The game is Panzer Command Ostfront (Matrix Games) and the scenario is about a German armored counter-attack after the Soviet breakthrough near Kapitanovka (Korsun Operation, February 1944). I am playing as the Germans against the Soviets (commanded by the computer).
Pain right from the scenario start: a ravaging indirect fire (artillery and mortar) barrage took out all my halftracks and one whole squad of panzer grenadiers. I was left with three tank platoons (Tiger Is) and two panzer grenadier platoons (one of them already depleted of one squad).
Tank goodness for a small depression that crosses the battlefield from our starting position all the way to the the final 600 meters to the objective (a shallow hill). I did maneuver 2/3 of my tanks free from observation using this terrain feature. The enemy defending this piece of land is mainly armor.
Peeking out of this terrain depression was not a problem, even when enemy tanks were popping out from all directions. The Tigers had no issue taking hits and dispatching the enemy armor from short ranges.
|A platoon of Tiger Is engaging enemy armor (some Soviet tanks can be seen in the background).|
One example: the farm of uncoordinated doom. This was one objective that I though it would be easy to take. A couple of turns observing it and no signs of enemy. The Red Army waited until we were just within a stone throw and showed up in force.
|I wanted 3 tanks providing fire support and a whole grenadier platoon to assault the farm. Got neither but a nasty armor ambush.|
|This is where my people were: tanks trying to move through a roadside ditch and grenadiers still catching up after a long walk.|
|My first tank loss at the farm objective. Note the red icons in the background: these are enemy tanks. The building witnessing this armor loss can't be more symbolic of a tactical plan going down the sh!thole ...|
Back in the terrain depression, things went well for a while. My Tigers were moving out of the ditch and taking out enemy armor. But the ranges of engagement were getting smaller ...
|An almost point blank engagement. Note the destroyed enemy armor in the background and the new threat under the red icon. Is this close range armor combat or what?|
|Even at close range, this enemy T-34 tank took 4 hits before being destroyed.|
|Surprise! I was very lucky to pull out one Tiger tank from this ...|
I played myself into the enemy's hands. I made every mistake the enemy was expecting me to make. However, I won the scenario (?). Sometimes these victory conditions are weird.