Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pottery Rd 25/03/06

Pottery Rd on Saturday Night

Jim's Grenadiers v. SteveP's Russian Guards.
1500 pts Envelopment Mission (diced for on the CC Mission List). Germans chose to defend.
Both sides had infantry armies - not only no armour - there wasn't even a truck to be seen.

The Envelopment Mission is a modified Hold the Line. The defenders get some fortifications while the attacker gets to make flank/rear attacks with at least 1 & up to 1/2 of his platoons (start dicing for these on turn3).

The Germans used their fortification points to put a minefield across the left half of the front. The unmined half of the front was in front of the forward objective, but was an open plain - perfect field of fire. The Russians made an advance with 1st guards & sappers on the minefield on their right flank while their artillery & Sturmos were to soften the enemy up for a flank attack by 2nd guards. The Germans dropped their HMGs out of ambush on their left behind the minefield & enagaged in counterbattery fire with their 105s. 1st Grenadiers were dug in on the forward objective. 88s were tucked out of sight of observers behind woods near the rear objective to provide AA cover. 2nd Grenadiers, Pioneers, Pak 40's & 2ic with mortars in reserve.

The German reserves came on 1 a turn which allowed them to put an Infantry platoon to guard both rear flanks, but the Russian Reserve/Flank force also came early. It came on and attacked Pioneers before they could be dug in. The smgs killed most & the assault finished them off. For a short time it looked bad for the Germans with just 1st Grenadiers & the small 105 battery between the flanking platoon & the objectives. But finishing off the 105s delayed them & the 1st Grenadier's dug in were a tougher nut than the Pioneers - plus their firing was deadly. The 2nd Guards attack ground to a halt & the 2nd Grenadiers came over from the other flank to finish them off. Meanwhile the attack on the HMGs petered out under a hail of HMG fire. Delayed by the minefield the 1st Guards & Pioneers were mown down. The Sturmos came often, but the 88s stopped some, some didn't find targets & most hits were saved anyway. The Russian artillery was cut down to 2 pieces before the 105s were forced to defend themselves so their fire was pretty ineffective.

We liked the scenario & it seems well balanced (though luck with reserves dice is pretty critical). The attackers flanking force is hard to deal with, but the minefields are a great advantage also. Steve erred in taking on the minefield direct - the open ground looked scary, but was probably a better bet. There was a critical turn when the 2nd Guards assaulted the 1st Grenadiers and were pinned by defensive fire. If that attack had succeeded, the objective would have been taken with no one else able to dispute it. Airpower again proved to be nerve wracking, but actually not very effective.

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