Stalin's Europe

Stalin's Europe Battle Report
Doubles Battle

As part of our series of articles on Studio staff making forces from Stalin’s Europe we thought we would grab four of these armies and play a Battle Report game.  As the forces developed two sides started to take shape. I was lucky as I had painted enough models and miniatures to field either a Harckocsizó Század or a Rohamágyús Üteg, but Victor was also building a Rohamágyús Üteg, so I went with the tanks of my Harckocsizó Század.

Facing us was Mike and Sean. Mike had been working on a Romanian Puscasi Batalion, while Sean had built a Soviet Shturmovye Batalon.

Battlefield
We decided to make the battlefield a mix of urban and rural, representing where the farmland and city meet, to represent the fighting that happened on the city or town edge. Many of the battles in Hungary in 1944 happened around towns and cities, not just in Budapest, but other places such as Debrecen, Nagyvárad and Kecskemét for example.

The table

To do this we split the table in two, with the right side paved and scattered with buildings, while on the left side a number of hills, rural buildings and woods broke up the countryside. The two sides of the table were divided by a railway line.

The Forces

Victor and Wayne’s Forces

Wayne's Harckocsizó Század

Harckocsizó Század (Confident Veteran) (Page 70 Stalin’s Europe)

Company HQ
2 Turán II tanks

125 points
Harckocsizó Platoon
3 Turán II tanks

190 points
Harckocsizó Platoon
3 Panther A tanks


550 points

Motorised Rifle Platoon
4 Rifle Squads   
Command Panzerfaust SMG team
Add Trucks



190 points
Self-propelled Anti-aircraft Platoon
2 Nimrod

115 points
Önkéntes Puskás Platoon
(Fearless Conscript) 2 Puskás Squads

80 points
Total
1250 points

Victor's Rohamágyús Üteg

Rohamágyús Üteg (Confident Veteran) (Page 74 Stalin’s Europe)

Company HQ
1 StuG G assault gun

90 points
Rohamágyús Platoon
3x StuG G assault guns

270 points
Rohamágyús Platoon
3x Zrínyi II assault howitzer

225 points
 
Rohamágyús Platoon
3x Zrínyi II assault howitzer

225 points
Harckocsizó Platoon
2 Panther A tanks

365 points
Armoured Car Platoon
(Confident Trained)
3 Csaba armoured cars


80 points
Total
1255 points
Mike and Sean’s Forces

Mike's Puscasi Batalion

Puscasi Batalion (Regular) (Page 36 Stalin’s Europe)

Battalion HQ
25 points
Puscasi Company
1 Puscasi Platoon

145 points
Puscasi Company
1 Puscasi Platoon

145 points
Puscasi Company
1 Puscasi Platoon

145 points
Heavy Anti-tank Battery
6x TAC 43 Resita 75mm guns

285 points
Heavy Mortar Company
3 Mortar Sections

185 points
Soviet Tankovy Company
(Confident Trained)
4x T-34/85 obr 1943, 1x T-34 obr 1942


325 points
Total
1255 points

Sean's Shturmovye Batalon

Shturmovye Batalon (Fearless Trained) (Page 20 Stalin’s Europe)

Battalion HQ
35 points
Shturmovye Group
Assault Group, Reinforcement Group,
Reserve Group, and Komissar


480 points
Strelkovy Company
2 Rifle Platoons and Maksim HMG

295 points
Tankovy Company
5 OT-34 flame tanks

245 points
Assault Gun Company
5 SU-76M

190 points
Total
1245 points
 

Deployment

The Mission played was Encounter, which dictated the deployment to some extent. Each side would have to leave off half their platoons in Reserve. These would come on as Delayed Reserves from Turn 3 and would also be scattered, making it a little uncertain where they would come on and how they would affect the battle.
Mike anchored his flank by placing his Heavy Anti-tank Battery in the open fields using the hills, fences and buildings as concealment.

