ALGY TAKES TO THE SKIES!!!

Image

Last week regular opponent and good chum, Dave, came over for a game of Algy (Version 2 Playtest) – and here goes with all the action!!

Lt Bobby Baxter scanned the skies around him – the sun was rising in the East and he and his flight were the dawn patrol. He had 3 Camels as well as his own – to his right rear Charlie Wright, an experienced pilot, and to his left rear, Trevor Halfpenny, another experienced man. To Trevor’s left rear was, however, Ralph Hornby, brand new to the Squadron and clearly struggling to keep his place in the formation. At least he was on the safer side.

Bobby, a veteran himself, scanned the skies again and caught a flash off to their right flank and above – Boche!! He waggled his wings in warning and turned to his right, Charlie following suite. They might get a head on shot but, if not, they could come round and get on the Hun’s tail. Trevor pressed ahead, seemingly oblivious but waggling his wings in warning, sp clearly aware of the threat. And Ralph….he was enjoying himself, he had settled, seemed to be flying along fine and it promised to be a lovely day……..a brightly coloured plane cut across his nose, seeming inches away, and his Camel bucked in response. Ralph fought to regain control and, finally, the Camel settled into steady flight. He looked to his left and saw the brightly coloured plane heading straight and level over the British lines – what on earth?

HITACHI HDC-1491E

The British formation with the 2 Albatross coming in on their flank. My photograhy is, as usual, poor and I had not managed to sort everything in time for the game, so we have some SE5as proxying as Camels, I couldn’t find my altitude dials etc etc – I’ll be better prepared next time!

DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA, canvas ripped and Ralph’s plane bucked again – a quick glance behind revealed another brightly coloured Albatross on his tail and pouring fire into his aircraft. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA….what to do…DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA, that’s it! Bobby had said, if the Boche appear, dive for the British trenches and head for home – rudder, flaps, stick…..DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA – the engine in front of Ralph burst into flames, sweeping around the cockpit, he could feel the burning heat and his aircraft pointed its nose down, down, down……

HITACHI HDC-1491E

Lt Hornby’s final moments. Werner Bahnsteiger is firmly on his tail and, despite Charlie Wright being on the Hun’s flank, he wasn’t able to do anything to help. At top and leftish (so precise!!), you can see Bobby Baxter coming in as well, but too far away to do anything helpful.

Werner Bahnsteiger allowed himself a slight grin – one more kill to his tally, but this was too easy. Already a Junior Ace, he had spotted the sprog in the formation and had burst through the British aircraft, onto its tail and then, well, enough said. Where was Rudi?

The talk in the Mess later was that, in that initial dive, Rudi Kopfloser had dropped his Schnapps and had instantly ducked to try and recover it – thereby missing the British aircraft completely as he flew, oblivious to all, through the formation and across British lines. Rudi returned to the airfield later in good health and rattled on about sticky controls or such, but the ground crew found no evidence of any such problem (amazing what a case of beer can achieve) and his plane flew perfectly on the afternoon test flight!

But back to Werner Bahnsteiger. One down, no sign of Rudi and 3 to go. Aware of the 2 coming round on his tail, he turned hard and brought his Albatross directly at the flank of the first Camel – he reckoned he’d get a passing shot and then round onto the tail of the other one. As it was, he managed to get into a great flanking position and pressed down on the fire button  DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA. Bobby felt the rounds ripping through his aircraft and bucked and dodged as best he could. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA – this man knows how to fly though Werner as, again, he poured fire into the Camel but with no apparent signs of success. He could see the further Camel pushing to his right  and seeming to try to come round sharply, but not managing it and ending up heading away from the fight. Good. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA, but still no obvious damage. DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA – Werner felt the rounds rip through his aircraft and heard the canvas tearing – Trevor Halfpenny had pressed ahead, completed an impressive wing over and come back – not quite on the Hun’s tail, but close enough for a good burst and he could see his rounds hitting – got you now!!

