[Previous Date: Sep 15 N]

After the partially successful night assault, Patch naturally immediately went on the offensive again the next date. I’d been struggling with having enough troops to go around the entire time, and this Date was no different, as we started in mid November 2008…:

Another long layover between dates, but we started the 16th tonight, just got through the initial German turn.

On 6 morale checks, there’s been 6 failures, two of them 12s. Also, on rallies in my RPh, there was one rally on 5 attempts. The good news is that this goes for both of us. The bad news is that I’ve had more MCs than he has so far. We almost had a case of duelling FTs, but my guy broke before he had a chance to fire (naturally).

Patch bought four platoons of AFVs. The good news is that they got held up a little by a bog on the lead vehicle of the main column. The immobilized T34 at the intersection is attempting to hold them off, but against this many, it doesn’t look so good.

His sniper pinned a MMG before it had a chance to do anything, and another one Malfed on its first shot and went away when repairs were attempted.

Overall, it’s about what I expected, position-wise, but all the little things are going wrong.

On the other hand, Civilian Interrogation went off, and I got ‘Defenses Compromised’. I revealed 2 1/2 squads (no HIP to reveal) and found that he’s fortified F39.

Situation, Turn 1 Russian RPh (I need to finish setting up off-map reinforcements).

“The holidays are over, and it’s back into the trenches. Woo-hoo!”

“Rindis maneuvered his Turn 1 reinforcements onto the board, and I’m annoyed to see that there’s a 10-2 among the lot. Where are all my -2 officers? I simply must speak to recruiting. Lots of tit-for-tat firing, with no real holes made. A tremendous amount of fire is sent against the 82mm Mtr on the second floor of K40, finally felling the 228 and return fire ans Snipers break both of my own Mtr crews. I fail to bring in my OBA, Rindis forgets he has any, and loses a MMG to a bad repair dr. I think both Rindis and myself are spending Turn 1 trying to get in position for Turn 2. The most exciting event was Rindis turning a 467 Berserk in the center of the board.”

“Turn 2 begins, and Rindis loses yet another MMG! I pop the annoying T-34 in the J45 crossroads with a HEAT CH, and fail again (with a red card this time) to bring in my OBA. Prep Fire strips some concealment and turns a Russian HS Berserk, but movement is more effective as Rindis breaks three units with FPF as I slowly advance along the western flank. Lots of STGs are advancing down the J road, so many I have no clue where to put them. I think the square is about to become a parking lot.”

Start of Russian Defensive Fire, Turn 2.

Thanks for the update Patch!

The Monday session started well for me. First he gets a hull hit on the T-34 in J45 (Final TK 11) and rolls a dud in his DFPh. I rally everyone during his RPh, and he draws a red card for OBA. He gets a turret hit on the T-34 (Final TK 9) and rolls an 11.

After that, it kind of falls apart. The next StuG in line is a B model (short 75), it fires HEAT, gets a Critical Hit and rolls a 3 to blow it into little flaming pieces of shrapnel. On three tries, he breaks the FT that I had set up in a fortified location in H38.

Patch, I just realized that the Berserk charge was illegal. He has to be able to see them. Way too late now though. As it was he took a point blank shot, a tripled SFF, tripled FPF, and a point blank shot from I41, and all I got was a normal MC and two broken squads.

This pretty much completely neutralized much of my defense in the area and allowed him to get a lot closer unmolested that I had planned on.

When he moved a squad into the street in C44, I revealed the HIP squad that was the wing of that part of the defense. When they cowered on the first shot, I decided to push my non-existent luck and declared FPF, which promptly broke my squad. As the ATR they’re holding was also part of how I was planning to defend the corner, I was unhappy to see him just start waltzing the StuGs outside their hideout. I lost it for a minute there, and now I’m paying for it. The only good news left was when the third one in that line managed to Bog.

DFPh was it’s usual uninteresting self, though I did manage to break one concealed squad of his.

Patch, I just realized that the Berserk charge was illegal. He has to be able to see them. Way too late now though. As it was he took a point blank shot, a tripled SFF, tripled FPF, and a point blank shot from I41, and all I got was a normal MC and two broken squads.

“My understanding of how that would work is the berserk unit, with no one remaining in his LOS, would charge the last known location occupied by a KEU (G41). When there, new units came into LOS, and I charged that hex.”

Hmm. I know there is a circumstance that says that. (If they loose sight during movement?) I believe, however, that if they start an MPh with no one in sight, they lose berserk status. Ah, the joys of the RB being several hours drive away.

Okay, meant to post yesterday, but the forum decided not to like me.

