Saturday, January 24, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Game 10


It's 1400, 14 Sept 1939, and, following its success in repelling a local Polish penetration on 12 September, the KG has been busy shoring up its cordon and patrolling aggressively to determin enemy strength, dispositions, and intentions.  10th Army HQ iterated several threats to 4th Pz Div that never really materialized, and then patrols determined the enemy had seized the town of Lokoshawo (fictional); Col Klink was determined to get there the 'firstest with the mostest' (i.e., a hasty attack using forces immediately to hand, as opposed to a deliberate assault), and so he launched a detachment to clean the enemy out of the town, dispatching the bulk of the 2nd and 3rd Grenadier Platoons, along with two tanks of 4th Panzer Platoon, let by the Schutzen Company commander, 1Lt Freitag (wearer of the Iron Cross 2nd Class).

The opposing forces: a small infantry force armed with several anti-tank rifles supported by a single medium tank, versus a largely German infantry force backed by a pair of tanks.

The Germans: 1st Lt Freitag commanding, Sgt Mangold's Pz Mk IV, Cpl Graebner's Pz Mk II, and LCpl Steinkamp's MG34 supporting three squads of 2nd Lt Tausch's 3rd Platoon (Sgt Schlesssinger, Cpl Nader, and Cpl Hauer), and three 2nd Platoon Squads (Sgt Aust, Sgt Haas, holder of the Iron Cross 2nd Class, and LCpl Axthelm).

The Poles: CO, 7TP medium tank (which looks suspiciously like a Soviet T-26, though they actually do look quite similar), six rifle squads, and four ATRs (which are not separate units, but attached to the rifle squads).

Overview, north is up, Poles on the left (west, still on blinds, AKA poker chips), and Germans on the right (east).  The Germans have 2nd Plt with the Pz II in the north, and the CO, 3rd Plt, the MG, and the Pz IV in the south.

Germans in the north.

Germans in the south.

Poles in the north, very sparse, only two rifle squads (bottom left), one with ATR (German 2nd Plt at top right).

Poles in the south, opposite 3rd Platoon (off camera to right).

The fight starts with LCpl Steinkamp (bottom right) moves hit MG34 into position and gets it set up, while Lt Tausch moves his men forward (those are Poles at far left).

The Poles roll a 'scurry' and aggressively move forward into the park, essentially looking to swarm the German Pz IV and overwhelm it.

The Germans in the south react by straightening their lines and assigning field of fire to take on the Polish swarm.

In the north the Poles (far left) move up a bit less rashly, but the Germans, having quite a numerical advantage, push aggressively ahead.

Then the Germans roll a @#$% scurry (I really needed a firefight, or at least a 'normal' activation)...  The Germans don't really have anywhere to go, but the Poles continue their advance in the south.

While both sides (Poles at center/top center, Germans surrounding from bottom center to right) dance in the north, getting very close to each other, meaning a very quick and violent fight is likely to ensue.  In retrospect, the Poles, at least in the north, should probably have been a bit more cautious, trading space for time, but the knowledge the German tank would simply chase them down and pin them for the German infantry to eliminate meant a 'cast of the die' approach not seem all that bad; go big or stay home, right?

All hell is about to break loose, and here's a spoiler alert: this was the shortest (time-wise) fight I've had.  The enemies are practically on top of each other, so things happened real quick (minus my bad dice rolling).

The Poles continue with their rashness: the Polish tank knows the German Pz IV is hiding behind the building, but he's out for blood and charges to point blank range!  I decide to reserve my firing dice for return fire (assuming I survive the Polish fire), vice snap fire, and it pays off!  The Polish tank moves up and fires, missing Sgt Mangold's Pz IV lurking in the side street.  Mangold's gunner calmly lays the gun and fires, and the Polish tank is brewed up!  But then a Polish ATR (far left) fires on Mangold's tank, and the rounds are effective enough to pin the crew.

Then the Germans roll up a firefight; perfect!  Everyone fires, but not a single Polish team is eliminated...  But everyone in the south is hit: one Polish squad is 'man down' (white bead), two fall back (red beads), and one is pinned (yellow bead).

In the north (Poles on left, Germans on right/top), everyone fires (the tank and three rifle squads), but manage only a pin.  Polish fire pins Sgt Aust's squad...

Then the Poles roll a normal activation, plus a random event: 'Lull,' meaning all their units recover.  Uh oh...  That's a 'man down,' two hunkers, and two pins that just got back to fighting trim. BS!!!!

An ATR pops several rounds at Mangold's Pz IV, to no effect, and so another Polish squad moves up (far left); Cpl Nader's squad 'guard fires,' but misses, and so the Poles fire their ATR at Mangold's tank, causing it to fall back and hunker (far right)!!!  The Poles are very close to forcing the Pz IV to leave the table...

Lt Freitag (off camera to right) tries to rally Sgt Mangold's tank, and gets them up from hunker to pin, while Steikamp's MG34 (bottom right) fires on the two enemy squads at the fountain, forcing one to fall back (top left) and pinning the other.  Meanwhile, Cpl Hauer's squad (bottom center) moves up and fires, pinning the enemy squad opposite them.

