Eastern Front #3
|(Attacker) Romania||vs||Soviet Union (Defender)|
|Romania||2nd Calarasi Regiment|
|Soviet Union||164th Rifle Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 29 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 335 of 556|
|Parent Game||Eastern Front|
|Maps||2: 4, 7|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
On Romania's northern flank, the understrength 3rd Army faced the much stronger Soviet 12th Army. Even though the Red Army's Gen. P. G. Ponedelin and his staff faced extreme danger from German flanking attacks, they responded sharply when the Romanians advanced into their former province of Northern Bucovina. Despite German condescension, and the fact that Romania had yet to declare war, both sides proved very willing to spill blood over "national" territory.
The Romanian cavalrymen took the village of Fontana Alba in the morning, meeting 8th Cavalry Brigade's objectives. But around noon the Soviets counterattacked in force and drove them back out. The Red Army in this sector put up spirited resistance, but eventually had to pull back due to defeats elsewhere.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|2 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Kommissars never get morale or combat modifiers. Ignore misprints.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
I am quite new to the Panzer Grenadier series and I probably have goofed a few rules. I am trying to learn the basic tactics. About all I have figured out thus far is that it is probably a good idea to bombard and then use direct fire before assaulting. I haven’t got the tanks down yet though.
22 June 1941
On Romania’s northern flank, the under strength 3rd Army faced a much stronger Soviet 12th Army. Even though the Red Army’s General P.G. Ponedelin and his staff faced extreme danger from German flanking attacks, they responded sharply when the Romanians advanced into their former province of Northern Bucovina. Despite German condescension, and the fact that Romania had yet to declare war, both sides proved very willing got shed blood. Over “national” territory.
The Romanian forces consist of elements of the 2nd Calarasi Regiment. This group has 10 cavalry platoons and two heavy machine guns units, a 60mm battery and some off-map artillery [2x 12]. This force is led by a Cavalry Maior [9-0-0] a Capitan [6-0-0] and three Locotenents [[9-1-0], [9-0-1] and [ 7-0-1]. The Romanian force is charged with the capture of the small town to the northeast, across the minor river.
The Soviets begin with eight infantry platoons, two heavy machineguns, a 45mm gun battery and an 82mm mortar unit. Reinforcements are in the wings. This group is led by a Captain [10-0-0] and a Lieutenant [7-0-0]. In addition to holding the small town and keeping the Romanians on the western side of the river, the Soviet forces look to eliminate at least five steps from the Romanian regiment.
It seems that the cavalry [4-2] have an advantage in assault combat, getting a +1 column shift. On the down side, there is a +1 column shift for the enemy using direct fire and bombardment, which makes the cavalry a bit more brittle. In this scenario, the Romanian cavalry have high morale at 8 but when reduced it drops to 6. The off-board artillery seems weak [2X 12] and will make more impact if they are combined on one target. The 60mm guns [5-5 indirect] seem almost useless.
The Soviet forces can start dug in and this gives negative column shifts for bombardment and direct fire [-1 column shift]. Fontana Alba is only four hexes and looks to be easily defended. The wild card is that the Soviets get heavy reinforcements, 12 infantry platoons, 3 HMG’s, a T-26, and off board artillery [3X 10] which probably will take care of any Romanian success in penetrating the initial defense. The Soviets set up with a defensive line that makes use of the river and also defends the bridge. All of these units start out dug in. Since the river is only a minor river, it should not prove to be much of an obstacle to the Romanian forces.
The scene Fontana Alba runs 30 turns from 0600 to 1330 hours.
Turn 1 0600 Hours Night
The Soviets win the opening initiative with first activation. [The Soviets are at a slight disadvantage with an initiative rating of 1 while the Romanians have an initiative of 2]. All of the Soviet troops are dug in and none of the Romanian troops are spotted yet so the Soviet commander passes.
The Romanian 60mm guns move from the hill to the north into the small copse of woods to the east. The Romanian Locotenent [7-0-0] in the left flank advances with a HMG [8-4] which is loaded on wagons. The other Romanian HMG moves by wagon along the main road toward the river. A cavalry platoon [4-2] rides all the way to the bridge and triggers opportunity fire from the Soviet infantry across the bridge [4-2 dug in]. This yields no result. A second cavalry platoon aggressively rides to the same location and triggers more opportunity fire. As a result the cavalry unit becomes demoralized. The rest of the Romanian forces advance toward the river.
Turn 2 0615 Hours Night
The Romanian forces seize the initiative with two activations. The Romanian commander calls for off-map artillery to fire at the Soviet units on the eastern side of the bridge. This causes a morale check but the Soviet infantry platoon [4-2 dug in] passes. Next the Romanian cavalry hits the same position with direct fire but this yields no effect.
The Soviets take advantage of the situation and fire back at the Romanians from their dug in position, hoping to get the demoralized unit. This is successful and the Romanian units must check their morale [M1] The good order cavalry [4-2] suffers disruption and the demoralized unit is eliminated. Ouch. The Soviets pass and the Romanians slowly move their forces easterly toward the river.
Turn 3 0630 Hours Night
The Soviets regain the initiative with two activations. The Soviet infantry, which is defending on the eastern side of the bridge uses direct fire against the Romanian cavalry platoon [4-2 disrupted].The cavalry takes a hit [2-2] and becomes demoralized. [This is now 3 step losses for the Romanian forces. One more step loss and their initiative drops from 2 to 1]
The Cavalry unit attempts to recover but this fails and it pulls back to the safety of the woods to the west. Since it is still dark, the Soviets cannot spot any of the enemy and decides to pass. The Romanian commander orders a machinegun unit to move by wagon toward the river north of the main road, where it will deploy. After a few tweaks in their positions the Romanians also pass and the turn ends.
Turn 4 0645 Hours Night###
The Romanians win the initiative with two activations. The HMG unit [8-4] unloads from the wagons under the cover of dark. The demoralized cavalry attempts to recover in the woods to the west of the main battle line. Th recovery attempt fails.
Turn 5 0700 Hours Day
The Romanians win the initiative again and have two activations. Off-board artillery is called in against the Soviet infantry that is defending across the bridge. The Soviet platoon [4-2 dug in] is hit but passes its morale check. The 60mm guns on the Romanian left flank fires at units across the river without effect.
The Soviet commander calls for the 82mm mortars [in Fontana Alba] to fire on the Romanian troops across the river on the Soviet right. These shots miss entirely. The Romanian Locotenent on the southern flank orders two cavalry platoons [4-2] to issue direct fire at the Soviet position across the bridge. The Soviet troops are forced to check morale [M1] and they pass. The Soviet infantry to the northeast of the bridge uses direct fire against the Romanian cavalry and force a morale check, but all of the enemy passes.
The Soviet Captain [10-0-0] in the north orders the HMG’s to fire on the cavalry across the river. The fire has some effect and forces a morale check [M2]. The Romanian troops all pass. The Romanian HMG’s [8-4] fire back. The direct fire hits and forces a morale check. The Soviet Captain [10-0-0] fails and suffers disruption. The Soviet HMG’s [7-4], however. pass and remain in good order. Soviet infantry returns direct fire on the Romanian HMG and manages to disrupt the leader. The Romanian machineguns maintain good order.
Two Romanian cavalry platoons [4-2] fire on the Soviet HMG again. The attack forces a Soviet morale check but all of the units pass. The rest of the direct fire has no effect and the Romanian cavalry, which remains demoralized in the woods on the western side of the river, fails to recover.
