Was able to participate in another squad-level test game for WW2 Field of Battle. This one pitted my Soviets against Brent's Germans. The scenario provided opportunities to test various aspects of the new rules - defenses, wire and armored panzer grenadiers.Brent also blogged about the game here.
Terry and I commanded the Soviets and Greg C and Brent commanded the Germans - Greg R had a previous commitment and arrived after the beginning of the battle - Brent relinquished his command to upon Greg's arrival.
The scenario depicted summer of 1943 at the beginning of Operation Citadel.The Germans advanced over rolling steppes towards two small Russian villages that were defended by troops partially entrenched. The center of the field was really open terrain except for various hills that broke up some lines of sight. The main Russian village was located in the center area. The northern flank of the field had a stream and some woods and was the location of the second, smaller, Russian village. The southern flank of the field had a good sized wooded area and a large hill.
Brent sent me some information to rate the Soviets while he rated the Germans. I figured that in 1943, Soviet units would be all over the map in quality...from veterans of Stalingrad to fresh arrivals from the far east. So, I rolled on a random table that allowed them a chance to be rated equally from "Raw" to "Veteran" (all five categories). As a result, the Soviet forces really were a mixed bag. That was kind of fun really. There were some great units and some really not good ones!
Anyway, the Russians deployed in a manner that defended the two villages and the ground between them. Entrenchments and wire aided in the defensive layout. The German deployment avoided the open center by placing some infantry on the northern flank to pin down some Soviets while a concentration of armor and infantry (including armored panzer grenadiers) deployed on the southern flank. This force would be ordered to flank the Soviet position by moving through the woods and sweeping in from the hill in overwhelming force.
The battle started a little slowly for the Germans - they successfully laid smoke in front of many Soviet positions, but that smoke did little as it cleared before the attack was truly in progress. During this time, Soviet high explosive rounds from mortars and guns did good enough work on the German holding force to drive it off of the hill it deployed on.
Once this threat had been neutralized, Soviet infantry and anti-tank assets began to withdraw from the center to deploy southwards to face the German armor and infantry that had finally jumped off.
The German strike force, lead by the StuG-III's (long 75's) and backed by the panzer grenadiers began to roll over the hilltop and towards the flank of the Soviet position. The Panther tanks swept wide to try to complete the encirclement. At the top of the hill, the panzer grenadiers dismounted and moved forward with the mounts providing fire support.
The Soviet infantry that had redeployed from center immediately rushed to assault the StuG-III's. The Soviets, lacking much in terms of man-portable anti-tank capabilities, were decimated. The remnants of this assault quickly fell back - they were soon overrun by the panzer grenadiers.
A fortunate artillery strike (from off-board assets) next eliminated one of the StuG-III's and nearby mortar teams took out one of the half-tracks.
At this time, two T-34/85's entered the field and engaged the Panther tanks - for the rest of the battle, these units engaged in the classic Eastern front tank-v-tank confrontation! Neither could gain the upper hand until the end...but kept each other engaged and out of the main fight.
The coup de grace was delivered by the panzer grenadiers and their half-tracks - wow, Greg R really rolled in and kicked butt! The Soviets were soon drained of army morale and adding points to the German totals. At least in this sector, Operation Citadel was off to a good start for the Germans!
Thanks for the fun gaming last night fellas!