The basic task of each side was to control the central town, destroy the enemy and be in a fit state to pursue victory. People often ask about victory conditions as opposed to "just kill the enemy". My view is that after game setup it is intuitively obvious what the victory conditions are, to the point where the actual gamers themselves concur on the result.
The first 2 piccies show the general layout of the battlefield. The Germans would be advancing from the right of the picture and the Russians from the left (that's what they were told anyway!). The town would be fought over the whole weekend. A pleasing aspect for me are how the rules play depending on the terrain. In close, well protected, terrain like a town, combat becomes protracted and the skill is in committing just enough troops to capture the objective. It becomes all too easy to allow troops to be sucked into a "vacuum cleaner". However, the contrast is striking in fairly open terrain as the manoeuvre becomes the key to success. It all fits my view of WWII warfare.
The next piccy shows the combatants.
There are two new faces, Phil Vernon on the left and Paul Hookway on the right. Then we have proof of the illicit love affair between Brendan and Adam!!!!!
Getting on with the action, the game started with both sides having forces near the town. The Germans had the Motorised Div and the Russians had 2 Infantry Divs and artillery. Both sides had to use some forces as reinforcements and the roads running the length of the table were where these troops would arrive. The Germans split their Panzer Div into two (no real other choice) and the Russians used a Tank Div at each end.
The game would effectively get split into three actions, the fight for the town and two flank actions where the armour of both sides were trying to break through to the town and at the same time stop the enemy armour from doing likewise.
The next piccy shows action in the town.
Both sides committed about half of their forces facing the town, into the town itself, whilst the remainder tried to probe the flanks of the town. The town had buildings that had three types of defence level. In the centre were the strongest buildings, then moving out to strong buildings then the weaker buildings in the outskirts. Fighting for "concrete" type buildings takes time and planning and not an unsubstantial amount of luck!
A shot of Adam at the far end of the table trying to work out how he will cope with the hordes of Paul's armour. This fight would eventually see the Russians gain the advantage but not quite releasing armour to get to the town. In terms of game play, it is difficult to "decide" to send troops away, in this instance to the town, when you are under attack from a force that you don't know if you can beat if you use all the forces! At the other end of the table is Phil asking, "can he do that?" Another good aspect was that this was the first game for both Phil and Paul and they picked up the mechanics fairly quickly.
Brendan at the other end of the table fighting Bryan with an expression of "what the f**k do I do next". This part of the battle would see the Germans gain an advantage, but again struggle to get any troops to the town. The Russians did manage to get some Recce (just for Brendan!) and light armour to the town itself.
Graham and myself fighting over the ownership of a fly in some central plaza? (I've no idea what we're looking at!). Bryan in the background looking for sustenance (tea!).
These are two aerial shots taken from our Reconnaissance expert Anne, it shows exactly how easy it is to lose whole formations in a town. The buildings I think are quite exquisite for this scale, they all come from Fieldworks and are painted by Rumbling Guns. For the next outing the town will be three times the size!
I think this piccy should be called "Deja Vous"! Where and when have I seen this expression before. And he works in a bank!!!!!!!!!! At this point he retired to the kitchen to help Anne cut the bread for the lunches. Something he did do very well!
Well, the result. The fight on the flanks tied up most of the armour from both sides. In the town, the Germans were slowly getting the upper hand, no small part due to a devastating Stuka strike on Russian infantry on the flank of the town. Without this luck, the town would continue to be a grind.
One last piccy of the central area. The Germans are making headway towards the right top of the piccy as you look at it.
That's it for this jaunt. The next game will be a biggy again with even more terrain. More woods will also be on the table and the river may make its comeback!