Back on the 29th of July, WR and Daniel drove over to the scheduled Flames of War Ver3.0 Mega Game 1941 Barbarossa scenario hosted by Bruce and company at Games Empire Pasadena. Being “centralized planned minion Soviet players” to the larger actions surrounding both Daniel and WR at the event, we both charged forward as ordered into the teeth of the German defenses.
Scenario Basics: Per WR’s understanding of the scenario, we the Soviet side are attacking the overly extended German panzer (panzer grenadiers) lines. Once the Soviet assault begins, the German reserves arrive at predetermined locations to repel the Soviet onslaught. Both the German and Soviet teams had one player in charge to design (purchase) their several company sized commands, their local reserves, and the backup of divisional support (artillery and rockets). Their FOW Ver3.0 group rules have counter-battery abilities, “across the Volga” off-board artillery, and several AOP and spotting observers placed within both teams lines (see below). If a complete OOB for both the Soviets and Germans is located, WR will amend this article posting. Additional Russia 1941 scenario infomation from Bruce’s hand can be read here: Mega Battle Starya 1941 Russia notes
While waiting for the scenario start, “Conscripts Daniel and WR” planned their forward assault on the thinly held position German front line. WR was dead center of the Soviet offensive planned push. With his and Daniel’s Strelkovy battalions, supported by their 82mm mortars, regimental 45mm A/T, and a battery of 76mm cannon, the open ground ahead looked barren of cover except for a few field crop fields. WR’s Strelkovy battalion, fresh off the frozen Siberian express train, still had snow dusted bases, heavy dull overcoats, and muddy basing to contend with, as the vodka was freely passed around. Alongside to WR’s left more Strelkovy and naval marines battalions completed the Soviet front line offensive push. Waiting as arriving reserves were three tankovy battalions. One of T-34 companies, one of KV-1/2 heavy companies, and the last one of T-34, T-28 and various light tankettes. Holding our far right or Daniel’s open flank was several BT-7 tank platoons and an armoured train “Mother Russia.”
WR’s Strelkovy battalion had: 2x Strelkovy rifle companies (of 2 rifle platoons) with four attached sapper teams, two HMG teams, and ATR team included on strength. For battalion support was a small independent SMG platoon, regimental 76mm gun company, a 45mm A/T platoon, a 82mm mortar company, and holding the road exit, an entrenched 76mm A/T company. Daniel’s Strelkovy battalion was the same with an additional heavy 120mm mortar company. Behind the front lines we had on switchboard call two 122mm artillery batteries and two rocket mortar batteries.
Turn One: We the soldiers of the Motherland advance! Daniel and WR’s Strelkovy battalions charged forward towards the crop fields growing before us or the nearby woods for Daniel. Daniel massed his Strelkovy blobs…. WR, a veteran of napoleonic warfare, opened his men into serial ranks of brave warriors of Russia. Looking up…. the Soviet air force was missing….. bad dice roll or their orders had the wrong hour of attack. Still, walking on snowy ground basing for WR’s men made them obvious targets. Reserves arrived. A weak two KV-1 or 2 company arrived behind the 76mm A/T company. WR was pleased with the support from Corp’s HQ staff. Thank you note to Uncle Joe’s 2nd cousin needed if we survive this battle.
On turn one the German infantry basically stayed in their foxholes reading the latest issue of Der Spiegel newspaper / magazine. Only their artillery and aircraft overhead raked or pounded the advancing hordes. On occasion, the German panzer crews loved the open season machine gunning on the overcoat horde too.
Turn Two: After the Germans pounded the advancing Soviet hordes with artillery and aircraft, the second turn showed more bayonet leading movement by the Russian battalions. Uncle Joe henchmen are watching and looking for penal battalion recruits. Daniel’s boys charged into the woods or swamp woods. His 76mm A/T company rolled forward to target any German helmet seen. For WR, his followers of Uncle Joe ran into the crop fields…some concealment is better than a naked 2+ roll. Popped a few rifle shots at the reading panzer grenadiers. They waved back and turned the page undisturbed. Another two KV’s (weak company) drove onto the battlefield…. we must have a tank factory nearby thinks WR.
For the Germans, the advancing Soviet hordes were too much of a target. Driving their Pz III platoon to the crossroads, they raked Daniel’s infantry between the woods into a bloody lane of bodies. Then two HMG teams ripped off several teams in the crop fields. Last… the German air force and registering artillery saw the white blobs below and removed the majority of the regimental 76mm company and the independent SMG platoon from my order of battle.
