Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Operation Uranus - Breakthrough

They maybe old and yellowing and it may even be a crap paint job but at last the glory day for the winter Russians has arrived (about 35 years late)
KV's supported by infantry, cross the Romanian defences in style
 The Magnolia Brigade clear the trenches
 The follow up battalions wait for tanks to cover their advance in the shelter of the anti-tank ditches
 Romanians share last cigarette...
 Bravely the gunners face down the tanks...
 ...amazingly the Romanians just kept on getting through their morale rolls with outstandingly high results...
 Into a new fall back position
 In RF you usually roll morale per Battalion...
 we thought this too brittle a system for the unique type of separated trench warfare they were engaged in...
 so we rolled by company
 we needn't have worried...
 ...even in the face of T34's crushing wire...
 and crossing trenches with ease, they consistently rolled high
 Out on the Romanian right the cavalry (better late than never) put in some spirited counter attacks
 FPF decimates the Russian infantry...
 ...but they keep moving forward...
 Nothing holds up this attack...
 even when the Romanians get lucky against the armour
 Falling back from their contact with the 'Miss Marple Recce Company' (main offices in Regent St.) the ski company (yogurt importers) watch in horror as a cavalry (Tesco sausage dept.) deploy for an attack...neigh...a charge!
 Scene - Russian right flank
 Grilled sausages
 During the mop up...
 ...even isolated groups fight to the end
At last, the armour can swing left to enfilade the Romanian right. They realise that to approach across the frozen marsh is to court disaster with the continuous crossing of 30 ton tanks (they just can't be allowed to go anywhere you know)
 It's carnage
 The AA wagons come on just in case of last minute surprises
 Romanian infantry cheer as the cavalry go by into the attack
 The KMG is all horse mounted or drawn, even the mortars
 Gun positions overrun
 ...it's a sprint to the finish
 Follow up battalions flood the defences
 A lone captured 45mm ATG tries to defend the Romanian right from the Russian armour but just attracts massive return fire...
 Now, if it was ever anything else, it's a one sided fight
 The Romanian cavalry has been spotted and the Russians mortar their approach...
 ...and prepare their own cavalry for a counter attack...
 The Romanians come out of the shallow valley...
 while the Russians reduce the enemy pocket by fire..
 They shake out into line..
 and CHARGE!
 The Russians respond in kind...
 ...hand to hand and sword across sword...
 the Romanians break!
..but there are enough of them to try and cover the general retreat.

It will be hard and the situation will go from outrageous to impossible. The survivors will endure long and harsh years in PoW camps in Siberia...

My thanks to the guy's for a smashing day's gaming. to Colin for doing unspeakable things to heads, Kraken man for all the Romanians and to everyone for the laughs.

Next: Surrounded - the trap shuts on Stalingrad itself

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Uranus - Contact...into the trenches

 Large post, much to show. After the artillery barrage eases up (but only a little) the Russian juggernaut smashes into the Romanian 3rd Army defences...
The Romanian infantry keep as low a profile as possible as the heavy stuff slogged it out at range
 Tanks, tank riding infantry (I must paint some of those lovely Hat ones) and cavalry charge headlong closing the gap, and therefore their exposure to heavy fire, with the defensive system
 Meanwhile, on the shallow valley flank, the Russian cavalry and ski troops trip an ambush by the Romanian recce company
 The lines brace for impact
 ...some Russian cavalry dismount and approach the obstacle on foot
"Okay, eany, meany, miney, mo..."
 The anti-tank gun scans the targets scientifically...
 At the edge of the anti-tank ditch the tchanka swings around to give covering fire
 ...the tanks themselves have to take evasive action...
 the swapping of lead becomes intense
 the MMG no longer has to worry over tactics...
 The artillery and he fire seek out the enemy among the warren of trenches
 Final protective fire forces a lot of the tank riders to abandon their mounts
 and horses are not bullet proof
"Gulp!"
 Moment of truth...
 In the process of firing off the whole stock
 Tanks just roll down the barbed wire. Only the naked wooden stakes are left
 The cavalry find a mine field...Tesco burger
 ...into the first trench line
 The Russians arrive in waves
 The MMG bunker seems impervious to tank fire
 The tanks can now support the infantry onto the target...
 ...with direct HE and MG fire...
 Having taken a kicking the right hand Russian cavalry regiment take cover in the anti-tank ditch. They're not impressed by some giant hand telling them they've only 24 inches to go!
 The Romanian left flank is doing markedly better than the right but has only been pinned while the main force moves against the other flank
 The Skoda guns are worked hot and are doing an effective job despite being few.
 The 75mm crew are chopped up by a gang of passing Jedi...
 It's now or never...
 ...the Romanian cavalry go over to the counter attack...
 ...first to support the recce company.
 The katyushas drop their fire long now, onto the rear of the trench system...
 The RHQ bunker is destroyed by a direct hit...
 ...don't get the wind up, just keep firing!
 Accompanied by its supporting infantry the armour carries on to the objective
 ...it's tricky and dangerous for the armour and infantry alike...
 ...with the infantry in, in several places, the clearing can begin...
 One tank throws a track...
 ...but the Romanians can't get close due the proximity of the infantry...
 It's getting to be quite a traffic jam. More of the Russian cavalry takes off...
 The ambush goes hand to hand...
 ...still the MMG bunker holds out...
 Heavily pressed, the Romanians pass their morale test well...
 The Russian 'Magnolia' Regiment (they haven't been out of the box in 30 years) carry out the trench clearing
 The Russian left flank position...
 ...more artillery goes for a burton...
 ..but some still survive...
 The Russian skiers get the upper hand and...
 ...the 'Miss Marple' recce company exit stage left pursued by a (Russian) bear...
 ...Russian left shouting insults...
 Back in the trench line the men patiently await the rum ration...
 ...but things are getting desperate for the Romanians with the Russians closing in...
It's a hard and costly fight...

Next time: Clash of cavalry!