But no, Werner pulled back on the stick, climbed over the Camel in front, now very close, and turned for home. The Camels reformed and continued their patrol uneventfully. It was a mixed mood in the mess, sadness at the loss of another young flyer, but elation at driving off that Boche – little did they know that Werner was down to his last couple of seconds of ammo and had decided one kill was enough before breakfast.

A great game, we’re still learning, but much fun and very realisitic. Werner, as a Junior Ace, really did dominate, but that’s as it should be, and poor Ralph was just out of his depth. It was also good to see an experienced pilot able to get into a fire position against the Junior Ace.

Monty the Desert Rat

SITREP 002

Image

I know I have been somewhat quiet in this respect over the last couple of weeks, but I have been working away on a Dark Ages commission and really nothing was finished until it was all finished, if that makes sense!! I had mainly been waiting until I could count shields so that I could do an accurate order to Little Big Men Studios – my first choice for Shield and Banner transfers, really lovely and easy to apply once you have the knack. Anyway, I am now sitting next to a stack of box files crammed with figures and such like all ready for the off and I thought I’d share my work with you. As ever, please excuse the poor photography – I am a better painter (honest!!) than I am photographer!!

Here goes with some Saxons:

DSC01337 DSC01336 DSC01348 DSC01349 DSC01350 DSC01351 DSC01316 DSC01314 DSC01311 DSC01313 DSC01315 DSC01322 DSC01321 DSC01320 DSC01318 DSC01317 DSC01326 DSC01327 DSC01334 DSC01333 DSC01335

And the Norman oppostion:

DSC01332 DSC01331 DSC01330 DSC01324 DSC01323

Some wagons:

DSC01342 DSC01343 DSC01339 DSC01341

Siege equipment:

DSC01346 DSC01347

and jetties:

DSC01345 DSC01344

Hope you enjoy,

Monty the Desert Rat.

CARRONADE 2014 – WENT THE DAY WELL?

Image

The short answer has to be YES!!

First off, hats off to the guys at the Falkirk and District Wargames Club for a great show. I asked myself the question, what could they have done differently to make the experience better for me, and the simple answer was nothing! I arrived in good time, I was able to park close to the hall, I was quickly directed to my table, which was exactly as requested and perfectly set up. I had some help carrying everything in and was ready with over an hour to go. I can’t comment much more on the show as I was tied to the stand (not literally!!), but it seemed very busy.

And what of the games?

Game One, here’s the table from the German end

HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E

And from the Soviet end:

HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E

The scenario saw a German Panzer Grenadier platoon with a PaK 40 in support (played by Rob) defending a collective farm against 2 dismounted Soviet cavalry platoons (2 squads each and commanded respectively by Gerard and Roderick of the McHighland Brigade) with a T34/76 along for the ride. Things did not go the Soviets’ way from the start. As cavalry they had the chance of additional, free moves in the patrol phase but none of their 4 dice gave them anything. That did mean the Soviets would not be able to press the farm as closely as they might in the Patrol Phase. Anyway, the Patrol Phase gave the Germans JOPs on their left in the woods, and towards the rear of the village. The Soviets had theirs in dead ground and, crucially, in scrub well forward on their left. Here we see it all post Patrol Phase:

HITACHI HDC-1491E

This left hand Soviet JOP was to be key for them and they progressively brought all four squads on from this JOP and pushed hard to break into the village, attacking the large, foremost building first. A sound plan as the German JOPs were too far back to allow them to deploy in this building. The Germans countered by bringing 2 squads on to cover both flanks of the farm. The right hand squad had both LMGs at the windows of one building and were able to bring the Soviet cavalry under fire. However, the Soviet use of tactical movement and the cover of the fences limited the impact of this.