Got through DFPh on my Turn 2 during the Monday session. Mostly, I’m still feeling the hurt from the second German turn. Thankfully, my turn went better. I’m not happy about the fact that Patch gets to walk into H40, and will get to use my FT, but I’ve got no way to do anything about it now.

The turn mostly saw me reshuffle the troops, and try to get the new line in the center positioned. Patch has discovered another fortified Location in H42, which he’s now adjacent to with his berserkers. The 10-2 advanced into the same building, and I hope he won’t get roasted….

The real problem is that I just can’t find a way to deal with his massive MG concentrations, and I’m slowly getting ground under by them.

Got to the beginning of my Turn 3 tonight.

German Turn 3 was pretty bad, but unlike Turn 2, not without bright spots. Patch is continuing to nibble away at the defensive lines and force me slowly back. With a good amount of shelling, he finally managed to kill the crew for my 81mm MTR as it tried to get back to it’s rooftop position. He also maneuvered most of his StuG force through the square, and six of them now have my T34 in their sights. between sitting in OBA and Motion, there weren’t any good shots, and not only did I miss, but IF broke the MA, so it probably isn’t even going to take anyone with him.

His ‘Zerkie charged again, and I still couldn’t get a decent result, and he ended up in a hex with two Russian squads. Patch, not liking the CC odds, decided to open up with the FT from next door in advance, and got a 4MC. This CRed his squad, broke one of mine to break to conscripts (pity, I’m running out of 527s), and the other contemplated surrendering but remembered the Germans haven’t been taking prisoners and went Berserk themselves! Patch declared HtH CC, and still missed the roll, while mine got the HS.

He attempted to place a DC on the squad holding down the end of the outer line in the middle (F43), and I barely managed a Pin to abort that. He still broke the squad, and that line is pretty much gone now.

He pulled out his stranded HS from last time, and three different -2 attacks while they Dashed across the street missed (two of them Cowering). On the other hand, a Final Fire from the Children’s Home (H42) managed to break a squad and eliminate another (break, and then a ’12’ on the next MC).

It’s bad. He’s pushing me back far faster than I hoped, but at least I did something to him this turn.

Situation, beginning of Russian Turn 3.

“The damn assault has turned into a crawl. I’m advancing about a hex a turn, which is too slow, and I just can’t make a hole to exploit.”

“Turn 3 saw my OBA continue to pound uselessly against the stone terrain, but it and Mtr fire did succeed in killing the annoying 82mm Mtr crew. I picked a a few other units, but really need to reshuffle and try and move more FP forward to start digging guys out of this +3/+4 terrain.”

“Movement saw my berserk unit charge two Russian squads, and I moved a FT unit adjacent to try and exploit the situation. CC odds are poor, but a 24+0 would help even them (or kill everyone, which works for me). 8 Stgs charge the square, poised to attack the dug-in T34 and the annoying K40 and L38 strongpoints. I also shove one into M37, immobilizing it, but putting a gun point-plank where Rindis really wasn’t expecting one. Elsewhere, there’s a lot of creeping forward. The 237 isolated in D46 dashes across the road and survives a lot of fire intact and reached D44.”

“In Defensive Fire Rindis forgets his OBA again, and manages to kill one squad and break another in F41, which I certainly thought was safe with a net +3. Sorry, no. No place is safe in Stalingrad. Rindis’ fire triggers my sniper, who breaks a blocking 527 in F43, which is a big opening for me. The T34 in K39 fires, misses, IFs, and breaks his gun.”

“Advancing Fire doesn’t go well. My FT reduces my berserk unit in I42, breaks one Russian, and makes the other Berserk. A Stg gets an improbable hit on the dug-in T34 in K39, but misses when it pops up a hull hit. Rout clears some holes, but as I find to my dismay, Rindis has commissars up the wazoo.”

“Advance was a plan to give Rindis some decisions. I’ve targeted several key hexes with large FP stacks in the hope that he may break one, but the second will survive to kill whoever fired. Rindis needs to decide if he should stand or fight. If he stands, I’m hoping to tear a hole I can exploit in turn 4. If not… the lines may stabilize here.”

Beginning Russian Turn 3

pward pointed out:

“A.2 applies, unless you haven’t gotten too far ahead.”

“For future reference Advancing phase fire into a CC hex won’t affect both sides since it’s not a MELEE yet. Shooting the FT first, followed by the 3/2 for the zerk squad would put the 2 Russian squads in a very bad place. (Other than the surrender turning into zerk, 10ML is nice for Russians.)”

Whizbang 1963 cheered:

“thanks for keeping us updated on this..This is awesome!”

