Clash by Night
First Axis #2
|(Defender) Slovak Republic||vs||Hungary (Attacker)|
|Hungary||24th Infantry Brigade|
|Slovak Republic||16th Infantry Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 11 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 468 of 588|
|Parent Game||First Axis|
|Visibility||Day & Night|
|Maps||2: 14, 17|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Road to Berlin||maps + counters|
The Hungarian invasion did not surprise the Slovaks, but without having replaced Czech officers and specialists their units were still disorganized when the enemy crossed the border at midnight on 22-23 March 1939. The Hungarians weren't in much better shape; the battalions spearheading the advance contained a large proportion of raw recruits. But both sides could count on nationalism and ignorance to fuel their morale.
The Hungarians caught the Slovaks by surprise, and quickly overran one of the 16th Regiment's companies. The Slovaks fell back in some disorder, and the Hungarians seized the town of Ubla and then marched forward through the darkness. By morning they had reached all of their objectives, and it seemed the Slovaks would not put up serious resistance.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|Too many Hungarians|
In this scenario, a small Slovak force is split into 2 groups, and has to prevent a much larger Hungarian force from clearing out the east-west road and the villages on the 1st map. To make it worse, the Slovaks are sleeping and can't move until turn 6 or until they spot a Hungarian unit. With the scenario beginning at night and a spotting range of 1 hex, that second part can be tough.
I sent a fairly large Hungarian force down the main road, with smaller ones flanking north and south, racing through the darkness to the westerly village and to the hill where the Slovaks were dug in on the road, with machine guns overlooking the road. The first village fell quickly, with the Slovaks getting demoralized in the 1st round of assault and the survivors fleeing into the woods where they were hunted down. The second village resisted longer, and another platoon was sacrificed to let an AT-gun escape. Meanwhile, the Hungarians dug in on the hills overlooking the dug in Slovaks and waiting for the rest of their force to arrive. Most of it did just as the sun was beginning to rise, and the Hungarians were able to disrupt a number of poor morale (7/5) Slovaks and close for assault by about turn 19 of 24. 6 turns was not a lot of time to clear 2 dug in hexes. However, a snake-eyes on a Hungarian mortar shot against the MG, AT-gun and an INF platoon in the woods overlooking the road took away the Slovak supporting fire, and although the dug in troops inflicted a couple of step losses and demoralized a number of Hungarians, there were just too many of them and the assaults wore them down over a couple of turns. With their poor morale, once the Slovaks broke, they did not stick around their foxholes for long.
This scenario is probably best solitaire, there's not a lot for the Slovaks to do in it as their front forces will likely get wiped out and their back forces will probably not fight a delaying defense. That being said, the Hungarians didn't clear the road until the end of turn 23 and needed their 1st activation on turn 24 to make sure a disrupted Slovak couldn't crawl onto the road to deny them a victory, so it seems like a well balanced scenario. Good fun.
|Death in the Dark|
Hungary invades Slovakia from the East edge of the board. The Slovakian army has to hold at least one road yes or one townhex and kill more Hungarian steps than they lose at the end of 24 turns. The Slovakian set up in both towns on board 17 with Tha majority holding forward in the Eastern town hexes and their Commander, 3 infantry, the 37mm AT gun and it's truck set up in the two Western town hexes. Hungarian have 14 infantry platoons to the Slovakian 8, 3 nhp (medium machine guns?) To the Slovaks 2, and 2 mortars, plus twice as many leaders, all of higher quality. Slovaks can't do anything before being fire on or being adjacent to an enemy unit or on turn 6,who never comes first. In this game the Hungarian wasted no time trying to surround the two Eastern town hexes, but Slovakian firepower damaged the assault stacks and then won the first rounds of assault combat on turn 3. Things got hot for the Hungarians quickly as the commander was one of the early casualties. The Hungarians continued to lose most of the assault rolls. 15 turns in and daylight approaching, and with 2 leader casualties and half of the attack force either casualties or demoralized and sitting at the start line, the Hungarians pulled out. Slovaks win. Great game.
|Clash by Night (Come in and get me!)|
Situation: A disorganized Slovakian army being attacked by a Hungarian army containing a large proportion of new recruits.
