Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ponyri Station: Updates from the Front!

Every day I've been slugging out a few grueling rounds on the Eastern Front either before work or right after world.

All eyes are on the deepening nightmare of the Zitadelle offensive and specifically, the struggle for Hill 253 and the first of May Collective farm.  2 objectives coinciding with the 507th infanterie regiment's drive on Ponyri Station further west!  We pick up where we left off with the drive just leaving the line of departure.  2 German battalions are cautiously advancing into the jaws of the Soviet infantry defense.  Soviet pre-registered fires don't accomplish much and the Germans pour on the left flank, urged on by the presence of the Regimental commander.  They lose some casualties to Soviet rifle and MG fire (1 platoon KO) and the rest of the battalion crashes against the Soviet position on Hill 253 like battering storm surge waves!  Mortars in full support.  They grab a foothold in desperate hand to hand combat for some of the log emplacements Ivan's fighting from!

Round 1 is a bust as Fritz needs a "6" to hit.

German Battalion advances!

Meanwhile the Battalion mortars pour on the fire

supporting the advance

German platoon reaches the Soviet positions and more close quarters fighting breaks out.

Getting up here was easy.  Staying here????
 The 1st Battalion is able to reinforce their gain on Hill 253 yet they are not the undisputed masters of the hill.  There is still a Soviet platoon and command element on the hill.  The Germans, licking their chops are about to fire on the Soviet CO when their momentum runs out (they bust their command roll).
Note the main Soviet HQs in the background!  

Soviets counterattack but are repulsed.
 Just when things look most bleak for Ivan, the 27th Tank Brigade comes roaring (clanking?) atop the hill and immediately counterattacks by fire.  1 German platoon is push off the hill due to the Soviet fire.
 Meanwhile things on the German right at the collective are going much better.  The 2nd Battalion captures the first in a series of hamlets and store houses, wresting control of the Collective away from Ivan one at a time.

Soviet return fire is impressive but fails to do any serious damage.

Kaptain Trotsky surveys the incoming Germans.

2nd Battalion eagerly closes with the Russian defenders

 The Russians, try as they might, cannot get the 1,442nd SP Arty unit to move.  They're planning a warm reception for Fritz up Hill 253 with their howitzers at assault range!

One movement order scores a move but then stalls out.

The mighty 1,442nd awaiting orders!

Meanwhile the Germans are losing their grip on 253.

We've got to do something about those bloody tanks!
 The Russians meanwhile are losing their grip on the collective farm.  The see saw battle that is Kursk continues!

The final Soviet defensive line at the collective farm.  1 infantry platoon and 1 45mm AT gun to hold back an entire battalion.  It doesn't get any more tense than this!


Germans emerging from the cornfield

27th Tank Brigade is calling the shots here!

The HMG platoon moves back behind regimental HQs (hey what are you doing so far up front sir???)

Battle hardened Soviet infantry attack by fire and push back a German weapons platoon!
So a few things I could have done better thus far - no real fire support even though the Germans have 2 batteries of heavies, as well as a nebelwerfer battery in General Support.  The Soviets, who only have pre registered scheduled artillery also have many batteries in support but cannot use it yet, have also remained relatively artillery free, even though a majority of the killing ought to be done by the big guns.  Next time I play this, it would probably be wise to try and incorporate airpower into the mix.  So I guess producing (or actually using) my Fire Support schedule would be wise next time.

I wonder how much differently this would play using "BATTLE"???

Also - needing to check out Jim Bambra's COMBAT HQ next (Darren - that's for you.  Once I actually get the chance to try it out.  I've been reading it on the train and it looks fascinating for this command scale (1:4)


  1. What happened to the Elefants? I figured the KV-1s would have gotten roughed up a bit by those monsters.

    1. Ski,
      Unfortunately, and this is normal for how I roll dice, the elefants have sat there unable to pass their rally test for the last 6 or 7 turns...otherwise they'd have made it up the hill by now.