Friday, February 27, 2015

KG Klink OOB - France 1940

Here is the Table of Organization for KG Klink for the Campaign in France, May 1940.

The patriarch, founding father, patron saint, original member, and Lieutenant Colonel of Panzer troops commanding the kampfgruppe, now sporting the Iron Cross 2nd Class for his combat leadership during the campaign in Poland:

                                                                Lieutenant Colonel Klink

Date/Location: France, May 1940

Legend: IAB: Infantry Assault Badge
              PAB: Panzer Assault Badge
              TKB: Tank Killer Badge
              Orange Highlight ("PolCam"): Sort of a campaign ribbon to show he fought in Poland.
              Red Highlight (with number): Shows the number of tanks knocked out by that Panzer crew.
              Green Highlight ("IC1" and IC2)" Iron Cross holder, either 1st or 2nd Class.

Commanding Officer: Lt Col Klink (IAB, PolCam, FreCam, IC2)
Executive Officer: Maj Schultz (IAB, WB (1), PolCamFreCam, IC2)

Panzer Company - Capt Bohm (PAB, WB (1), PolCam, FreCam(Pz IVD)

1st Panzer Platoon - 2nd Lt Schiffer (PAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam) (Pz Ib)
Vehicle Two - Sgt Zedler (PAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam) (Pz II)
Vehicle Three - Sgt Mettner (PolCam FreCam) (Pz II) 
Vehicle Four - Cpl Gruden  ( FreCam) (Pz II)
Vehicle Five - Cpl Peske ( FreCam) (Pz Ib)

2nd Panzer Platoon - 1st Lt Loeb (PAB, WB (2), PolCam, FreCam, IC1 and 2(5 TK) (Pz IIIF)
Vehicle Two - SSgt Grossman (PAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam(Pz IIIF) 
Vehicle Three - Sgt Mayer (PAB, PolCam FreCam(1 TK) (Pz IIIF)
Vehicle Four - Sgt Harms (PolCam FreCam(Pz IIIE) 
Vehicle Five -  (Pz IIIE)

3rd Panzer Platoon - Sgt Fittzbaum (PAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam(Pz IIIF)
Vehicle Two - Cpl Otjen (PAB, PolCam FreCam(1 TK) (Pz IIIE)
Vehicle Three -  Cpl Krisnel ( FreCam) (Pz IIIE)
Vehicle Four -  Cpl Geiger ( FreCam) (Repl, F4) (Pz IIIF)
Vehicle Five - (Pz IIIE)

4th Panzer Platoon - SSgt Mangold (PAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam) (2 TK) (Pz IVC) 
Vehicle Two -   Cpl Rausch ( FreCam) (Repl, F4) (Pz IVD) 
Vehicle Three - Sgt Graebner (PAB, PolCam FreCamIC1 and 2(4 TK) (Pz IVD)  
Vehicle Four -  Sgt Kapp (PolCam FreCam(Pz IVC) *Withdrew against orders (F6)
Vehicle Five - Cpl Progen ( FreCam) (Pz IVC)

Schutzen Company - 1st Lt Tausch (IAB, PolCam FreCamIC1 and 2)

1st Grenadier Platoon - 1st Lt Klugmann (IAB, PolCam FreCamIC1 and 2)
1st Rifle Squad - Sgt Kamphaus (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
2nd Rifle Squad - Sgt Lehmkuhl (IAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam)
3rd Rifle Squad - Cpl Arteis ( FreCam)
4th Rifle Squad - (Elim F2)

2nd Grenadier Platoon - 1st Lt Ost (IAB, WB (1), PolCam, FreCam)
1st Rifle Squad - Sgt Lutz (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
2nd Rifle Squad - Cpl Lipniki ( FreCam) (Repl F4)
3rd Rifle Squad -  Sgt Axthelm (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
4th Rifle Squad - (Elim F5)

3rd Grenadier Platoon - SSgt Janke (IAB, PolCam FreCam, IC2)
1st Rifle Squad - Sgt Nader (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
2nd Rifle Squad - Cpl Arndt (IAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam)
3rd Rifle Squad - Cpl Coulver ( FreCam)
4th Rifle Squad - (Elim F5)

4th Grenadier Platoon - Sgt Imhofe (IAB, PolCam FreCamIC2)
1st Rifle Squad - Sgt Kandler (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
2nd Rifle Squad - Cpl Rishel ( FreCam)
3rd Rifle Squad - LCpl Hackl (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
4th Rifle Squad - (Elim F5)

Schwere Platoon - Gapped
MG Squad - Cpl Creuzburg (IAB, PolCam FreCam(MG34) 
                   - LCpl Steinkamp (IAB, PolCam FreCam(MG34)
Mortar Squad - Sgt Osswald (IAB, PolCam FreCam(80mm mortar)
                       - LCpl Vigerte ( FreCam) (80mm mortar)
Field Gun Section - Sgt Oberlander (IAB, PolCam FreCam(75mm gun)
                              - Cpl Kallmeyer (IAB, PolCam FreCam(75mm gun)
Anti-Tank Gun Section - Sgt Kallenbach (IAB, WB (2), PolCam FreCam, IC2) (2 TK) (PaK-36 37mm ATG) 
                                       - Cpl Drexler (IAB, PolCam FreCam(PaK-36 37mm ATG)

Reconnaissance Company - 1st Lt Wehner (IAB, TKB (1), WB (2), PolCam FreCamIC2)

Armored Reconnaissance Platoon - 2nd Lt Weider (IAB, PolCam FreCam(1 TK) (Sdkfz 222)
2nd Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle - Sgt Keck, (PAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam, IC2) (1 AC) (Pz II) 
3rd Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle -  (Sdkfz 231)
4th Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle - LCpl Fasbender (FreCam) (Rep F2) (Sdkfz 222)
5th Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle - Cpl Edst  (FreCam,IC2) (Sdkfz 222)

