Monday, 26 October 2015

Closing the Ring

This game, again of 12 turns, started with the  Germans and Russians running parallel racing for the bridge. The Russians about to be surrounded are trying to breakout...the Germans trying to stop them.  Both forces had artillery on table the Russians firing to the south to support the pocket, the Germans to the north supporting the Panzers ahead. It was early morning with two turns in light fog ie no visibility outside four inches, no artillery on table and no air. The Strelkovy  company was fighting a reinforced Heer recon force and had no armour. The Russians had five T26 tanks.

The game meant the Germans had to cut the Russian breakout route or the road and fix a static defence. They based their plan on securing the farm on the hill and setting up an echelon defence using their mobility and tactical flexibility. The Russians hemmed in and in panic from the start and in turn three surprised when the fog lifted and the cries of "...they can't be Germans can they?"  Even the Reds winning the first turn and doubling they still made a forced error and failed to get to the bridge distracted by the enemy armoured cars but this also posed real problems to the Germans potentially cutting it off from their reserves.

The Russians would score a point for every unit leaving the board and 2 points for the 122 guns if they were able to exit the board. However, even when the Russians suddenly hit the flank of the German column killing a Sdk platoon which bogged in the rutted cornfields, the Germans quickly, re-established their positions, their guns and then called in the death hawks. The Russians became pinned, entangles and unco-ordinates being systematically hit with continuous firepower in their columns flanks with only the Soviet HMG platoon reaching the bridge, miraculously surviving all it's trucks, decimated by MG.  However, the Germans had a Kradschuten platoon facing them now and pioneers, Gebs and Pak 38 guns coming to their support. The Germans now began systematically cutting up the Russians.. The Russian Hero Constatine Ivonovitch a SINGLE MAN TEAM lead the Russians through the corn and they tried desperately one last attack to breakout....the Soviet scouts, 122s, Mortars an Horse artillery dead and mangled on the side of the road.

Launching a desperate assault against the farm when again the second Sdk platoon bogged they were gunned down by Aufsklarung and 8 rads. Then triple 1 and the company broke forcing the remaining Communists back into the pocket as the soviet One IC SURRENDED to the horror of the Soviet commander Fearless Phil whom shrieked obscenities and vowed to shoot  every citizen from his village. And thus the Soviets fled back to the pocket ashened  faces, beyond thirst with wide eyed terror.

Great game, and again tough for the Russians but these early games in Barbarossa are hard, unfair and unforgiving .