Victory Conditions: Hungary - Clear all town and road hex's of Slovakians Slovakia - Kill more Hungarians than they lose and maintain control of a town or road hex.
Set-up: Slovakia - A very good Porocik 10-1-2 (Lieutenant) sets up in the larger town with 4 INF and 1 HMG. A Stotnik (Captain) sets up in the smaller town to the north with 1 INF while the other Porocik with 3 INF and the 37mm are located at the base of the mountains to the north.
Hungary - Off board waiting to enter.
Turns 1-4: Hungarian Alezredes (Lt. Col.) chain activates the entire force and moves onto the board, proceeding to surround the town.
Turn 5: One Hungarian INF unit is sent forth to test the defenses of the town and is annihilated by Op-fire. That answers that question. Two more INF units are moved up with one getting Disrupted and the other Demoralized by Op-fire. Slovakian units in the foothills start making their way down to the smaller town. Step losses 0-2.
Turn 6: Alezredes combines fire to dislodge the Old Guard Porocik, who remains steady with his men. Porocik returns in kind, disrupting an INF and the NHP. Stotnik attempts to take 1 INF around Hungarian forces to aid the larger town. Hadnagy (2nd Lt.) moves to intercept. 0-3.
Turn 7: Alezredes assaults into town against the Old Guard Porocik, not only losing a step of INF but losing his own life for a catastrophic loss. NHP fails Morale check becoming disrupted as do the 1/2 strength INF who become demoralized. Porocik assaults units now without a Leader, obtaining 2 demorlizations and 1 disruption but receiving 1 step loss in return. Porocik with 2 INF from smaller town makes a run for the larger town. 1-3.
Turn 8 - 12: Porocik s able to make it into town and takes command of 3 INF units. Multiple assaults, disruptions and demoralizations for both sides. Step losses 3-6.
Turn 13: A Fohadnagy (1st Lt.) gets himself and half of his INF killed with the other half becoming demoralized in an assault. 3-7.
Turn 14-16: Hungarians lose 1 to their initiative. Hungarian 1/2 strength INF attempts recovery in assault hex, fails and flees, giving the Slovakians a free shot, which finishes them off. 3-8. Ornagy thinking it an easy fight, reassaults Porocik and his demoralized INF/HMG, losing one of his own instead. Stotnik retakes command of his assaulting forces, only to lose a step. 4-9.
Turn 17: Dawn is arriving. Hadnagy re-assaults Stotnik with his 1/2 step INF, killing it off and forcing the Stotnik out of the assault hex. 5-9.
Turn 18-20: Slovakia loses their Initiative bonus. Slovakians hunker down and mostly use their turns for recovery, which works for them in gaining two more step losses on the assaulting Hungarians and 1 more on a fleeing an assault hex demoralized NHP while losing 1 to fleeing their own assault hex. 6-12.
Turn 21-24: Hadnagy loses a step in an assault but gets demoralizations on all Slovakian units in the north of town. Slovakians attempt to recover, fail and flee the assault hex, losing a step from the free shot. Old Guard Porocik finally re-assaults on the last turn, obtaining another step loss on the Hungarians. 7-14.
Slovakians win a Major victory. They did lose more than 5 steps, which would give the Hungarians a Minor Victory, but holding onto both towns and obtaining twice as many step losses against the Hungarians gives it to them.
Conclusion: This scenario is mostly fought in the dark (first 18 turns). With the Hungarians having free moves for the first 5 turns as long as they didn't open fire or move into an adjacent hex with Slovak units, I thought it was going to be a turkey shoot when they more or less surrounded the town. However, with that Porocik 10-1-2 commanding the defenses of the large town, the Hungarians just couldn't dislodge him. A fair scenario that if I were to play again, I would completely seal the town off from aid. Being able to bring in recovered Slovakian troops was a huge benefit for the Porocik to sustain his position.
|Wiped out by dawn|
This is a quick-playing battle wherein the Slovak defenders, with a weak battalion, must retain control of at least 1 road hex on two boards, but they are required to spread their forces out at start and may not begin to move or fire for 1.5 hours or until Hungarian units move adjacent or attack. The battle begins about 4 hours before dawn.
