Friday, 20 January 2017

The Red hammer pushes on..WW2 AAR

The battlefield is set in the outer regions of Germany 1944 as the Russians push towards Berlin, the radar station,ruined town houses and bombed factory across the middle of the table are the objectives, these will be needed to be claimed by the end of turn 7 to win the game with the possibility of a extra turn, if either side would reach 2/3rds of their Break point total they would be forced to retreat and the engagement would be lost 

As I stated in my last post we decided to have another game of Iron cross this week after we found ourselves rather rusty with the rules in our last game. This time out I decided to give the Russians a run out for the first time using these rules and my dad used the Germans. We used the 1944 lists and picked 700 points aside. I decided to go for Weight of numbers and brought plenty of T34/76 tanks (backed up by a couple of T34/85) which are inferior to the German armour but I was hoping the extra numbers would count. Supporting these tanks was a SU-76mm tank hunter and a T70 light tank and a 76mm A/T gun. My dad took a Tiger 1 backed up by some Panzer IV's and a 88mm just for good measure, we both had roughly the same amount of infantry squads and support teams although I had a extra flamethrower team and sniper, both sides had a quarter of their force off in reserve which could arrive from the start of turn 3.

Onto the action..........

T34/76. Tanks advance towards to town buildings objective supported by the infantry mounted in the transport trucks. I find that the the transport in Ironcross can be very useful for getting your infantry squads to objectives with speed, once you disembark you don't have to worry to much about having to get the transport off the table (wasting valuable command tokens) as they don't contribute to your Break point (BT). 
The German infantry squads take the inititive and take control of the ruined town houses early in the game
The Russian left flank was to see heavy fighting throughout the game, the 76mm A/T gun engages in a fire fight with the distant Panzer IV's, this fire fight was to last the entire game with both sides coming desperately close on a number of occasions to surpassing their morale limit, only for some timely company command orders/rolls to save them. The supporting Russian infantry engaged in a fire fight with the German infantry in the wood, eventual destroying the Germans.
The 88mm waits quietly in the wood for a target, naturally i was very reluctant to give it one, the tiger and infantry support the squads holding the town houses.
A Russian spotting plane on a recon mission surveys the German position (the model was only on for show and wasn't actually playing any part but you have to use as many of your miniatures/models as possible as, well it looks nice and adds to the visual effects of the game 😄
As the Russian tank column advances towards the town houses the tiger clunks into gear and moves from the concealment of the wood to meet the threat head on down the narrow road way
The sound of the tiger coming into view was enough to get my advance T34's attention and I tried to react to this with a reverse move ASAP, however it proved unsuccessful unlike the 88m shell from the tiger which found its target with a Kaboom result!
As my Russian armour advanced to take control of the radar station a sneaky German infantry squad tried for a flank position for a panzerfaust shot onto the unsuspecting Russian tanks. However I had support from a couple of squads of infantry and they advanced into the wood to pin the attack from happening. This was another fire fight which would continue throughout the game. It's very important in iron cross to keep your tanks supported by infantry as it gets hard to react to the enemy infantry with your tanks if you are not supported. I do like this rule as it gives your infantry a good role to play in supporting your armour in attacks,which I have not always found the Case in other rule sets where infantry would be at times neglected.
My flamethrower squad once in position quickly cleared out the German infantry from the town house objective, after this attack the flamethrower squad attracted a lot of German fire as a result of the effectiveness of the close range flame attack, the squad was eventually broken but it had cleared the way for my supporting Russian infantry to take the objective. 
As our reserves entered the table most of our armour was becoming involved in a long range fire fight on the Russian left flank around the factory objective. My poor Russian tank drivers were proving no match for the Panzer IV's as two quick reaction shots saw two T34's blow up, one with a Kaboom effect which saw the supporting infantry squads take morale damage. One of these squads I issued a fall back order as they had become the target of a 80mm mortar team and once these are ranged in they start to become dangerous as you don't get any benefit for cover and each mortar shot gets one easier on the dice to hit each time it fires, the down side to this with the mortars is it can eat into your command tokens quickly. I made a bad error around this time as I forgot to activate a transport truck carrying a infantry squad from reserve when they became available, this ment they had been lost on route to the battle, oops!
