tiistai 8. kesäkuuta 2010

BKC Bagration Campaign, Scenario 6

The game moves a tad to west while the Germans retreat from previous scenario (the ruined town in east is the same as previous scenarios) while the Russians push onwards.

The big green area in the south is a depression which also contains some rather big pits (anti tank works or some such perhaps?)

The setup. The main force of the Jerries seem to be located in the depression but there are some in the big forest in the north as well.
End of the first turn. Heavy Russian artillery decimated German infantry in the depression but the Russians failed to move. The more northern Russian formation started off pretty quickly and it's assault guns even reached the safety of the smoke. Jerries in the depression decided to do a tactic withdrawal.
Two Russian battalions trundling onwards.
The Germans are retreating in orderly fashion.
The southernmost Russian formation moves it's tanks between the two formations. Although not visible, a Russian flank march is about to arrive from the north of the big forest.
The Germans in the depression retreat a bit an knock off a couple of the Russian tank platoons.
Their own smoke hampers the Russian ability to move and thus the northernmost formation stays put.
Turn three. Russian move their smoke a bit but the foremost battalion refuses to advance. The on behind doesn't and thus the two start to intermingle -we decided that it is probably wise to mark the units of the latter. The Russian flank march turned out to be a dummy, but the Jerries still decided to keep on legging it.
Russian FO gets the Germans in his sights and calls in a barrage that knocks off a couple of AA trucks and a half-track.
In the current game we decided to tweak with the visibility rules a bit and when the German players were reminded of this they showed off their frustration by turning their retreat into a counter attack, which at least started off well enough since the remainder of the Russian tanks were ablaze in no time!
Beware the fury of the enraged Tigers. Grrr!

(Played: May 31st, Russians: Andy, Janne, Germans: Chris, Mr V)

tiistai 25. toukokuuta 2010

1st Annual Ronnie James Dio Memorial Heavy Metal Challenge

Before this gaming session we heard that the heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio had passed away the previous day. Mr H decided to honour the awesome career of this great man by oganizing our 1st Annual Ronnie James Dio Memorial Heavy Metal Challenge game.

He decided to pick from his giganormous 20mm collection the heaviest tanks and organized a slugfest for the rest of us. Unfortunately only few of us could attend. Andy came in a bit late and thus was assigned, unbeknownst to Mr V to hidden Russian reserve and our club's biggest Dio fan, Eero (who just got to have been in every Dio concert in Finland since mid-eighties), didn't unfortunately make it to the game. My guess is that since we gt just automated replies from him during the whole day he must've been so devastated that he didn't make it to work.

We quickly altered the terrain from the previous BKC games and used Battleground WWII and until tanks were identified all German tanks were represented by PzKpfw IVs and Russians by T-34s. W Germans were in a town and Janne decided that even without any orders the objective of the Russians in 1945 would be to attack.

Here we have the right side of the Russian attack, two ISU-122s darting through marshy area from the cover of one forest to another.

The left flank of Russian attack consisted of IS-3 and a trio of IS-2s (still unidentified).
On the German right flank there was two Jagdtigers, the leftmost of which was still unindetified.
Mr V started shooting and kept rolling so brilliantly that he would've succeeded blowing up the Russian tanks even with the PzKpfw IVs, let alone with a duo of Jagdtigers and trio of King Tigers. Here we have some bonfires consisting of IS-3 and IS-2. The ISU-122s on the other flank fared no better. On the ridge behind you can see the two SU-100s that were using hidden setup. Andy controlled these and did some marvelous shooting with them.
Since it was noticed that the Russian armament was absolutely unable to penetrate the front armor of the German tanks Janne had no other choice than to try to drive like the wind through the open killing ground to engage the flanks of the Germans in the town.

