Tuesday, January 6, 2015

KG Klink, Poland, Game 5


It's 1100, 1 Sept 1939, and the counterattack by the Polish 21st Armored and 12th Uhlan Regiments has been spectacularly successful, except for two issues: 1) they didn't really have a plan for success, so after breaking beating back 4th Panzer Division (and KG Klink) they drove about another kilometer, then lost their forward impetus, and just sort of milled about until 4th Panzer could mount a counterattack of its own to drive them back; and 2) the armor and cavalry pushed through with great speed and no coordination with the 12th Mounted Regiment, who found itself alone while following in trace of the Polish armor.

So, we find ourselves in the time after successful Polish armored counterattack, but before 4th Panzer's counterattack, where (mostly) dismounted portions of the Polish 12th Mounted Regiment runs smack into infantry elements of KG Klink, who were moving southeast (to where their armor had just been punished) when enemy activity was spotted to the east.  The two forces met on the fly, neither expecting the enemy to be where they found him.

The opposing forces.

The Poles, with their CO, three squads of cavalry, and nine rifle squads.  As the 21st Armored had left them behind, in their haste to move forward they have left their heavy weapons struggling to catch up.

The German force, with their CO (again in action is the Schutzen Company Commander, 1st Lt Freitag, recipient of the Iron Cross 2nd Class for his actions at the frontier), portions of his Weapons Platoon (two x MG34 and 1 x 80mm mortar), and the better parts of two infantry platoons.  Both have 1 x HQ section and 2 x rifle squad, being 1st Platoon under Cadet Hinkle (with his 1st and 2nd Squads, the 2nd under Sgt Haas, also an Iron Cross 2nd Class recipient from the frontier), and the 3rd Platoon under 2nd Lt Tausch (with his 1st and 4th Squads).

Overview, north is up, Germans on the left (west) and Poles on the right (east).  Both sides are starting on their baseline.

The Poles' deployment, with the cavalry platoon in the north (top left) and three infantry platoons spread to the south, with the CO in the center.

The German deployment, with 1st Plt on the left (north) and 3rd Plt on the right.  The CO and mortar are in the center, and each platoon has an MG with it.

The hill at top left, and the ville in the foreground are the same from the KG's mechanized attack a few hours ago.  You can still see two Panzers burning on the hill, and a number of casualties from both sides lying about.

The fight's on, and Lt Tausch leads 3rd Plt's HQ section and Cpl Creuzburg's MG34 team forward (top center).

This photo is looking west, at the left side of the table.  The Poles roll a regular activation, but a random event, and they get a hero, which attaches to one of their squads in the south.  Meanwhle, two of the Polish cavalry squads gallop up the hill (top center).

Then some great luck: the Germans roll a scurry, and so 1st Plt moves up on the left (bottom left), and 3rd on the right (bottom right).  Of note was both platoons getting their MG teams set up (center left in treeline for 1st Plt, in the building at bottom right for 3rd Plt).

The Poles move up on their right, with two cav squads on the hill (top right) dismounting to fight.  You can see 1st Plt's MG clearly at far left in the treeline, ready to wreak havoc.

And the Poles move up on their left (3rd Plt's commander and MG are in the building at top left).

Then the Poles get a bit reckless: one of their cav squads atop the hill decides he's going to charge 1st Plt's MG34.  He rolls for the sprint, and ends up just a bit short (bottom center right), and then LCpl Steinkamp's machine gun opens up with snap fire, and the cav squad suffers men down anyway (white bead).  The other cav squad moves up (top right center) and fires on Cadet Hinkle's squad (bottom left), no effect.

And it's on: the Germans roll up a firefight, just what the doctor ordered.  This fight is going to be a pushover, right?  Cadet Hinkle's squad (far left) fires and drives back the dismounted cav squad on the hill (top center, red bead), and Steinkamp's MG34 (bottom left center) fires on the infantry platoon at center right, forcing one squad to run off the map!  Return fire is negligible.