Turn 6 0715 Hours Day
The Romanians win the initiative with two activations. The Romanian commander calls for the off-map artillery to combine  to fire on the Soviet HMG’s to the west of the small town. This barrage has no effect. The Romanian HMG’s [8-4] issue direct fire against the same Soviet HMG unit. This also has no effect. Both sides exchange direct fire across the river. Both the Soviet Captain [10-0-0] and the Romanian Locotenent [0-7-1] recover to good order. The Soviet 82mm mortars continue to have no effect. And the turn ends rather uneventfully.
Turn 7 0730 Hours Day
The Soviets seize the initiative with first activation. The Soviet HMG [7-4] on the northern flank issues direct fire against the Romanian HMG’s across the river. This fails to affect the enemy. The Romanian HMG [8-4] returns direct fire. This also has no effect. Both sides exchange more direct fire across the river. Finally a Soviet infantry platoon [4-2] hits the Romanian HMG [8-4] and the Locotenent [7-0-1]. The officer suffers disruption but the HMG maintains good order.
Another Soviet infantry platoon [4-2] hits the Romanian Locotenent and the HMG. The Romanian leader becomes demoralized. He fails his recovery attempt and flees to the woods in the rear. [This is where the 60mm gun battery is deployed.] The rest of the firefight produces no results and the Soviet 82mm mortars miss their target again. The Romanian cavalry [2-2 demoralized] in the woods south of the main road recovers its morale [2-2 disrupted]. The turns comes to an end.
Turn 8 0745 Hours Day
The Soviets win the initiative again and have first activation. The Soviet HMG platoon [7-4] on the north flank fires at the Romanian HMG’s across the river, but they fail to find their target. The Romanian HMG’s [8-4] return fire. Also no effect. Both sides exchange more direct fire. A Soviet infantry [4-2] manages to hit one of the Romanian positions and the Romanian Locotenent [9-1-0] suffers disruption. Romanian cavalry advances near the bridge and is hit with opportunity fire from the Soviet HMG placement on the south flank. The cavalry passes their morale check however. Another Romanian cavalry platoon [4-2] moves to the south of the bridge. Romanian cavalry advances to the river bank north of the main road and one platoon suffers disruption by Soviet opportunity fire.
The Romanian Locotenent [7-0-1 demoralized] successfully recovers morale [disrupted]. Additionally, the Locotenent [9-1-0 disrupted] to the west of the bridge also rallies and returns to good order. The Romanian cavalry [2-2 disrupted] in the woods south of the main road recovers to good order. The Romanian commander calls in off-map artillery to fire at the Soviet HMG unit in the dug in position in the northern section. The barrage has no real effect and the turn ends.
Turn 9 0800 Hours
The Romanians win the initiative with first activation. The Romanian HMG [8-4] issues direct fire against their Soviet counterpart across the river to the west of the Fontana Alba, but without effect. Both sides resume their exchange of fire across the river. The Soviet infantry [4-2] manages a morale check against the Romanian cavalry on the bridge. The cavalry suffers disruption. Along the center, a Romanian cavalry platoon [4-2] also becomes demoralized. Then the Soviet HMG’s [7-4] in the south fire on the demoralized cavalry, but this is ineffective. The Romanian cavalry [4-2 demoralized] manages to recover [disrupted]. Nothing really changes and the turn ends.
Turn 10 0815 Hours
A Soviet sniper gets the best Romanian officer, a Locotenent [9-1-0], with a gunshot. [This was the result of a random event]. The Romanians had only one leader with a positive combat factor. The leader loss brings the Romanian losses to four which causes their initiative to fall to +1, the same as the Soviets. The Romanians win the initiative with first activation. The Romanian commander orders his off-board artillery to fire on the Soviet position across the bridge. This has negligible effect. The Romanian cavalry [4-2 disrupted] on the southwestern side of the bridge is hit with direct fire from Soviet infantry and becomes demoralized. Both sides continue to exchange direct fire with little effect. The Romanian Locotenent [7-0-1 disrupted] rallies to good order. Also, the demoralized cavalry [4-2 demoralized] near the bridge recovers to disruption. The turn comes to a completion after several Romanian cavalry platoons cross the river.
Turn 11 0830 Hours
A Soviet sniper takes another shot at one of the Romanian leaders [Random Event] but he misses his shot. The Romanians win the initiative and have first activation. An off map artillery barrage produces no result. Soviet HMG has no effect in targeting the cavalry [4-2 disrupted] which is positioned to the west.
The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] leads an assault against a Soviet infantry [4-2 dug in] to the north of the main road. This calls for morale checks for both sides but they all pass. A second cavalry platoon [4-2] moves into the assault hex to reinforce the Capitan’s platoon.
Both sides exchange ineffective direct fire until a Romanian cavalry platoon manages to demoralized a Soviet infantry platoon [4-2 dug in]. The Soviet HMG’s in the northern sector hit the Romanian HMG platoon [8-4] and leave it demoralized. [The Romanian HMG [8-4 demoralized] subsequently flees toward the wooded area to the west.] The Soviet 82mm mortars also fire but again, this is ineffective. The Romanian cavalry on the bridge rallies back to good order. The turn comes to an end.
Turn 12 0845 Hours
The Romanians retain the initiative with two activations. Along the northern sector, the Romanian Locotenent [9-0-1] and two cavalry platoons [4-2] assault the Soviet infantry [4-2 dug in demoralized]. The Soviet unit loses a step and then fails its morale check [M2] and is eliminated. [Total Soviet loses are 2 steps, Romanian 4 steps].
The other assault to the south resumes. The Soviets are dug in and get first fire. The Soviet infantry fails to damage the attackers, but becomes demoralized in the ensuing assault, failing their morale check.
Soviet infantry uses direct fire against the first group of Romanians that assaulted the Soviet position. This causes a morale check and the Locotenent [9-0-1] suffers disruption along with one of the cavalry platoons [4-2].
On the south side of the main road, a Romanian Maior [9-0-0] leads an assault against the Soviet position on the road. The Soviet infantry receives first fire as it is dug in and triggers a morale check. Although he leader passes, his cavalry platoon becomes demoralized. The Soviet HMG [7-4], positioned just to the north of the main road issues direct fire against the cavalry [4-2] on the bridge and it suffers disruption.
Both sides exchange direct fire with little further effect. The Romanian HMG [8-4 demoralized] recovers completely to good order. The Soviet commander fires his 82mm mortars and hits the Romanian HMG’s again but they pass their morale check.
Turn 13 0900 Hours
The Romanians continue to hold the initiative and get two activations. The demoralized cavalry platoon in the assault along the road fails to recover and instead flees to the rear. The Romanian assault, just to the north of the road continues. The Soviet infantry is dug in but demoralized. The assault triggers a morale check and amazingly, the Soviet unit passes. The Soviets fail their reinforcements die roll. [This is the first turn that the Soviets may receive reinforcements. During the 0900 hours, a die roll of 6 is required to bring on the reinforcements.]
The Soviet HMG’s [7-4] fire without effect while the Romanian cavalry [4-2 disrupted] recovers to good order. In the northern sector, a Soviet infantry platoon [4-2 dug] fires direct fire on a Romanian Locotenent [9-0-0 disrupted] and forces a morale check. The officer passes but his disrupted cavalry platoon becomes demoralized and his good order cavalry suffers disruption.
Both sides exchange more direct fire but most of this fails to hit. A Soviet infantry platoon did manage to trigger a morale check against the Romanians on the northern flank. The Locotenent [7-0-1] became demoralized as a result. The Soviets also attempt mortar fire against the same units but they all pass the next morale check. The Romanian Locotenent manages to recover to a disrupted state.
