Storm Group Stalingrad – A Crossfire Scenario

This Crossfire scenario is based on Plate C “Red Army ‘Storm Group’ Stalingrad autumn 1942” in “World War II Street-Fighting Tactics” (Bull, 2008). It simulates a Soviet Storm Group attacking German held buildings.

Mission

Setting: Stalingrad, Autumn 1942

The Soviets have a assembled a Storm Group to break into, capture and hold buildings in the German occupied zone of Stalingrad. The assault will commence without prior artillery preparation – surprise is essential. The attacking force comprises three waves – assault, reinforcement and reserve. The subsequent waves will assist the assault wave if necessary, and will also help to repel the inevitable counter-attack.

Map/Terrain

Storm Group Stalingrad Map

Storm Group Stalingrad Map


Key features are:

  • ‘4 x 3’ table
  • Buildings, lots of them
  • Buildings with three or more building sectors are Building Complexes, so special rules apply
  • Rough Ground features is most likely rubble
  • Soviets deploy hidden in features east of Line A-A
  • Germans deploy hidden in buildings west of Line A-A
  • German counter-attack arrives from the table edge B-B

Pre-game preparation

  1. Germans deploy hidden in buildings west of Line A-A
  2. Conduct Soviet reconnaissance – see special scenario rule
  3. Soviets publicly select terrain objectives
  4. Soviets deploy hidden in features east of Line A-A
  5. Soviets roll for fog of war (see special rule)

German Player (Defending)

Objective

Defend their zone.

Forces Available

Defender Order of Battle

  • 1 x CC (+2)
  • 1 x on-table 50 mm Mortar (12 FM)
  • 1 x HMG
  • 2 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
  • 1 x Sniper
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Okay, i.e. Commonwealth

Deployment

Deploys first hidden in buildings west of Line A-A.

Reinforcements

The German player can choose to have their counter-attack force arrive at the start of the any German initiative after the Soviets secure five terrain objectives. The counter-attack force arrives anywhere on table edge B-B.

The counter-attack force has a core element and a random element. The core element is fixed:

Core German Reinforcements

  • 1 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
  • 1 x CC (+2)
  • 1 x FO for off-table 81 mm Mortar (12 FM)
  • 1 x HMG
  • 1 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Okay, i.e. Commonwealth

The random element is, well, random and can be anything from a platoon through to a tank. Throw 1d6 to determine the random element when the force arrives:

Random German Reinforcements (1d6)

  • 1-4: 1 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads
  • 5: 2 x HMG attached to the Core platoon
  • 6: 1 x Pz IV G

Soviet Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.

Objective

Capture and hold specific buildings in the enemy zone.

Forces Available

The Soviets have assembled a company strength Storm Group.

Attacker Order of Battle

  • 1st ‘Assault’ Wave1
    • 1 x PC (+2)
    • 4 x SMG squads
    • Morale: Veteran
    • Command & Control: Good, i.e. German
  • 2nd ‘Reinforcement’ Wave1
    • 4 x HMG with ATR2
    • 1 x on-table 50 mm Mortar (12 FM)
    • 1 x FO for off-table 82 mm Mortar (12 FM)
    • Morale: Regular
    • Command & Control: Good, i.e. German
  • 3rd ‘Reserve’ Wave
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 2 x Reserve Platoons: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads; one squad with ATR
    • Morale: Regular
    • Command & Control: Okay, i.e. Commonwealth

Notes:
(1) The Assault Wave and Reinforcement Wave are treated as a single platoon under the PC in the Assault Wave
(2) A reinforcement team actually comprised three two-man teams (HMG, LMG, ATR) and some riflemen.

Deployment

Deploys second hidden in buildings or rough east of Line A-A.

Reinforcements

None.

Victory Conditions

Terrain and Casualty (AD) objectives.

As part of pre-game preparation the Soviet player publicly selects six building sectors as their objectives. If they select any building sectors within a building then they must select all building sectors in that building.

The game ends immediately either side loses eight (8) fighting stands. Fighting stands include BC, CC, HMG, Rifle and SMG Squads, Tanks, Guns, but not PC or FOs. Tanks count as two fighting stands each.

At the end of the game the Soviet’s gain 1 victory point (VP) for each objective they control. They lose -1/2 VP for each building sector in the Soviet zone that the Germans control. A player controls a terrain objective if their stand occupies the feature or was the last to occupy it, and the feature is/was not physically contested by the enemy.

The total Soviet VP determines the result:

  • More than 5 VP = Soviet victory
  • 4-5 VP = draw
  • Less than 4 VP = German victory

Scenario Special Rules

  • Russian Reconnaissance. The Soviet player can conduct reconnaissance on the German positions before the game starts. They get 12 recon dice to use. On a 4-6 a recon die reveals all stands within a feature. Roll one recon die at a time as the result will influence where the player wants to conduct recon next. Any number of dice, up to the maximum, can be used in a single feature.
  • Russian Fog of War. Before the game the Soviets have infiltrated to concealed positions close to the German defences and launch a surprise attack. The surprise is simulated by a bonus Soviet Artillery/Smoke initiative before the game starts. This initiative can only be used for Smoke FM (not bombardment FM or any other actions). The Soviet play gets a total of 20 stand widths of smoke to be dropped in the Fog of War initiative. All of these must be placed within LOS of a Soviet stand (any Soviet stand; not necessarily a FO).The Soviet chooses smoke size of 2-5 stand widths and rolls the normal indirect fire roll to see if the smoke arrives. If the Soviet has any bonus smoke stand widths left they can take another roll; repeat until they run out of smoke. For example, they could take 4 x 5-Smoke (making 20 total) or 6 x 3-Smoke + 1 x 2-Smoke (again making 20 total). All of this Fog of War disappears at the end of the first Soviet initiative (which means the Germans cannot benefit from it).
  • CF 4.4.1a Building Complexes are in use for 3 or more contiguous building sectors. Remember that movement between adjacent building sectors within a building complex never attracts reactive fire.

Weapon stats

Type When ARM ACC PEN MG HE/EFF Smoke HD Spd CC Comment
Anti-Tank Rifle -1 -3 0
Pz IV G 4/2 0 +1 4 4/2 2 +3

Notes

This scenario is based on Plate C “Red Army ‘Storm Group’ Stalingrad autumn 1942” in Bull (2008). Bull provides both the diagram (Plate C itself) and a description of assault with an order of battle.

Storm Group from Plate C

  • 1st ‘Assault’ Wave
    • 1 x Command element
      • Junior officer with a signal pistol and flares
      • 2-3 runners or a signaller with a field telephone
      • A small red flag
    • 4 x Assault Teams
      • 6-8 men led by a junior NCO armed with SMGs, grenades and/or Molotov cocktails, knives and entrenching tools
  • 2nd ‘Reinforcement’ Wave
    • 4 x Reinforcements teams
      • 1 junior NCO with an SVT semi-automatic rifle
      • 2 man team with Maxim heavy MG
      • 2 man team with DP light MG
      • 2 man team with AT rifle
      • 1 or more riflemen / ammunition carriers or sappers
  • 3rd ‘Reserve’ Wave
  • 1 x Company Commander
  • Optional assets
    • 0-1 HMG team
    • 0-2 LMG team
    • 0-2 Snipers
  • 2 x Reserve Platoons
    • About 20 men, mostly riflemen

This order of battle does not include any mortars. I included them in the scenario orbat to enable covered advances.

References

Bull, S. (2008). World War II Street-Fighting Tactics

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