In the south, Lt Tausch's squad is in the building (bottom left) with Cpl Creuzburg's MG34, and they both open up.  Tausch's men accomplish nothing, but the machine gun force one of the enemy squads (at bottom right) to run off the map.  Most devastatingly, Cpl Vogel's 80mm mortar drops rounds on the enemy platoon at top right, putting one squad out of the fight and pinning the other two.

Then the Poles roll a firefight, which isn't terrible, but they could have done better.  One thing these firefights has done is save the Polish cav squad on the hill next to Steinkamp's MG34 (top center); since no one can move I haven't been able to rush them and put them out of the fight, which is pretty much a pushover when a unit is in 'man down' status.

In the south, the Poles are able to pin Lt Tausch's squad (bottom left), and in the north they pin LCpl Steinkamp's MG team.  Incredibly, Cpl Creuzburg's MG return fire doesn't accomplish anything, and since the mortar team couldn't see anything they didn't get to react...

The Germans get a 'normal' turn, with a random event ("suppressing fire").  Lt Tausch tries to rally and fails, but pins a Polish squad at far right (yellow bead).  The mortar team again pounds the platoon at top right, getting a 'man down' effect on one squad.

Cadet Hinkle finally is able to lead his squad into close combat with the dismounted cav squad on the hill, eliminating them and rallying LCpl Steinkamp's MG34 (bottom left).  The MG then opens up, to no effect (what the hell?).

The then Poles get extraordinarily lucky by rolling a scurry; this will allow them to try to rally all their folks, and the ones that weren't in a bad way get to move up without drawing reaction fire, which kinda sucks as my MGs have great fields of fire and my mortar is set to eat'em up as they have to cross long stretches of open ground.

The Poles had a little problem rallying in the center, but in the south (bottom center) one squad rallied and one moved up into the treeline...  The Polish CO also started moving south (top right).  Lt Tausch was able to rally, while Sgt Schessinger and Cpl Kamphaus moved their men up (bottom left).

At/near the hill (up is north), the Polish Cavalry consolidates at top right,while their infantry platoon moves up to the base of the hill (bottom right).  They were getting a little too close for comfort, so Cadet Hinkle and LCpl Steinkamp fell their men back, and were joined by Lt Freitag (the CO, bottom left).

And then the Germans roll another damned scurry.  Did I mention scurry is not good when you're trying to take advantage of your long fields of fire for your MGs and mortars?  That it really helps the enemy close the gap?  3rd Plt moves up in the south (bottom left).  At top right, the Polish CO rallies a squad, but I catch a break when the other enemy squad fails and runs off the map!

On the hill, Cpl Arndt and Sgt Haas moves their squads up on the left (center left, with CO and MG at bottom right and Cadet Hinkle to their right, in the woods).  Polish infantry have now made it across the fields and into the treeline (center right)...

The Poles fire on Cadet Hinkle's men (center, white bead), getting man down; the other Polish squad rushes them.  Sgt Haas (top left) sees the disaster unfolding, and orders his men to fire on the charging Poles, but the fusillade has no effect and the charge strikes home...

Eliminating Cadet Hinkle's squad.

You've got to be @#$%ing kidding me!!!  The Germans roll ANOTHER scurry, negating my MG and mortar advantage.  Both sides consolidate and straighten their lines on the battle-ravaged hill.

In the south, the German 3rd Plt has nowhere to go, and so they sit tight while the Poles are able to bring units up.

But then the Poles roll a scurry too; I haven't counted, but that's gotta be 5 or 6 scurries, meaning 5 or 6 times I rolled for activation and rolled a '1.'  The only movement on the hill is the last Polish cavalry squad coming on line, and no one in the south moves.

The Germans have turned a decisive advantage into a coin toss...  The Germans finally get, and Cpl Creuzburg's MG in the south opens up, but doesn't hit a damned thing...

