Friday, March 13, 2015

Crossing the Werra River: 15mm Battlegroup Modern and the Battle of Laubach PART I

While the Battle of Eichenberg was going on farther to the south, elements of the Soviet 8th Guards Tank Army's 57th Motor Rifle Division were attempting to penetrate the III West German Corps' line along the Werra River.  Beyond the Werra, lay a tough fight all the way to Kassel, one of the 57th's main objectives.

German Route 7 cut directly through a heavily forested and hilly Region towards Kassel and was one of the 57th's main axes.  If the East Germans got in trouble farther south, capturing a crossing over the Werra River early-on would enable them to reinforce their weary East German allies if things went south...

This scenario was inspired by Paul F's "M-Day in Landshut" skirmish game.  The OOB for both sides are simple - a powerful Soviet advanced column of Motor-Rifle Infantry supported by Armor and off-board artillery race to capture a crossing over the Werra River before a new German defensive line can be properly reinforced.  The Germans, who were already conducting a withdrawal from a Soviet encirclement, throw what they can in the way of the Soviet juggernaut to slow it down.

The Germans deploy a Territorial Army (TA) mechanized platoon to Laubach with some decent Anti-Tank support.  This force, totaling 3 squads, a weapons squad, some APCs, and some Jaguar Anti-Tank vehicles will face off against Soviet infantry in BTRs and T-72 tanks racing down Route 7 to capture the bridge and Laubach itself.

Soviet reconnaissance has already arrived...

Werra River Crossing.  The red markers are Soviet objectives per the Battlegroup Kursk "Flank Attack" scenario

Hastily assembled 15mm German TA.  (Command Decision Vietnam range with some headswaps from WW2 German soft-cap and US Paratrooper stock!)
 It's worth mentioning that this is my first go at Battlegroup with individually based troops...The Soviets are still on their 2x man bases...
Saw off the carrying handles and you have instant G3 rifles.

Milan ATGM laying in wait next to their APC in the orchard.

German squad dug in

Jaguars primed but overall unpainted as of yet...

All is quiet for now...

Soviet recce sneaks into position for the first turn.

The long road to Laubach.  Soviet infantry and tanks will have to travel down Route 7 to reach Laubach and eventually Kassel.

TA Mortar section sets up in a grove next to the bridge.  It's going to be a long next few days!


  1. Very nice! Love your photos, very immersive report...

    1. Thanks, Phil! Just wait until the battle starts!

  2. LOve your WWIII stuff. Have you considered doing your own rules for WWIII too?

    1. Duc,
      I've written a few rules sets that cover WW3 tactical warfare but I haven't played them in awhile. My original set of rules was called "Echelons of Iron" and was later renamed "Steel Echelons" also last year I wrote a World War 2 rules set that I called "Combat Team" which has a modern supplement to it.

      EOI was very simplistic and Steel Echelons was a re-write of EOI that had more thought behind the mechanisms and a very nice engagement table. I'll send them to you if you like.

  3. Nice!!!!

    It all looks very tasty!

    1. Thanks, Paul! Half the fun was coming up with the scenario!