Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Operation Bagration - Club Campaign - Battle Report

Howdy folks,

Just catching up with last year items...in December we ran the second turn of our Firestorm Bagration campaign at the club.  For this go I was again a Soviet commander squaring off against my German opponent fighting into a fortified city (can't remember the name of the city).

For this fight, I had two Firestorm troops allocated to me for the attack...2 x IS-2's and a Submachinegun Company of 14 x smg stands.  Because the fight was for a fortified city I thought this would be a great chance to try a Soviet Infantry based force...and because I've always wanted to try it out, I chose a Shtraf Penal Battalion of 2 x infantry company (21 x smg stand with komissar), 1 assault gun company of 5 x su-76 assault guns, a heavy machinegun company of 6 x maxim hmg stands.

Opposing me, Bernhard had an infantry force with rifle/mg teams, some heavy machineguns, a couple of Tigers (with Otto Carius warrior in one), some anti-tank guns, and I think he had a panzergrenadier platoon in halftracks.  I can't recall the scenario type, but Bernhard had to do a phased withdrawal of his force...he did get to begin in prepared positions and gone to ground.

The city fight gave me the perfect chance to break out some of my old Stalingrad inspired terrain that I had made a few years back...they haven't seen the light of gaming day in some time so it was great to break them out.

Enjoy the pics...comments are always welcome, thanks for the views.

Initial setup, my force is coming in from the right, the Germans have set up on the left hand side of the city...the cobblestone road is pretty much centre.
 
I've deployed my forces...this is only the second go I've had with a Soviet infantry force so I'm still getting used to the hordes of stands...with combat attachments, my 2 main companies had about 25 stands each...I've deployed my armour on my left flank...the idea being the space will give them clear firing lines and room to move without sneaking infantry.  My intent is to have my infantry move through the city and get close to the Germans and then close assault until the defenders are crushed.
 
The first couple of turns are simply me moving into buildings and using cover to block line of sight...at the top of the table, I'm moving troops in fields to basically 'island hop' from building to building using assaults...this seemed to make sense...it avoided most of Bernhards fortifications and allowed me to reduce his defensive footprint...that was the plan at least.
 
On the left flank, my IS-2's were slowly moving forward to engage the Tigers and pak's that were on their flank...as they moved forward they engaged what targets presented.  The bulk of the action took place on my right as my infantry pushed forward...
On the far right, my Shtraf troops pushed forward, getting close with a farmhouse removing the defenders and then focusing on the redbrick party building with the barbed wire next to it.  Tactically, this is where I made my biggest err...that dogged me the entire game.  In my brain the edge of the table was the green field and the barbed wire stand...I simply forgot that I had another 4-6 inches to the right...so instead of hooking around the barbed wire, I went for the cobbled street and launched successive assaults from there.  As I was soon to learn, this placed me in a crossfire of about 3-4 different platoons that were able to lay down defensive fire...simple mistake, big effect...
 
In the 'middle' I continued to use the apartment buildings as cover and a means to move my troops forward to close the gap out of line of sight...
 
My hmg company uses a burnt out shell as a means of bulletproof cover and concealment...this was a good location to lay down fire...
 
The left sees the armour engaging infantry teams at range getting hits where they can...
 
The bulk of the close assaults would take place in this little battlespace...
 
Various 'battlefield' pov view shots from the German lines of my Shtraf's moving forward...
 
The German right flank, where my armour is slowly moving up to try to engage Bernhard's tanks and anti-tank guns...
 
Bernhard's close assault defenders looking across the street...
 
My maxim gun teams look across at the German defenders...
 
My Shtraf carries out multiple attacks, reaching the party headquarters and pushing across the street to begin routing out these defenders...
 
The defenders fall in the party building...as the bulk of my other company makes it to the street, I launch consecutive assaults to try to break them...
 
Desperate for more firepower, Bernhard brings in his halftracks...
 
The German defenders did an excellent job of making their saves when they had the chance to roll, the defensive fire proved highly effective as at least half of my assaults were stunted with troops being caught in the open after having to fall back...if I had instead hooked a little more to the right and left the party building and farmhouses, I could have pushed towards the rear in force with my second company serving as a distracting force...also I should have deployed the hmg's and smg company further to the right to support the assaults...
 
I do very much like these infantry heavy forces as I think it definitely gives me a lot more to think about tactically...
 
Cheers.
 

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