Monday, April 23, 2007

Scenario Analysis: RBF27 - Romanian Panzers

Walter Eardley

Tom and I matched up on Saturday evening and played RBF-27 Romanian Panzers from RBF 3. Here are some initial thoughts on the scenario:

Get the errata from the HoB site. It makes a huge difference.

Tactical Situation:

This is a meeting engagement between two elite combined arms forces in November 1942. Either side can win immediately by killing/capturing 8 vehicles. The Romanians can also win by having more CVP at the end of the game then the Russians. There are 6 turns in the game.


Russians: 4 T-34s and a FT T-34 which can kill anything in the Romanian OOB. The Russians can do nothing and still win the game. 458 infantry squads. Potential to have 6 .50cals on the board. Talk about a kill stack! The FT on the T-34 is an 8 TK with no TH. Very nasty.

Romanian: Pz-IVs with a 75L gun. Pz-IIINs with tons of smoke. Czech tanks (LT-35s) for swarming and killing the weaker Russian tanks. Elite infantry. Decent special ammo numbers for the Pz-IVs and Pz-IIINs since by SSR both sides are elite for Ammo Depletion. SAN 4 (not huge but not horrid).


Russian: T-60s and M3A1s are very thin skinned. Platoon movement sucks. T-34s can be killed by the Pz-IVs. Ground snow movement rate for the M3A1s. Out numbered in tanks and squads. The T-34s have a 76 not a 76L gun.

Romanian: The 37 gun on the LT-35s tanks can’t hurt the T-34s. Thin armor on the Czech tanks makes it so even the 20LLs on the T-60s can get a kill. Must force the action in order to win.

Board Configuration:

Played on boards 14 and 44 with 14 being on the North side and 44 on the South. The lengths of the boards are East West. Board 44 is fairly wide open and offers some chances for long range shots. Board 14 is open at shorter ranges. There are no huge clumps of trees but there are trees and hedges to limit LOS and some stone buildings for cover near the Russian entry area.


This requires special mention since it is currently ground snow and Overcast. This means Snow on a roll of 10 or greater. Snow adds +1 for each multiple of 6 hexes beyond 6 hexes. At longer ranges, the TH numbers for the Russians become unattractive vary quickly. The longer range gun dual favors the Romanian L guns to begin with. When you start adding an extra +1 or +2 combined with being BU and Red TH as the Russians you end up at a 4 TH or less pretty quickly.

Russian tactics:

Make the Romanians come to you. Avoid exposing the M3A1s and the T-60s to the Romanian armor or infantry. They have very weak armor and will push you over the AFV limit of 8 captured or destroyed very quickly if the Romanians are able to shoot at them. Once unloaded, leave the scout cars in motion as far from the Romanians as possible. With this in mind, it makes sense to lead with the T-34s. In the game I played, I sent 2 T-34s and the FT T-34 on to board 44 with pretty much everything else on to board 14. I soon realized the platoon of tanks on board 44 were exposed them to fire at long range against the 75L armed Romanian tanks. While it is a tough TK, the T-34s are vulnerable and at longer ranges the 75L has a distinct advantage. Tom made me pay for this mistake by flaming one of my T-34s. The middle and end game found me setting up a perimeter just to the West on the airfield on board 14. I used the woods and the hedges to screen the M3A1s and forced Tom to face the remaining T-34s in order to get to the weaker armor. The T-60s backed the T-34s and the M3A1s hid as best they could. Tom made one mistake of sending all his Pz-IVs on to the South edge of board 44. On turn two, I left this board and put these tanks out of position to help for two turns. During this time, I was able to kill at will the LT-35s attacking on board 14 with a combination of fire from the T-34s and shots from the FT.

Romanian tactics:

With the Romanians, you have to be very careful to not expose the weaker armor to fire from the T-34s. The LT-35s have decent movement and should be used to try to get into the Russian backfield and kill the Scout cars. The Romanians need to make sure they use the smoke from the Pz-IIINs as much as possible (I don’t think Tom used it enough). With an s9 you will get lots of smoke. All of the tanks in the Romanian OOB have sD as well and should be used as much as possible to make it harder for the Russians to get decent TH numbers. Because it is basically 13 tanks facing the 5 T-34s the Romanians should be able to use swarm tactics to break through the T-34s and get to the scout cars. Tom tried this but was too hasty and ended up attacking over two turns with only one Pz-IIIN supporting. This gave the Russians an advantage of dealing with smaller numbers which could be killed with the assets available. As the Romanians, I believe you need to use the Pz-IVs to keep the T-34s honest and use the LT-35s to hunt the Russian T-60s and M3A1s. The captured BT5 should also be used to hunt the thinner skinned Russian armor.

In the end, I think most of the playings will center around the Russians setting up a defensive perimeter on board 14 with the Romanians trying to maneuver around the T-34s and looking to kill the M3A1s. The infantry battle is kinda secondary. You should look for opportunities to CC the tanks with the infantry. With 8 morale the Russians should be able to pass the PAATC (mine did could not but that is another story … ). With all of the .50 cals and Russians should be able to keep the Romanian infantry away from the Russian tanks.

I thought this was an interesting scenario which is probably more tactically challenging for the Romanians. Because it is a meeting engagement, there should be plenty of replay value. After one playing, I would be willing to take either side and feel I would have a good chance to win. As always, YMMV. Of course, Tom is always great to play so even a dog scenario would be fun!


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