Panzer Grenadier Battles on May 26th:
Afrika Korps #47 - Operation SKORPION
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Tashlyk Bridgehead Scenario 1: Opportunity Seized
Broken Axis #27
(Attacker) Germany vs Soviet Union (Defender)
Formations Involved
Germany 14th Panzer Division
Soviet Union 39th Guards Rifle Division
Soviet Union 5th Guards Independent Tank Regiment
Display
Balance:



Overall balance chart for BrAx027
Total
Side 1 0
Draw 0
Side 2 1
Overall Rating, 1 vote
5
4
3
2
1
4
Scenario Rank: --- of 559
Parent Game Broken Axis
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-05-10
Start Time 09:00
Turn Count 28
Visibility Day
Counters 120
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 2
Maps 2: 102, 104
Layout Dimensions 86 x 28 cm
34 x 11 in
Play Bounty 181
AAR Bounty 168
Total Plays 1
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Delaying Action
Enter & Exit
Hill Control
Kill Them All
Urban Assault
Conditions
Off-board Artillery
Randomly-drawn Aircraft
Smoke
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Broken Axis maps + counters
Introduction

Soviet divisions shuffled in and out of the Tashlyk Bridgehead as Fifth Guards Army turned its positions over to the fresher, stronger Eighth Guards Army in preparation of a drive on Kishinev. Across the Dniester River, Gen. Otto von Knobelsdorff of 40th Panzer Corps, given command of all forces in the sector and ordered to counter-attack, spotted the opportunity. The panzers crashed into the Soviet bridgehead before the drive on Kishinev could commence.

Conclusion

German intelligence performed exceedingly well during these battles and identified Soviet plans and regrouping efforts. Sixth Army's just-appointed commander, Maximilian de Angelis, directed Knobelsdorff to use all available armor to attack the Guards. The Soviets, with few heavy weapons of their own to counter the panzers, quickly gave ground. What happened after that is hard to determine as many Soviet after-action reports claim Puhăceni fell, though the Germans did not claim its capture. Other Soviet accounts claim both Puhăceni and Hill 80.4 (the 60-meter hill hexes on Board 104) remained under their control. Whatever actually happened, the Germans had clearly compromised the bridgehead defenses in less than a day.


Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: do not provide the +1 Assault bonus, even if closed-top (SB)
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).

Display Order of Battle

Germany Order of Battle
Heer
  • Motorized
Luftwaffe
  • Towed
Soviet Union Order of Battle
Army (RKKA)
  • Foot
Guards
  • Mechanized

Display Errata (4)

4 Errata Items
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 41

All SS PzIVH tanks should have a movement of 8.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 63

The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 47

All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)

Display AARs (1)

How not to overrun the Soviets
Author J6A
Method Solo
Victor Soviet Union
Play Date 2016-10-24
Language English
Scenario BrAx027

I've decided I'm going to play through the entire Tashlyk Bridgehead battle game although (spoiler alert) the Germans already can't win.

In this scenario, an outgunned Soviet force must hold off a semi-motorized German attack with a chunk of Panzer support. The Germans get some aircraft and have better OBA than the Soviets, although the Soviets do have more on board artillery. For anti-tank defense, the Soviets have 1 T-34c, 1 SU-76, 2 76.2mm batteries, a 57mm anti-tank battery and a handful of ATRs.

The Soviets set up defending the village with the T-34s and most of their SMG troops, with infantry and some ATRs protecting the flanks. The 2 hex hill was defended by infantry and HMGs. A second line of infantry, ATRs and the SU-76s was behind that, with the ATRs on the flanks to keep the APCs honest, and then on the 40m hills on the 2nd map were a few more infantry units, the 76.2mm batteries (with a wonderful view of the battlefield) and in the back, as a last line of defense, the anti-tank gun.

To win, the Germans must meet 3 of 4 objectives, which include losing 15 or fewer steps, taking the village and hills on the 1st map, taking the hills on the 2nd map and exiting 15 steps. My goal for the Germans was to do all but taking the hills on the 2nd map. I was supposed to use my superior force to force the Soviets out of the village and hills on the 1st map with minimal casualties and then dash for the exit. As they say, the best laid plans...

