Fronte Russo #9
|(Attacker) Italy||vs||Soviet Union (Defender)|
|Italy||3º Reggimento Cavalleria "Savoia"|
|Soviet Union||296th Rifle Division|
|Overall Rating, 4 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 586|
|Parent Game||Fronte Russo|
|Maps||2: 1, 7|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
After the capture of Stalino, the Italians were asked to conquer another portion of the Donets basin. The industrial towns of Gorlovka, Nitikovka and Rikovo became the next objective. The cavalry rushed toward the last obstacles in their path: the river Krivoj Torez and the railway embankment beyond. The Savoia regiment reached the area on the evening of October 23rd. After the Italians gained control of the river, half a platoon seized the village of Panteilemonovka. This position (strangely not occupied by Soviets) was located between the river and the railway line. The next morning the Savoia was asked to brush away the Soviets and take the embankment. The regimental commander's objections that the line appeared well-manned yielded no results.
The Italian attack came under machine gun and mortar fire. With the help of support weapons and indirect fire, a couple of platoons made it to the embankment, and an additional one found a way around the main enemy defensive positions. But Italian losses were mounting and the Soviets were receiving reinforcements, so the attack was eventually called off. The Italians regrouped in Panteleimonovka, which was soon handed to the just-arrived XX Bersaglieri battalion. Soviet attacks in the following days put the Bersaglieri on the defensive, and the task of taking the railway embankment was eventually given to the full infantry division (Pasubio) rather than a tiny half-regiment of cavalry.
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
|...Hasta la última tirada de dados|
En este pequeño escenario se enfrentan aproximadamente dos escuadrones de caballería italiana del regimiento "Savoia" a dos compañías de infantería del la 296ª División de Fusileros soviética. Los italianos pertenecen a una unidad selecta y tienen una moral superior (8/7). Los soviéticos están encuadrados en una división soviética regular (moral 7/6). Ambos bandos disponen de refuerzos que entran a lo largo de la partida. A la caballería italiana se le permite desmontar.
El objetivo italiano es la conquista de una vía de ferrocarril construida sobre un talud y la expulsión de todas las unidades soviéticas que la ocupan. Dado que las escasas unidades soviéticas no pueden cubrir toda la extensión de la vía, se distribuyen de dos en dos unidades en varios puntos de ésta. Los italianos se dirigen desde el principio decididamente hacia el enemigo con intención de asaltarlo y eliminarlo. Los soviéticos intentan protegerse en la vía férrea cavando pozos de tirador, aunque sólo lo consiguen unas pocas unidades, a causa del fuego directo y de artillería italiano. Al poco tiempo se producen los asaltos italianos y la lucha cuerpo a cuerpo, con lo que la mayoría de las unidades soviéticas son aniquiladas o expulsadas de la vía. Sólamente en el sector norte tiene lugar una decidida defensa soviética que mantiene en jaque a los atacantes. Y es a este sector al que acuden los refuerzos soviéticos. En los últimos turnos se entabla una lucha deseperada por ambos bandos y sólo en el último turno y en la última tirada se decide la batalla: medio pelotón de infantería y un pelotón de HMG desorganizado soviéticos consiguen aguantar y ganar la partida, en uno de los finales mas emocionantes que recuerdo.
A diferencia de muchos otros escenarios de PG, yo diría que éste ha sido cuidadosamente "playtested".
|Sometimes small things come in small packages|
The Italians start out with 2 companies and the Soviets with one (although both forces are endowed with plenty of HMG support and artillery). Each side receives one more company in reinforcements (the Italians get their elite cavalry, the Soviets get their usual infantry).
The goal for the Italians is to capture and hold a railroad embankment and keep it free of Soviet forces. As usual, with the exception of some woods and the embankment (which does block LOS) the terrain is featureless (one of the sad realities of being stationed in the Ukraine).
The Soviets set up just behind the embankment with their stronger forces in the woods and a blocking force along the road. They pop one leader up onto the embankment in able to spot for their artillery as the Italians show up. The Italians all rush to that spot and run through the dug in defenders, routing and them double demoralizing them without loss (although there were some significant morale failures. Key was the use of the cavalry reinforcements as cavalry in order to get the +2 charge benefit. They actually charged over the embankment providing me with the mental image of a cavalry charge cresting a ridge and falling onto the terrified conscripts. Under the circumstances a +2 modifier seems perfectly reasonable!
The Soviets then got some bad luck in that their reinforcements arrived early. This gave the cavalry a chance to repeat their charge on Soviet infantry advancing across a flat space. Since the Italians had a +3 on initiative at this point they were able to get the charge to go in and disrupt, demoralize and cause casualties. At that point the Soviet artillery had some say and demoralized the cavalry. At the 15th turn a large portion of both forces were demoralized leading turns to be tense in terms of who would recover first. Given the higher morale of the Italians, however, they did recover and were able to seal off the embankment from the few Soviets who were able to pull themselves together for the moment.
One tactical move of note. The Italians had assaulted one platoon of Soviet infantry and had disrupted it and its leader. They decided that their "victory" depended on leaving the hex and getting to the embankment so they left the assault hex and nearly pulled victory from the jaws of defeat had it not been for the Italian reserves who had just recovered and blocked the way.
Also of note is that the Soviets only get three leaders for twelve units (2 82mm, 3 HMG and 7 INF). This is unwieldy at best and the early loss of one of those (no doubt sabered in the first cavalry charge) severely hindered the Soviet movement later in the game.
For those who are micromanagers, this one is perfect. Each unit has a significant purpose and success or failure depends on each die roll. On the other hand, the lack of reserves is terribly unnerving and leads to periods of morale recovery where both sides race to become effective again. I give it a three although rankings will vary according to the results of those die rolls.