In the north, Cpl Graebner advanced his Pz II and fired on the enemy squad with the ATR, getting a 'man down' result (but no morale effect on the other squad, center; my dice rolling is really sucking!).

The Poles roll up a normal activation, but another random event, and this time it goes against them.  They roll up 'confusion,' one unit may not act this turn.  I assign a number to each unit and roll a dice, and it ends up that it's the Polish CO.  Not killer, but it does mean they don't get a 'free' shot at rallying/recovering a unit.

In the south, LCpl Steinkamp's MG34 receives fire (far right in building), but is none the worse for wear, while Cpl Hauer's squad (bottom center) is pinned.

Then the Germans roll a firefight.  Since the CO is next to Sgt Mangold's Pz IV, I allow him to try to rally the tank.  I roll a '6' which is great, right?  Not in these rules (when you're rolling to rally/recover you want to roll 2-5); apparently Sgt Mangold's had taken some damage from the enemy tank and/or the various shots by the enemy anti-tank rifles, for he wheeled his vehicle on one track then rushed away to the rear (Klink should have severely chastised him, or worse, but Mangold and his crew had just knocked out the enemy tank, so we cut him some slack).

Back to the firefight, and my dice finally come around: Cpl Hauer's squad (bottom center) unleashes a hellacious fire and knocks out the enemy squad opposite them, Steinkamp's MG (just off camera to right) fires and gets man down (top center left), while Cpl Nader's squad (just seen at far right) fires and KO's another Polish squad (at fountain).  Lt Tausch and Sgt Schlessinger's squads (top right) fire and force the last enemy squad to fall back (red bead at top left).  The enemy has no one to react with in the south.

And in the north, Cpl Graebner's Pz II forces one enemy squad to fall back (bottom center), while the concentrated fire of Sgt Haas and LCpl Axthelm's squads eliminates the other enemy squad (far left, casualty figure next to the telephone pole).

The Poles are now officially in bad shape: they have their CO, a rifle squad that's 'man down,' and a rifle squad that is hunkered (can't move or shoot) in the south, and they have a rifle squad that's hunkered in the north.  The Germans had their Pz IV leave the scene, but otherwise have not lost any units, so this fight is about over.

The Polish CO tries to recover the man-down squad, but fails, so they do it themselves (meaning they are rallied, but they don't get to act this turn), and the other squad in the south rallied itself.

Then, apparently I didn't take any more pictures.  But it's okay, but it was pretty straightforward: in the south, 3rd Platoon moved forward and fired, knocking out one of the three Polish squads, which was enough for the Polish CO to grab his last two squads and head for the hills.

-Sgt Mangold (Vehicle 2, 4th Pz Plt) knocked out an enemy tank (F10).
-Lost ~10 WIA/KIA
-Caused ~40 WIA/KIA and destroyed one medium (7TP) tank.

That fight was quick, the quickest I've played yet, about thirty-five minutes. so it actually took longer to set up the fight than to carry out the fight, and mostly I think this was due to the Poles really working to close distance quickly.  I had two issues, if you will: 1) I rolled up 'urban' for the table's terrain, but I didn't mean to set it up as a damned city, it just sort of happened.  I wish I'd have kept it a bit more open, or forced it to house to house fighting (rather than the mad Polish rush through the park in the south).  I toyed with the idea of leaving the defenders on blinds (poker chits) until spotted, but that didn't feel like it would have worked out very well.

So, not that it was a bad fight (hell, I won), it's just that I think it would have been a bit more tough and satisfying if the Poles had sold themselves a bit more dearly.  Don't worry, the next one was incredibly brutal, bloody, and bananas, I mean, absolutely ridiculous!!!



  1. Company level battle in 35 minutes? Blitzkrieg indeed!

    Nice to see the urban terrain get some use. The little fountain is a nice centre-piece.

    Still waiting on my bases from Litko though that's the fault of UPS, not Litko. Jerks.

    1. aaand they arrived. Only one day late I guess.

  2. Yep, it was quick and fun, not least because I won handily ;)

    Glad you're stuff arrived, and the photos look good, you just need to paint them ;)
    I really think they look good the way you've got them; I wouldn't sweat bigger bases, and now your forces are stretching further (2 veh per, rather than 3). Sounds like a bit of capitalistic innovation ;)

    I've got another urban fight coming up soon, but I'm going to try to have it a bit more sprawling.


  3. I am actually slightly concerned about priming them since I don't want the detail to get obscured.
    Maybe a really light spray will do.

  4. These are great reports. You could use them as the skeleton of a novel.

    I managed to get 4 games of Pike and Shotte in today and was thinking that was good going, but you've done 10+ games since New Year! Great reports, look forward to the next.

    Cheers, Andy

  5. Oh, stop it Andy, you're gonna make me blush!

    I am certainly glad to hear you're liking the reports; they're quite a bit of work, but I like sharing them online so I'm glad to hear someone's reading them! No plans for a novel, but you can see that the story-telling aspect of the campaign is a major part of wargaming for me.

    Good Lord, 4 games in one day! My back hurts just thinking about it ;)


  6. I have to agree with you Jack, the Poles did not have to move so far forward. The game might have taken 45 minutes if they were not so aggressive!