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  • #124393

    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    It’s 1630 on 5 July 1943 in western Russia, where the I Battalion, Panzer Grenadier Regiment 101, 292nd Infanterie Division is carrying out an assault on Soviet defensive positions in the “Bunkerwald,” held by elements of the 1st Battalion, 676th Rifle Regiment, 15th Rifle Division.  This is part of the German offensive to eliminate the Kursk salient, specifically on the northern shoulder of the bulge, as German forces push towards Ponyri.

    I am playing this game because I have the good fortune of being buddies with Steve  of the “Sound Officer’s Call” blog (https://soundofficerscall.blogspot.com/2019/10/firestorm-ponyri-station-campaign-first.html), and he is running a “Firestorm Ponyri” campaign.  He is playing some games with his local buddies, but was unable to play all of the games himself; rather than simply ‘dice off’ for results of campaign fights they were unable to play on the table top, Steve asked if anyone in the blogosphere wanted to help, so here I am.

    It’s been a little bit of an issue that I literally just sold off a bunch of German late war gear, so I’m a bit understrength, but Steve is working with me to make sure the fights I get match up with the forces I have.  This is the first fight I’ve played, and I hope it wasn’t too much a pain for him, I certainly want to keep going!  First, I love to play games; second, it’s been way too long since I’ve played any Eastern Front games (maybe eight years or so?); and lastly, I’m a solo gamer that still craves some comradery, so whenever I can help another wargamer out, I’m always quick to jump at it.


    A rather unassuming swath of land in western Russia, part of the Kursk salient.  At top center is a forest known by the Germans as “Schwarzwald,” while at center is “Bunkerwald,” and there is an unnamed patch of wood at far left.  There are three dirt tracks in a generally north-south direction, mostly towards the three human structures: the State Farm (bottom left), the District Seat (bottom center), and Alexei’s House (center right).  The rest is untended grassland pocked with cultivated fields; there are some wooden fences on the southern half of the table, as well as scrub around a lot of the fields, that neither blocks LOS or provides cover (just for looks), while there are some hedges strewn throughout the table that don’t provide cover or block LOS, but do serve to ‘disrupt’ LOS a bit (making shots through a bit more difficult).

    The orders of battle:
    Germans
    Battalion Commander
    1st Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    2nd Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    3rd Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    Schwere Company (MG platoon of four MG-42s, mortar platoon of four 8.0cm tubes, infantry gun platoon of two 7.5cm guns, and an anti-tank platoon of two PaK-38 5.0cm guns)
    Assault Gun Platoon (reduced, only two vehicles)
    Battery of 10.5cm Artillery (off table)
    Battery of Nebelwerfers (off table)

    Soviet
    Company Commander
    Rifle Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    Anti-Tank Rifle Platoon (3 x PTRS-41s)
    Anti-Tank Platoon (3 x 45mm ATGs)
    Infantry Gun Platoon (2 x 76mm guns)
    MG Platoon (3 x Maxim .30-cal MGs)
    Mortar Platoon (3 x 82mm mortars)
    Combat Engineer Platoon (three flamethrower squads)
    Assault Gun Platoon (3 x Su-76s)

    I’m playing in 10mm (figures, vehicles, and gear a mix of Pendraken and Minifigs UK) based at one stand=one squad, weapon, or vehicle.  I’m playing this game using Too Fat Lardies’ “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” rules, simplified a bit in terms of combat, morale, and movement.

    Scheme of maneuver:
    German – The Germans have infiltrated the bulk of their Schwere Company into the Scwartzwald (patch of woods at top center), where they have emplaced their machine gun, mortar, and Infantry Gun (IG) Platoons.  Because of the pace of operations they have not had the opportunity to conduct a  thorough reconnaissance, so they are proceeding with a generic ‘double envelopment’ assault.  To that end, 1st Company is crossing the line of departure in the northeast (top right), with a lot of open ground to cover, while 2nd Company is using a shallow gully in the north-northwest (top center left) that runs north to south to infiltrate as close to the objective as possible.  The Germans are aware of enemy forces in Bunkerwald and in a stand of trees in the southeast (bottom right), so supporting fires will be used to reduce/suppress those positions.  The Germans are holding 3rd Company and their ATG Platoon in reserve (off table).