The scenario started off well near the hills, as the Germans brought up armor the Soviets could not resist and just started blasting away at the units on the hilltop until they could be assaulted. Near the village, the T-34s got in a lucky shot and reduced a PZIV unit, while the Germans couldn't hit doodly squat, and they really couldn't flank the town for fear of being assaulted before the infantry got there. The PZIV that was reduced got demoralized and ran behind a hill where it stayed all game. Now, the Germans have 8/6 morale, so when demoralized it needed a 4 or less to recover, which is only a 1/6 chance. However, the scenario is 28 turns long, and while Fog of War prevented a roll a few turns, I missed it's recovery at least a dozen times.

Eventually, though, the superior German firepower caused the Soviets to start falling back to their 2nd line with fairly heavy casualties. Some accurate Soviet OBA and artillery (this became a theme) was picking off German steps, however no German units were eliminated. That being said, a number of units started becoming combat ineffective, and Fog of War was not being kind. Finally, though, the Soviets were chased off their first line except in the village, now held by 2 SMG units (the T-34s were finally outflanked and destroyed, taking another step of Panzer with them). At this point, the Germans had suffered 11 step losses, close to the 15 limit, and I was reconsidering having to take the hills on the 2nd map. I needn't have bothered.

The Germans surrounded the village with infantry in APCs and tank support and assaulted....and it went terribly, terribly, wrong. Let me say that I goofed and counted the village as a town. Instead of getting 2 shifts in their favor, the Soviets should have had first fire....which would have only made things worse. The Germans rolled a 4, good for a "1" result against the Soviets, but the Soviets rolled a 3, getting a "2" result. The Germans lost a tank step (2 towards the limit) and a loaded APC (yes, I should have unloaded before the assault, but the SMGs intimidated me) for another 3 steps. Meanwhile, the mortars of doom (2 81mm mortars and a 120mm mortar) also decided that rolling extremes was a cool idea. Seizing the opportunity (see what I did there), the Soviets counter assaulted, throwing the 2 column shift to the wind, and took out the other APC and disrupted the remaining Panzers. All in all, the Germans lost 11 step equivalents on this turn, killing the possibility of keeping casualties at 15 or less (Soviet losses were at 27 step equivalents by now). Then the Soviets got the initiative on the next turn and wiped out the remaining Panzers.

It didn't get much better after that. The Soviet artillery and mortars took a fearsome toll on every German that popped it's head out. Eventually German OBA and aircraft caught up to all of the on board artillery, but the damage had been done. It took until about turn 23 (of 28) for the village to be cleared, and the hills only fell a turn or two earlier. A couple of APCs and trucks ran the ATR gauntlet to head for the exits, however on turn 25 Soviet OBA rolled snake eyes against 2 loaded trucks, smashing any German hopes of getting 15 steps off the board.

In the end, the Germans lost 29 steps (after the village debacle they were at 27, and then didn't actually lose a step until the trucks got hit) while the Soviets were in the high 30s. However the Soviets did prevent the Germans from exiting enough steps or taking the hills, so the Germans, despite better troops and inflicting more casualties, only took 1 objective, so it was a Soviet major victory.

To win the battle game, the Germans must meet the exiting steps victory condition in this scenario. Which means they can't win. So, the next 6 scenarios (I've already set up scenario 2) will be played to win for honor, and to keep the Soviets from victory.

I think my plan as the Germans was sound, my execution was flawed. 28 turns in a long time, however when Fog of War goes against a side, and defending units step up heroically, it's not nearly as long as it seems.

Despite that, I thought this was a really good scenario, and would work well 2 player as well as solo, although as the Soviets get whittled down, there is less for them to do. A slightly better planned assault against the village (and using the correct DF modifiers and assault rules) would have made the German task easier, less accurate Soviet mortar fire (seriously, those things caused ridiculous numbers of casualties) might have kept the Germans in the step loss race, and a little less Fog of War could have made for a very different result.

I also did not use the Smoke rules, and I suspect using them would have helped the Germans, especially in the early game as they could have screened the town to get the T-34s flanked earlier. Without them, the German on board artillery took almost no part in the battle.

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