Turn 14 0915 Hours
The Romanians maintain the initiative and have one activation. The assault in the position to the north of the main road resumes. The Romanian Locotenent [6-0-0] and two cavalry platoons [4-2] are against a Soviet infantry platoon [4-2 demoralized dug in]. The Soviet unit loses a step and then fails the morale check and is eliminated. [Soviets have now lost 4 steps. One more and their initiative drops to 0.]
Soviet reinforcements fail to arrive. The Soviet HMG fire [point blank] at the Romanians that have just completed the assault. Unfortunately this is completely ineffective. The Romanian cavalry [4-2] moves into the assault hex on the main road. There is already a leader and a cavalry unit there. The Soviet infantry has first fire because it is dug in and manages to leave both cavalry units demoralized although the officer retains good order. To the south of the assault, the Soviet infantry use direct fire against the Romanian HMG’s across the river. This has little effect. The Romanian HMG then proceeds to move to a new position on the bridge.
The battle rages on in the northern sector. A Soviet infantry platoon [4-2 dug in] uses direct fire against the Romanians just to the south, but this fails to stop them. Then the Romanian cavalry and their Locotenent [9-0-1] assault the position. The Soviet units have first shot. This fails. Apparently, both sides are conservative and no results come from the assault.
On the northern flank, the Soviet HMG [7-4] unit fires on two Romanian cavalry platoons and manages to cause a morale check. The disrupted platoon passes while the good order platoon fails and suffers disruption. The Romanian commander calls in the off-board artillery for a shot against the Soviet HMG’s [a 24 point barrage] This results in a morale check and the Soviet unit passes. The Soviet commander fires the 82mm mortars [in Fontana Alba] against the disrupted cavalry on the northern flank. This fails to produce any effects. The Romanians attempt to rally and both cavalry units recover to good order. The remaining Romanian troops also attempt to recover their morale. One [4-2 demoralized] recovers to disrupted, but the other remains demoralized and manages to flee to the woods, south of the main road.
Turn 15 0930 Hours
The Romanians again have the initiative and first activation. The units that are in the assault on the road attempt to recover their morale. Although the leader is okay, both cavalry units are currently demoralized. Both cavalry platoons recover to disrupted. There are still no Soviet reinforcements. [Lucky for the Romanians]
The Soviet HMG emplacement just to the north of the main road uses direct fire against the Romanian cavalry which is adjacent, just to the west. One of the Romanian cavalry units becomes disrupted while the other maintains good order. The Romanian HMG’s on the bridge fire at the Soviet HMG’s. This proves to be ineffective.
In the northern section, the Soviet HMG’s fire across the river at the two Romanian cavalry platoons [disrupted]. This also is ineffective. Just to the south of the HMG’s a Romanian leader continues the assault against a Soviet position held by an infantry platoon [4-2 dug in]. Both the Locotenent and his cavalry platoon suffer disruption.
The Soviet 82mm mortars fire on the two cavalry platoons across the river in the northern sector. The shells cause a morale check which leaves one of the cavalry demoralized. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] near the main road, leads a cavalry platoon in an assault against the Soviet HMG unit. The HMG’s are dug in and have first fire but fail to affect the attackers. Both the Soviet HMG and the Lieutenant suffer disruption. The Romanian off board artillery again has absolutely no effect. One of the Romanian units rallies but the rest fail. And the turn ends.
Turn 16 0945 Hours
The Romanians have the initiative with first activation. The Soviet reinforcements continue to delay. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] resumes his assault on the Soviet HMG position along the northern side of the main road. The HMG [7-4 disrupted] has first fire but this is ineffective. The Soviet troops are required to make a morale check and the HMG becomes demoralized, while the Lieutenant remains disrupted.
In the northern sector the Soviets counter with their HMG group which issues direct fire across the river. The Romanian cavalry are already hard pressed and are forced to check morale. The Locotenent [7-0-1 disrupted] passes and both cavalry platoons [4-2 good order and 4-2 demoralized] pass as well. The Romanian cavalry in assault on the main road attempt to recover their morale. One unit recovers [2-2 disrupted] while the other platoon [4-2 disrupted] fails. The Soviet infantry in the northern sector resume their direct fire against the beleaguered cavalry but inflict little damage.
The Romanian forces continue to attempt morale recovery. The Locotenent [9-0-1 disrupted] in the northernmost assault and his cavalry platoon [4-2 disrupted] return to good order. The Soviet commander calls for bombardment from the 82mm mortars in Fontana Alba. This forces a morale check of the Romanian cavalry across the river. The Locotenent fails and becomes demoralized, while his two cavalry platoons [4-2] remain in good order. Two more Romanian cavalry platoons [4-2 disrupted] fail to recover but the cavalry platoon back in the woods south of the main road is restored to good order. Then the turn ends.
Turn 17 1000 Hours
The Romanians retain the initiative with two activations. Still no Soviet reinforcements. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] resumes his assault on the Soviet HMG position near the main road. The limited fire from the Soviet MG’s causes little damage, but the Romanian cavalry force the Soviets to make a morale check. The Soviet Lieutenant passes, but the HMG platoon [7-4 demoralized] doesn’t and subsequently loses a step. [This places the Soviet casualties at 5 step losses which reduces their initiative level to 0]
The Romanian Locotenent [0-7-1 demoralized] in the north attempts recovery and rallies to disrupted. In the northern sector, the Soviet HMG unit puts direct fire to the two cavalry units across the river, which inflicts a step loss. The Romanian Locotenent [7-0-1 disrupted] becomes demoralized, but both cavalry platoons maintain good order. [Total of 5 Romanian step losses]
The Soviet infantry just to the right of their HMG platoon fires on the same cavalry units across the river to no effect. The Romanian commander orders the HMG’s to move toward the river to provide cover for the Locotenent and the two cavalry platoons. The Soviet 82mm mortars barrage the HMG after it sets up in its new position, but this proves ineffective.
The Romanian HMG unit on the bridge advances into the assault on the main road. The Soviet infantry platoon on the southern flank, abandons its dug in positions and pulls back toward Fontana Alba. In the center of the battle area, Romanian cavalry continues its assault against the Soviet infantry [4-2 dug in]. Neither side causes any damage to the other. The Romanian off-board artillery is completely ineffective again. The turn ends.
Turn 18 1015 Hours
The Romanians retain the initiative and have one advance activation. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] resumes the assault against the Soviet HMG [3-4 demoralized] just to the north of the main road. The Soviets make a morale check and the Lieutenant and HMG’s both pass.
In the north sector, the Soviet HMG’s return fire on the beleaguered Romanian cavalry and their leader. This causes a morale check and one of the cavalry platoons becomes demoralized. These Romanian units immediately attempt recovery but fail and retreat to the woods to the rear. The Soviets continue to issue direct fire across the river without effect.
The Romanian officer continues with his assault on the Soviet position on the main road. The Soviet first fire is ineffective, but the Romanian forces inflict a morale check on the Russians. The Soviet infantry passes. The Soviet commander orders the 82mm mortars [8-10] in Fontana Alba to fire on the HMG’s on the western side of the river. The bombardment fails to hit the target. The Romanian HMG’s [8-4] return fire back across the river at the Soviet HMG’s. This time they inflict a step loss on the Soviet HMG platoon. The Soviet Captain [10-0-0] passes his morale check, as does the weakened machinegun unit.
The Romanians off board artillery fires at the HMG’s in the north sector. This forces a morale check. The Soviet Captain [10-0-0] passes but the HMG unit becomes demoralized. The turn ends.
