Strelkovy Showdown

First of all, Happy New Year! (More on all things Resolution-based later…)

I ushered in 2012 by feverishly painting and basing my Russian Strelkovy Company, and then taking them out for their first proper game yesterday – 1750 points-worth. Paint-wise they’re certainly presentable, but not quite finished. I’ll post more final pictures soon.

So, how did the Soviet horde perform? To be honest, the troops performed admirably, it’s their leadership (i.e. me!) that was lacking.

My first game was against a US Armored Rifle Company, AKA two small ARP’s and a great big chunk of Uncle Sam’s finest artillery. We played a simple encounter, with my solid khaki wave of infantry slogging across the table, with the odd armored vehicle cracking open Sherman tanks here and there. In the end I came out on top, superiority of numbers playing a big part in the outcome of the game.

My second game was a different matter altogether – Breakthrough with me as the attacker, again squaring off against a plethora of artillery, this time of a British persuasion. Having only a single quarter of the table to deploy in, I opted to hold both my combat platoons off-table as delayed reserves, reasoning that the amount of space 28+ stands of infantry takes up would be too easily swept away by so many artillery barrages. Things started off relatively well, losing a base here and there, and winning a pretty significant assault with my three IS-2’s before they got too full of themselves out in the open and failed a morale test. From here it went from bad to worse. My plan seemed to crumble and eventually, with one Combat Platoon still off-table, I failed my company morale check and it was over.

So where did it all go wrong? Two main reasons really; too much reliance on my heavy tanks, and generally a lack of concentration as the day wore on.

First let’s talk about the tanks. I’ve played a few games with the IS2’s and they’ve absolutely dominated proceedings. Even with their singular rate of fire, they’re still virtually indestructible, but yesterday I learned just how far they can be pushed, with one bailing to heavy artillery fire, one being destroyed by a 17pdr AT gun, and the remaining one failing its morale check. Without the heavy tanks,  it highlighted how fragile my other armored support was, especially the SU-76M’s. Still, it was a lesson learned, both not to foolishly expose my armor, and more importantly not to rely on it so much.

The second cause of my demise was lack of concentration. I don’t suffer from ADD or anything, but my mind certainly starts to wander, thinking about dinner, noticing its getting dark earlier, heck even just thinking about how to improve my army – by about turn 4 I’m practically just going through the motions. Granted I hadn’t planned on playing two pretty large games yesterday, but if I’ve any chance of doing well in the tournament later in the month, I’m going to have to anticipate staying sharper for longer.

Now, let’s see if I can tweak my list at all…

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