    Soviet – The Soviets are manning static defenses with a mobile reserve to counterattack any German breakthroughs.  To that end, the Soviets are manning three fortified and (semi-) mutually supporting positions: Strongpoint Irina (in woods at far left), Strongpoint Anna (Bunkerwald), and Strongpoint Ilsa (in the southeast/bottom right).  To that end, the Soviet commander has task organized his rifle company, MG platoon, ATR platoon, and ATG platoon into combined arms forces at each defensive ‘hedgehog.’  So each strongpoint consists of three rifle squads, one .30-cal MG, one ATR, and one 45mm ATG.  The infantry gun platoon is emplaced in the southwest (bottom left), while the mortar platoon is emplaced behind the State Farm, with its platoon commander acting as forward observer on the second floor of the State Farm building.  The Soviets have their assault gun and combat engineer platoons in reserve (off table, with the engineers planning to ride into battle on the Su-76s).


    German Stugs and Landser push forward under fire.


    German infantry push towards the objective, Strongpoint Anna.


    But they’re taking flanking fire from Strongpoint Irina.


    A certain Soviet Lieutenant was the bane of the Germans’ existence at Strongpoint Ilsa.


    The Soviet reserves arrive!  Would they be enough?  To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2019/10/on-northern-shoulder-of-kursk-with.html

    Man, what a fight!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  It’s been a long time since I had that many troops on the table, felt good, though I can’t say it want to do it all the time, so I’m looking at scaling at least some of my future fights in this campaign back to company-level.  I can’t wait to play some more next weekend.  Awaiting my orders!

    V/R,
    Jack

    #124394
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I see the goats back. Good AAR very back and forth.

    #124456
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    A very exciting game, thanks for posting.  Do you think IABSM works better solo than CoC and TW&T?

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #124458

    Mark Luther
    Participant

    Great report!  I think IABSM works quite well for solo gaming.  And this kind of game that has one side pretty much immobile on the defensive is a good choice for solo gaming.

    Mark

    #124484

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Kyote John – Thanks man, and yeah, I like having my Keepers on the table! 😉

    Whirlwind John – My pleasure, and IABSM works great for me when playing solo; the reason I don’t use it more often is because I tend to use it with larger games than I typically like to play.  Regarding Chain of Command and Troops, Weapons, and Tactics, I don’t have TW&T and have never played it, so cant’ compare there, and while I’m a big fan of the Chain of Command rules, I think they’ve got some really great mechanisms and concepts, I’ve played about half a dozen solo games with them and I just can’t get them to work.  Mostly it’s the fact there are actually too many decision points (which really bog the game down as I like to come up with various courses of action for my enemy and then roll to see which one to go with), the fact that the variable activation (based on the command dice) is too interactive (great for game vs a human opponent, not great for when you’re trying to outsmart yourself), and tactical surprise has too big a role in the game (again, great vs a human, not so great when you’re trying to decide to go after someone’s jump-off point, or when to spring an ambush, etc…).

    Mark – Thank you, and I agree, the activation system is fantastic for solo gaming.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #124485
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Thanks very much Jack.  I have found exactly the same as you for CoC (and TW&T is quite similar in some ways) but I will give IABSM some serious consideration now and maybe add it to the stable.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #124487
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Jack, is it sad that I can field everything you have on the table times 2 for the Germans and times 5 for the Russians???

    #124506

    Thomaston
    Participant

    I keep thinking these were 6mm. Also disappointd it wasn’t a multi stage operation like KG Klink. Nice battle, fight for the Fatherland.

    Tired is enough.

    #124508

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Whirlwind John – Yeah, I believe IABSM works much better for solo gaming.  Having said that, it’s a company-sized set of rules (attacker supposed to put a reinforced company on the table, defender and understrength company) that tries to get too much into the weeds (it’s designed to play with individually-mounted troops!), so I basically use the command and control system, but use 5Core concepts for combat and morale.  I outlined my changes here:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2017/12/i-aint-been-shot-mum-rules-tweaks.html

    Kyote John – Not sad at all, you just need to use it to play some games and post documentary evidence on the internet that we can all enjoy 😉

    Thomaston – Nah, just a little bigger.  What do you mean regarding the Klink comment?  I’m not following a particular unit, but there will be more of these, follow the link to Steve’s blog, this is all part of a Kursk campaign.  Thanks man, it was a lot of fun, glad you enjoyed it.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #124509

    Thomaston
    Participant

    I saw the title and was expecting a similar campaign to KG Klink. Multiple games on same map.