1st Motorcycle Platoon - SSgt Dorn (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
1st Motorcycle Squad - SSgt Sachs (IAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam)
2nd Motorcycle Squad - Cpl Wilhelm (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
3rd Motorcycle Squad - Cpl Wallon ( FreCam)
4th Motorcycle Squad - (Combined with 2nd Squad, F1)

2nd Motorcycle Platoon - SSgt Behrendt (IAB, PolCam FreCam, IC2)
1st Motorcycle Squad - Sgt Eisen (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
2nd Motorcycle Squad - Cpl Obst (IAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam)
3rd Motorcycle Squad - Cpl Pankau (IAB, PolCam FreCamIC2)
4th Motorcycle Squad - (Elim F6)

Assault Engineer Platoon - 2nd Lt Orstens (PolCam FreCam)
1st Engineer Squad - Sgt Barkstrom (IAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam, IC2)
2nd Engineer Squad - Sgt Klivens (IAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam)
3rd Engineer Squad - Cpl Dilbertt (IAB, PolCam FreCam)
4th Engineer Squad - (Elim F6)

Assault Gun Platoon - Sgt Wagner (FreCam) (Stug III)
2nd Assault Gun - Sgt Gebhardt (FreCam) (Stug III)
3rd Assault Gun - Sgt Kulle (FreCam) (Stug III)

Panzerjaeger Platoon -Sgt Dittrich (FreCam) (PzJgr I)
2nd Anti-Tank Vehicle - Sgt Taube (FreCam) (PzJgr I)
3rd Anti-Tank Vehicle - Cpl Hamburg (FreCam) (PzJgr I)

Sgt Pichler (PAB, WB (1), PolCam, FreCamIC2), V3 Arm Rec Plt, Campaign  (F1).
Cpl Visner (IAB, WB (1), FreCamIC2), 4th Squad, 1st M/C Plt, Campaign (F1).
Cpl Dortmund (PAB, WB (1), FreCam), V4 Arm Rec Plt, KIA (F1).
Cpl Benten (PAB, WB (1), FreCam), V5, 2nd Pz Plt, KIA (F1).
Sgt Lowenstam (IAB, WB (2), PolCam, Frecam), 2nd Squad, 1st M/C Plt, KIA (F1).
Cpl Orel (IAB, WB (1), FreCam), 4th Squad, 1st Inf Plt, Campaign (F2).
SSgt Friessler (PAB, WB (1), PolCam, Frecam) (4 TK), 3rd Pz Plt Cmdr, Campaign (F3).
Sgt Jurgens (PAB, WB (2), PolCamFrecam), V2, 4th Pz Plt, Campaign (F3).
Sgt Emmerich (PAB, WB (1), PolCamFrecam), V3, 3rd Pz Plt, KIA (F3).
Sgt Hasselbach (IAB, WB (2), PolCam,Frecam), 2nd Squad, 3nd Inf Plt, KIA (F4).
Sgt Hauer (IAB, WB (2), PolCamFrecam,IC2), 1st Squad, 3rd Inf Plt, KIA (F5).
Capt Freitag (IAB, WB (2), PolCamFrecam, IC2), Infantry Co Cmdr, Campaign (F5).
SSgt Mader (IAB, TKB (1), WB (1), PolCamFrecam, IC2), 4th Plt Cmdr, Campaign (F5).
SSgt Aust (IAB, WB (1), PolCam, Frecam), 1st Squad, 1st Inf Plt, Campaign (F5).
Cpl Rein (IAB, WB (1), FreCam) (Repl F1), 2nd Squad, 1st Motorcycle Plt, KIA (F6)
SSgt Gradl (IAB, WB (2), PolCam FreCamIC1 and 2), 1st M/C Plt Cmdr,  Campaign (F6).
Sgt Hafl (IAB, WB (1), PolCam FreCam, IC2), Engineer Platoon, Campaign (F6).


Left Out of Battle:
Officer Cadet Fahrmann (1st Pz Plt, PAB, PolCam), (2 TK) (Officer Training)
Officer Cadet Kleiber (4th Pz Plt, PAB, WB (1), PolCam) (Officer Training)
Officer Cadet Hinkle (1st Gren Plt, IAB, WB (1), PolCam(Officer Training)
Officer Cadet Haas (2nd Gren Plt, IAB, PolCamIC2) (Officer Training)
Officer Cadet Distler (Arm Rec Plt, PAB, PolCam(Officer Training)

F1: Lost: 35 KIA/WIA, 1 Pz Mk III, 1 Pz Mk II, 1 Sdkfz 232, 1 Sdkfz 222; Caused: 50 KIA/WIA, captured 10, captured 1 damaged H35 light tank.

F2: Lost: ~15 KIA/WIA; Caused: ~35 KIA/WIA, captured ~15 POW, knocked out two H39 tanks.

F3: Lost: ~15 KIA/WIA, 2 Pz Mk III, 2 Pz Mk IV; Caused: ~20 KIA/WIA, captured ~10 POWs, 1 H39 knocked out, 1 Char B knocked out, 1 H39 damaged and captured, 2 Char Bs damaged and captured.

F4: Lost: ~10 KIA/WIA, 1 Pz Mk III; Caused: ~70 KIA/WIA, captured ~50 POWs, 2 R35s knocked out, 2 25mm ATGs captured.

F5: Lost: ~55 KIA/WIA, 1 Pz Mk III, 1 Sdkfz 221; Caused: ~40 KIA/WIA, ~20 POWs, 1 Char B heavy tank, 1 25mm ATG.

F6: Lost: ~25 KIA/WIA, 1 PaK-36 ATG; Caused: ~60 KIA/WIA, 1 75mm field piece, two Somua S35 medium tanks.

