Sunday, 13 October 2019

The Second Battle of Buzuluk (FireStorm 'Ponyri Station' Campaign)

 As part of Steve's Ponyri Campaign (over at Sound Officers' Call Blog), we staged the Second Battle of Buzuluk here at the bunker, in order to establish what would be happening during the Soviet counter-attack on the right flank.

This could determine the outcome of the battle ...so no pressure for Fitz or I...

  • The biggest consideration today was the wider campaign, and that changes the dynamic in your moves - all of them...
  • You consider that some of these forces must be kept for another day.
  • Though forced to a degree, the armour is a precious commodity.
  • We could see how a Pyrrhic victory works in a campaign setting. Though there was a winner today, both sides were exhausted ...almost made combat ineffective. You begin to see how losing the battles does not mean that you lose the campaign.
'Last week, the Soviets lost Buzuluk, an extremely important piece of real-estate to the Germans. Buzuluk keeps Tank Hill and Kleninskoye supplied.  If captured, the German rear area will be threatened, including Maslovo, a supply source for the Germans.  Additionally, the cut off Soviet units will be resupplied and available for future operations.'



OOBs were roughly:
  • A Soviet Infantry Regiment with a company of T34s in support.
  • Now about those tanks...we had a card draw system in place (based on FoB) to determine initiative, while using Rapid Fire mechanics...with a card in there that dictated that if the Soviets lost half the company brewed-up or damaged...they would not pursue the armoured element of the attack (or at least only support with HE), as the tanks would have to be kept for later in the campaign. (Commander Kenski has insisted upon this)...
This would prove critical today.

  • The Germans had a rag-tag Kampfgruppe/Battalion in defence, with two reinforced companies in improved positions (they would stay mostly in the town and woods), some PAKs, and the chance of a STGIII.

 Soviets have good artillery support, but it would prove harder to call in that that of the Germans.

Excuse only a few pics on this occasion, as we were VERY involved with the action.
 On the start line. Soviet forces about to drive north.


 Fitz and I have gamed together for a long time. We knew what was going to happen at this crossroads, even before it happened...


 For the Motherland!

 Zweihundert meter...halt...halt...

  ' Feuer!' It didn't start well for the Russians


 The, with the initiative firmly in their hands, the Germans drop artillery on the Russian road advance.

The Soviet advance obscured by dropping smoke.
 
Unfortunately, they have opted not to cover the infantry advance in the open on their left.
Ka-chick... as the MG42s sight across open ground to the right of the woods.

Though they make good ground in the centre with armoured support.

 The other half of the PAK front.

 An infantry assault builds on the left, despite being under heavy MG fire.


Soviets manage to get some support set up for the town sector assault. Will they be able to pull off a simultaneous attack without committing all the reserves.


 Heavy fighting in teh centre, as armour takes more hits.


On the extreme German left, isolated units make good account of themselves without even firing a shot, convincing Russian armour (not yet supported) to take a wide berth. Though those T34s could change everything if they break through.

 Russian infantry catches up to take on Germans in the wooded area.


 First assault on the built up sector, well supported.
But ultimately beaten back with heavy losses.


The last shot of the 75mm takes out another tank, There were a lot of sixes!



 The second assault goes in, even as German units, previously hidden, catch the Russians in a crossfire.


 The PAK is taken out as Soviet units gain a foothold in the town, but at tremendous cost. ...and the Russian's eyes widen as a STGIII appears down the road

At the same time, their armour as decided that losses (now 50%) are too high, and they will not pursue the attack into the built up area.


 The STuG moves to the flank to take on the T34s - which won;t press the attack now. It makes good account of itself, though is ultimately lost.



 The third attack on the MG positions, which have been taken down with artillery. Again at great cost. The Russians have taken severe casualties.



The T34s can support, but will no longer engage. Battalion morale rolls are now also in effect. It doesn't look good...

The Germans pass their morale and remain to fight. (They have lost a full company and tank support, and both PAKs).
The Soviets will withdraw (with 50% casualties across both infantry and armour).

The German player wipes sweat from his brow....EPIC!



(I nearly forgot the latest from Radio Gobin. Some of you might have preferred that I had ... ;)  )



Thursday, 10 October 2019

Le Duc (not) on the Road XVII - More from Versailles

SO, after yesterday's post, I mentioned to Mademoiselle that the fans demanded more (though haven't got to a certain tomb yet). I was of course kidding, though she took me literally (bless...), hence, here is more Versailles.

Seems like an ok place to work !?!?!?!








 Louis...Louis

 Yes...I'm wondering if it's a useful scale too...








And of course Radio Gobin presents Louis...Louis! ...or Louie Louie ...I'm so confused.