Friday, 1 July 2016

Game 44 : Prelude to Smolensk II

This will be a short report. It is a WWII game, early 1941 Eastern front. Initially, this was played as a Panzer Div against a Russian Inf Div supported by a Tank Div. This game was essentially the same, but doubled in size. A Panzer Corps against a Russian Inf Corps supported by two tank Divs.

Needless to say, it did not go to expected plan. The Russians, defending two major roads elected to start with an infantry Div off table and a loaded flank. What we perceive normally happens on these occasions, did!

In the foreground is part of one Russian tank Div that deployed on table. The Russians had outdone me, the game constructor, by ignoring over the half of the deployment depth they were allowed to start with. The argument used was that there reserves would arrive more quickly. So the Germans started within spitting distance of one main objective, the bridge.

German motorcycle troops have taken the bridge as a coup de main and are deploying in anticipation of their own reinforcements.

On the far flank, German armour advance against dug in Russian infantry. The Russians have precious few AT weapons in this sector, the infantry will eventually be shot out of position, unless the Russian can support them with his own armour.

Russia infantry, reinforcements, running across the ground to try and advance as quickly as possible. Not really a good tactical choice. The Russian infantry Div arriving as a reinforce would play little part in the engagement.

Russian armour tried to cut off the German bridgehead by continuing the advance behind the bridge. This counter attack was beaten off by German artillery and the timely arrival of Stukas!

At the far end of the battle, Russian armour has driven to the rescue of the compatriots in the wood. This battle would eventually become a slow battle of attrition, neither side strong enough to erupt with a major counter stroke. The armour, cancelling each other out, left the battle decided by the infantry where the Germans, not unexpectedly, had the better of it.

This game lasted a good three days. The game was quite fluid and even though the German forces were built around two Panzer Divs, it was the infantry component that determined the outcome to the tactical engagements and overall result.

Next stop is Napoleonics. Back to Borodino, north of the Kolotcha and around Borodino itself for a second play test. The first play test resulted in the Russians holding the French, but this was achieved by deploying Baggovut who historically redeployed to reinforce Utitsa at the other end of the battlefield. We'll see what happens this time.

Finally, any typos are due to my cold and the fact I did this without my glasses!!