Looking for answers

Just checked and saw that the blog had 400 hits last night, which is not only a one day record, but comes on the heels of several days of ~20 hit days.

Does anyone have any idea why? Did someone post something somewhere that's driving this upswing in traffic?  I'm expecting to find something along the lines of "check out this backwards $&@! using carpet and bathroom tiles for his games!" ;)

I looked on TMP, TWW, and Pendraken, didn't see anything.  Thoughts?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Epilogue


Some stats for you:
-16 individual actions in two major and one minor battles.
-Including Lt Col Klink, who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for his overall leadership of KG Klink during the campaign in Poland, KG Klink personnel were awarded 19 Iron Crosses (including two Iron Cross 1st Class).
-Three men were awarded the Tank Killer Badge (Sgt Mader of 4th Grenadier Platoon, Lt Wehner, Acting Reconnaissance Company Commander, and Sgt Albrecht, Assault Engineer Platoon).
-The vast majority of men that took part in the bulk of the campaign were awarded either the Panzer Assault Badge or Infantry Assault Badge (you won't see it in the KG Klink Poland OOB, it is reflected in the KG Klink France OOB, which I've already created).
-The games themselves lasted between 40 and 90 minutes, with the average being about 60 minutes.
-It took me too long for battle prep, about an hour (for each fight) to set up the table, select the forces, and match them up with my campaign OOB.
-It took me an average of 90 minutes to type up each batrep, not including another 15 minutes to post it online and 20 minutes to upload photos.
-All told, about 50 hours of work went into the games, more if you include me thinking of the campaign, writing up the campaign plan, and other assorted administrivia.

German KIA/WIA: 450
German POW: 30
German Tank Losses: 16 (6 Pz II, 8 Pz III, 2 Pz IV)
German Vehicle Losses: 6 (3 Sdkfz 221, 1 Sdkfz 231, 2 Truck)
German Artillery Losses: 2 (1 80mm mortar, 1 37mm ATG)

Polish KIA/WIA: 720
Polish POW: 205
Polish Tank Losses: 14 (5 Tankette, 9 7TP)
Polish Vehicle Losses: 2 (armored car)
Polish Artillery Losses: (1 82mm mortar, 2 76mm Field Gun, 10 37mm ATG)

KG Strength:
KG HQ Element:          Start - 30     End - 20
Panzer Company           Start - 120   End - 65
               Start - 8 Pz II, 10 Pz III, 3 Pz IV    End - 4 Pz II, 6 Pz III, 2 Pz IV
Schutzen Company       Start - 275   End - 185
Reconnaissance Co       Start - 135   End - 80
               Start - 1 Sdkfz 231, 2 Sdkfz 221     End - 1 Sdkfz 231, 1 Sdkfz 221
Engineer Platoon           Start - 50     End - 40
Totals:                            Start - 610   End - 370

Replacement personnel during campaign: 160
Replacement vehicles during campaign: 2 Pz II, 4 Pz III, 1 Pz IV, 1 Sdkfz 231, 2 Sdkfz 221

Further notes on casualties:
The KG's officers were hit extremely hard:
-The KG XO, Major Schultz, was wounded and missed a substantial portion of the campaign.
-Every officer in the entire Panzer Company was a casualty, not one finished the campaign.  Panzer Sergeants finished the campaign as the Acting Company Commander and Acting Platoon Commanders.
-The Schutzen Company lost two of four Platoon Commanders.
-The Reconnaissance Company lost one of three Platoon Commanders and its Company Commander.
-The Panzer Company and the Reconnaissance Company ended the campaign on their third company commander.
-Ultimately, two of three Company Commanders were lost, as were their replacements, and seven of eleven Platoon Commanders were lost.  The KG suffered from its leaders leading from the front.
-Lt Wehner, Acting Reconnaissance Company Commander was wounded twice during the campaign.
-To illustrate that point, the KG XO, two Company Commanders, and three Platoon Commanders were awarded Iron Crosses, including two Grenadier Platoon Commanders being awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class.

If anyone is interested...


Monday, February 23, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Game 16


It's 1000, 19 Sept 1939, and, having discovered the positions opposite them abandoned, KG Klink has moved north across the river to begin the grim process of reducing the Kutno pocket.  The Poles are beat and they know it; they fought bravely to break through the German trap, but their men are exhausted and their equipment expended, and they are further disheartened as news of the Soviet betrayal (the Soviet invasion of Poland on 17 Sept 1939) has just reached them.  The Poles are surrendering in droves, though some pockets of resistance remain.

One such pocket is at the village of Krowice (fictional), where KG Klink reconnaissance discovered dug-in enemy troops at approximately 0800 this morning.  They promptly pulled back to higher ground to observe as the Poles were given a healthy dose of air and artillery, and no sooner had the last Stuka pulled out of its dive then elements of KG Klink were streaming forward to break the Polish position, looking to hit the Poles before they'd fully recovered from the supporting fires.  It worked.

The opposing forces.

The Germans, with a star studded roster of no less than four holders of the Iron Cross 2nd Class: led by the Schutzen Company Comander, 1st Lt Freitag (Iron Cross), all of his 3rd Grenadier Platoon (led by 2nd Lt Tausch, Sgt Schlessinger's 1st Squad, Cpl Nader's 2nd Squad, Cpl Hauer - Iron Cross - 3rd Squad, and Cpl Kamphaus' 4th Squad), three squads from 4th Grenadier Platoon (acting platoon commander Sgt Mader - Iron Cross - with the HQ section, Cpl Kandler's 1st Squad, and Cpl Imhofe -Iron Cross - 3rd Squad), supported by two tanks of 2nd Panzer Platoon (acting Platoon Commander Sgt Grossman's Pz Mk III and LCpl Otjen's Pz Mk II) and Cpl Osswald's 80mm mortar.