Romanian Heavy Anti-tank Battery
Deployment
Countryside allied deployment

He also deployed one of his Puscasi Companies in the same area and a Machine-gun Platoon with the guns. He held the rest of his force in reserve, allowing Sean to put most of his battalion on the table, with just his flame tanks in reserve.

Wayne deployed his Panther platoon on table facing the Romanians, but with an eye to keeping them in concealment against the TAC 43 Resita 75mm guns, which have an excellent anti-tank rating of 13.

In the city section Wayne deployed his Motorised Rifle Platoon and Company HQ. The rest of his force was in reserve. Victor concentrated his forces on the city side, with his HQ StuG, two Zrínyi II Rohamágyús Platoons and his Police Csaba Armoured Cars in this area. Wayne's Hungarian Panthers
One of Victor's Zrinyi Rohamágyús Platoons

The Plans

Hungarians
The Hungarians plan was to use Victor’s assault guns to drive through the city with support from Wayne’s Motorised Riflemen. They’d shoot up Sean’s Shturmovye Group and take the object they defended.

Romano-Soviet
Mike and Sean’s plan was to hang on in the city section, looking for opportunities as they arrived and to storm forward on the country flank under the protective fire of the Romanian anti-tank guns and take the objective being covered by the Hungarian Panthers.
Sean's Sturmovye Group
Csaba armoured cars in the warehouse Turn 1
Hungarians
The Hungarians won the dice off and got the first turn. They moved their forces forward into the city section. Victor’s Zrínyi II assault howitzers fired on the Shturmovye Group’s heavy guns and managed to knock two of them out. Victor also zoomed his Police Csaba armoured cars, who had already made a Reconnaissance Deployment move, into a large warehouse where he could see the Soviet SU-76 assault gun through windows and doors. However, the Csaba’s shooting has little effect. On the other flank the Panthers unsuccessfully fired on the Romanian guns.

Turn 1
Romano-Soviet
Sean began his thrust towards the countryside objective and moved his Strelkovy Company past the Romanian anti-tank guns. He also manoeuvred his SU-76 assault guns so they can return fire on the Csaba armoured cars and knocked out two with his shooting.

Strelkovy advance
Mike took a few shots at the Panthers with his anti-tank guns, but couldn’t hit the concealed veterans.
Turn 2
Hungarians
Wayne pushed his Panthers forward a bit to give them more targets to shoot at as Sean moved his infantry forward. They used their machine-guns to knock out a few teams. On the other flank the advance continued, with Victor’s Zrínyi II assault howitzers knocking the last two heavy guns of the Shturmovye Group, leaving the objective free enemy teams. He also took some more shots with his last Csaba armoured car at the SU-76 assault guns, but they didn’t hit.

Turn 2
SU-76M assault guns Romano-Soviet
The daring thrust by the Strelkovy against the Panthers inspired the nearby Romanians and the 1st Puscasi Company joins the advance. Further shooting resounded across the front, but the Hungarians kept coming. However, the SU-76 assault guns do knock out the final Csaba.

Turn 3
Hungarians
Wayne was lucky and got a Reserve platoon with his first reserve roll. He selected as his first Reserve platoon the Harckocsizó Platoon with the three Turán II tanks. They arrived in the centre and Wayne decided to reinforce the Panthers’ position with them. The Panthers continued to machine-gun Sean’s Strelkovy Company.

The Turan II tanks arrive
Panthers On the other flank Victor pushed his Zrínyi assault howitzers towards the objective. However, he was aware that the SU-76 assault guns lay in wait. Wayne pushed his Motorised Rifle Platoon up in support, advancing them through the rubble towards the unguarded objective. The Turán command tanks follow the path of the armoured cars, looking for shots against the SU-76 assault guns.
Turn 3
Romano-Soviet
No reserves arrived for the allies. Sean wasn’t going to let the Hungarian just take his objective so easily. He shot his Shturmovye Group’s weapons out of the apartment building at the Hungarian infantry in the rubble, pinning them down. The casualties caused by the Panther machine-guns forced Sean to redirect his Strelkovy Company across the railway line towards the Hungarian city side objective. Mike keeps moving his Romanian infantry towards the countryside objective.