    Tired is enough.

    #124527

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Ahh, gotcha.  For the record, that’s not usually how I play KG Klink games, either, just the one operation.  Having said that, I do plan on using that concept again in the future.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #124855

    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    German Assault on Karpunevka

    It’s 0630 on 7 July 1943 in western Russia, where the I Battalion, Panzer Grenadier Regiment 101, 18th Panzer Division is carrying out an assault on Soviet defensive positions in and around the village of Snava (which is also a Soviet supply depot) held by elements of the 2nd Battalion, 676th Rifle Regiment, 15th Rifle Division. This is part of the German offensive to eliminate the Kursk salient, specifically on the northern shoulder of the bulge, as German forces push towards Ponyri.

    I am playing this game because I have the good fortune of being buddies with Steve of the “Sound Officer’s Call” blog (https://soundofficerscall.blogspot.com/2019/10/firestorm-ponyri-station-campaign-first.html), and he is running a “Firestorm Ponyri” campaign. He is playing some games with his local buddies, but was unable to play all of the games himself; rather than simply ‘dice off’ for results of campaign fights they were unable to play on the table top, Steve asked if anyone in the blogosphere wanted to help, so here I am.

    It’s been a little bit of an issue that I literally just sold off a bunch of German late war gear, so I’m a bit understrength, but Steve is working with me to make sure the fights I get match up with the forces I have. This is the first fight I’ve played, and I hope it wasn’t too much a pain for him, I certainly want to keep going! First, I love to play games; second, it’s been way too long since I’ve played any Eastern Front games (maybe eight years or so?); and lastly, I’m a solo gamer that still craves some comradery, so whenever I can help another wargamer out, I’m always quick to jump at it.


    Overview, north is up.  There are a couple primitive roads, mostly running north-south, with a couple patches of heavy wood in the west (left), a large, man-made pond in the south (center bottom right), and the village of Snava in the east (right).  Other than that it’s flat terrain covered in crop fields broken up by a few stands of trees, with over grown brush flanking them.  The brush provides limited concealment, but no cover, and does not block line of sight.  The buildings of Snava are stout stone structures, offering good cover.

    The orders of battle:

    Germans
    Battalion Commander
    1st Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    2nd Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    3rd Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    Schwere Company (MG platoon of four MG-42s, mortar platoon of four 8.0cm tubes, infantry gun platoon of two 7.5cm guns, and an anti-tank platoon of two PaK-38 5.0cm guns)
    Panzer Platoon (five Pz IIIJ with long 50mm)
    Battery of 10.5cm Artillery (off table)
    Flight of Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers (off table)

    Soviet
    Battalion Commander
    1st Company (three rifle platoons of three rifle squads)
    2nd Rifle Company (three platoons of three rifle squads)
    Anti-Tank Rifle Platoon (3 x PTRS-41s)
    Anti-Tank Platoon (4 x 45mm ATGs)
    Field Gun Platoon (3 x 76.2mm “crash-boom” guns)
    MG Platoon (4 x Maxim .30-cal MGs)
    Mortar Platoon (3 x 82mm mortars)
    Tank Platoon (three T-34/76s)

    I’m playing in 10mm (figures, vehicles, and gear a mix of Pendraken and Minifigs UK) based at one stand=one squad, weapon, or vehicle. I’m playing this game using Too Fat Lardies’ “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” rules, simplified a bit in terms of combat, morale, and movement.


