Saturday, 17 January 2015

Road to Talvisota and Back!

This post is about my thoughts on what lists to take to a two day tournament to be played in the middle of the winter. The second part will be more or less an AAR/picture dump.

First some details of the event. It is a Late War 1900 points 2 day tournament and you can bring two armies with you. One from the Axis and one from the Allied side. The army you'd be using in each round would be desided by your current standing and by your opponents army, that way you can get more Red vs Blue matches.

Needless to say as I have armies from both sides I was very happy to take this opportunity to take my tournament virginity from my Soviets! For the Soviets my option was easy enough: 359th Medium Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment from Desperate Measures.

Alas this was not meant to be... But about that later!

As for the Germans, it is much more complicated than just pick up the list I played in the last tournament and upgrade it to match the new points. Already from the start there were only two real candidates, Panzer Lehr panzerkompanie from Panzers to the Meuse or 2./512. sPzJgAbt from Bridge at Remagen. The real question is, what would the composition of these lists look like and which it would be...

Get ready as the Winter War is coming!

2./512. sPzJgAbt

This force is the most suited for sitting back and shoot the hell out of the enemy thanks to its long range guns, heavy armor and Defenders of the Ruhr speacial rule which gives you Always Defend ability. With Carius in its head and his special rule allowing him to hit everything without penalties is a perfect for artillery hunting or sniping other GtG gun teams. Also 5 heavy armor hulls forces the opponent to find away to flank you, for this threat there are the panzergrenadiers with their panzerfausts and MGs. Wirbelswinds to give supporting fire against infantry and take down those planes and our own plane to hunt enemy artillery.

Panzers to the Meuse - Lehr Panzerkompanie, first version

This force has the idea to close in fast and with 6 PzIVs to assault all dug in infantry. Backed by Panther to deal with armor. The PzIV are being followed by Aufklärungs to help pin the enemy with MGs and clear all that is left. Wirbelwinds to protect my tanks from the air and Pumas to keep all ambushes at bay. The Me 262 is a two edged sword as it can be used in the beginning but once we close in we lose the ability to use it.
With Aufklärungs special rule giving my PzIVs Spearhead and Pumas with recce move this force can close in really fast. Used with Always Attack rule you are sure to be able to get the first turn mort of the time and force the opponent to react rather than rule.

Panzers to the Meuse - Lehr Panzerkompanie, second version

Much like the first version this force is to close in fast but this time you have smoke and a unit to sit on your own objective. You also lose the Pumas AT9 but that is not a problem as they are only to screen you for ambushes. Also you'll have fewer half-tracks and so fewer MGs to use to pin enemy platoons before assaults.

359th Medium Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment

The Soviet force is being built around a core of tank hunters, a platoon of SU-100s to take out heavy armor and SU-85Ms to tackle mediums. These are supposed to stay back and lend their fire where it's needed thanks to their Cat Killer rule. Artillery is their biggest threat forcing them to move and reduce RoF. Recce is here to lift GtG and to assault in the wake of IS-2s if needed. They'll be working closely with IS-2s. IS-2s are the main hammer, with 5 hulls, escorts and turret rear MGs these are real assault monsters, just keep them safe from enemy AT fire. Lastly the indirect fire support, by limited IL-2 with cannons, rocket and bombs. This however creates a bubble where the attacking force can't go.
Tactics: hit them fast, hit them hard... once we get there... IS-2s moving 20cm per turn isn't that fast at all.

Any Last Words

My last thoughts before the tournament are quite mixed. I'm hoping to do ok with my selected list but I'm still very skeptic about it. It will hit hard but will it be enough?

The other thoughts are sadness and anger as I had some trouble with PC equipment at home. One of our external hard drives went hay-wired and lost its File System. It took me over a week to recover atleast some of the files from it. But boy am I happy as those happened to be almost all of the pictures,  including from our kid, that got recovered!! I'm very happy to know some IT and to have some amazing IT-knowing friends!!

All this forced me to abandon my thoughts of having two armies with me at the tournament as I just can't make myself to finish up those Soviet recon guys. I'm just too sad, too slow and unmotivated to paint infantry right now. So now I'm only going to go with the Germans.

But I think I'll end this text here and next one will be writen after the tournament and hopefully with a lot of pictures.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Very interesting idea for a tournament, I've not seen it before. Your lists look pretty sound, I guess a lot depends on missions and match ups as always! Good luck, looking forward to hearing how it went :-)

    1. It is. I haven't heard anyone either ever coming up with a matchup idea like this and I think this might work pretty well if there are enough people with both armies.

      A Soviet infantrymob is my greatest fear with any of my German lists. With others I can live with and adapt.

      And thanks, luck will be needed :)