative. Locotenent Stancu [0-8-0] moves another infantry platoon into the assault. This overwhelms the Soviet infantry which is destroyed. [2 steps] The Soviets have now lost 6 steps total and their initiative plummets to zero. The Soviet’s leader, Major Popov issues direct fire at the adjacent Rumanian assault force. There are three platoons stacked so this gives a good modifier. Although the direct fire hits, all of the Rumanian troops pass their morale check. Lt. Stancu calls in off-board artillery fire but it misses entirely. No friendly fire hit either. The Soviet 82mm’s also miss.
Rumanian tanks continue to attack the center position with direct fire. Unfortunately it misses. While toe Soviets focus on morale recovery, the R-2’s move deeper toward the T-26’s on the left flank. Two Soviet 4-2 infantry platoons activate and join the T-26’s on the north flank. Meanwhile, the Rumanian AT guns on the left move forward into range of the T-26’s. The Soviet tanks recover from demoralization. Then Lt. Llie [Rumanian 0-9-1] moves into the Soviet position from its northern flank. Along with him are a 4-2 infantry platoon and an 8-4 HMG. The Soviet tank commander moves the T-28’s out of reserve and into position to attack the R-2’s on the southern flank, hoping to set up a crossfire attack. The R-2’s fire and miss. Soviet HMG’s on the hill fire at the AT guns and miss. The 47mm guns then take out some of the T-28’s. The Soviet tanks lose a step and demoralize. [Soviets have lost 8 steps now.]
1300 The Rumanians have the initiative. R-2’s on the left flank fire at the Soviet T-26’s and miss. Then the 47mm AT guns hit the tanks and the T-26’s lose a step and become demoralized. [The Soviets are now at 10 step losses.] Soviet HMG’s on the hill on the southern flank fire at the other section of 47mm’s but miss. The 47mm AT returns fire on the reduced T-28 and eliminates it. [Soviet Steps:12] The Soviet 82mm bombards the Rumanian central position and leaves Lt. Stancu disrupted. The rest of the troops pass the morale check.
The Rumanian HMG and infantry combine direct fire and disrupt a Soviet 4-2 infantry platoon on the main road, but the 74 HMG passes the morale check. The Soviet HMG returns direct fire on the Rumanians and disrupts the 4-2 infantry platoon. Lt. Stancu recovers to good order, while the Rumanian infantry on the center manages to disrupt Major Popov [Soviet]. Popov quickly recovers.
The Rumanian R-2’s in the center perform a dangerous advance and outflank the Soviet road position to the south. The armor survives Soviet opportunity fire. Nearby, Soviet T-26’s recover their morale. Rumanian off-board artillery is ineffective.
Soviet T-28’s fire on the exposed R-2’s which are behind enemy lines. One of the Rumanian platoons is completely wiped out. [With a total of 5 Rumanian steps lost the Rumanian initiative lowers to 2.] One R-2 remains in the rear area.
1315 The Rumanian Army continues to have initiative. The R-2’s take a quick shot at the T-28’s but fail to hit. On the main road, Locotenent Stancu issues direct fore with three infantry platoons which causes the Soviet major to become disrupted along with a 4-2 infantry. Also, the second 4-2 infantry becomes demoralized.
Soviet T-26’s on the northern side of the road fire at the R-2’s that have penetrated the Soviet position. They miss. The R-2’s on the south flank move to the center position. Then Soviet HMG’s in the center hit Lt Ilie’s force. A Rumanian 4-2 is reduced and becomes demoralized. [This brings the Rumanian steps lost to: 6] The Rumanian HMG in the center returns fire and disrupts the Soviet HMG and a 4-2 infantry.
Soviet HMG’s on the hill to the south fire at the Rumanian AT guns but miss. The 47mm’s fire at the T-28’s and miss. The Soviet 82mm bombard the AT’s and cause them to disrupt.
In the north, the Rumanian AT guns fire and miss the T-26’s. The R-2’s also miss the Soviet tankers. The Rumanian off-board artillery hits the Soviet Major [Popov] but he and his troops pass the morale check. Friendly fire hits the Stancu’s men but they also pass their morale check.
1330 The Soviets have the first activation. Sergeant Kozlov and two 4-2 platoons fire pointblank at the Rumanian troops that are preparing to assault the main Soviet position. They miss. [despite maximum modifiers]. Rumanian Locotenent Stancu leads an assault against the Soviet dug-in position on the main road. This leaves both Soviet infantry platoons demoralized.
