Mission: Cauldron with Festerplatz defence.
Firestorm Troops: Soviets - 2 Artillery, Germans - Pioneers.
The Cauldron was ringed with minefields & minefields defended by a Sperr Inf, a Sperr Pioneer, a Pioneer & 2 88's. The Germans had Stugs, Hetzers, 105's, Sperr & Mortars in reserve.
The Russians put their 2 Firestorm heavy batteries & their Sappers on the table with T34s, Shermans & Honeys (10 each) in reserve.
The Soviet sappers cleared the minefield where it passed thru a village & formed up the Honeys to charge through, but the Stugs came on, fired down the road & the road became blocked with a pile of burning Honeys. So the sappers had to get to work clearing another minefield as the Shermans & T34s tried to supress the German fire on them. The Germans 105's & Hetzers arrived a bit late, but soon made their presence felt destroying the Shermans & making a hole in the T34s. But the Soviet artillery was making a big difference - for a change. They had popped the 88's early on & evetually 2 Stugs, 2 105's & 2 Hetzers as well. James had belatedly realised that the shit fight wasn't right place for the Honeys & they swept around the German's left to finish off the 105's. The T34/85's finally finsihed off the Hetzers, then the last pesky Stug. This left the Germans in a hopeless position. The Soviets could just stand back & blast away until the Germans' failed Coy Morale & there was nothing the Germans could do as they had with no artillery or Armour or anti-tank left.
The battle looked a hard ask for the Germans, but as always they are tougher than they look. RIchard put up a good fight & the Stugs & Hetzers almost turned the game. In the end it was the Soviet artillery that won the day (good Firestorm choice by James). It was a 4:3 victory for the Soviets & Bobruisk falls. The Firestorm rolls lost the Soviets one of their Artillery, the German Pioneers retreated to Osipovichi. The Soviets can move their surving Art plus up to 3 other 4 Firestorm troops from Berizena to Bobruisk.
Pic 1: The start. Soviet batteries in the distant corner, Sappers lined up to clear teh village.
Pic 2: The Tankovy line up.
Pic 3: The end - the Germans still hold the objectives but have lost more than half their platoons & would have to survive at least 20 mg dice at 4+ to launch a counterattack .