Infantry advance!
However, they now faced the machine-guns of six vehicles after the arrival of the Turán tanks.
Victor's Panthers Turn 4
Hungarians
Hungarian luck continuesd with the arrival of their second Reserve platoon, this time Victor selected his Panther platoon to come on. They arrive on the countryside flank and advanced into the wheat fields to take advantage of the concealment. Wayne’s Panthers and Turáns hold and continued to pour fire into the Soviets and Romanians.

On the other flank the Motorised infantry un-pinned and advanced towards the objective. Victor’s troops also advanced. One Zrínyi platoon moved onto the objective, while the other and the HQ StuG moved next to the infantry. Wayne’s Turán II command tanks stayed in the warehouse and had a go at the SU-76 assault guns, with little more effect than the armoured cars.
Victor's Zrinyis on the Objective
Turn 4
Sean's Strelkovy Company moves down the Railway line Romano-Soviet
Finally the allied reserves began to arrived. Mike brought on his supporting Soviet Tankovy Company of five T-34/85 tanks. They arrived on the countryside flank and advanced on the Hungarian Panthers. With Zrínyi assault howitzers on the objective and the enemy infantry advancing towards the same objective, it was time for Sean’s Shturmovye Group to act. They left the safety of the apartment building and crossed the street into the ruins, blazing away with their submachine-guns as they came.

They then assaulted the Hungarian Motorised Rifle Platoon. They destroyed the Hungarian platoon in a short, sharp fight, before redirecting their fury on the Rohamágyús Platoon on the objective. Victor, a wily campaigner, extracted his Zrínyi assault howitzers from their difficult position by breaking off. Shturmovye Assault
On the other flank the Strelkovy continued to redirect their thrust into the city, while Mike bottled out of his attack towards the objective and moved his infantry back into the woods. In the meantime the SU-76 assault howitzers knocked out Wayne’s 2iC Command Turan II tank.
Destroyed T-34 tanks

Turn 5
Hungarians
Victor’s StuGs arrived from reserve. They came on from the centre and moved to reinforce the countryside flank where the T-34/85 tanks loomed large. They opened fire on the Soviet tanks, along with the two Panther platoons. All that was left after the volley was a mound of shredded steel. The Soviet tank threat on the flank had been terminated.

On the other flank the Victor’s assault howitzers fired on Sean’s SU-76 assault guns and knocked out two vehicles.

His other Zrínyi platoon and the HQ StuG, along with Wayne’s HQ Turán tank who had beaten a hasty retreat out of the warehouse, fired on the Shturmovye Group. The stubborn Soviet company refused to move, despite being severely under strength.
Panthers
Turn 5
StuGs knocked out

Romano-Soviet
More allied reserves arrived, with a Romanian Puscasi Company making an appearance. They arrived on the city flank and Mike decided to reinforce Sean with these by assaulting Victor’s Zrínyi Platoon. The assault successfully took out two of the three Zrínyi assault howitzers. Victor extracted one Zrínyi assault howitzer from the fight and retreated. Victor then tested the motivation of this platoon, but was unable the hold the last Zrínyi on the field because the platoon’s morale had broken.

Towards the centre Sean’s Strelkovy Company finally reached the objective, while Mike moved his 1st Puscasi Company out of the wood and towards the Hungarian tanks. Mike then shot his anti-tank guns at the StuGs and Panthers, knocking out all three StuGs, one of Wayne’s Panthers, and the whole Turán platoon. Some pretty effective shooting! 

Puscasi Company Knocks out Zrinyi Platoon Destroyed SU-76M
Turn 6
Hungarians
With Sean’s Strelkovy Company sitting on the Hungarian city side objective, Victor had to commit his HQ and 2nd Rohamágyús Platoon of Zrínyi II assault howitzers to the regaining this objective.

