Regarding pursuit, I agree with a lot of the points. I think where I diverge is early war vs late war, where Soviet armor was much more aggressive in the latter, and… I don’t know if I want to say passive/non-aggressive, but just suffered from logistics (as you mentioned) and command and control issues. Lethargic might be a good word. And while there was some intense armor fighting early in the war, I recall reading that, prior to the winter counteroffensive in 1941, more than half of Soviet armor losses were non-battle. Aside from mechanical issues there were a tremendous amount of armored vehicles bagged in the grand encirclements, simply surrendered, and quite a few tanks that managed to break out of the encirclements were still lost when they were abandoned due to lack of fuel.
Regarding ramming, well, that’s always been the subject of quite a bit of discussion, hasn’t it? How often did it actually occur in real life vice Soviet stories of their heroic troops defending the Rodina…
And the last part of this is, from my reading, it seems the Germans (I’d imagine due to better training and command and control) were generally good at continuous movement in the attack, but they would slow down so as to keep the enemy in front of them, using gunnery to destroy enemy guns and tanks, whereas the Soviet tanks in the attack were much more into the breakthrough/breakout, simply running through the Germans. In reading I think you see this throughout the war, and I’ve read numerous stories where that’s how some of the early-war monsters were destroyed. The Soviet heavy tanks just kept pushing forward, and the German tanks actually about-faced and followed them, ultimately defeating weaker rear armor, or simply immobilizing the beast. So I’m still pretty confident of not running into too many situations where the Soviets run down individual vehicles, and of my German platoon’s ability to break contact if/when necessary (assuming they make it through the initial gun fight). We may see in the next battle.
Regarding more forces, I’m not going to be purchasing any more German tanks (that is, tanks not for the platoon I’m following). I take your point about working closely with Pz IIs and IVs, etc…, but that’s just not what my game is about. My game is about these four German tanks, and even the German halftracks and infantry are purely for decoration. I used them in this batrep simply to handle beat up Soviet infantry cowering at the edge of the wood to push the narrative of the tanks pushing forward; for game purposes I could have just had the tanks nose around the edge of the wood and finish them off. That didn’t seem sporting 😉 And it would have resulted simply in a bunch of dice rolls that wouldn’t have altered the complexion of the game, so infantry up!
And whatcha talking about with the Pz IVs? I plan on the platoon running IIIFs until March 1942, then upgrading to IIIJs. Then they will upgrade to IVGs in December 1942, right before charging into Winter Storm. Then they’ll get IVHs right before Kursk, and keep them until getting Panthers either at the end of ’44 or the very beginning of ’45, still need to figure that out.
For the Soviets, I hadn’t really considered US/British Lend-Lease. I don’t want to go too far down that path; maybe for a bit of variety I’ll throw in a pack of Shermans (I know the Valentines were more numerous, but were crap for armor engagements). And they’ll be staying away from the “Coffin For Seven Brothers” 😉