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 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 fight is on.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 dice said go, and so the enemy CO led a rifle squad up the hill and into close combat with Lt Tausch's squad.
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.
Then the Germans roll a scurry (another 1), which really pisses me off because anything else would have helped me finish the Poles off.
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.