Puma Prowls is one of my ASL favorites – all vehicles scenario featuring four of my favorite 4 rad armored cars (PSW 234/2) versus Russian T-70 tankettes. Puma’s are, albeit lightly armored, quite well armed and therefore they can bring to bear quickly. With 33 movement points, they can get to almost any position in the map as long as roads are present. 50L gun with 2 ROF guarantees that they can hit a target far and efficiently.
If something, Puma does have one drawback. Light armor makes it vulnerable to enemy fire. Utilization of mobility, smoke dispensers and every conceivable hull down position is essential. Because armored cars can take the fight anywhere, there is little need to put up a pitched battle when situation is not favorable.
We chose the sides in random, and I had the luxury of getting the T-70 tankettes. Only positive thing about them – like most Russian AFV was that I had five and 9-2 armor leader against his four and 9-1 armor leader. T-70 is a small thing, in late war – when everyone should have already known better, it still has a slow traverse single man turret with 45L gun and no radio.
In plain terms it means platoon movement, no flexibility and n ability to gain benefit of crew exposure (knowing that Puma has quite good MG, I doubt it would make difference there anyway). So Pumas had the upper hand in mobility, raw gunnery, while I had advantage of numbers and better leadership.
It was Russians who moved first, and already expended half of their MP’s were not going to get very far out. Pumas however got pretty far and my task changed quite rapidly from advance to figuring out the best defensive postures. So, I got to the walls first and several shots were exchanged. Albeit Puma’s armor is weak, it was tough enough that my initial shots did not find their way through. Puma crew however took out one of the T-70’s and made burning wreck out of it. Now, my one platoon had single vehicle, and no platoon restrictions. Good. Another Puma came in for the kill, when first shot missed, only to get a critical hit through intensive fire. Not bad. A bit of standoff resulted, where few shots were exchanged – T-70 in the location of the burning wreck and Puma in the open. Situation favoring the T-70, Puma decided to evacuate the position and rely in it’s mobility.
Shortly after one Puma lost the main armament and was recalled, while another T-70 went up in flames. That was followed by another Puma down with intensive fire critical hit, and two T-70’s with malfunctioning gun. Another one of those was dispatched by last remaining Puma, before I moved around the town center with my last remaining half-platoon and tank leader to kill the last Puma.
T70’s killed three, and three with three losses of their own. One Puma was recalled, and one T-70 had no functioning MA at the end. So, it was 3VP each for the kills, and 2 for getting one T-70 out with functioning MA.
It was very good game, albeit I had unfair advantage of playing the weaknesses of the armored cars while he was not used to the intricacies of them. Instead of allowing Germans the luxury of the walls, or long range fire, I drew the enemy into town fight where my small tankettes were not so much disadvantaged. Close range fire and small target silhouette is a benefit for the Russians.
That said, the last Puma really started to use the mobility and smoke capacity instead of just putting up a slogging match and was much harder to kill that the first two. Again, lesson learnt, Puma’s are very dangerous when wounded. 🙂