The Soviets had 2 full infantry (1 SMG and 1 Rifle) platoons, an HMG section, forward HQs, and 82mm mortar battery. The Germans have 2 reduced infantry platoons, a single HMG section, a single 81mm mortar tube, and an assault pioneer squad.
|Layout that is reminscent of Norm's "37th Guards" scenario. 4 largest buildings are objectives.|
We attempted to use the Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich urban rules but really never got to....more on this later.
To translate into BG speak we played the Attack / Defense scenario with the Soviets playing the attacker. The victory conditions are simple. The winner is player holding the most amount of objectives, although the game cannot end with an "all objectives secured" victory. Meaning we fight until someone breaks!
|Table at H-Hour - note the distance between buildings|
I have to say that this game, while basically being a huge firefight with lots of surprises, was chock full of decision making and tension. Dave and I used our reinforcements to try and flank each other's position, but it was tough breaking from cover due to the distances involved.
|Dave plotting his fires|
|Soviet HMG crew supporting the 37th Guards' attack!|
|Dave eventually pins the HMG, but the distance from his troops to it are too great. He risks being caught in the open so the assault never takes place!|
|Dave's reinforcements go right into the brick building while my HMG and rifle sections hold down the right flank.|
|Soviet Forward HQs|
|Reinforcements pour into the factory!|
|MG34 section upstairs, rifle section downstairs!|
|My pinned HMG is in trouble - Dave trains all of his rifle squads on them!|
|scratch one MG34 team after heavy shooting.|
|German command group for the 1st Platoon. We need the CO for the extra order!|
|Dave is reviewing his options.|
|My assault pioneers arrive! But what to do with them? I'm basically in the same boat as Dave is, now. I dont want to use them as purely infantry but this is Stalingrad! You do what you have to do!|
|Flanking force on the German left with 2nd Platoon|
|Dave's Soviets aren't going anywhere!|
|Shooting down into the German southeastern position!|
|I'm worried about the attack shaping up on the right so I put a reserve section to guard behind them, in case Ivan tries to break through!|
|Dave has almost a full platoon in the flats in front of the center German position. So far no one has tried to close assault anything.|
|Mortar starts to take its toll on everyone. Note the HMG which "should" be in the upper right rubble pile is gone!|
|shooting through windows and mouseholes!|
|MORE mortar fire missions! Give those guys a medal! Dave's rolling with the IDF is pretty good.|
Anyways Dave must pull 2 chits now, 1 for the air attack and 1 for the squad's destruction. It pushes him over BP and we call the game. However, we are both practically still in our startpoints and the building tally is 2/2 so even though the Soviets called off the attack, no there are still an even number of objectives in German and Soviet possession! The Soviets will be back!
|Stuka dropping his bomb on the flats below.|
So that's it! As you can see, we never got to close assault so we never did get to try out the FOTR urban rules. The BGK rules for hard cover were sufficient in this case. This was a great game loaded with excitement and tension and decision-making. Placement of reserves was super important, as was the fire plan. Probably also worth mentioning that I never got my flame thrower or mortar into position to use them.
One issue we had was the buildings were way too far apart. There should probably have been closer buildings to facilitate an assault and I think if you're planning an urban battlegroup game this would be good to remember. The game was mostly a huge firefight - which is totally ok for a Friday night IMHO. Neither side was willing to get caught in the open, and there might not have been enough terrain to support an assault. Either way this was purely my scenario design issue.
Also many thanks to Norm for providing his "37th Guards" [click] scenario for Tigers at Minsk as the inspiration. Speaking of which, also planning on playing that very same scenario with Tigers at Minsk very soon.
All in all, a great game of Battlegroup in which we learned a ton. Here are some questions for the BG grognards out there though:
- Does an HMG count as a deployed gun?
- If I'm using mortars off my army list (on-table, bought and paid for) do I still have to do a comms check? With whom? the priority check was auto-approved but in regards to the comms check, Regiment is the lowest echelon in the army list but this still didn't seem right?
Some great gaming coming up, folks. Huge CCN game next week, and Battlegroup: REFORGER or Battlegroup: MODERN 6mm the following week. It's gonna be great! Stay tuned and watch this space.