Sunday, January 18, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Game 7


It's 1700, 8 Sept 1939.  After a brief rest and reorg following the brutal fighting at Mokra, the kamfgruppe (as part of 4th Panzer Division) resumed its lightning advance east.  As the sun goes down and the light begins to fail, reconnaissance elements of Kampfgruppe Klink reach the western suburbs of Warsaw.  Neither side was truly prepared for what came next; the Poles were dismayed when their pickets reported German columns approaching Warsaw.  Caught out, they rushed ill equipped but very motivated elements of their National Guard to hold off the invaders until a formal defense could be mounted.

Similarly, the Germans wanted to force the door into Warsaw, but had only lightly-equipped troops available.  However, 1st Lt Unger (Recon Company Commander), being aggressive and exercising his initiative, decided to push ahead to force that door.

The opposing forces: Polish National Guard vs German Recon.

The Poles: CO, two MGs, and ten rifle teams (four with attached anti-tank rifles).

The Germans: CO is 1Lt Unger, Commander of the Recon Company; then there is 2Lt Wehner's Armored Car Plt, 2Lt Weider and three squads of his 1st Motorcycle Platoon, and 2Lt Wendt and all four squads of his 2nd Motorcyle Platoon.

Overview, north is up, showing German starting positions on left (west), Poles on right (east) on blinds.  At top left, Lt Weider's 1st M/C Plt has already dismounted, the CO and Lt Wehner's A/C Plt is at center, and Lt Wendt's 2nd M/C Plt is entering at bottom left, still mounted.

Then the Polish defenders are placed.  Lots of infantry and an MG at top right, another concentration of infantry and MG at center in/around the buildings.

Closer look at Polish line in the north.

And south.

And a close up of the German deployment.

The fight starts in the south, with Lt Wendt and two of his squads dismounting and moving up on the Polish squad in the treeline.

In the north, Sgt Pichler's Sdkfz 221 (bottom left) moves up in support of 1st M/C Plt, firing on the Polish rifle squad at center, getting 'men down' and forcing the rifle squad on the hill to fall back top right).

Then the Poles get screwed by rolling a scurry.  The Polish CO tries to reach the rifle squad with men down, but his sprint roll leaves him short, and so they try to recover themselves but fail and are out of the fight!  The squad that fell back off the hill (top right) rallied.  In response, 1st M/C Plt and Sgt Pichler's vehicle move up.

In the south, the Polish rifle squad in the treeline (bottom right) falls back, and Lt Wendt's units give chase, while in the center the CO and the two other armored cars move up.

Then the Germans roll a scurry, which is actually very timely, allowing the Recon Company to get nice and close to the enemy without drawing reaction fire.  The CO joins 2nd M/C Plt as they push forward in the south, and the enemy rifle squad in the woods falls back again (to the wall at bottom right), while the enemy MG in the building shifts his field of fire to his left (at 2nd M/C Plt).

Lt Weider leads his men and Sgt Pichler's armored car forward in the north, while the Polish CO and rifle squad that were in the field at center fall back.

The Poles roll a normal activation and a random event (suppressing fire, one rifle rolls 3S).  The MG in the building (top right) fires at 2nd Plt (bottom left), pinning Sgt Behrendt's 1st Squad (yellow bead in the treeline) and causing Lt Wendt's HQ section to fall back (red bead to their left).  The Polish rifle squad at the crook of the wall fires on Sgt Janke's squad, forcing them to fall back (far left with red bead), while the Polish squad that had been running away finds its testicles and gets back in the fight, taking up position on the road (far right) and firing to no effect.  A Polish AT rifle fired at one of the armored cars and missed.

I'm a bit frustrated; all that progress I'd made closing with the enemy, and they get a lucky round of firing which pins one and hunkers two squads...

While in the north, another Polish AT rifle fires, this time at Sgt Pichler's vehicle (far left), forcing it to fall back.

All of 2nd Platoon manages to rally to back into fighting shape, while both armored cars in the south open up a hell-acious fire on the center Polish position, eliminating a rifle squad w/ATR, pinning the rifle squad next to it and the MG in the building (top right).  Lt Wendt leads his men forward (bottom center, squad next to the CO's stand) and they fire on the Poles behind the bushes, pinning them, while Sgt Behrendt leapfrogs his men past the Lieutenant, and they open up on the Poles in the road, forcing them to fall back (top right).

The Polish CO (top right) hurries south and rallies the MG in the building, who lays into Lt Wendt's squad (bottom left), once again forcing them to fall back, while the pinned rifle squad at center fires on Sgt Behrendt's squad (bottom center, in woods at right), no effect.  The Poles sprint a rifle squad with an ATR south to try to deal with the two German armored cars there.

The Germans roll up a scurry: Lt Unger, the CO, is unable to rally Lt Wendt's squad, but the rest of 2nd Plt moves forward.

