Last Evening we played another introductory game of Battle Group Kursk at the Uni.
When I say 'we', I mean Caesar and I - for a variety of reasons what was to have been a large multiplayer game with me introducing the rules and managing the scenario and 3-4 players, each with a battle group actually turned into a 2 player game...To paraphrase Wellington, the only thing worse than playing at a Wargames club is playing solo!
The net result was that the overall scenario was far too ambitious for the two of us to play and for me to interpret these rules that I am still unfamiliar with. As you can see above and below the terrain was laid out with 2 attacking German Battlegroups in mind - in the foreground a deep balka ravine leading to the objective, and in the distance the crops of State Farm No.3 providing a covered approach from the other direction.
As I was now Umpire turmed Player I felt it only fair to place one of the Russian AT batteries out on the flank covering the balka, even though I already knew Caesar's deployment area was wholly on the other flank:
He made fair use of his artillery strike, targetting the road/rail intersection that was his objective - 3 pinned units and 2 casualties:
He then used his on table Wespes to pin my 57mm AT guns whilst closing with his lead PzIV platoon:
And then debussed 2 Panzer Grenadier Platoons right behind them!
Fortunately I had a pair of PTRD anti tank rifles and lmg teams skuling in the hedgerow so was able to take the edge of his assault:
In fact what surprised me about this scenario is how effective these antitank rifles and light AT guns were - albeit against lightly armoured half tracks...My powerful 57mm battery was negated by Caesar's masterly fire and move coordination, and my 76.2 DP guns were stuck right out on the flank on the wrong side of a ravine!
So there are a few AT Riflemen who'll be getting the Order of Lenin - hopefully not just tossed at them in the naafi queue...
However despite their valiant efforts the Panzer Grenadiers eventually cleared out the AT battery leaving the way clear for the main Panzer force to advance down the open space towards the objective...whilst the ominous sounds of Stukas could be heard in the distance!
The airstrike was pretty devastating, taking out 2 of my 3 T34s which had been forming up prior to swinging out on Caesar's exposed right flank...
This left him the way clear to roll onto the objective, and a series of frenzied AT grenade and satchel charge assaults by the infantry in the village failed to result in any damage! Technically however Caesar had not been able to fulfill his victory conditions as he had to have infantry on the objective within 6 moves....However it was good to see him using all his various arms in close cooperation, and I think its fair to say he held the initiative from start to finish!
Despite the setbacks it was an interesting game and I think we increased our understanting of the Battlegroup rules. I must say the more I play the more I like them. The problem just seems to be getting opponents!
This is Caesar's view of the game:
"Thanks Alan for the great write up and pics, and thanks also to Ralph for putting on a very absorbing BattleGroup Kursk game, up to his usual visually spectacular standards. Well done for holding out against my massive numerical superiority - I got embroiled in that field and just couldn't quite reach the objective in time. "
And a link to Kaptain's Kobold's passing references to it on his blog: