Sometimes we tinker with historical scenarios at our peril!
No, the reason was I tried to turn it into a balanced scenario, and clearly got it wrong. So instead of a one sided, but historical game, we actually ended up with an interesting and thought provoking evening's play that seemed to get the most out of the Battle Group rules, although we did not have any infantry on the table.
Some say that the ability of a much weakly gunned tank to temporarily neutralise - pin - a much more heavily armoured opponent is unrealistic.
And it certainly feels odd for your fearsome Tiger to be pinned by the 45mm gun of a T70! But I simply don't have a problem with it - after all, after capturing an intact Tiger in late 1942, the Soviets went to a lot of time and trouble to research and train their troops in how to score immobilising or disorientating hits on Tigers by aiming at the running gear, periscopes etc. And you do need a 6D6 to achieve a pinning hit, so its not happening all the time.
No, the problem with the scenario was how I had interpreted the terrain. Unable to obtain specific information about the ground over which this ambush was sprung, other than that it happened 2-3 klicks due south of Podsoborovka, halfway between the village and Hill 274, I decided to give the Soviets a chance by providing some lateral dead ground and a balka on each flank of the village, this giving a choice of covered approaches to the attacker.
|In the foreground, a covered approach, and in the far background is the balka - nice approaches for fast moving armour...|
As it was, John made good use of both the balka and the dead ground to get up close and then lay down heavy pinning fire at medium range from hull down positions...Whilst enough of a credible force survived the artillery gauntlet in the balka to emerge and keep half the Tigers pinned on the other flank:
The constant need to draw Battle Rating Chits to unpin Tigers was slowly but steadily whittling down the 505th's Battlegroup rating...So that at the crisis of the battle, when the T34's were out in the open and closing at medium to close range and the Tigers were just starting to exact a toll....
My Battlegroup rating fell below zero and the company had to withdraw...
If you feel challenged to produce a better scenario of this ambush, or just get hold of a damn good read anyway, may I recommend Colonel Chris Wilbeck's Sledgehammers: Strengths and flaws of Tiger Tank Battalions in WW2, published by The Aberjona Press, USA 2004.