Stalingrad Day 1 – Finchley Wargaming Club – Steve Phenow’s Briefing

This is, more or less, the Crossfire material that Stephen Phenow sent the Finchley Wargaming Club for Day 1 of the 2019 World Wide Stalingrad Campaign for Crossfire. I have changed the format and put it into my normal template. And I’ve added a few bits that seemed missing. Where possible I’ve used Steve P’s words.


Mission

Setting: Stalingrad, 11 Nov 1942

German Mechanised Battalion attack the railway station in the centre of Stalingrad. A Soviet Rifle Battalion tries to stop them.


Map/Terrain

There are two maps: Soviet and German.

Stalingrad Day 1 - RR Factory - Soviet

Stalingrad Day 1 – RR Factory – Soviet

As far as we can tell the maps are identical except the German map has the German deployment zone.

Stalingrad Day 1 - RR Factory - German

Stalingrad Day 1 – RR Factory – German

Key features are:

  • 6′ x 6′ table
  • The Germans appear to be on the right of the table, which is presumably west, so north is down.
  • Buildings. Notations, show maximum occupancy. Some of the building sectors appear to contain a whole company because they run off the board. They are deeper then they appear. If there is no notation on the building it may be occupied by one squad and a CSW.
  • A/T Ditch. See scenario special rules.
  • Irregular Rubble Patches. See scenario special rules.
  • Shell holes are for artistic battlefields
  • RR Station is two stories high. Designate stairwells to go up and down.

[ST: This is sparse table. By my count there are 20 terrain features including 2 for each of the 3 railway station sectors. On a 6’x6′ I’d expect over 100.]


Pre-game preparation

None.


Russian Player (Defending)

Objective

Comrade. The Fascists may attack over the following days. We have sent you are latest tanks that arrived yesterday plus an Assault company.

You are to hold the RR station and counterattack as soon as you are able.

We will continue to send aid as we can. Good luck.

Forces Available

Defender Order of Battle

  • Infantry Battalion
    • HQ (Confident/Regular)
      • 1 x BC (+2) in car
      • 1 x Political Commissar (+1) in car
      • 1 x Signals Platoon:
      • 1 x PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Squads; 1 x Truck
    • 2 x Rifle Companies (Regular)
      • 1 x CC (+1 or +2)
      • 3 x Rifle Platoons
        • 1 x 50mm mortar
        • 1 x LMG Squad
        • 3 x Rifle Squads
    • 1 x Rifle Company (Green)
      • 1 x CC (+1 or +2)
      • 3 x Rifle Platoons
        • 1 x 50mm mortar
        • 1 x LMG Squad
        • 3 x Rifle Squads
    • Attached HMG Company (Green)
      • 1 x CC (+1)
      • 1 x HMG Platoon: 1 x PL (+1); 2 x HMGs
  • Mortar Company (Green)
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 3 Mortar Platoons
      • 1 x PL (+1)
      • 1 x FO
      • 1 x 50mm Mortar
      • 1 x 82mm Mortar
  • Anti-Tank Platoon (Green)
    • 1 x PL (+1)
    • 2 Groups (Dice for each)
      • 2 x A/T Rifles
      • 1 x Rifle Squd
  • Attached Division Assets
    • 1 x AA Platoon (Green): 1 x PC (+1); 1 x AA HMG
    • 1 x Pioneer Platoon (Regular): 1 x PC (+1); 2 Pioneer Rifle Squad; Truck
    • Anti-Tank Company (Green)
      • 1 x CC (+1)
      • 2 Groups
        • 1 x PC (+1)
        • 2 x A/T Rifles
        • 1 x Rifle Squad
      • Anti-Tank Battery (Green)
        • 1 x PC (+1)
        • 2 x 45mm AT Guns (3 HE)
        • 3 x Limbers
      • Infantry Gun Battery (Green)
        • 1 x PC (+1)
        • 1st section: 1 x 76mm Gun (6 HE 4 Smoke)
        • 1 x Limber
    • SMG Company (Tank Riders)
      • 1 x CC (+1)
      • 2 x SMG Platoons (Green): 3 x SMG Squads
    • 1 Tank Company (Green)
      • 1 x CC (+1) T34 Command Tank
      • 6 x T34 1941 Tank
    • Off board Artillery
      • FO with the Battalion Co.
      • 4 bases of Infantry Gun Battery (Green)
        • 1 x PC (+1)
        • 1st section: 1 x 122mm Gun (12 FM HE and Smoke); 1 x Limber Horse or Truck
        • 2nd section: 1 x 122mm Gun (12 FM HE and Smoke); 1 x Limber
  • Command & Control: Poor i.e Soviet

Deployment

[ST: Deploys first. Visible.]

Reinforcements

None.


German Player (Attacking)

[ST: Begins scenario with initiative.]

