I accepted the scenario support option to have a T34/76 while Gary chose to dice for his support and managed to gain a maximum 9 support points. The Soviet's then only managed a force moral of 8 compared to 10 for the Germans so overall not a great start for the Russians!
The collective farm has been abandoned by the locals and is under the control of the Germans:
The first Russian squad deploys in the forest on the right overlooking the farm. All seems quiet:
Appearances can be deceptive however! A German squad emerges in the farm and a Panzer III arrives along the road:
A second Russian squad deploys behind a ridge:
The final two Russian squads appear in the broken ground on the left:
The second German squad opens fire from some entrenchments hidden in the scrub:
The Germans in the farm buildings attempted to set up a team behind the wagon but Russian fire quickly killed several of them and broke the remainder:
The final German squad deploys in more entrenchments in the middle of the farm:
The T34/76 arrives and begins to shell the German entrenchments:
The Russian squad behind the hill attempts to rush forwards but makes little progress and comes under fire from a German LMG in one of the farm buildings:
The Panzer III advances and takes a shot at the T34/76. With excellent gunnery the shot strikes home forcing the T34/76 to withdraw:
The T34/76 is temporarily out of action:
On the right another Russian squad attempts to rush the farm, hoping to get into cover before the Panzer III can intervene:
The tank reacts quickly though and machine guns the advancing squad:
The fire is fairly ineffective though and the Russians make it into cover behind a farm building:
On the left the Russians put down suppressing fire to limit their casualties from the Germans in the entrenchments:
The T34/76 emerges from cover again but fails to hit the Panzer III:
On the right the Russians have an opportunity to attack an isolated German LMG team. Raising an 'Uzzah!' they charge forward and cut the Germans down:
The victorious Russian squad charges on into the rear of another German group. The Germans fight them off though:
At this point Russian force morale had fallen to 1 due to the loss of the charging squad and some injuries to junior officers on the left. The Russians decided to withdraw and left the Germans in control of the collective farm.
To some extent my plan worked, drawing out the three German squads and facing each one with a smaller Russian squad while the fourth Russian squad attempted to work around the flank of the Germans.
Unfortunately the odds were stacked against the Russians, having to attack with a force only two men stronger and much weaker in LMG quantity and quality while having worse command and control (Gary used the 4 additional command dice he was allocated very well).
The two difference in initial force morale was also decisive (as it was in the last game Gary and I played). Starting at 8 it took very few losses for the Russians to drop to 4 command dice while the Germans had a much bigger buffer with a 10 force morale.
We both enjoyed the game though and it could have gone the other way with a little more luck for the Russians.