Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Seelow Heights 70th Anniversary Game

In the midst of some family drama I managed to sneak in a game with the young man next door who is interested in war games.  Since it was the 70th Anniversary of V-E (or Victory) day recently, he wanted to do some WWII and in particular the Eastern Front.  So, I whipped up two c.3,000 point lists for Flames of War and used the older "Big Push" Mission for our scenario.  This involves an attack on a heavily fortified line and an attempt by the attacker to seize one of two objectives.  It gave me a chance to bust out almost all of my fortification terrain, as well.  

The forces were roughly as follows:

Soviet Guards Tankovy Batalon:

Command T-34/85
10 T-34/85
10 T-34/85
5 IS-2
4 SU-122 (proxied by SU-100)
1 Motostrelkovy Kompania w/ MGs and Kommisar
Priority Air Support Sturmovik TIP-2

German Grenadierkompanie

Command w/PzFaust
Pzschreck team
2x Grenadier platoon each with 6 teams and PZFaust upgrade for command stands
1x MG platoon w 2Mgs
3x Konigstiger
2x 88mm Flak w/extra crew
Pak 40 pillbox
Pak 38 pillbox
2x MG bunkers
Trench lines
Barbed wire
Tank traps

He took the Soviets and I took the Germans.  Again the mission was for him to seize an objective (no enemy within 4") or for me to have him off my side of the table after Turn 6.  Rather than give an exact account I will use the photos to illustrate the contours of the game.

Here is the table sans combatants.

The thin grey line trembles at the approach of the Soviet armored horde.

 Initial moves bring the Soviets up to the line of defenses.

The German half is strangely empty.  Well, they have lost a lot of men over the prior 6 years.

The Soviet fire, while mostly ineffective, manages to destroy an 88 on my left.

Return fire from the 88 and pill boxes do a little damage.

The Soviet horde is still intact.  Long range fire from the 122s takes out some infantry due to the "Breakthrough Gun" rule canceling infantry saves.

Sensing a weak point where the 88 was destroyed, the Soviets shift to my left to force a break.  

The Soviet tanks roll through the barbed wire without incident, but one tank hits a mine.

 The Soviet infantry are ordered forward to clear the mines for the precious tanks.

German MGs cause significant casualties, however.  

German fire destroys a few more Soviet tanks as the grenadiers suffer heavy losses to Soviet firepower.

Soviet infantry gap the minefield and the Soviets are poised to roll onto the trench line!

German fire continues to take a moderate toll.

German AA repeatedly interferes with Soviet airstrikes but Soviet firepower wipes out the defenders of the trenches on my left.

Soviet tanks cross the trenches unopposed but for desultory fire from the pillboxes.

 Finally, the first German reinforcements arrive in the form of 3 King Tiger tanks.  Will they be enough to turn the tide?

Soviet tanks storm towards the left-flank objective.

King Tigers draw a bead on the T-34s.

Soviet air stuns a King Tiger.

Soviets eliminate the AA commander and consolidate toward the objective.

Soviets on the objective!

Panzer IVs arrive...too late?

7 German tanks advance to stem the tide.

A few more Soviet tanks are destroyed by the pillboxes.  One platoon breaks under the strain.

IS-2s move up over the trenches to lay down long-range fire. My last 88 is out of position to draw LOS to anyone!

T-34s maneuver through the woods to hit the King Tigers in the flank.  One is destroyed and the other stunned!

Soviets bag a PzIV.

PzIVs move to contest the objective and wreck another T-34.

The T-34s bag another King Tiger and the remaining tank fails its morale check!

 With only the PzIVs left to hold off the green waves, the Germans concede the game 

The Soviets occupy the German HQ and break through the Seelow heights.  On to Berlin!

Well, that was a fun game.  I think the King Tigers were too many points (c. 1000!) sunk into a unit that didn't show up until it was too late, and they promptly were outmaneuvered and destroyed by my canny opponent.  The Germans simply didn't have the firepower to stop so many Soviet tanks.  Kind of like real life, I guess!

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