The great irony here is that I made a colossal mistake: with four Iron Cross holders on the table at the same time, which I rate as 'heroes' in the rules, allowing them to to self rally their units without using an activation, AND giving +1 in close combat, I NEGLECTED TO PLACE THE HERO FIGURES ON THE BOARD, so those three units (the CO happens to be a hero, but I don't give COs any extra juice in the game, they already get to rally without using an action and provide +1 in CC, but I screwed Cpl Hauer, Sgt Mader, and Cpl Imhofe's squads).  Luckily a new hero emerged, who pretty much single-handedly wrapped up the victory for KG Klink.

The Poles, with their CO, a Maxim .30-cal MG, a 37mm anti-tank gun, a 76mm field gun, and eight rifle squads, are dug-in but demoralized.

Overview, north is up, with Germans coming from the south and Poles dug-in in the north.  Lt Freitag, the CO, is with Lt Tausch's 3rd Platoon in the center, 4th Platoon is moving up on the far right, and the two Panzers are at bottom left, having been late to the line of departure.  The Poles are dug-in, but have been pounded for several hours, and the Germans are looking to close the distance rapidly to take advantage of the Poles shell-shocked state (note: I didn't do anything to penalize the Poles in the game, this is just narrative that fits after the fact of what happened on the tabletop, if that makes sense).

The German left, with Sgt Grossman and LCpl Otjen's panzers at bottom left, enemy across the top, and 3rd Gren Plt at top right, almost even with the Polish first line of defense.

The German right, with 3rd Gren Plt and CO at center left (mortar atop the hill at left) and 4th Gren Plt at far right, with Poles again across the top.  On the right side the Polish line bends back a bit, to they're still in good stead, but the left side of the Polish line (looking from the German perspective) is already almost outflanked.  This is simply how things worked out with the blinds.

The left side of the map, showing the Polish right.  They have three bunkers on the two hills (top left and to right), from left to right: anti-tank gun, field gun, machine gun.  You can see two lines of infantry, each with three rifle squads, protecting the emplacements (mostly the ATG, I suppose), in this photo.

A look at the Poles on the right side of the table, with a better look at their two right-side hilltop positions, and the two rifle squads they have protecting them (bottom right).

The fight is on.

The game starts with a German firefight, which initially I thought was bad news (I even wrote a curse word in my notes), as I want to move up as quickly as possible, but it actually turned out fantastic.  It starts with LCpl Otjen's Pz II (off camera to bottom left) firing on the enemy machine gun, forcing them to fall ack (bottom right, red bead).  Then Lt Tausch's squad (off camera to bottom) fires on the enemy field gun, with only 1 shock die, and force them to fall back, abandoning the gun (crew at center, red bead).  Then, Cpl Osswald's 80mm mortar fires on the enemy anti-tank gun (top left), getting 'man down.'

Amazing, all the enemy heavy weapons are temporarily out of the fight (though none were knocked out). It's about to be blitzkrieg up in here.

This photo is looking west, at the German far right, where 4th Platoon gets into it with the two Polish rifle squads on this flank.  Cpl Kandler's squad is forced to fall back (bottom left, red bead), while one enemy squad is 'man down' (center right, white bead).  The Poles got in a lucky shot that put Sgt Schlessinger's squad (from 3rd Plt) out of the fight (casualty figure at top center left).

Then the Poles roll a scurry, which should suck for them as they really need to use their firepower to beat the Germans back, except all their heavy weapons are in bad morale states, so the scurry actually helps them a great deal, as their ATG recovers from man down and their field gun crew rallies.  The machine gun team is only able to upgrade from suppressed (hunker) to pin, but then their CO moves over and rallies them.

The Polish squad at center right (behind trees and bushes, just below crater) recovers from man down, as does Cpl Kandler's squad (off camera to bottom right).

And here's where things get glorious: the German infantry can see enemy forces that rallied, so they get to move, and they push forward very, very aggressively.  4th Gren Plt can be seen at bottom right, but the real action is on the left side where Lt Tausch and Cpl Nader lead their squads forward, penetrating the Polish defenses.

My Pz II (off camera to bottom left) is able to move up, but the Pz III can't see anything and so is unable to move.

But then the Germans roll a scurry!

Staying aggressive, 4th Gren Plt moves up on the right (Cpl Imhofe's squad at far right, in the open right next to a Polish rifle squad, with Cpl Kandler's squad at bottom right and Sgt Mader's squad between the two).  But again the real action is with 3rd Gren Plt, where Lt Tausch is determined to carry the day.  Look at the top left center of the photo: you should see two emplacements, both empty as German fire has driven back the enemy field gun and machine gun crews.  If you look just below the right-hand emplacement, that's Lt Tausch's HQ section.  Fantastic!

Below him you can see his other squads strung out behind him.  Further great news is that the Polish field gun and machine gun crews are behind the hill, and thus can't see the Germans, and so they can't react.

I'm quite a bit nervous about this move, as it's going to leave them open to fire from the Polish ATG (top left) during their turn, but I move the panzers ahead (this photo is looking east-northeast).

But then the Poles roll a damned scurry!  The defenders can feel things slipping away from them, so they decide to get aggressive as well.

On the far left, under the watch of their ATG (who can't fire because it's a scurry), the Poles decide to bolster their chances of taking out the German tanks by rushing two rifle squads forward into position to close assault the panzers.

But the panzers wisely fall back.  This means it will take two turns for the Polish rifles (bottom left) to get into close assault, but the ATG (off camera to top left) is still an issue that needs to be dealt with, so falling back is only a 'good' move and not a brilliant one.

The Poles move another rifle squad forward towards the German tanks (bottom left, tanks off camera to bottom, the Polish infantry here are two moves from close combat with the tanks), while the Poles move all their other rifles right to deal with 3rd Gren Plt (Lt Tausch is at far right, just below the right-hand emplacement, with the rest of his platoon strung out below him).

