by Sam Tyson
Germans: Sam Tyson Russians: Steve Withers
I was sent a copy of Matt Shostak's analysis of this scenario, and it really sounded like it would be
a blast to play. Steve Withers and I have developed a regular gaming session using VASL, and I
suggested that we play this scenario. He readily agreed after looking at the scenario card, and so we
decided to play it. We diced for sides, and I came out with the Germans. This is a detailed report,
including most of the highlights from each turn.
Russian Setup: Steve set up the Russian defense in two main areas. The main line of resistance (MLR)
appeared to be across the forward edge of the two full boards, about 6 hexes away from my setup area.
Eleven different locations contained Russians in this forward group, and they were all at level 0. The
rear guard was close to the Exit edge, and again spread across both boards. It looked like it was
going to be a slugfest early in the game, with the German infantry trying to disperse the defensive
front and expose the six guns that were using HIP.
German Setup: The Germans have a narrow setup area, so the options were somewhat limited. I split my
forces up into three groups, all roughly equal in size and strength. I set up the top group behind the
aC2 building, planning for initial concealment and cover for the movement phase. The middle group was
set up in the aE5 and cE1 buildings, ready to push down the middle of the boards. The lower group was
set up behind the lumberyard, ready to use the buildings and woods as cover.
German Turn 1: I placed smoke in the bB4 hex with a StuH, and probed the board a and c hexes for
hidden Russian troops. My infantry was able to advance to hexrow B on board c, and occupy all the
building hexes on board a. One HS was sent all the way to aA4 woods, and did not encounter any enemy
units up to that point. The biggest event of this player turn was a 76L in dM2 taking out a
Flammpanzer in aC1 as it tried to move up and support the right flank. We used the wrong TK number,
but did not realize until later in the game, and it was too late to reverse the error. The other
significant action saw a second 76L malfunction on its first shot. I also broke two Russian 4-4-7
squads, one with an ATR, which were behind the wall in dM3. I was down 6 CVP after my first turn, but
my troops were well positioned across the playing area for a strong advance.
Russian Turn 1: Steve skulked as much as he could, and left me with few shots. It was my turn to malf
a gun, which I promptly did on a StuH. Steve advanced back into most of his original positions, and
forward in a couple of other places.
German Turn 2: At this point things began to get intense, as the forces started to bump into each
other. I aggressively used scouting half-squads to bump concealment in a few places, and suffered a
few bruises in the process. But I needed to know what I was up against, and knew it would be worth it
in the long run. Besides, ample German leadership was available to rally the units that were broken.
Steve unveiled his HIP units in a big trap in bC2, consisting of a 4-5-8/HMG, 4-5-8/LMG, and a 8-1
leader. They fired on a stack of Germans that had made their way to bB2, ADJACENT to his cleverly
placed trap. Two broken half-squads and a broken leader had to retreat, but at least I had discovered
all of his potential HIP units. Steve reveals his last 76L in the DF phase, and tried to finish off
the remaining units in bB2, but to no avail. Advancing fire broke the previously HIP units and wounded
the 8-1 leader, and they all scurried back to bE2. Almost all of my forces were at or over the line
between the boards, so the advance was moving along well after 2 turns. All three 76Ls were revealed,
with only 1 AFV as a casualty.
Russian Turn 2: Steve again skulked, so not much happened this turn. His 76Ls had no effect on my
infantry, and I did not get any decent shots in the DF phase.
German Turn 3: A big turn for me. Lots of infantry smoke, good movement, ineffective defensive fire,
and strong advancing fire all played a part in a very successful German turn. One 76L crew and
accompanying squad were broken and forced to rout upstairs in a building, where they quickly became
prisoners. The Russians in the center of the map retreated under the pressure of the German advance,
and the other 76L malfunctioned, then became locked up in melee. Steve did take out a second vehicle
that had gotten ahead of the infantry. I had tried to cut the rout path of a unit, and paid the price.