    And again, this time with troops present.  The Germans are attacking from the north (top); at top left is their 2nd Company, and at top center right is 1st Company, with their Schwere Company spread between them.  The Soviets are dug-in to four strongpoints:
    1) Strongpoint Marta (in woods at left center), where they have 1st Platoon, 1st Company (platoon commander, three rifle squads, a Maxim .30-cal MG, and a 45mm anti-tank gun)
    2) Strongpoint Katarina (in stand of woods at bottom center), where they have 2nd Platoon (1st Company, same as 1st Plt)
    3) Strongpoint Masha (top right), where they have 3rd Platoon, 1st Company (same as 1st Plt)
    4) the village of Nava (right), where they have 1st Platoon, 2nd Company (same as 1st Plt, 1st Co), a platoon of three 76.2mm ‘crash booms,’ and just in front of them, a platoon of anti-tank rifles dug-in in an ambush position
    The Soviets have a platoon of 82mm mortar platoon of a PC and three tubes.

    The German Panzer Platoon will start off table but come on as soon as possible following the initial strikes by supporting fires. The Germans are holding their 3rd Company and AT Platoon off table, in reserve.  The Soviets are holding 2nd Platoon, 2nd Company, and their T-34 platoon carrying 3rd Platoon, 2nd Company, off table in reserve.


    On the German left, Schwere Company elements (infantry guns, machine guns, and mortars, bottom left) attempt to shoot 1st Company (top left) into Strongpoint Masha (top center, with Snava at top right).


    The Soviets (bottom left) try to rally the defenders of Strongpoint Masha as the Germans advance (top right).  This would be location of some of the most bitter, vicious fighting ever seen on a tabletop! 😉


    Panzer IIIs advance under fire.


    Though the Soviets had a rejoinder…


    Of course, these really help.

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2019/10/on-northern-shoulder-of-kursk-with_91.html

    Well, that was a helluva fight!  I’m really loving how “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” is working out for these games, it’s been a lot of fun.  I’d complain about how long they’re taking, but, then again, it’s kinda my fault: IABSM is designed to play reinforced company-sized games, but I’m playing battalion-sized games, so I really can’t blame the rules.

    I actually played two fights in Kursk this weekend, so stay tuned for the Soviet counterattack at Kastenwald!

    V/R,
    Jack

    #124856
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Wait wait the Soviets held!!!

    #124869

    Thomaston
    Participant

    That was a long one. That’s a lot of loss for the Germans.

    Tired is enough.

    #124912

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Kyote – Yup.

    Thomaston – Yeah, I suppose it was.  It wasn’t the fuss that bothered them, as much as the severe ass-whippin’ 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #124915
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    What was the reason the Germans had 5 Pz 3 to the Russians 3 T-34’s??

    #124922

    Just Jack
    Participant

    1. Order of battle: German platoons had five tanks, Soviets three.

    2.  Play balance: If the two types of tanks were equal I’d have probably given the Soviets two platoons, but the T-34 is better, so just one.

    3.  Force ratios: the Germans were attacking so should have more stuff.

    V/R,

    Jack

    #124955
    vtsaogames
    vtsaogames
    Participant

    Dang, what a couple of fights!

    https://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

    #125175
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Great report, very interesting.  I was surprised by the outcome too: it felt like the Germans were sort of getting where they needed to be through most of the action.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #125282

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thanks Vtsao, glad you like them!

    Thanks to you as well, John, and I was quite surprised about the Russkies managing to hold the Germans off at Strongpoint Masha, quite the confluenct of events.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #125358

    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    Soviet Counterattack on Kastenwald

    It’s 1430 on 7 July 1943 in western Russia, where the German 292nd Infanterie Division has been caught off guard by forward elements of the Soviet 57th Tank Brigade. The Germans rear echelon troops (supply, maintenance, training company, administrative, military police, walking wounded, etc…) stage into the nearby treeline to mount a hasty defense and their commanders flee in search of reinforcements, which had better hurry as everyone can hear the roar of T-34 engines!

    I am playing this game because I have the good fortune of being buddies with Steve of the “Sound Officer’s Call” blog (https://soundofficerscall.blogspot.com/2019/10/firestorm-ponyri-station-campaign-first.html), and he is running a “Firestorm Ponyri” campaign. He is playing some games with his local buddies, but was unable to play all of the games himself; rather than simply ‘dice off’ for results of campaign fights they were unable to play on the table top, Steve asked if anyone in the blogosphere wanted to help, so here I am.


