Last night, to celebrate the end of Term 1, I popped around to Robin's for a quick Spearhead game. He, already having started his holiday, set up the table and sorted out the forces. A little less concerned with sticking strictly to the Spearhead Scenario system, he did some rough calculations for a attack/defense game using his brand new Stuka.
So, the set up was viewed...
...and initial plans were made and Battalions were deployed.
I had figured that the right of the field would be the easiest to defend, and that Robin would come across the bridge to my front. However, once Robin deployed...
...it became obvious that my right (and indeed, my left) were in a drastic need of a change of plans!
Unfortunately for the poor blokes that were deployed there, Robin had some pre-planned Katusha nastiness for the hill at the left of my deployment.
Which just left my artillery FO standing there all by himself.
Just prior to this, I popped out my Stugs that I had cleverly concealed in the wood facing the expected onslaught to my right...that never happened. So, I drive 'em to the hill to cover the Russian advance in the centre.
Trouble was, the armour threat was swarming to my left.
Right, thought I. The katushas have finished with that hill, lets get the air ground observer up there so's he can direct some Stuka action.
Trouble was, the katushas hadn't finished with that hill.
Oh, come on!
Seeing as now, without an AGC, the Stuka would never arrive, Robin decided that the Kublewagon had missed the turn off to the hill, and contented itself with a spot just to the left of it.
In the meantime, my left continued its redeployment to my centre.
Man, that's a lot of armour!
And all I had was a couple of Stugs to stop them!
The next pre-planned artillery barrage (the previous two having landed on the unoccupied hill to my left) landed straight smack bang on one of my 81mm mortars. That's the shadow of the incoming barrage right there!
Next turn, the Stuka arrived!
And was promptly driven off by Russian AA - quad maxims, if you please.
At least my Stugs were able to do something.
Next turn, the Stuka was able to return to finish off what it had started. Or, at least had tried to start.
Once again it was driven off by those pesky Maxims. And that was it for the Stuka. It could only turn up once during the game (unless driven off the first time). Robin had been unaware of that...
More fire was exchanged between the Stugs and the T-34s across the valley.
And between the infantry in the centre. (We used those red markers to denote which stands had combat moved, and which had remained stationary - stationary infantry get to fire first.)
I also moved a couple of stands to delay the incoming Russian Naval Brigade.
Finally, the suppressed Stug fell to incoming T-34 fire, and, well, I called it a day. Or evening. There was just no way one Stug could hold off that many Russian tanks.
(Though my infantry were dishing out more than they got from the Russians across the river!)
As mentioned earlier, Robin had thought the Stuka would stick around longer than it did (and that it would have at least done something while it was there!), which he thought might have balanced things up a bit for the Germans.
Still, a great evening was had by all. Pushing some plastic around, philosophizing about the state of the world, discussing differences in teaching practice within and between primary school and secondary...it was a good night out!
Thanks once again for your hospitality Robin,
Oh, and Robin's account of the battle can be read here. Much better thought out narrative than mine!