Mogilyani, Ukraine, June 27th, 1941.
German forces of the 11th Panzer Division are part of the advance that attempts to find a safe crossing point of the Horyn River.
Scattered soviet forces from Task Force Lukin try to stop them
This a Barbarossa squad level game, part of a series of training games to skill-up players before the start of our new campaign. As in our new campaign each counter would be 250 points, we set up several training squad-level games. I foresee a lot of 1-counter a side battles in the coming campaign.
I´ve never before had played 250 point battles, as I thought they were small and a little boring, preffering to play Chain of Command rules for that size of game, as it gives us much more detail. Nevertheless, all three squad level games we played using BG were extremely fun, quick and rewarding experiences.
The scenario was “the hard road east”. Scenario Home rules were the same we use all times:
– Only infantry can control objectives
– We “re-score” objectives every 6 turns (on turns 6 & 12)
– No unit entering the table can give an “open fire” order (I hate units standing dangerously in the edge of the table not advancing for the whole game in an encounter battle)
– There were 3 objectives: The Orthodox church, The Balka and the exit of the road on the long edge (leading north)
– I give each side a light mortar team for free, because i love them and nobody took them for being so cost-ineffective.
I have only 3 T-26 models available last friday, so we placed 2 BT-7 models instead (but they are T-26 stat-wise)
I was the umpire as usual.
We played over a 6×4 table. The terrain is very simple:
The Forces Available were:
GERMAN panzer division: BR total 25. Officers: 3. 250 points.
Player in command: my very good friend Jorge (Jorgito) Magán
Forward HQ on a Sdkfz 265
Schutzen Infantry Platoon (on foot)
– HQ squad
– 3x Rifle Squads
– 3x MG teams
– Light Mortar team
– At rifle team
Panzer II platoon
– 1x Pz II F (officer)
– 2 x Pz II C
1 PanzerJaëger I (2HE/7AP)
1 Sdkfz 222
1 sniper + spotter
SOVIET rifle division: BR total 25 + D6 (30 total BR). 250 points.
Player in command: My very good friend Alejandro (Moncha) Moncy
Forward HQ on a Car
NKVD Blocking Detachement
Rifle Platoon (on foot)
– HQ squad
– 4x Rifle Squads
– Light Mortar team
– 45mm AT gun w/loader team and truck tow
T-26 II platoon
– 5x T-26 m1939
1 infantry foot patrol
The game lasted 6 turns, at which time the germans were soundly defeated.
Some photos & light reporting:
Both sides have the samequantity of scout units. The germans won the roll for going first.
A Sdkfz 222 and a sniper team deploy up to 20 inches into the table. We can see my first attempt at a Balka piece of terrain. I think it´s a decent one. One objective (the destroyed PZII) is in the balka. The sniper deploys beside it. The 222 is pointing akwardly towards the north instead of east…
A PzIIC, a Schutzen section & a light mortar deploy up to 10 inches.
The Russians deploy their BA6 on the right flank, and the infantry Patrol in the middle in an attempt to get into the orthodox church fast by coup de main. The NKVD blocking detachement also speedrace for the church in their requisitioned limos (the photo is taken after the movement for turn 1 is completed). On the left flank (not visible) the russians also deploy a lone T-26 tank. On the extreme right an infantry squad also deploys.
Panoramic of turn 1, looking east from the german side
And from the soviet side:
German turn 1. General advance towards the church. The light mortar takes cover behind the PzII wreck (an objective).
The sniper team fires from a distance an succeed in pinning the soviet foot patrol. Taking the chit for losing an objective, the soviets lost their T-26 due to massive breakdown. Bad start for the soviets!
Russian turn 1. The NKVD debuss from their limos and get in position to enter the church next turn (we do not allow to enter buildings with a disembark order, you need a “move” order for that). The other units advance towards the enemy.
German turn 2
The germans deploy 3 additional units. A PanzerJaëger I and an additional PzII (the officer on an improved F version). Both armoured units advance at full speed. I´m glad the PanzerJaëger is part of the game. It is a unit that is almost never bought due to being poorly armoured, open-topped, and his (supposedly) 47mmm gun advantage over the 37mmm is “ignored” by the rules. In fact, the guns had similar perfformance, but you can never impose that on players…..
And the platoon HQ squad. All german units advance at full speed. But a lack of orders and a PTJ (poor tactical jugdement) left the infantry squad which is nearest the church standing without orders. Rolling a single D6 for orders is something new to me, and although the germans has a hefty +3 officer bonus, the power of the 1 could not be undone.
Russian Turn 2
The russians deploy an additional T-26 and the 45mm ATgun. The tank Stal! ahead and pins the leading PzII with a lucky HE round. The gun truck tow speeds ahead and unlimbers behind a big tree covering a good field of fire on the approaches to the church. The BA-6 got a nice covering position and puts himself on ambush fire. As a last thing the russians invest a BR counter in unpinning their units in the field near the church. Here a panoramic at the end of russian turn 2.
