Thursday, 27 August 2015

Game 34 : Hill 220

This was a relatively small WWII game, played with 5 players to begin with, dropping off to 4.
. The incentive for playing this was to test out some theories for an upcoming far bigger game in Jan 2016 with about 20 players. The game was between a Russian Rifle Division, supported by Artillery, Air and a Tank Division based on T34s against a Panzergrenadier Regiment from Grossdeutschland, supported by the Stug Assault gun Btn & Marder Panzerjaeger Btn, some Artillery and Air support.
The Russians were dug in on a hill, nominally Hill 220, sitting astride a main highway. The objectives for each side were the control of the road, the hill which dominated the road and clear enemy from the area. My postulation was that the Germans would carve a way through the Russians. This was based on a rough knowledge of the tactics that would be used by each side and quality of troops. The experienced players were German. It went rather spectacularly to plan and the Germans not only carved a route through the Russians but eliminated over half of the Russian forces (and elimination is difficult!!).

The above shows the Germans attacking from the right and taking part of the hill. I should add that once foxholes are vacated we used to remove them from play. But as we now have the models, we've changed our approach in that they remain in position. Quite useful when you overrun a position and take cover in them yourself.

The above pic shows the hidden deployment system. The nearest marker, no.53, has been placed by the Russians. There is a separate off table laminated sheet that has a corresponding box. Actual troops are placed off table on the laminated sheet. The above marker could be a blank. Markers are observed either as part of the pre-game Recce system or during the game when the enemy move to within visibility range. The marker idea has been borrowed from Grant & Craig from down in Cornwall.

The main hill was in two sections. This pic shows the hill section on the other side of the road with the Germans approaching from the bottom. An armoured fire fight has already occurred between opposing armour. The Russian t34 Brigade was destroyed by having some tanks eliminated and then a spectacular morale failure

The Russians are attempting a counter-attack against the Germans as they move up. Its a chance as the German armour firing, when moving, is restricted because of the type of vehicle and some of the German infantry have failed a morale test at the end of the previous turn.

The Russians eventually lost the fight, and I stress the phrase eventually especially for any readers playing the large game next year. I'll say no more for now!!
The game ended with the Germans triumphantly securing the hill, the road and eliminating most of the Russian forces. German losses were, shall we say, not extensive!
But the game had progressed as I thought it would, which was a relief, especially when trying to assess what might happen when the forces are scaled up. We shall see!

Phil went early, so its four of us regulars. Graham and I played German, Brian and Steve played Russians, stoically!
Next game will be back to Napoleonics, the Battle of Brienne 1814. Hurrah!!!!