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Archive for November, 2013

Cold War comes to P.B.Eye-Candy

Nov 05(Man in Parka from Khurasan Miniatures)

I have taken a quick look at some recently arrived arctic guys … currently top feature on the Reviews page …

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Southern Russia 1942/Northamptonshire 2013

Road Block PBI 01

This was an Umpire driven PBI scenario game based on accounts of Army Group South pushing beyond the Don in 1942.   It didn’t go entirely to plan!

The basic narrative is that rather than being encircled as the previous summer, Soviet forces are now falling back in front of the German spearheads.   The game starts with German light armour and recce rolling onto the table chasing fleeing Russian vehicles (armoured cars and T70 tanks) …

Road Block PBI 02(Achtung Panzer!  … and ‘ammo’ in the background)

Unknown to the Germans, the Russians have been allowed to dig in some anti-tank guns to deny the road and have some paras in the woods.   The scenario evolves: the Germans shoot up the fleeing Soviet armour but run into the concealed guns … they therefore call up their mechanised infantry.   The remaining Soviet armour is therefore able to get away, leaving an infantry game where the Germans may have some vehicle support if it has survived the ambush – and where the Russians will be able to deploy a couple of conscript platoons in the town once the German infantry turns up.

Road Block PBI 03(burning and immobilised armoured cars in a ploughed field around a dug in 45mm gun)

Road Block PBI 05(a couple of T70s attempt to get their front armour facing the enemy)

What actually happened?   The German shooting at the Russian rear armour was less effective than the A/T guns firing at the German front armour.  The ambush worked.  The German lead platoon then attempted to stay in its 250 half tracks as it drove up to tackle the gunners: cue lots of black and red cotton wool and some lousy saving rolls from the soldiers caught inside.

Road Block PBI 04(the highway from the Russian end: raw rifle platoons deploying)

Unfortunately before the armoured infantry could do much reorganising, the parachute assault troops broke cover and scrambled over the positions, hitting with everything from PTRDs to Flamethrowers.   The Germans would face a Break Test at the start of the next turn.  That was the last we saw of them.

Road Block PBI 06(Road Block PBI: Red Army Paras break cover)

This was below par from the Germans and above par from the Russians, pretty much consistently across three game turns.   It left the second German platoon over-tasked but pluckily trying to work its way around the left of the position.

Road Block PBI 08a

Road Block PBI 09(the German thrust around the left of the position is temporarily disrupted by a prowling Airacobra)

Actually they did quite well and mopped up much of the remaining Russian armour, and, despite the temporary attention of a marauding Russian fighter, had moved up to threaten the wooden buildings around the road junction.

By this stage, and after a few clumsy attempts to get themselves sorted out, the Russian reinforcements were starting to move up.

Road Block PBI 07(after some trouble finding the doors and gates, newly formed rifle units move up – some have SVT rifles)

Road Block PBI 10

Road Block PBI 11

Unfortunately the Russians managed a round of good motivations and APs with their reinforcements and were able to saturate the square next to the buildings and although a number of saves were made, 3 were not.  This prompted the Company commander to call up more support and ended the attempt by the initial two platoons to do the job on their own.

Road Block PBI 12

Game over.   At this stage, the Russians had lost 2 light and 2 medium armoured cars plus 2 of the 3 anti-tanks guns.  The other vehicles had driven off table.    The Germans had lost 2 armoured cars a half track and a Panzer IV in the process.   But they had also had a platoon break and taken significant damage on the other … without clearing the position.

Returning to the narrative, this will end up another victory for the Germans … just not on the first morning.   They will reinforce the  thrust with heavier assets and the Russians will realise this and take advantage of the lull to fall back again.  The Germans will probably be left that third gun.

If you were to score it as a PBI game, the lost hardware on each side actually favours the Germans … but their troop losses and the fact that they have not taken any objectives would swing the score against them.

*****

This may have been Ian’s last PBI in the Shedquarters before he emigrates to Cornwall, so herewith picture file 8, full height – with best wishes …  I have wargamed regularly with Ian for more than 25 years but it will now be much harder to set up and involve some serious travelling …

Road Block PBI 08(finally winning a WWII wargame?    After how long?)

 Road Block PBI 05b

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