Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 23rd:
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Slovakia's Battle: Phase One
First Axis #9
(Attacker) Slovak Republic vs Soviet Union (Defender)
Formations Involved
Slovak Republic Mobile "Kalinciak" Brigade
Soviet Union 44th Rifle Div

Overall balance chart for FiAx009
Side 1 1
Draw 0
Side 2 1
Overall Rating, 2 votes
Scenario Rank: --- of 609
Parent Game First Axis
Historicity Historical
Date 1941-07-22
Start Time 05:00
Turn Count 36
Visibility Day
Counters 98
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 1
Maps 4: 14, 17, 6, 8
Layout Dimensions 112 x 43 cm
44 x 17 in
Play Bounty 156
AAR Bounty 163
Total Plays 2
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Road Control
Urban Assault
Off-board Artillery
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Eastern Front maps + counters
First Axis counters
Road to Berlin maps

After spending several weeks absorbing reinforcements in the rear areas, the Slovak Mobile Brigade finally was attached to the German 49th Mountain Corps and ordered into action. The German Corps command sent the brigade to the town of Lipovec to block the retreat routes of Soviet units coming from the north. The town was believed to be Soviet-occupied, and the Slovaks were to eject the defenders and hold the position.


Despite the help of tank support, the Slovaks had trouble fighting their way through the first Soviet lines. The "brigade" was very small and lacked sufficient infantry for the task, and when Pilfousek sent tanks forward without infantry support several were shot up by Soviet anti-tank guns. By late afternoon the Slovaks reached the edge of Lipovec, only to be thrown back later. Their colonel ordered the tanks to pull back and refuel, and had not issued any further orders when the Soviets took the decision out of his hands.

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).
  • 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
  • Armored Cars: These are Combat Units. They are motorized instead of mechanized. All have their own armored car leaders, who can only activate armored cars (6.85). Do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • Reconnaissance Vehicle: 8.23 Special Spotting Powers Both foot and vehicle mounted recce units (1.2) possess two special spotting abilities. The first ability is that they can spot enemy in limiting terrain at one hex further than the TEC specifies for other units and leaders. For example, an enemy unit in town can normally be spotted at three hexes or less, but a recce unit can spot them at four hexes.Their second ability is that they can place a Spotted marker on any one enemy unit they can spot per turn, just as if the enemy unit had "blown its cover" by firing. Such Spotted markers are removed as described earlier.
  • Prime Movers: Transports which only transport towed units and/or leaders (May not carry personnel units). May or may not be armored (armored models are open-top). All are mechanized. (SB)

Display Order of Battle

Slovak Republic Order of Battle
Slovensk√° Arm√°da
  • Motorized
Soviet Union Order of Battle
Army (RKKA)
  • Mechanized

Display Errata (1)

1 Errata Item
Overall balance chart for 951

The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)

Display AARs (1)

Slow Motion
Author Matt W
Method Solo
Victor Slovak Republic
Play Date 2011-05-14
Language English
Scenario FiAx009

Have you ever watched the slow motion footage of a large structure falling to one side? It seems as though they linger forever at the tipping point. At times for both the Slovak and Soviet player, this scenario can feel that way. Each side has trouble putting together enough force to be able to accoplish their goals and managing the troops and assembling attacks will try your patience. But that was the reality of a Slovak/Soviet battlefield.

Put simply this is a scenario in which one lousy force, with tanks, must cross a large open space without any protection against OBA to come to contact with another lousy force and make their opponents run away. The difficulty for both sides is that the attacker has a tough time bringing a coherent force to bear on the opponent. Leadership, and most importantly morale modifiers, is critical to this effort and each force, to complicate matters further has only a few and, this being Slovakia against 1941 Soviets, remarkably poor quality leaders.

So, as I look at this one having set up the maps and pulled the combat units for each side I have the immediate impression that the Slovaks do not stand a chance to win but as I am trying to see the full arc of the Slovak war experience I resolve to grit my teeth and go ahead and pick the leaders. The Soviets are predictably abysmal, including my favorite, a lieutenant with a morale of "6" but they do have two leaders with combat and morale modifiers. They will be placed to the rear of the formation to provide a backstop to the force and a rallying point. Then I pull the Slovaks, and sit stunned as fully 5 of the leaders have morale modifiers. Suddenly there is hope.

That hope is quickly tested as the Slovaks enter the board and quickly become disrupted and demoralized by the Soviet OBA. It takes the better part of 3 hours to clear the paltry Soviet forces off the wide open board, during which time nearly every Slovak infantry unit has spent some time rallying. The one saving grace has been the terrible die rolls for the Soviets on their AT fire. The Slovaks did not expose their tanks needlessly but the Soviet gunners just couldn't take advantage.

The Slovaks then close their collective eyes and run a large force straight down the road towards the large hill to their front and try to find some, any, cover to hide from the Soviet OBA. A trail of disrupted and demoralized units in their wake testifies to the willingness of the Slovak infantry to try to accomplish this and the small group of five platoons that make it (out of ten that started the trip) is an indication of the effective Soviet gunners.

We are now nearly 1/2 way through the scenario and the Soviets are well ahead of the game but that pesky Slovak armor has made it to the hill and has disrupted some of the Soviet forces dug in on the crest. They are standing off and attacking with DF from three hexes at once and getting their target disrupted and demoralized. The firing AT gun is quickly dispatched by the Slovak OBA leaving the Slovak tanks nearly invulnerable at a two hex range. A Soviet counterattack is crushed by Slovak Opp Fire as the Soviets attempt to get within assault range.

At this point I come to the realization that the Soviet troops, which seemed so invincible as the Slovaks tried to get across that large open space, are just as likely to run away as the Slovaks and, without leaders with any decent morale modifiers, are less likely to recover quickly. The Slovaks continue to push troops across the opon space and with each arriving company they can exert more force on the slowly crumbling, Soviet position.

It is critical for the Slovaks to have a nine hour window within which to pursue their objectives. They only pulled to a draw on turn 26, a minor win on turn 30 and a major win on turn 35. Only the Soviet inability to pull off any form of coutnerattack kept this from being a draw. If the leader pull for the Slovaks had been any worse I don't see them having enough time to get enough troops across the open space to be able to cause the crumble of the Soviet position. If the Soviet AT fire had been able to cause any Slovak tank losses we would be reading a very different AAR.

Still a very entertaiing scenario with both sides having intriguing puzzles to solve. I am getting better at understanding the Slovak forces and, in doing so, how to use the masses of Soviets in some larger scenarios against the Germans. I give it a 4 for the lessons learned.

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