Feeling a little under the weather today (it's NOT COVID!!!) so I cancelled our scheduled Flames of War battle (Suburbs - I was kicked out of the city last week) and instead sat down for some bone-crunching solo-action using Norm's outstanding "Tigers at Minsk" rules and my basic "Squad Leader" boards and counters. World War II month continues!
|The 37th Guards are back!|
The reader will instantly recognize Board #1, and continuing on with the Stalingrad theme of late, I decided to try out some of the theories and concepts put forth in the last attempt at a "big" or "bigger" game of Tigers at Minsk. While it's a board-game action, this is all in preparation for bigger (smaller?) things to come on the tabletop!
|The German units outside the boxes are not in the game. I took them out!|
This battle featured an almost full-strength Soviet company of 11 Squads and 2 x HMG sections, divided into 3 platoons, 1st Platoon, 2nd Platoon, and 3rd Platoon from right to left, fighting against a very depleted German "company" under our hero, Hauptmann Wetzelberger. To denote the importance of this objective, General Chuikov personally instructed the Battalion Commander to put a seasoned officer in charge of the assault. The Battalion Commander has place his Operations Officer, Major Kirov in charge of the assault. It cannot fail!
Total Soviet Morale is "7" The "department store" in the middle of the board, is the lone Soviet objective, for which they are allotted 60 minutes to capture. To represent the hardened veteran nature of the German forces, I tried out some rules today which made the game even more interesting. German Forces featured extremely depleted "platoons" led by NCOs in some cases.
The units on the German left, under SGT Hieken are "always in command" as long as the SGT Hieken marker remains alive in a hex or adjacent. German Force Morale is "4 + 1D2". The Soviets still suffer from "poor command" meaning they can only pick 1 adjacent hex in command, however command roll failures only occur on a "6" now (Norm's advice). The Soviets have the first move.
Let's get to the action.
|German Opportunity fire marked by the Squad Leader Opportunity Fire marker, is ineffective against Second Platoon's advance into a building, however more opportunity fire pins the squad next to them.|
However the HMG under SGT Hieken commanding German 3rd Platoon and the entire left flank sees the Soviets haphazardly moving through a bombed out building. They open fire with devastating effect. One of the Soviet squads was already pinned is knocked out and another is knocked out. Major Kirov hears the familiar chattering of German machine gun firing and knows it cant be good!
|Turn 1 both German reserve elements, a squad and an HMG, are out of command to the south.|
|Congratulations! You men are riflemen now!|
|SGT Hieken's squads PIN a Soviet squad through opportunity fire!|
|Soviet 1st Platoon squads reach their planned assault positions across the boulevard from the Department Store while Soviet 2nd Platoon to the buildings north of the Department Store fire madly to suppress teh defenders. It's a textbook assault!|
All German squads this turn are in command. CPT W orders the reserves to open fire but they don't have a clear line of fire to the buildings to the north. The Reserve elements move a squad closer up to the Department Store. They're now directly across the Street. At the end of the 0621 turn, all of the Germans in the department store are unpinned.
|Soviets in 1st Platoon are ready to move across the street! All of 2nd Platoon to the north goes Out of Command!|
|Meanwhile the Soviets are firing at SGT H's position with 3rd Platoon, pinning a squad!|
|Soviet squads move onto the boulevard to assault the department store! This is it!|
German HMGs to the south open up, pinning a single squad in the southern assault group. Another German squad opens fire but fails to hit! They're going to make it to the building! Faster men, faster!
|German OPFIRE is largely ineffective and the Soviets are poised to assault next turn.|
|CPT W moves the broken HMG out of the line of fire as the men prepare to be assaulted.|
|Soviet Assault against the Department Store|
|Hieken's men are sprinting towards the Department Store, and the Reserve Elements are packing up/|
|The German counterattack into the building is successful.|
|Hieken' men reach the store before he does and a toe hold is created in teh building.|