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:
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.
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
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)