OK, those top two posts are there for permanent book-keeping. The rest of the thread is open for battlereports, propaganda, disinformation, and general shit talkin'.
I'm gonna blame this whole first game on faulty intelligence.
I had totally gambled on faceing Soviet tanks. I debated all mourning long on wether or not to bring my generally craptastical mortar platoon, and brought an extra Pz. IV instead. This is what I was looking at on Turn 1:
Did I mention that I had not a single template weapon on this list?
I spent about three turns learning how to crash airplanes (never used 'em before) and shoot near dug-in Russians (shooting at would imply hitting...). He sat in his holes. Around Turn 4 we both realized this wasn't going to be a shooting game. Neither of us could do any/enough damage to the other to make any difference, and the clock was on his side. Nerves became tense on both sides, as I suffered through a bing of analysis paralysis and he tryed to anticipate what crazy nonsense I would try to pull to fight through all that infantry. Nerves were frayed, nails were bitten.
Eventually, I more or less ended up doing what you'd do if you just said the hell with it and crashed in without thinking. The only trickyness was trying not to start off a domino effect of supporting defensive fire. On both flanks, the German hammer fell on Turn 5. Later in turn 5, the German hammer ran off to crysbaby's house for vacation. First the StuGs on my left, then the PzIIIs on my right, were torn to shreads in a pair of assaults, the last tanks of each zug failing their moral checks and leaving their bailed out comrads to their doom. The infantry that should have been supporting the StuGs were pinned down, and there wasn't time to wait for them. Three tanks just ain't enough to assault strelk. The infantry trying to go through the main section of town gave it one round and failed their moral check.
The right flank came the closest - they had a few teams of kamfgruppaed infantry to sacrafice in support, and came so close to making it that both they and the strelk batallion they were facing broke (and you woulda gone first, without the CiC and a Kommisar!) and left the field when the assault finally died down. This was the last action of the game, and while I have no idea what I would have done if I'd made it accross the line and extended the clock, I don't think he really had a plan for it, either. As it played, it was a freakin' meat grinder over there, and we were both sweatin' it hard.
It was a hellova game, man. I almost hope the whole freakin' campaing isn't quite that stressful. Or not.
And now, Kritikalfailure's pics of the battlefild:
From now on I'm going to take a pic at the top of every turn so others can monitor our un-progress:
First thing is first: I'm glad Utini's intelligence sections were either drunk, asleep, or out whoring with the local girls, as he was poorly equipped for this fight.
Mission selection: From what I understand, my options now are to either A. hold the village in which case my next mission is Hold the Line but standard (i.e. if I fight against another Infantry Company we have to dice off for attacker) or B. Fighting Withdrawal, in w hich case I'm automatically defender. Although the campaign doesn't spell this out, I'm assuming that I would fall back once along the track regardless if I win or lose (although winning would obviously help me take control of mission selection next go around).