WBRP asked:

“Only just joined in on this one and have a question – why is the starting StuG platoon made up of B models instead of the G models listed in CG OB (‘StuG G Pltn’)? Did I miss an erratum?”

I believe that Patch mistook which type he got at first.

“My error. I grabbed the wrong type when I gathered my OB.”

Well, things are continuing to go from bad to worse. Patch still isn’t feeling like he’s getting the breakthrough he wants, but this might well be worse, as he’s bleeding me dry. I’ve lost several squads over the last turn or so, and the 10-2.

And two heavily defended Fortified Locations. With more to follow.

And he’s captured a HMG and MMG.

At least I can say he didn’t capture building M38, as his DC attack rubbled the entire place.

I talked a few things over with Patch at the beginning of tonight’s session, and I’m feeling better for it, but I’m still under a DM counter after the combined effects of three disastrous German fire phases in a row.

“Yeah… Rindis isn’t having much fun this campaign, and I can see his point. The Russian is more or less expected to lose, but slowly enough that I can’t win before time runs out. Right now, on day 16, there’s 6 dates left to go and I control 3/4 of the map, and I see few bunnies in the Russian’s cap.”

“German Prep Fire was effective. I got a FT shot against the 10-2 stack and damaged it, wounding the 10-2 and breaking one of the squads. Several other key hexes also crumbled, which opened up for some maneuvering. The loss of the dug-in T-34 allowed the rest of my armor to move, and I’m starting to shove them closer to the strong points. Problem is those pesky little ATRs everywhere, and if I’m not careful I’ll lose one to a flank or rear shot. I threw a DC into M38, and moved a second FT next to the 10-2 stack.”

“Defensive Fire broke a squad, but otherwise was largely ineffective. In Advancing Fire, the FT scored a 1KIA and offed the 10-2, scoring a nice 6CVP total. The DC nailed its target with snakes, rubbling the entire hex. Final results were cleared paths into the Nail Factory and the Children’s Home. To the west, an engineer platoon remnant is advancing against a pesky squad rolling up my exposed flank.”

“If I can take out M39 and K40h0, there’s nothing left on the east side to prevent me from rolling up that flank. If I can get rid of B46, I can start rolling up that flank. When I take the Children’s Home, there’s an awful lot I can roll up as Rindis is just too thin.”

Start Russian Turn 4

Well, Patch’s dice are settling down to the normal routine, so the last turn hasn’t been so punishing.

However, that’s only not as punishing. I still lost another squad during my turn 4, not to mention the brokies. One of the things that I did do was send his west-side Assault Engineers berzerk. They charged through three hexes of open ground and ate a 3KIA just short of their target, leaving their FT in the middle of a contested street. This also woke the German sniper, who killed my 8-0.

I had a bout of hot dice; two different squads rolled ‘2’ twice in a row to generate Heroes, the first we’ve seen in quite a while. I also rolled a ’12’ to reduce a squad to a pile of quivering HS jelly. He poured further fire into the second heroic squad, and eventually broke it and killed the hero (the squad broke on the third 3MC he got on it).

The StuGs are advancing again. He’s obviously wanting to sweep down the west side and push into the east side. So far, the remnants of the L38/M39 defenders are retiring in good order.

To give an idea of just how bad it has been, he has captured from me (generally by wiping out the guys holding them) an HMG, a MMG, a FT, and a German LMG I got from him last Date. There’s also an ATR and malfunctioned LMG that he has yet to pick up in his area. On top of this, I have a LMG and MMG malfunctioned, and two MMGs have malfed to be taken out by a subsequent ‘6’. This leaves me with 2 LMGs, 3 ATRs, a 50mm MTR and 2 DCs functioning, a 50mm MTR about to be abandoned in no-man’s land (I hope it will only be such), and a captured 50mm MTR and 81mm MTR abandoned with dead crews. In contrast, his SW losses are a used DC and the FT that the berserk squad just dropped.

We hit the end of turn 5 tonight!

…And kept going on a dr of ‘5’.

The die luck has continued to be up and down. I’ve had two HoBs; one to BH a wounded 8-1 to 9-1, and the other sent a 458 berserk. (I can’t really afford to lose him though….) Patch had an engineer HS go fanatic. He’s also had a StuG recalled, and malfed two MAs, a LMG and ATR on three attacks (the last two tied random selection on ‘1’s).

The plan went up in smoke two/three turns ago, and I’m still unable to do anything about the east side other than try to pull someone out. I have him temporarily stopped on the x45/x46 street, but that may not last. Patch unmired a StuG and then made the mistake of driving it into the open in full view of the last T-34 that already had aquisition.