Meanwhile, the German PaK came on on the left and positioned itself to cover the open approach. The T34 also appeared and was intended to come to the left, using the dead ground to avoid exposure to the PaK, and then bring the farm under fire to support and cover the advance of the cavalry. Clearly there was some decadence apparent in the crew as their advance was far from swift (2 on 2D6!!!). This left the cavalry exposed. The 3rd German squad came on on high ground behind the right flank of the farm, but was badly exposed and suffered from the fire of three Soviet squads and decided to move down the hill and into the cover of the farm. Various pictures of the Soviet attack:

HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E

And then the battle really swung. The Germans managed to bring some accurate and concentrated fire down on the cavalry squads – one was wiped out with the Junior Leader killed and a second Junior Leader had already been wounded. To hurry the games along, I had decided to add 1 to all ‘Bad things Happen’ rolls and this saw Soviet force morale collapse – a German victory!!

The Germans had lost a couple of men, but they got these back immediately as they had a sufficient difference in force morale. The Soviets lost 10 men, 1 Junior Leader and 1 Junior Leader wounded. This left them with 5 KIA, 3 missing for the next game and 2 back immediately. The wounded Junior Leader came back straight away, but Andrey Kuznetsov had to take over 2 Squad from the now dead Serzhant Yegor Popov. This left 1 and 2 Squads looking like this after all men came back:

FIRST SQUAD

Serzhant Igor Volkov

A worker in a factory in Kiev producing much needed armaments. He volunteered for the Army when his factory was moved to the Urals to save it from the rapacious invader of Soviet soil. One day he will return a hero of the Soviet Union!

Age 27, an average sort, unremarkable.

WIA POKHELBIN 5/12/42
LMG Anatoly Zaytesev
ASST Dmitriy Novikov  
RFN Aleksey Popov  
RFN Segey Sokolov  
RFN Nikita Kozlov  
RFN Yuri Smirnov  
RFN Maxim Vinogradov KIA POKHELBIN 5/12/42
RFN Mikhail Petrov  

SECOND SQUAD

Serzhant Yegor Popov

The son of a small shopkeeper in Eastern Russia, he fights for Holy Mother Russia in her hour of need.

Age 21, An intellectual looking man of average to short height.

KIA POKHELBIN 5/12/42
RFN Acting Serzhant

(command radius 3″)

Andrey Kuznetsov

A musician in the State Orchestra from Bryansk. Your fingers are now scarred and dirty, but the work you

do now is of greater importance than music. You fight for the rights of the workers and

peasants of the world!

Age 24, As broad as he is tall. A barrel of a man.

 
LMG Artyom Petrov  
ASST Yegor Kozlov  
RFN Maxim Morozov  
RFN Ivan Golyubev KIA POKHELBIN 5/12/42
RFN Yuri Lebedev KIA POKHELBIN 5/12/42
RFN Segey Bogdanov KIA POKHELBIN 5/12/42
RFN Nikolai Vinogradov KIA POKHELBIN 5/12/42

Fortunately, neither squad was needed for the second game and Squads 3 and 4 were untouched.

And the post game discussion? Really it focused around 2 issues – the failure to gain extra Patrol Phase moves leaving the Soviets more open ground to cover and with the Germans further forward, and the failure of the T34 to shoot the cavalry in. Had this been able to take up a good position out of the PaK’s arcs, it could have used its guns to progressively reduce the defences and soften them up for the cavalry to move in and mop up.

Game Two. We now moved forward to cover the events of the afternoon of the 5th December 1942. The positions we had been dealing with in the morning were still held by the Germans, who were increasingly under pressure. Soviet forces had also bypassed them and moved to clash with German forces further south. Having been stopped, they were now regrouping on some low ground ready to push forward again. Meanwhile, the Germans were pushing North to re-establish contact with their surrounded comrades. Here’s the table from the German end and then the Soviet end:

