Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Massive Hill 235 Battlegroup Kursk Game Part II

Played another set of brutal Battlegroup: Kursk turns for Hill 235.  We left off last time with the Germans attempting to get a toe-hold in the "First of May" collective and also right as German armor was swarming up Hill 235.

As I said in my last post - the hill was easy to take but is proving ridiculously hard to hold!

The Soviets were able to hold on along the road until turn 9 at which point a massed armor counter-attack began from elements of the 125th tank brigade arriving as reinforcements.  The Tigers on Ambush orders gave a good accounting of themselves, knocking out the lead tanks with excellent gunnery but Ivan came on.  Subsequent turns saw the arrival of a T-70 company as well as lots and lots more infantry, all surging towards the hill with a vengeance!

Meanwhile on the German right, the First of May collective farm was cleared after brutal house-to-house BUA fighting, losing almost an entire German infantry platoon in the process.  The German StuG cross-attached to that flank finally started earning its pay and the German CO moved a Tiger over to help things out.  By the time the big cat arrived, the village was already cleared and the Germans began consolidating to move towards the objective.

Soviet T-34s originally left guarding their left objective mount a hasty counter-attack on Hill 235.  The KO'd vehicle in the lower right had a mine strike counter played against him!

Lonely at the top.  The Germans consolidate their position as the first infantry squads arrive.
 While the Germans had a tough fight clearing out the First of May collective, they just weren't getting the orders in to move all their units.  Unfortunately the infantry lagged behind.  Too little, too late!
Last Soviet element in the collective farm.

Another Soviet squad falls back and prepares an ambush position.  They would knock out an HMG team trying to set up in a house to their front.  
 Units began dropping left and right as both sides drew counter after counter.  The Soviets had a AT Rifle gunner who, after losing his comrade, went nuts and attacked every vehicle in sight, eventually KOing a Panzer III from behind by forcing a pin one turn and forcing the vehicle to abandon next turn.  Rallying rolls were just not happening for the Germans this game.

Failed close assault against the Panzer III!  Just in time for the ATR on the left to knock him out!  Great rolling, Ivan!

A StuG goes on ambush orders as they wait for Ivan's counter-attack.  Aerial recon radios in a very large concentration of Soviet Armor approaching from the east.  Mein Gott!

Meanwhile at the collective farm...

Infantry swarm through the village and occupy the houses.
The Soviets finally got their 122mm tubes to point in the right direction and all of the die rolls happened without a hitch.  Unfortunately for the Germans, 122mm HE started falling all around Hill 235.  The spotting round deviated from the top of the hill right over where all the German infantry and AA were concentrating.  Uh oh!  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the before/after but this makes me want to make really cool impact markers for incoming artillery.

farm secured herr oberst!

View before the artillery strike and before the Soviet reinforcements arrive.  Note the SPAA unit moving up!

Tanks approaching from the east!!

The Soviets lose tank after tank and keep coming.

The second wave.  The T34s are no match for the 88s on the Tiger Is.

Meanwhile the Soviet "cossacks" light tanks arrive and cut into the advancing infantry, pinning some squads down.  

T-70s race around the flanks to draw fire and attack the infantry.  

Soviet armor from the opposite flank moves up and gets a solid flank shot into the Tiger's hide.  Tiger I destroyed!
 The Soviet counter-attack is slow to get started, but 2 turns of great orders-rolling sees a swarm of activity as all of the Soviet infantry battalion shows up and forms in the woods for the attack against Hill 235.  Mortars, MGs, tanks will all participate!  Everyone forward for the motherland!

Germans getting ready to push onto the second objective.

Soviet infantry massing in the woods for the push against Hill 235.  The final assault has not started yet. 

The first wave moving up the hill!

Meanwhile Soviet high command attempts to stabilize things on their own left flank as they notice more German vehicles attempting to seize the objective.  Note the NKVD men behind the mortar crew.  "I can concentrate much better if you weren't holding that pistol Comrade Kommissar!"

German situation at the end of the Soviet turn.  The "Ranged In" FOW marker marked the location of the spotting round and the Fire for Effect right on top all that German infantry!
 The Soviets are massing for a large push against Hill 235 and the Germans are moving out to secure the other objective.  This is pretty much were the action stopped today as I have some Swedish furniture to assemble...

First of May collective in the lower right.  Hill 235 with a ton of burning vehicles is visible in the upper-center part of the pic.
In case you were wondering, no one has even come close to their breakpoints yet of 56 for the Germans and 67 for the Soviets.   The victory conditions call for both objectives to be secured for 3 turns with anything else being a draw.  I'm no expert, but I predict a draw for this outcome!    Probably won't get a chance to finish the rest of the game until Friday afternoon but I wanted to get the pictures out.  This has been a great game so far.  I think I like playing BGK with historical scenarios.  Stay tuned!


  1. Ah now thats the stuff. Lots of tension and some great pics Steven.

    Your scenery has come leaps and bounds mate!

    1. Thanks, Paul. I was really looking forward to trying your Ponyri Scenario out and found a close one for CD3 on Bob M's website. This was a real meatgrinder - wait until you see the carcasses left all over the hilltop.

      Next will be the other side of Ponyri with all the tanks!

  2. Great action indeed! I love the see-saw nature of this game and the chaos that a random chit draw can bring.

    Great to see the T-70s used in the flanking role and best of all that great Command stand you just painted in action! I note that the Comrade Commissar wasn't too far behind him either...

    1. Paul,
      It was a cracking good time. The outcome was constantly in question. BGK can handle larger battles there is just more housekeeping to do each turn. I am looking forward to trying out the push on Ponyri itself next.

      The T-70s were perfect for that screening role! Nimble and fast. I used them to cut the road against any infantry trying to advance against the hill!

  3. That writeup is really exciting to read Steve. Looks great, and sounds like there was real tension in the air.

    Must try these rules.

    1. Thank you sir! It was a very fun game and I really like how the player can select different kinds of attacks to use. The system itself provides ample tension. My only complaint is that there is much book-keeping, especially in a larger game like this.

      I heartily recommend them.