My next opponent in the CyberVasl tournament was Tom Arnold. We chose J106 Marders not Martyrs. Tom asked if we could exchange files over Skype which was new to me. I use Skype for live play and also when I was in a World of Tanks clan to platoon in-game. It worked out pretty good, but took me a few files to remember to check it as I usually get my files through e-mail.
J106 is a small scenario. Actually a bit smaller than I really like to play but for this tournament it was just right. Basically, ten Russian squads and four KV-1’s cross open ground in front of five 1st line Germans with two Marder tank destroyers which are inevitably going to be on the hill of board v. Dice gave me the Russian attack and I had 5.5 turns to get 17 points off the west edge, 3 of which had to be infantry.
As usual, I realized what I needed to do after the scenario was over.
The game started off innocently enough. I figured I would get a couple of quick shots at the open topped Marders from my hill with the mortar, possibly getting a result. The only result was a miss, with no rate. It was the only shot the mortar would get the whole game as Tom busted him up in defensive fire of the first turn. But before all of that fun, I drove a KV up the hill and Tom’s first roll of the game was 1,1. Sweet! this is gonna be fun!
My infantry did well, pushing the half squad out of the way and getting to the edge of the woods quickly. The other three KV’s drove on board and Tom poked holes in two of them. The third had to sit behind the orchards for most of the rest of the game.
With the demise of 75% of my tanks, the game got stupid simple for me. Infantry was going to have to do the job, a tall task.
Honestly, my ground pounders were mostly up to the task. Tom really had a hard time dealing with them. Virtually all of his shots were at Russian units in open ground, and he just couldn’t get any lasting results. On the other hand, I got some nice results, but never really put the German landsers out of commission. I really needed to put one of the Marders out of action to have a shot at getting the last KV off the board, but they stood tall .
My troops kept inching forward to close with the enemy and hopefully make a dash off the edge, taking minimal damage in the process. My problem was if the KV didn’t make it, ALL of my infantry would have to get to the exit.
With two moves left, I started up ol’ Betsy and made the dash.
Tom missed in first fire and got no ROF, I have a chance. The infantry advances up and steel’s themselves for the last mad dash through the residual.
Tom cashes in on his acquisition, knocking out my last KV, leaving me in a bad spot. My guys make the last mad dash and come up short, having to run the gauntlet of residual. Tom also wisely put bodies in all the expected easiest exit paths, making me have to climb the hills. I calculated it out, all of my units could exit in the advance phase, but no one could break or pin….. incredibly unlikely and the results matched the expectations.
As with most of my opponents, Tom is a more skilled player than I am. I realized belatedly, that the Marders are, of course, the key to the game. I should have utilized my infantry to put fire on the Tank Destroyers, the open tops make them extremely vulnerable. I thought I could get some fire on them with the mortar, but with it’s failure, Tom knocked it out quickly and it was a bad risk on my part. In this game, that mortar could have spun the game around to my advantage. The KV’s 11 armor factors are no match for 17 to kill from two TD’s with 3 rate of fire. 6 to kill is no guarantee, but if he gets enough rate…… and he will….. the KV’s are dead. Without KV points, the game is over, as it was here.
I didn’t respect the TD’s enough, and I overestimated my armor. I also didn’t appreciate the deeper puzzle of this scenario, it’s not as simple as I broke it down to. A common failing on my part.
Tom was awesome to play, and I appreciated the game, hopefully I learned a bit from it.
Thanks for reading.