Objective

You are to capture the RR Station. If you capture the station and occupy all three buildings, you may continue your advance, after fortifying for inevitable counter attack.

Good Luck

Forces Available

Attacker Order of Battle

  • In building of Railway Station
    • 1 x Engineer Platoon (Veteran): 1 PC (+1); 3 x Pioneer Rifle Squads
  • 1 x German Mechanized Battalion / GEP Regiment Dismounted (1st Battalion)
    • 1 x HQ
      • 1 x BC (+1) (Veteran)
      • Rg Signal Platoon: 3 x Rifle Squads (Defense only)
    • 2 x Infantry Company (1st & 2nd) (Regular)
      • 1 x HQ
        • 1 x CC (+1)
        • 1 x Rifle Squad (Staff)
        • 1 x section A/T rifle with CC
        • 1 x Sniper base
      • 3 x Infantry Platoons
        • 1 x PC (+1)
        • 3 x Rifle Squads
        • 1 x 50mm mortar (10 FM HE and Smoke)
    • 1 x Heavy weapons Company (4th) (Schwere)
      • 1 x HQ
        • 1 x CC (+1) in a 251 (HMG)
        • 1 x Rifle Squad (Staff)
        • 1 x section A/T rifle with CC
      • 2 x Machinegun Platoons (MG-34 on tripod)
        • 1 x PC (+1)
        • 4 x HMG
        • 4 x SdKfz 251 (HMG)
      • 1 x off board Mortar Platoon
        • 1 x PC (+1)
        • 1 x FO can be attached to any unit.
        • 4 x 80mm mortars (3d6 for FM HE and smoke)
        • 4 x SdKfz 251s
      • 1 x Motorized Antitank Platoon (108th Infantry Gun Co.): 1 x50mm AT with tractor
  • 1 x Medium Tank (3rd Company)
    • 1 CC (+1) PZKW III Command Tank (CT)
    • 2 x Pzkw IV f2
    • 3 x Pzkw IV f1
    • (Dice 1D6 for number of tungsten shells to be carried for each tank.)
  • Div. Assets
    • Battery (off board)
      • HQ Communications Section Commander and staff 1 base
      • 2 x 105mm howitzers (12 FM HE and Smoke) with Tractor
      • 2 x FOs (1 per section) to be assigned to units
  • 1 x Staffel 15 Ju-87 missions. AC is assigned to first CC.
  • Command & Control: Good, i.e. German

Deployment

[ST: Deploys second. Visible.]
Engineer platoon deploys in building of Railway Station and other elements in German deployment zone.

Reinforcements

3rd Co (Reserve) 40 minutes away.
[ST: Arrive on a base edge within the German deployment zone on the German initiative after the moving clock reaches 40 minutes.]

Do not worry if you deploy third company without enough 251s. Germans usually dismounted in built up combat.

Attacker Reinforcements

  • 1 x Motorised Infantry Company (3rd) (Regular)
    • 1 x HQ
      • 1 x CC (+1) in a 251 (HMG)
      • 1 x Rifle Squad (Staff)
      • 1 x section A/T rifle with CC
      • 1 x Sniper base
    • 3 x Infantry Platoons
      • 1 x PC (+1) in 251 with 37mm PAK 36
      • 3 x Rifle Squads
      • 3 x 251 (HMG)
      • 1 x 50mm mortar (10 FM HE and Smoke)

Victory Conditions

[ST: Terrain and Casualty (AD) objectives.]

Ending the battle through casualties

When all the German Command units are over 1/2th strength, the Command must automatically withdraws and the battle is over.

If Soviet, the Command continues testing at 50% and over until 1. they roll withdraw, or 2. they are all destroyed.

Casualty objectives

a. The Fifty percent check

The command (either Platoon or Company Commander) must check morale when his Platoon/Company loses 50% bases in casualties. This is done using the Rally from Suppressed. All pertinent modifiers are included.
Failure to Rally from Suppress, means the command’s morale has failed and all units in the testing area must withdraw from the area or if within 1 base length of an enemy base surrender. The Initiative passes at once.
Command that passes the check, fights on.

b. The Post Fifty percent check

Every time the command (Pl or Company) loses an additional base after their 50% check, they must check morale once more. Failure to Rally on Suppress, means units must withdraw or surrender as before.

Note: 3 base commands ignore the 50% check but must execute the Post 50% check after losing two bases. Any base lost in the company organization, contributes to its 50% check which adds a -1 once over 50%.

Withdrawing

If a base is not fired on for two clock advances, it has successfully withdrawn and removed from the battle board
d. If bases are trapped and cannot withdraw they surrender instead and are removed as casualties.

Terrain objectives

Germans win if they capture the station and occupy all three buildings.

[ST: 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.]


