In this instance, a German infantry company is defending a wooded ridgeline from a Soviet assault. The Soviets must break through and seize the bridge to the rear. The Soviets, built from the NT 1HW book, have 3 x infantry platoons, 2 x tank platoons, and 1 x Anti Tank Gun platoon.
The Germans have a company consisting of 3 x infantry platoons, 1 x tank platoon, and 2 x mortar platoons (sections). I take this to represent not only the German company mortars, but battalion and possible regimental fires that have been allocated to the defense. So the Germans have lots of indirect fire.
Game One I have the infantry company assaulting across relatively open ground on the right, and the armor assaulting on the left. The Germans are evenly distributed along the ridgeline with dug-in infantry platoons. The Armor is along the road in reserve and the mortars are "in the rear with the gear."
|Soviet Infantry Company on the right. These are my Crossfire platoons.|
|Armor on the left.|
|Infantry pushes off. It's a long way to those Germans in the woodline up the hill. And the German FO is already calling out targets!|
|Liberating a Prussian town.|
|Armor pushes past the town, eager to close with the Germans.|
|The AT guns push on, powered solely by human beings and patriotic fervor.|
The mortar barrages are brutal against the attackers in the first couple rounds and the attack is losing steam.
|First platoon almost had it.|
|Third platoon gets some nasty attention as they move through the gap in the ridgeline. Permanent hits!|
|Note the German armor moving forward to engage the Soviet armor.|
|Another Soviet platoon has had it.|
|The assault grinds forward, shoulder to shoulder!|
|platoons closely packed together along with the armor moving up to the Germans.|
|a beautiful sight!|
|The Germans note the main effort and throw their armor forward quickly.|
|The mortars find their targets now as permanent hits befall the Soviet 3rd Platoon (yellow die. Means minus 1 die for shooting from now on...) Press on comrades!|
|German 3rd Platoon re-positions itself|
|Note the Soviet thrust against the German left. The German armor sallies forth!|
|Soviet tankers start trading shots with the dug in infantry and a tank battle is shaping up now as well. Note here I totally forgot the AT guns which would have been a huge help!|
|Third platoon moving in behind 1st and 2nd in reserve. This attack is looking serious!|
|German 2nd Platoon dug in along the roadway re-positions themselves slightly to the left.|
|The mortars and infantry are finding their targets now. The Tank platoon and infantrymen behind them are starting to feel the heat! permanent hit on Soviet 3rd Platoon|
|Ouch! 6 hits! 3rd Platoon will stop to rally.|
|Ivan's AT guns! The Soviets get lucky and march them rolling box cars to the hilltop. (no doubt a result of the commissar's urging!)|
|The attack is making decent progress but they haven't even closed yet!|
|German reserve platoon moving into position. Schneller Schneller!|
|Good shooting Ivan!|
|The Soviet infantry are crawling forward.|
|Third platoon rallies itself down to 4 hits and First platoon remains at 4 hits. The Second Platoon, with 2 hits, advances up to the muzzle of the German rifles.|
|and then there were none....|
|AT Guns without a scratch!|
So boy what a fun but brutal series of games. The consolidated approach certainly worked a little better for Ivan but with all that completely open ground to cover and 2 x German mortar platoons working against them, it came down to simple math(s). The Neil Thomas rules are meant to have 3 foot square battlefields so maybe chalk it up to that?
I think if you're going to play on a bigger surface with more area to cover, the attackers need some kind of help like smoke or artillery or mortars themselves. In this instance, for both sides I used the force selector but with 2 x mortar platoons on the German side and almost completely observed movement throughout, that task, which was close with the Germans, break through and capture a crossing point, namely the bridge, proved impossible.
I'd like to play this a couple more times but it seems to me that, when playing on a bigger table, that the attackers need smoke or more cover or the battles will be more reminiscent of World War I instead of World War II!
That's still a great testament to Alex's modifications of NT's rules, which I think work remarkably well and really capture the scope of the Company Commander's fight.
So if you read this far congratulations! You made it to the bonus! Here are the rest of my Work-In-Progress Afrika Korps for the OPERATION CRUSADER MEGA GAME in 2 weeks. Enjoy! These are my support platoons, and objective markers:
|Support Platoons. 2 x Mortar Platoons and 2 x ATG Platoons|
|German supply dump and "Sidi Rezegh" sign!|
|Rommel's Morning Briefing! Complete with topographical map, Rommel's staff, and you're looking at the back of the man himself! I love this stand!|