Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Battlegroup: Kursk - QUICK TANK FIGHT!

With a few days off from work and some painting behind me, I thought I could set up a small Battlegroup: Kursk game with some of my German and Soviet armor on the table - no infantry allowed!  I'll let the pictures do most of the talking...

A gaggle of newly completed T-34s stalking Fritz!
 This game featured my latest T-34 platoon and a KV-1 platoon hunting for a platoon of German Panzer IVG and a single Tiger-I.  2 Objectives, 1 in the middle of the board on the road and another in a small village right in the middle of the German advance.

basecoated with FOW Tankovy Green, my new favorite color.  Washed with "Agrax Earthshade" and drybrushed buff.  All that's missing are the decals which I will put on soon enough.

German tanks arrive!
 I diced for setup and units on the table.  The Soviets received most of their vehicles.  The Germans only one!

The T-34s reach the first objective!

Mighty Tiger arrives on the field.

 German reinforcements are slow to arrive but the Soviets have arrived en masse!  Luckily for the Germans, the KV-1s are not very fast.

View from the second KV-1 turret!  

More German Armor finally arrives!

Germans reach the village and fortify it with 2 tanks, meanwhile the Tiger and its 2 "begleit'" stalk off for Ivan.

Good kill!  Scratch 1 T-34.
 Now that casualties are starting to occur, this would be a good time to talk about the stats for the game.  Breakpoint for the Germans is 16.  Soviets is 18.

Hold that village at all costs!  Not one step back!


KV-1s struggle to catch up


meanwhile, the Tiger crew earns its pay.

German tanks approach the road objective cautiously...

The Soviets throw a KV-1 in the way in a desperate attempt to stop the Tiger's onslaught!

Soviet gunners score a kill as a Mk IVG burns!

My God!  Our shells have no effect on this beast!  repeated accurate KV-1 shots harmlessly bounce off the front deck of the Tiger.


Meanwhile the last of the T-34 platoon thinks he can possible find a route around the woods and flank Fritz.

Tiger advances up to the objective but there's a KV-1 still shooting at them!  

meanwhile 2 panzers mix it up with KV-1 "150"

Remember that T-34 on the flanking mission?

Tiger crew bails!

Panzer IV crew manages to pin the last remaining KV-1 and this game is over!
Technically no one reached their breakpoints but with the pressure bearing down on the last remaining KV-1 and my daughter's imminent soccer practice, I figured this would be a good time to call the game!  The Germans won this battle I dare to say, unless the ultimate Soviet objective was merely to buy time for the REAL forces to deploy!  (follow on game in the works?)

Some tactical principles to keep in mind when you play your next game of Battlegroup:

Playing the Germans, use your longer ranged guns to pick off the Soviets if possible.
Also if you have Tiger tanks, bring along "escort" units, preferably tanks, to move alongside it.  This gives you much more flexibility when on the attack.

Playing the Soviets, use the mobility afforded by your T-34s and try to get in flank attacks on the enemy if possible.  A stand up fight will not do unless you have hordes of numbers on your side.
Use the "Stal Stal Stal" order whenever possible, especially if you do have hordes of numbers on your side.


  1. Dux uses Stal! Stal! Stal! every other turn - it drives me batty!

    It would also make a nice follow on game to try and recover that Tiger too :-)

    1. Paul,
      That actually sounds like a really fun mission!

      I used the Stal Stal Stal orders in that mega huge Ponyri Station game I played earlier this year. It's perfect for getting lots of Ivans in position quickly! Much to the chagrin of the German player.

    2. I like scenario based missions too. They add a lot of flavour and narrative, which makes them memorable.

      Its a really good way to cut down the German advantage at long range too - with a couple of good leadership rolls, Alan gets his T-34s driving between my Panzers in no time!

    3. Ugh what a mess for the German player! I remember that monster Ponyri Station game I played, I had all these T-34s at basically "point blank range" careening around the hilltop objective and practically mixed in with the Germans - until that airstrike took all of them out lol.