But things turn in the north: LCpl Steinkamp's gun (bottom left) opens up on th Polish squads that just took out Cadet Hinkle's squad, putting one out of action and forcing the other to run (far right, red bead).

And then they turn back: the Poles then roll firefight, and a random event (confusion, which afflicts the squad above with the black bead, meaning they can't act this turn).  The other Polish squad fires on Sgt Haas' squad, getting a man down (white bead, and a very perilous situation with the enemy so close; they can easily charge forward and put the squad out of the fight).  No Germans in the north have LOS except Haas squad, and they're man down, so no Germans can return fire...

And in the south a vicious firefight breaks out: enemy rifle fire proves incredibly effective, pinning Lt Tausch's men (top center), and putting Cpl Kamphaus' squad (casualty at center left) out of the fight.  Sgt Schlesinger's squad (bottom center) returns fire and gets man down (white bead), while the MG (top left) fires and drives a squad back (center right, red bead).

The Germans get a 'normal' activation, and they always do when things aren't going their way, they charge: Sgt Schlesinger's men charge in the south, easily eliminating the Polish squad there (they were already knocked down-white bead) and forcing their CO to fall back.  Then Cpl Creuzburg's gun (top left) gets going, and guns down the Polish squad at top center.  Lastly, and very importantly, Sgt Haas is able to rally his stricken squad.

The Poles, having missed their opportunity to put out Sgt Haas, squad last turn, are intent on replaying the event.  The first squad fires, but this time they only achieve a pin, not man down.  Now, a pin is still a virtual death sentence in close combat, but they do get to snap fire (though snap fire only has a 33% chance of stopping the enemy charge).

But the Poles say 'hell with it,' and they charge.  Sgt Haas steels his men, getting every drop of firepower out of them, and it's enough, they stop the Polish infantry in their tracks (white bead)!!!

Just to screw things up, the Germans roll a scurry one more time...  But in the north, the Germans encircle their foes.

And they do the same in the south.  In the face of such aggressive maneuvering, and given the fact they are down to only one capable squad (another is hunkered and one is man down), the Poles surrender.

-Officer Cadet Hinkle was wounded and is out for the duration of the Polish campaign.
-Lost ~20 KIA/WIA.
-Caused ~50 KIA/WIA, captured ~35 EPW.

Well, that started out very well, then went to crap very rapidly.  I won, but it was much more difficult than it should have been.  Another thing that's funny is about heroes; I really was trying to get Lt Freitag and Sgt Haas (the guys that already won the Iron Cross) into positions to further demonstrate their personal bravery, but it just didn't work out that way, though Sgt Haas' 'hero' ability allowed him to rally his troops without activation, which probably saved them from being overrun on the hill.  They subsequently got pinned, but stopped the enemy charge with snap fire, which they wouldn't have been able to do if they were still 'man down.'

More to follow.



  1. Nice turn around towards the end. Things can swing very quickly, especially with only a handful of units at your disposal :)

  2. Some might complain about perceived wild swings in momentum in the rules. I say the games have been about as dramatic as you can get, and tell me what better demonstration for fog of war you've seen!

    They're working like a champ. My only regret is that I feel like I'm putting too much on the table; after Mokra and the two fights in suburbs of Warsaw (when I get to Kutno) I'm going to start going with smaller fights. I'm going to work more with the force generators, so I expect there will be smaller forces, like 9 on 6, 8 on 5 type stuff, really try to show the confused nature of the fighting with the Poles counterattacking in places and defending in others, with armor, cavalry (of the horse variety), infantry, and guns all in the mix. Should be great ;)


  3. Scaling down once in a while is a great way to refocus a bit and in particular, play without the luxury of extra support and reinforcement troops :-)

    I added cavalry btw in the Grab Bag supplement, though they're really basic. I didn't add horse-back charges since I figured they happened rare enough to not worry about it.

  4. For my cav, I just let them move vehicle distances (vice foot distances), and I don't let them (or any other troops) fight mounted. Eeeeeeasy.


  5. That's almost exactly what I did :)