Valley of Death
Blue Division #10
|(Defender) Spain||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Soviet Union||25th Cavalry Division|
|Soviet Union||46th Rifle Division|
|Overall Rating, 3 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 609|
|Parent Game||Blue Division|
|Maps||4: 15, 17, 18, 6|
|Layout Dimensions||86 x 56 cm
34 x 22 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
|Road to Berlin||maps|
As the Soviet troops trapped in the Volkhov Pocket began to fall from starvation, Meretskov ordered ever more desperate attacks to break them out. Gen. Munoz Grandes was ordered to detach his reconnaissance battalion, ski company and an anti-tank company. The battle group, led by Maj. Nemiso Merelo Cuesta Fernandez, would join a motley assortment of German units trying to keep the Soviets from escaping. While the sick and hungry men of the 2nd Shock Army tried to fight their way out of what they called the "Valley of Death," troops of 59th Army tried to spring them free.
Several hundred Soviet soldiers managed to make their way across the Spanish-held corridor, despite the Recon battalion's self-proclaimed elite status. Inside the pocket, conditions had deteriorated far beyond the limits of human endurance. "We ate everything that could be eaten," wrote rifleman A. Baziuk. "Any insects, worms and frogs were used as food. Birsh sap was of great help, but in the middle of May it disappeared.
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
|Valley of Death|
When choosing my solitaire games, I tend to look for scnearios which are easier to play on your own which normally means one side on the defensive with limited options or scenarios which have an intresting plot. This scenario is one of those. 30 poor morale Soviet 1/2 steps have to cross 2 boards against a small but elite Spanish force. Russian cavalry come on from the other side of the board to assist the inf. The reds have also got good offboard artillery support, although not stated in the rules I played a house rule that only the cavalry leaders could spot for the artillery. The VC state that for the Spanish player to win no unit of the 46th Rifle division can exit on the east edge of the board. I can't see that not occuring so the Spanish player has in my view go for the draw that is stop more than 5 steps exiting and not lose 8 steps himself. This is where the beauty of this scenario comes in, as there are lots of stratgies and tactics to employ. I went for a forward Spanish deployment and for the Soviet inf to come on in four seperate groups in an attempt to split the Spanish forces so single steps could bypass the fighting and race for the east edge. In the game the Soviet forces did exactly that, and the cavalry lept into the asssault on the two main Spanish stacks therby tying them up. I even managed to do a sucessfull cavalry charge. By game turn 11 it was all over the Spanish had lost 8 steps and at least 7 Russian inf steps were legging towards safety. This is an excellent solitaire scenario but FtF players may find it unbalanced. I will play this one again!
|Demoralized Soviets try to break past the Spanish defenders.|
Soviets enter in the west as the Spanish open fire and do some last minute manoeuvring to cut them off.
Soviet cavalry enters in the east to assist. Spanish Infantry Gun is hit and eliminated by Soviet artillery. Soviets begin slipping past but lose 6 of their units. Pursuing Spanish motorcycles are disrupted by Soviet artillery
Soviets break past the Spanish in the north and south. Their cavalry continues their charge across the open.
Spanish on Motorcycles pursue as the Soviets focus on moving eastward with the 46th. Spanish Ski Company eliminates two more platoons and their LT. Cavalry charge!
Soviets are 45 minutes away from exiting.
Soviet cavalry charges but is slaughtered by the awaiting Spanish. They lose a platoon and a half of horses, but the 46th reaches the eastern edge and begins to exit the map.
By turn 12 Soviets have exited 2 units, with another 4 to exit next turn and the Spanish concede victory.
This was a very fun scenario, but very hard for the Spanish to stop everyone. Perhaps a solid line across would have been more efficient forcing the Soviets to try to get past within 200m range. The Soviet OBA really makes this one unfair, and I suggest you may choose not to use it at all if playing competitively.
Scenario Rating: 4/5. This is a hard one to rate. The victory condition seems impossible for the Spanish and I can’t imagine them achieving more than a draw. But it is so fun shooting at morale 5 reduced platoons that the victory conditions hardly matter. I’ll give it a 4/5 for fun!