HITACHI HDC-1491EHITACHI HDC-1491E

So, we had Paul with a dismounted Soviet cavalry platoon (2 squads) with a Maxim, a 45mm ATG and a T34/76 in support against Stuart’s Panzer Grenadier platoon with a Marder III in support. Paul got an extra Patrol Phase move as dismounted cavalry (his 2 dice giving him the average result this time!). He pushed hard up on his right and we ended up with German JOPs pretty much on a line across the board in dead ground and scrub. The Soviets had one well back on their left centre behind the crest and they then ran forward in a diagonal line through some scrub (with a JOP) to a final JOP on the edge of the board but very far forward on their right. We spent a bit of time talking about this – using that Patrol Marker to place a JOP was a bold move and was to set the whole tone of the game. These show the end of the patrol phase – notice the Soviet JOP in the bottom left of the right hand photo – it’s the small circle on the table edge:

HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E

Paul brought a Squad on over on that extreme right and, in due course, brought his ATG on on his left on the crest to cover the road, with his Maxim deploying in the scrub right centre to cover the open ground and crest from that side, and his T34 coming on the road and moving forward as quickly as possible. However, back to the scene of the action and the Germans! Stuart was very clear that the Soviets had seized the initiative and that the deployment on his flank was a critical threat – if the Soviets got onto the crest they would dominate his whole deployment zone and have 2 of his JOPs in easy reach. Something had to be done! Whilst one Panzer Grenadier squad deployed in cover in the centre, a second was deployed to counter the first Soviet squad and the 2 LMGs ripped into the Squad. Men went down like flies, but Paul brought his second squad on – his JOP placement was bold and an all or nothing act – the combined fire cut down half the Panzer Grenadiers. This was a real close quarter affair at about 50 yards range! Even the Squad Leaders’ SMGs were involved it was so close. Stuart felt he had to bring on his final squad to win the firefight, which he duly did with the first Soviet Squad wiped out and the second reduced to 2 men and a wounded Junior Leader and they duly broke off the table. By this time the Marder had made it on to the table, but only just!! Some shots of the action. The first 2 show the Soviet depth positions with the 45mm ATG. The next 3 show the brutal firefight on the German flank.

HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E HITACHI HDC-1491E

By this point, Soviet Force Morale was pretty much broken and the Germans were very well placed to capture the forward JOP and complete the victory.

And what did we think of it all? Paul’s aggressive JOP placement made a significant portion of the battle irrelevant – it would all be determined by the fight for that insignificant and unnamed bump in the ground on the Don Steppe. The fire power of panzer grenadiers was key in winning this for the Germans, leg infantry would have been less robust in this respect. On reflection, I also wonder if the Soviets weren’t quite bold enough!! This really was an all or nothing gambit; perhaps the deployment of the MMG and 45mm to the same JOP with the senior leader would have beefed the Soviet force up. The additional firepower certainly would have tipped the balance back and Stuart would have been hard pushed to get more Germans on the ridge, although he would, perhaps, have been able to bring his 3rd Squad over to replace losses. Much to ponder!

The Germans had lost a five men, but they got these back immediately as they had a sufficient difference in force morale. The Soviets lost 12 men, 1 Junior Leader killed and 1 Junior Leader wounded. This left them with 6 KIA, 3 missing for the next game and 3 back immediately. The wounded Junior Leader came back straight away, but Yegor Petrov had to take over 3 Squad from the now dead Serzhant Nikolai Sokolov. This left 3 and 4 Squads looking like this after all men came back:

THIRD SQUAD

Serzhant Nikolai Sokolov

A mechanic from Minsk. He trained on engines and there is nothing about the internal combustion engine that he cannot fix.

Age 27, an average sort, unremarkable.

KIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42
RFN

Acting Serzhant

3″ command radius

Yegor Petrov

A former seminary student from Sosnovy Bor, you escaped from the Solovki Special Purpose Camp, thereby avoiding death. You now serve in the Army under an assumed identity. You fear exposure each day. Add +3 to your roll for age.

Age 27, An average sort. Unremarkable.

 
LMG Andrey Vorobyrov  
ASST Yuri Vasilyev  
RFN Anatoly Semyonov KIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42
RFN Vladimir Sokolov KIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42
RFN Maxim Petrov KIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42
RFN Igor Vinogradov  
RFN Alexei Semyonov KIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42

FOURTH SQUAD

Serzhant Daniil Vasilyev

A worker on a collective farm near Belgorod producing food for the Soviet people and their fraternal allies. The Army has been a harsh school, but he has survived and killed many fascists. His men look to him for leadership as they know he is one of them.

