Saturday, February 22, 2014

Red Counterthrust

Today we played the Red Counterthrust scenario from the excellent Skirmish Campaigns book Grossdeutschland at Kursk.

I tweaked the scenario to fit the models I had available and we ended up pitting five Panzer III Ausf J, a  Panzer Grenadier squad and a 7,5cm infantry gun (under Jamie's command) against seven T-34s, two SU-76s, and a Soviet motorised infantry squad.

The terrain was rolling countryside with scattered, open woods.

The Soviet forces were to enter from either of the roads to the north (right in this view) of the stream.
The Germans were to deploy on the southern (left) half of the table.
Jamie deployed the whole of his PzIII tank platoon (five vehicles) in a line in the open ground between the central woods and the stream.  I was a bit concerned they were too much in the open (but I needn't have been).

The German defenders - tanks forward, infantry and infantry gun in reserve.

Game turn 1.  The Soviet company commander's tank enters
and is KO'd by fire from the Panzer IIIs.

More Soviet forces converge on the bridge.
Andy's luck got no better.  Another of his T-34s was immobilised by long-distance fire from the German Panzers, and then the tanks crossing the bridge were targeted.

The lead tank was knocked out and the second and third were immobilised with their crews bailing out. This left the bridge blocked and forced the remaining Soviet tank platoon to try and cross the difficult river banks.

Unfortunately for Andy both would spend some time crossing, and getting stuck in, the unstable banks of the stream.

Meanwhile, the Germans' reinforcements, two Tigers, arrived on the earliest possible turn!

Two Tigers - enough to strike fear in the heart of any allied tanker.

Andy's infantry head for the river bank.
Both SU-76s are brewed up despite their hull-down position.
Although things are going well for the Germans, their Panzer III
platoon has two units temporarily neutralised and one permanently
immobilised by incoming fire.

The infantry gun awaits more targets.

The Soviet motorised rifle squad cover behind the knocked out tanks on
the approach to the bridge.

With one of the two remaining T-34s permanently mired in the stream,
Andy is forced to accept that the battle is lost on game turn 4.  
All in all I'm pleased with how the battle went. The rules worked well.  Andy can justifiably feel annoyed that everything that could go wrong did so but I'm pleased that Jamie has managed to play a WW2 game without being trashed.

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