This was another game at the club, but it was also a play-test for my Red Cavalry. We chose the Delaying Action scenario, with the Germans as attackers. As Jonas (my opponent for the day!) had just painted a Pz 38(t), I could expect armor support from the attacker. I did not have too much support and the field was quite open so I decided to not use any mounted sections. A bit boring - but this is apparently what you got when you persist in playing cavalry in a (fairly realistic) ww2 game! Expect dismounted action cavalrymen!
No fault with that, CoC is a infantry based game!
For support I took two extra sections to be able to defend the objective (the railroad water tower), a medic, and a couple of extra SMGs to have an edge in the close combat and short range fire fights that I expected in the woods. The light mortar are compulsory in early 41`. Since I expected there to be an enemy tank, I took a 45mm AT Gun to fight off the enemy armor.
I was about to experience the Germans taking two armored vehicles, a Pz 38(t) and a Sd Kfz 222 armored car. My lone light AT gun would have lot of work to do!
The build up of the German attack. Armour along the road (this is CoC you know!) in the centre and an infantry attack on my right flank.
The centre of resistance. A platoon of dismounted cavalry and a medic backed up by a light mortar.
Armoured doom!!! I couldn't (or didn't want to) expose my only anti-tank asset, the 45mm AT Gun, to two German AFVs and their infantry. Instead I tried to lure the panzer into the wood and deploy it there. Or scare the panzer off with imaginary satchel-charges...
My opponent did not care about my thoughts about armor vulnerability and attacked with great audacity. It was fast as well, flat-out closes the distances quickly indeed!
The anatomy of a tank attack and the subsequent retreat. The black dice are smoke markers from a fire in the house (random event), which screened me from fire from the Sd Kfz 222 and some German infantry! Great! But I could not shoot at them either...
I decided to deploy my AT Gun further back. Or I was forced to, as my Jump-Off Point in the central wood was over-run by the Panzer 38(t), and a missed shot in the wood would easily lead to a run over AT Gun, I needed more than one chance to shoot if possible.
Here I got a flank shot, and the Sd Kfz 222 could not respond immediately! Something I was happy about as this gun had to take out both German vehicles! I had severe angst in the deployment (in time and place) of my 45mm gun.
Disaster struck! I needed 5 on two dice to hit... but rolled 4 at this critical moment.
The panzer opens fire and kills several crew members. The commander then realize that maybe he could just - drive it over?
My second shot missed due to a lot of Shock on the ATG.
The subsequent loss of my only AT asset made me give up this game, I had two armored vehicles against me and nothing that could take them out. I had evidently had too high hopes for my lone AT Gun!
Lessons from sixth game
German notes: This game made it pretty obvious that tanks are just innately superior for their points in early/mid war: the moment when I realized that I'd be better off just going full speed ahead with the (comparatively crappy) Pz. 38(t) was telling. The smaller sections of the cavalry platoon also hurt a bit here, as the Germans can put out more shots, but my attack had kind of stalled a bit when my vehicles just broke through and broke the Soviet forces. I didn't even need the 222 to mop up, even though it could have given the coup de grace in case the Soviet AT gun or a satchel charge managed to stop the Pz. 38(t). /Jonas
(Jonas, I did not have any satchel! Thanks for the comment)
Not so much hurrah this time! /Shirty
Once again we ended up with three people at club, and since everyone was eager to playtest our "Hasty Attack" scenario again. It sees two platoons attack a single one, under time pressure. This time I was one of the attackers, and of course I took a cavalry platoon since I now had two full mounted sections and a mounted HQ ready for action! I rolled a 4 for Support, so with a Force Rating of -7 and an enemy with a rating of 0 I had 11 support points to use.
This put me on the spot with some harsh decision-making to do. I ended up taking two mounted platoons and a satchel charge, as I didn't have enough support to get a second Senior Leader to lead the other platoon (or half-platoon... if you want to compare to most other platoons). The dismounted platoon was then without a Senior Leader, as I needed my Senior Leader to do the flank attack with the mounted sections!
My comrade in this attack had an infantry platoon with some support weapons. He was going to make the main attack, and I was going to try to sneak up on our enemies' flank with my mounted sections. From there I could move up a JOP for a "sudden death" victory or attack him at a weak spot to force his withdrawal due to loss of morale.
The game started very well with a hard attack on the left (we got JOPs quite far into the field) and a swift ride by my mounted men on the right flank.
The Red Cavalry advances! First I intended to take my cavalry through the woods, but I changed my mind and opted for speed and flung caution out of the window. That paid off and the Italians were not fast enough to react to my gallop over open ground! It was great to move so many horsemen at the same time. With a Senior Leader at hand you can operate swiftly indeed! (you can actuallty see the Italians trying to reach the house in time in the uppermost left corner of the photo! They were in time to occupy the house - but not to open fire on the mounted cavalry.
The cavalry has hit home. The lone Italian riflemen in the house are routed by the swift concentration of firepower I could put up with my dismounted cavalry (including the amount of hand grenades you may throw with three leaders present). Honestly they only had to deal with 1/4 of the Italian platoon. But, they had the speed to actually carry out the manoeuvre, which ordinary infantry would not have been able to do as quickly, and that left me more than happy with the game! On the other flank, the Soviet attack failed against a flamethrower tankette (let no shadow fall on my comrade - flame-throwing vehicles are totally horrible!), so we lost the game, despite the triumph of the Red Cavalry on the right flank!
The first section has dismounted and started a fire-fight with the Italians in the house. The other section has just arrived and is about to dismount, throwing grenades in the process (there is written evidence of grenade-throwing from horseback as well, but I dismounted first as our rules are not really finished yet)! Notice my horse-holder, who represents the spot where the horses of the dismounted section are stationed.
Lessons from the fifth game:
As I have made rules for dismounting and then mounting again, and for having the Horse-serzhant roaming around with the horses I think it would be nice to have some models representing them. I never got to grips before a friend of mine bought me some Warlord Games "pike & shotte"-horse holders as a gift! Now of course I just had to do it...
I started with picking out three horses (there was four of them). These models are superb, the horses' poses are very natural and realistic. However, they are made for the 17th Century, so I had to convert them a bit. The holder was made from a Wargames Factory plastic Soviet, with some random Copplestone head I had in my bit box and a back-pack and slung carbine from Warlord Games. I gave him some extra hair out of green stuff, and then I had to make him a green stuff cap to hold in his hand, as you can´t be without a hat in the military! The saddles were not of 20th Century stock, so I had to green-stuff them as well.
Basing was carried out with milliput. I use a lot of this on my bases since you want to hide the miniature's molded-on base. Then I put a mix of PVA glue and dirt over it to make a nice texture.
The painted and based horse holder. I added bridles as it just looked wrong without them (original in metal and green stuff). I thought I might never get the chance to use the horse holder on the table top, but they turned up in battle just a couple of days after finishing them!
The second section has a Cossack theme. I painted them the same way as the first section. The only big difference really is the hats (and that some have a cherkeska coat as well) which, as these are Kuban Cossacks, have a red top with a white cross on them. Nice view from above - as when you play a miniatures game!
This is my mounted platoon command, the Leytenant, the horse-serzhant and their horse holder.
The whole mounted platoon in the field.
I painted up a second dismounted section and a Senior Leader as well, to be able to have a full platoon on foot. The small cavalry platoons give you the opportunity to field one mounted and one dismounted platoon in many games (most often when you are the attacker).