The Soviet advance during their summer offensive was rapid and, combined with Hitler's "No Retreat" order, led to many German units becoming trapped inside cities. At Vilnius, remnants of two German regiments under the command of Luftwaffe Major-General Rainer Stahel battled encircling forces from the 3rd Guards Mechanized Corps. In response, two German Kampfgruppen were formed primarily from Panzer-Division 6 and Panzer-Regiment "Grossdeutschland." After rounding up the Lithuanian partisans, one of the Kampfgruppen, led by Major Walter Pössl, began to open a 50-kilometer escape route for the Germans in Vilnius. As the Germans began to pull out of Vilnius, the 3rd Guards Mechanized Corps counterattacked.
Attacker: Russian (35th Guards Tank Brigade, 3rd Mechanized Corps)
Defender: German (Panzer-Abteilung 1, Panzer-Regiment "Grossdeutschland" Panzer-Division "Grossdeutschland" and Bataillon II, Panzer-Regiment 114, Panzer-Division 6, Kampfgruppe Pössl)
Players: 2 OBA: None Night: No
Squads: A:13.5 D:13.0
T-34/85 x 2 M4/76(a) x 2 SU-76M x 2
PzKpfw IVJ x 2 Marder III(t)H
Guns: A:0 D:1
7.5cm PaK 40
A: Russian vehicles get +1 on their Special Ammo availability
Players wanting to play this game/Request a match:
Part of Action Pack #16, it is from one of the Australian mates, Andrew Rodgers. This designer should ring a bell with some for he is known for scenarios that get close & personal. This one is no exception.
Basically, the Russians have to storm the village on the hill defended by the Germans set in July 1944 to control a number of building/rubble Locations. Attention - mind the difference between Building Control and Control of a Building Location! . Also remember that beginning in July 1944 German PF just have a range of 2 hexes.
The Russians begin with an elite Guards infantry force supported by two SU-76M Asssault Guns.
The Germans defend with a 1st Line force of approximately the same size supported by a PaK 40 and a Marder III(t)H.
The Russians will receive reinforcements in Turn 2 in the form of 2x T-34/85 and M4/76(a) Shermans with 4 squads plus leader. The Germans in Turn 2 get 2x Pz IVJ, with powerful Infantry in the form of 5x 548 with two Leaders.
The scenario length bein 5.5 Turns, the Russians have no time to lose unless they want to lose the game. And there starts the conundrum: The Russian setup area allows to set up for a Human Wave and/or a short and rather covered way to the village on the hill. Else, they will have to take a detour. The conundrum for the Germans is that they will need a forward setup in force to discourage or survive a Human Wave onslaught, but to do so, there will be nothing much left at start to defend with elsewhere. The reinforcements of both sides will rush forward to plug holes or shift the Schwerpunkt of each sides forces.
I played the defending Germans and chose a strong forward setup. This succeeded in scaring off the Russians from forming up for a HW. I was so fixated on discouraging it, that I was somewhat taken aback that the Russians only sent two HS from the bd15a setup area and all the rest from the bd1a Orchard and Grain zones. I reckon, this "bought" me a turn but at the price of hastening to redeploy back into the village.
An early disaster struck, when a long range shot in the AFPh by one of his SU-76M's took out my Marder by Critical Hit. You think this is bad? I had placed it in the same hex with my HIP Pak-40, which was now shrouded in the smoke of the Wreck Blaze. My plan had been to dish it out with the Marder in the first Russian half-turn (which worked), and then pull out of LOS in the first German turn (which did not work...). The PaK would still be HIP (unless it had been provided with prime targets earlier) and await the unwary with a mean and powerful surprise. This would have worked just as planned - had there been no Marder wreck-blaze.
Due to this setback and the Germans not achieving anything with half a dozen of those dreaded 2 even / 2@-1 shots, the Russians soon crested the hill from the east in force and good order, having overrun the PaK on the way. The Germans defended the eastern row of buildings, but Russian pressure was such, that I had to voluntarily break two or three German units to pull them out just in time to avoid almost certain death. Things looked rather grim for my defenders, so I assessed. Luckily, all those Germans who did voluntarily break voluntarily rallied immediately thereafter, one of them even Battle Hardening. That was relief in dire straits.
The Russian Shermans surged forward with Riders along the road, while both T-34/85s with Riders hastened to the 15aB5 area for a flanking move. One of the Russian SU-76M's, which had been Stunned before, audaciously surged into the village to VBM-freeze my German 'killer-stack' while BU. To add insult to the injury, it got away with it despite being OT and having no MG-armament whatsoever, as my perplexed Germans were too scared to pass their PAATC, while their Leader, having found a ATMM, had to do it alone by himself - but failed just one pip short...
The Germans entered one tank on each road, while the reinforcing Infantry could just crest the hill from the West. The entry restrictions prevent the German reinforcements of doing anything meaningful during their turn of entry.
Yet, the German defence had crystallized. While the north-eastern row of houses atop the hill was firmly in the hands of the Russians, the buildings further to the north-west atop the hill were held by the Germans in force with the road in between. The Germans were also successful of firmly establishing themselved in the south-eastern part of the village atop the hill before the Russians could reach it, at the same time discouraging any fanciful dancing around of the T-34/85s by threatening with the PSK and PFs. Both Pz IVs had contrieved to acquire both Shermans (one of which had malfed its MA), and one of the latter went down while popping his sM for the last time. The other pulled himself from the noose, also popping its sM and thereby out of LOS of the threatening PzIV due to cumulative Hindrances. Not enough with that, it pulled around a house and attempted a long range Bounding Fire shot against the other German tank which had already exhausted the fire-capabilities of its MA - and the Sherman took it out with another Critical Hit! Doh!
Meanwhile, the inevitable Russian Berserk HS had entered close combat with a German 548+LMG, which needed two turns to red rid of the red critters. Another Russian HS survived even longer than this against a full Germans squad, somehow blocking the path for follow up Russians, though.
With two Movement Phases to go, the Russians had so far secured 5 of 10 needed building locations and were threatening two more, which were in turn re-threatened by some flanking Germans which had taken cover downslope of the hill. The Germans retained a strong hold on the rest of the village. As it was getting late, we called it a day. At this point, the game could still have been won by both sides, but we assessed the current situation favoring the German chances by 60:40 and thus called it a German win.
This scenario so far has a very balanced record on ROAR (24:21 for the Russians). Depending how it is played, it can be a short and bloody affair, namely if the Russians dare a Human Wave for their opening move. At first I was a bit reserved about this scenario, because sometimes Andrew Rodgers' designs are too much of a hand-to-hand fistfight for my taste. In this case, I was positively surprised, and the reinforcements did their job in adding a well-timed maneuver element that allow both players to adapt to the situation and to shift the focus.
(A) Rich Weiley
(A) nathan wegener
(D) Andy Bagley
As the German defender I set up an up-front defence and dared the Russians to Human Wave on turn 1. They didn't dare, instead taking a more cautious and slower approach that proved to be two slow. Good German shooting caused heavy Russian armour losses and they conceded on turn 4.