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The Cavalry Annihilate!

The Cavalry Annihilate!
with Phil Yates

My Cavalry Squadron’s light tank company took the field again. This time their spearhead seems to have taken them a little far eastward — all the way to the Russian Front to face Cameron’s Soviet Hero T-34 Tank Battalion.

For this battle, even though we were playing with just 50 points, I swapped out some of my first 50 points for the next batch on the painting table. I thought that my M5 Stuarts would find it a bit difficult to hurt anything he had other than the T70s, so I brought along a platoon of M10 tank destroyers, and one of  M8 cavalry recon in place of a platoon of M5 Stuarts and the M8 assault guns.

When Andrew, who’s running our Bloody Omaha event in coordination with the Hobby League, informed me that the mission was going to be annihilation, I thought things might not look too rosy for my Americans. It was to be a knockdown, drag out fight to the death. No missions, no sudden ending, just a brawl to the end. Once my M10s went down, I’d have nothing to touch his KV-1s, and expected not to be able to do more than scrape the paintwork on his T-34s. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so we had at it.

The Cavalry Annihilate!

The first part of the battle took the form of a wheel spinning clockwise. My left flank of one platoon of five M5 Stuart light tanks found itself facing five T-34s and three KV-1s. It promptly scarpered behind the town in the centre racing for my right flank, losing two tanks in the process.

Meanwhile, the rest of my M5 light tanks charged on my right flank, using their impressive speed to round the woods into which another T-34 platoon had advanced, then promptly wiped out Cameron’s T-70 light tank platoon hiding behind the wood. So far, so good, I thought. My one easy kill done. Now on to the heavy slogging.

The Cavalry Annihilate!

The Cavalry Annihilate!

That began with my M10 platoon, which had used the cavalry’s spearhead rule to deploy in the wood opposite the one the T-34s had occupied, knocking out the T-34 that had unwisely left itself exposed to take a potshot at them.

Then my M5 Stuarts began to demonstrate their, now customary, luck. For several turns Cameron’s T-34s and KV-1s attempted to knock out my light tanks and tank destroyers — with absolutely no success. My light tanks even bounced an armour piercing shot completely, and the few rounds that hit and penetrated, just bailed a few out. In return, the M5s were pounding them with dozens of flank shots, and an oddly large proportion were hitting and penetrating and killing his T-34s (rounds with 9 out of 10 hits and one dead despite the odds).

By the time the wheel had turned so that Cameron had moved through and around the town, facing me at right angles to our initial deployment, his flank was gone, and I swung back to face the new threat. This time it was my M10s that demonstrated what luck is, knocking out most of his KV-1s as they deployed.

The Cavalry Annihilate!

The Cavalry Annihilate!

The M5 Stuarts launched a charge back the way the first platoon had retreated, and with the help of the M10s, cleaned up the remaining T-34s and KV-1. Cam’s troops fought to the last, but against luck of that magnitude, just could not prevail.

Despite the outcome, I still don’t think I’d back a pack of M5 Stuart light tanks against T-34s. I don’t think I could find that sort of luck again. It was a fun and challenging battle, even though the results appeared one-sided in the end.

 Phil’s M5 Stuart Light Tank Company

  • M5 Stuart Tank Company HQ: 2x M5 Stuart
  • 2x M5 Stuart Tank Platoon: 5x M5 Stuart
  • 1x M10 Tank Destroyer Platoon: 4x M10
  • 1x M8 Cavalry Recon Patrol: 1x M8 + 2x Jeep
Cameron’s T-34 Hero Tank Battalion
  • T-34 Tank Battalion HQ: 1x T-34/85
  • T-34 Tank Company: 2x T-34/85, 2x T-34
  • T-34 Tank Company: 1x T-34/85, 3x T-34
  • T-70 Tank Company: 3x T-70
  • KV-1 Tank Company: 3x KV-1s

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Last Updated On Friday, September 13, 2019