The really suck part is that the field gun crew re-mans its gun in the left-hand emplacement, while the machine gun team re-mans the right emplacement.

The Germans on the right react, with 4th Gren Plt straightening its line (the blue bases on the right, which actually probably saved Cpl Imhofe's squad, which, if you recall, last turn was caught in the middle of the field on the right), while 3rd Gren Plt (red bases) consolidated a bit as well.  Most interestingly (in my opinion) was Lt Tausch's HQ section.

Tausch's section was sitting right in front of the right-hand emplacement, recently reoccupied by the enemy MG team, so, rather than falling back down the hill, Tausch maneuvered the HQ section right (top center, on the road).

Finally someone rolls a 'normal' activation, and so the Germans are looking to kick a little butt.

The Germans open the turn by having Cpl Osswald's mortar pound the MG position, which forces the enemy MG to fall back again (red bead).  Sensing his opportunity for glory, 2nd Lt Tausch orders his men to charge.  They quickly put the enemy MG team out of its misery, and the enemy CO falls back (to the left).

Keeping the momentum, Lt Tausch leaves the MG emplacement (far right) and charges the field gun emplacement (center), easily eliminating the gun crew.  But there he stopped, scared of pushing his luck too far (I could have charged the Polish rifle squad and CO at far/bottom left).  Dammit; should I have gone?

Sgt Grossman's Pz III targets the enemy ATG (top left), getting 'man down' again.

An enemy rifle squad (bottom left) fires fires at Lt Tausch's squad (center), but misses.  Of course the Polish CO was hoping to pin, or force Tausch's men to fall back, and then lead his other rifle squad into close combat to eliminate Tausch's men.  But Tausch's men were unfazed by the rifle fire, and so the enemy CO had a big choice to make: sit tight, and leave Tausch's squad as a thorn in his rear, or assault an unpinned enemy squad, which is generally hazardous to one's health?

The dice said go, and so the enemy CO led a rifle squad up the hill and into close combat with Lt Tausch's squad.

The Germans (top right) win, but only barely, and so the Poles are not eliminated, simply sent packing back down the hill (far left).

The Poles are committed to seeing Tausch's men off, and so another Polish rifle squad (coming from bottom right) rushes the Germans atop the hill.

Lt Tauch's men defeat the Polish rifle squad in close combat, and I award them a 'hero' figure on the spot (that's the field gun knocked out in front of them, their most recent casualty at far left).

Then Cpl Nader's squad (bottom right) moves up and fires, eliminating the enemy squad at center left (in ruins).  With this enemy unit eliminated (thus removing the enemy's capability for snap fire, as the rifle squad with the enemy CO at top left is suppressed), Lt Tausch's HQ section storms down the hill and into close combat once again!

Where they kill the enemy CO and his supporting rifle squad (far right).  Tausch, with blood in his eyes, turns his men and they charge up the hill at the enemy anti-tank gun (far left).

And the enemy ATG is eliminated as well.

For those not taking notes, Lt Tausch's HQ section used scurries and reaction to enemy scurries to infiltrate all the way to the central enemy position of bunkers, then: close assaulted and beat an enemy machine gun team; close assaulted and beat an enemy field gun crew; was close assaulted and beat back the enemy CO and a rifle squad; was close assaulted and defeated an enemy rifle squad; left cover to charge down the hill to defeat the enemy CO and a rifle squad; then charged uphill and defeated an enemy anti-tank gun.

Cpl Osswald's mortar team (top right) then opened up on the enemy squads on the far left (bottom left), pinning one (yellow bead) and forcing one to fall back (red bead).  Lt Tausch's squad is atop the hill off camera at top left.

On the far right, the two enemy rifle squads there opened up on 4th Gren Plt, pinning Cpl Kandler's squad (bottom left, yellow bead).

Then the Germans roll a scurry (another 1), which really pisses me off because anything else would have helped me finish the Poles off.

But maybe this will work.  4th Gren Plt and the CO envelop the Poles on the right.

While 3rd Gren Plt (from top left to top right, Lt Tausch, Cpl Nader, and Cpl Hauer's squads) and 2nd Panzer Platoon (bottom right) envelop the three remaining Polish rifle squads on the left (bottom left).

At this point, beaten and demoralized, the Poles threw in the towel, the remaining five rifle squads surrendering to KG Klink.  I'm not too much a fan of major whoopin's like that, but it still didn't feel like a one-sided affair.  At any point a single bad die roll could have seen Lt Tausch's squad eliminated, which more than likely would have bought time for the Poles to get their heavy weapons back in action.  This could have had serious consequences as the rest of the German infantry were spread to kingdom come, and the enemy ATG could have easily dealt some bad blows to the two panzers, and the enemy had four rifle squads unmolested on the left to try to get into close combat with the tanks.  So, it could have been a drastically different fight.  But I'm happy with how it turned out ;)

-2nd Lt Tausch (Plt Commander, 3rd Gren Plt), recommended for Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class for leading close assaults which eliminated enemy central position, consisting of two field pieces, a machine gun, the enemy commanding officer, and two rifle squads.
-Sgt Schlessinger (1st Squad, 3rd Gren Plt), Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge, KIA.
-Lost ~10 KIA/WIA.
-Caused ~55 KIA/WIA, captured ~50 POW, destroyed MG, 76mm Field Gun, and a 37mm Anti-Tank Gun.