A platoon of R-2’s continues to sit in the Soviet rear position. Two Soviet T-26’s attempt to damage the Rumanian tanks but miss. The R-2’s fire on the Soviet T-26’s north of the main road and eliminate one of the units. [Soviet step losses:14] The demoralized Soviet infantry under assault attempts to recover but fails.
Next, Locotenent Illie use direct fire [pointblank] against the Soviet HMG 7-4 and infantry 4-2 positioned on the north side of the road, and then the Soviet HMG and infantry return fire. Everything misses. The Rumanian R-2’s in the north part of the battlefield attack the remaining T-26’s but miss. Soviet HMG’s take a shot at the R-2’s in the Soviet rear but fail to damage the armor. The R-2’s fire on the dug-in positions along the road but miss.
Soviet 82mm’s fire at the Rumanian armor but fail to damage them in any way. Rumanian 47mm AT guns fire on the Soviet tanks in the which are barely in range and miss. A Rumanian Plutonier brings an 8-4 HMG and a 5-2 MC into range of the Soviet dug-in positions. The rest of the direct fire by Rumanian units misses and the off-board artillery also misses.
1345 Rumanians have first activation. The assault along the road continues. A Soviet 4-2 loses a step and suffers a compound morale failure. Major Popov is disrupted and the other 4-2 infantry platoon loses a step to compound morale failure. Major Popov is killed and the Soviets suffer decapitation. [Soviet steps lost:17 and one leader]
The Soviets fire the HMG on the hill and miss followed by the 82mm mortars which are ineffective. Rumanian R-2’s pound the Soviet dug-in positions along the road to no avail. Although the Rumanian 8-4 HMG and motorcycle hits the front line positions, the Soviets all pass their morale checks. Finally the R-2’s in the north sector take out the remaining T-26’s. [Soviet Steps lost:19 and one leader].
Rumanian infantry uses direct fire on the Soviet positions along the road and manage to disrupt a 4-2 infantry platoon. An 8-4 HMG and 4-2 infantry hit the Soviet HMG which is demoralized. The Soviet 4-2 infantry with it loses a step and becomes demoralized.
Soviet Lieutenant Vasilyev 0-6-0 and his 4-2 platoon hit the Rumanian AT guns and disrupt them. They recover right away. Then Rumanian off-board artillery [1-10] hits Vasilyev and leaves him demoralized.
1400 The Soviets have first activation despite their miserable morale. It is used to make a last ditch rally attempt, which ultimately fails. Locotenent Stancu continues his assault on the main Soviet position. A Soviet 2-2 infantry platoon becomes demoralized. Soviet attempts to recover fail. The Rumanian 47mm in the south fires and misses and then the Soviet 82mm’s fire at the AT gun and miss. Locotenent Illie assaults the Soviet position just north of the main road. A Soviet HMG unit passes a morale check but the 2-2 infantry is eliminated due to a compound morale failure. [Soviet Steps lost:21 and one leader]
The turn ends suddenly with a Fog of War roll. [Uh oh!]
1415 [last turn] The Soviets again steal the first activation. A reduced platoon of T-26’s moves from the south onto the main road and survives fire from nearby R-2’s. A platoon of T-28’s also moves up onto the main road. Rumanian R-2’s in the rear area fire at the Soviet tanks but miss. The Soviets focus on recovery. Locotenent Stancu finishes his assault against the Soviet infantry ensconced in the main position on the road. A Soviet 2-2 infantry is eliminated leaving the position to the Rumanians. [Soviet steps lost:22 and one leader].
While the Soviets continue to rally, the Rumanian R-2’s in the northern sector move into position to contest the Soviet tanks on the main road. The Soviet 82mm’s fire and miss and Rumanian R-2’s fire and miss. Locotenent Illie continues his assault and leaves the Soviet 7-4 HMG demoralized. Then the Rumanians activate for direct fire against the Soviet positions on the southern side of the main road and leave a 4-2 demoralized and another 4-2 infantry disrupted. The remaining bombardments and AT fire has no effect.
