maanantai 15. helmikuuta 2010

BKC Bagration Campaign, Scenario 1 (Part 1)

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

Last Monday we started the actual new recce battalion campaign.

On the evening of June 26th the Russian 16th Guards Rifle Corps keep on pressing forwards commended by Mr H and Chris and their objective is to eliminate the Hitlerites and capture the bridge. The elements consist of Tank battalion of lend-lease Shermans, Infantry battalion with some attached SU-76s and an assault battalion of SMG troops, engineers and flame thrower equipped KV-1s.

The objective of German panzer kampfgruppe, commanded by Mr V, is to evacuate the badly mauled retreating remnants of XXVII Corps, commanded by Janne, and hold the bridge. The panzergruppe has a company of Tigers as well as elements from our campaign's recon battalion -mainly different half-tracks, some infantry and some mobile flak units. The disorganized remnants of of XXVII Corps consist of an infantry battalion and a panzer IV company as well as a FO for artillery. Unfortunately, having just received a royal pummeling from the Ruskies their command values are extremely low.

Once again, Aksu provided the scenario and Andy GMed it.

Below's the initial German setup.
Main idea for the Germans was to use the CIC of the kampfgruppe to command the XXVII Corps (located in the crossroads in the middle of the table) very quickly off table by using the road bonus to command (no command distance penalty), leaving only the FO on the table. And then to inflict horrendous casualties to the advancing Russians.

Kampfgruppe depoys some units in the town sector and Tigers in the cover of the field.

However even with command value 9 the kampfgruppe's CIC unfortunately only manages to make two moves for XXVII Corps. Russian units start entering the table sporadically and from random points. The first one to arrive is the tank battalion and naturally it arrives from the optimum point of German right flank and starts blasting up the poor remnants of XXVII Corps which is quickly broken. Only the tanks, Fo and some few platoons manage to to make it to the safety.

In pincher-like maneuver the assault battalion arrives from German left flank and starts advancing in the cover of the forest.

The Russian tank battalion is deployed to the left of the forest in the German right flank and thus discourage the Tigers from committing themselves -the terrain is favourable to the Russians as it limits the visibility to 80cm denying the Tigers the range advantage. Then again the Russians also fear the Tigers and both sides are locked in a Mexican standoff. However, to break this standoff the Russian infantry battalion, spearheaded by the SU-76s, starts arriving in trucks via the road next to the tank battalion.

The assault battalion, after several totally failed command activations, takes the town next to the Tiger -occupied field causing some flank threat to the Germans. The assault battalion doesn't seem THAT eager to commit itself against the Tiger supported sporadic Germans though...

The German engineers build a pontoon bridge over the river. The attracts many more Germans as the Russian tank battalion has now advanced to the forest on the German right flank and is having a field day blowing up German half-tracks etc

The random entry worked like a charm for the Russians and the immediately managed to make mincemeat out of the retreating German infantry. The current situation is horrible for the Germans since they are outmaneuvered and out manned. To start retreating would extremely likely mean destruction and Tigers turning tail would surely cause a massive shooting fest against their rear armour and thereby at least suppression followed on by later destruction. The only hope is to stand fast and wait for reinforcements or approaching dark.

Günther, we are now earnik either iron or wooden crozzes...


BKC2 1st try-out

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

Last year we tried Blitzkrieg Commander and immediately started a quick 1/300 scale campaign in Eastern Front with a German recon battalion. Great fun was had and the rules, which are a derivative of GW's Warmaster fantasy rules, worked really quite well. Compared against my expectations the performance was stellar!

Now the publisher, Specialist Military Publishing, has a 2nd edition out. Andy, who had made a pre-order for the rules, had even managed to win a free copy in the raffle! So three weeks ago there was little excuse not to try the rules out.

Our first foray to the new edition was a small test game that Aksu had brewed up and was apparently the prelude for our next recce battalion campaign where the German offensive is turning into desperate fight against the Russian counteroffensive during Operation Bagration.

On the morning of June 26th 1944 hastily scrounged elements of German XXVII Corps are trying to stop elements of Russian 16th Guards Rifle Corps that are trying tho break through the German defences.

The German defence is placed in between two forests in an area broken by some scrub and swamp. They have also managed to dig in some defences as well as erect barbed wire. Unfortunately the infantry is of low (conscript) quality and there's just two units capable of destroying Russian armor: Tiger and Puma platoons.

In addition to having better troop quality the Russians also have the numerical superiority: they have more than twice the number of infantry some of which are from a penal unit as well as three times the armoured superiority in the form of lend-lease Shermans (since we currently don't have any at the club we used T-34s as proxies). They also have pre-planned artillery.

Mr H played the Russians and his old sparring partner MR V the Germans. Andy ran the game and Janne just gawked (although he thought that he'd get to play the penal units...) and took some crappy photos.

At first the Russians advance without an incident and their first artillery salvo hammers the first German defences, but as they reach the wire the Tiger platoon opens up from the cover of forest to their front left destroying the lead Sherman. The remaining tanks hug that side's forest edge trying to get into cover from the 88's of the Tigers. Russian infantry presses on hampered by the wire. The Shermans are likewise delayed by the German trenches, which can now be seen to be empty.

Everything seems to be going relatively well for the Germans -their infantry hasn't been spotted yet and they have inflicted some casualties for the Russian tanks. Unfortunately the Germans fumble a command roll with the Tiger platoon and it decides that since one Sherman platoon is burning they, and they alone, must counterattack! Vorwärts -die Russe ist tot!

Unfortunately this is sheer folly and quickly the Russian 5:1 tank ratio has decimated the Tiger platoon into burning wrecks and they direct their attention to helping their infantry friends that are almost engaging the 2nd German fortification line that, unlike the 1st, is occupied.

Soon the Puma platoon is also burning and the Russians start to go around the German fortifications only to find the remainder of the German infantry defending the forest. The entrenched Germans are surprisingly tough to dig up but despite the several unbelievable setbacks in melee the Russians manage to kick some Jerry heinie in the forest, break the Germans and sweep after them towards victory. And towards Berlin! Uraaaa!

Below's the monument of the game's silliness -the lone burning Tiger platoon that from prepared positions decided to, due to command blunder, counterattack alone five Russian armor platoons as well as over dozen infantry platoons.

Next time, Hans du dumkopf, du empty der gas tank or dizmantle die tracks when im die prepared pozition! Ja? ;)

In previous, bigger, games such command blunders haven't caused anything but small inconveniences. Unfortunately with the extremely few German units having their best (only?) good unit go stark raving mad and do a solo version of the charge of the light brigade against advancing Russian horde was immediately enough to turn this training game into one sided massacre with little suspense or interest. Then again, the poor quality German infantry showed that how bloody tedious (and then some) it is to clean up unsuppressed units -charging into melee is bloody business and defender is definitely holding the bigger stick here. Quite believable really...