Panzer Grenadier Battles on January 18th:
Eastern Front #94 - Vorontsovo I Panzer Grenadier #37 - Vorontsovo I
Jungle Fighting #26 - Mt. Austin VIII Road to Berlin #17 - Evil Magyars
La Campagne de Tunisie #8 - Phoenix: Sword of Damocles Road to Berlin #18 - Tiger Trap
Errors? Omissions? Report them!
The Christmas Battle: Right Flank
Fronte Russo #17
(Defender) Germany
(Defender) Italy
vs Soviet Union (Attacker)
Formations Involved
Germany 213th Security Division
Germany 318th Infantry Regiment
Italy 2ª Compagnia Motociclisti Bersaglieri
Italy 47º Battaglione Motociclisti Bersaglieri
Italy XX Battaglione Bersaglieri
Italy XXV Battaglione Bersaglieri
Soviet Union 63rd Guards Rifle Division
Soviet Union 68th Cavalry Division

Overall balance chart for FrRu017
Side 1 2
Draw 0
Side 2 0
Overall Rating, 3 votes
Scenario Rank: --- of 598
Parent Game Fronte Russo
Historicity Historical
Date 1941-12-25
Start Time 08:30
Turn Count 30
Visibility Day
Counters 167
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 0
Maps 8: 1, 15, 18, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Layout Dimensions 112 x 86 cm
44 x 34 in
Play Bounty 177
AAR Bounty 163
Total Plays 2
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Enter & Exit
Urban Assault
Off-board Artillery
Severe Weather
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Eastern Front maps + counters
Fronte Russo counters
Road to Berlin maps + counters

On Celere Division's extreme right (where its lines met those of the German 198th Infantry Division), the village of Petropavlovka was defended by Celere's motorcycle battalion (which had lost its motocycles and now fought on foot), and the village of Rassypnaia was held by the XXV Bersaglieri Battalion. The XX Battalion was stationed to the rear as a sector reserve in Stohskoff. The Soviet attack here was carried out by the 541st Regiment of the 136th Rifle Division, supported by elements of the 68th Cavalry Division.


At approximately 1100, the defenders were forced to give up and retreat to Rassypnaia (on Board 4), where the XXV Battalion held firm. In the meantime, the Soviets had invested Stohskoff (on Board 1), and Cossack cavalry had moved as far as the divisional HQ at Katik (off the south edge of Board 6), defended only by anti-aircraft units and mixed staff troops. The latter attack was repulsed thanks to intense AA fire and steadiness shown by the assorted defenders. The situation in Stohskoff was becoming critical when relief came from the just-released 3rd Battalion of the German 318th Regiment.

Display Relevant AFV Rules

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

Germany Order of Battle
  • Mechanized
  • Motorized
Italy Order of Battle
Regio Esercito
  • Motorized
Soviet Union Order of Battle
Army (RKKA)
  • Motorized

Display Errata (4)

4 Errata Items
Overall balance chart for 20

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

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 47

All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 951

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

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 993

Kommissars never get morale or combat modifiers. Ignore misprints.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)

Display AARs (1)

Somewhat Noisy off to the north
Author Matt W (13, 21)
Method Face to Face
Victor Germany, Italy
Participants Hugmenot
Play Date 2014-09-28
Language English
Scenario FrRu017

In this, the third of the Christmas battle scenarios that Daniel and I played, the Italians set up with a battalion in each of three separate towns. Each town has entrenchments scattered about to aid in interdicting an advancing force. The Soviets come in regimental size with additional cavalry and will hit one of these Italian held towns almost immediately, well before any aid can be provided from any other Italian forces.

Experience in the other two Christmas battles indicated that it is imperative for the Italians to stay under cover. The Soviets are blessed with mountains of artillery and it is important to use the towns and entrenchments as a way to avoid the worst effects of that, while keeping the Soviets subject to the Italian artillery, which in this scenario is quite powerful.

As a result, the garrison of the front line town (Petropavlovka) was left to live or die on its own. Artillery would have to serve as the killing machine and the garrisons of the other two towns would only appear if it appeared that there was something to gain from the incursion.

The victory conditions are quite stark. The Soviets have to capture the garrisoned towns, exit a battalion and kill Italians. The Italians can alleviate some of the Soviet gains by killing Soviets. The end result became apparent relatively early on as the Soviet losses mounted, ultimately reaching 24 steps while the Italians only lost 11.

The difficulty was the inability of the Soviets to shake the defenders. While my Italians did try some more aggressive movements (a leader moved into spotting position and was turned into paste by the Soviet artillery and a similar result awaited a platoon that sallied forth from one of the other towns to support the defenders of Petropavolovka), they were primarily happy to spot for the artillery and prior to being invested, fire opportunity fire). The high morale meant that they were relatively unscathed by the assaulting Soviets who, time and time again failed to register step losses in their attacks. In the end, while nearly half of the garrison of Petropavlovka had fallen they remained to contest the town and spot for the artillery.

In a rather gruesome event, the Soviet Kommisar managed to kill off nearly as many Soviet steps as the attackers were able to kill in Petropavlovka, greatly aiding my Italians march to the 20 steps necessary to reduce the Soviet victory levels.

In the end, Daniel's poor dice and my very positive dice resulted in a Major Victory for the Italians, a consistent result throughout the entire Christmas battle series. We believe, however, that the best result likely for the Soviets in a reasonable battle would be an Italian Minor Victory. Daniel did get his cavalry off the board to win one victory condition and if he had been able to take the town he might also have eliminated enough Italian steps to reach 3 objectives but it would be highly likely to have cost him the 20 steps losses which would give the Italians a minor victory.

We played with the fourth edition but feel that this one is eminently playable in either version. In addition, the scripted nature of the play makes it well suited for solo play although we obviously played it through as a ftf endevour. I give it a "3" and feel that such a rating is possibly generous. In saying that, I don't mean that it isn't a great simulation of the battle but that the battle itself is a grim one. The Soviets must attack and will die and the Italians really should not sally forth meaning that the battle will revolve around control of a very few hexes and will be decided by morale checks.

As a parenthetical note the southern boards (6 and 18) are very unlikely to see any action other than Soviets who are attempting to exit the board (most likely the cavalry) moving through. It the setup of 8 boards is too large for your space you can drop those two boards and require the Soviets to exit the board prior to the end of the scenario.

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