    Overview, north is up. The objective is the wood at center; there is a healthy hardball unimproved road network running throughout the area, with a small village present in the southwest (bottom left). Other than that it’s manmade crop fields interspersed with a few stands of trees and untamed grassland.

    This game is a bit smaller than the previous two; the first two were a reinforced German battalion vs a reinforced Soviet company or two.  This one is a Soviet reinforced Company vs a German reinforced platoon, which is actually what the rules are designed for, so went a lot quicker.  Also, there were no off-table reserves in this game, everything started on the table so I could get right at it.  Let me know if it was still a fun read.

    The German defenders consist of their rifle platoon and weapons platoon dug-in on the west (left) side of Kastenwald (center), while their mobile force is coming from the northeast (top right).  The concept with the mobile force is that the local HQ Battalion Commander ran off to scrape together whatever reinforcements he could find, and this is what he’s back with: a ‘panzer’ platoon of two Stugs and a Marder, and he flagged down three halftracks to carry all the rest of the clerks, bakers, and candlestick makers he could find, which amounts to another platoon of ‘infantry.’  The Soviets have their infantry company maneuvering in from the southwest (bottom left), supported by their weapons platoon, while their tank company (with tank riders) are coming in from the northwest (top left).  The goal is to take/hold the wood.

    Orders of battle:
    German
    Ersatz Infantry Platoon (PC and three rifle squads)
    Ersatz Weapons Platoon (PC, two MG-42s, two 8.0cm mortars, and two PaK-38 5.0cm anti-tank guns)
    Commanding Officer
    Ersatz Mechanized Platoon (PC and three rifle squads in 3 Sdkfz 251 halftracks)
    Ersatz Panzer Platoon (two Stug IIIG and one Marder PzJgr)
    Off Table 120mm Mortar Platoon

    Soviet
    Rifle Company (-) two platoons of a PC and three rifle squads)
    Weapons Platoon (PC and two Maxim .30-cal MGs, two 50mm mortars, and one 76.2mm ‘crash boom’ field gun)
    Tank Company (-) (two platoons of three T-34s)
    Tank Rider Company (-) (two platoons of a PC and three rifle squads)
    Off Table 122mm Field Artillery Battery
    Off Table 120mm Mortar Battery

    I’m playing in 10mm (figures, vehicles, and gear a mix of Pendraken and Minifigs UK) based at one stand=one squad, weapon, or vehicle. I’m playing this game using Too Fat Lardies’ “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” rules, simplified a bit in terms of combat, morale, and movement.


    Soviet armor rolling forward.


    And the German response.


    The Soviet attack jumps off, with 1st Rifle Platoon moving forward (bottom center) and firing on the objective.


    Soviet tanks deliver their tank riders onto the objective, and they charge straight into close combat.  Look what destruction the Soviet artillery has wrought on the objective!

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2019/10/on-northern-shoulder-of-kursk-with_27.html

    Well, let’s see what big Steve has got next for us.  Awaiting my orders 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #125361
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Huzzah Soviet Arty and Mortars deal with the Fascists!!!

    #125402

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Yeah man, it was just relentless, made it pretty easy to take the objective.  Once they were finally able to get to the objective!

    V/R,

    Jack

    #125679
    Hayes Wauford
    Hayes Wauford
    Participant

    Nice looking game!

     

    #125706

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thank you, Hayes, I appreciate it.  I just saw you posted a batrep and I’ll soon be moseying over to take a gander.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #126653

    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    Soviet Counterattack on Karpunevka

    It’s 1800 on 9 July 1943 in western Russia, where the German 507th Infantry Regiment of the 292nd Infanterie Division is scraping out hasty defensive positions in preparation for a counterattack by the Soviet 1061st Rifle Regiment and armored elements of the 1442nd Heavy Breakthrough Artillery Regiment.  Cut-off, alone, outnumbered, and low on ammunition, this should prove to be tough sledding for the German infantrymen.

