Turn 4 - A Glimmer of Hope

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.
Ger. pass.
Sov. Tank Brig. HQ came on.

Sov. pass.
Ger. pass.
Sov. pass.
2nd SCC - turn continues.
 Sov. pass.
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.




Turn 3 - All hell breaks loose

The first Soviet activation (they had the first 7 in a row this turn) saw them pushing the 2 platoons in the central woods forward until they contacted the German force there -- 2 platoons and a company HQ. At this point I decided I better see where all the Germans were, so I could lay them out by units, and figure out if they would need to start pulling units into the center. Here is how it turned out, working roughly west to east:
  Four squads and Co. HQ of 1st Co., 2nd Bn. in the central woods; the rest of the company on the westernmost hill with a MG, mortar, and Bn. HQ. Forward elements to futz with the enemy and fall back to the rest of the company.
   3rd Co., 1st Bn. on the third hill from the west edge, with an Infantry Gun, MG, mortar, and a MG from 2nd Bn.
  Two squads of 2nd Co. on the rear of the central hill, with a MG, Co. HQ, and 50mm ATG.
  The Recce Co. with its' Inf. Gun on the west edge of the long east hill with the Co. HQ.
  Behind them Regt. HQ and the Marder Co.
  The rest of 2nd Co. -- 4 squads, a MG, 75mm ATG, and 1st Bn. HQ on the center of that hill.
  All of 1st Co., with MG and mortar in and near the woods at the easternmost end of the long east hill.
  Off-board elements comprised a heavy mortar and two medium mortars.

Nothing in the center except part of 2nd Co. and a light ATG; with the Marders nearby. Yikes.

Back to the central woods, the Soviets chose to fire from 2" rather than close for an assault next turn, and rolled four 1s. Yeesh. When the Germans finally got their chance, they assaulted, resulting in both sides losing 3 of their 4 squads and the survivor pinned on both sides.

The Soviets mostly kept moving, except for the pinned squads and T-60, which could never get going, and the off-bard elements: Regt. HQ, IG, heavy mortar, and medium mortar. At this point the Engineer Co. and 2nd Bn. HQ have not entered yet, but the 2nd motorized Bn. and SMG Co. have.
The Germans opend up with the IG's, which KO'd some squads, and the 75 ATG, which missed, in addition to calling in fire from the mortars.
Now that the Soviets had some targets, their mortar fire was more effective, and they managed to KO the IG with 3rd Co. and pin a nearby squad, and KO'd a squad of the Recce Co. and pinned another while firing at their IG. 
Meanwhile, the German fire accounted for 3 squads of 2nd Co. 2nd Bn., and 2 more from 3rd Co.

By the end of the turn, the Soviet front line was less than a foot from the ridgeline, so the Germans started pulling 1st Co., 1st Bn. westward and the rump of 1st Co., 2nd Bn. eastward. 

These units will have to start their turn 4 with Morale Checks: German 3rd Co, 1st Bn; 1st Co., 2nd Bn.; and Recce Co. Soviet 2nd Co., !st Bn.; 2nd Co., 2nd Bn.; and 3rd Co., 2nd Bn.
But it looks like it's going to be pretty easy for the Soviets to push through.

         West behind German ridge

          West "aerial" view

Turn 2 pics

Not much action turn 2 aside from Russians advancing and both sides dropping mostly ineffective mortar fire around. The Germans managed to pin a couple of squads in the left-most company, and one T-60 in the front line. The Soviets exposed lots of dummy cards on the central hill and nearby -- I had to draw for the Germans at that point -- they came up clubs, but I didn't want to reveal them until I had to. I began to worry that there was going to be a big gaping hole in the middle of the German position. And there was, pretty much.



                                                            West closer

                                                                 Close up


Scen. 1 Turn 1

The Germans are in place, with some ambush forces (or dummies) in the woods.
The Soviets rolled 8 for plan and 3 for deployment, which means 2nd Bn. going up the middle supported by the tank brigade, with 1st Bn screening their flanks, and the SMG Co. and Eng. Co. in reserve.

                                            From the South.

                                           From the West.


Will the Germans open fire, or wait for them to get closer?
Honestly, I don't know yet...


Pics of the playtest battlefield

Here are the first pics of the layout for Scenario 1. Table is 6 feet North to South and 7.5 feet East to West.

                                           From the South (Soviet) edge.

                                            From the West edge.

                                            From the East edge.

                                            From the South-east.   

                                            From the South-west.

The Soviets will have 10 turns to get 2 units in good shape off the North edge. Neither side can expect any reinforcements. I'm thinking of using Grant's programmed responses from Programmed Wargame Scenarios. Probably Scenario 1, because that is the only one I've read besides the mini-campaigns (what will-power!).
I think I'll lay out the German cards tonight.


Soldiers East basic rules done, & first scenario ready.

Finally, I am ready for the first play-test of my Soldiers East rules, probably next weekend.



The scenario is based on the first scenario from Scenarios For All Ages, called Attack on a Prepared Position.I decided to use a fairly basic assault scenario to concentrate on the rules, not the situation. I have  designed a somewhat random setup for the Germans, and the Soviets will have to roll for their attack plan before they see any Germans anyway,  just face down cards in place, so hopefully it is not too cut and dried, with a chance for some surprises.

I decided not to give the Germans any entrenchments, because those on the ridge will get light cover for elevation, and I didn't want to overload the defense... although when I look at all those Soviets, it makes me wonder how well the Germans available can cover 7.5 feet of ridge-line.

No pics of anything yet. I'll try to get some next weekend.