Soviet Counterattack on Kastenwald
It's 1430 on 7 July 1943 in western Russia, where the German 292nd Infanterie Division has been caught off guard by forward elements of the Soviet 57th Tank Brigade. The Germans rear echelon troops (supply, maintenance, training company, administrative, military police, walking wounded, etc...) stage into the nearby treeline to mount a hasty defense and their commanders flee in search of reinforcements, which had better hurry as everyone can hear the roar of T-34 engines!
I am playing this game because I have the good fortune of being buddies with Steve of the "Sound Officer's Call" blog (https://soundofficerscall.blogspot.com/2019/10/firestorm-ponyri-station-campaign-first.html), and he is running a "Firestorm Ponyri" campaign. He is playing some games with his local buddies, but was unable to play all of the games himself; rather than simply 'dice off' for results of campaign fights they were unable to play on the table top, Steve asked if anyone in the blogosphere wanted to help, so here I am.
It's been a little bit of an issue that I literally just sold off a bunch of German late war gear, so I'm a bit understrength, but Steve is working with me to make sure the fights I get match up with the forces I have. This is the first fight I've played, and I hope it wasn't too much a pain for him, I certainly want to keep going! First, I love to play games; second, it's been way too long since I've played any Eastern Front games (maybe eight years or so?); and lastly, I'm a solo gamer that still craves some comradery, so whenever I can help another wargamer out, I'm always quick to jump at it.
This game is a bit smaller than the previous two; the first two were a reinforced German battalion vs a reinforced Soviet company or two. This one is a Soviet reinforced Company vs a German reinforced platoon, which is actually what the rules are designed for, so went a lot quicker. Also, there were no off-table reserves in this game, everything started on the table so I could get right at it. Let me know if it was still a fun read.
Ersatz Infantry Platoon (PC and three rifle squads)
Ersatz Weapons Platoon (PC, two MG-42s, two 8.0cm mortars, and two PaK-38 5.0cm anti-tank guns)
Ersatz Mechanized Platoon (PC and three rifle squads in 3 Sdkfz 251 halftracks)
Ersatz Panzer Platoon (two Stug IIIG and one Marder PzJgr)
Off Table 120mm Mortar Platoon
Rifle Company (-) two platoons of a PC and three rifle squads)
Weapons Platoon (PC and two Maxim .30-cal MGs, two 50mm mortars, and one 76.2mm 'crash boom' field gun)
Tank Company (-) (two platoons of three T-34s)
Tank Company (-) (two platoons of three T-34s)
Tank Rider Company (-) (two platoons of a PC and three rifle squads)Off Table 122mm Field Artillery Battery
Off Table 120mm Mortar Battery
I'm playing in 10mm (figures, vehicles, and gear a mix of Pendraken and Minifigs UK) based at one stand=one squad, weapon, or vehicle. I'm playing this game using Too Fat Lardies' "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" rules, simplified a bit in terms of combat, morale, and movement.
The time for battle is upon us!
But it would appear that firing on the Soviet 1st Platoon is a bad idea, because...
*This tank moved up and fired on the wood because it failed to spot the German armor, which is off camera to top left.
*Ha, I'm a knucklehead! I left a stack of craters lying on the table (left)...
*That was my now-patented 'try to self rally and fail on 2D6 so die' rule.
*Kinda shocking how indecisive the armor action has been, but it's all down to bad cards (not coming out very many times this game) and bad dice rolling.
Wow, that was a tough one for the Germans, though Soviet sluggishness probably made it a bit closer than it should have been. Not that the Germans didn't have a chance to pull it out, they just didn't seem interested! The Marder had enough shots to knock out everyone of the T-34s, he just didn't manage to hit a damn thing! And I don't think he was ever even actually shot at! And then the German halftracks and their inability to overcome the Soviet 2nd Rifle Platoon, which their PC had caught out in the open! Unable to finish them off, they ultimately succumbed to those very same Soviet infantrymen! I suppose the German Landser on the objective never really had a chance; they just took body blow after body blow from the Soviet off table artillery and 120mm mortars. Having said that, they were the only ones to knock out a Soviet tank! But if the German armor and halftrack shooting could have been a little better, they may have just fought the Soviets to a standstill and force them to fall back.
Well, let's see what big Steve has got next for us. Awaiting my orders ;)