SU-76i in 1902nd SAP – A Crossfire Scenario

A Crossfire scenario that features a couple of SU-76i for no other reason than I have two of these converted StuGs.

Historical Situation

Setting: USSR; Aug-Sep 1943

This scenario is an excuse to use my two SU-76i assault guns. The SU-76i were converted StuG IIIs equipped with a Russian 76.2mm gun. They were only in use during 1943. Apparently the Russians preferred their self propelled guns to follow tanks into action. According to the commander of the 1902nd Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (SAP), a unit equipped with SU-76is in 5th Guards Army, “…if tanks and SP-guns could be used on a more massive scale, losses could be reduced significantly”. During Aug-Sep 1943 the 1902nd SAP participated in 19 separate battles, typically contributing 2 to 7 self propelled guns in each instance.

This scenario represents any one of those battles.

Map/Terrain

Table SU-76i from Short Edge

Table SU-76i from Short Edge

Key features are:

  • Fields and Orchards are in season, so block line of sight.
  • Crests also block line of sight.
  • It takes four move actions to cross the table along the road. 1. to the crest, 2. cross the crest, 3. to bend in road, 4. remainder of road – or the reverse.
  • Germans deploy to the west of the line A-A.
  • Russians come on the eastern table edge.

Pre-game preparation

  • German player rolls for number of snipers.
  • German player plots hidden deployment.
  • German player deploys visible stands.

German Player (Defending)

Objective

Prevent Russians from leaving west table edge.

Forces Available

German Order of Battle

  • 1d3 Snipers
  • 1 x FO for off table 7.5 cm Infantry Gun (12 FM)
  • 2 x Rifle Companies
    • 1 x CC (+2)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x FO for off table 81 mm Mortar (12 FM)
    • 1 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+2), 3 x Rifle, one with ATR
    • 2 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1), 2 x Rifle, one with ATR
  • 1 x Anti-tank Platoon1
    • 1 x PC (+1)
    • 3 x 5.0 cm PAK 38 Anti-tank Guns, with optional tow
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Good, i.e. German

Notes:
(1) German anti-tank guns can group fire, hence they have a PC.

Deployment

Deploys first, west of the line A-A. All snipers, all FOs, two rifle platoons and two of the PAK 38s may deploy hidden.

Reinforcements

At 1300 hours the Germans get armoured reinforcements. Throw twice on the following table:

1d6 Vehicle
1-2 PzKpfw III Ausf J, L or M
3-4 StuG III Ausf F8 or G
5 PzKpfw IV Ausf G or H
6 PzKpfw V Panther or PzKpfw VI Tiger I

Russian Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.

Objective

Breakthrough and exit troops off the west table edge.

Forces Available

Elements of 5th Guards Army

Russian Order of Battle

  • 1 x BC (+1)
  • 3 x HMG
  • 3 x FO for off-table 82 mm Mortar (12 FM)
  • 1 x 45mm ATG (with optional tow)
  • 3 x Infantry Companies
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x on-table 50 mm Mortar (12 FM)
    • 1 x Rifle Platoon: PC (+1/0), 3 x Rifle Squads, one with ATR
    • 2 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1/0), 2 x Rifle Squads, one with ATR
  • 3 x T-34/76
  • 2 x SU-76i (from 1902nd SAP)
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Poor, i.e. Russian
  • Russian PCs get +1 for close combat but not for rallying.

Deployment

Starts off table and moves on in first initiative.

Reinforcements

None.

Victory Conditions

Breakthrough and Casualty (AD) objectives

The game starts at 0800 hours and ends when either the clock reaches 1700 hours or either side suffers 18 victory points (VP) worth of casualties.

A side is awarded VP for destroying enemy:

  • 0 VP for each enemy FO, PC, and Sniper.
  • 1 VP for each enemy BC, CC, HMG, Rifle Squad, SMG Squad, and Gun.
  • 2 VP for each enemy tank/SPG.

The Russians get bonus VP if they get stands off the western table edge (breakthrough) before the German reinforcements arrive. The first five stands that exit earn breakthrough points; subsequent stands earn no victory points. No breakthrough victory points are earn after the German reinforcements arrive. The breakthrough bonus points for existing stands are:

  • 2 VP for each breakthrough BC, CC, HMG, Rifle Squad, SMG Squad, and Gun
  • 4 VP for each breakthrough tank/SPG

At the end of the game, count up the VP as above.

Scenario Special Rules

  • HTD Special Rule 4. The Moving Clock is in use. The scenario starts at 0800 and ends at 1700. The clock advances 30 min on 4+ on one die rolled at the end of each German initiative.
  • German anti-tank guns can group fire, hence they have a PC.
  • Fields are in season: They block LOS and provide protective cover to direct fire but not indirect fire.
  • Orchards are in season, so count as woods:

Weapon stats

Type When ARM ACC PEN MG HE/EFF Smoke HD Spd CC Comment
Anti-Tank Rifle -1 -3 0
5.0cm PaK 38 ATG Apr40-44 +1 -1 2/1 0.5 -2
Pz IV G 4/2 0 +1 4 4/2 2 +3
Pz V Panther Jul43-EW 6/2 0 +2 4 4/2 Y 2 +3
Pz VI, Tiger I Aug42-EW 5/3 0 +2 4 5/2 Y 1 +3
StuG III F-G Mar42-EW 4/2 0 +1 4 4/2 N 2 +2
45 mm ATG +1 -1 1/1 1 -2
T-34/76 4/3 -1 0 4 4/2 3 +3
SU 76i Jul43-Dec43 3/1 0 0 0 4/2 N 2 +2

Notes

See also:

Long Edge Variation

The original, draft scenario had the Soviets attacking from the long edge. After feedback from Dick Bryant I have flipped it around so the attackers come from the short edge. I’ve included a “Long Edge” version of the map if folk are interested in giving it a go.

Table SU-76i from Long Edge

Table SU-76i from Long Edge

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