German Turn 3
Ze Germans deploy the last PzII on the road, loaded with schutzen. The panzer moves ahead and disembark the soldiers on a nearby field.
Also deploying this turn, the german Battlegroup commander also deploys on the edge of the Balka. It inmediately commands the leading PzII to unpin with a successful tactical coordination. The PzII boldly advances behind the church and puts some autocannon aimed fire on the NKVD. Miracously, only one is killed and their moral is up to commissar standard valiantly standing steady. Some of the leading german infantry (a rifle squad) enters the church and readied themselves for what seems to be unavoidable hand to hand combat in the next turns.
That PzII is now seriously exposed, what do you think?
Russian turn 3:
The russians deploy 2 more T-26 on lhe left flank, and two infantry squads with their HQ on the centre. All units made good use of their russian capabilities. Both T-26 Stal! ahead and the infantry let loose a loudy Hurrahhhhh!!!! and double ahead. The T-26 are lucky enough to even pin the distant Sdkfz222 with some HE. Russian area fire is proving both lucky and effective!
On the right flank, an infantry squad moves at speed trying to secure the objective. In the not so distant fields ahead, some german schutzen can be seen
In the field behind the church, the russians must dispose of that pesky PzII. Both the the T-26 and the 45mm AT gun (with loader team) hit the Panzer four times, Not a single one of them penetrating it. But the third one pinned it, and the fouth one made the crew abandon it.
The recon soviet squad still in the field behind the church open a devastating close range supression volley on the german rifle squad in the church, pinning it. Russian 9-ROF squads are devastating both on supression and aimed fire. In this case they need a 2+ in order to pin the germans at less than 10 inches range.
Inmediately after this, the NKVD blocking detachement passes thier experience test (they are regular!) charges home into close combat, taking advantage of the pleminary supression fire. We had a small house rule here, we apply a +1 to the experience test if the enemy unit is pinned. So, in this case the NKVD would pass on a 2+. A very one sided close combat ensues, and 4 germans are killed. Those germans are tough nevertheless, and refuse to surrender.
German turn 4:
Final reserves on the german side enter the table. Last Schutzen section and a Panzerbusche 39.
The central PzII advances and got ambushed by the distant BA-6 (on ambush since turn 2). Both shots miss and the PZII unleash some unresponsibly suppresion fire on the church (all units inside must save or become pinned). All inside the church took cover and keep their heads down, becoming pinned.
The schutzen squad on the great field on the german left flank moves and pour some effective supression fire on the russian squad near the objective.
On the right flank, the sdkfz 222 is on a very unequal duel with 2 T-26. But instead of running ahead, decides to stand and fire twice with his puny gun, doing nothing on the oncoming russian armour.
two panoramics of german turn 4:
Russian Turn 4:
Last reserves deploy on table.
On the right flank, the russian squad has taken the objective (german halftrack wreck) but has becomed pinned by fire from the schutzen in the fields
In the center a general advance is called. The foot patrol enters the church (the church´s right side, it has two sections). There are still two fanatical germans in the church. But lack of orders and aversion to risk (experience tests) mean the russians prefer to use their scarce orders elsewhere. One must remember the building rules, only close combat would dislodge those germans there while there are also russian troops inside. Also, another squad advances into the field
On the right flank another squad moves ahead reinforcing the BA-6 position. Also the last T-26 of the platoon reinforces this right flank. On the left flank the T-26 there easily dispose of that foolish 222 (the sdkfz222 can be seen burning in the background). The russians also unpin their NKVD squad in the church to end the turn.
German turn 5:
No more reserves to deploy. The PanzerJaëger moves along some supporting infantry and takes a hit at the nearest T-26. It is the first shot of my elderly Esci PanzerJaëger I and of course scores a mighty hit! The T-26´s turret flies skyhigh.
In another clear PTJ, the german MG in front of the church stays in place (in the open!) and is given open fire orders for 3 consecutive turns instead of some more adecuate fire / maneuver. It´s fire does some pinning on the russians inside but cannot alter the course of the battle nor the ownership of the church. The central PzIIF moves & fires but misses. On the left flank the schutzen tries some aimed fire on the russians in the halftrack wreck, but they prove difficult to observe.
Russian turn 5:
The T-26 remaining on the left flank goes cautiosly into ambush fire, after witnessing the power of the PanzerJaëger last turn.
In the church, the NKVD finish the 2 remaining german szchutzen. Also the foot patrol inside the other section of the church slaughter the MG team in the open at minimal distance. This 3 actions cost the Germans 3 BR chits and the soviets sense that victory is near.
On of the chits taken although is a mine strike, and the T-26 on the right flank is destroyed. A last gimpse of hope for the germans but it is already too late for them
German turn 6:
BR is running dangerously low for the germans, and they decide to go for it. The PanzerJaéger moves ahead an tries to taka a shot at the remaining russian tank. But that T-26 is on ambush….
And with 2 short distance (no need to observe) penetration 4 shots made short work of the O/O/O PanzerJaëger.
With this final BR chit, the germans were over their BR and the battle is over.
Final panoramic on the left russian flank: