Monday, 11 November 2019

Hill 242 - the Kill Box Unwrapped

Soviet armor on the move.  
Columns detected moving in the vicinity of Kastenwald.
Moving North East toward your position.
KV-1 tanks spotted.
Hold at all costs.

In the next episode of Steve's Ponyri Firestorm campaign, it was all out action, and as I had reported to Steve, an immeasurable Pucker Factor (when I write a set of rules, that's what they'll be called - you can also look up on Google...).

(ok...that isn't just dust on the KV-1 from not being used ...IT'S BATTLE DUST)
We used Rapid Fire with variants.
These are now called Vapid Fire (variant based on hexes and cards similar to Field of Battle and the Nations in Arms variants for Road to Berlin). 

  Armour ratings and combat, with a variant on teh armoured mechanism for infantry combat, from RF is in place. This would prove quite critical actually, as the StgIII has a class 2 gun and can claim cover in the correct circumstances.

 Soviet Units will approach from the southwest, a reinforced battalion with heavy armour.

...just like this...

'Today, I vill show you, verr zee Iron Crosses grow...'
'Right know what to do. you have a choice!'
Soviet Recon determines the position of the StgIII in fixed position ...the hard way.
Soviet KVs (there might be some KV2s and an SU100 thrown in there to make up numbers), with heavy infantry support, leaves the start line.
German tank hunters (what they have of them) are in the trees and sunken areas.
The emplaced StgIII does not last long.
This prompts the Soviet reserve to immediately embark upon a flanking action. This would end with some of the most ferocious fighting of the day along the treeline.

Wait...those Hidden Unit markers are dummies ...that means...
...the German 'Kill Box' is unwrapped; flanking shots from German Armour and PAKs devastate the KVs.

The fight on the German flank is horrific, with troops displacing as much as possible, but with many Russian troops thrown into the meat-grinder.

German armour, now having managed to disengage with infantry support along the defence line, relocates and provide more accurate shooting from the exposed flank.
The German flank to the south is holding, but not for much longer.
The area around the farmyard is completely overrun and the scene of bitter hand to hand fighting.

German units start to fall back to 'The Alamo' - their final line of defense around the ruined buildings to the north.
Russian Armour pours on.
Soviet Armour gets close - somehow the Germans need to push for another morale roll.
Fighting on the flank becomes confused, with Russian units assaulting remaining German positions in the farmyard, while taking enfilading MG fire from positions to their rear, which in turn suffer horrendously from Soviet heavy gunfire.
Armour and infantry losses are reaching terrible levels. The Soviets pass one morale test for armour.
'The Alamo' - indicated by the coffee cup.
Soviets pop smoke from mortar fire in a last assault, but there are too many concentrated German units now.
Soviet forces disengage, at speed.
Russian armour, followed closely by Russian infantry, starts to withdraw. The line ...somehow...has actually held!
'You knew you had to win right?'
Soviet Forces - 50% casualties - 50% losses in Armour.
German Forces - 40% losses.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Disaster at Shirokoye Bulotev!

Well, it was always going to be a disaster for somebody, right?

The second game, here at the bunker, for Steve's Firestorm campaign.

So, here's the sitrep:
A German infantry battalion reinforced with Pioneers (with flammenwerfen), and some armour.
Facing them is a well ensconced Soviet battalion, dug in, well supplied.

The Soviets opted to dig in along the tree line (partially), with a second line of defence back toward the Kursk-Orel railway line. This would prove to be pivotal, as the Russians were deployed piecemeal, in light of the fact that the Germans were 'likely' to attack from the west, but scout units had noted movement of vehicles to the north.

 Soviets are deployed hidden along the tree line, with a well developed trench line to the east and along the railway line.
The issue is, that they are placed a little thin, and positioning of ATGs is critical.

German mortars drop smoke to the south to mask ...something, while Nebelwerfers hit the tree line along the axis running south to north.

German recce vehicles (which was what the Russians had heard moving to the north) emerge to carry out some recon by fire.

German infantry assault goes in. The precious pioneers are masked early by poor bloody Wehrmacht infantry.
 ...which are subsequently hit by heavy Soviet mortar fire.

 Heavy fighting along the tree line, as German troops close assault in order to prevent open order piecemeal destruction via mortar tube...

 Russians have perhaps sited ATGs ...unwisely.

As the German attack develops, Soviet troops begin to move north along the railway axis. It's too late for at least one of the ATGs.

 The German attack develops, pushing slowly at the centre, but it's a mere feint.

The real stuff is happening on the German right, at the northern part of the railway line, as German armour forces the Russian defensive position in a heavy attack, with the balance of the pioneers and infantry.

Too late Komrades...

More smoke to mask a German attack on guns in the centre, preventing Soviet initiative supporting the defence.


 The wind whistles though abandoned gun positions...

Russian units withdraw to the south with 50% casualties.
German units (including pioneers) have suffered 50% casualties, and loss of a recce unit, but have captured the Kursk-Orel railway line along the north-south axis..