This battle sees us back to the Eastern front in 1943 and Prokorovka. There is a largish game planned for the bank holiday weekend and this was a smaller playtest between myself and Graham to ensure that it would work.
The forces involved are the best forces both sides can provide. Troops quality is good and the equipment is good.
The Russians are based on the 1st Tank Army and the Germans are based on Das Reich Panzergrenadier Division, albeit the latter is really a tank formation.
There are lots of choices to be made by both sides before the game starts regards choice of "extras". The aim of the battle is strategic control of the battlefield or the defeat of opposing forces. Both sides have an air component and artillery support.
The battle we fought was a lot smaller but it included a lot of the flavour that is expected in the bigger game. More importantly, Graham and I thought it worked out well and bodes well for the larger conflict.
I won't expand on "who won" or the detail of what happened as we don't want to give away clues prior to the actual bigger game. The pics selected were fewer in number and the explanations are somewhat devoid of detail to keep the fog of war in place.
This pic is just to show that the Russian air force (VVS) does exist! It actually shot down a Stuka being escorted by an Fw 190 (which did shoot down a fighter and damage a second one)
Russian JSU 152s plodding (literally) over the battlefield. They have some naughty 152mm guns and excellent frontal armour. But they must be stationary to shoot. So lots of manoeuvring Germans.
Russian & German infantry contesting the "field" areas. The battlefield still has a lot of visibility cover for infantry, able to sneak up on unsuspecting armour.
Action in our centre with Russian infantry regrouping. There was a lot of backwards and forwards by both sides but I won't say who ended up where.
Troops from both sides fail morale! An eastern front stand off. We played over 2 full days and got a result that we thought was sensible. Both sides had their portion of luck at times and the winning of initiative at the start of a turn played a significant part towards who held the tactical initiative. Needless to say it changed hands many times. I think we played 18 turns, so we were going at a good pace.
The next game will the full version for this set up and will be the next report. Until then!