While Lt Wehner and Cadet Distler's vehicles creep forward in the center, which allows the Polish ATR squad to get into position at top left.

On the German left (in the north), Sgt Pichler's vehicle rallies while Lt Weider moves 1st Platoon forward.  Back in the south, the Polish CO moved further south to rally some of his troops.

The Polish CO and rifle squad he just rallied move up and hit Sgt Behrendt's squad in the flank (center, white bead), causing men down, while the MG fires at Cpl Zimmer's squad (bottom left), but misses!!!

But then the Polish ATR in the center fires several rounds in quick succession, and manages to damage Lt Wehner's engine, immobilizing the Sdkfz 231...

The CO, Lt Unger, manages to rally Lt Wendt's squad (off camera), and Cadet Distler moves his vehicle up in support of Lt Wehner's vehicle in an attempt to rally them, but they fail and bail out of the stricken armored car...  However, Distler's crew exacts a measure of retribution by cutting loose a stream of 20mm rounds into the offending Polish troops, putting them out of the fight.

Cpl Zimmer sprints his squad forward to aid Sgt Behrendt's hard-pressed squad, braving snap fire from the enemy machine gun in the building, and they manage to make it through and help them rally (bottom center).

Then it's time for glory: Cpl Mathes leads his squad forward in an a charge against the pinned Polish squad in the bushes.  The Poles snap fire, but the German squad makes it into contact!

But the wiley Poles show them the bayonet, eliminating Cpl Mathes' squad...  The Poles open up with their rifles and MG, but hit nothing.

Though the Polish MG in the north (off camera at top right) fires on Cadet Distler's armored car and pins it...

The German Commanding Officer, Lt Unger, feels the situation slipping away, and decides on decisive action.  He quickly moves to Cpl Zimmer's squad and leads them into close combat with the Polish squad in the bushes (that just defeated Cpl Mathes' squad), and the Germans carry the day!

Lt Unger continues the momentum, and leads the men into close combat at the wall, winning again!

But they pushed their luck once too often, and when they decided to move forward to charge the enemy MG in the building, the stoic Polish gunner unlocked the gun from its T/E, swung it left, and gunned down Cpl Zimmer's squad AND the German Commanding Officer!

This is fight number seven, and marks the first time either side has lost its CO...

The Polish machine gun team, looking down at the carnage...

Sgt Pichler moves his vehicle up in support, while Cpl Zuckert pushes his luck, charging into the street (top center), and his squad is gunned down...

Granted, when things go bad they go real bad, and certainly I've been pushing my luck a bit too much in this fight, but you have to realize how small the chances are of getting gunned down by snap fire: that is rolling 1D6, and getting a 6, twice (the enemy MG in the south, and this rifle squad in the north).

The Polish CO moves north, while his MG (building) fires at Sgt Janke's squad (bottom left), but misses.

While in the center Cadet Distler's vehicle moves right (bottom right) and exchanged fire with an ATR, to no effect, and Sgt Sachs' squad moves up (bottom left).

The Germans attempt to outflank the Poles in the south, but the Poles are able to match every move, and ultimately shut the door when the rifle team (w/ATR, in building at center right) fires on Cadet Distler's vehicle, momentarily putting them out of action.  Sgt Janke's squad rushes to them and aids them rallying themselves.

Meanwhile the Germans in the north demonstrate, but are unable to maneuver to advantage, the Poles' are simply too well established in defensive positions.  As the senior remaining officer, Lt Weider fired the signal flare ordering his men to fall back.  Lt Unger's gambit to force the way into Warsaw by sheer speed and audacity has failed, and he paid for it with his life...

-1st Lt Unger (Recon Co Cmdr), Wound Badge, KIA, F7, recommended Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading three close assaults.
-Cpl Mathes (4th Squad, 2nd M/C Plt, Recon Co), Wound Badge, KIA, F7.
-Cpl Zimmer (3rd Squad, 2nd M/C Plt, Recon Co), Wound Badge, Captured, F7, recommended Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading three close assaults.
-Sgt Janke (2nd Squad, 2nd M/C Plt, Recon Co), recommended for Iron Cross 2nd Class for assistance provided under heavy fire to Officer Cadet Distler's armored car.
-Lost ~40 KIA/WIA, ~15 EPW, one Sdkfz 231, and one Sdkfz 221.
-Caused ~50 KIA/WIA.

Yowzah!  What a fight!  I don't know if it came through or not as I wrote this up quite a bit after I actually played it, but the fight was a blast.  I don't like to lose, so let's call it a draw, but I don't even mind losing when there's such a great back and forth, it was very dramatic.  I really had the feeling of doing everything I could, but just couldn't get it to work.  Next up, reinforcements arrive and the Germans try to bully their way in.  Oh, but the Poles were reinforced also, and it was another great fight!


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