Objective struggle
Countryside objective The aggressive assault on the city flank had now devolved into a scrambling defence. After the generous use of machine-guns and a limited assault the Hungarian assault artillery troops were able to easily clear away the Strelkovy and once again contest the objective. However, the enemy still lingered and they had to remain near the objective. 
On the other flank the TAC 43 Resita 75mm guns had made their presence felt. The Panthers opened up on the guns and destroyed one, but there were still five more of these devastating weapons to deal with. The Önkéntes Puskás Platoon arrived from reserve and pushed up the flank pass the burning T-34 tanks. Luckily the Nimrod anti-aircraft tanks had also arrived from reserve and they started to move towards Sean’s Strelkovy Company to add their firepower to the fight.
Turn 6
The 1st Puscasi move forward. Romano-Soviet
Mike decided to keep moving his 1st Puscasi Company towards the tree line hiding the Panthers to ultimately assault them. He supported this with more concentrated fire from his anti-tank guns, but the fire was not as effective. He decided to send his assault in anyway, but the defensive fire from the Panther tanks stopped them dead. On the other flank the victorious 2nd Puscasi Company advanced further into the city.

Turn 7
Hungarian
With the Romanian anti-tank guns plugging away at the Panthers, Wayne decided to move his two remaining tanks towards the centre to reduce the volume of fire on them. Victor had already moved his Panthers into this area. The newly arrived Önkéntes Puskás Platoon double up the flank towards the flank of the Romanian anti-tank guns.

In the city the Victor’s HQ and Zrínyi platoon were joined by Wayne’s command tanks to pour fire on to the Strelkovy Company with the aim of wiping them out. Their fire was reinforced form the other side of the railway tracks by the 40mm Bofors guns of the Nimrods.

Önkéntes Puskás Platoon
Turn 7
2nd Puscasi Company Romano-Soviet
The allied reserves had shown a reluctance to arrive for the whole game, and once again no units turn up. Mike decided, after the failure of his assault attempt, to withdraw his 1st Puscasi Company towards the woods. On the other flank his 2nd Puscasi Platoon has made good progress and moved deeper into the city. Sean’s troops, despite their dwindling numbers, hold on to their good positions, waiting for the Romanians to launch that decisive blow.

1st Puscasi Company

Fire from the anti-tank guns and the command teams knocked out a couple of teams and pinned down the Önkéntes Puskás Platoon.

Turn 8
Hungarian
In one last offensive thrust the Önkéntes Puskás Platoon unpinned and assaulted the Romanian Heavy Anti-tank Platoon. They are hit by a volley of fire on the way in, but made it into to contact with a couple of teams. After a short fight the Hungarian infantry were overwhelmed by the anti-tank gunners and teams from the Romanian HQ.
In the city the troops surrounding the Strelkovy Company shot them up some more, but still Sean’s men clung tenaciously to the ruined buildings.

Önkéntes Puskás Platoon unpin and assault
Turn 8
OT-34 flame tanks Romano-Soviet
It seemed the Romanian and Soviet reserves were travelling together and all three arrive at the beginning of the turn. Sean’s OT-34 flame-tanks arrive from the flank and head for the centre. Mike’s 3rd Puscasi Company moved to reinforce the Heavy Anti-tank Battery. The final reserve unit were the Romanian 120mm mortars, who set-up behind the Shturmovye Group and the objective.

With just the five Hungarian vehicles contesting the objective with the Strelkovy Company, Mike decided to move his 2nd Puscasi Company through the ruined building behind them and attacked their rear. A bloody fight in the street developed with the Romanians knocking out one Zrínyi assault howitzer before the other vehicles see them off.

On the other flank the anti-tank guns target the Panthers and another of Wayne’s Panther tanks was destroyed.

This last act brings the game to an end. Wayne’s company was forced under-strength after he failed the Panther’s Platoon Morale Check.

The Assault!
The Assault!

At the start of Turn 9 Wayne then promptly failed his Company Morale Check. A Romano-Soviet Victory!

Podcast

We talk about the battle Report in Podcast Episode XIII...

 


Last Updated On Thursday, May 19, 2011 by Chris at Battlefront