Age 23, A strapping six‐footer.

WIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42
LMG Yuri Vinogradov  
ASST Vladimir Morozov  
RFN Mikhail Smirnov  
RFN Segey Ivanov KIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42
RFN Alexsandr Golyubev KIA MAJORSKI 5/12/42
RFN Yegor Kozlov  
RFN Dmitriy Golyubev  
RFN Dmitriy Zaytesev  

Overall, however, I am really grateful to Rob, Gerard, Roderick, Stuart and Paul for coming along and giving my games a go. It was a real pleasure to meet you all and it was a great atmosphere round the table. It was also great to meet old friends and new ones – thank you to everyone who took the time to stop and chat, when I was able to free myself up.

And as for my perspective? The key conclusion was that running participation games, fronting a stand to the public and trying to show case your business is just too much for one man, even with a rat in support! I was VERY lucky that a good friend covered the stand to allow me to get some lunch and then came back and helped me clear up – cheers, Jimmy, I owe you one. But it was a very hard day and I was left feeling that neither the players nor the public had had the attention they deserved. What to do about that? I have no idea as cloning is not an option!!! More thought required.

HOWEVER, next up is Durham on the 14th June (I will also be at Deep Fried Lard on the 7th but Durham is the next show). This is a new one for me but I am really excited. I know Durham well and it is a lovely place and I have heard only good things about the show. The campaign will now move on and we will see the start of Operation WINTER STORM proper now 6th Panzer Division’s buildup is complete. I’m sure some will be concerned that the Soviet forces have been badly written down already – but will the cavalry be back or will 6th Panzer be facing a new and fresh foe? Watch this space!!

 

Monty the Desert Rat.

LARD AT CARRONADE – MEET THE CHAPS!!

Standard

As Carronade approaches, I thought you might all like to meet the protagonists in the series of games, on which we are about to embark. Now you may wonder what the empty, third column is for – that’s so we can track their fate as the campaign progresses!

First up, the Germans:

3 PLATOON

 OC: Unterfeldwebel Rolf Schweinsteiger

An Office Clerk in Augsberg since school, and then the army when called up. Age 48. As broad as he is tall, a barrel of a man.

FIRST SQUAD

 Obergefreiter Maximilian Flicke A former Communist dock worker in Hamburg, he keeps quiet about his background now but leopards don’t change their spots. He hopes for better days in the future. Add +3 to age roll. Age 35. A strapping 6 footer.
LMG 1 Maximilian Fliegle
ASST Daniel Lohner
RFN Tobias Kisslinger
RFN Leon Hafonstaangel
LMG 2 Fabian Lehman
ASST Lukas Lammesfelder
RFN Fabian Karge
RFN Paul Mòhlbach
RFN Jonas Artz

SECOND SQUAD

Gefreiter Michael WallfischAn inner‐citySchool boy from Berlin with a father in an armaments factory. He left the Hitler Jugend and joined the Army. He is a model citizen of the new Germany. Roll 1D6 only for age. Age 23. Average, unremarkable appearance.
LMG 1 Jonas Pfeiffer
ASST Maximilian Ettmuller
RFN Tim Mosbauer
RFN Daniel Kolf
LMG 2 Tobias Saggau
ASST Felix Beerbaum
RFN Jonas Klinsmann
RFN Alexander Wiese
RFN Lukas Schwarzacher

THIRD SQUAD

Ober gefreiter Gert OberkampA cabaret musician originally from Leipzig, he played with all the big stars before being called up. He still hankers for some “degenerate art” and listens on foreign radio broadcasts when he can. Age 30. Tall and thin.
LMG 1 Julian Mellenthin
ASST Maximilian Beyer
RFN Paul Feinblatt
RFN Florian Scholze
LMG 2 David Backstedt
ASST Tobias Zobel
RFN Paul Fersten
RFN Julian Kresch
RFN Tim Reinelt

and now for the Soviets! These men will be called upon to represent a range of units, but these men will be the ones we will follow:

FIRST PLATOON

OC: Leytenant Andrey Sokolov

He supervised the workers on the collective farm in Gerogia where bumper turnip crops were grown. He is a loyal Party member and fine Soviet citizen but his peasant background means he takes care to look after his men. Add +1 to the men’s opinion.

