Sonntag, 3. September 2017

Autobahn Rearguard

Hauptmann Steiner was overlooking the positions of his Panzergrenadier Kompanie. Large clouds hung over the east. The words of the briefing still rung in his head.

„Steiner, Soviet forces have broken through our defences at xy. They will cut the Autobahn A7 near YZ. If they do, they threaten to break out in to our rear. Your objective is to delay this thrust as long as possible and retreat to the new defensive line at … .“ 

Steiner had ordered the Zug of Leutnant Meier in a position behind the minefields which was put in to place by some Skorpion Minenleger. With a small hill to their left they would hold the right flank and one of the most likely objectives of the Soviets.

Steiner was sure that Zug Baumann would hold the line in the crop fields long enough to allow the rest of the Battalion to establish a new line. They would be supported by Gepard Flakpanzer and some Jaguar 1 Jagdpanzer.

The division had promised at least one flight of Panavia Tornados. With their MW1 they would make short work of tank concentrations. And LARS rocket artillery was standing by for some fire missions.

Most important to his defence would be the Leopard 2 of Leutnant Bock. With their 120mm Rheinmetall canon there was nothing in the Soviet arsenal they could not destroy. They were well  camouflaged in an ambush position.

All of a sudden the voice of Feldwebel Müller brought Steiner back from his daydream. „Hauptmann hören sie das?“ „Ja, Müller. Der Ivan ist jetzt auf der Autobahn. Hohlen sie mir Leutnant Meier an den Apparat.“…

Using their ground based air cover Soviet forces were crossing the Autobahn. Zug Meier  would be hard pressed to hold the right flank of the Kompanie. A bombardment was hitting a small wood right behind the positions of Meier and his men.

Meier and his men were spotted and a hail of machine gun fire from the advancing T-72 and BMP-2 was hitting them. The well trained Grenadiere were in a good position and sustained no casualties.

With target insight the Jaguar opened fire at a range of 1500m and with the first salvo of HOT missiles 3 T-72 were turned into burning wrecks.

Leutnant Bock and his 3 Leopard 2 were watching the enemy movement through their optics. „Zug, Feindpanzer, 750m, am Feldrand. Feuer frei!“ The three metal beasts opened up on their foe turning another two of the enemy tanks in lumps of metal.

More T-72 were approaching the center of the line.

The Marder of Zug Meier opened up on the BMP-2 Scouts in the Field in front of the minefields. Meier and his men being hit by machine gun fire were still to shaken to hit something with there Panzerfausts and Milans.

Steiner send forward his Marder to get some information on the movement of the enemy on the other side of the autobahn. Steiner watch as his Marder almost on the Autobahn was hit. The explosion of the 125mm HE shell blow the Schützenpanzer to pieces. „Feind hat Grünstreifen erreicht!“ shouted Leutnant Baumann on the radio.

Since the airspace was clear Steiner ordered the Gepards to withdraw to the new defensive positions. In the distance the explosions of rockets could be heard as a LARS battery hit the advancing soviet air defence.

Having dealt with the imminent threat on the right flank Leutnant Bock moved his Zug towards the center starting to put rounds into the Tanks on the Autobahn.

From the position in the field two Milan missiles were sent on their way by Baumanns men. Being to nervous they missed their mark by far.

As the Leopard left their ambush position the tailing tank was hit by a T-72. The „Wunderpanzer“ was put out of action as the crew tried to escape the burning tank.

The Jaguar were spotted as well and were taken under fire from the Autobahn. With an explosion one of the Jagdpanzer was taken out. The Schützenpanzer sustaining more and more casualties.

If Leutnant Bock would not make it to the center Steiner was sure he would need to withdraw soon.

Not too late Bock arrived. With a mighty roar the two remaining Leopard made short work of some T-72. The first thrust of the soviet had been blunted. Pulling in a defilade position the another Leopard was put out of order by fire of the last 3 T-72. Leutnant Bock remained calm. Ordering his driver to reverse fast as they engaged the enemy.

Meanwhile Zug Meier had put the BMP-2 in the field in front of them out of action.

Having seen the work of the tanks Steiner ordered the flight of Tornados to divert and the Jaguar to withdraw to the new defensive position.

Fire from Bocks tank and some Milans of Zug Baumann decimated the last T-72 company to one tank.

Having blunted the first push of the Soviet forces they brought up the Carnation SPG and Shilka Flakpanzer. A desperate attempt to break the right flank.

The situation got more and more chaotic as Marders and Soviet support vehicles were engaging each other. Steiner tried to asses the situation. He knew even tough he had dealt with most of the MBTs his Kompanie was in the most vulnerable state trying to withdraw under fire. He had the upper hand for now.

Having moved around the small hill Leutnant Bock engaged the attacking artillery. A mighty blow almost knocked him unconscious. The artillery was direct firing on his tank.

„Hauptmann, was macht dieser verrückte Ivan da?!“ A crazy T-72 had moved out of cover and tried to flank von Bock. Leutnant Baumann ordered his man to engage the lone T-72 but to late. A column of flame shot out of the hatch of Leutnant Bocks Leopard as it was hit in the side. Retaliation by a Milan came to late.

With the last T-72 smoking and the sun setting down the Soviet lost their will to keep attacking, for the day. Steiner ordered his men to withdraw under the cover of darkness to the new line. Were they would try to delay the enemy once more.

German Victory 5-2, a nice and entertaining game thanks for reading.

Dienstag, 29. August 2017

Thoughts on V4 and Team Yankee

Lately I was surprised when I compared the North Africa Book vom V2/V3 with the Cards and the new V4 books. If one just considers the lists from the „North Africa“ section of the old book the new ones plus the cards are more or less identical. Lets say 80%. Sure there are missing units and the platoon structure has changed in some instances. But never the less I was surprised, with all the heat in the forums I expected worse.

Sonntag, 20. August 2017

52/52 painting challenge

Almost every year in August our FoW group starts some kind of painting challenge. Most of the time it’s to reduce our pile of shame or to finish some long forgotten project. Last August the task was simple, paint 52 „Tank“-teams and 52 „Infantry“-teams in one year, one of each for every week of a year.

Now a small disclaimer. I started with the idea of painting Flames of War and Team Yankee teams from my pile of shame. But, then I got a bit distracted with some FFG boardgames. So what did I manage to finish in this year?

Dienstag, 15. August 2017

Reactivating the Blog

Riding the train to Berne like every morning I thought I get back to an old and often forgotten friend - this Blog.

What took me so long to write again? Well, soon after starting tackling my back log of Soviet models for Team Yankee and Flames of War news broke of FoW V4 and having no desire to paint up models to collect dust I stoped to see which direction V4 would take. Secondly the release of Leopard, the West Germans, for Team Yankee pushed the TY Soviets back. Which I totally regret at the moment but more on that a bit later.

So I have to catch up on a lot of stuff. For example the goal I set my self of painting up a tank and an infantry team every week or lets say painting 52 tank and 52 infantry teams in a year. So we’re right into the things I want to put out on the blog over the next couple of months.

Dienstag, 5. Juli 2016

Tackling the Red Bear, Update 1

Three weeks have past since my last update and I managed to do a few things. To little in my opinion but if your not in the mood to paint don't do it.

I finished painting the infantry and they are ready to be based now. I finished 4 stands in excess they were already primend and I thought why not finish them.