Meeting engagement: The Russian Steppe.
Take observation nest (high ground) +10 points
Secure medical supplies from ruined building +8 Points
Each section or team lost -1 points
Kill enemy Lt. +2 points
Russian Infantry platoon: (12 elements)
4 rifle squads
1 Maxim HMG
1 Recon team
1 T34 1942 Tank
German Fallschirmjager platoon: (8 elements)
2 infantry squads
1 Panzershrek team
1 Panzer III L
German deployment (Matt & Erik): The Germans split their units into 2 distinct forces. On the left one squad of infantry, the HMG
, and the tank kept cover in the woods but deployed at the edge of the forest to project their massive firepower onto both objectives. On the Right the FJ had 1 rifle squad, the HQ
, & a panzerschrek team.
Russian deployment (Russel, Mark, Chris, & Stacy): The Russians deployed more broadly across the whole table. A rifle platoon on their right flank sheltered in the hills. In the center was the Maxim HMG
on a hill backed up by the HQ
, also an infantry squad and the T-34 parked close by. On their Russian left were 2 squads of infantry and the recon team. Most of them nestled into the woods (except for one unlucky section of infantry)
: The German left stayed anchored in the woods, not moving. On the first activation it dumped a shedload of fire on the only Russian squad in the open, cutting down half the men and pinning it (Disposable heroes is a tough love kind of system). The German right made a dash out of the woods for the ruined house. It would spend a turn in the open but would be partially covered by stone walls and the ruined house. The Maxim opened up and killed a jager, and the tank zeroed in and shot up 1 of the 2 members of the panzershrek team. But the proximity of the Lieutenant kept all squads in good order and moving forward.
The Russians began moving towards the objectives. Their left flank moving through the woods cautiously. The Rifle squads in the center and on their right also moved up. Risky business but the German MG
’s had so many targets that some of the Russians could not be accounted for.
The Germans on the left made it to the ruined house and stone wall solid cover that should have kept them safe.
Meanwhile the Russians found themselves slowly getting chewed to pieces. If the squad was visible to the MG42’s and MG34’s & FG42’s, the Germans were able to throw buckets of dice and even though the Russians were behind walls and in the woods, casualties and pinned squads mounted up quickly. At one point a full squad of Russians were able to pile into the central farmhouse but quickly came under massive amounts of fire. The Russians lost 2 men and failed two pinning tests, which sent them running from the house back out into the open.
(in retrospect I’m not sure what could have been done by the Russians in this situation. Moving into the house was the best move going, but with the MG
-42 and the FG42 adding a -4 modifier the Russians before casualties were really too much for a standard squad to handle. )
: After the Russians routed out of the house, it seemed to be a point of despair for the Communists. On the right flank the FJ’s had moved in a seized the supplies & strongly occupied the stone walls. Erik’s dice were red hot, while conversely the Russian dice were ice cold; failing kill checks and morale tests left and right. But as games often do, this one was about to turn. . .
Russel had been shepherding one unit of Russians across the board, and had gotten them intact to the base of the hill of the main objective. The whole unit was safe from any incoming fire and hunkered down to wait for the right moment.
Mark realized that it was now or never and moved the T-34 out to challenge the Panzer. In an amazing string of rolls, Mark acquired his target, hit it, penetrated the armor, and destroyed it. Four good rolls in a row!
Chris and his wife Stacy were husbanding their cut up platoons carefully forward, unwilling to give up on the supplies (My FJ team had beat feet out of the house and back to the copse of trees with the goodies!) With four understrength sections they began targeting the forward team of the FJ’s. I thought they were safe, weak amounts of fire and no real heavy arms to speak of. Stacy kept pecking away. A kill here, a kill there and my squads were bleeding. By sneaking the Russian teams avoided “snap fire” and soon I fond myself stuck at the stone wall. Too outnumbered to move and not strong enough to shoot my way out.
The tide was indeed turning and it all hinged on the high ground.
: It was too little, too late for the Russians to recover the supplies, but they made up for it by chewing up the last of a FJ team and started to work on the command section.
The T-34 was now invulnerable (Germans had no more ranged AT
weapons left) and had nothing to fear, it moved forward and attempted to cut down whatever enemy units it could. The Russians in the woods and the HMG
spent the last two turns whittling down the FJ HQ
section until all that remained was the Leutnant. The FJ’s on the right flank had weathered a constant spattering of fire, never breaking or losing morale even as the bodies mounted. In the last turn the MaximHMG hosed him down with a hail of bullets and claimed the victory points for knocking out the enemy commander.
On the left flank the final pieces of the drama were falling into place. Russel maneuvered his Russians into the sandbagged emplacement. Erik charged one squad of FJ’s out of the tree line to contest the objective. . . .
In the last turn Russel opened fire at the FJ’s contesting the objective, killing one and pinning the unit! Now he held it uncontested! Erik had one squad left to fire, the 2nd
FJ squad. Not a lot of hits but enough firepower to force a modified test. Russel needed a 6 or less and failed pinning his unit. The game ended with the high ground unoccupied and high casualty rates for some squads.
: another good game, in which the system flows along and each turn people are forced to make decisions that clearly affect the game, simple system, deep repercussions. I felt Erik made great use of the superior firepower of his FJ units. Every turn of the game the Russian moves were dictated by our zones of fire. His last minute contesting of the objective seemed conservative to me, but it played out well. Russel’s calculated move towards the high ground was well played and thoughtful. Mark’s T-34 and single turn of blazing hot dice helped turn the momentum of the game back to the Russians. Chris and Stacy’s determined advance through the woods with a handful of mauled unit was impressive (I was rooting for them inside!) and their use sneaking taught us all a lesson in how to properly advance on entrenched positions.
Quick overall points on the game in general
• More scenery (solid obstacles to block cross field lines of fire)
• I’d like to see how tanks work offensively, we have used them as static MG
bunkers so far.
• Some club rules or clarifications to tighten up buildings & cover.
Germans :+8 for the supplies -4 for lost squads= 4
Russians: +2 for killing enemy HQ
-3 for lost squads = -1