Friday, 26 June 2020

Part 2 OST east front mini campaign

This post covers the second of the four Actions in our mini campaign. Following the Lull Phase after the first battle, the Soviets reinforced the village with infantry and sent a small tank detachment to firm up their left.
This is how we left game 1


For their part the Germans had brought up a couple of better armed tanks in an attempt to deal with the KV-1 menace.

Please use the ‘read more’ tab to see how the campaign is unfolding.




The above shot is a reminder of how we left the battlefield last time. The Germans had been attacking on their right, but the position up ahead had a dug in KV-1, living up to its reputation of being a tough adversary.

The Germans were compelled to spend their reinforcement points on a couple of better armed tanks, while the Soviets had a bit more latitude, bringing up a couple of light tanks, but more importantly, a rifle platoon was sent to the village (centre of the board).

The first game had brought a huge amount of focus to the KV-1 position and it pretty much became a game within the game. As this Action opened, there was a desperate rush to gain the advantage on that flank, as a lone German 38(t) had got behind the KV-1, but it was threatened by not only the KV-1, but also a T-26 and a deployed 57mm anti-tank gun. The first one to blink .......

As shots were fired and missed, the tension increased, which side would get the better of the duel!

But it was to be the 57mm anti-tank gun that turned the tables as its shell tore through the armour of the little 38(t), followed promptly by the KV taking out the  PzIVf2, a serious loss for the Germans. This effectively closed down the German assault on the their right.

Immediately, the centre erupted as the reinforcing Russian platoon rushed to take up positions in the village, while the German infantry pressed on over open ground to assault the lower outskirts of the village, taking heavy casualties. 
The German Rifle section assaults the careless
T-26 tank

Above the newly arrived PzIVE (bottom of the photo), with its good anti personnel capability, came up to support the village attack. A T-26 moved around the village to get open views to the German tanks and in their eagerness, overlooked the fact that they had moved next to a German Rifle section, which without hesitation assaulted the tank. Both sides rolled poorly and the rifle section fell back ...... lucky T-26!

As tanks and off board artillery got drawn into the fight, another T-26 knocked out the PzIVE, which in turn was knocked out by the accompanying PzIIIJ. 

The Soviets dug in where they could in the village, improving their positions, while holding back the German attack, which now included flamethrower troops, but whenever the Germans exposed  themselves to advance, they took casualties and in one notable incident, a squad moved against an enemy that had been bombarded and they were hit by that ongoing strike and then were hit a second time as their own mortars, firing to support the left, were widely inaccurate and the fire fell onto their position.
Heavy mortar fire makes this a dangerous sector,
a German unit is under the yellow Shaken marker.

As the Germans edged into the village, both sides were becoming stretched. The Germans took the southern end, but with high casualties and with the way ahead strongly contested, they could go no further without reinforcements.

As the fighting at the village died down, the German attack on the left against the high ground slowly started to get underway.
The front line at the end of action. 

At this point, the Action ended and both sides reorganised their lines. German losses were 3 Rifle sections, 1 assault section, 2 sergeants, a Panzer IVe, a 38(t), a Panzer IVf2 and 6 half squads. The Soviets lost 6 rifle sections, a BT-7 and a T-26. A costly encounter to both sides, but with perhaps the greater pressure was on the Germans who are trying to break through. Also the two leaders lost by the Germans will be missed.

The rolling tally of Victory Points gained so far is 28 VP’s to both sides, so this is a tight fight and by the end of the game, capturing objectives will likely become essential to winning.

Both sides brought reinforcements up. The Germans received 3 Rifle sections,  a LMG, a Panzer IVe, a sergeant and an allocation of mortar fire. The Soviets received 6 rifle sections, a T-26, a sergeant and a satchel charge.

Both sides spread these across their front as both defenders and attack teams had become degraded in the three sectors, but the centre got the biggest concentration as both sides saw this sector as likely to become the most active.

The campaign seems to be working so far. The tempo has not seen a side knocked out early and the action has remained fairly tight. The buying phase, called the 'Lull Phase' seems pretty much nailed down. Two more Actions will tell!

Mini game 3 to follow.

Resource Section.

My sister webspace COMMANDERS is a bit more snippet based than here. Link.

The next instalment, Action No3 can be found here LINK
 

10 comments:

  1. A tough fight for both sides and that KV-1 is still a veritable thorn in the German's side, as it should be. Too close to call but having fun following the action.

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  2. Hi Steve, the KV lives on! And it will be interesting exploring ways to deal with it over the next two games. I am thinking of building the infantry up there, to flush the tanks out.

    What is interesting is that there are enough neutral effects in the campaign to (so far) stop wild irreversible swings by one side or the other - the question is whether the neutralising effects are stopping one side or the other becoming dominant enough to push the game on.

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  3. Interesting encounter, Norm. Well told as always. Given the count of destroyed men and material for the Germans in this action,I am surprised that the victory tally is tied.

    Looking forward to your next scrap on the Eastern Front.

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  4. Hi Jonathan, the Germans were slightly in the lead after the first game, but in terms of casualties, lost some ground in turn 2. Geographic VP’s include the capture of buildings, so the village is an important prize, likewise the high ground on the Soviet right is also a victory point location and that is getting nearer the front line.

    All to play for still, which is probably suggesting that the campaign is balanced, but of course, tactical games develop a life of their own, due to the hundreds of die rolls that can take things into other directions. In that regard testing is a bit of an abstract testimony whether the campaign will always work or not.

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  5. Thanks for sharing Norm will be watching to see if the Germans find an answer to the KV1

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  6. Hi Matt, I promised myself a campaign this year and I am definitely getting that thing of the inter-relationship between battles and how interest is maintained between the games, with the next one being something to look forward to. All good.

    I have no idea what we can easily do with that KV. In the campaign set up, there is every chance that the Germans will get at least one 88mm flak gun and that would have been the ‘real world’ solution ...... if they were to hand! The set up to this campaign clearly shows that they were not to hand on this occasion.

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  7. Good turn 2 and things are curning along nicely. The Germans certainly have a lot of work ahead of them. No chance of a Tiger huh? Maybe just a bunch of guys with mines...😀

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  8. Hi Stew, it's a tight balance for sure. I have been wondering whether I should up the starting force to something that reflects the 3 to 1 ideal, but it would just allow the attacker to dominate and I can't see how that would be any fun for the defending player.

    But likewise, not enough strength and there is a danger that it doesn't go anywhere. I will need to play the full 4 games before deciding, but my reinforcing model may need a tweak before the end of the campaign.

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  9. Once again very well described Norm, I'm visualising the action as I'm reading it and the board is beautifully printed.

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  10. Thanks Lee, it is back up on the table now, I am just taking a break for a nice 'cuppa' :-)

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