The Panzer IV's which accounted for the loss of my T34's arriving from reserve. However my dad was using a lot of command tokens to keep these tanks in the game as he was regularly having to take company command checks to rally hits from the morale, mostly these were been caused by tne 76mm anti tank gun defending the factory objective
The Russian infantry squads secure the radar station as the T34's engage the remains of the German infantry squads in the area.
A bitter fight had broke out over the ruined town houses but despite taking heavy fire the Russian infantry squad was hanging onto the objective, even trying a pot shot or two at the panzer III which had appeared out the wood from reserve with their PTRD which shock the morale of the German tank. All though I wasn't destroying the tank, the fact that I was inflicting morale hits ment the Panzer III was becoming hard to activate and when it did it was suffering penalties to its shooting.
After constantly targeting the 88 in the wood the Russian mortar team finally managed to destroy it, this opened the way for my T34's to adavance into the open central area of The table, a shot from one of these quickly destroyed the Panzer III
In reaction to my T34 advancing to shoot the panzer III, my dad reacted with a panzer IV which was lurking round the back of the house, it moved around the corner of the house as my T34 engaged the Panzer III, a flank shot saw the T34 destroyed (note to readers, when my dad rolls on the damage table  for a tank it's as rare as a Sunderland win that he rolls any other result than a destroyed one!)
The game was just about to enter turn 7 when we were coming towards the time limit for our game. My dad conceaded that he was only a few points shy from his force been broken where i was still 20+ points away, most likely I would have managed to break his Germans in the final turn. I was also holding the three objectives but only after some fierce fire fighting. Both the town houses and factory area had really been a hard fought to take and then hold.
The Russian command team was called upon late in the game to lend a hand to hold the factory objective, on a couple of occasions I was called upon using his  ability to reroll a failed activation roll to keep the anti tank gun firing.
My Russian tanks after securing the radar station start to advance onto the flank of The German position after clearing the area of German infantry 
The final position as the Russains gain a victory and another foothold into German territory 
These last couple of games using Ironcross rules has really set alight my passion for gaming world war 2 after a absence of over 5-6months. I really do like his these rules work as at all times during the game you get to be involved, it almost feels like your not actually playing turns. I love the rules for the sniper teams, definetly the best idea for them I have played, and the ease of tne transports is excellent.  I know the rules don't have aeroplane attacks and in game artillery bombardments but if does not suffer at all for this, actually both myself and my dad think it's better without them as in the past they have slowed the game down and proven to be a to much of a dominate force in a game. What I have learned so far in my games of iron cross is to be careful with your command tokens. It is so easy to just keep spending them activating or reacting that before you know if you have next to non left and your opponent has a handful. During this game my dad suffered from this when he failed 5-6 reaction rolls in a row to interrupt my move, meaning when I did pass the initiative back to him he was limited to what he could do. Also, although very important that they are, company command rolls can eat into your command tokens if your not careful, sometimes I think you just have to leave troops to there fate and concentrate your efforts elsewhere. Finding that balance between been aggressive with the initiative and been to passive and cautious is a fine line, I think I got it right during this game, on a couple of occasions I took the game to my dad by been very aggressive in attacking the objective inthe  ruined town houses area, using a fair amount of my command tokens but at the same time I was managing to draw my dad into trying to react to this expending his command tokens on actions he probably could have done without doing. If you haven't played Ironcross before they are definetly worth  having a go 👍
I have loads of models which had a purpose in my previous set of WW2 rules which I am now finding a new use for in Ironcross. My old communication truck base makes a nice place to put my discarded command tokens from company command rolls... (Any excuse to get these cool looking models onto the table 😀)


  1. I really enjoyed your account and your table. It seems to work well in 15mm - the rules seem to warn off players from using 28mm on a 6' x 4'or less, I am not so sure about that.

    I like the way that the rules give a good sense of combined arms and that the 'Fall Back' order is so nicely handled.

    Glad you posted this AAR.

  2. By the way ... you created your post on Friday and published on Monday, the problem with the software you are using is that on the reader list on blogger, the post still holds the Friday date, so on many peoples blog (mine) your post does not show up as a new post, as it is already 3 days old and so already fails to hit the top ten most recent posts that the blogger reader displays.

    I find the only way around it is to prepare the blog draft in a word processor and then on the day you want to post, paste it into your blog software and add pictures.