Below we have some close quarter tank fighting between two Jadgtigers and the sole IS-2 to make it to the town. Due to the silly order of resolving things after scoring a hit Janne noticed that his shot had actually been targeting the real wheel and thus missed as it was fired on the building -particularly nice as this was more or less outside the IS-2's fire arc...
Nevermind the more numerous Russian casualties, the moral victory goes to the Ruskies as they managed to destroy Mr V's lone Maus. While Janne was directing ever more tanks to the German left flank Mr V decided to drive this monstrosity from the center closer to the threat and exposed it's flank to Andy's hidden SU-100s which promptly destroyed it even if the German propaganda tried to claim that the destruction was only due to electrical malfunction caused by simultaneous movement and turning of the turret.
After losing his only veteran crew Mr. V decided to evacuate the remaining tanks.

Casualties were:
Russian side: IS-3, IS-2, ISU-122, one immobilized IS-2 and ISU-122
German side: PzKpfw VIII

(Played: May 17th, GM: Mr H, Russians: Andy, Janne, Germans: Mr V)

BKC Bagration Campaign, Scenario 5, Part 2

Although the game was clearly going to the Russians some of us decided to play an extra session to see what would actually happen if few more turns were played.

Basically the whole game turned to be a big game of cat and mouse between the Tiger company and the Russian tank battalion moving around the village.
The few Germans on the northern side of the river broke and near the village the merry-go-around continued.

(Played: May 10th Russians: Andy Germans: Janne & Mr V)

keskiviikko 5. toukokuuta 2010

BKC Bagration Campaign, Scenario 5, Part 1

During the night the Soviets have aggressively probed the German defences from the North and in the woods to the West of the river. A few kilometers to the North and South of the battlefield motorized formations of SS troops counterattacked the Soviet spearheads, failing to dislodge them. As the dawn approaches and a veil of mist hangs over the river, both sides prepare for another grueling day of battle.

Situation before the game begins.

A more general view.

Town from other direction and German prepared positions southwest from it.

Russian infantry crosses the river in the cover of the morning mist. The preliminary rocket and artillery bombardment was rather brutal and it was followed by heavy smoking. Plenty of German units were either destroyed or supressed, like the commander of the sporadic German defence north of the river.

Russian infantry makes it across the river in the first turn, but luckily the tank commander and their CIC both fail command rolls. However Germans are in no shape to do anything.

The Russian rockets continue to grind Germans to mincemeat.

The Russian tank commander rolls snake eyes for activation and speeds up to conter the previous turn's delay.

Luckily the German Nebelwerfers hit their (preplanned?) strike dead on among the tanks making short work of all save one platoon of tankriders. The tanks themselves are unscratched. On the north side of the river the massive Russian attack isn't really making any progress. One veteran German platoon manages to stubborny hold on basically due to russian smoke as the Russians behind it aren't able to see it and thus close assault it.

Russian Katjushas move to pound the easternmost Gemrans and does short work of all non-digged in infantry. Threat of Russian flank attack from the west has now materialized, despite of plenty of German reserve units, artillery assets and mines being loctaed just off board in that direction. The German commits Tigers to counter the Russian tank threat.

Overview of the game area after the 3rd round.

Here's the Kampfgruppe commander's final report:
26.6.1944, Near Orsha
KG v Vuolle,
Radio report to 4th Army HQ

Strong Soviet forces crossed the river in D5-E6 area under the cover of morning mist. One reinforced battalion crossed the river at D5 with assault boats. Tank battalion with tank riders crossed at E6 using assault bridges. There is also one Soviet infantry battalion in C4 area, but so far they have done nothing.

Assault is supported by overpowering amounts of artillery. There is at least one brigade on rocket launchers and several battalions on other artillery units. Soviet artillery has caused heavy losses, especially to our command units and destroyed all communications to our supporting artillery.

Remants of the 2nd Kompanie in the north are retreating, covered by heroic rearguards. Main line in the south is under heavy pressure, but still holding.

Our prepared artillery strikes seem to have saved the line from being overrun, and destroyed the infantry supporting the Soviet tank battalion.

Tigers are counterattacking.

German losses 5 infantry and 7 vehicle platoons. Also 2 headquarters and 2 artillery observers. Russian tank rider battalion annihilated, other forces lost only 1 vehicle platoon.