The Soviets have lost 22 steps to the Rumanians 6 steps. Additionally the Soviets lost Captain Popov, their highest ranking leader. Despite that, the victory conditions require that the Soviets be cleared from the main road and from Map 1. Although the Soviets were never on map 1, they manage to have to tank units on the main road, a T-26 platoon and a T-28 platoon. Although these units will soon be eliminated, the Soviets have managed to delay the Rumanians just enough to claim a moral victory.
|Eastern Front, Scenario #25, First Tank Battle|
The Romanians have the higher Initiative and received a higher roll as well in the first turn, so they were able to go all the way across to the middle of board eight before running into the Russians advancing on their first initiative. This put both armies in a straight line on the road, head on. After turn six, I was going to throw in the towel and concede to the Russians, as I either had to keep them off the road hexes on both board one & eight or just keep them totally off board one. But they were still on the Road in force and were try to flank me on both sides. They had succeeded in flanking my right side with a few armored units of T28’s and at this point I felt helpless to stop it as the Romanians. However with 12 turns still left I went for it, as the Romanian’s have the higher Morale and this really came into play in the assaults. Slowly I cleared almost all the Russians off the board and even managed to hunt down those T28’s on board one. The 47mm AT guns were very helpful combined with the R2’s to get that cross-fire bonus on the AT fire table. Without them, I doubt I could have done the job, as the R2’s paid a heavy price in this Romanian victory. That is right, I almost gave up, but I was able to win after all with the Romanian side. I thought about putting a Russian truck on an end around, but this seemed kind of gamey and it really couldn’t advance without a Leader anyways. Lesson learned, never give up too soon and the higher Morale factor is a big advantage in assaults!
|A royal flush|
This was a nice little scenario where all is not what it appears to be. On paper and even after deployment it looks as if the Romanians have a clear advantage with the combination of higher morale, a good starting intiative, fast-moving motorcycle units and faster tanks that are evenly matched against the Soviet ones in battle. It's the Romanian objectives that makes this one favor the Soviets in my opinion. Forget the tank battle, there is much more required than just an armored slugfest here. All the Soviets have to do is scatter and distract the enemy by keeping them on the move. Early on the Romanians did well by eliminating a lot of Soviet steps, both armored and foot units but were not able to prevent 4 platoons of Soviet INF from outflanking their attackers and escaping into the woods on map 1. Meanwhile, Soviet units were able to maintain a presence on the east-west road on map 8. The Romanians were forced to split-up their forces and this ultimately cost them a victory as by the end of the battle the Soviets were able to hold on to both geographical objectives. The Romanian R-2 tanks had a lot of chances to eradicate the Soviet armored force and towards the end had a lot of crossfire opportunities set-up but got very unlucky with the actual die rolls, even with the +2 modifier. The Soviet tanks on the other hand did very well with damage control and were able to pass a lot of morale checks and rally after taking losses despite their intiative rating of 6 when reduced. At one point, 2 platoons of R-2s rolled up adjacent to one lone and reduced T-26 situated on a hill and neither side, after trading fire at point-blank range for many turns, could eliminate the other. Romanian foot units ultimately did better in assaults but though the Soviets would eventually lose those they were effective in leaving the attackers in both disrupted and demoralized states after returning fire and this ate up a lot of precious time. The whole battle was spread out in many directions and this resulted in foiling the Romanian effort. If this were merely a battle of attrition then Romania would of been the victor as Soviet losses amounted to: 1 x Major, 7 INF, 4 HMG, 6 x T-26 and 4 steps of T-28; whereas Romanian losses were just: 1 HMG and 4 steps of R-2 at battle's end. Also, Romanian intiative began to rapidly plummet down as it dropped for every 2 step losses so that every tank step loss dropped their intiative down a notch which soon gave the Soviets more of a chance of activating units first.
I believe a Romanian victory is possible provided they are able to concentrate and focus on preventing Soviet foot units from crossing on to map 1 and especially prevent them from getting into the woods. The Romanian force is powerful but only if they have to fight one main battle and in one general area; not split up. It was a good play but knew halfway through it the Soviets had this one bagged. I did finish it out and the Romanians continued to go through the motions. With a little more time than 18 turns the Romanians would of at least secured one of the areas but that is what makes this one a nice challenge. The Soviets have to get hammered and contained early on before they can scatter.
|Soviets Hold On|
Both sides advanced along the road and both debarked their infantry from transport at the end of turn one. Romanians initially got upper hand by eliminating four Soviet tank steps with accurate AT fire. Soviet infantry attempted to go around Romanian southern flank. The Soviet AT fire then improved and eliminated four Romanian tank steps. Both sides then settled into a battle of attrition. The Soviets then eliminated all the Romanian armor and were able to hold on for the victory. This scenario would be very difficult for the Romanian to win since they have to eliminate all Soviets from board 1 as well as the east-west road.