    I am playing this game because I have the good fortune of being buddies with Steve of the “Sound Officer’s Call” blog (https://soundofficerscall.blogspot.com/2019/10/firestorm-ponyri-station-campaign-first.html), and he is running a “Firestorm Ponyri” campaign. He is playing some games with his local buddies, but was unable to play all of the games himself; rather than simply ‘dice off’ for results of campaign fights they were unable to play on the table top, Steve asked if anyone in the blogosphere wanted to help, so here I am.

    It’s been a little bit of an issue that I literally just sold off a bunch of German late war gear, so I’m a bit understrength, but Steve is working with me to make sure the fights I get match up with the forces I have. This is the first fight I’ve played, and I hope it wasn’t too much a pain for him, I certainly want to keep going! First, I love to play games; second, it’s been way too long since I’ve played any Eastern Front games (maybe eight years or so?); and lastly, I’m a solo gamer that still craves some comradery, so whenever I can help another wargamer out, I’m always quick to jump at it.


    Overview, north is up.  The objective is the village of Snava, a Soviet supply depot, at center left.  You can see hardball roads running all over the place, and a water treatment pond at left.  The forest called “Birnenwald” is at right/bottom right, and other than that it’s a couple patches of wood (top center left, left, with a stand at bottom center and a strip just east of Snava) with cultivated fields throughout.  This is the third fight at Karpunevka; the first saw a desperate Soviet defense throw back the German attackers, before the Germans were able to rebound and throw the Soviets out on the second try.  The Soviets have attacked north, past Karpunevka (would be off camera to top), cutting the German forces here off from supply, and are now coming back to eliminate the pocket.  Technically speaking, all Soviet forces should enter the map from the northwest (top right), which is where the counterattack is coming from on the campaign map, but I’m allowing Soviet infantry to attack from right/bottom right as well, figuring they infiltrated via the Birnenwald which, off camera to right, actually extends further to the north/northwest.

    This is a Soviet hasty assault vs a German hasty defense.  Here are the orders of battle:

    Germans
    3 x rifle platoon (each has a platoon commander, two have three rifle squads, one has two rifle squads)
    1 x machine gun platoon (PC, only two MG-42s)
    1 x mortar platoon (PC, only two 8.0cm mortar tubes)
    1 x infantry gun platoon (PC, only two 7.5cm howitzers and two prime movers)
    1 x anti-tank gun platoon (PC, three PaK-38 5.0cm guns and three prime movers)
    1 x ‘ersatz panzer’ platoon (two Pz Mk III, one Stug III, and one Marder III)
    *Being out of supply, the German OOB was knocked down by 20%, which is why they are missing one rifle squad, one MG team, one mortar team, and one Pz Mk III.

    Soviets
    1 x rifle company (three platoons of PC and three rifle squads)
    1 x machine gun platoon (PC, three Maxim .30-cal MGs)
    1 x mortar platoon (PC, three 82mm mortar tubes)
    1 x infantry gun section (PC, two 76mm howitzers)
    2 x T-34 platoons (3 T-34/76 each)
    1 x Su-122 platoon (3 Su-122s; I used Su-122s because I don’t have enough T-34s, but the vehicles were treated as T-34s on the tabletop)
    1 x Su-76 platoon (3 Su-76s)
    1 x ‘Tank Rider’ platoon (PC and three rifle squads riding the S-76s)
    Off table support: 1 battery of four 120mm heavy mortars


    Let’s try this out, see how ya like it.  Here’s my scheme of maneuver overlay, showing the plan for both the Soviets and the Germans.  The Soviet plan is pretty simple, though they’re splitting forces a bit more than is probably normal.  The plan is for the Soviet armor to jailbreak through the gap between Snava and the North Wood, while 3rd Rifle Platoon takes Snava and the other two rifle platoons flank Snava to the south, both pincers supported by their heavy weapons stationed in Birnenwald.  The Germans have a bit of an interesting concept going on: first, they’re short on fuel and ammo.  Second, they’re facing a serious disparity in firepower.  Third, they’re facing a serious disparity in mobility.  So, they decide to emplace their direct-fire heavy hitters (the IGs, MGs, and ATGs) to interdict the Soviets most likely avenues of approach (the ATGs at bottom center to cover the entire arc between Snava and the Birnenwald, the MGs and IGs looking straight into the dark forest of the Birnenwald, where everyone is sure the Soviet infantry must emerge.  The German armor is in reserve, waiting to stem any Soviet breakthrough.  But the different piece is the three German rifle platoons: outnumbered and outmatched (very little organic anti-personnel capability beyond point-blank range, and no anti-tank capability beyond point-blank range), they are essentially conducing a ‘reverse-slope’ defense.

