Another ‘wargaming in small spaces’ scenario for our 6x6 grid games. It is July 1944 and we are playing out a Soviet attack on a small hamlet with a reinforced company.
With the position under pressure, the German commander releases a reserve platoon with armour support, to ensure that the position is not lost.
Please use the 'read more' tab for the rest of this post
Admin - I will be using my Tigers at Minsk rules (free download) and 4” Kallistra hex tiles.
The game starts at 0930 hours and will conclude immediately after 1110 hours has passed on the game clock. The German reinforcements will arrive on their own baseline at 1010 hours and they will all be treated as being in automatically in command on their turn of arrival.
The Soviet is player one. At the start of play, they have two artillery observers on the high ground at hex A4 on their baseline, these must be used to bring down two artillery fire missions (under the normal rules) on the first turn (i.e. At 0930 hours) as the first thing that the Soviets do.
Once the artillery strike is resolved, the Soviet forces will immediately enter the table along their baseline. All Soviet forces will be in command on the turn of entry and any forces not brought on the game board before 0945 hours will be considered delayed and then not able to arrive until after 1010 hours.
Fields have crops and non-vehicles can claim cover as per the terrain charts in the rules.
Victory. The hamlet consists of just two building hexes. To win, the Soviets must hold both by the end of the game, anything less is a German win.
Orders of Battle.
German at Start, set-up anywhere on the board except in row A.
Infantry Sections x 4
HMG x 1
50mm mortars x 1
Pak 40 Anti-tank gun x 1
Panzerfaust Level 3
German Reinforcement (arriving 1010 hours onwards)
Infantry Sections x 3
StuG IIIg x 2
Morale - add 2 to the current German morale level the moment that they arrive.
Soviet at start forces - 2 artillery observers on the high ground at hex A4 and 2 Fire Missions. These must be used as the first action on the opening turn.
Infantry rifle sections x 8
HMG Maxim x 1
T-34/85 tanks x 3
Morale - 6
After Action Report.
At start - the Soviet artillery observers on the high ground call fire down onto the hamlet, but it only partly hits and is disappointingly ineffective.
Above - view from the German position. They have infantry in the hamlet, the field and the small woods on the right. The Pak 40 is on the forward slope on the hill on the centre right. The Soviets come on with the T-34 platoon in the centre and infantry on both flanks.
As Soviet infantry enter the table, the German HMG opens fire. HMG’s and anti-tank guns, due to the nature of their roles (ambush and suppressive fire), also roll an additional dice, which may allow them to retain their fire, so that they can fire repeatedly (perhaps!) in the same turn. Everything else gets to fire once only.
The PaK 40 on the hill looks like it is in the open, but anti-tank guns can always claim cover, due to their low profile and typical deployment into ambush positions. It fires on the T34/85’s as the enter the table. The base ‘to hit’ is 6 on a D10. Add the attackers A/T value (6 in this case) and deduct the defenders armour (8 in this case), there are no other modifiers such as firing outside the arc of fire etc, so the German player needs to roll 4 or less on a D10 to get to the Penetration Table. They roll 6 and fail. They also fail their die roll to retain fire, so are marked with an Opportunity Fire marker and will not be able to fire again until that marker is removed.
Above - The German 50mm mortar team spent most of the game Out of Command.
Early game - The T-34’s take position in the centre of the line, with the intent of shelling the hamlet while their infantry envelop it. On the Soviet right , the infantry take heavy casualties, though one section does get into the fields. On their left flank, the infantry get into the small woods but are pinned there.
To their peril, the T34’s split their attention between the PaK 40 and the hamlet and perhaps as a result of their lack of focus on the main threat, a T34 is lost to the PaK 40. The Soviet HMG moves around the side of the wood and deals with the German anti-tank gun.
By 1001 hours (turn 5), the Soviet losses are high enough that they are close to breaking (morale drops to 1), but then so are the Germans …… where are those reinforcements!
1014 hours, German reinforcements arrive. The three infantry sections come up through the woods to feed into the hamlet. The two StuG’s come up onto the high ground to their right and engage the T-34’s. The arrival of the reinforcements has raised the German morale level, but they are hampered by some units repeatedly going Out Of Command and the Soviets seem to be hanging on against the odds.
End game - At 1037 (turn 9) a T34 hits a StuG and ‘stuns’ it, but return fire from the other assault gun burns a T-34 and this causes the Soviet morale to crash to zero. All their units must now check to see if they pull back one hex. Everything does in fact fall back except the Soviet infantry section in the field, but since the last remaining T-34 is on the table edge, it retreats off table permanently.
It is obvious that the attacker cannot gain control of the hamlet, they are fully pinned in position and dare not risk going into open ground and they are taking further hits just from the weight of German fire. They suffer another loss, followed by failed retreat tests and so they call the game. The German side retain full control of the hamlet, so victory goes to them.
Above - The German reinforcement has arrived. On the right the StuG's take positions on the high ground and duel with the T34's in the far distance. On the left two infantry sections work their way through the woods to support the hamlet. One infantry section joins the 50mm mortar team in the fields nearest the viewer.
Conclusion - The game and the account suggest that the scenario falls heavily in favour of the defenders. However, the Soviets were not helped in this game by their poor artillery outcomes and their failing to concentrate efforts against the PaK 40 threat. Just before the German reinforcements came on, both sides were both down to just 1 morale point each, so if the Germans could have been tipped over to breaking point, they may have fallen back from a couple of key positions.
I ran the game a second time and got a Soviet win, In the second game, I used 15mm figures as part of my testing of optional rules for 15’s to work with the 4” hex. The two pertinent rule changes were that vehicles could not enter a building hex and that stacking was reduced from 3 bases per hex to (any) two bases. It all seemed to work rather well.
Tigers at Minsk rules - Free Download (thank you DropBox) - LINK
An account of my favourite scenario from the TaM rules - LINK
COMMANDERS is my sister website, which is snippet rather than article based LINK