Sunday, 9 August 2015

The 3:10 to Brody

It can be quite a challenge to replicate an armoured breakthrough but we love a challenge and when the history is so fascinating and the material so stimulating this is what we did. In this scenario we followed on from the previous battle Red Steel with the Soviet mechanised breaking through the first CT German infantry  Company caught in March column and catching the second desperately trying to reach the bridge to dig in beyond which was protected by arriving elements of the ZZ with two PAK 50s.

The Russians with two companies of Razdeki and cavalry lead the charge supported by the hero Samokin and his fearless T34s what was to happen next was one of the all time great games at this club which just about mirrored history perfectly and put Wittman this time into legend.

Staring just over 16 from the soviet armour the Germans were in trucks or on foot with only 2 door knockers and Gebs but four infantry platoons representative of the last vestiges of this battalion. The key was whom would go first because if the Soviets did it would be carnage for the trucks and their passengers.

The board had 6 parallels for the soviets to cross, the more they took the greater their victory. The prize the bridge. At each parallel this triggered an event which we tried to use historically as such. Moreover a train was present which closed last of the board until it got up steam and fled moving four, eight, sixteen inches per turn thereafter once activated. This blocked LOS and was a real problem for German OPS.

Even with a re-roll the Germans got the first turn with the Landsers on foot dug in and those that know our rules know this is hazardous to say the least whilst the Germans ran for cover in the woods and storm trooper dismounted unable to double to safety. It went very well to start with. What
happened next was brutal, so tense you could hear a pin drop and one of the most stimulating games
for all of us to date.

The Russian armour ran amok but it's cavalry were the stars charging through and butchering the landers. Heroic and desperate resistance took place in futile circumstances and even thought the Russians had to roll to double to enter the board breakdowns were few for the T34s but five BTs were lost. Samokin however was unlucky and could not unbail for three turns following Stuka attacks which were not hugely effective. Ultimately the Russians penetrated the fourth parallel having killed the one ic in this charge and broke the batallion or the few teams left. This forced the FT ZZ on the bridge to test and damn it they broke too leaving the bridge wide open and there was pure joy on the soviet faces but they had crossed the fourth line and that triggered the arrival of two Panzer three platoons lead by Whitman, whom had fled the last battle and returned for help. What was remarkable was their arrival was to be random. On a 1 the Russians would position them on a 2 to 5 on a prescribed table edge but on a 6 the Germans would choose.

A six and the Germans poured into the T34 flanks. Througout  this game the Germans had no big guns to take on the T34s their artillery was gone and air was down to one dice not only this they could only have a minor  chance by hitting the T34s in the flank but this is what they did whilst Whitman took out another five tanks and broke two Soviet light tank platoons suffering huge return fire and artillery. However the dice went with the Germans and two T43s were destroyed and Samokin ran leaving Whitman and five panzer three H tanks to hold the bridge. The Russians had taken four parallels and inflicted massive casualties as expected  and won 4 to 2 but they had not secured the bridge buying time for the Germans to reorganise.

It was quite simply magnificent and historical games can be really challenging. It also prepares us for some Typhoon battles and the soviet war winning counter attack in late 1941.

The story is again for your enjoy and feedback which keeps us going and again anyone whom is interested you just have to ask.