So at least he’s lost one StuG this time. He’s also gotten a bit close to a couple of my ATRs (he didn’t notice one at first), though with front shots I need a lot of luck to make him pay.

We’re wondering if he’s about to have a campaign victory. The east side is going fast, and there’s not a lot of stone hexes in the south, which is about all I have left.

Situation, beginning of DFPh, German Turn 6.

Patch naturally advanced all over in the bottom of his turn, but the squad he put into Melee with the T-34 wasn’t able to harm it.

Crazyness continued during the next turn. During my turn 6 rally, one of my Commissars went berserk. This immediately took out of action half of the east-side force, as he took another Commissar and a squad with him.

They made it through some debris and ended up in K42, along with the squad that had gone berserk earlier, merely losing a HS to Patch defensive fire. As Patch had a StuG in Bypass in that hex, CC was sequential and I got to go first. No matter, everyone missed everyone else.

I got some good rolls elsewhere, and actually broke the bulk of the killer stack in E45. But by now it was too little too late, he was already streaming into the road, with little I could do to stem the tide. The T-34 attempted kill the squad attacking it, and only malfunctioned the CMG for its trouble, it then successfully started and swung around south of all the building and came up to the C-road, where it managed to hit and burn of the the disabled StuGs there.

And the end of turn 6 dr… 6 (-1), the game continued.

With very little left, Patch set about swarming my defenses and a number of high rolls helped. I managed a K/1 on some Dashing engineers but the remaining HS passed the MC with ease. In K42, he drove the StuG forward, next to my remaining east edge troops, and out of the CC. He killed a HS and leader, I missed completely (11). By the end of his turn, I calculated that I had 12 stone hexes left, and 5 GO squads.

I had been planing on getting to the end of the Date, and if he was still a hex or two off from victory, conceding. This date bled me too white to be able to count on any sort of stable line that wouldn’t involve giving up something. But… staring at a turn 7 with practically nothing left, I conceded rather than just have a paperwork exercise for the end of the game.

We haven’t any idea what we’re going to do next. I just know it won’t be city fighting.


“It was a good run–thanks for the reports!”

“Whelp, another one bites the dust. I’m a little behind this one, and don’t recall enough of all that went on the last two turns to go into detail, but here’s a summary.”

“The game has dropped into a crawl, which is to be expected in city fighting. There’s no way to flank Rindis, so I’m just advancing and hammering away trying to make a hole. He’s thin, but I can’t crack the +3 terrain and I lack a platoon to throw into any small breaches. The armor sale on 16D was a mistake. I should have grabbed more infantry.”

“I have become rather adept at rolling 12’s on MAs. I lose four more on Turn 6, and one is permanently disabled, sending that tank off on the trail of a second tank that also lost it’s MA. Worst of it is I lost the MA for both tanks on the west side, and there’s nothing that can stop Rindis from throwing his T34 that way. Which he does, and it promptly flames a precious 75L StuG.”

“I clear out the Children’s Home, and with that, I finally get a window to the Fire Station. A captured Russian FT has been amazingly effective in clearing a path, and there’s nothing left that Rindis can throw in my path to stop a crossing of the 46 road. To the east, I fired at a broken unit, because “what the worst that can happen?” Turns out the worst that can happen is the unit goes berserk, and is joined by three more in the Rally phase when a Commissar gets heroic. I’m too damn thin to offer real resistance to Morale 10 units charging through +3 terrain, and I’ve a lot of HS crews manning MGs on that side, and I simply cannot let them get into h-t-h CC. I stack the looming target hex with 3 467s.”

“Rindis charges on his turn and gets in, and the best I can do is CR one squad. Rindis goes and breaks two of my 467s and pins a third, and I expect him to die in CC but he lives. Elsewhere Rindis moves his aforementioned T34 and nails a tank. Elsewhere he skulks a little and reshuffles. There’s nothing else he can do.”

“My turn 7 I blow across the road into the 47 row buildings and the Fire Station. I flood the hexes around the berserk units. If he wins he CC, he’s nowhere to go and will get nailed by a fearsome amount of FP. Two tanks make their way to dual with the T34, but I need another turn to get there. In the CC I kill an leader and a HS, and Rindis gets skunked again. At the end of the turn, I possess 86 of the 98 stone hexes on the board, more than enough for a win, and Rindis only has 4-5 GO squads left (with another 4-5 broken). He concedes.”

Beginning Russian Turn 7, when Rindis concedes. Main turn 6 axis of advance shown. Not all Axis controlled hexes are indicated.

I’ll be posting the post-game show in the next couple days.

[Next: Wrapup]