Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Hoping to delve more into Tigers at Minsk, I grabbed some tanks and tried the Kampfgruppe Sivers scenario from the TaM rules which features a Soviet armor company with tank riders and artillery support clawing their way into Grayvoron against a battle-hardened German platoon with Panthers in support.  The Germans must hold out long enough to link up with fellow GrossDeutschland elements during the Kursk offensive.

GrossDeutchsland Combat Engineers dug in against Ivan

Series of 3 buildings is the village of Grayvoron.  Each building is defended by a German squad.  Panthers watching the flanks and the large open area where Ivan will come through.

The Soviets attack from the east (naturally).  The are bringing alot of firepower with them!

Soviet horde advances.

The panthers are knocking out the T-34s with relative ease but the infantry are another story.  

Soviet tank riders dismount to assault Grayvoron

Panther gunner making short work of Ivan's tanks

errant shots pin the German defending squad!

Soviet artillery falls among the defenders, pinning a squad but the machine gun is still hammering away at Ivan's squads!   Meanwhile I really underestimated how nasty the Panthers are.  90% chance of effects on the target!  Especially if it's a T34.

The advancing tanks and infantry are pinned by opportunity fire and sent packing.  The  AFV is stunned.

I did this wrong and the opportunity fire should have been 1 hex ago.  It stunned the T34 and pinned the infantry.
 I will say even though the Panthers were killing the crap out of Ivan's tanks, this was still a nail biter as the infantry are still a viable threat even after they're forced to dismount the tank.

The Soviets reach "6"  and must take morale checks.  

Soviet high water mark.  Thrown back at the gates of Grayvoron!

Heroes of the battle.  The Panther A.

These guys had a white bead (opportunity fire) on them for most of the battle!
Playing this battle, as epic as it was, only serves to make me want to play MORE Tigers at Minsk.  I feel as if the Russians really didn't have a chance with this one, as they had almost no way to get into position quick enough to get flanking shots on the Panthers.  Same for the infantry, who had to cross much open ground before they could come to grips with the defenders.  Lots of fun, plenty of tension and I am looking forward to playing more, although I think some modern Cold War stuff is in order soon!

And cant forget about Waterloo coming up soon?!


  1. I would enjoy seeing a replay of this scenario to validate that the outcome in Game 1 was typical. What could the Soviets do to improve their chances?

    Enjoyable BatRep!

    1. Cheers, Jonathan,
      So honestly the Soviet loss is probably more due to my poor deployment of them and their assets (coming from the east) than anything else.
      Also, I could have used the artillery more effectively (thinking smoke here) and masked the movement.
      Either way, the win was definitely too easy for the Germans.

      Sometimes I fear that the attacker has it too difficult in Tigers at Minsk. For instance the times the attacker has won compared to the defender, I fear it's "more lucky than good" if that makes any sense.

  2. Wow, that was pretty intense man, and it’s hard to gauge, but from here it looked like the Reds could/might lose all their tanks but still have their infantry take the village, an acceptable loss! ;)


    1. Jack,
      "The ends justify the means" lol. Yeah I could probably have maneuvered the Russians much smarter than I did.

    2. Hey, it looked good to me. I'll admit that often times in solo games there are better moves to be made, but I will play it like it was (or at least how I think it was) in real life. The Soviets dashing forward under heavy fire seems right to me, and you would know better than I, but reading the batrep, it was a close run thing.


  3. Steve, a tense fight for sure and from the narrative you can tell you were drawn in to that sense of desperation.

    The balance of the game comes from a German supremacy at the ranged fire and a fear of being overrun. I wouldn't particularly worry about trying to get a ranged flank shot against a Panther, it is close combat in the town itself that will be he most effective attack against the Panthers and so the attack priority I to keep moving.

    The way I see the main scenario elements are;

    Russians deliver their attack from the direction that causes the defenders the most disruption in refacing v's distance to the town.

    Hope that the Soviet artillery strike will cause the defenders difficulties and hurt the German armour or HMG.

    The task is to deliver infantry and their tank into the town hexes to close assault, they will get +4 dice for their SMG, +1 for the tank and hopefully +1 for a Molatov Cocktail. A lucky set of D6 may cause enough pin results (remember in Close Combat the terrain defensive value is ignored and the defenders are compensated with an additional D6, so all 5's and 6's cause pins) to have penetration tests taken against a Panther.

    If any of the T-34's get adjacent to a Panther they do get the -2 adjacency modifier from any firing aspect, though the panther would also still be able to claim the +1 cover of the town.

    If the Soviets can get a German unit to be both pinned and marked with an opportunity Fire Marker, then the German unit efficiency is reduced for at least two turns as they can only remove one of those markers per turn and under the pressure of this particular attack, that will likely create some vexed moments.

    I'm really pleased that you have enjoyed the rules enough to spend time writing up you accounts, cheers Norm.

    1. Thanks Norm,
      The approach for the Russians definitely was NOT optimal for them. I should have picked the north to assault from, instead of the east.
      i have been enjoying my TaM games very much and am looking forward to playing Tigers at Caen as well.
      Just want you to know I feel as if I'm missing something in regards to bringing an attack home. I feel like the successful attacks I've had have been "more lucky than good" if that makes any sense? NOT complaining about the rules, I think they're solid. Just wondering how to successfully attack properly!

    2. Thanks Steve, I will look at my next game purely from that perspective and see how I feel. Thinking about how I built this thing up, I would say that two core principles were that a defender needed to be somewhat supressed (pins and elims) before an attack can go in without getting shredded, but that for te attacker, this was set against a back ground that hey are usually up against the clock and at some point, simply have to get the attack up and going. The balance between those two contradictions is vulnerable to good or bad die rolls or fortuitous moments like a HMG breaking.

      this development came about because my opening games were based around East Front '43 and the German gun / armour superiority still existed and they could stand off and do damage and of course the morale break point rule would feed into that, so the system countered it by putting time pressures on one side to get a task done and limiting the order-of-battle of the other so that the attackers task was possible.

      The variable game clock and obviously the dice can work against best intentions :-) but often there is a fairly tight last few turns with each side having something to worry about.

      Escaping Bobruisk is my favourite scenario, as it can just go anywhere.

  4. Historically, in this attack, 8 Soviet tanks were lost and the attack faltered - though for a good game, the Soviets must believe that the attack can succeed ….. and it can, honest :-) but it is typically tight.

    1. So in this past game the Russians didn't have a chance. The German long range gunnery stopped them cold but I do believe i could have done some things as the Soviets to mitigate the threat. I'm going to play it again and see how it goes.

  5. I love your commentaries on these rules. I need to move them up the list and get some games played - you seem to have a good grasp of the mechanisms too - and it seems quite straightforward. I love the clock effect as the turns tick by too. Really epic narrative here.
    ...then you mentioned cold war...and I was thinking 'M1s at Frankfurt' as a modern version of the rules