As things stand now, the Soviets have lost 6 steps of casualties and the Romanians have lost 5 steps. Both sides’ initiatives are lowered by one. [Romanians +1, Soviets 0]
Turn 19 1030 Hours###
The Soviets regain the initiative and have first activation. The demoralized HMG’s attempt to rally but fail. They remain in place as they are dug in. [The Soviet reinforcements have failed to show.] Just to the north of the main road, the Romanian assault continues against the Soviet HMG platoon. The Soviets have no effect on the attackers but they must check morale [M2]. The Soviet Lieutenant [7-0-0 disrupted] becomes demoralized and the HMG remains demoralized.
The Romanians resume their assault on the main road. The Soviets are dug in and have first fire which leads to a Romanian morale check. The Maior [9-0-0] suffers disruption. Both Romanian units pass. The Soviet infantry platoon [4-2] becomes demoralized.
The Soviet 82mm mortars [8-10] return fire on the Romanian HMG’s across the river but fail to hit the target. The HMG’s fire back at the Soviet HMG’s [3-4 demoralized, dug in] across the river. The attackers miss the target. The Soviet infantry [formerly on the southern flank] continues to maneuver toward the town Fontana Alba..
In the center, the Romanians resume their assault on the Soviet infantry [4-2 dug in]. The Soviets fail to inflict any damage but make a morale check, which they pass. The Romanian off-board artillery is ordered to bombard the Soviet HMG [demoralized] in the northern section. This is extremely effective and the Soviet Captain [10-0-0] suffers disruption, but the HMG is completely eliminated.
Turn 20 1045 Hours
The Romanians regain the initiative and have first activation. The assault on the Soviet HMG position just north of the road continues. The Romanians are unscathed while they force the Soviets to check morale. The Lieutenant [7-0-0 disrupted] passes okay, but the HMG [3-4 demoralized] fails and is subsequently eliminated. The Soviet Lieutenant manages to escape.
The Romanian Maior [9-0-0 disrupted] continues his assault along the main road against the Soviet infantry [4-2 demoralized, dug in]. The Soviet infantry has first fire but fails to harm the attackers. The Romanian troops, two cavalry and an HMG managed to inflict a step loss on the Soviet infantry. Then the infantry takes a second demoralization and is eliminated. [This leaves three Romanian units stacked and vulnerable to bombardment. The cavalry already provide a one column shift and the three stack provides a second shift.]
The Soviet Captain [10-0-0 disrupted] moves back to the infantry unit in the dug in position just to his north. The Romanian Locotenent [7-0-0 demoralized] in the woods patch in the northern sector manages to rally [disrupted]. Unfortunately his cavalry platoon remains demoralized, but at least it is unspotted in the woods. The disrupted Soviet Lieutenant [7-0-0] in the south wanders back toward the town.
In the central area, the Romanians continue with their final assault. The Soviet infantry [4-2 dug in] has first fire but misses. Three cavalry platoons charge and manage two step losses which completely wipes out the Soviet position.
These assaults have left three cavalry platoons together in two locations [two stacks of three units], so the Soviet commander orders the 82mm mortars [8-10] in Fontana Alba to hit one of them. Despite all of the positive modifiers the barrage fails to hit the target. [The dice]. The Romanian off-board artillery responds with another barrage against the Soviets in the position in the northern sector river line. This results in a morale check [M1]. The Soviet Captain [10-0-0 disrupted] becomes demoralized. The Soviet infantry platoon [4-2] likewise becomes demoralized. The infantry immediately tries to recover morale but fails. Since it is dug in, it remains in place.
The Romanian HMG platoon [8-4] across the river sees their plight and orders direct fire on the Soviet position. This triggers a morale check, which the leader passes. The infantry remains demoralized. One of the Soviet infantry platoons [4-2] on the northern flank, abandons its dug in position and moves into Fontana Alba, joining the mortars. A second unit [4-2 dug in] abandons its position and moves into the southeastern part of the town.
The turn ends with two passes. Thus far, the Romanians have lost 5 steps [4 cavalry and one leader]. The Soviets have lost 12 steps [8 infantry and 2 HMG].
Turn 21 1100 Hours
The Soviets win the initiative back and have first activation. The Soviet reinforcements continue to delay. The Soviet Captain [10-0-0 demoralized, dug in] on the river banks recovers. [Disrupted] The infantry platoon [4-2 demoralized, dug in] remains demoralized. They decide to abandon their dug in position and flee to the town as well.
The Romanian Locotenent in the central position advances with three cavalry platoons toward Fontana Alba. The first cavalry platoon advances within range of the Soviet infantry in the town which triggers opportunity fire. This results in a morale check [M2] which the cavalry unit passes. A second shot is fired as the next platoon [4-2] comes with in range. This triggers morale check which causes a disruption. Then the Locotenent rides in with the third platoon and is hit with opportunity fire from the 45mm gun battery. The Soviets guns are ineffective.
Since the Romanians still have one stack of three cavalry in the open, the Soviet commander orders the 82mm mortars to fire [with the extra modifiers]. The barrage is ineffective. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] and two cavalry platoons run down the Soviet Lieutenant [7-0-0 disrupted], but the Soviet officer escapes again. Then the Soviet leader recovers his morale to good order. [He must be happy with himself]
The Romanian Maior [9-0-0 disrupted] recovers to good order. Meanwhile his units [two cavalry and an HMG] advance along the road toward the east where it will turn north toward Fontana Alba. The Soviet 45mm guns in Fontana Alba fire on the cavalry outside the town to the southwest. The direct fire has no effect.
Turn 22 1115 Hours
The Romanians win the initiative and have first activation. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] moves with his cavalry to capture the Soviet Lieutenant [7-0-0]. The Soviet officer is cunning and eludes capture again. The second cavalry platoon draws opportunity fire from the Soviet 45mm guns and the infantry in the southwestern part of Fontana Alba. This has no effect.
The Soviet Lieutenant takes advantage of his opportunity to run to Fontana Alba. Meanwhile, Romanian off-board artillery [24 points] fires at the Soviet 45mm gun battery and infantry platoon in the southwestern town. The barrage hits the target and triggers a morale check. Both Soviet units remain in good order. The Soviet 45mm guns [2-3] and the infantry platoon [4-2] return fire on the Romanian units advancing from the west. [Locotenent and two cavalry platoons, one disrupted]. This causes a morale check. The officer and the disrupted cavalry both pass, but the good order cavalry platoon suffers disruption. The Romanian Locotenent [9-0-1] attempts to recovery both of the cavalry units. Both cavalry platoons return to good order.
In Fontana Alba [the western sector], The Soviet units attempt to recover morale. The Captain [10-0-0 disrupted] returns to good order but the infantry [4-2 demoralized] remains demoralized. The 82mm guns fire at the advancing Romanian units. There are two cavalry with the officer, but the barrage misses the target.
The Romanian commander takes advantage of the lull to move the HMG platoon [8-4] toward the town [within a 2 hex range]. After the Soviets pass, the other Romanian HMG moves up from the south along the road, within range of Fontana Alba. Then a Romanian Maior [9-0-0] advances with a cavalry platoon toward the town from the south. In the last move, the Locotenent [7-0-1]in the woods across the river, west of Fontana Alba, rallies the cavalry platoon [4-2 disrupted] to good order. The 60 mm gun battery flips to its moving side so that it can advance toward the river. The turn ends.
Turn 23 1130 Hours
The Soviets win initiative and first activation. The Soviet reinforcements finally arrive. Most enter from the southeastern edge but four infantry platoons and a Lieutenant come in from the northeastern part of the map. The demoralized infantry platoon in Fontana Alba attempts to recover. This fails.
