Hot Tank action!

This Rapid Fire! scenario saw a group of four Panthers and five StuG IIIs (four with long 75mm guns and one with a 105mm gun) protecting five Opel Blitz trucks in the centre of a village somewhere on the Eastern Front in early 1944. The Soviet forces consisted of five KV1, five T34/76 and five Shermans armed with 76mm guns. This was played on a 6x4 foot board and the scenario goal was for the Soviets to either capture the village or destroy the trucks, the Germans had to stop this from happening. I took the German defenders, my opponent took the Soviet attackers, decided by a coin toss. It proved to be a short but exciting game...

The ring of German steel around the village.

The initial set-up and board lay out:

Close up of the trucks in the village:

The T34s closed in behind the StuGs defending the south of the village:

And started scoring hits almost immediately:

The action was confined to the south of the village in the first few turns, a truck burns from a hit by a KV1. The white markers signified that the tanks have conducted reactive fire to enemy movements:

And the reason for that reactive fire, a group of KV1s heading down the southern road. The red marker indicates heavy damage, the yellow marker; light damage:

The T34s were harassing from the eastern edge of the village...

Whilst the Shermans moved to the northern outskirts to engage the StuGs there:

The overall view a few turns in, north is to the right of the picture:

More StuGs burn in the village as did more trucks. A brave single T34 nosed its way onto the bridge and into the village to get some shots at the trucks:

Meanwhile, the Germans were having a bit more luck to the south with the KV1s taking some heavy damage from the Panthers:

Under the cover of the other T34s, the lone ranger made a daring attack on the truck column:

This didn't stop more KV1s catching fire under the punishing battery from the Panthers:

A morale failure dispatched two of the Shermans, but the remaining three pushed closer to the village past the wrecks of the StuGs defending the north:

It quickly turned into an exercise in shooting fish in a barrel, or trucks in a village...

Despite a good fight to the south, the game was up for the German defenders:

The final Soviet victory was pretty academic at this stage and it was all over with burning vehicles scattered over the village:

It was a great game, very quick with a good definite outcome. I don't mind losing, as long as I lose well and I think I did in this case. The Panthers certainly exacted a toll on the KV1s, but I think I left the north of the village too undefended, it was quite a disappointing defence as well, with only two Shermans removed from the board due to a morale failure. I was hoping for more from my StuGs... This was the first Rapid Fire! game we've played for a while and I have been itching to use my newly painted tanks. I'll have my revenge some day soon!