Comrade Don carefully sipped his tea from the cupola of his T-72M as the 41 tonne war machine traversed the German countryside at full throttle. He has liberated the porcelain set from a supply stash near Hanover left behind by retreating British forces. Some of his fellow Warsaw Pact commanders no doubt saw it as a corrupting Western affection, but he had heard it was the mark of sophisticated Tankery not to let one drop of Tea spill whilst engaged in spirited Panzer maneuvers.
Comrade Don certainly fancied himself a Sophisticated Socialist.
With orders to secure yet another strategic crossroads in order to support the continued advance into the heart of his corrupt Capitalist Western brethren, he spared a glance again at the reconnaissance photo snapped by friendly air supporting his spearhead.
While Comrade Don was well aware that one-for-one the Wessie Panzers outclassed his, he was not nearly so foolish as to fight at such odds. His successful track record in the campaign and leading position in this latest thrust was more than sufficient to bring all his tank companies back up to nearly full strength, such that he expected to enjoy more favourable better than 3:1 odds in any case potential Dust Up In the Ruhr
Finally in the distance up ahead, Comrade Don spied the remains of the small village he had been tasked with holding and seizing. Seemingly insignificant on its own merit, he knew that it was just one or many anchor points his collectivist comrades were establishing to support the main thrust which would liberate the wayward Wessies. Such inspirational dreams of liberation would apparently have to wait, however, as he noticed a small groups of said wayward Wessie Infantry and their carriers taking shelter in the bombed out remains of the village Church.
With what was well becoming a well practiced wave of his hand, Comrade Don ordered his Panzers into action against the enemy with his Spandrels taking up overwatch positions. Meanwhile he was pleased to see his own Infantry had executed a perfect flanking maneuver, with his BMPs hitting the entrenched enemy from the opposite side while the troops raced to secure the key position to support the larger Advance.
125mm fire from his T-72Ms brutally savaged at least two enemy Infantry teams holed up in the ruined structure that he could see, while copious amounts of machine gun fire from the supporting T-55AM2s accounted for a third. The BMPs contributed their bit, as 30mm cannon fire made a flaming wreck of two out of three Marders trying to hide from his Panzers. Comrade Don took another sip of tea as he admired his forces' progress, musing to himself that this battle was virtually over before it began.
Such thoughts died a quick death, much like his Panzer Kompanie 2 as 120mm Rhinemetal smoothbore cannons opened up from a concealed position up ahead on the flank. When the dust had settled, six of eight T-72Ms had been turned into flaming wrecks, while the crew of the seventh sought shelter. He could only shake a fist in rage as the lone remaining tank picked up the bailed survivors before fleeing the field of battle.
As if that wasn't bad enough enough, another group of Wessie Panzers emerged on the opposite flank, laying into his own Infantry by way of payback. Caught flat-footed out on the open clearing his men were left exposed without much in the way of cover, leading many to die in a hail of lead.
Comrade Don could only come to the cruel realization that his fantastic flanking maneuver had been flanked in turn! The only bright spot was that the Infantry in the Church was suppressed effectively enough to avoid lending any real support, but he knew he had to eliminate that potential threat if he was to have any hope of dealing with the newly arrived armoured ones as he ordered his remaining Panzers to converge on the centre...
Frustratingly this time Shot and Shell failed to make any mark upon the remaining Infanteers, even if his BMPs did manage to finish off the sole surviving Marder. In desperation he ordered his T-55s to surmount the crumbling Church walls and engage the enemy at point blank range. Three of their number foundered upon the rubble while a third exploded from a Panzerfaust retort, but the four remaining Panzers managed to grind the last remaining Milan team under their treads and force the last remaining troops to flee. They didn't get far as they vaulted out of the Church only to find the T-72s waiting and ready to play hammer to the older Panzers' anvil.
Even with the Wessie Infantry threat removed, Comrade Don was more than aware that their Panzers were quickly doing a number on his as three more T-72s went up in flames despite trying to seek shelter. While a lone missile from his Spandrels had previously taken out a lone Leopard 2 in the group nearest to his, the far trio was continuing near unmolested and making a mess of his BMPs and other light vehicles. The appearance of three Jagdpanzers which spattered yet another RPG team with more MG fire only made the situation more dire.
Comrade Don knew that time was quickly running out. His forces already held both strategic positions identified by Headquarters. All he had to do was hold out a little longer for reinforcements to carry the day. But while his T-72s were keeping their Leopard 2 counterparts at bay so far despite losses, the other Wessie Panzers and Jagdpanzers were threatening a breakthrough. Out of blind desperation, he ordered his remaining BMPs and AA to secure the Church grounds while the ordering the T-55s into a suicidal charge against their far more advance opponents.
Comrade Don gave the order for his T-72s to fire, and was rewarded as at least one of his Panzers' 125mm shells managed to shake up another Wessie crew bad enough to seek shelter. Still, it was looking grim that his counterfire had done so little real damage, and was bracing for the inevitable return fire that would shred yet more of his precious Panzers.
Then he heard a pair of loud explosions far behind him, followed by two more in quick succession. "What ze hell?" he wondered aloud, thinking the distant risking smoke columns was perhaps an enemy air strike had added to his ongoing misfortunes.
Kicking his driver to come round about the destroyed Church and give him a clear view of the situation, what he witnessed was utterly confounding. His T-55s had blitzed out from behind their sheltering woodlands and then charged into a position where a handful of them could fire point blank into the weaker sides of the mighty Leopards, leaving one burning and the other sans crewmen. The remaining T-55s also showed their accuracy with the old 100mm guns on the move by smashing two of the three Jagdpanzers into so much junk. The remaining Leopard 2 was apparently so stunned by this reversal that it's crew had immediately wheeled about and could be seen retreating off into the distance.
The remaining Leopards, seeing the collapse of their up until now perfect pincer movement unexpectedly collapse, retreated from the field of battle. Comrade Don slumped down into the turret, the clinking of porcelain cup against saucer from his shaking hands audible to all within its confines. Finally mustering up enough steadiness to take another sip of Tea, he then poked his head back out the hatch to see his T-55s doing victory laps around the abandoned but otherwise serviceable Leopard 2. He couldn't help but muse inwardly that such a vehicle would be useful for liberating McPizza Kings in the rest of the Ruhr...
Not my first time facing Leopard 2s, but certainly the most challenging to date. Having a bunch of them spring up from Ambush and annihilated 30% of my Tanks while another came on from Reserves and gunned down half my Infantry due to terrible saves both on the bottom half of Turn 1 really, Really, REALLY hurt! It pretty much junked my initial plan to use my superior numbers of T-72Ms to flank and destroy them, and instead forced me on the defensive. Surprisingly enough the "lesser" T-55AM2s proved to be the only Unit to make a successful Blitz roll on a 4+ all game, with my dice redeeming themselves at the last minute to provide a very David vs Goliath moment. My opponent fought with excellence worthy of any West German Panzer Commander. He made my supposedly crushing attack on his modern-day Stormtroopers look more like...well...this...