Iron Wolves #9
|(Attacker) Lithuania||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Soviet Union||5th Tank Division|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 588|
|Parent Game||Iron Wolves|
|Maps||4: 1, 19, 3, 5|
|Layout Dimensions||112 x 43 cm
44 x 17 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
|Road to Berlin||maps|
Like those of other Eastern European nations, the Lithuanian army tried to upgrade its armored force by buying modern tanks from the Czech Skoda Works. Had the Lithuanians managed to complete their upgrade plans, they would have had a formidable armored force to send into battle alongside the Germans in 1941. Just like the Germans, they would have found their "modern" tanks badly outclassed by the Red Army's secret weapons.
Fifth Tank Division stood on Lithuanian soil when the German attack took place; it had 50 new T-34 tanks and a large number of older light tanks but proved no obstacle to the rampaging panzers. Against a Lithuanian armored formation, the story might have been different. The Lithuanians certainly wanted tanks, and Albert Goering, Skoda's chief of sales in eastern and southern Europe, wanted to sell them to them. But his brother's patronage only kicked in periodically, and the Lithuanian order for LTL tanks was not filled before the Soviet takeover and the tanks went to Slovakia instead.
|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)
|Iron Wolves, scenario #9: Iron Wolves|
Iron Wolves, scenario #9: Iron Wolves
I decided to play this one first. This scenario is about Controlling town hexes and eliminating enemy steps. The Lithuanians enter from the West and the Soviets enter from the East. 24 turns and four maps long.
The Soviets have the advantage in armor with their T-34As, T-28s & BT-7s over the Lithuanians LT38s & LTLs at least in fire-power but the defense values of the LT38s are pretty good compared the BT-7s but not the T-34As.
Infantry and support units are pretty even but I’ll give the slight edge to the Lithuanians because their Infantry has a one hex advantage.
Off-Board Artillery, a slight edge goes to the Soviet with 3x12 compared to the Lithuanians with a 2x15.
Morale Advantage goes to the Lithuanians with a 8/7 compared to the Soviets with a 7/6.
Terrain advantage also goes to the Lithuanians as they have more town hexes closer to their enter point on the maps.
This will pretty much be a head on engagement! Can the T-34A’s carry the day for the Soviets?
It seems like the Lithuanians may have gotten greedy, as after securing the first two towns in their path, they went for the third town and totally misjudged the speed of the Soviet Armor. Now their advance force is caught up in the teeth of the Soviets Army and the dreaded T-34A’s, the best tank in the world in 1941. Some of the Lithuanian armor is already burning and won’t help their morale. Will this be a game killer mistake or can they recover and win this out of terrain objectives taken?
My mistake pay-off for the Soviets. They were able to cutoff the Lithuanian advance forces and destroy them piecemeal. Lithuanian Armor is not meant to standup to Soviet T34As in the open. The Soviets cutoff the retreat route of the Lithuanians at the bridge hex. A nice dose of Soviet Artillery also broke-up the same Lithuanian Infantry that was on the wrong side of the bridge as well.
The Soviet had no need to cross the river and challenge the remainder of the Lithuanian forces imbedded in the two towns on the other side of the river as just controlling the one town on map board #1 and the steps they destroyed, assured their victory. I pulled the plug early, the only Lithuanians on the Soviet side of the River were either Demoralized or Disrupted and the Soviet Armor and Infantry forces was too strong for the remaining Lithuanian forces on boards #19 & 3 to even try to attempt a reversal is in situation, as they would only be eliminated.
The Soviets controlled 10 points of town hexes and eliminated 26 points of enemy steps and one Leader to boot. The Lithuanians controlled 20 points of town hexes on the other side and only 2 points of eliminated enemy steps. Soviets 36 points, Lithuanians 22 point, a Soviet Major Victory!
Ok, if the Lithuanians just occupy the two towns on boards 19 & 3, they could just sit back and make the Soviet fight their way across the same river bridge but only on their side of the river, keep their armor in the towns for better defensive factors and I believe they could force a victory this way. My biggest mistake was going for the third town on supported and out of range and right into the Soviet teeth. This would have been a much closer playing game if done correctly as the Lithuanians. Well next time I play this, I’ll give it a try. The Soviet did nothing wrong in the battle and even the dice rolls favored them. A fun scenario.
|Remember that morale is everything, except for initiative|
The Soviets and Lithuanians enter from opposite sides of the board. The Lithuanian tanks are markedly inferior to the Soviets who have five platoons of T-34s but also have a boatload of BT-7s with "armor" factors of "1". Nevertheless neither side has any antitank weaponry except that carried on the tanks themselves. This means that the Lithuanians have very little chance of knocking out the T-34s with AT weapon fire.
The good thing for the Lithuanians is that the bulk of the victory point hexes (towns) are on their side of the board and they quickly move to control those and move their truck borne infantry across the river to a point just out of range of the T-34s range and prepare to be attacked. The Soviets down by eight victory points in town hexes need to attack and do so quickly, trying to catch the Lithuanians unprepared.
Here is where it gets interesting. The Lithuanians HMGs end up next to a stack of three tank units, a T-34 and 2 BT-7s. They immediately assault with a 9-1-0 Kapitonas. Despite being halved for assaulting without infantry support they assault on the 18 column due to morale and a leader being present. The Soviets, unfortunately are also on the 18 column since they have no column bonuses whatsoever. The Lithuanians all survive their M2 result in good order while the Soviets have a mix of results from their 1 leaving a BT-7 disrupted and the T-34 and reduced BT-7 demoralized. They waited to recover which turned out to be a bad thing as the LT38s blazed away and hit the disrupted BT-7, leaving it demoralized and reduced. I should note the the Lithuanian armor stayed in covering terrain (woods and town hexes) in order to have some protection against the T-34s gunnery, and stayed out of range of the BT-7s and T-28s altogether.
The remaining T-34s moved to get into position but I finally needed to try to recover the tanks in the assault hex and predictably none did. The BT-7s were both destroyed and the T-34 luckily survived its M2 check and began a long fleeing and recovering journey.
As I mentioned the remaining Soviet tanks had moved to get into position to assault the Lithuanian infantry including the HMGs but the ensuing turn resulted in three activations for the Lithuanians, all of which were assaults of infantry/HMGs on Soviet armor. A rout had begun. A single Lithuanian infantry platoon with a Lt. 9-1-0 assaulted on the 13 column (morale and leader bonuses), two platoons assaulted on the 18 column with their 9-1-0 Lt. It was simply a slaughter. The Soviet infantry finally caught up to the tanks but it was too little too late and they too became fodder for the morale failures which came out of the assaults.
In the end the Lithuanians had taken all the town hexes, elminated 6 steps of T-34s, and all but one step of the BT-7s and T-28s. In addition 3/4 of the Soviet infantry steps were gone. To be fair, the Lithuanians had tremendous luck, especially on morale check rolls but this was an outcome I was just not prepared to see. Upon viewing the initial forces I felt sure that this one would be a battle royale in the middle town with the Lithuanians holding on for dear life and littering the town with wrecks of their LTL and LT38 tanks as the T-34s ripped them apart. The longer range of the LT38s, helped to keep the demoralized surviving tanks well away from the action so that when they did recover (rarely) they had a long trip back to the battle.
This one showcased the PG system in spades. The morale and initiative superiority of the Lithuanians made everything possible. I give it a "4" and strongly encourage you to play it in any format. It's a blast.