Thus, the campaign in Poland ends.  Sure the kampfgruppe's was sent to the suburbs of Warsaw, where it saw some skirmishing in patrol actions, but this fight ended KG Klink's substantive actions in the campaign.  I've got some administrative clean-up to do, and then I'm looking to mess with some other projects before I come back for France 1940.  Stay tuned.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Game 15


It's 1630, 18 Sept 1939, and fighting for the Kutno pocket has reached a fever pitch.  All day the Poles have waged desperate battles to break out of the Germans' noose, but the armored counter-thrust by 4th Panzer Division (to include KG Klink) appears to have decisively slammed the door shut.  Regarding the situation at hand, elements of KG Klink's Reconnaissance Company, reinforced with an 80mm mortar, a 37mm anti-tank gun, and two squads of assault engineers, has discovered a Polish infantry force in the village of Piotrowicz (fictional), serving as a bridgehead to hold a ford open (to the north, off table), which is allowing a trickle of Polish troops to escape the pocket on foot (albeit, without their heavy weapons).

2nd Lt Wehner, the acting Reconnaissance Company commander, radioed his findings to KG headquarters, where Lt Col Klink uttered a single word: "Attack!"

The opposing forces, which are pretty evenly matched.

The Germans: led by Recon Co commander, 2nd Lt Wehner (sporting a Wound Badge), 2nd Motorcycle Platoon (led by acting PC Sgt Behrendt, LCpl Wilhelm's 1st Squad (filling in for Behrendt), Sgt Janke's (holder of the Iron Cross 2nd Class) 2nd Squad, and Cpl Zuckert's 3rd Squad), Officer Cadet Distler's Sdkfz 231 armored car (leader of the Armored Reconnaissance Platoon), Cpl Vogel's 80mm mortar team, Sgt Kallenbach's anti-tank gun, and two squads from the attached Assault Engineer Platoon (Sgt Albrecht's 3rd Squad and Sgt Klivens' 4th Squad).

The Poles: a CO, six rifle squads, one Maxim .30 caliber MG, one light armored car (MG only), and one light tank (spoiler alert: he's a real @#$%er!!!).

Overview, north is up, KG Klink entering on road at bottom center, Poles still on blinds (poker chips).  The German objective is to break the Polish position centered on the crossroads at top left, to allow the KG to seal the 'leak' at the ford (off table to top left).

Elements of Recon Company, curiously still mounted despite being relatively close to suspected enemy positions ;)

The defenders revealed!  This photo is looking left to right (west to east), with Germans at top right.  Note the MG at bottom right, and Polish armored car at far left, just visible behind the building.

Looking south to north, with German point element at bottom left, looking at the defenders, with rifle squads spread throughout, and the light tank at far right behind the trees.

Let's get it on!

I don't do very well with rolling firefights for the Germans (a '6'), but I do roll scurries fairly often (rolling '1s' is a specialty of mine), and that's how the game starts, with the Germans on a scurry, which is very, very fortuitous.  If only the rest of the fight went so well...

The 2nd Motorcycle Platoon Commander and his old squad (1st, led by LCpl Wilhelm) have their squads gun their engines and zoom up the road (top left), blowing by the astonished Polish defenders in the building to their right.  They dismount as Off Cad Distler brings his armored car up next to them.  The two assault engineer squads, straddling the road, escort the Recon Company commander nearer the enemy rifle squad in the building, while Sgt Janke and Cpl Zuckert's squads turn off the road, dart right, and dismount, covering the unpacking of the ATG and mortar (bottom right).

The enemy MG is in the far bottom left corner of the table (off camera to bottom left), and I've made a tactical decision to essentially ignore it, figuring my troops are going to move with such speed that the slow-moving enemy MG will never get into position to affect the fight.  But I've already screwed that notion up by dismounting my ATG and mortar so early, which I wouldn't have done if I'd have rolled a 'normal' activation.  The ATG and mortar would have simply sat there while other forces moved forward, then, once there was some forward space to deploy to, I'd have moved the ATG and mortar forward and unlimbered/unpacked it.  But I rolled a scurry, and so I was able to move everyone, so I figured I'd better move it up, and since I'm getting so close to the enemy I'd better unlimber.  Meaning they didn't get very far off their starting point and they're already pretty immobile, and the enemy MG is not far off of being able to bring them under fire...

On the far right, a solitary Polish rifle squad silently spies the oncoming German motorcycle troops, and, once they've gotten nice and close, opens up on Sgt Janke and Cpl Zukert's squads.

Cpl Zuckert's squad (center, white bead) gets 'man down,' while Sgt Janke's squad falls back (far left, red bead).  Then the Poles safely fall back, trading space for time after putting a lickin' on the Germans (far right; they were at center, next to the crater)...

Then, in the center, a Polish rifle squad in the building (not there right now) fires on Sgt Klivens' engineer squad (far right, white bead, with CO), and gets 'man down,' then falls back (far left, just above building).

Then, on the left, the Polish rifle squad in the building (at far left) fires on LCpl Wilhelm's squad (center right, white bead), catching them in the street and getting 'man down.'  What the hell is going on here?   Three shots, three 'man down.'  It doesn't put them out of the fight, but it slows down your advance as you have to spend time (actions) to rally them, and there is a 1 in 6 chance they go out of the fight (and a 1 in 6 chance their status doesn't change and you get further delayed).

Sgt Janke (hero, top) rallies his squad, while the CO helps Sgt Klivens' squad (bottom left) rally, then moves right and rallies Cpl Zuckert's squad (right).

Off Cad Distler moves his armored car up to LCpl Wilhelm's squad (far right) to help them rally, but they remain 'man down.'  Distler then fires his 20mm gun at the enemy in the building at bottom left, forcing them to fall back.  Then Cpl Vogel's 80mm mortar gets going on the patch of trees in the center, but hits absolutely nothing, so Sgt Behrendt moves the HQ squad forward (bottom center, next to telephone pole at wall) and they fire at the mortar's target, forcing the enemy rifle squad to fall back (red bead at center).

Then the Poles get a little bit screwed: they roll a firefight, which means everyone that can see a target can fire, but no one gets to move, so they're two vehicles remain in defilade (armored car behind building on left, light tank behind treeline on right).

