For this four game in our sequence, we changed it up a bit, with an Attack/Defence game, the Russians defending their strongpoint at Point 164 in a 'High Ground' scenario. Both sides picked 650 point forces, German panzers attacking against my Rifle Division defending.
Here is my force list. So, a solid defence with lots of good cover saves, with a T-34 counter-attack, this is Kursk after-all.
|Point 164, Germans attacking from bottom, Russians dug-in in the top half of the table. |
Kursk - Rifle Division - Strongpoint 164
Rifle Platoon 58 5-i off, mortar spotter, ura!
Maxim MG team 18 1-i
T-34 Platoon 100 9-i Stal, T-34 Mobility
2 x T-34s 80 6-i Stal, T-34 Mobility
82mm Mortar Battery 66 3-i 3 x 82mm mortars
Field Artillery Battery 55 4-i 2 x Zis 3, on-table
Foxholes x 4 40 0 40 men, 3+
Command Bunker 30 3-r sen off, mortar spot, 4 men in 2+ cover
Minefield 15 0
Improvised Barricade 5 0 4+ save (for foot patrol)
‘For the Motherland’ 15 +D6 (+2)
Infantry Foot Patrol 22 2-i scout, mortar spotter
AT Gun Battery 78 3-i 3 x 45mmL46 guns + 3 loader teams
3 x Gun Dug-outs 60 0 3+ cover, for AT guns
PRTP 10 0
Maxim MG dug-out - free (from scenario)
Minefield - free (from scenario)
Bunker - free (from scenario)
Both sides deployed, with the first 4 turns being at long range, as the Germans were not going to attack until their full force (and importantly the Panzer IVs) had arrived. But, this allowed time for the Russian T-34 reserves to arrive too.
It began as both sides traded IDF, my 82mm mortar battery destroying a SdKfz 250/1 and its recce squad inside in a lucky direct hit. The German’s 105mm timed strike hammered down on the hill and caused some pinning, but the 3+ and 2+ covers saves did their job. More tank HE added to this, and my AT guns returned HE fire and scored a few pins. Meanwhile, the infantry in foxholes were all waiting on ambush fire. On the right, in the village, this seemed the obvious covered route to advance, so I used both my minefields here to block that route, and one dug-in infantry squad to cover the minefield in case he had engineers to sneakily remove them. He didn’t, and so this route was blocked and so the Germans must come across the open ground opposite the hill instead, where my AT guns waited (when not pinned).
Turn 4, after the long range fire, saw the Germans get going. First, a 1st priority artillery request and wire team combo saw a 210mm Nebelwerfer battery open up on the hill, screamin’ death hammered down and saw much pinning, and my senior officer, in his bunker lost 3 men, and the last was pinned, so removed. Drat! A blow, and 2 counters as the now dubbed Major Bogov did just that! It also pinned my AT guns, and so the German Panzers rolled forwards with more HE, trying to KO those guns, but they survived in their dug-outs. Ouch! That turn hurt. At least my waiting Maxim MG team managed to pin his incoming Stuka strike, so I was spared its bombs at least. Still, sheer weight of fire was hurting. A few T-34s started to arrive behind the hill, as did my Zis-3 battery, but they had no targets and the PRTP wasn’t well placed. Bit of a waste these.
The pressure mounted, as a second priority request saw a second ‘werfer strike on the hill, as the Germans tried to level it rather than take it! This strike saw a mortar team blown-up, another pinned, and more infantry losses, things were looking bad, the counters mounting. As defender, with defences worth few BRs, I knew my total was lower than his. This is the balance of Attack/Defence games (forget attacker's needing extra points), I get the cover saves, but pay for this in the lower BR for them. In the end, my total was 37 (mainly thanks to on-table guns rather than off-table ones, a deliberate decision for the BR). The German had 46 BR total.
With the panzer grenadiers advancing or waiting on reserve move in their 251/1s, I had to keep my troops on ambush fire, in case they rushed me, and unpinned, or they’d get assaulted. So, my orders were spent on ambush fire and I get unpinning, and this kept the German infantry back, not risking my close quarters fire if they came in and high cover saves in an assault, if I'd be fighting back. I kept up mortar fire from the now reduced battery, and this scored another lucky kill, his Pz III armoured artillery spotter was KO’d. Too late really, his ‘werfer stonks damage was done.
Whilst unpinning I got some luck and, for the first time in 4 games, pulled a Air Attack counter, and then rolled a 6. Incoming VVS, which was a PE-2. It dived in, aiming for his panzers. His 20mm AA truck had just moved, so wasn’t on ambush fire, so the attack run dropped all 8 small bombs. Much pinning and 2 direct hits saw a Pz-IV destroyed and a 251, with infantry still on board as well, all out pinned. 3 counters there and suddenly the German attack was looking in some trouble. Time for the counter-attack... I sent the T-34s in. They raced up, the first was hit by ambush fire from the covering Pz-IV and KO’d instantly. The others did good work throwing HE and pinning his infantry. The German attack could now not risk moving up and had to turn their fire on the attacking tanks, a break for my hard pushed infantry and guns. Combined with fire from the AT guns, one of which had run low on ammo due to a special counter, these added to the pinning and the initiative was now with the Russians.
The T-34s pressed on, even after another was hit and destroyed by 75mm AP shells. MG fire destroyed a German MG team and, after removing pinning and then another Pz-IV was hit in the flank and burning, the German attack had broken. To be fair, the German counter pulls hadn’t been kind, several 5s and too many 4s meant the attack withered rather sooner than I thought. I was OK(ish), still 7 BR left. Point 164 had held and the panzers had been stopped, despite a good start from the Germans and those two very painful big ‘werfer strikes. My AT guns had done well, mostly with pinning, and the T-34s bold rush turned it back my way. But the turning point had been the PE-2 dive bomber attack… that had been messy for the Germans… so thanks to Red Air Force for this one.
We move on the game 5, 1944 and into Belorussia… I have the army lists as a WIP, so it’ll be a good first test game. It is now 2-2 in wins in our six game sequence, all still to play for.
|The strongpoint, command bunker, infantry in foxholes, AT gun dug-outs. |
|105 shelling starts the game... boom! boom! boom!|
|Stuka dives in and is pinned by MG fire...phew! |
|Infantry cover the lane to the village, blocked by both mine fields. |
|Early mortar direct hit on recce 250... right in the back! |
|'Werfer strike on the hill... target, the bunker. First of two - rude!|
|German reserve arriving behind the railway embankment.|
|German attack starts to struggle, 251 ht by AT gun fire, Pz III arty observer tank KO'd by mortar fire. |
|Panzer Grenadiers MG team de-buss into the woods, and are pinned, the rifle squad wait in the wagon for a rush to close assault. |
|Panzer IVs advance, firing HE onto the hill. |
|T-34s wait the order to go. |
|Another 251 comes forward and is KO'd by AT fire, infantry pile out, but pinned. |
|The VVS unleash their own heavy firepower in a dive bombing attack. The PE-2 scores multiple kills. |
|First T-34 comes forward to aid the AT gun, now down to 1 shot left. |
|Stal! Here comes the armoured counter attack. |
|T-34 'lifts it's hat' to a Pz-IV's 75mm lang gun. |
|Boldly surging on, a T-34 at point blank, missed! |
|But this one didn't, ended the game. Urah for the Motherland! |