A174 - Lagus Assault Guns

This is a return to a scenario that I lost  (or maybe won I can’t quite remember) a few years back. A strong force of super-fins are holding a village against a Russian push during the Continuation War. The Fins have a couple of Stugs and their standard super powers with the Russians getting five big tanks to compensate. There are two victory conditions. The Russian can win by either getting two working tanks and five squads passed a certain hex line or by seizing five buildings within the village. I would be the Russian horde (again)
Setup
The Finnish setup was conservative. There only appeared a small group defending the rear road through the woods and most of the defenders were behing the forward wood (this second action may be clever as any Fin starting up in the wood will get a hell of a lot of tank fire dropping on them very quickly)
As can be seen there is nothing to stop the Russians rushing forward and even the outliers are unsupported (due to the grain field preventing effective counter fire). Therefore I decided to send strong forces up the rear path. At least one tank carrying riders would move first with the riders engaging the Fins at the junction in the wood allowing the tank to get involved without much risk of panzerfausts. These would be reinforced as neccessary byt the second wave.  On the left flank I would swarm forward as fast as possible and endeavour to see what opportunities arose.
Early Days
The initial push promptly ran into a HIP front line squad who managed to break a light machine gun toting unit but was then screened by some more riders and a tank allowing the rest of the force rapidly forward. I was not to concerned by this squad as the second wave could handle it easily enough. My oppo obviosuly thought the same as it promptly withdrew to the central area. Strnager was the flanking force pulling rapidly back and obviously not fancying their chances against my encrooaching large flanking force (with good reason)
The red circle indicates the withdrawing ex-hip squad and the blue circle
where the crossroads defenders proved un keen on facing my approaching
flankers
This left the path to the rear completely open so I decided to push a lone tank up there as it would be seriously irritating to have one of those sitting in your rout paths. The ex-hip squad did turn and try to defend the edge of the wood on its own managing another break until I managed to get a unit next door at which point it self-breaked back to the building. The other forward stack in V0 then did a sterling job of prevnting my secondary force of reinforcements (In I4 ) from moving up with a fire lane. All these front forces were a little fragile due to positioning and Russian numbers.
The first cut
In the East the tanks had started trading blows and things rapidly took on a familiar feel. The first Stug managed to immobilize one of the Russian 85L’s only to be destroyed by the weight of fire from all four of the Russian tanks. I then started positioning the tanks to hopefully repeat on the other Stug. In the center I stormed forward squads to the building and suffered a break and a casualty reduction but re-dmd the self breaker and attempted to both block rout paths and allow me to encirle the irritating squad + light machine gun in the West.  The rout path block failed and the squad got out and back to S4. This may have caused a mis-apprehension as my oppo decided to self0break the pinned fins in W4. They did not have a path so had to go upstairs where they were easily destroyed the following turn.
The purple circle shows my immoblized tank and the blue the fate of the leading Stug. You can see the mess
in the center in the X3-X5 column but the squad + 9-1 that has re-dmd a fin squad has also encircled (or will)
the green circled fins with lmg.
In the west I succeeded in getting a flamethrower squad within two of the fire lane fins though lost another broken squad. But in return the  flamethrower broke the green circled fin who ran around a further turn before being wiped for failure to rout.
In the North (to the right of the map) the less than keen on fighting crossroad fins started legging it towards my now lonely tank so I pushed forward its support squads to U2 so that I could lay some protective fire down. This proved neccessary when those Fins turned out to be a hero with an anti tank weapon, both explaining his avoidance of the flanking forces and keeness to run towards the tank. Unfortunately though my support fire was effective he snake eyed his morale check and went fanatical. Not enough to cope with the tank though which managed to vaporise him with its final shot at point blank range.
End Game
It was a strange end game. Up to this point I had taken clear advantage of the initial setups ‘guess’ that I would not take that woods road and had made hay due to it. Now the Finnish defence hardened. The tank side was soon over with another Soviet tank immobilized before the other Stug exploded into a burning wreck. Until the last turn my remaining tanks then failed to do anything of note except break their main arnament.
The Finnish super star squad was the full squad in U5. These sods held out almost three round under a hail of tank and infantry fire. I dont know how many 12 up 2’s and 12 up 1’s went their way but it was a lot. They also broke and casaulty reduced anyone who came near. It almost countered the early advantage but break they eventually did on turn five!. There were still a lot of Fins to beat but using the cover of the burning wreck  a lead squad and officer managed to wipe a front squad (after a lucky advance fire shot pinned them) then got into the other lead squad. Meanwhile I had plenty of troops behind the Fins line but they proved incapable of upsetting the defenders.
Final Turn
I had a stroke of luck on the final turn. Here is the start position
Now at this point I had U5, S4, S6 won and controlled. R5 had a squad and officer in melee with a single Finnish squad (so outnumbered). All my tanks were immobile or mobile with no main armament. I need two more buildings to win. The broken Finnish officer in O6 would rally and beneath that is an unbroken squad with medium machine gun.
Anyway my oppos managed to break N2 with mortar fire from P6 and then moved the squad in P2 out of the building and next to the broken squads. Presumably this was to force them to rout again and prevent a close rally but it meant that my N0 squad would get a point blank 12 down 1 and break them and mean the rest of my plan could be carried out almost without risk!
My plan was to bypass freeze P4 and Q4 with the two tanks allowing my remaining demolition squad to drop a demolition charge on Q4 and the just rallied flamethrower in T0 to CX and get next to P4 – here the tank (if it still lived) would also suffer but the 24 up 1 would be to good a chance to miss. As it happens the final assault was not even needed. Both the Finnish squad tried for Panzerfausts, both found them but both missed. The back blast from both shots (squads did not leave the building) broke the P4 squad and pinned the Q4 squad. Both would have to rout away allowing me to claim those for no risk and at that point having occupied P2 with a spare half squad I only needed one more to win.
The central section is a bit confusing but I think it gives a good impression of the Russian tide.
Conclusion
This turned into a fun game but the setup weakness was too much for the sterling defensive capabilities of the Fins to counter. The unlucky move to O1 from P2 also meant I had a much easier job getting troops up to those buildings than I may otherwise have had. Also back blast is visious.

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