Things started badly from the off, I deployed expecting Dave's usual approach with the Soviets an all out assault straight down the middle, I was well wrong footed here, he went down each flank. Now I might have been hoist by my own petard here, I was a Stug short and forgot to ask Dave to bring one of his. So I thought, lets inject a bit of Tiger fear here and plonked a Tiger I down on the crossroads in disguise, of course this may well have had no bearing on Dave's choice of attack.
Dave got all his force on the table from the start, he sent his IS2 with his tank rider squad and a lorry with a rifle squad off to his left through the wooded hill, his foot patrol went to the top of the rise on the right to spot for his off table 120mm mortars, while his T34s and remaining rifle squads together with his AA HMG skirted it. I was in a bit of a quandary, a tempting gap in the centre but I would then be open to a side shot or rear shot from the IS2, why I did not manhandle the Pak40 round to engage I do not know, my spotters could not really see anything worthy of calling fire down at this stage, so I backed the one Stug up to face the flanking T34s. Turn 2, Dave's T34 rounded the hill and fired at my "Tiger Stug" side on, kaboom!Dave also called in his 120mm mortars, taking out my Pak40, it was not looking good already, never mind my reinforcements could appear, did they? sort of, one unit. I bought on my Panther, I moved twice not wanting to waste a long range shot, this again was probably a mistake as it allowed Dave to get his other two T34s into action as well. I will not ramble on here, my firing was abysmal, further reinforcements failed to appear until turn 5, again one unit, Von Mulligan again was in charge of the off table mortars and the air attack chit failed to come good for me, a beyond the call of duty test enabled me to get in four shots with the Panther, hurrah! result not a scratch! to sum up I knocked out one T34 and killed one infantryman all game. By turn five Dave could see the chits building up and called in his artillery support getting a Katyushka strike, that was it good night Minsk, my BR was exceeded.
The dice gods continue to frown on me, helped along by some poor deployment and tactical decisions along the way, the same could not be said for Dave, he seems to be getting the hang of this tank lark ;~)
Anyway enough waffle on with the pretty bits................
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