For July's club game Pete put a Battle Group Fall of the Reich game. The scenario was based on one in the book, but adapted for Pete's collection. He asked me to bring some Soviet infantry, but unfortunately an error in my text meant I arrived with 3 platoons less than required.
I was eager to try out the Fall of the Reich supplement as late war WW2 has been my favourite WW2 period since I was a lad. Of course back then it was because the Germans had great tanks, now I know more and the rules reflect the late war weaknesses.
A Soviet spearhead breaking through the Seelow heights needs to take the train station (ours was actually a casino supplied by Dave), and the approach road from the north.
A German scratch defence force needs to stop them
1 x JSII tank section
1 x T34/85 tank platoon
4 x Rifle regiment platoons
3 x Tiger I tanks (1 is a Panzer Ace)
1 x Luftwaffe platoon
1 x SS platoon
2 x AA halftrack
1 x PzIV section
1 x platoon in half tracks (I can't remember if they were SS or Heer)
6x4ft table playing down the length east to west with the railway track running east to west. The road ran down the middle of the table north to south with a cross road in them middle with the station and some buildings. A part from the station most buildings were in ruins, hence their roofs were left off. The railway line should have been raised with an embankment providing hard cover, so we played it as such.
Tony and Chris commanded the Germans and Alex and I commanded the Soviets. Pete acted as umpire.
|The Soviet JSIIs move west up the road loaded with infantry|
|Looing from east to west. On the right is the casino train station the Soviet objective. Defending the south side of the road a platoon of hidden SS.|
|German Tigers with plenty of AA support defend the strategic station|
|Top right of board a lone Tiger can been seen beside a ruined house covering the German northern flank. On the northern side of the station platoon of ad hoc Luftwaffe defenders dig themselves in|
|The Soviets not having an assault platoon have no method of removing the road block so go round it. The rest of the Soviet Rifle platoon trot after the tanks jealous of their comrades still riding the tanks. The Germans were on ambush fire and Tiger takes a shot at long range hitting but not damaging a JS11, whose tank riders jump off quickly in to the nearby woods.|
|If you can see the little signs east of the railway tracks then your good eyesight has spotted the location of the German minefields|
|The Soviet katyusha strike nicely positioned by Alex was devastating and caused the Germans to take some BR tokens. One of which was am end of the Reich token allowing 2d6 to be rolled and added to the Germans BR to increase their will to resist the red hordes. Chris rolled a mighty 3, and the Soviets sighed|
|A Tiger Panzer Ace and AA half track burn from the katyusha strike. The station building took hits as well and only need 2 more to collapse.|
|2 companies of Soviets advance supporting the JSIIs. The JSII by the roadblock is dueling with the Tiger that took a shot earlier.|
|The T34's race west with a 'stal, stal, stal' order. Try as they might they couldn't all avoid the minefields with 1 tank blowing up. This picture in turn 2 shows them repeating the order and reaching the road with a section.|
|The Soviets reach the railway racks|
|South of the road the JSII's begin suppressing the SS as their supporting infantry move up|
|The JSII tries to distract the Tiger at the station|
|T34s storm forward|
|The tank riders are pinned having bailed off their destroyed ride.|
|Soviet infantry seek cover from mortar fire|
|The Tiger kills 2 T34's and in turn is taken out by the JSII that has been firing at it all game. It's job done the JSII takes a move up the road. At the junction dismounted Soviet infantry take cover as there tanks take heavy fire from a Tiger straddling the road.|
|The red counters show units that are pinned|
|The last Tiger makes a stand in the road and is charged by T34's who were lucky enough to survive |
|Germans last defence, a Luftwaffe platoon|
|The soon to be last Tiger on the northern flank about to take out the lead T34 threading it's way through the minefields|
|The Soviets have 2 T34s left on the northern side of the road. 1 taking on the Luftwaffe supported by it's dismounted tank riders and the other providing covering fire for a dash by Soviet infantry to take the station|
|Poor command dice and the loss of officers slows the Soviet advance south of the road.|
|The SS not as pinned as the Soviets want. Behind them 2 T34s burn from long range fire from the German reinforcements that arrive in the nick of time.|
|PzIV's and 251's rush east. The cross roads is held by a lone T34. The Soviets need to get infantry in the Casino station to claim the objective|
|Welcome German reinforcements|
|Time ran out leaving the game on a cliff hanger. 1 more turn would see the Soviets fully in control of the casino station, but only dice would see if they could threaten the north road held by the Luftwaffe and the last Tiger. The Soviets had 2 T34s left and a tank flame thrower, plus all the JSIIs. The SS were in great danger of being toast in the next turn, but only an infantry assault would be able to shift them quickly and that was 2 turns away over a minefield!|
So who won? Technically the Soviets as the Germans had taken the most BR counters, but the Germans still had the objectives with reinforcements racing up the road.
Another great Battle Group game.