When the first two Soviet activations -- 2nd & 3rd Co. of 2nd Bn. -- passed both their morale checks, I got a sinking feeling. Now they would have to be shot up again this turn, taking the heat off the next Soviet Co. (1st of 2nd), which should allow the Soviets to blow through easily. As the turn progressed the feeling got worse.
Ger. Recce Co. got a Halt result, but managed to KO 2 squads of 3rd Co. The Infantry Gun missed.
Sov. 2nd Co. of 1st Bn. passed their morale check, but the lead squad failed to rally. The two laggard squads began to move up and the MG moved into the woods and deployed close nough to see the remaining German squad.
Ger. 3rd Co. passed their MC, but their pinned squad also failed to rally. Despite some lousy fire dice they managed to KO 2 squads and a MG from 2nd Co., while their mortar pinned a squad in 1st Co.
Sov. Lt. Tank Bn. moved up (even the laggard T-60 finally made initiative and moved up) and sprayed the hills on both flanks with MG fire, KO'ing one squad of Recce Co. and one of 3rd Co.
Sov. 1st of 1st moved into fire range of the eastern hill and deployed their MG to try to distract the Germans there.
Sov. 1st of 2nd moved up, but the pinned squad failed to rally.
1st SCC - turn continues.
Sov. T34 Bn. moved up and fired on both flanks, KO'ing another Recce squad and 3rd Co. HQ.
Sov. Mot. Bn. HQ spotted for the heavy mortar, infantry gun and three medium mortars, working over the east ridge. They KO' another squad of Recce Co. and their IG, and two squads of 2nd Co.
Sinking feeling more and more now.
Ger. 2nd of 1st KO'd one sqaud of 1st of 1st and pinned two more; but the 75ATG took two tries to rally so didn't get to fire.
Sov. 2nd Mot. Co. moved up.
Ger. Part of the 1st of 1st made it to fire positions on the west end of the east ridge, but hit nothing.
At this point I thought the Germans might as well throw in everything, so I activated the Marders. Some careful and possibly slightly fudged measuring indicated they could just make it to the top of the east ridge in one activation and get one fire action apiece -- through smoke from Soviet HE, but flank shots on the T34s. 6,6,6,6,5,4 -- boom boom boom, three burning T34s -- including the Bn. HQ!. This unlikely string of rolls could be the salvation of the German cause.
Ger. 1st of 2nd passed their MC (required a 6!) and the squad in the woods rallied! They began to pull back to the ridge, that is, run like hell.
Ger. 2nd Bn. HQ & rump of 1st of 2nd moved behind the ridgeline toward the central hill.
Sov. SMG Co moved up.
Sov. Eng. Co. moved up.
Ger. Rgt HQ moved further east behind the ridge.
Sov. 2nd Bn. HQ came on.
Sov. Tank Brig. HQ came on.
2nd SCC - turn continues.
3rd SCC - last card in deck - turn ends. Two of last three cards were jokers. Weird.
At least the battle is getting interesting again. Could still go either way, I guess.