Thursday, December 11, 2014

Squad Leader in Miniature: The Guards Counterattack!

I wanted to try something a little different today so I placed some terrain down and grabbed my "Squad Leader in Miniature" (SLIM) rules along with the original SL rulesbook and a bunch of my 15mm Eastern Front Soviets and Germans to play Scenario #1: The Guards Counterattack.

While I don't have the urban nightmare that was the streets of Stalingrad, the numerous stone buildings in this village and all of the rubble definitely provided the ambiance and solid cover I was looking for.

The Germans are outnumbered and hard-pressed to defend the stone buildings on the map.  The Soviets have a massive infantry group in a reserve position on the table.  The names of the officers and NCOs are directly from the Scenario Card.

German Company Commander, Captain Wetzelberge (9 -2)
 Original victory conditions stipulate that the Soviets must occupy 2 buildings initially occupied by the Germans, or have a significantly higher amount of stone buildings in their possession.  To make this really easy, I only included a handful of standing stone buildings on the table, 2 of which were already occupied!

German HMG position under the command of  SGT Hieken (8 -1).
 This game featured a ton of "oh crap" moments just like I remember when playing SL in college.  Long-shot MMG bursts taking out entire squad and platoons in defensive fire were commonplace this afternoon.

Soviet Support by Fire position overlooking the village center.  MMG section and rifle squad under the command of Lieutenant Dubovich (9 -1)

Soviet assault group - under the command of Colonel Berki (10 -2), the Battalion Commander.

The dreaded Commissar Cohenov
 Rifle and MMG fire from the Russian positions against Berki's HMG section broke the section almost immediately and they were suppressed allowing the Soviet infantry already in the town free movement on the German right.
 Fire from the Commissar's position in the village center crippled the German command group and each rifle squad broke under the accurate fire.

Soviets pour the fire into the buildings hoping to hit something!

German return fire is fairly accurate but the Germans are too scattered to form any firegroups 

 The Soviets push forward despite some early losses.  The Germans attempt to leapfrog a platoon back towards the buildings.
CPT Wetzelberge rallies the command group and they return fire after taking casualties.

The German platoon on the left moves their position to engage the Commissar's troops in the center of town.  Their fire is deadly accurate and the entire commissar group is wiped out.  Cohenov would be put in for the Order of Lenin but this was eventually downgraded to a People's Commendation.
 The last words of SGT Hamblen, meanwhile, are "well i never expected that to happen" as the platoon is eliminated by defensive fire crossing a linear danger area (the Soviet MMG using long-range, defensive fire!  Firepower 6 but minus 2 on the die roll gets them a KIA result.  These were losses the Germans really couldn't afford to take)

SGT Hamblen's covering force is taken out early in the game while attempting a retrograde.

Cohenov's old position, now vacant.  Immediately in the background are the waves of Colonel Berki's assault group.
 The Soviets move their assault group forward in one huge stack and the Germans pour rifle and LMG fire into the advancing khaki wave.

Soviet human wave attack!!
 The Germans are able to thin out about half of the attackers before grudgingly giving ground themselves.  While no squads are knocked out, about 6 Soviet "Guards" squads are broken and sent to the rear in cover.
Soviet Guards casualties.  Relatively light wouldn't you agree??

The remaining Soviets push on, intent on cutting the road and getting to the 2 story stone building that was once Soviet Party Headquarters in this region.

Casualty pile mounts

Town center is chock full of Ivans and the Germans attempt to pull back on the road.  CPT Wetzelberge stays at the crossroads with his single squad to hold off the Soviets, buying time for his Landsers to occupy better ground.

A German squad is routed onto the road.  Ivan is right on their heels!

The crossroads where CPT Wetzelberge earned his Knight's Cross.  His command group is seen butted up against the pine tree.  He would fight it out with 2 Russian squads simultaneously, killing both, and also getting killed in the process.  Squad Leader allows 1 leadership mod to be used per Close Combat.  If there ever was a time for that, it's now!
 Meanwhile, on the Soviet left, the Soviets sneak up to the stone and brick structure housing the German HMG section and SGT Hieken.  Ineffective defensive fire and bad rolling sees Hieken and his section wiped out, opening the back door of the village to the rest of the Soviet squads still in cover.  1 stone building down, 1 to go!

Wetzelberge's last stand!  There used to be 2 more Soviet stands on the crossroads...
 German resistance collapses and the remaining landers, on their last turn, are unable to fire at any targets so they call the game and run off.  Colonel Berki's troops occupy the old Party Headquarters building and the battle is over.

Germans bugging out of Party Headquarters!
Well nice going if you made it this far.  I am a big fan of Squad Leader and playing it in miniature is all the more enjoyable as it's much more visual.  Tracking units might be difficult if playing a larger battle but I certainly think the game can handle it.  You can download the rules and the SLIM supplemental rules for free and they should be available on the links section on my blog.


  1. I really do like the looks of your figures. Well done!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you sir! Yes they are mostly Battlefront and Command Decision 15mm miniatures based on my rectangular stands for various rules sets.

  3. Nice AAR. Great memories of this scenario.

    1. Thank you Mike. It was always one of my favorites in Squad Leader. The terrain I used doesn't do it justice but it was still fun none-the-less.

  4. Forgive the post necromancy, but now I really really want to play SLIM. I love how the pictures really bring you into the action.

    1. No worries, Sean. Comment whenever you like on older posts. SLIM is great just make sure you have a copy of the actual rules handy (you can DL them free on the SL yahoo group) to answer any questions. For me - it's been awhile so I'm glad I had them handy.

      SL always has lots of action and gambles just like you'd expect infantry combat to have. Throwing your men across the street, hoping some of the squads make it!!! One particular nasty game of SL it came down to an American leader stand with a satchel charge to try and KO a Panzer IV. I think doing that in a miniatures battle gives it even more excitement. Happy New Year!