Somewhere along the flanks of an advancing Panzerdivision, chance has it that the Soviets have managed to gather a significantly superior force that could threaten lines of communication, and force delays in the exploitation that would allow some of their harassed units to escape and regroup.
“Tovaritch Polkovnik, do you think your plan can succeeed? Remember that we are all under the eyes of the Party”
Polkovnik (Colonel) Fedor Ivanovitch Foxbatov returned the stare, careful to let his eyes remain unexpressive. “As if I did not know you’ll make sure of it, you NKVD stukash… You’ll report me to save your precious little zampolit skin ” he tought, but all he answered was a mere “Da, major, it will”, before dismissing Major Dimitrov, the man who pretended to be his second-in-command… He retrieved the hip bottle from his pocket, and gulped a swallow of vodka. His hands were shaking as he corked it back.
1 x CO CV9
2 x HQ CV9
8 x Heer Reg Infantry
2 x HMG
2 x Pak 36/37
2 x le IG18 75mm
all forces begin entranched.
1 x CO CV8
2 x HQ CV8
16 x Reg Infantry
4 x HMG
2 x Med Mortars
2 x Recce BA20
2 x T26 Mg
2 x T 26 45mm
1 x 76 mm battery + 2 assets
1 x 122 mm battery + 2 assets
2 x I 16 ground attack, 1 asset each.
Game length 8 turns
Russians need to occupy noth objectives before turn 8 to win, or to break the ennemy battlegroup. Auto suppression and recon rules in play.
View of the battlefield and german positions (the russians in the lower left hand corner are not deployed of course!). On objective 1, both guns are on the upper level, the AT gun covering the flank. The axis of march takes the Russsian infantry into the jaws of the waiting MG 42s, emplaced on the right of the german position. On the German left, the lack of space on the hill forces the Russian commander to adopt a curved frontline.
The russian set up : 1 battalion will assail each objective, while HMGs and mortars will provide direct support, and armor will envelop the German right flank. Since armor has been massed on the left, and time is short, the right wing will have to advance without support. On turn 4, a 122mm salvo and a ground attack will hit hill 1, which will be hit on turn 4 by a single 76 mm salvo. Hill 2 will be hit likewise on turn 7 & 8.
The Russian right wing. The unit with the jeep is the Battalion HQ.
On the first turn, a failed command roll left the Russian armor stranded. The right wing gets but a single move, while the center battalion moves but once. The only saving grace is that the Germans roll bad too, and fail to inflict damage on the Russians.
The advancing central battalion (the Chessex yellow bids are suppression markers) :
Things are better on turn 2, despite a mistake of the Russian player (me) activating the CO first. Fortunately, it managed to pass 3 rolls, getting some suppot fire at the Germans (no damage inflicted, though) and give the infantry 2 moves. OP fire causes some losses on the infantry
The right wing advances, and gets devatstated by the German OP fire, losing a platoon. Lots more will be lost before the end of the game. Attacking in the open against entrenched position is extremely damaging (as should be), and that unit experienced a little Chemin des Dames… As you an see, a Soviet platoon just got their comeuppance :
Major Dimitrov snarled ; ” you will advance, major! I don’t care you are suffering losses, this hill needs to be taken, and your men will take it! ” 2nd Battalion’s commander, Major Nitchenko, allowed his rage to burst out : “You little rat, bootlicking know-nothing! All you’ll do is get us all slaughtered, I’ll never allow this, we are going to fall back and…”
The single pistol shot seemed to ring louder than the din of the battle. As Dimitrov holstered his smoking Tokarev, he turned to another offcer ” Captain Borissov, you’ve just been promoted to command of 2nd Battalion. Now carry on with the attack”
Turn 3 was the decisive turn. Though it failed to inflict losses, artillery and air support suppress about everyone on hill 1, allowing the infantry to close the range, and armor to reach the foot of the hill and outflank the Germans. Good command rolls were not good enough though to allow for enough fire to capitalize on the suppressions. On the right flank, the infantry advanced again and got another platoon suppressed. that platoon, and another were killed during the German phase, which, thanks to the suppressions, was mercifully short. Blue dice indicate losses steps.
Turn 4 : the scheduled 76mm salvo managed to suppress the HMGs and the CO. However, the advancing central infantry lost a platoon to op fire, while the AT gun, opening on a BA20, got a hit, which was saved. The German turn, in that sector, saw 2 platoons get destroyed… a really bloody affair, but the Russians had at last managed to reach good attack positions.
On the right flank, the infantry advanced, getting another platoon suppressed… The German, frustrated at the slow pace of the soviet casualties apparently, reorganised his force to get everyone facing in the right direction, and so got 2 platoons out of the trenches cover… needless to say, op fire got immediately one to rest, causing the first german casualty. Russians lost two platoons, before the Germans failed their command roll.
Turn 5 : Armor opened up on the HMG nest on the left falnk, suppressing it. Return fire by the Pak 36 failed tio cause a single hit. The next order saw the HMGs close assaulted from the front and flank, while no fewer than 4 armor units and 1 infantry unit provided close support. Hurrah pobieda, the Soviets managed to destroy that platoon, clearing their first trench. A lucky command roll alolowed some more fire to be poured at the Pak 36, suppressing it. In essence, teh Germans now had no unit in LOF of the flanking soviets… So they advanced 2 of their platoons, just in range of the 4 HMGs and 2 Med Mortars which promptly took out one in Op Fire.
On the right flank, a successful order allowed to take out the exposed platoon, whilme the Germans failed to cause more than suppression.
Turn 6 saw the German left flank continue to crumble, with a close assault that took out the Pak36, and some more fire pinning the exposed infantry platoon. The right wing battalion took position in the vacated enemy trenches what was left of it) flanking the German left wing company. Lack of enough surviving units on objective 1, and a failed command roll on objective 2 made for a very short German turn.
The game ended on turn 7 : The artillery and air support on hill 2 pinned about everyone there, and 2 more German units were destroyed, bringing their total to 7, 1 unit above breakpoint. The morale roll was 11, which broke the German battlegroup and gave victory to the Soviets.
The Soviet firebase :
Soviet losses 10 infantry platoons.
German losses : 5 infantry platoons, a HMG and a Pak 36.
And a link to the Blitzkrieg Commander site :