Monday, 29 July 2013

Battle Report: Cherkasskoye, Operation Citadel 5th July 1943

Saturday saw the 2nd installment in our (very) occasional series of Kursk encounters, the assualt on the main Soviet line at Cherkasskoye.
(full details for the scenario and TOE can be found here:)
The German view of the battlefield from Butovo prior to the placement of the anti-tank ditch and the Soviet defences

The 67th Guards Rifles dig-in at Cherkasskoye

The formidable defenses

Turn one and as per history, a command blunder has the Panzers stumbling into a marsh
Soviet High Command check their situation maps

The Grossdeutschland Panzer Grenadiers move up cautiously

Early game and the germans are massing in the cover of the cornfield, shrugging off the loss of their air-cover
In what was to become a familar sight, artillery had suppressed a Russian Command stand
The Panzers move up to firing positions

View from the Russian front lines

A few brave PanzerGrenadiers make a dash for the cover of the anti-tank ditch

More suppressed Russian command stands (sigh)

Von Cleuswitz demonstrates his unrivalled ability to pass successive command tests
Turn 4 and as usual with BKC, casualties are light so far

Sutov and his adviser Sam comfirm that the panzers are still out of range of their guns


Confident in his dice rolling, Von Cleuswitz takes time out for refreshment


It's bad news for the Russians as the forward artillery observer makes the cover of the anti-tank ditch (particularly given the slightly over powered misreading of the artillery rules we were using)
Mid game and the german view of the Russian lines shows a few gaps developing

Now the CO is suppressed

The 199th hold firm on the left flank

And the right flank is holding steady (shame about the centre...)

It's crunch time as the GD lunge for the anti-tank ditch in force - with the pioneers taking up position

Russian mortars thwart the plans of the first unit of pioneers

The start of turn 10 and the russian casualties are becoming unsustainable

Clearing the ditch, the Germans halt at the wire belt, amused that the russians have not placed their hidden minefields in front of the village but to guard against a mythical flank attack
Suppressing fire proves effective yet again

Technical victory to the Germans on turn 10 but we play-on figuring that if their going to capture Obyan, they need to occupy Cherkaskoye by turn 12

Darren ponders the irony that the Germans have won before they finally bridge the ditch

Panzers poised to exploit

An ill advised assault on a bunker sees the entire German first wave suppressed as they lose badly


Which displeases Darren as he's forgotten that suppression comes off at the end of your turn


Victory is secured. Flanking fire from the left suppresses some of the Germans...

and the last ditch charge from the right flank falls tantilisingly short with a final failed command test at 6's

A dejected Sutov awaits his fate at the hands of the NKVD

So, some closing thoughts. A massively enjoyable day for all concerned. The table looked great and the scenario was fun. It was pretty touch and go as to whether the Germans would prevail, despite the overwhelming casualties they caused. It came down to not much more than a failed command test on turn 12 for the Russians. Great effort from Darren once more in constructing a meaty and plausible historical scenario and plaudits to von Cleuswitz & Sam for great company and great dice rolling
There were some problems, some due to our massively overpowered misreading of the artillery rules, but mostly of our own creation as the Russians. We placed the ditch too far away from our defenses meaning we couldn't really pour down concentrated fire on the infantry while not halting the tanks far enough away to stop them shelling us. I  bizzarely placed all our minefields on the right flank. Our scheduled barrages were in the wrong place .... I could go on!
Furthermore, the Germans out ranged us with their tanks, meaning that they could simply stand off and snipe our ATGs. I think a re-run might need some rules for hidden deployment or simply not letting the tanks fire until the ATGs had opened up at them to better reflect the historical events. 
Wish we had time in our lives for a re-fight but now it's on to Game 3 ...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Countdown to Kursk 00 Hours

So here is the final update in the countdown to Kursk series, and coming at ya on the day of the game pre set up.

I could have put this out on Thursday but was out in the evening (Warhammer Fantasy Role Play) and then out with my partner Friday night for movie and dinner and just couldn't find the time.

In case you were interested the movie was the new Wright, Peg and Frost Worlds End and dinner at Cau it's a Steak House.....

Anyway here are some shots of the finished (bar some transfers) models and a group shot of the entire battlegroup ready for deployment..

After sitting on my arse for ages I didn't think I would manage to get as much done as I have so yay me! ;0)

This means that aside from some Infantry Guns and a couple of other bits and pieces my mid war Eastern front Germans are done and I can concentrate on finishing up the terrain for the next game.

Thank you to Itinerant Hobbyist for the encouraging comments throughout this mini series of posts!