The Red Box in this map was be the table area, representing the high ground between the two balkas stretching from Height 214.9 to 213.9.
|The 213-214 ridge was densely vegetated yet overlooked on both sides...|
For this scenario, we focused on the first Totenkopf effort to drive an all arms Battle Group across the neck of land linking Height 214.9 to Hill 213.9.
-German team (Mark and John G): Totenkopf Battle Group is to assault Hill 213.9 using shock action and fire and manoeuver.
|Photo courtesy of Kaptain Kobold|
Second Guards Mechanised Corps is to destroy assaulting elements of 3rd SS Panzer division Totenkopf.
German Assault Engineer and all recce troops were designated 'hard targets' for the game, representing their particular skill in maximising the ample cover, and to discourage the targeting of what should have been the crucial role of the Engineers in clearing a path through the minefields.
Given the victory conditions, the Germans had a choice between methodically mopping up the Soviet defences, perhaps paving the way for a follow-on attack (as actually happened) or going ‘blitzkreig’ hell for leather to capture Hill 213.9 and ensure that no unpinned Soviet units remained within a metre radius of the spot height. How quite by chance, my pregame ‘random’ sprinkling of small copses and small hummocks of ground ended up with the Eastern table looking quite well covered, and the Western one much more open. Perhaps because of this reason the German team seemed to decide on a combination of tactics.
A 57mm Anti Tank gun is on equal terms with a Tiger with a close range shot into its rear, and even the venerable PTRD anti-tank rifle can take out a Sdkfz APC when the infantry is concealed and keep their nerve.
As well as thanking all who took part, I am especially grateful to John G (pictured left) as the German commander for putting his heart and soul into what was really a pretty hopeless proposition from the outset! The main thing is that Mark (on the right) enjoyed the game and can now cross that one off the bucket list!
Additionally, having calculated seemingly endless Soviet off table artillery missions, I at least am now much more confident in using the Battle Group Kursk artillery rules, which seems to me to be one of this ruleset's big pluses, that and the reactive orders, and the chance to lay suppressive fire.