The Romanian commander realizes that he is now in a little bit of trouble having failed capturing the town and now being hit on the right flank. The Capitan [6-0-0] orders his men, two cavalry and a HMG platoon to re-deploy to face the threat from the south. The Soviet 82mm mortars [8-10] in Fontana Alba fire on the enemy outside of the town. This has little effect.
The Romanian Maior [9-0-0] moves away from the town and is hit by opportunity fire from the Soviet 45mm guns. This also has no effect. The Soviet infantry platoon and the 45mm gun battery in the southwestern part of town use direct fire on the Romanian HMG platoon. Another miss. The Romanian commander continues to re-deploy to cover the threat from the south.
A Locotenent [7-0-1] on the western side of the river moves with his cavalry platoon across the river to form with the rest of the defense line. The 60mm guns move toward the river. A Soviet Captain [9-0-0] moves from the south with two infantry platoons and two HMG’s toward the Romanian position [within two hexes]. A Lieutenant [8-0-0] also moves with three infantry platoons and a HMG unit.
The Romanian HMG’s outside of Fontana Alba fire into the town at the 45mm guns but miss due to the excellent cover that the town provides. A Soviet Lieutenant [6-0-0] advances along the left flank of the Soviets moving in from the south. The 82mm Mortars [2X 8-10’s reinforcing from the south] fire at the Romanian line. Although the mortar barrage hits the target, the Romanians all pass their morale checks. The Romanian off-board artillery is called in for a strike. This is directed against the Soviet Captain on the road to the south and triggers a morale check. The officer passes but his infantry platoon becomes demoralized and the HMG suffers disruption.
A Soviet Kommissar [8-0-0] moves toward the demoralized unit. After a Romanian pass, a Soviet infantry platoon advances toward the Romanian position. The a T-26 maneuvers toward the enemy. The turn ends.
Turn 24 1145 Hours
The Soviets win the initiative and have first activation. They begin with an attempt to rally the demoralized infantry and disrupted HMG platoon in the south. The HMG unit returns to good order, but the infantry remains demoralized. [That’s okay, the Kommissar will be there shortly.]
Not wasting any time, the Romanian commander calls his off-board artillery [24 points] to fire at the Soviet Captain and the demoralized infantry. Unfortunately, the barrage misses entirely. The Soviet infantry [4-2] and HMG [7-4] on the northern point of the reinforcements sector opens fire on the Romanian defense line. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] suffers disruption and both the cavalry and HMG’s suffer disruption.
The Romanian cavalry [2X 4-2] in the defensive position fires at the Soviet reinforcements with no effect. Soviet infantry advances on the Romanians and receive opportunity fire. The Soviets are unaffected. The Romanian Capitan[6-0-0 disrupted] attempts to rally. The cavalry [4-2 disrupted] returns to good order, but the HMG [8-4 disrupted] fails.
A Soviet Lieutenant [6-0-0] advances as part of the southern reinforcements and brings two infantry platoons [4-2] to anchor the Soviet left.. This stimulates opportunity fire from one of the Romanian cavalry platoons [4-2]. This has no effect. The Romanian Maior [9-0-0] who is deployed on the center of the Romanian line orders his two cavalry platoons to fire on the Soviet infantry from the south. The direct fire hits and the Soviet Lieutenant [6-0-0] becomes demoralized. One of the Soviet infantry platoons also becomes demoralized and the other suffers disruption.
The Soviet commander calls in all of his off-map artillery [30 points] to bombard the Romanian cavalry on the Soviet right. These units are already disrupted. The barrage is successful and the Capitan [6-0-0 disrupted] becomes demoralized along with his cavalry platoon. The HMG’s [7-4 disrupted] become demoralized.
Romanian off-map artillery [24 points] also returns fire on Soviet troops in the south. Some of these units are already demoralized. The Captain [9-0-0] suffers disruption and the HMG [7-4] becomes demoralized. The infantry [4-2 demoralized] remains status quo.
The Soviet 82mm mortars in the south fire at the demoralized troops just north of the main road. The barrage hits the target and the Romanian Capitan [6-0-0 demoralized] passes his morale check. The cavalry [4-2] takes a step reduction and becomes demoralized. The HMG [8-4 demoralized] suffers no further damage. A Romanian Locotenent [9-0-1] moves toward the demoralized forces to help the to recover.
A Soviet Lieutenant [8-0-0] advances from the south into position with an infantry platoon [4-2] and an HMG platoon [7-4]. In Fontana Alba, the Captain [10-0-0] activates in the western part of the town. The demoralized infantry fails to recover, but the 82mm mortars fire at the Romanian HMG [8-4] which is securing the north flank. The mortars hit the target but the HMG’s maintain good order. The HMG’s fire into the town but miss. Then the Soviets in the southwestern section of town fire back with their infantry and 45mm guns. The direct fire misses. The Romanians set up their 50mm guns on the river. The Soviet Kommissar moves into the Soviet line where there are demoralized troops. The turns ends with a fog of war roll.
Turn 25 1200 Hours
The Romanians now have 6 step losses and the Soviets have 12. The initiative is Romania 1 Soviet –1. The Romanians win initiative with three activations. The demoralized Romanian troops attempt to recover. The Capitan [6-0-0 demoralized] recovers [disrupted]. The HMG [8-4 demoralized] also rallied [disrupted]. Off board artillery [24 points] bombards the Soviet line in the southern sector. This triggers a morale check. The Soviet Lieutenant [6-0-0 demoralized] remains demoralized. The infantry [4-2 disrupted] suffers no further effects and the HMG [4-2 demoralized] remains demoralized.
The Romanian Maior [9-0-0] orders his cavalry to issue direct fire at the same group of Soviet troops, that were pinned by the artillery barrage but this yields no result. The Soviets attempt to rally these guys before any further harm comes to them. The Lieutenant [6-0-0 demoralized] remains demoralized. The demoralized infantry recovers [disrupted] and the disrupted infantry recovers to good order.
On the Romanian right flank, the cavalry fires at the Soviet infantry across the main road. This triggers a morale check [M2] and the Lieutenant [6-0-0 demoralized] is eliminated [13 Soviet step losses]. The infantry both pass their checks and remain good order and disrupted, respectively. The Soviet Kommissar [8-0-0] attempts to rally the troops that he is with in the south. The Captain [9-0-0 disrupted] recovers, and both the infantry [4-2 demoralized] and the HMG [7-4 demoralized] successfully rally [disrupted].
The Romanian cavalry on their left, use direct fire against the Soviet right but fail to hit the target. The Soviet commander calls in off-board artillery [30 points] to fire at the Romanian cavalry. The Romanian Capitan [6-0-0 disrupted] and the Cavalry [2-2 demoralized] both pass the morale check, but the HMG’s [8-4 disrupted] becomes demoralized.
To the west of Fontana Alba, the Romanian HMG’s [8-4] fire into the northwestern part of the town with little effect. The Soviet units in the town, return fire at the HMG platoon with no effect. The Romanian 60mm guns [5-5] issue indirect fire into the western part of Fontana Alba. No effect.
Back in the south, the Soviet center issues direct fire into the Romanian position. Completely ineffective. The Romanian commander passes. In the south, Soviet 82mm mortars bombard the Romanian center. The cavalry [2-2 demoralized] is eliminated. [Romanian step losses total 7]. The Soviet mortars in Fontana Alba fire at the HMG unit to the west of the town with negligible effects. To the northeast of Fontana Alba, a Soviet Lieutenant [9-0-1] advances toward the west with three infantry platoons [4-2]. The Soviet T-26 tanks in the south advance around the Soviet left flank. The turn ends.