Scenario Special Rules

  • HTD Special Rule 4: The Moving Clock: The clock advances 10 minutes on 5+ at the end of each shift in initiative.
  • Irregular Rubble Patches: [ST: The game effect is like an out of season field]. It does not block LOS. Patches provides Protective Cover from direct fire. It can be fired at indirectly. Tracked AFVs Cross normally unless a roll of a “6” Then they are stuck and considered KO’d. Wheeled vehicles cannot cross.
  • A/T Ditch: Does not Block LOS across. Block LOS to units inside the depression from enemy units outside the ditch, UNLESS those units fire from the edge, then they are spotted and may be directly fired on with Protective Cover. They can be fired at indirectly. Units on hills may spot and fire on units inside the ditch with no penalty and provides no Protective cover in this case. All AFVs immediately stop when they contact a AT Ditch. Next move action, they may cross but only to the opposite side, clearing the ditch. After, may move normally. Note A/T ditches can have breech blown through them by Engineer Bases so AFVs can cross normally. An Engineer Squad may blow a breech when the following conditions are met: The Engineer stand is adjacent to ditch, and the stand is Stationary, Un suppressed and does not fire for the entire phase. The next friendly phase the stand retreats and the breech is opened on 2-6 roll. The Squad cannot blow the charges until they retreat three BL. The Breech is 2 BL wide by 3″ BL deep and AFVS may cross it with no reduction in movement. Squads advancing and moving away from the A/T ditch is movement and causes reaction fire. Failure to blow the breech causes initiative shift.
  • Separate LMG base: A German Platoon may take its squad LMGs and combine them into one LMG base to add additional fire power to the Platoon. As a combined Light Machine Gun (LMG) the bases receive three dice and gets four dice at 1 base length (This will be important for Close Assaults in rubble patches.) In this case the representing the bolt action equipped riflemen in the squads only receive two d6. (Unless armed with SMGs)
  • Snipers: A Sniper must be placed Hidden. Snipers may fire react fire. Sniper Firing Procedure: Roll 1 Dice per Sniper. All 6 are kills, 5-4 suppresses, 3-2 pins. May Kill CFs FOs only. May suppress Crew Served Weapon bases. (Kill here counts as suppress.) May pin all infantry squads only. ((Kills and suppresses here count as Pins.) Units must be two base lengths or under to “see” snipers. Units may Recon By Fire to engage snipers. A “6” on d6 spots and kills the sniper. Initiative shifts only when a sniper kills a CF. Otherwise snipers are treated as indirect fire assets. Any sniper kill, causes an initiative shift.
  • Morale: Platoons, Companies and the entire force has Morale rules. See above in Victory conditions.
  • The Germans get a Staffel Ju-87 with 15 missions. See the Stalingrad Campaign Rules (PDF).

Weapon stats

There are the weapon stats from the Balagan site. Steve P uses different ones. See the Stalingrad Campaign Rules (PDF).

Type When ARM ACC PEN MG HE/EFF Smoke HD Spd CC Comment
Anti-Tank Rifle -1 -3 0
45 mm ATG +1 -1 1/1 1 -2
76 mm ATG +1 0 4/2 1 -2
T34-76 4/3 -1 0 4 4/2 3 +3
Pz III Command Tank 3/1 0 -1 4 2/1 2 +3
Pz IV F1 3/2 0 0 4 4/2 2 +3
Pz IV F2 4/2 0 +1 4 4/2 2 +3
251/1 Half-track 1/1 4 3 +1
251/10 Half-track with 37mm PAK 36 1/1 +1 -3 3 +1

Notes

Stephen Phenow has outlined his house rules in the 22 pages of the Stalingrad Campaign Rules (PDF).

5 comments to Stalingrad Day 1 – Finchley Wargaming Club – Steve Phenow’s Briefing

  • Andrés F.

    First of all: I must commend Stephen Phenow for this. This is such a cool project! He must have put a lot of effort into it. I’m following everything on the facebook group, but because of the secrecy I don’t understand much… I hope there’s a recap at the end.

    The sparse terrain is worrying though. Does Crossfire even work on such a sparse (and huge!) table?

    I now see I did well to skip this one, even though it looked very interesting: I simply don’t have the minis. The number of minis you need for this campaign is staggering! Mac’s Missions seem more within the realm of my possibilities…

    • Steven Thomas

      I think there are only two giant games. Steve P’s own and mine. This reflects the amount of kit we have. I believe that other games are smaller.

    • Brooks L Flugaur-Leavitt

      I have a battalion in my sector as well but can only field a reinforced company on the tabletop so I think lot of the troops may be intended to be campaign reserve forces.

  • Steven Thomas

    The sparse terrain is puzzling for a Crossfire game. We may have used some artistic license when turning the map into a table.

    • Brooks L Flugaur-Leavitt

      I was surprised by the very sparse terrain on my scenario map as well (I had a smaller train station near the Barrikady Factory) and condensed the area significantly while also adding rubble piles and such like you did.

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