The attacking Hungarians have a reinforced battalion, and deployed in three roughly company-sized groups. One would attack the first Slovak-held town, one would attack the second town, and one would bypass those targets and engage the last Slovak roadblock.
The Hungarians advanced under cover of darkness to positions just beyond visibility range of their respective targets. Beginning on the sixth turn, they crossed their lines of departure and commenced their attacks. Since both sides had low 7/5 morale, the Slovak defenders opted to stay dispersed in their town hexes rather than stack and risk catastrophe on a few bad morale rolls. Both sides exchanged fire for about an hour with little effect, until the Hungarians had moved enough units in place to simultaneously assault both defended hexes in the second town. In the next three turns, that town was captured, an assault in the first town took out half the defenders there, and the remaining Slovak INF, retreating to a position farther back, was overrun by a company of victorious Hungarians advancing out of the second town.
Halfway through the game, the Hungarians had eliminated half of the Slovak defenders for just half a step loss to themselves. The game's second half saw the Hungarians form up their three company sized forces into a full battalion that deliberately assaulted the last Slovak roadblock. Control of the road by Hungary was assured. Major Hungarian victory.
|Keep off our turf Part 2|
Taking advantage of a weakened Slovak Army, the Hungarians push into Slovak territory. The Slovaks need to defend their towns and roads. Hungarian victory is only assured if no undemoralised units are present in Slovak town or road hexes.
The Slovaks prepare a defensive line in the second town (contrary to other setups where a more foward posture is taken).
As tne action takes place at night, it takes more than 1 hour before the Hungarians can see the Slovak units. This time differential will prove to be crucial. Further, initial attacks by the Hungarians disclose that the Slovak leadership has not suffered from the loss of the Czecks, rather there are two excellent Slovak leaders and one mediorcre one (whose job is to manage the reserves)
The reserves entrench on the hill to the rear, whilst the bulk of the Slovak force hunker down in the town and surrounds.
Once contact is made the Slovaks demoralise 2 Hungarian machine gun units (one to never be seen again)and this sets the tone for the engagement. The Hungarians continue to pound away at the Slovak units in and near the town to little effect - mostly due to strng leadership - and defensive fire from the Slovaks disrupt the Hungarians time after time.
Once dawn breaks, the Hungarians have collected themseves and assault the town, but it is too little ,too late. Superb Slovak leadership keeps the Hungarians at ay, despite severe losses, and the Slovaks win a minor victory - 3 Slovaks steps lost to 1 Hungarian.
Lessons learnt - Night attacks are difficult and town assualts are no picnic either
|Hit and (they) run|
So this one starts out with a vastly outnumbered Slovak force holding the entire board, getting attacked at night (and surprised to boot) and needing to kill Hungarians and hold the road. Sadly to say they were unable to do much of anything of the sort. Helping the Slovak cause was the existence of the 1-10-2 Porocik who, in assault combat, especially defending a town, is gold, right?
Well, with an intro like that, of course he failed completely. Within the first three and a half hours the town falls with half the Slovak force. I had heavily manned the town with the intention of delaying and possibly stopping the Hungarians through the strength and resistance to demoralization of the Porocik (a minus three in a town for any attempt to recover morale helps a LOT). Unfortunately he managed to get demoralized himself and a subsequent assault on him along with the demoralized troops blew through the town and left a slightly dented Hungarian force to assault the remaining 1/2 of the Slovaks on the ridge outside of town.
A spirited resistance was expected but somehow didn't appear and the Hungarians virtually destroyed the entire force (most of them being lost on compound demoralization so the forces were not killed they just ran away (thus the title of the AAR).
Relatively normal infantry assault stuff here and of interest primarily due to the "early war" nature of the action. I give it a 2 due to the limited options available to the Slovak player. One of these times I will have to try an indirect defense. With the double blind approach described in the article section you could hide off road and mount an ambush on a section of the road after the main force had assumed that no such attack was possible.
I see a lot of end gaming on road control scenarios which gives the game some tense moments but is completely unrealistic as the "defeated" troops would have left the area in order to regroup.