Age 25, tall and thin.

FIRST SQUAD

Serzhant Igor VolkovA worker in a factory in Kiev producing much needed armaments. He volunteered for the Army when his factory was moved to the Urals to save it from the rapacious invader of Soviet soil. One day he will return a hero of the Soviet Union!Age 27, an average sort, unremarkable.
LMG Anatoly Zaytesev
ASST Dmitriy Novikov
RFN Aleksey Popov
RFN Segey Sokolov
RFN Nikita Kozlov
RFN Yuri Smirnov
RFN Maxim Vinogradov
RFN Mikhail Petrov

SECOND SQUAD

Serzhant Yegor PopovThe son of a small shopkeeper in Eastern Russia, he fights for Holy Mother Russia in her hour of need.Age 21, An intellectual looking man of average to short height.
LMG Artyom Petrov
ASST Yegor Kozlov
RFN Andrey Kuznetsov
RFN Maxim Morozov
RFN Ivan Golyubev
RFN Yuri Lebedev
RFN Segey Bogdanov
RFN Nikolai Vinogradov

THIRD SQUAD

Serzhant Nikolai SokolovA mechanic from Minsk. He trained on engines and there is nothing about the internal combustion engine that he cannot fix.Age 27, an average sort, unremarkable.
LMG Andrey Vorobyrov
ASST Yuri Vasilyev
RFN Yegor Petrov
RFN Anatoly Semyonov
RFN Vladimir Sokolov
RFN Maxim Petrov
RFN Igor Vinogradov
RFN Alexei Semyonov

FOURTH SQUAD

Serzhant Daniil VasilyevA worker on a collective farm near Belgorod producing food for the Soviet people and their fraternal allies. The Army has been a harsh school, but he has survived and killed many fascists. His men look to him for leadership as they know he is one of them.Age 23, A strapping six‐footer.
LMG Yuri Vinogradov
ASST Vladimir Morozov
RFN Mikhail Smirnov
RFN Segey Ivanov
RFN Alexsandr Golyubev
RFN Yegor Kozlov
RFN Dmitriy Golyubev
RFN Dmitriy Zaytesev

LARD AT CARRONADE!

Standard

MONTY’S WARGAMING WORLD IN CONJUNCTION WITH TOOFATLARDIES
PRESENT
OPERATION WINTER STORM – THE DRIVE TO RELIEVE STALINGRAD
DECEMBER 1942

THE HISTORY

By December 1942, the German 6th Army was encircled in STALINGRAD and a decision was taken to withdraw 6th Army. The plan was in 2 parts, the first of which was Unternehmen WINTERGEWITTER (Operation WINTER STORM). This was a drive from the SOUTH to establish a secure bridgehead over the River MYSHKOVA. The main effort of this was to be with 6th Panzer Division, at the time refitting in France after their withdrawal from the eastern front in April 1942. The division was well led, fully equipped with the latest equipment, well trained and over strength. Two more panzer divisions were allocated to the operation; 17th and 23rd to provide flank protection to 6th Panzer Division’s advance. Both were badly under strength after prolonged fighting on the eastern front and neither was a division in anything other than name. Indeed, 6th Panzer Division had to divert during the operation to clear 23rd’s axis of advance. Added to that, 17th would not arrive until the operation was well underway. And if that wasn’t enough, as 6th Panzer Division moved to their assembly area in southern RUSSIA, the front collapsed and they detrained into a vacuum that was rapidly being filled with Soviet troops! They had to stabilise the situation, create a front behind which the Division could assemble, and then launch their attack.

