Well, my 50mm mortars can't reach the tanks (500m range) and even if they could, the best they could hope for is to kill a tank commander or two. My arty spotter, on the hill behind C company, can see the tanks but 105mm HE isn't the best weapon versus tanks. I'll get a tank commander or two, maybe a mobility kill, and perhaps take one out with gun damage or something, but even if they don't move out of the targeted area, they are armoured point targets and using arty on them is basically a lottery.
Your posts have given me an idea, however:
The advance continues, with the Stugs on the left spurting 100m forward to another hull-down position, accompanying the infantry push.
In the centre, the infantry continue on, with one section making a run across a stretch of clear ground. Only when they disappear into the trees do the platoons covering them relax a fraction.
The spotter makes sure the battery has the right co-ordinates, and informs the battalion HQ that firing will start in exactly one minute.
Reinforcements turn up:
A platoon of 4 Panzerjager tank hunters, a company of infantry, and a 81mm mortar spotter (150 rounds). The Panzerjagers aren't particularly fearsome. Their 47mm gun is okay, but they are only thinly armoured. Shoot and scoot tactics are a must, especially versus real tanks. Although their AP rounds perform decently, their tungsten rounds are much better; of course, because they're rare, my PJs don't have any tungsten rounds.
I love it when a plan vaguely coheres.
Blue for lines of infantry advance, green for armour, white for the smokescreen I'm laying down. My infantry carry on, while the PJs and Stugs on the left race forward. If they get into the village without being murdered by unseen tanks or anti-tank guns, they stand a (marginally) better chance against the T-34s.
Turn 5 is uneventful, with the only change being the first small arms fire of the battle. One of the infantry sections sprinting across open ground in the centre is shot at (infantry, not an MG, by the sound) and hurls themselves into the trees as bullets churn the earth around them. Fire came from the section's 1 o'clock, the trees near the wheat field. Might be worth hitting that area with some fire.
You can see the first shell I've called down just beginning to smoke in the wheat field, too. Somewhat to the left of where I'd aimed the focus of the barrage.
On the left, the infantry push on without incident, and the PJs roar at top speed across the barren steppe.
With open compartments and only 13mm of frontal armour, they're very vulnerable. An anti-tank rifle team could mess them up, never mind a tank or AT gun.
Fire from one MG and one mortar is targeted on the area the enemy infantry fired from.
Hopefully this will pin them, shutting them up, or incite them to shoot back, betraying their position.
In the centre, a leading infantry section spots a tempting prospect.
That crater next to the railway line could be a good position to get a good view of the area. However, it's also a prominent place, bare of other forms of cover, and could draw a Hell of a lot of fire. Going somewhere high and skylining yourself is a great way to get shot.
On the right, the smokescreen takes shape.
I'll see about moving those Stugs on the right now.
Moving those Stugs turns out to be a bad idea, with them receiving fire through gaps in the smokescreen as soon as they peeped up. Cowardice turned out to be the best part of not getting blown up, with them reversing back down into cover. One thing I didn't notice due to brash overconfidence is that the weather is a clear spell, after some heavy rain, so the ground is muddy, slowing off-road movement considerably. The PJs are okay, their much lower PSi (6.7 vs 12.9 for the Stugs) means they can still churn across the stuff quite happily, but the Stugs are slowed drastically.
On the left, the infantry edge closer to the objective, slipping through the trees, wondering how close they're going to get before the defenders open fire. Movement is purposeful and definite, but cautious, with plenty of units moving simultaneously, but even more covering.
Two platoons are entering the stretch of woods leading up to the village, with the two Stugs rolling behind. The PJs are MtC into supporting hull-down positions. Their 47mm guns can't deliver much HE, but an explosion is an explosion is an explosion. The mortar section toddles along at the rear, searching for a new position. Several hundred metres behind them, the company of reinforcements hurries to catch up...
In the centre, the infantry section steels itself and runs up the slope, terrified and relieved when they swap uphill struggle for the horror of flat open ground, and hurl themselves into the crater by the railway line.
A burst of fire zips out of the village, but the men are safe, breathing hard and grinning, and with line of sight for hundreds of metres around. I've enlarged their arc of fire to 500m to take advantage.
On the left flank, the leading infantry section steps out from some woods and immediately comes under fire.
The point man goes down screaming, and the section dives for cover. Return fire from several infantry sections and a PJ silences the enemy unit.
In the centre, a platoon takes a risk, and hurries out into the open, eager to back up the leading platoon, and also comes under fire. But the range is longer, no-one is hit, and the platoon hurries on as multiple MGs reply to the enemy.
Looks like they picked the right time to leave, that's either a mortar bomb or artillery shell bursting to the 3 o'clock of the MG.
On the right, the Stugs can't take advantage of the smoke, but Becker's company use it to cross the ridge, enemy MG fire cracking over their heads, and surge down the other side and into the gully, and safety.
Nearly time to earn our deutschmarks.