International Team League 2007 Round 5 (Drevak vs Paulus)
| published: 21/06/2008(No emendations have been performed to this article. Its correctness is warranted by the author only)
What follows is the summary of my periodical reports from the ITL game against Punta de Lanza's Paulus. Whose real name, by the way, is Jesus. I decided to get these published as only now did I realize access to the WaWWaW - World at War
team forum is limited. And a new medal is always welcome. Content edited slightly to make more sense in a single, compact article. Thus the often rude and vulgar remarks aimed at the team's captain Skilgannon at the time of writing are not included.
So yes, I duked it out with Jesus.
And I won.
The map does not exactly favour the attacker. A village on the right is a good but possibly expected place for an ambush, yet at the same time the only other viable option for an infantry advance would be the far left side of the map. As it provides at least some tree cover. A ridge runs roughly halfway through my setup zone, severely limiting line of sight. The far side of the ridge when viewed from the flags, simply the central part of the map, is unsettlingly void of any decent cover. The German player possesses two areas to deploy his forces. One only a few hundred yards from my own setup zone, with some infantry assets, and another at the edge of the map – for the units of his own choice.
My initial thoughts are that a central attack is unlikely. It is interesting to note that some of my teammates' battles will prove me wrong.
I opted for a rather deep defensive line, focusing on the village, as I think it is the obvious approach for at least the enemy infantry force; and creating a bottleneck on the left, so as to discourage him from going through there. Few units in the front, snipers or some SMGSMG - Submachine Gun [ENG]
teams to gun down a careless squad or two if I get lucky, some empty trenches to just slow him down for a while. Then I peppered the area with a few guns or a ISUISU - Iosif Stalin - Samokhodnaja Ustanovka [RUS]
here and there, hoping to get his tanks into a crossfire when they get close.
An ideal scenario would see him move his infantry along my right flank where the village is, with his tanks going perhaps more centrally, through the fields right next to the village. I am fairly confident I could hold up his infantry for a decent amount of time with some minefields or falling way back to the village's rear. I expect two platoons of heavy tanks and a company of infantry with possibly some support. An exchange rate of a gun for a tank would be great.
The first turns of the battle are quite uneventful. Two platoons of heavy tanks spotted on the right flank (Soviet POV) together with mechanized infantry. I suspect a vanguard of infantry from the Germans' forward deploy zone to go in front of them, as I do have some contacts there. Forward elements of infantry also spotted at the left flank, I fear I might have underestimated that sector. Still, plenty of open ground should be of some help.
Grouping apparently all his tanks is a good thing in that it gives me a fairly certain idea where and what to expect, however at the same time it could prove to be a problem in that the chance of losing my ATAT - Anti-Tank [ENG]
assets quickly gets higher. Using groups of two or three or maybe even more anti tank units provides a great advantage with interlocking fields of fire, but killing the whole group gets easier.
German troops slowly advance on the village. Their lack of urgency is excellent news for my artillery spotters and a bad thing for the enemy who is on a very tight schedule. The area is lightly defended with a few T34 tanks and SMG teams. Artillery fire disrupts the enemy advance but only delays the inevitable. Enemy troops enter the village and routinely rout my forces.
Luckily for me, the German advance is extremely slow. Which allows me to keep most of my troops hidden. That in turns means further delays for the attacking force. Not expending my units until the enemy comes extremely close only makes it harder and longer (yes!) for the German to get completely through the village, nevermind get to the flags. In fact, several turns go by and nothing at all happens, save for potshots being exchanged in the village. But even those are few and far between. Time is on my side.
Yes it is.