(Played: May 3rd Russians: Andy & Mr H. Germans: Chris, Janne & Mr V)

tiistai 20. huhtikuuta 2010

BKC Bagration Campaign, Scenario 4

Wanna play this scenario?
Get the needed documents from the Gemigabok site

In order to break the encircled Kampfgruppe and other troops German Corps had assembled an ad hoc formation that was going to push towards east while the encircled troops would also simultaneously attack the encircling Russians.

This game was to be more or less twice the size than the previous games, with Germans having roughly 5000 points and Russians 3000 points worth of troops. Due to the size the game it took 2 game nights to play it through. naturally terrain building and pre-game planning took a sizeable chunk from the first session. The games took place the two previous Mondays and we had a sizeable turnout in the first.

Below's the general situation at the start of the game.
The Germans are marked blue:
A: Two companies of motorized infantry and engineers in half-tracks (Mr. V)
B: Tiger Company. Also formation A's artillery in the woods. (Mr. V)
C: Kampfgruppe's flanking detachment, a motorized infantry in half-tracks (Janne)
D: Corps Ersatzabteilung consisting of a battalion of mixed infantry (Waffen SS, railway and Luftwaffe (?) troops. (Chris)
E: A lookout detachment. (Janne)

The Russians are marked red:
F: Battalion of infantry (Mr. H)
G: Battalion of infantry (Eero)
H: Battalion of infantry supported by two assault gun platoons (Andy)
First turn. You can barely see the lookout formation (E) in the front. Formation A's artillery support is likewise barely visible in the forest further away.
First turn looking from the other direction. Nebelwerfers have smoked the village and Chris has entered the table with the first units of the Ersatzabteilung (D).
Kampfgruppe's flanking detachment (C) seems to be making good progress and the Russians seem to be somewhat in disarray due to this threat from the flank.
The situation soon changes as the flanking detachment (C) rolls poorly for commands and the Russians drive the SU-85 assault gun (part of H) to greet the Jerries. Further away you can see Chris' Ersatzabteilung (D) which made extremely slow progress due to multiple failed command rolls, command fumble as well as Russian artillery fire and fire from the SU-122 (H) in the village. Andy commanding the Russian CIC and detachment H proved to be überfumblemeister as he managed to fumble twice during the same turn -beating that achievement will take some time!
Mr. V's main force (A) grinds over the first platoons or poor Mr. H's battalion -the German attack clearly progresses.
The flanking detachment (C) and Ruskies (G) start a never ending exchange of upper hand which involves just a few destroyed units but plenty of failed command rolls and even a fumble from Janne. Here German veterans are about to start shooting at the SU-85 with Panzerfausts, but they soon were plastered themselves.
The lookout detachment E has, according to orders, moved to inspect the Russian minefield behind the bridge and it unfortunately was revealed to be a proper one.
Mr. V's juggernaut (A) trundles onward effectively making short work of Mr. H's remaining troops (F).

After 4 turns it was time to call it a day.
German losses 1 infantry and 3 vehicle platoons.
The Russian battalion in south (F) has reached its breakpoint, but didn't yet fail the first command roll.

Here's the Kampfgruppe commander's report after the battle:
25.6.1944, Near Orsha
KG v Vuolle,
Radio report to 4th Army HQ

Kampfgruppe elements have taken the E7 forest. Russian battalion in the area almost destroyed, only couple of platoons are still resisting. Tiger company is moving to the E6 bridge. KG has suffered only minor losses to the heavy Russian artillery fire.

Flanking company and Ersatzabteilung from the west are just reaching the western edges of D5/D6 forests. Their reports are confusing and there seems to have been some blunders.

KG is prepared to support the 432nd division with artillery, and other units if required. Hopefully they can hold the line as we didn't take many troops from their reserves.

As Mr. V's infantry (A) has made steady progress the Tiger Company also starts to move towards the bridge which still is guarded by the minefield as assault engineers had been busy making flambé out of Ruskies (F).
After two turns the Russian morale broke and they ran to the hills. Below are the final positions of engaged troops.

