SU-152s Up Close and Personal – A Crossfire Battle Report 4

Chris Harrod and I played my SU-152s Up Close and Personal scenario.

Summary: Good game. Forced us both to make explicit tactical choices. I got a Soviet victory before the German reinforcements arrived.


Set up

Notice something Stalingrad-y about my 3′ x 2′ city? Chris spotted it the moment he walked through the door … the Barmaley Fountain features on table (first seen in Crossfiregrad). I’m pretty sure Tarnopol did not in fact have a copy of the Barmaley Fountain, but I needed a centre piece for the square and this feature is the only centre piece I have. One day, if I get keen, I might make a more generic statue like the one that featured in Mark Bretherton’s SU-152 battle report.

SU152_057 Table

SU152_057 Table

My SU-152 scenario has close affinities to my original 2 Foot City. Okay, it is a 3′ x 2′ city, but you can see the similarity. These, and all my scenarios like this, are based on an urban grid, i.e. a grid in which my 3″ x 3″ building sectors sit in regular rows.

SU152_055 4 x 3 urban grid

SU152_055 4 x 3 urban grid

As a reminder, the objectives are 12 building sectors towards the German edge of the table. The six sectors of the Railway Station to the east of the railway line and all six building sectors to the west of the railway line.

SU152_056 Objectives

SU152_056 Objectives

The Germans had a rifle company with some supports. They also had some fortifications: three anti-tank barricades, a minefield, and three bunkers. Chris also had a Stuka – which would feature quite a lot in the game. The Stug III and extra rifle platoon are there as potential reinforcements – a counter attack force of veterans. The game basically played out with Chris trying to delay the Soviets until his reinforcements arrived.

SU152_050 German Force

SU152_050 German Force

When Chris saw the two forces laid out on the table he thought the odds were stacked in favour of the Germans. The forces look the same size and the Germans have the benefit of being hidden. But looks can be deceiving. From the beginning of the game the Soviets have an extra squad per platoon, the sapper platoon, and, of course, two SU-152s. (Sadly the Tupolev bomber never saw action.) I was pretty sure I could have a good try at the objectives.

SU152_049 Soviet Force

SU152_049 Soviet Force


The Game

Chris placed his three tank barricades well. He blocked road directly into the square and the road to the south. He also blocked the road directly out of the square towards the Railway station. This left the southern approach to the Railway station open. What I didn’t know is that this was deliberate and Chris has a surprise in store for me.

My Soviet troops came onto the table across the entire edge despite my plan to attack in the north. I didn’t want Chris to know my intentions.

SU152_058 Soviets flood onto the table

SU152_058 Soviets flood onto the table

I brought my SU-152s on two different roads so it was not clear to Chris where I was going to focus my attack.

SU152_060 SU-152s arrive

SU152_060 SU-152s arrive

I started the attack in the south. Really this was to pin any Germans facing these troops, i.e. prevent Chris moving them to face the real attack. I had to commit enough troops to make the threat convincing although I had no intention to push the attack on this side of the table.

SU152_061 Soviet infantry infiltrate forward in the south

SU152_061 Soviet infantry infiltrate forward in the south

The main thrust began in exactly the same way, infiltrating through the buildings.

SU152_062 Soviets infantry infiltrate forward in the north

SU152_062 Soviets infantry infiltrate forward in the north

Unfortunately, my troops quickly came within sight of German spotters. The mortar rounds started to fall and my troops in the south hunkered down under the barrage.

SU152_063 German shells start to fall

SU152_063 German shells start to fall

SU152_064 German mortars pound advancing Soviets

SU152_064 German mortars pound advancing Soviets

We were using Clock Ticks which is a variation on the Moving Clock. The game was meant to start at 0600 hours but I set the game clock wrong and we delayed the battle to start at 0800 hours. With Clock Ticks the clock advances 1d6 x 3 minutes at the end of each German initiative. For example on a roll of 2 on 1d6 then 2 x 3 = 6 minutes passes on the clock. Because the clock changes every German initiative you’ll see a lot of photos of the game clock.

SU152_065 0806 hours

SU152_065 0806 hours

SU152_066 0808 hours

SU152_066 0808 hours

Some successful Recon by Fire and I uncovered a German squad. Soviet fire power destroyed it quickly.

SU152_067 Soviets find and kill a German squad

SU152_067 Soviets find and kill a German squad

SU152_068 0815 hours

SU152_068 0815 hours

SU152_070 Soviets open up the advance

SU152_070 Soviets open up the advance

SU152_071 SU-152 opens up on the barricade

SU152_071 SU-152 opens up on the barricade

SU152_072 0830 hours

SU152_072 0830 hours

SU152_073 0836 hours

SU152_073 0836 hours

SU152_074 German stuka arrives

SU152_074 German stuka arrives

SU152_077 Bombs drop wide of Soviets

SU152_077 Bombs drop wide of Soviets

SU152_078 Stuka comes back

SU152_078 Stuka comes back

SU152_079 Germans pull back

SU152_079 Germans pull back

SU152_080 Stuka flies over again

SU152_080 Stuka flies over again

SU152_081 0845 hours

SU152_081 0845 hours

SU152_082 More hits on the barricade

SU152_082 More hits on the barricade

SU152_083 Stuka strafing hurts

SU152_083 Stuka strafing hurts

SU152_084 Germans pull back

SU152_084 Germans pull back

SU152_085 0851 hours

SU152_085 0851 hours

SU152_086 Ineffective Stuka fly over

SU152_086 Ineffective Stuka fly over

SU152_087 0910 hours

SU152_087 0910 hours

SU152_088 Those Soviets just don't want to rally

SU152_088 Those Soviets just don’t want to rally

SU152_089 Ineffective Stuka fly over

SU152_089 Ineffective Stuka fly over

SU152_090 0915 hours

SU152_090 0915 hours

SU152_091 0921 hours

SU152_091 0921 hours

SU152_093 Ineffective Stuka fly over

SU152_093 Ineffective Stuka fly over

SU152_094 Soviets cross railway line

SU152_094 Soviets cross railway line

SU152_095 Soviet prepare to assault Railway Station

SU152_095 Soviet prepare to assault Railway Station

SU152_096 0935 hours

SU152_096 0935 hours

SU152_097 Panzerfaust scores

SU152_097 Panzerfaust scores

SU152_098 0953 hours

SU152_098 0953 hours

SU152_099 Soviet sappers enter station

SU152_099 Soviet sappers enter station

SU152_101 Sappers capture half the station

SU152_101 Sappers capture half the station


Conclusions and observations

Chris liked the Clock Ticks as it gives a continual sense of time moving on. Personally I prefer the normal Moving Clock as it is less faff during a game.

3 comments to SU-152s Up Close and Personal – A Crossfire Battle Report 4

  • Great Game I use the Clock Ticks only if there is an umpire to keep track.
    Dick Bryant

  • Andrés F.

    Nice! After I finally finish constructing the Crossfiregrad scenario, I’ll have plenty of buildings useful for this scenario as well. I like that it doesn’t require a lot of room. I have most of the models required as well (well, ISU-122/152 instead of SU, but it should work anyway).

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