    Yes, I know there is no slope, but what I mean is that they are looking to take advantage of restrictive terrain in order to maximize their capability against enemy armor and infantry by forcing engagements at point-blank range only.  They are doing this by occupying the North Wood, the West Wood, and the village of Snava, but by occupying only the west, i.e., trailing, edge of those terrain features.  So, by occupying the west edge, the Soviets will have to push into the east edge in order come to grips with the Germans, negating the Soviet firepower advantage.  Or at least that is the theory.  So spotting and ‘recon by fire’ will be a big part of this game because the Soviets are carrying out a hasty attack, so they didn’t have time to conduct a thorough reconnaissance and thus they have to identify where the German defenders are emplaced.

    I am playing this game in 10mm on a 6′ x 4′ table.  The toys are a mix of Pendraken, Minifigs UK, and Takara.  The matt is from The Wargames Company, with trees, hedges, and buildings from Crescent Root, the pond from Battlefront, and the fields from Hotz Mats.  I am using the Too Fat Lardies’ “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” rules, modified a bit for simplicity.  I already mentioned spotting and recon by fire being a big part of this game; IABSM usually uses ‘blinds’ to depict hidden forces, but I am not going to do this as I’m playing solo and don’t want to confuse myself any more than normal 😉  It’s actually quite simple, no confusion involved, I just don’t want to do it as I’m not going to be able to surprise myself anyway, so I’m putting the toys on the table and rolling to spot.


    PaK Front!  Soviet tanks having a hard time getting off the start line!


    The Soviets have a toe-hold in Snava (far left) and their tanks are pounding it.


    But German infantry are stalking those very same armored fighting vehicles.


    The Soviet CO tries to get his stalled infantry attack on the left flank moving again.


    While the German CO is over there threatening to summarily execute his own troops!  “Not one step back!”

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2019/11/on-northern-shoulder-of-kursk-with.html

    So, a helluva fight that was a helluva lot of fun!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #126654
    Rod Robertson
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Jack:

    These are very interesting and engaging battle reports. Thanks for taking the time to create them and post them here. Good writing and exciting drama in mortal conflict. Plus great piccies! The days of carpet sections and felt patches are long gone and your battles look great. I also loved the resurrected France 1940 campaign. Keep up the great work and bravo, sir!

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #126655
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I was hoping the Soviet 120mm mortars were going to take out the AT guns. But I understand why you decided the Commander didn’t know they were there.

    #126708

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Rod – Hey man, good to know you’re still out there, still kicking.  Thanks for the kind words, it’s my pleasure, and I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

    I was happy to finally get back to KG Klink and finish off France, it took way too long.  I was getting ready to take KG Klink into Greece when this Kursk deal popped up unexpectedly.  Also, Major Schultz is splitting off, getting his own kampfgruppe, and taking it to Afrika!

    Yeah, the table and troops have definitely come a long way, much nicer than my old stuff, but those much fought over carpet hills were used in some of the most enjoyable games I ever played!

    John – Yeah, it certainly would have helped the Reds, as would getting troops into Snava quicker, which would have necessitated a quicker shift fire, though we could still argue about where that fire should have shifted.

    Make no mistake, I surely would have shifted it to the German ATG position, just sooner, but I will submit that battalion-level fire planning would probably call for it to be shifted next to the West Wood as that would have been the next issue, IF the Soviet armored advance hadn’t been so lethargic.

     

    V/R,

    Jack

    #126717
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Hey Rod, good to see ya!!!!

    #126721
    Rod Robertson
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Hey Kyoteblue:

    I hope you’re well and keeping up with your gaming. Are you still heavily into Team Yankee?

    Jack:

    Yeah, your old boards looked cheesy but the battles were and still are top notch. The reports are also outstanding, you do the hobby proud.