Kampfgruppe's flanking detachment (C) had started to engage with the Russians (G) for the control of the forest but neither could keep the upper hand for more than one turn -extremely enjoyable and hair-raising situation. The main advantage was that the flanking attack tied up half of the Russian armour to fight against it instead of Ersatzabteilung's PzKpfz IV's.

The flanking detachment (C) lost one platoon of infantry and halftracks. The Russians (G) lost one platoon of infantry.
Mr. V's troops (A) have now rolled over all of Mr. H's battalion (F) and is preparing to engage Andy's battalion (H) while Mr. V's engineers are beginning to clear the minefield blocking the bridge that is preventing Tigers from crossing the river. The attack had progressed almost optimally and advanced some 10 centimeters each turn.

German (A) losses were a platoon of 234/1's while Russians (F) lost a battalion of infantry.
Chris's Ersatzabteilung (D) was extremely unwilling to advance and only moved less than 5 centimeters per turn. It also lost one platoon of PzKpfz IV's to Russian SU-122 platoon (H) located in the village.

Just prior to the game ending Ersatzabteilung (D) finally got into contact with enemy infantry in the woods and field (H) and managed to destroy a few of these without own losses.

Here's the Kampfgruppe commander's final report:
Near Orsha
KG v Vuolle,
Report to 4th Army HQ

Kampfgruppe has taken the crossroads and the bridges as ordered.

As previously reported, strong Soviet force was defending the crossroad area and the northern crossing. The strength was confirmed as one regiment of infantry with strong mortar support and some assault guns. During the battle enemy minefields were verified at both crossing sites. Enemy also received heavy artillery and air support.

KG made an diversionary flank attack from north with one mechanized company group. The company managed to engage and hold a reinforced Soviet battalion north of the river, while suffering only light casualties.

KG's attack was supported from the west by Korps Ersatzabteilung. This battalion sized unit threatened to quickly rush Soviet defences west of the village. However, it seems that command confusion within the adhoc abteilung slowed down the attack significantly. When Soviets reacted with couple of infantry companies supported by assault guns, artillery and air forces, the attack was virtually stopped. Luckily the abteilung managed to avoid heavy casualties and with sheer volume of fire destroyed several Soviet infantry platoons. Unfortunately the abteilung didn't reach the forest before Soviet retreat.

KG's main attack was launched from south-east. Assault was made by Pioneers, supported by Heer infantry company and all available mortar and Infantry gun units. Almost perfectly timed Nebelwerfer strike, together with ruthless infantry assault cleared the small forests up to the first river crossing.

Just as Soviet reinforcements were reported approaching from the east, the Tiger company started to cross the river. Heavy Tigers moving across Soviet minefield without serious problems seemed to be too much for the remaining Soviet forces. The enemy forces started retreating northwards and the battle was over.

With this retreat the area was secured and Soviet reinforcements withdrew back to the east.

I want to specially mention the commander of the 4.Kompanie, who led the main assault almost flawlessly.

KG situation:
Unit has suffered minor losses and is tired, but is still ready for limited combat operations.
HQ: platoon of 234/1's,
2K: platoon of infantry
3K: platoon of 251/1's
Ersatzabt.: platoon of Pz IV's

Enemy situation:
Infantry regiment, heavy losses. Remnants retreating northwards.

It seems, not knowing the Russian set-up or plans though, that the larger game might be working a bit better than the previous smaller ones as an occasional blunder here or there doesn't have THAT much effect on the whole game since there are quite a few commands.

Finally, I really enjoyed how the game was going with my flanking company and the Russians -the whole situation seemed so very balanced and many times just when one side seemed to grasp the upper hand he immediately lost it evening the situation again. Good stuff!

(Played: April 12th & 19th Russians: Andy, Mr H. & Eero (only on 19th) Germans: Chris, Janne, Mr V)

tiistai 30. maaliskuuta 2010

BKC Bagration Campaign, Scenario 3

Wanna play this scenario?
Get the needed documents from the Gemigabok site.

