Wednesday 13 June 2012

Eastern Front October 1943

In October 1943 the 315th Grenadier Regiment of the 167th Infantry Division had to hold a 10km long battlefront. The Regiment numbered just over nine hundred men and was supported by just four StuG IIIs. Three Soviet guards infantry regiments and a tank regiment with the support of two further Divisions  smashed through the 315th and poured westward. The survivors formed small battle groups resisting the Soviet forces flowing west.
Chaos followed, with Division first ordering a counter attack with non existing troops, then ordering the survivors to hold their positions.

This scenario pits a small battle group at Solotaryevka and a small wooded hill against overwhelming Soviet odds. Could they hold out against the next wave? A small force with a high proportion of Big Men try to hold off an unknown number of Soviet attackers.

I like to use IABSM 3 Company level rules, but these forces can be adapted to any company level rule set.

KG 1 ( village )

Big Man Lvl 3
2 HMGs ( 5 crew)

Zug 1
Big Man Lvl 2
Big Man Lvl 1
2 Sections of 8 men

Zug 2
Big Man Lvl 2
Big Man Lvl 1
2 Sections of 8 men

1 Pak 38 crew 5

1 75mm IG crew 5

KG 2 ( the woods )

Big Man Lvl 3
1 Forward Observer
1 HMGs ( 5 crew)

Zug 1
Big Man Lvl 2
Big Man Lvl 1
2 Sections of 8 men

1 x StuG III

As this was a solo game for the enemy I used the system of blinds from Platoon Forward tweaked for company level, that way I wouldn't know the exact make up the enemy, each blind may represent a platoon, HQ, heavy weapons group or nothing. 

I used the following:
7 x Type A , 5 x Type B and 3 x Type C. I then shuffled them and diced to see which section of the table they arrived on and which would be reserves. As it turned out all but two started on the table.
 The battleground, Soviet blinds mass for the assault.
KG 2 defending the woods.
 KG 1 on the village perimeter.

 KG 1 on the village perimeter.
 Soviet blinds revealed. Argh! most blinds contained forces, this was going to be pretty one sided.
 Blinds revealed at the other end of the table. One armoured platoon, an infantry platoon and CHQ with MMGs.
 Platoon 4 advance on the wood supported by a platoon  of T34s, confident that the previous waves had silenced the bosch.
 Soviet troops advancing in the open take a terrible toll.
T34s engage Zug 2.
 Solotaryevka under attack.
 Soviet machine gunners in the open, too good a target, the machine gun bursts into life.
They pay the price and are cut down.
 Soviet armour stand off and shell the wooded hill. ( PSC T34s great value. )
The lone StuG behind the wood engages the armour assaulting Solotaryevka.
 Human wave! two platoons of Soviet infantry charge the German defenders.
 1st Platoon are short.
2nd Platoon closes with the Jerry.
 Sweeping away the defenders they gain a foothold in the village.
 The Jerry section and HMG open fire cutting down the Soviet platoon caught short of the village.
Wait till you see the whites of their eyes.
 Soviet armour fire High Explosive on the wooded hill, ( two T34s roll a six in the attack, a third rolls double six. ) Its all over at the wooded hill as the survivors lose their bottle and retreat to the far side of the hill.
 The platoon big man signals the advance.
The hill is lost, the only option is to make their way back west to where ever the front line is now.
Russian infantry break into the village.
The StuGs only success, one bailed out T34 ( The eagle eyed will have spotted Zvezda T34s, also great value but early war only. I had to press them into service didn't have enough T34s ).

Defeat is only a matter of time now, the German commander signals his men to fight their way back to their own lines.