In short, Operation WINTER STORM was successful. 6th Panzer Division secured a bridgehead over the MYSHKOVA and were able to see STALINGRAD in the distance, some 30km away. This left the second part of the plan, which was that the mobile units of 6th Army would attack southwards to link up with 6th Panzer Division and allow the remainder of 6th Army to withdraw. However, by the time 6th Panzer Division had established their bridgehead, it was clear that the mobile units of 6th Army were in no state to complete their part of the overall plan. 6th Panzer Division was therefore tasked to plan and then execute an operation to open a corridor for 6th Army and keep that corridor open until 6th Army had withdrawn along it. The operation was cancelled shortly before it was to start – why? The front had collapsed elsewhere and 6th Panzer Division was rushed away to stabilise the front in that sector, sealing the fate of 6th Army. The rest, as they say, is history.

What of the Soviets, no bit part players in these events by any means. Facing the oncoming storm was 57th Army and specifically 4th Cavalry Corps, which was busy moving into the gaps in the front. They would bear the brunt of the early engagements. As it became clear that this was a major German attack, reinforcements in the shape of 4th Mechanised and 13th Tank Corps were rushed to the scene. It should be noted that German intelligence got things wrong at this point, being convinced that they were facing 3rd Tank Army, but this was not committed. This is a key point in reading the sources as German sources often persist with this misidentification. Anyway, this first wave of reinforcements was followed by a second wave, 2nd Guards Army, who were tasked to halt the offensive on the MYSHKOVA. This is, of course, what happened and you may well see references to the attack being halted. However, as we know, this was the Germans objective and they had planned on going no further. Had they launched their effort to create a corridor, would they have succeeded? Who knows? 2nd Guards Army were a strong force and 6th Panzer had already had some hard fighting, but that is to speculate!

THE GAMES

We will be playing 2 games from the series of scenarios written to cover this operation and which I hope will be published in the near future. We will be using TooFatLardies‘ excellent Chain of Command rules and the campaign supplement; At the Sharp End. The rules are platoon level WW2 rules, focused on infantry but with plenty of support options and the ability to play all armour games if that is what you desire. The rules are available from TooFatLardies:

http://toofatlardies.co.uk/

GAME ONE – DEFENCE OF POKHLEBIN 5 DEC 42 (10:30-12:30)

After securing KOTELNIKOVO, the main town and railway station serving their assembly area, 6th Panzer Division continued its build-up in preparation for the coming offensive. Because they had such a large area to secure given the ‘absence’ of other troops to secure the area for them, they opted to create a series of mutually supporting strongpoints backed up by a powerful mobile reserve. One such strongpoint was POKHLEBIN. In Game One, we see the Soviets attacking a Collective Farm in the vicinity of POKHLEBIN as both forces move into the area and seek to secure it for themselves.

GAME TWO – THE ROAD TO MAJORSKI 5 DEC 42 (13:30-15:30)

There is a lack of clarity as to when this action took place. One of the participants recalls it being the 3rd but the events described closely match the Soviet attack towards KOTELNIKOVO and there seems to have only been one of these. The commander of 6th Panzer Division, Lieutenant General Erhard Raus, dates this as the 5th and so I have gone with both this and the previous scenario occurring on the same day and that day being the 5th.

As the Soviets were attacking POKHLEBIN, other forces pushed past and continued towards KOTELNIKOVO. This took some of their forces towards MAJORSKI, where the initial advance was blocked by the German defenders. This game takes place as that pause comes to an end with both sides seeking to push forward.

 

Please do come and see us!!

Monty the Desert Rat

WARGAMES BOOKS IN SCHOOLS PROJECT

Standard

TooFatLardies have launched a project to get wargames books into schools to support the future growth of our hobby. Full details are at:

http://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=2737

This really is a great idea and one worthy of all our support. I have very fond memories of gaming at school and Monty’s will be helping out in any way we can with this. Please support TFL as well.

Monty the Desert Rat