Kampfgruppe was retreating towards west and before meeting own troops, the recce elements encountered enemy forces occupying river crossings and it looked like the Kampfgruppe would have to smash trough the enemy lines. However, besides command stands, of the Russian troops only those that were immediately visible for Germans started the game on the table.

It seemed that the Russians had laid minefields on both bridges. In the north Germans had just a token force consisting of several platoons of Pumas as well as all the Kampfgruppe's engineers who were supposed to tie Russian forces and not seriously engage them. More to the south a mechanized and Tigers companies were planning on ruthlessly pushing over the bridge. These would be supported by the one mechanized company on the southern side of the river.Germans are pressing on. It seems that there are some Russians defending the bridge but nothing that the Kampfgruppe shouldn't be able to handle.
Russians support arms make their appearance, Heavy mortars hammer a platoon of Sdkfz 251/17 flaks and Sturmoviks boldly attack the Tiger company. This is however followed by mechanized AAA company in addition to the other AAA assets nearby and the Sturmoviks are shortly shot down in flames (was there around 32 dice worth of AAA directed against the IL2's...?)
The Russian mortars kept on pounding the paralyzed German mechanized company to smithereens. The company commander failed to get any commands through and the CIC managed to further order it twice, and only once per turn. One half-track is bravely trying to scout whether the minefield is real or a fake one, and has just made it to the edge of the minefield after which the CICs attempt for 2nd command ends in failure and the Russians promptly dispose of it.
The other mechanized company on the other side of the river has just cleared the first woods of the Russians, barring one scout. Meanwhile the first platoons from the Pumas & engineers from the north start to arrive to the vicinity of other Germans.
A Platoon of SU122 is lurking about in the village and opens up against the Tigers during the German move but fails to do damage. Instead of waiting for the German retaliation it decides to move back in on the Russian turn and the Tigers, surprising everyone, fail to destroy it.
The southernmost German mechanized company gets a command blunder and everyone decides to assault the lone scout platoon...
...which quickly proceeds to open up a XL sized can of whup-assksy killing the assaulting Germans and driving almost all the others off-table. Since units forced off-table are considered to be casualties scenario wise this brings the Germans 1 point from the break point of the Kampfgruppe.
The company commander of the badly mauled other mechanized finally manges to get not one but two commands through and quickly retreats his remaining troops off table. Other German companies do likewise ending the game in sound Russian victory.

Kampfgruppe commander's report after the battle:
25.6.1944, Near Orsha
KG v V,
Report to 4th Army HQ

Kampfgruppe has failed to recapture crossroad and bridges as ordered.

Strong Soviet force was found defending the crossroad area and the northern crossing. The strength is estimated as one regiment of infantry with strong mortar support and some assault guns. During the battle enemy minefields were spotted at both crossing sites.

Trying to surprise the enemy, KG swiftly attacked the southern bridge with one company supported by Tigers, while the other company attacked the enemy flank south of the river. During approach we were attacked by several Sturmoviks, but our effective Flak units destroyed or drive of all of them.

However, the main attack was repulsed with heavy losses from Soviet mortars and heavy machine guns at the crossing. Our own artillery was timely, but ineffective. The Flank attack progressed better until a rash attack ordered by company commander run into Soviet ambush in the woods. The whole company retreated in disorder and with heavy casualties.

With both attacks repulsed, KG disengaged.
I have relieved the commander of 2.Kompanie, due gross-incompetence during the attack.

KG situation:
Unit has suffered heavy losses, but is still ready for limited combat operations.

1K: platoon of 250/9's,
2K: two platoons of infantry, platoon of 250/1's
3K: platoon of infantry, platoon of HMG's, two platoon's of 251/17 (only Hans Jurgen Hellmann's platoon "survived")
4K: platoon of 251/2's

Enemy situation:
Infantry regiment, few losses (about 1 company)

(Played: March 22nd Russians: Andy, Chris, Mr H. Germans: Janne, Mr V)