The enemy MG (off table to far bottom left) can't really see all that well, but hey, everyone can shoot in a firefight, so they take a shot at the German mortar team (bottom left), no effect.  Off camera to top, Sgt Behrendt's squad traded fire with a Polish rifle squad, no effect, but on the right two Polish rifle squads targeted Cpl Zuckert's squad and put it out of the fight (center, casualty figure).  The German ATG and mortar (bottom left) both returned fire, and all that firepower convinced one of the two enemy squads to fall back (far right, with red bead, other squad just below building at far right).  Nice shootin' boys...  Then the Germans get another scurry.

The Germans made a bold move on the left, with Sgt Behrendt's squad dashing into the enemy building at far left, and the armored car and LCpl Wilhelm's squad followed right behind them.  In the center, the two engineer squads move up (one occupying the building at bottom right, the other to their right), while the enemy CO moved to the center and rallied one of his rifle squads.

On the right, the CO and Sgt Janke's squad moved up (center left), while the mortar team displaced forward (top left, next to trees) to get out of the enemy MG's line of fire.  The enemy squad next to the building (far right) fell back and helped their buddies rally, but only got them up to 'pin.'

The enemy MG moved out of the building they were in (far left), forward to some cover at a crater and hedge (bottom left), where they could then fire on my damn ATG (far right, in field).  I've already run infantry and the armored car up the road to top left, and the engineers into/around the building at center.  I should have never by-passed that damned enemy MG, but I got so excited with that initial scurry...

The Germans get a 'normal' activation and I decide to get a little crazy.  Not to crazy initially: Sgt Behrendt's squad moves into close combat on the far left (no snap fire and serious advantage as enemy is hunkered)...

And wins, which is what got me go a bit crazy.  Why not press our luck?  Behrendt's squad rushes the enemy armored car.  The enemy vehicle commander is surprised by the sudden appearance of German troops on his flank; he slews the turret right and cut loose, but the rounds missed their mark!  Sgt Behrendt' led his men to and atop the enemy vehicle, where desperate fighting with submachine guns, pistols, hand grenades, entrenching tools, and even fists broke out.

Sgt Behrendt's squad was again successful, destroying the enemy vehicle (center left, with enemy squad casualty at bottom left), then rushing into a bombed out house (top left), into a flanking position on an enemy rifle squad (top right).

Off Cadet Distler moves east off-road, firing at enemy infantry and their CO hiding behind a patch of trees (the German engineers are off camera to top right), but the rounds are wide and have no effect...

The Polish CO moves away (top right) from Distler's armored car (bottom left), while an enemy rifle squad moves into the trees (center left) and fires on Sgt Klivens' engineer squad, eliminating them (bottom right, casualty figure; Sgt Albrecht's engineer squad is in the building at bottom center).

Back on the left, the enemy squad Sgt Behrendt was just able to flank has seized the initiative.  They fire, forcing Behrendt's squad to fall back (retreating left, out of the bombed out house), then the enemy riflemen give chase (ending up in the house just vacated by Behrendt).

Then the Germans roll another scurry (I told you, I can roll 1's like a champion).

Sgt Behrendt's squad (top left) rallies, while Distler's armored car gets on the road to come up and assist them and LCpl Wilhelm's squad crosses the road (to the edge of the trees at center left), which has the effect of pushing the two enemy rifle squads in the center to the right (on is at center right in the trees, the other is further right in the building).  Sgt Janke's squad and the CO move left (bottom right).

And then another 'improbable' occurred...

The Polish rifle squad in the bombed out house fired at Sgt Behrendt's squad, pinning it, and the Poles followed up their fusillade by charging the hard-pressed Germans, but they are forced back (opposed roll ended in a tie, so, counting Behrendt's boys as in cover of the wall, the attacker was forced to fall back)!

Then the Poles got sneaky: their light tank (off camera to top right) has been hanging back, out of sight, letting the Germans advance, getting spread out and whittled down.  Now the Poles figure this is the time to get their tank into action, but they need to get the German ATG (center right, in the field next to the truck) out of the way.  So, to clear the way, they have their MG (bottom left) open up.  The MG fire forces the ATG crew to abandon the gun.  Now, I can keep screwing around with rallying the crew and getting it back to the gun, but if I don't get rid of that MG they're just going to keep doing this, at least until their tank comes up and smokes the crew...

So, I need to get some forces re-positioned.  But then the Germans roll a firefight...

Sgt Behrendt's squad (bottom left) fires on the enemy rifle squad that just charged them, getting 'man down,' and then Distler's armored car finishes them off (casualty figure at center, just above the telephone pole).

Sgt Albrecht's engineers (far left, in building), Sgt Janke's squad (just right of the building), and the 80mm mortar (bottom left) all fire on the enemy's central position, forcing two squads to fall back (behind the building at center right).  The CO falls back (off camera to bottom right) and rallies the ATG crew.

And then the Poles bust out the whoopin' stick...

It starts with their piddly-ass rifle squad (center right, on edge of building) opening fire on Sgt Janke's squad and mowing it down (a second casualty figure just right of the building at bottom left).  Then the enemy CO falls back behind their building and rallies both rifle squads back there.  And then the enemy light tank finally makes its appearance (just below their building on the right).  It fires on Ablrecht's engineers (building at bottom left), pinning them.

And then I roll another damned firefight for the Germans!  You know, I really need to move my armored car over to get a shot at the enemy tank, I really need to get the ATG crew back to its gun to take a shot at the enemy tank (which will take two turns, one to re-man the gun and another to fire), and I really need to move the engineers and LCpl Wilhelm's squad close into cover next to the tank to try to close assault it.  I really need to move a bunch of stuff to try to counter the enemy's main offensive capability, but I can't!!!

So my mortar fires, and once again is very ineffective, managing only two pins (yellow beads).