Turn Three: WR spots a chance to close with the German invaders. One Strelkovy company rushes to the stream and starts wading across. WR notices that the Germans have placed their panzer grenadiers in front of their HMG platoon, thus blocking the majority of the firepower. Can we charge home? Russian observers register in the off-board battery. Shells then Guard rockets land on the German platoons…. both are pinned! The voices of Russia…CHARGE! From open formation to a dense massed horde, the Strelkovy company charges into the stream and then into the German orchard position. Chatting “….less than 10 hits…10 hits.. we can do it! The German defensive fire rips into the Soviet bodies with thirteen rolls scoring eleven hits… and five dead Soviet teams float in the shallow stream waters. Repulsed… we straggler back to friendly shore all bungled together.
On German turn… the leading hapless and pinned Strelkovy company was machine-gunned, pistol whipped, bombed, shelled, and diced under the table. Six more teams dead. All for a “cows” objective marker seen in the German lines.
Turn Four: Battle royal along the stream banks.Soviet and German soldiers fall into the bloody waters. Russian heavy mortars land and destroy two German teams. The 76mm A/T company punches holes in the farm building for more German losses. Even a KV-2 lands its 152mm shells to increase the carnage. German reserve panzers arrive, the KV’s change targets. Both sides see their armored hulls left as burning wrecks. Diana 88mm cannon shells send two KV’s into the junk yard. Still the Soviet massed infantry tries again to assault, fail and suffer losses. Panzer III platoon machine gun the Strelkovy Siberian company. Their white/brown winter coats make excellent targets. Finally the commissars are running out of bullets. One Strelkovy company breaks and bolts for the rear after 80%+ losses. Losses mount faster than a player can remove teams…. Panzer rake the exposed infantry…. the white platoon bolts taking their commissar down with the last machine gun burst. But their wave replacement arrives…. more Siberians. For the German… their platoons are under half strength as panzers burn red-hot. Russian T-34 companies drive in the cauldron of battle. More Panzer III’s crews see the dreaded Russian white washed armor approach..
The armored train rides the rails. As it nears the battlefront station a German ambush is sprung. Armored cars and a Panzer III tank engage the Soviet train. Gunfire erupts… both sides have burning wreckage, but the train rolls forward. Bt-7 tanks arrive later to engage the German armored cars.
Daniel’s solo offensive…. one of his Strelkovy companies rushed the orchard across the stream (the brown felt with “gray looking walls” area). Seeing the panzer grenadiers holding the objective nearby, they charged forward. Russian artillery bombardment lands on the panzer grenadiers. After losses and pinned, the Russian infantry arrive with bayonets and grenades. Quick brawl… the German infantry retire. Next German move the rallied Soviet Strelkovy infantry defend their oil drums prize as Panzer II machine gun the mob. Another panzer grenadier platoon assaults…. bitter fighting….Russians beat off the assault. Storage boxes off table fill with dead teams from both sides. Next turn the 76mm A/T company draws aim on the exposed Panzer II platoon.
Brave Strelkovy hold their dearly purchased objective. They defeat two panzer grenadier platoons and suffer from machine gunning Panzer II tanks. Payback soon from the 76mm A/T company.
Scenario ended as both sides had little left in their front lines. The German right was barren of defending units. Soon the surviving Soviet forces will secure a possible objective. In the center, WR’s forces were totally spent. Daniel still had some companies and the Panzer II platoon was soon ripped by the 76mm A/T battery. As for the Panzer III platoon, they had six T-34 tanks driving right at their position. With both Diana’s destroyed, the remaining central Panzer III platoon would be hard pressed to hold against the remaining KV company advance. So WR would rate a win in the center… if the game continued on the strength of the Russian armor present… and WR still had one fresh wave attack Strelkovy company to overrun the blasted orchard position and secure the “cows” objective. On the far right flank, the Soviet armored train and two Bt-7 companies threatened another objective while chasing the German armored cars.
So… Marginal Russian (Soviet) victory for now…. a sure victory in a turn or two, depending on the German reserves assignment in the central sector. Thank you to Bruce for inviting Daniel and WR to the Russia 1941 Mega Game scenario and hand shakes for Leo, Lance, Robert, Gary, and Beau for a great gaming afternoon. Another time and game day for sure!
Readers should note the active use of off-board artillery with Bruce’s scenarios. Interested players can read up on the group’s FOW 3.1 rule amendments below:
Cheers from Games Empire – Pasadena CA