Turn 26 1215 Hours
The Romanians have initiative with first activation. Being in a defensive mindset, the Romanian commander elects to attempt a morale recovery. The Capitan [6-0-0 disrupted] returns to good order. The HMG [8-4 disrupted] remains demoralized and flees toward the northwest.
The Soviet off board artillery [30 points] fires at the beleaguer HMG. The fire hits the target but the HMG’s pass their morale check. Romanian off-map artillery [24 points] bombards the Soviet units in the south. This triggers a morale check. The Soviet infantry [4-2] becomes demoralized and the other platoon [4-2 disrupted] also becomes demoralized. Both of these units attempt recovery and end up fleeing toward the woods in the south.
In the northern sector, the Romanian HGM [8-4] to the west of the town, places direct fire into the town. Little damage is incurred. Back in the south along the main road, the Soviet Lieutenant [8-0-0] orders his infantry and HMG’s to use direct fire on the Romanian cavalry. The fire hits the target and the Maior [9-0-0] and one of the cavalry platoons maintain good order, but the second cavalry platoon becomes demoralized.
The cavalry quickly rallies with the help of a nearby Lieutenant and progresses to disrupted. The direct fore of the other cavalry is ineffective. The Soviet mortars in the south is ordered to bombard the cavalry that is defending north of the main east-west road. The mortars force a morale check. The Maior passes, but one of the cavalry suffers disruption and the second becomes demoralized.
The Romanian commander calls in indirect fire from the 60mm guns on the river. These have no effect on the Soviet units in Fontana Alba. The 82mm mortars in Fontana Alba return fire on the Romanian HMG’s to the west with no effect. The Romanian commander passes to reserve ammo for opportunity fire.
In the southern part of Fontana Alba, the Soviet 45mm guns and the infantry fire on the HMG [8-4]. This triggers a morale check which the Romanian unit promptly passes. The Soviet Lieutenant, north of Fontana Alba, continues his flanking maneuver and moves four infantry platoons toward the Romanian HMG position. There is no opportunity fire as these move adjacent. A Romanian Locotenent [7-0-1] moves with a cavalry platoon to reinforce the HMG position from what appears to be an imminent assault.
A Soviet T-26 unit moves to the road just east of the bridge. The Romanian cavalry reserves its fire for infantry that may yet advance. Two Soviet infantry platoons fire on what is left of the Romanian right flank. The cavalry pass the subsequent morale check. The Kommissar moves from the south toward Fontana Alba where it will attempt to rally a demoralized infantry unit. The Soviet Captain’s two platoons [disrupted] fail to recover.
On the Soviet right flank, a HMG [7-4] and infantry [4-2] fire at the Romanian cavalry [4-2] on the Romanian left. One of the cavalry platoons suffers disruption. The last Soviet infantry fires without effect on a Romanian cavalry platoon near the main road, and the turn ends.
Turn 27 1230 Hours
The Romanians have initiative with first activation. The Romanian commander calls in off-board artillery [24 point barrage] against the Soviet units in the southern position. This results in a step loss. The Soviet Lieutenant [8-0-0] becomes demoralized as does the infantry platoon [2-2]. The Soviet HMG [7-4] suffers disruption. The Soviet Lieutenant and both units rally, with the HMG returning to good order.
To the west of Fontana Alba, the Romanian Locotenent [7-0-1] orders the HMG [8-4] and cavalry [4-2] to use direct fire on the Soviet infantry. As a result the Soviet Lieutenant [9-0-1] suffers disruption along with one of the two infantry platoons. Two of his infantry platoons on his flank return fire at the Romanian HMG’s. The Locotenent suffers disruption, while the HMG becomes demoralized. The cavalry however, maintains good order.
Along the main road, the Romanian Maior attempts to rally his cavalry. One of the cavalry recovers to good order while the other recovers to disruption. The Soviet commander orders his off-board artillery to fire on the Romanian position just west of the town. Several Soviet infantry are in danger of friendly fire though. The Romanian cavalry [4-2] suffers disruption while the others remain static.
The Romanian 60 mm’s fire at the Soviet units to the west of Fontana Alba. This has no effect. On the southern side of the main road, two Soviet infantry platoons fire on the Romanian center with no effect. The Romanians roll Fog of War to end the turn.
Turn 28 1245 Hours
The Romanians retain the initiative with first activation. The first order is to rally the units west of Fontana Alba. All of the efforts fail and the HMG flees to the west. The Locotenent joins them.
The Soviet commander orders his off map artillery [30 points] to fire at the Romanian Capitan [6-0-0] and his HMG [8-4 demoralized] in the center. Amazingly it misses entirely. The very same HMG recovers from its demoralization [disrupted]. The Soviets 82mm mortars in the south issue indirect fire at the Romanian cavalry along the road. This has no effect.
Just to the north of the main road along the Romanian center, a disrupted cavalry recovers to good order while the Maior [9-0-0] and a good order cavalry [4-2] pull back one hex to the north west. Soviet infantry returns fire on the recovered cavalry platoon with no effect. The Romanian cavalry on the east flank recovers to good order. The T-26’s open fie on the Romanian cavalry holding the western flank. This has no effect.
The Romanian 60mm’s fire on the Soviet troops west of the town but miss. Soviet infantry fires on the cavalry on the eastern flank and both units suffer disruption. Romanian off-board artillery [24 pts.] fires at the Soviet forces along the road to the south. The Soviet Lieutenant [8-0-0 disrupted] becomes demoralized. The infantry [2-2 disrupted] also becomes demoralized, as does the HMG platoon [7-4].
Those same Soviet units immediately attempt recovery. The Lieutenant [8-0-0 demoralized] recovers but the two units fail and begin to flee to the woods in the south. Their Lieutenant joins them. Soviet infantry along the southern road hits the Romanian cavalry to the north but they manage to maintain good order. Two Soviet infantry platoons west of Fontana Alba, fire at the Romanian 60mm guns and leave them demoralized. The 82mm mortars in Fontana Alba fire at Romanian cavalry in the center but fail to hit the target. Two demoralized Soviet infantry platoons in the woods south of the main road attempt recovery. Both fail. Since these units have gone ground in a safe hex, they do not flee. The Soviets roll a Fog of War end of the turn
Turn 29 1300 Hours
The game is called a draw. Both sides have taken heavy losses, but the Romanians were not even close to getting into Fontana Alba [their victory condition], when the Soviet reinforcements arrived. Although the Soviets eliminated enough Romanian steps for victory, too many steps were left on the western side of the river when the Soviet reinforcements were recalled for an urgent need elsewhere.
|So what do we do when the reinforcements don't come?|
This scenario has a great flow to it. The Romanians attack and try to take the town using their speed and shock value, despite their vulnerability to direct fire. They have to be bold though because 1/2 way through the time of the scenario, substantial Soviet reinforcements arrive (or should we say can arrive...). If the Romanians are not safely within the town by then they stand a very high probability of being crushed.
In this case, the Romanians could have taken their time and reduced their losses. The Soviet reinforcements can arrive as early as turn 13. They took until turn 21 to arrive (there are only 30 turns) and when they arrive they have to form up for an assault, taking another 2-3 turns (30-45 minutes).
The threat of the reinforcements, however, was enough to make the Romanians feel real pressure to dispatch the starting Soviets quickly and take chances to do so. This was a pretty fascinating little action.
|From My 'Make Believe' Romanian Official War Reporter Papers|
The Battle Of Fontana Alba
NORTHERN BUKOVINA On the 22nd June 1941 the Rumanian Army advanced across the enforced and scurrilous political frontier into Northern Bukovina. On the same day, the so far, invincible German Army launched, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Panzers the greatest ever invasion that was to begin the mightiest human struggle in the history of the World. At last, the tyranny that was Communism was about to be smashed and Rumania would play her rightful and glorious part in its downfall.
