Monday 18 July 2016

Battle Group Fall of the Reich game

For May's Conwy Wargames Club meeting Pete re-ran a Fall of the Reich scenario we'd played before called 'Holding Dolegin Station' but with the right troop types this time round, but with a smaller board to speed up the action.

Situation Report
A German SS panzer battle group with some thrown together Luftwaffe gunners cum infantry is defending a train station on the Seelowe heights before Berlin. The initial defenders are supported by a Panzer Grenadier platoon in reserve to come on in a later turn.

The Soviet start the game with an assault force whose aim is to breakthrough the line to allow the massive reinforcements to follow up.

This is a narrative game rather than a balanced one.

The Battle
We used a smaller 6x4 board rather than the 8x6 in the scenario. D6 Germans can start on Ambush Fire and the Soviet first wave starts 20" in. Reinforcements come on their sides base edge.

The Battlefield/Objectives

Initial German set up. The King Tigers are sat on the main objective, the fortified Dolgelin train station. Volksgrenadier infantry are in the houses. In the distance is another building objective, occupied by the Luftwaffe. Between the building but not in site are squads of Luftwaffe gunners in trenches behind (using your imagination) raised railway line with embankment. I commanded these.


Volksgrenadier platoon
King Tiger Platoon 2 x Panzer Aces
37mm Flak gun
2 x 20mm quad Flak guns
3 spare Luftwaffe flak crew rifle squads

3 mine fields
6 x off  table 88mm shots
AT barricade

Backs to Berlin +D6 BR

Panzergrenadier platoon
Supply truck

ISII platoon
Assault pioneer platoon (tank riders)
Forward Observer
2 x timed Katyusha strikes
Off table a battery of 2 x 152mm guns

Turn 2
T34 Tank company
Rifle company (tank riders)

Turn 5
Supply truck

The Game

The rest of the King Tigers and supports commanded by Gaz.

It turned out Gaz's men were lining a pond. We didn't notice this in set up!

Some of Gaz's Volksgrenadiers in their trench on the reverse of the railway embankment (good use of imagination required here). We kept forgetting the embankment as both sides tried to conduct long range tank duels.

View from one German side to the other

The Soviet assault force commanded by Dickie

My side of the Germans. A 82mm mortar crew in the trees middle right near the tracked AA vehicle in the middle

Soviet spotters

History repeats itself as the Soviet Katyusha rockets take out a Kingtiger in the same place the Germans lost a Tiger to the same rockets in the previous game. I've no excuse for not learning a lesson as I played in that game as well!

ISIIs advance and take hits causing the infantry to jump off

ISII's discovering the flat embankment is raised blocking line of site (we missed the scenario description stating that the embankment was very low!)

How many tank!

T34 company ready to advance commanded by Dickie's comrade Pete (not the umpire, our club has a lot of Pete's). The infantry are on the tanks, another imagination moment.

On the right the line of posts mark the minefields, blocking the Soviet advance

The King Tiger goes to work

The station is contested but not taken. The Soviet infantry haven't got in but all the German defenders are dead.

The 37mm flak gun didn't last long but did pin some T34s.

My Panzer Ace feels out numbered

Gaz did not have good luck with his King Tigers. He had to advance because the railway embankment (use imagination) hampered line of site (did I mention that we missed the scenario description saying it was very low). This exposed him to the stationary ISIIs who through weight of shots knocked him out.

Times up and the Germans are down to 40 out of 56

The Soviets Battle Rating is 58 out of 72. Germans lost 16 BR and the Soviets 14. A clear Soviet win, history definitely not repeated.

The view from the Soviet right side

The Soviet opposition on the left.

Very well intact JSII platoon
The Germans didn't even get their Panzer Grenadiers on, but without the Kingtigers falling back to Berlin was the only option.

Fun gun as always. The katyusha strikes in the first round slowed the game down before it began as it took us a while to remember the rules then work it all out. Like last time this should be a day game, but hat's off to Pete putting it on last minute.

I'm determined to replay this scenario and get it right.