|I deployed my force (without any much needed French support) on the objectives and sent my Pz IIs and PzJägers off to harrass Reno's troops until reinforcements arrived. We figured it would maybe be for a few turns...
|Reno's Turn Two: He advances his second mob while the first stays pinned and cannot Dig In.
|My Turn Three: The Panzers continue to pump rounds into the Conscripts, Reno rolls lots of ones and twos for saves. Panzerjägers can't kill any more guns, who do make thier saves.
|Reno's Turn Three: His second company continues to advance on the Objectives. His first still can't unpin or Dig In.
|My Turn Four: Panzers continue firing on the hapless Soviets. The Schützen move into a better position.
Reno's Turn: His first company finally unpins and continues to advance. The second moves into some cover.
|My Turn Five: The Schützen fire on the now closing Soviets, killing a few.
|Panzers kill a few more guys. PzJägers kill another gun.
|Reno's Company breaks! The Panzers move as if they assaulted, mostly to force the Soviet troops farther away if Reno makes his Wave Attack roll next turn.
|My Turn Six: The panzer remounts and drives to MG the company who Doubled. The PzJägers do as well. Even the 2iC gets some shots in.
|Reno's Turn Six: They can't unpin or Dig In... His second company continues towards the Objectives.
|Reno's Turn Seven: But he makes another Wave Attack check and it returns a second time!
|Their Turn Eight: Matt's swarm of T-26s arrive. They kill the Panzers on sixes, and the survivor runs away.
|Our Turn Nine: The French make thier assault on the Soviet gun positions, destroying the infantry guns and forcing the 45mm guns back. It draws in the infantry but the French win the assault and the Objective. 5-2 for us.
Crazy game and even though Matt showed up super late we all had a fun time. Reno's Wave Attacks were killing me! Man, those Soviets can take a pounding and just maybe show back up in almost the exact spot they just were, and back at full strength too. I felt bad that Dave couldn't really do anything until almost the end of the game, but when they arrived they won the game for us, no doubt.
|The Dutch team had infantry, artillery and anti-tank guns, and the French heavies.
|Our feint by the French infantry succeded in buying us a few turns. The Forest's H39s were drawn off to fire on them while the Chars were trying to clear the 75mm guns from our woods.
|Our French reinforcements arrived all over the board and kept the Dutch forces from supporting the attack on our Objectives, killing an armored car platoon and causing an infantry platoon to hold their ground.
Forest and Hal are great guys and Dave and I really though they had us good. The air support and artillery gutted one of the platoons that might have a chance at killing the Chars, and once our Trained 75mm gins fired they dissappeared to massive fire from the multi-gunned heavies. If Forest would have pressed his attack sooner they would have definately got us. As time was called the platoons we had remaining on the table were nearly all making Morale checks and only a few turns of poor rolling by the Chars let the Panzers survive long enough to contest at the end.
|But we made it a game at least! The PzJägers moved out and scored a few kills on some Panzer Is.
|While the Panzer IIs confronted a massive amout of T-26s. They helped kill a Panzer I as well. The German infanty conest the Objective for way longer than I suspected they would. 1-6 loss.
Ultimately, once the French retreated we had zero chance to win the game. I was just playing to get a point or two. Almost had some more Panzer Is and some armored cars, but Morale tests were made and the combined platoon count of their force was enough to prevent the single platoon of panzers from affecting their score.
I did have a fun time partnering up with Dave and would easily do it again. I just wish he could have played more! Early War still leaves me unimpressed, too many extremes. The Soviets really swung the game so far in a strange direction. Both of the Soviet tank lists I faced could deploy more tanks than I could infantry stands. With extremely limited integral anti-tank, those infantry platoons are totally hosed once thier support goes away, and the vast amout of shots, plus decent firepower can make even a Veteran platoon disappear in one turn, as happened in round three. The Wave Attack is a little crazy, but not nearly as bad as the T-26 swarm. When you need to plan for Matildas and Chars in one extreme, and T-26 swarms and Wave Attacking infantry in another, it becomes nearly impossible to craft a list to handle both even passably though. The options that can defend against the heavy tanks are so steeply costed that they prevent a list from being able to defend against the other extreme and if you prepare for the swarm by taking sevearal light anti-tank platoons, you have a slim chance to defend yourself against the heavies. I strongly believe that our first game would have been lost if Matt's tanks had arrived earlier. Only the timely arrival of the entire French force at the same time allowed us to capture their objective before his tanks would have steamrolled mine. Our second game was only won by chance and the expiration of time. Forests Chars easily could have taken our objective by themsleves had the dice rolled a bit differently vs. the panzers and had the Chars come forward earlier. Round three was to me a foregone conclusion as soon as we saw the match-up. It was only a matter of if we could get a point or two. Even in a mission that favors the defender, I feel we had zero chance to win.
What does this all mean? There's no chance I'll ever play in a seriously competetive Early War event. I probably won't be playing in any Early War event any time soon, unless it's a super casual thing. Even with the problems the era had, it was very playable and could still be a lot of fun. Once the Soviet tanks showed up, it was Game Over man. Game Over.