Though there had been no declaration of war, the Rumanian 3rd Army pressed forward into Bukovina. Facing our hero soldiers was the much numerically stronger Soviet 12th Army. Russian Commander, Gen.Ponedelin responded sharply, pushing forward at our forces. The Germans may have looked down at us with some scorn, but on this day forward, we were going to show our commitment to the cause of freedom and Rumanian emancipation.
FONTANA ALBA (Eastern Front Scenario No.3)
One of the first towns on the path of our journey of liberation was that of Fontana Alba. Lightly garrisoned by troops from the Soviet 164th Rifle Division, the capture of the town was given over to the elite 2nd Calarasi Regiment. Upon inspection of the terrain and approach area, the 2nd Calarasi’s commanding officer decided on a feint attack. Rather than deploy in an obvious assault position, he bivouacked his troopers in a forested area some 2.5km south-west of the town in the hope of drawing the defending enemy out towards him in fear of a flanking crossing of the Prut, and then to use the speed of his cavalrymen to outpace the defenders in a dash for the town. Initially, the ruse appeared to work. Without a shot fired, only two Soviet platoons remained in the town, with all others of the 500 man garrison taking up positions on the main approach road and dug-in areas behind the Prut opposite the 2nd Calarasi.
The next phase of the attack began at 0600 hours. This was the opening of an artillery shelling from the not too numerous Rumanian artillery support batteries placed a good few km’s to the rear. Soviet mortar platoons were the first target, and these would be followed by their forward infantry positions. Whilst the artillery concentrated on their missions, the 2nd Calarasi regiment began its advance for Fontana Alba. One quarter of its strength was detached to flank around the south end of the battlefield, whilst the rest of the regiment advanced to the front of the enemy forces facing them across the river. When the enemy mortars were finally accounted for at 0645, the rest of the regiment made a dash for the town in a bid to outpace the enemy infantry assigned to protect it. The whole ruse was generally successful as the town was entered by our gallant horsemen though a fight would soon envelop them in the town as the Soviet enemy would put a determined defence in to hold it.
Up till 0945, our cavalry put in a fearful and determined attack on the invaders, inflicting some 250 infantry casualties upon them with just 26 of our own! Over the course of 3 hours, three quarters of the town fell to the Rumanian heroes as even town folk themselves, lifted by their salvation, assisted their liberators in levering out the Russian infantry by pointing out vantage point buildings to use. Only at a bridge across the river was any determined Russian defence put in. A lone MG platoon held out for 3 hours before succumbing to the Calarasi and their MG platoons putting in a withering fire.
But cruel fate and treachery seemed to afflict the brave effort for the town. For at 1015am another full strength enemy battalion and its support arrived on the battlefield from the east. Even useful artillery support appeared to have been assigned to them. Suddenly, rather than an attack of élan, our troops had to switch skillfully to a defensive posture in order to beat off the Asiatic hordes now descending upon them. The Soviet artillery rained down an intense fire on our advanced MG’s, halving their number over a period of an hour and reducing their effective support to the cavalry men. By 1130am, our own casualties numbered 81 troopers and the mission had changed to a plan to hold ground east of the river.
The Soviet infantry were now massing round the town of Fontana Alba and placing tremendous pressure on the Rumanian cavalry holding out there. Despite their weight of numbers, they had failed to dislodge them. Casualties on both sides were surprisingly light, though the disorder amongst both forces was very much prevalent. Over the hour and a half that the battle raged there, Rumanian forces suffered another 50 casualties. At the same time, a couple of troops of cavalry were gathered for one last attempt at the remaining unoccupied section of the town. The Soviet infantry placed there were meanwhile engaging our troopers already in the town. Whilst they did this, the two troops of reinforcing cavalrymen entered that sector of the town. Despite a furious close quarter’s battle, the cavalrymen were able to hold out in their town positions.
By 1.15pm, the area had been secured enough by the Rumanian cavalrymen to secure a useful tactical victory. As the day drew on thousands more Rumanian soldiers would flood into the region. From here, our glorious advance through Bukovina would continue as the Soviet invaders had been tossed out of the Fontana Alba in one of our army’s first engagements in this important crusade. The casualty tally read as follows. Rumanian casualties were 96, Soviet losses came to 356.
|A dada sur mon bidet|
Apparition de la cavalerie roumaine ! Une force assez importante doit traverser une rivière et prendre un petit village défendu par quelques infanteries russes. Mais des renforts russes vont finir par arriver. Les roumains pourront-ils tenir le village conquis précédemment ?
Au début, l’artillerie roumaine est assez efficace. Le pont est vite dégagé, et je réalise ma première charge de cavalerie ! Grisant, l’assaut se joue sur la colonne 30, et les cavaliers roumains traversent la rivière qui leur permet de retourner en Moldavie (je crois) envahie il y a peu par les russes. Ils se dirigent au nord vers le petit village de Fontana Alba. Là, l’attaque commence, plus difficilement devant une force enterrée en ville. Mais enfin, à partir de neuf heures, un premier assaut a lieu et permet aux roumains de prendre pied solidement en ville.
Malheureusement, dès le premier tour où les russes peuvent arriver, je fais un six et une douzaine de pelotons russes, plus des mitrailleuses, plus des chars, surgissent dans le dos des roumains. Le major se rend compte de son erreur de débutant : j’ai oublié de garder le pont, les russes peuvent me couper très facilement ma retraite. Je décide d’essayer de repasser à l’est ; si les roumains perdent moins de cinq pas, il y a match nul, et c'est sûr que Fontana Alba ne pourra pas être pris.
Mais les russes ont eu l’initiative, et se sont placés pour couper la route. Il faut aussi rembarquer les mitrailleuses sur les chariots. Et les chevaux « disrupted » ne se déplacent que d’une case par tour. Les chariots avec les HMGs peuvent s’échapper assez vite, mais toute une série de cavaliers sont pris au piège : ceux qui participaient à l’assaut en ville, et ceux qui étaient disruptés. Finalement, seul un demi-peloton arrivera à s’échapper.
Bilan final, victoire russe éclatante : les roumains ont perdu 4 pelotons de cavalerie sur 10, leur mortier de 60 et deux lieutenants, alors que les russes ont perdu une infanterie et un lieutenant qui tenaient le pont au début et le capitaine des renforts tué par un sniper.
|Romanian horses slaughtered.|
Romanian cavalry charges into the town and quickly occupy 25% of the town. But soon, one and a half platoons are cut down by Russian HMG fire. The assaults continue throughout the morning but the Russian HMG proves to be too problematic. Any cavalry getting close to it are quickly routed.
The battling in the town is fierce as the Romanians take 75% of the territory building by building.
By 10:30, the Romanian casualties are incredibly high with 6 of 10 platoons eliminated and another 2 and a half routed.
10:45 Russian reinforcements arrive from the east and the Infantry floods the town using the infamous human wave. Supported by mortars and artillery, it is only a matter of time until the Romanian forces are completely eliminated.
13:15 the last horse dies and the Romanian Lt. Igivup surrenders.
This was a pretty good game I recall. Vince managed to get me to split my forces on set up and then took advantage of his greater mobility to get into the town before the Soviet reinforcements came on to the board. Even then the game was in the balance right to the end. However a better set up by the Soviets would make this a real tough nut for the Romanian's to crack hence the average rating I have given.
