Friday 13 January 2017

Lokhvitsa Campaign Day 2 - Game 3


Day 2 of the campaign weekend in 2015 comprised 1 game with a different scenario. Here is the brief we'd all been given before the weekend:

The German pincers are closing on Lokhvitsa itself, were they will link up and surround the troops holding Kiev. If they succeed, the defence of Kiev is doomed. The Russian have quickly dug-in in the area and must now make a last-ditch defence of the Lokhvitsa area.
Scenario Type: Attack-Defence
Scenario Size: 450pt Platoon game.
The terrain will be provided. You will be assigned a random table to play on. Please do not adjust the terrain.
The side that loses all its BR is defeated, and his opponent wins. In the event that neither side has broken, the side that is closest to their break point has lost. Inform the referee of the size of the victory (see Briefing), Massacre, Solid, Marginal or draw.
MAP: See deployment map on page 174 of Battlegroup Kursk.
1. Place Objectives
Place two objectives. The Russian player places an objective anywhere in the frontline zone. The German player then places a second objective anywhere in the Russian player’s third of the table (beyond the frontline zone). The Russians cannot win an ‘all objectives secured’ victory, but the Germans can.
2. Place any Pre-Registered Target Points and Timed Barrages
Both sides should note down where their pre-registered target points are (if they have any). They should also note down the location and turn for any timed barrages or air strikes. Also, remember to chose ammo for your armoured vehicles.
3. Determine Initial Defenders
The Russian defenders must place all his Defences (those chosen from the Defences section of the army lists) in the frontline zone (the central third of the table). In addition to his defences he must also places 3D6 units, freely chosen from his battlegroup, in the frontline zone as his initial defenders. A D6 of these units may start the game on Ambush Fire.
4. Determine Initial Attackers
The German attackers must place all their Reconnaissance units (those chosen from the Reconnaissance section of the army lists) up to 10” from his board edge. In addition to his reconnaissance units, he must also place 2D6 other units, freely chosen from his battlegroup, up to 10” from his table edge.
5. Out Scouted
The side that is out scouted must take a counter.
6. Attacker’s Reinforcements
Any units not deployed at the start of the game are the attacker’s reinforcements. From the start of turn 2, 1D6 units arrive from the German player’s table edge. Roll at the start of each German turn until all his forces are on the table.
7. Defender’s Reinforcements
Any units not placed in the frontline zone are the defender’s reinforcements. From the start of turn 2, 2D6 units arrive from the Russian player’s table edge. Roll at the start of each Russian turn until all his forces are on the table.
8. First Turn
The Germans are attacking and get the first turn.
The game is played along the length of a 6x4 table.
The weather is fine and sunny, so do not roll for weather, aircraft will be available all day as normal.
There is no free initial bombardment in this version of the scenario, only what the player has taken as part of his battle group.
The impartial referee(s) has the extra reserve forces. The Russian’s 3 KV tanks and the German’s 4 timed Stuka attacks will be assigned to tables randomly.

The Forces
I tooke the same force as Day 1 see German Panzer Div force

Pts Forward HQ (L,AFS) BR Men
22 FHQ (MS)  Jeep i 3 3

Pts Infantry (R,E,S) BR Men
47 Reserve Motor Rifle Platoon i 5
Cmd (Aux) 3
4 x Squads 1 DP Lmg (Aux) 32
18 Maxim 1 3
47 Reserve Motor Rifle Platoon i 5
Cmd (Aux) 3
4 x Squads 1 DP Lmg (Aux) 32
18 Maxim 1 3

Pts Tanks (R,E, L, S) BR Men
72 T26 Plt 5x T26 (Stal!) i 10
8 T35 1

Pts Recon Units BR Men
15 Sniper and spotter v (30-40 hit 6) 1 2

Pts Artillery (AFS) BR Men
87 Hvy Mortar Battery 120mm x 3 i 2 9
16 FO jeep (Art spotter) i 1 2

Pts Defences BR Men
45 3 x minefields 0

Pts Spec Units BR Men
54 AT gun battery  3 x 45mmL46 horse tow 3 9

Total     Points 449
Total BR 33
Officers 0
Scouts 1

The Game
This game saw me playing against my old mate and long term gaming companion Guy. Since I'd moved to distant parts we hadn't gamed for a year so it was good to face each other again.

I won the recce round so first BR counter for Guy. Ironically the use of snipers to boost your recce was a trick I'd learnt from him.

Guy's deployment was mainly in the houses. His minefields came with a set of dummies so you couldn't tell where they were. I'd did this to him in a previous game but his counter were great, with the live minefield marked underneath.

Guy's HQ occupies the church

First casualty to Guy using his AT guns.

I pin some infantry

I pin some more infantry

Guy takes BR counters and unpins them

Guys mortars pin my 88

Guys MGs devastate my infantry

I get back to pinning units

I purposely halt in front of the minefields because having lost so many infantry my main offensive weapon is the tanks. I use them to pin or whittle down the defenders so I can issue a general advance and take objectives, without losing more infantry or use the infantry to find the mine fields so the tanks can cross. 

Nice close up clearly not showing the arrival of Guy's tanks and my destroying the T35 with my off table fire support. The mists of time and lack of photos... a sure sign I was enjoying myself means I can't remember what happened to his T26's.

By the end of the game we discover I was still dazed from the artillery battering from yesterday and my single mortar had been promoted to a battery throwing double the dice it should have. Oops. I don't think it changed the games outcome but the mortars did some pinning and Guy did take BR counters to unpin. On the whole Guy's dice were having a bad day while mine could do no wrong. Although my advance was stalled in front of the defences due to a lack of pioneers (I'd decided they were too costly) by the end of the game Guy's forces had it's Battle Rating (BR) reduced by a higher percentage than mine. A minor victory for Germany! My first in 2 campaign weekends or 5 games.
I really enjoyed the weekend. I loved seeing the different forces taken by everyone and coming across new tactics that I can use myself in the future. I'd definitely do it again time permitting which in 2016 and for the forth coming 2017 weekend it doesn't.