    I have to get back to my painting bench. Neo-Babylonians and Early Neo-Assyrians are on the bench right now along with biblical hordes galore.

    Cheers and good gaming gents.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #126723
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Rod, other than a play by Facebook campaign game along with a Pulp Call of Cthulhu RPG  I haven’t gamed anything in months. My local Game store closed and I have not tried to drive the hour to the old Game store.  No one is playing Team Yankee locally that I know.  Shrug I’m still slowly painting up Continental Line for Rebels and Patriots along with some leftover Zombies for new Grandkids to maybe play. Glad you’re still doing ancients !!

    #126724
    Norm S
    Norm S
    Participant

    Jack, I am enjoying the campaign very much and your 10mm table.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #126742

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thanks Rod, I appreciate it.  And what’s with you and Shaun and the naked dudes with spears???  I was hoping to hear more about your Marine rifle platoon in Afghanistan, or at least the tons of Cold War armor you’ve got!

    Norm – And thank you very much, Sir.  Your thoughtful and detailed posts inspired me to put more work and analysis into this write up, so I’m glad to hear from you.

    V/R,

    Jack

    #127168

    Thomaston
    Participant

    Seeing all the Russian tanks I thought the Germans were doomed. All I wanted from the battle was for the Panzer III and Marder to survive, now I wish they played more part in it. That’s a nice battle, very exciting, especially the infantry assault on the tanks. I was counting as each Russian tank got taken out.

    Tired is enough.

    #127183
    Whirlwind
    Whirlwind
    Participant

    Very nice report, loved the story, loved the look of the game, terrain and models both.

    It doesn’t seem unrealistic: c.3:1 odds for the Soviets seems to have been usually a 50:50 fight historically.  That said, as you say, it shows the importance of observation and clear fire lanes.  And a spot of luck!  Tactically the only thing I’d mention is that the Soviets might have used some smoke missions.

    https://hereticalgaming.blogspot.co.uk/

    #127215

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thomaston – Yeah, I really didn’t think the Germans had a chance, figured the Soviet tanks would quickly get in their rear area, overwhelm the Germans’ small armored reserve, and compel the German infantry to surrender.  At best, the German infantry abandons its heavy weapons and withdraws, but the Reds just couldn’t get their tanks moving.  Another thing I’ve been thinking about is that I should have had the Soviet CO over on the right with the tanks to help them out, not on the left with the infantry, but the CO’s card only came out a couple times, too.  It was quite tense, the German panzerknackers in the woods stalking the Soviet tanks, that was lots of fun, and it’s pretty cool when you really don’t even have to commit your reserve!  On a side note, it kinda worked out the way it’s supposed to for the Germans: panzerjaegers (the anti-tank guns) dealt with the enemy tanks, while the German tanks stayed concentrated and dealt the death blow to the enemy infantry.

    John – Thanks man, I’ve really been working on getting a better looking table, trying to keep up with you and Thomaston!  I agree with you regarding the odds, just the luck thing really held for the Germans as the Soviets practically had a highway to the German rear that they just couldn’t seem to exploit; if they had, it still wouldn’t have been a guaranteed win, but man, would that have been a helluva fight, with the German armored reserve  committed at pretty much point blank range, and two German rifle platoons trying to get into the mix.  Alas, ’twas not to be.  Regarding the use of smoke, I hadn’t really considered it as it doesn’t occur to me as part of the Soviet doctrine (certainly became popular with tank/mechanized forces generating their own in the Cold War); my readings suggest the Soviets used supporting fires to deliver massive amounts of HE, mostly on pre-registered targets.  I could definitely be wrong, I’m just not aware of many (any?) cases of the Soviets utilizing smoke to screen their attacks.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #127221
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Jack, you are right the Soviets dropped HE not smoke.

    #127258

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, I can’t say that definitely, just seems to be the case anecdotally.

    I’m getting ready to play the next fight in this series, and probably post my next Midway fight tomorrow.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    V/R,
    Jack

    #127267
    vtsaogames
    vtsaogames
    Participant

    Great stuff. Now to go baste the turkey. In-laws due in a bit.

    https://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

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