This battle was set up and about a quarter was played while waiting to go to the train station before work this week at 4:30 in the morning (you game when you can!)
German: 4 Infantry Platoons, 1 Mortar Platoon, 1 ATG Platoon
Soviet: 3 Infantry Platoons, 1 Mortar Platoon, 2 ATG Platoons
|Pictures pick up around turn 4 when the Germans reach the village first. They take up good positions in the orchard and buildings and await the Soviet human wave attacks!|
|The Soviets reach the orchard and a firefight breaks out! The Germans call on their mortars as well as extra firepower from the AT platoon coming up on their right flank.|
|Soviet Rifle platoon charges into the orchard guns blazing!|
|Meanwhile, a frontal assault on the town develops with the Soviets holding nothing back. Unfortunately they didn't mass their fires properly and their infantry platoons were knocked back one by one.|
|Soviet ATGs firing in direct support of the infantry.|
|The Soviet mortar platoon is busy, too, just not effective enough this time.|
|Tough fighting! A preview of the coming summer eh comrade?|
|German Landsers await another Soviet assault|
|It doesn't take long before the Soviet AT gun battery on the German left trains their guns on the left-most platoon astride the roadway.|
|Meanwhile the fight on the German right reaches a critical phase. Only a single Soviet platoon left to the front and everyone can see the way this battle is going.|
|Commissar Heaven AKA the Soviet casualty collection point|
|Final Dispositions This is only Turn 9!|
The Soviets faced some tough challenges on this fight. The only way to win would have been to concentrate the fires of 3 separate platoons against 1 German platoon. The Soviets spread out to pin all the Germans down, but instead used up their energy in ineffectual assaults that just eroded their own effectiveness.
Some Lessons Learned if you find yourself playing this battle with World War II forces:
Narrow Attack Frontage: Unlike the "Bridgehead" Scenario, this battle needs to have the attacker concentrate forces as narrowly as possible. Given that this "feels" operational, bunching your forces up wont get you punished because the mortars and HE weapons strike the whole unit anyways. Having 2 or 3 platoons up front and elbow to elbow is the way to go about it if you're attacking the town. The Germans get half the hits registered against them for cover! You've been warned!
Concentrate Firepower: like above, why else would you want to concentrate units? Because you need to concentrate firepower againt the troops dug in in the town. 3 rolls, along with indirect fire will soften platoons up one by one.
Combined Arms: Many people think "combined arms" has to be tanks, artillery, and troops, but in actuality it's using all of your weapons decisively so that your force capability is greater than the sum of its parts. The Soviets really could have used their AT guns more imaginatively. Perhaps sending a platoon to both flanks in order to provide more firepower at the decisive point. Either way, they were wasted on the right sitting in the open. Had the Soviets used their AT guns more thoughtfully, they might have pulled off a victory.
This game demands an encore and I feel like it's ripe for campaign rules (which i may try from the book) using a series of linked scenarios.