For our Saturday game, Dan and I selected MM26 Gallant Mogilev as we continued our play through the 2013 March Madness Commissar Pack from the Kansas City ASL Group. This particular scenario covers the fighting for Mogilev in July 1941 as Operation Barbarossa was at full fury. As with all the scenarios in this pack, Commissars were in abundance in the Soviet OOB. So you know that the Russians probably lost a few men to Tokarev's pistols during this game.
This game would show at once the value of Commissars and the grim consequences of not rallying when one should.
Roughly a squad and a half of 4-2-6's would die at the hands of the Commissars during the course of the evening. And the Germans certainly didn't need any help...
Dan would draw the Germans and would be the scenario attacker. He would have 19 squads, 6 officers, 7 mg's, some DC's, a 75* INF Gun and 150mm OBA. Dan's Germans would be veterans of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 23rd Infantry Division.
The men of the 9th Infantry Regiment would prove to be very tough in our game. My Russians would ultimately inflict very low losses on the German veterans.
As the Russians, I would be the scenario defender. This battle takes place on boards 65 and 64 with the board length river overlay on board 65. I loved the look of this battle and the tactical challenges it presented to me as the defender. A two lane bridge at the north end of the battlefield was the ultimate objective for Dan's Germans. My job...simple...hold the bridge. Easy right...unfortunately no...it would be pretty tough..
My Russians would consist of the Soviet 172nd Rifle Division, 61st Rifle Corps., Soviet 13th Army. I would have 23 squads, 3 Commissars, three officers, 2 MMG's, 2 ATR's, 4 LMG's, 8 x wire, 6 x trenches, 2 fortified buildings, 24 factors AP mines, 2 roadblocks, and 2 immobilized BT-5. HOW could I not win!?!
With the river dividing the battle space, I was concerned that Dan might get crazy and schwerpunkt it up the left side of the river. So I put all my dummy counters there as well as my mines in a belt in front of both immobilized BT-5's. I figured this would be enough to slow down Dan if he went that way and give me time to react.
My BT-5's would not contribute to the fight.
Dan began his advance with a 2-4-7 Half-squad that ran straight up the middle and would go on to be the most heroic unit of the entire battle. I couldn't hit them...
My plan of holding my fire as Dan's men advanced into my grill...proved to be a bad one...
I held my fire as Dan's men ran on the field one at a time. Residual fire would have been my friend...but noooo...I had to stay concealed...
Don't think...just shoot...
My Russians sat back and watched the German attack unfold.
Guess my boys were otherwise occupied...
Just like that Dan's Germans were right in my grill and even behind me...
"I don't know Bubba..."
Dan's heroic 2-4-7's had been pinned, so I sent in a concealed 4-2-6 squad to finish them and free their comrades who had been taken prisoner. Dan rolled snake eyes and my boys joined their comrades, while the Germans promoted one of their own to an 8-1. Wow...that was fun...
"Ivan?" "Da Dmitri?" "..aren't we supposed to eliminate the Germans in close combat...???" "Shh..quiet Ivan...just go with it."
By turn 2, my defense had been cracked open right down the middle and my boys on the right were isolated and would be mission killed for the remainder of the scenario.
Dan's 75* INF Gun would take a long shot at one of my BT-5's and roll a critical hit. One burning BT-5 would be the result and the smoke from it would effectively blind my other BT-5.
He was "Johnny on the spot" with accurate fire that ultimately would open up the game for the Germans.
Here it comes...the final salvo that would eliminate my defense in the left and center.
As the game neared it's end, I had to give recognition to the heroes of this scenario. Dan's 2-4-7 that literally ran straight through my defenses...shrugged off every -2 shot, captured 1-1/2 squads of 4-2-6's (successfully used them as human shield as well...we'll revisit that in 1945) and made a mockery of my feeble attempts at defense. So I tip my hat to these boys!!!
Manner! This bud's ....er Bit ist fuer Sie!
My 7-0 on the right side went on a race to the bridge followed by my mission killed squads.
Come on comrades...we still have time to reach the bridge before the Germans...GO CX...you can do it!!!
The final melee with my 5-2-7 that had battle hardened to a 6-2-8. They would fall under the weight of the German assault.
My 10-0 Commissar had been wounded and captured. He knew his fate would be decided soon by his captors.
After the conclusion of Turn 4, Dan and I had a brief discussion. It was nearly 9:00 PM and it had been a great and long day of ASL. Neither of us believed that my Russians would ultimately prevail. The next round of OBA would hit near the bridge and Dan's infantry were only two turns from reaching the bridge...which would probably have fallen to his heroic 2-4-7 Half-squad anyway!!!
So, I offered Dan my concession and congratulated him on a convincing victory.
I presented Dan with my sword...which he graciously allowed me to keep...since it wouldn't pass through Skype anyway!!!
My boys head west towards captivity and into oblivion.
My thanks to Dan for another great game and as always am already looking forward to our final game of the year next Saturday!!!