Mekensievy-Gory – A Crossfire Battle Report 2

Martin Groat and his friend Bob tried out my Mekensievy-Gory Scenario. Martin sent through a battle report. Apparently they enjoyed the game. I particularly appreciated Martin’s comment that it was a “fiendish scenario” with “lots of tactical possibilities”.

Thought I’d give you some feedback from our refight of your scenario last night. We tweaked it to 1943/4 and as it was the first run we did not include the Bidermann modifier.

So, so force sizes were the same but

  • Russians fielded T70s rather than T26s; and ATRs were replaced by Fausts
  • Germans fielded a STuG IIIG;ATRs replaced by Fausts

I thing I didn’t do was to adjust the Russian Platoons to 3 sqs rather than 4.

Layout was much as your plan.

I was German, Bob was Russian.

Initial comment-fiendish scenario-lots of tactical possibilities and liked the decision for the Russians specifying entry point for reinforcements at start of game.This also left the German having to avoid committing troops in the event the reinforcements suddenly appeared thus “pinning”part of the German force to meet this possibility.

From my point of view very difficult to decide how to deploy, usual problem-too much ground to cover and not enough troops and a choice of clustering round the centre would allow the Russians to position themselves unhindered and reduce chances of scoring off early casualties. I ended up with 2 platoons south of the railway line and one to the North.The 3rd platoon was quite far forward deployed in features along the road with one squad in outlying house midway between A -D. as I reckoned there was a fair chance Bob would come up the road in some form or another.PAK40s were in the rough ground areas in the village-one facing towards the upper part of C-D;the other facing towards the A.The STuG lurked near the key building south of the railway track.I avoided immediately deploying in the 2 key buidings given they were likely to be PPBd. Moved stands in subsequently during the game.

Bob then deployed along D-A but did not use the road; using the wood as his entry point and the tanks coming on at the corner A with another platoon entering at same point but immediately north towards the railway.He had secretly chosen B-C as the reinforcement entry point.

It wasn’t Bobs night with the Gods of the Dice-contrary to his usual performance. His PPB failed achieving only a pin on a building that was vacant…..;and despite numerous initiative changes he never managed the 6 to get the reinforcements on. An early assault on the southernmost building on the road against a sq that had been skilfully suppressed failed with Bob throwing a 1 and me throwing a 6-contrary to my usual form-so 2 stands down very early on. However despite these set backs Bob was soon working his way up towards the village from point A. An early sighting of the PK40 [pointing towards A) resulted in a very effective off table heavy artillery strike that blew the PAK40 out of the rough ground without ever firing a shot so the 3 T70s were able to position themselves in support of the inf .This in turn exposed the STuG to PF attacks as Bob consolidated his hold on the buildings and I used up a couple of my off board heavy art FMs keeping it smoke covered whilst I frantically swung it round…in one of Bobs attacks the FO for my 82mm mortar was killed so nearly all of those FMs were lost.(moral of the story is to hold at least one FO back in a more secure location for later in the game)

Both sides were meanwhile losing stands but the German 3rd and 2nd platoons -rapidly shrinking- did inflict significant damage and eventually the repositioned STuG managed to brew up aT70 so Bob hit the 8 stands losses and hadn’t got either of the key buildings.

Playing time-about 1.5 hours.

In post game discussion-particularly as we are running this as a participation- is to tweak the reinforcement rolls to increase the chance of their arrival as the game progresses. If the Russians have a chance of winning they need the reinforcements. I wondered whether the T70s should be upgraded to T34s-perhaps with some tweaks for green crews. Bob thought the T70s were fine.

We need to be clear about hidden troop rules. Bob tried some RBF early on, we tend to think it should be limited to one attempt per feature- in line with his dice perf last night Bob failed to make the occupants twitch. As a participation game I think we would ignore the Russian command/control limitations-a bit much for a newbie to take on board. Usual debate debate about squads nipping round the board to join a hand to hand as it goes in-feels a bit “gamey”

We probably need to run this as 1941 scenario as originally drafted to see how it plays out.

Great scenario with lots of thinking and the terrain has other possibilities (Partizans trying to blow bridge over culvert with weak support whilst opposition descending upon them with frightening speed…….).

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