Friday, 16 November 2012

Battlegroup Kursk

Yesterday I played our first game of Battlegroup Kursk with the less stinky Nathan hosting and putting on the game.  The scenario ended up being a flanking meeting engagement.  The nasty invaders from Germany had bought a reasonable force, with a HQ commanding two motorised Panzergrenadier platoons, two HMGs, one mortar, one Pak40, three Panzer IIILs, a sniper, two Hummels and, as anyone who knows Nathan can already guess, a Tiger.  The defenders of the Motherland had a HQ, three Motor Rifle platoons(with no motors), one 45mm AT gun, ten T-34s(hehehe), a Churchill, a FO for artillery support, two snipers and a BA-64 armoured car.  As there was a lack of T-34 models, T-70s were used as stand-ins.

The initial forces after turn one.  Germans at the top
The initial set-up saw the Tiger leading the advance from the top right of the picture, supported by a PG platoon HQ, rifle squad and HMG in trucks.  The sniper snuck into the farm on the top left. The Russians set up with the Churchill supported by a platoon commander and three rifle squads.  The Russian scout snipers advanced on the bottom right side, seizing an objective and starting the Germans on the road to defeat....hopefully.  The Churchill fired at and suppressed the German sniper.  Boo-Yah!

Germans advance as the Russians await reinforcements.

Turn 2 saw more German trucks appear, full of hardened Panzergrenadiers and towing a Pak40.  The Germans advanced towards the large building and seized it with their initial forces.  The Tiger hid in the rubble like a big jessie.  Nathan said it was covering the infantry, but I know the truth. The Russians advanced into the wood, supported by the T-34 company commander and the artillery observer. 

Germans advance as the Russians gather

The gathering horde!
Bullyboy Panzers pick on the sniper
Turn 3 arrived and with it came three Panzers.  They promptly advanced and pinned one of the Russian snipers!  Three tanks against one little sniper, oh yeah, your the master race alright!  More Germans moved into the large building, setting up machine guns all over the place.  The Pak 40 moved into the small farm, along with some infantry support and another HMG.  The Russians gained four T-34s, which gathered behind the wood.  They had to gather as the Russians rolled double 1 for their orders, so not much could move.

Panzers kill off the snipers
More T-34s arrive
Turn 4 finally saw the Germans kill something, as both snipers were Panzered to death.  The Ba-64 hid behind the kurgan, hoping help would arrive before he died.  Some more Panzergrenadiers arrived to support the Panzers, this time on foot.  Most of the Germans in the large building and farm went onto reserve fire, 'cos they were scared to come out and face the boys from the steppes!  The Russians gained some more T-34s, along with the HQ to improve their didn't work though.

StalStalStal!  T-34s advance
Ba-64 in a moment of madness
Turn 5 and the Germans consolidated their hold on the objective building.  The Panzers advanced to kill off the Ba-64 and failed dismally.  One couldn't see it and the other couldn't hit it.  They also brought on a Hummel to support the Panzers.  Their supporting infantry rushed forward to seize the farm.  The Russians now surged forward in a brave show of patriotism.  Nine T-34s charged bravely across the steppes towards the horde of Panzers and their area fire managed to pin some German infantry around the table, which was nice.  And yes, three Panzers is a horde, so there!  Cunningly, the small copse happened to be between the T-34s and the Tiger tank, who had fired and missed.  The Ba-64 moved out and fired feebly at the grenadiers in the field.

Pinned T-34 after Tiger and Pak40 fire at it
Burning Panzer and T-34 horde
Turn 6 and the Germans pushed more troops onto the table, but they would be too late.  The Panzers fired at the T-34s, bouncing off the sloped armour.  They did kill the Ba-64 though, which isn't particularly difficult to do.  The Tiger reversed out and fired, missing the T-34, while the Pak-40 managed to hit one, but only pinned it.  The Germans rushed an LMG team into the farm, but their infantry were still pinned.   The Russians then advanced again with the T-34s, killing a Panzer with area fire and pinning the LMG team.  Meanwhile infantry reinforcements were being pushed forward to support the tanks, but they were a long way behind.  Some fire from the woods managed to pin two German squads though.

Russian infantry advance
Smoke plumes everywhere.
Turn 7 and both Hummels had fired and missed.  With only 2 ammo each they now needed to resupply, so an ammo truck was brought on.  The combined fire of the remaining Panzers, the Tiger and the Pak40 saw four T-34s explode and two managed to lose a track, but the Russian commander said "There's plenty more where they came from".  German MGs chattered away from the big building and decimated two squads of Russian infantry.  Return fire by the Russian infantry pinned more Germans, while the T-34s killed off both the remaining Panzers and the LMG squad in the farm.  The German left flank was collapsing.  Meanwhile Russian infantry had crossed the stream and were advancing on the third objective, the small wood.

View from an overflying PO-2 spotter
 Unfortunately we ran out of time to finish it completely.  The Germans only had the Tiger and Pak left that could kill Russian tanks, but the Russians only had four mobile tanks left, three T-43s and a Churchill.

Things we learnt from the game were many and varied.  At least some of the infantry need anti-tank grenades.  Ammo does run out in tanks.  Stal Stal Stal is an awesome order, unless you roll a 1.

We had fun and will play it again, many times.  I just need to get some T-34s now.

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