Victoria soviética. Los refuerzos soviéticos entran en la primera oportunidad. Los rumanos sólo disputaban dos hexes de ciudad (no controlaban ninguno). Los refuerzos soviéticos intentan rodear la ciudad para copar a las fuerzas rumanas que combatían allí. Los rumanos intentan salir por un pequeño pasillo. Desastre total. Los rumanos quedan tal maltrechos que abandonan, al no tener ninguna oportunidad de ganar. Interesante escenario, aunque mal jugado por los rumanos.
|Welcome to Fontana Alba: A great place to die|
One of the interesting aspects of this scenario is that the attacking force actually deploys first, then the defenders. I chose to mass the Romanians directly across the river from the town with as many units on the hill and others behind the small forest hex but the flanks were still spottable for mortar fire. Since the river was minor I chose to attempt to cross directly instead of making for the bridge. The Soviets place all INF in the town with the two leaders and HMGS and support units dug-in on the outskirts. Nothing original or innovative about the Soviet deployment but was not going to leave any town hex without at least two units defending it and would hope that reinforcements would arrive early enough to relieve any town hexes in danger of being secured by the Romanian force.
The Romanians were able to get most units across the river with no serious setbacks though one leader was demoralized along with the 50mm horse-drawn mortar unit which wasn't much a problem as the 50mm was all but useless anyway with a 5 indirect fire rating. Two calvary charges were successful in getting into southern town hexes without any effects from opportunity fire but despite the +1, first turn assault advantage the best result was causing the demoralization of Soviet INF units in one hex but no step losses intially. The next turn both of those units were able to recover to disrupted status rather than flee. From that point on it was all downhill for the Calarasi. Soon a Romanian Capitan would be eliminated balancing the initiative levels giving each side a 50/50 chance of activating first. Without any real shock and awe the first round of town assaults those units just became bogged down and were never able to gain momentum. Though the two southern town hexes would remain occupied from intial assaults they would remain in Soviet control the duration of the battle.
Things may have eventually swayed to Romanian favor but curiously enough the Soviet reinforcements arrived right on time at 09:00/turn 13. With that stroke of luck and the deadly Soviet OBA (3x10) also being available the remainder of the battle became a systematic slaughter of Romanian men and horses. By 12:30/turn 27 not one Romanian leader or unit was left on the map; all eliminated or captured apart from the Romanian Maior who chose to desert. There was just no way for Romanian units that became trapped in Fontana Alba to keep any advantage since all of their comrades that could of reinforced their two assaults were all cornered and slaughtered by the expedient Soviet reinforcements. The town was totally surrounded and once any Romanian unit became demoralized and had to flee an assault hex it was eliminated with no place to go.
I like this scenario and it could of turned out a lot better if the initial Romanian calvary charges had been more effective and of course if the Soviet reinforcements had arrived much later. It was great fun but because of play balance, perhaps "slightly" in favor of the Soviets it gets a high '3' from me rather than a '4'. That being said I would love to revisit this one sometime in a shared play, taking either side.
|The Massacre Ride|
In looking for something to play that was different, I went back to Eastern Front to find something. I saw this one with cavalry and Soviets defending a town and river crossing and thought this might look good. But this is from the older games and has a bit more of a historical bend to them rather than game playability, at least in my play.
I liked the setup with the Romanians needing to setup first. This gives the attacker some pause to think how to relate to the unknown Soviet setup. But in this case the Soviet setup is clear, defend the town. The Romanians also have open ground to cover before they get to the town to attack it. So I figured speed would be the most important factor and setup some cavalrymen on the road as close to board 7 as possible, with the supporting units hidden in the town for the time being. The Romanians would also need to keep the units together as they had average to poor leadership with only the Major with a morale modifier.
The Soviets had a very nice defense of the town, several dugin INF's defending the road and other approaches with the HMG's, AT and mortars in the town as support. Given that the Soviets did not have any leaders with modifiers this made the most sense to keep them under control. This would also give the mortars as powerful Soviet artillery clear lanes of fire on the approaching cavalrymen. This would soon prove deadly for the Romanians.
To start, the Romanians would now see that the southern approach to the town on board 7 was heavily defended. They sent two squadrons of cavalry to probe the road. Coming under long range HMG fire the horses are spooked and the advance it stopped. Soviet artillery would be brought down on them with devastating effect, one step loss and demoralizing the rest of them.
Another two squadrons advance parallel to the river, out of Soviet OP fire range. They manage to move behind the Soviet defense line but mortar and machinegun fire keep them at bay. Sensing a weak point on the north side where this other probe had advanced. The Major commits the bulk of his forces to advance to attack from the north. But once again Soviet artillery plays a critical factor. They score two direct hits on the Majors squadron, killing it and the Major. At this point the Romanians need to regroup under the lieutenants leadership to try to win the day.
The northern most squadrons look to charge an INF and AT gun defending the town to help relieve the pressure that the Soviet artillery is placing on the Romanian main force. But this does not go well too. The charge is hit by OP fire killing yet another step and reducing the initiative to zero and giving the Soviets half their victory conditions.
The Romanians seeing there chance of victory diminished by the heavy losses and still no Soviet losses look to hold out for a draw. They shift the main force and the support units to the woods just over the river in the south. Here they will make a stand and defend the area and prevent a Soviet win. Soviet artillery harass them all the way there and several units need to recover before they can defend.
At this point the Soviet reinforcements appear and look to mount an attack to push the Romanians back across the river. Combinations of Soviet tanks and infantry start to reduce the hapless cavalrymen while the devastating Soviet artillery continues to inflict step losses. Slowing the Romanians are reduced and wiped out. Out of the twelve CAV units only two steps survive along with an HMG.
I was a disappointed with this and feel that this scenario needs a little work. First the setup, I believe the Soviets need a requirement to defend the bridge over the river. This would give a change to the Romanians to stretch out the Soviets rather than allowing them to concentrate. I noticed in the one FtF play with Vince and Wayne this is what happened, rather by chance and gave the Romanians a chance. Second, the Soviet artillery is too powerful on the Romanian cavalry. With an effective attack on the 42 column, there is very good chance of kills on the attacks. I had registered five step losses and quite a few M checks that resulted in disruptions or demoralizations. Throttling back to 1x10 and 1x12 would still give them an effective 30 column shot but less of a chance of over all kills. Lastly, I look forward to dismounted cavalry rules to be added to the up coming revision. This I believe could have helped the Romanians as they could use the mobility of the horses to get close then go into the attack as infantry.
This was a solo play that saw the Romanian Cavalry crossing the minor river in force and isolating the town where the majority of the Soviet forces were deployed (the 81mm Mortar, a HMG and rifle platoon were deployed in the southern woods).
The Romanians were unable to generate enough suppressive firepower in order to charge the town with any prospect of clearing it before the overwhelming Soviet reinforcements enter the battle. As it turned out, Romanian Cavalry charged and assaulted two hexes of the town and were still in the process of clearing those hexes when the Soviet reinforcements arrived and essentially swept the field of the Romanian cavalry.
This scenario was painful to play & doomed to a draw. I don't see how Romanians Can keep the town even if they take it, yet the Soviet's leadership is so poor they can't drive the Romanians back across the river.
Romanians assaulted across the bridge in force, with mortors & a smaller force up north to cross without the bridge. Even with many charges the assaults on the town went slowly. When Soviet reinforcements arrived, there were still unresolved assaults in the town. The Romanians broke off & ran south to the woods. Several units were caught & sent fleeing across the river, but enough outran the Soviets to lodge in the woods. Leadership shortage left the Soviets unable to pursue effectively so the clock ran out before the last Romanian could be dispatched.