I was keen to get my Second Global War Soviet army back on the table again, so a game against Nick's Alien Enslavers at the club yesterday was just the ticket. This was a 200pt battle, so I got an opportunity to deploy my Super Heavy Tanks, unreliable experimental technology but packing a massive punch because of the Primary Weapons system on each tank.
The battle we were fighting was Breakthrough/Rearguard Action, Scenario 6 in the rulebook. I was the attacker, and to win I had to get two units across the table and exited. I'd played this before and managed a win, but I was less confident this time, because of the inherent unreliability of my tanks. Also, I was worried about the psychic powers of the Enslavers.
The table was set up with a river cutting it in two. Luckily I was able to reposition the built-up area nearest to the forest to give my troops some useful cover.
I had a plan, but it all depended on using my long-range firepower to whittle away at the Alien hordes. The Heavy Tanks were on my right and the Super Heavies on the left, with mobile rocket artillery and field artillery in the centre to launch hopefully devastating barrages.
The infantry were always going to be secondary in my plans, but I deployed them on the flanks to prevent the Aliens from getting around and attacking my vulnerable artillery.
Supporting my armour I had a stand of Mechanical Scientists, inferior infantry defending Mechanics who could repair damaged vehicles.
The Alien Enslavers were a truly bizarre force. Giant tentacled brains. eldritch vehicles, fearsome-looking beasts and hordes of psychically-controlled Thralls.
Supported by floating heavy weapons, the alien tanks and infantry occupied the village on the Alien right.
My tanks soon began to hit their targets, causing damage to the Alien armour. The white figure is a Subject Telepath.
The Alien centre was packed with Thralls, but indirect artillery fire began to thin their ranks. Getting these out of my way was crucial to my plan.
I was also keen to drive off or destroy the Alien armour in the village.
This force on the Alien right worried me. I didn't want to have to divert forces to fend them off, but I didn't want them coming over to my side of the river either.
I got my vehicles into cover as soon as possible. I didn't want my defensively weak mobile artillery destroyed by Nick's Beast of the Air.
My super heavy armour came under attack, sustaining hits, but my Mechanical Scientists were able to effect battlefield repairs and kept their threat very much alive. I also lost some infantry, but my core force remained intact.
One concern was my Sniper, who was generally unable to trouble the enemy, missing with about 80% of his shots. Re-education in the Gulags beckoned.
Slowly, the enemy forces were thinned out, but I was still not going to commit my forces to advance until they had overwhelming force.
Finally, with the alien tanks on my right destroyed, the time came to get some troops over the river, my tanks sweeping aside the much-reduced screen of Thralls.
I was still worried by the Psychic threat, though and I concentrated my fire on the command stand on the hill.
These guys were also a concern. I took time to try and weaken them as much as possible.
My centre remained solid. both the indirect artillery and the tanks were causing damage to the aliens.
One tank was lost due to psionic attacks, but my advance continued.
I ordered more armour to cross the bridge, once the aliens were weakened to such a degree that the threat was becoming negligible.
I sent my mainly-useless sniper into hand-to-hand combat against the Master of Thralls. Almost inevitably, he lost and his death meant that he wouldn't suffer at the hands of my NKVD goons in one of my dungeons.
However, this was just a minor setback as my armour and infantry poured forwards to gain that all-important breakthrough, with two units leaving the table, with more to follow unopposed.
So, a resounding victory for the Soviet Armoured Fist. I am really beginning to like this army a lot. It isn't fast and it does suffer from unreliability, but The Stubborn characteristic means that troops don't suffer command penalties if pinned, so choosing to be Pinned instead of Falling Back makes a lot of sense.
The opportunity to re-roll shooting dice with tank guns upgraded to Superior Firepower is also useful. It gives you a second chance to score hits on targets you have missed with the first shot.
I've been the attacker twice with my Soviets now. I think that overall they are probably going to be a better defensive force, but they do offer an all-round threat from the massive firepower they can deploy.