The tank was hull down and beyond an orchard, but Steve made the rolls count when he needed them and
got a turret hit followed by a kill. I also lost a HS this turn, but Steve lost six HS units and a 8-0
leader. All 3 Russian 76L guns had been taken care of, but not without some cost.
Russian Turn 3: See Russian turns 1 and 2. Steve again skulked and retreated, and the German FP
punished a few units left as targets.
German Turn 4: This was the highlight turn of the game for Steve. The German onrush continued, but two
big events had to give Steve some small satisfaction for a change. I again got careless with a StuH,
and tried to use the sD in front of my troops. I moved it and stopped next to a hidden 45LL, which
promptly flamed my overaggressive vehicle. The first 45LL also had its moment in the spotlight, with a
ROF spree from hell. First it pinned two units, then immobilized a Flammpanzer in dN3, changed its CA,
and finally toasted a stack of adjacent units, leaving two broken half-squads remaining from a stack
of three full squads. But advancing fire cast a shadow over these two strongpoints, and the guns were
both abandoned by the end of the turn. So after 3.5 turns, 5 of the 6 Russian guns were out of action,
but I was down two only two mobile vehicles, and only one had a functioning MA. I had captured two
crews and two half-squads so far, and wiped out everything in my path up to the dJ/bE hexrow.
Approximate VP count at this point was 33 for the Germans to 20 for the Russians, with three AT guns
waiting to be captured for another 12 CVP.
Russian Turn 4: At this point I had broken through the main line of resistance. Steve moved most of
his units back to set up a second defensive line, to make it hard for me to achieve any Exit VP.
German Turn 5: Now cautious of the final AT gun, I pushed forward only using infantry. I managed to
cut off and capture four more units, and established a front across both boards just behind the road
that runs across the map, all without incurring any more casualties on my side.
Russian Turn 5: Steve and I exchanged shots across the road, but I had the manpower to risk a few
breaks here and there. Every time Steve dropped concealment to shoot he was doing me a favor. There
were five turns left to go at this point, so I was happy to trade shots and chip away at the Russian
German Turn 6: The highlight for this turn came from a well-placed DC. Steve had a stack in the woods
in bJ0, consisting of two concealed squads and a wounded leader. A HS moved into I1 and placed the DC
into J0. Steve tried to break or pin the HS, but could not get it done. When the DC went off, the 3mc
it generated left all of his units broken, and they all surrendered in the rout phase to the units in
I1 and J1 for a 10 VP gain. Prep-fire had killed another squad in M2 on a 1 KIA. I pushed forward with
my troops, getting some units across the road for the final assault.
Russian Turn 6: Steve anchored his defense around the .50 cal, and tried to hang on. Two squads held
the flank in bL0, and a few units held tough on the north edge in the B1 building.
German Turn 7: Again, I was happy to trade shots, and gain ground in the advance phase. I stayed away
from the .50 cal, since I did not need to risk the exposure. Not much happened this turn, but the end
was near. After 6.5 turns, the VP count stood at 70 to 22.
Russian Turn 7: The Russians again skulked and repositioned, trying to survive long enough to earn a
few more CVP.
German Turn 8: I gambled a bit here, moving a large stack, and successfully got Steve to reveal his
last 45LL gun. He got a CH on my stack, and broke the leader and two squads, but I learned where his
gun was located. That allowed me to drive my last StuH off the board, narrowly avoiding a
street-fighting nightmare as Steve boxed a PAATC attempt for a squad guarding the road on board b.
Russian Turn 8: The Russians initiated a small counterattack, in an attempt to at least go down
fighting. Steve placed a couple of DCs and broke a few of my units, but did not have enough manpower
to do much damage elsewhere. Steve conceded at this point, and the game was over.
Aftermath: The German firepower was dominant from early on in the scenario. Steve had a strong forward
line of resistance, but when it crumbled, the Russians had trouble trying to avoid taking additional
casualties. Any units that were bold enough to attack the Germans usually were dealt a bigger return
blow in return. The Germans were able to push the Russians back, and had little difficulty in
achieving victory. The dice were not kind to Steve either, as he counted 16 boxcars against only 5
snake-eyes among the Russian dice results.
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