Sunday, November 17, 2019


It's been awhile since I posted any campaign results and we just concluded a crazy, dramatic turn 5 with reversals of fortune and gains on both sides!  I know everyone out there has been anxious to see where we are at after this roller coaster weekend so here goes!  The map has been uploaded below:

The Soviets successfully retook Berezovetskoye in a desperate attack featuring all of their heavy stuff including KV-1s, IL-2 dive bombers and troops.  Darren played a huge battle with the entire AO using Field of Battle and the game looked incredible!  At Jack's house, the Soviets attempted a heavy attack at Karpunevka (Snava) and were repulsed in a desperate holding action by the Germans!  (we both thought it was going to be a steamroller, too, but the Germans held on!)

You will also note that the supply situation for both sides has been stabilized somewhat, at least for now with the Soviets actually relieving Hill 253.1.  The Germans were able to resupply their forces in the vicinity of Ponyri and the other objectives as well.

Overlay at Soviet Army HQs - the intelligence officer has pinpointed German positions
Jack and his staff weren't the only ones drawing up plans at HQs.  Check out the maneuver overlay from the Duc de Gobin's HQs!  This is going to be awesome when we switch to World War III!

Soviets seizing Berezovetskoye - note the KV-1s charging in!

Here in my gaming bunker, the German push into Shirokoye Bulotev (the 4th battle of Shirokoye Bulotev) was repulsed with heavy losses, although no loss of firestorm troops.  In Darren's battle, the Ferdinands were lost which means all of the German heavy Firestorm Armor is gone!  Good thing for the Germans there are only 2 turns left in the campaign! 

At Shirokoye, German gunners pound Soviet positions

German platoons on the start line.  Note the Soviets in the woods.  The guns are to their rear, supporting the attack and the Stug platoon will come in behind the objective....if they show

Soviet Battalion Commander will also spot for the mortars

Soviets in the woods are dug in.  They'll have to be dug out!
Artillery pins and removes a stand but the lackluster performance of the artillery was apparent as direct fire accounted for way more casualties than it should have.

Soviets spotting for mortars!

German 1st Platoon - Panzers Los!

Naturally as luck would have it, the Soviets get their reinforcements on turn 1.  The T-34s quickly swarm on the board.  Each tank has 4 x MG dice!  Yikes!
 The German 1st Platoon is caught out in the open during their advance onto the copse of trees taking heavy casualties (20 dice!)

All that remains of 1st Platoon - amazingly they are able to unpin themselves and will assault the treeline

Gunner supporting the advance.  there is an entire other Soviet company out there somewhere...

Germans take the woodline barely.  Where the hell are the panzers at?!?!
 The other Soviet platoon moves out to close the door on the stricken German company.  Literally the only way the Germans can go now is forward to the "safety" of the objective.  There is an SMG company waiting for them there...

Soviets advancing on the rubble pile in Shirokoye
 Sensing an opportunity to slow down the Soviets, the German company commander orders his platoons forward to assault the woods, but stays behind to call in artillery fire onto the advancing human wave.  Unbelievably, he fails to get through to the guns, rolling a 1,2, and 1.  This is it for the German CO and his small staff.  They will be mowed down by T-34s next turn.

Note the mob of Soviets behind them...

The German CO goes out firing his Schmeisser at the T-34s before being cut down.

Soviets swarm over the rubble pile picking up German rations, helmets, and decorations left on the dead.

 The end comes swiftly as the German small platoon who were reduced to 3 stands loses another stand.  They fail their last stand test and are removed.  That leaves 1 unit left on the board, the 2nd Infantry platoon who surrender as they are surrounded in the woodline.

Soviets occupying former German positions.
Wow that was a rough battle.  The Germans had a really hard time and off the bat I can think of a few things I should have done differently.  First, the platoons should have been separated to deal with each Soviet company.  Additionally, relying on the artillery was a big mistake, especially without an observer.  This forced me to leave a leader stand stationary to callin artillery each turn.  This put my CO in way too much danger by being too far forward.

Playing a small FOW game, 54 points, was a big challenge especially against the Soviets who have lots of gear compared to the Germans who really have tough decisions to make when they can't bring everything they need to.

All in all, a fun but tough learning experience for me.  I'm ready to move onto the next turn in the campaign!  Speaking of campaign, total Firestorm German losses are as follows:

Tiger Platoon
Ferdinand Platoon
Mixed Panzer III/IV Platoon
Gepanzerte PanzerGrenadier platoon


  1. Steve,

    Wow, that was a pretty rough thrashing of the Germans at Shirokoye! I hate to say it, but that German commander was getting whacked, either on the battlefield or back at HQ ;)

    The campaign has truly been wild, really cool to see how it's all fitting together and I can't wait to see how it all turns out, have no idea what's going to happen.

    Thanks for all the hard work putting this together and herding cats, I'm happy to be a part of this.


    1. Hey Jack,
      Yeah i realized it too late and i had really hoped my armor would have arrived sooner!

      No problem this has been a BLAST! Im glad you and Le Duc have been able to join in the fighting. Perhaps we can get more folks and battles in future campaigns.

  2. Lovely write-up. The real see-saw benefits of a campaign came through this turn.

    I see much danger from the threat of Tank Hill. It seems like it really needs dealing with, but that the Germans invariably have other priorities and demands put on them due to the limited number of attacks allowed.

    1. Thanks Norm this has been so much fun to do. I agree with you those isolated units next to the German rear are trouble. Unfortunately the Germans only have 2 attacks per campaign turn until the end and they must seize Ponyri, 1 May and Hill 253.3 to win. Tough choices indeed!

  3. Epic sir!
    It's a tough nut to crack and German losses, though sustainable to date, might have more of an impact in final turns.

    Echoing Jack - thanks again for your hard work sir.

    1. Cheers Darren, thank you sir! Let's see what happens next. The Germans need to either seize 1 May this turn or Shirokoye this turn. If they dont, they cannot win the campaign.

      I am having so much fun putting thr narrative together and researching units. This campaign has been a real joy to run.

  4. Your campaign continues to deliver a number of thrills and spills. Very entertaining and much fun to follow. Thanks for this!

    1. Yes and many more for the GM! I am loving this aspect of the hobby, Jonathan.

  5. I feel like a real commander - I spent the last several days in meetings with big-shot higher-level commanders and I barely know what's happening with my armies!

    1. I could not have planned that any better. Authenticity!

    2. HaHAHA
      We have truly proven the lessons of 'The Defense of Hill 781' sir!
      ...but not in a good way... ;)

      ...uhh sorry about the Ferdinands again...sir...a new paint job might make them look as good as new? ...uhhhh...

    3. Ah ...but at least we won't make the same mistakes in the next campaign.

      WWIII - what can possibly go wrong?

    4. *steals keys to the Abrams, hops into TC hatch* hold my beer, guys!

      Darren i am going to start looking over maps for team yankee using the SPI stuff you sent me.