In response, the enemy tank (center right, in field) fires on Albrecht's engineers, forcing them to fall back, out of the building at bottom center and into the street.  The enemy CO rallies a rifle squad, which moves up into the building (top center).

Then the Germans get a normal activation, but with a random event: smokescreen, which allows a unit to move without drawing reaction fire, which is perfect for the ATG crew, who quickly re-man their gun.  Now I need to take care of that damned MG; Cpl Vogel's team quickly re-lays the their tube, and they begin dropping 80mm rounds on the enemy machine gun.

And it's glorious: the mortar rounds drive the enemy MG team back, which essentially puts them out of the game.  The Poles really can't afford to use one of their limited activations to rally the MG, then another to move it into firing position, then another to actually fire, in consecutive turns (they can only take one action per turn).

But then my fortunes swing back the other way, just as quickly...

With only one shot the enemy dispatches my anti-tank gun, who never even fired an armor piercing round (they did fire one feeble, 37mm HE round earlier in the game, to no effect)...

The enemy CO rallies a rifle squad, who then moves up (top left) to deny their flank (the German A/C and Sgt Behrendt's squad are over there).

Lt Wehner, the CO (off camera to left) moves to Sgt Albrecht's engineer squad and rallies them, and they rush to cover near the enemy tank (that's them next to the German mortar team at bottom left).

Off Cad Distler's A/C moves up and fires on the enemy rifle squad in the road, forcing them to fall back (top right, with red bead).

Then the Poles roll a firefight; their tank fires on Albrecht's engineer squad and forces them to fall back (top left, behind building), which really sucks as I need them for some close assault on the enemy tank...

Meanwhile the Polish MG rallies, though their CO can't manage to rally the squad in the north, and they fall back again.  Distler's armored car (off camera to top) returns fire, pinning a squad (top right, yellow bead), and the mortar (far left, next to crater and trees) does too, getting man down (far right, white bead).

Then the Germans roll another damned firefight!  I need to move units, dammit!!!  The A/C (top left) fires on the enemy building (top right), missing everything, but the mortar (bottom right) fires their also and puts one rifle squad out of the fight (finally he gets someone).  At bottom center Lt Wehner, the CO, tries to rally Sgt Albrecht's engineers, but only gets them 'up' to pin...

The enemy light tank then rolls over Cpl Vogel's mortar team...

Then turns it's sights on Sgt Albrecht's engineer squad, supported by Lt Wehner.  The two sides clash in a brief but fierce melee which sees the enemy tank knocked out, AND Sgt Albrecht's squad and the German CO eliminated (I rolled a tie, which technically should have resulted in the Germans falling back, but it seemed like divine intervention to show me the fight was finished).

The Germans in the northwest fell back to the south, down the road, consolidating their position in the southwest, capturing the Polish machine gun team.  Meanwhile, the Poles consolidated in the northeast.  Shortly thereafter the remainder of KG Klink arrived, followed hours later by forces from 4th Panzer Division.  Upon seeing the force arrayed against them the Poles melted back north across the river.

Good grief, another ass-whooper of a fight.  Fifteen games in (actually twenty, but fifteen in this campaign) and I still love the ebb and flow, back and forth, ups and downs these rules bring.  One minute you're grinning ear to ear, the next you've got tears in your eyes; I love it!  This is friction without being reduced to a spectator.

Having said that, I am supremely peeved that this was the second time an enemy armored beast has savaged my poor infantry.  It's not that the tank was overly powerful, it's just that I made a mistake in the initial deployment of my ATG, and never could fully recover from that.  So the rules handle armor vs infantry just fine, I just need to handle it a bit better ;)  Tough lessons in the school of hard knocks...

-Lt 2nd Lt Wehner (Acting Recon Co Cmdr), Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge, recommended for Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading close assault which halted enemy armored attack,WIA, campaign.  Also received Tank Killer Badge.
-Sgt Albrecht (3rd Squad, Eng Plt) Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge, recommended for Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading close assault which halted enemy armored attack, KIA. Also received Tank Killer Badge.
-Sgt Behrendt (Acting Plt Cmdr, 2nd M/C Plt), recommended for Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading close assault which eliminated enemy rifle squad and armored car.
-Cpl Zukert (3rd Squad, 2nd M/C Plt) Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge, KIA.
-Sgt Klivens (4th Squad, Eng Plt) Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge, WIA, campaign.
-Cpl Vogel (Mtr Tm, Schwere Plt) Wound Badge, KIA.
-Sgt Kallenbach (ATG, Schwere Plt), Wound Badge.
-Lost ~60 KIA/WIA, 1 ATG, 1 80mm mortar.
-Caused ~40 KIA/WIA, captured ~5 POW, destroyed one light tank, and one armored car.

Lots of Iron Crosses, which goes hand in hand with lots of casualties.  Another stalemate, if not an all-out whoopin'.  But it was fun!  Lots of folks have been commenting on how hard these fights have been, how tough the enemy has been, but in terms of things not going well, like I should be discouraged.  I'd be more discouraged if I kept walking over the enemy; what fun is that?  The last part of that is that I don't think most folks understand how hard the fighting was in the early war campaigns; by the end of the campaign in Poland, and again in France, the German Army and Air Force was worn down to a nub.  But because their victories were so shockingly fast I think a lot of people think there wasn't tough fighting.  On the battlefield the Germans usually won, with moderate casualties that bagged them huge numbers of prisoners, then moved on to the next fight, where they again suffered moderate casualties, and netted huge numbers of prisoners.

Of course here I'm not focusing, as an example, on the operational-level maneuver by the Germans which bagged two entire Polish armies; I'm focusing on very small scale, desperate fighting as the Poles try to break out.  So it's bloody, and my troops get battered, but we're still winning the campaign.  Just like later in the war when I'll probably still be winning plenty of tabletop battles, but losing the war ;)

One more write-up to close the Poland chapter, stay tuned.