Last Battle for Hill 331.7
Fronte Russo #24
|(Defender) Italy||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Italy||106ª Compagnia Motociclisti|
|Italy||272ª Compagnia Anticarro|
|Italy||VI Battaglione Bersaglieri|
|Italy||XIII Battaglione Bersaglieri|
|Soviet Union||1149th Regiment|
|Soviet Union||353rd Rifle Division|
|Overall Rating, 3 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 579|
|Parent Game||Fronte Russo|
|Maps||4: 2, 4, 6, 8|
|Layout Dimensions||86 x 56 cm
34 x 22 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
Hill 331.7, overlooking the "infamous" Voroshilova village, had been guarded by the 6th Bersaglieri Regiment for approximately two months. No major action was recorded except for a Soviet attack back in March, the after the 6th had taken over the position from the German paratroopers of the 2nd Regiment. Suddenly, at sunrise on June 27th, a reinforced Soviet battalion rushed forward with indirect fire support.
The Soviet attack had been carefully prepared. Advancing infantry came from the west so that most Italian troops in that part of the sector could not spot them. An antitank platoon close to Hill 331.7 was soon overwhelmed, and the Soviets were about to conquer the long-disputed hill when Italian counterattacks began. Two platoons of the nearby 2nd Company went into action first, and another company from the regimental reserve attacked from the other side of the hill. After fierce fighting the Soviets became disheartened and withdrew. Two weeks later the Italians attacked and the front, which had remained stable for 6 months, changed for good.
The game designer suggests the following optional change: The town on Map 2 is larger than Voroshilova. For players wanting a more accurate representation of the battlefield, substitute Map 38 (from Kursk, South Flank) for Map 2. It should be placed upside-down so that the map number is in the southeast corner. Woods hexes should be considered as light woods and the town hexes of the small (two-hex) town do not exist.
The Italian 2nd company of VI battalion (the group that includes the HMG and the 47mm gun) sets up on Map 38 on hill hexes south of the town (no longer on or within one hex of hill hexes). The group with two BERS sets up Dug In on map 38 hex 0201.
|4 Errata Items|
Delete the note that says to treat all river hexes on board 2 as gullies.
(Shad on 2010 Apr 29)
Soviet initiative should be given as = 4.
Confirmed by Ottavio on the MB 14 March 2014
(Poor Yorek on 2014 Mar 14)
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)
|Prelude to Siberia|
Italian Set-Up: 1xBERS B2/0812(ENT); HMG(red)+47mm B2/0713(ENT); 1xBERS B2/0613 (ENT). Rationale here was to have 5+ DF value in each so as to be on the 13-col in assault due to leader + morale (at least for two of the hexes). Other Italian units set-up was essentially prescribed.
Soviet Attack: try a "cold steel" approach with SMGs and INF to encircle the hill to approach from the south. This was to freeze the 2xBERS in B2/1216 as Italian units could not move until units on their board were fired upon. The HMG's + INF approached frontally. Important to note that the Soviets had no leader with a combat bonus. Against entrenched and higher morale defenders, this lack of firepower meant it was near to impossible to "soften up" before assault.
Unfortunately, the rules said nothing about Italian OF and BF. Of the first four OF's on the 7-col, Italy rolls "3", "3", and "11". The Kommissar's pistol was the most effective weapon on the Stalinist side. Meanwhile, Italian OBA could combine into three separate 21-col BF attacks. Those HMG+INF stacks just took hit after hit suffering compound demoralizations.
Turns Five and Six looked well for the Russians. For a change, Italian OBA was ineffective and ground units were able to infiltrate Hill 331.7 and launch assaults. In particular, the 7-0-0 Russian LT + INF were able, over a few turns, to DEM or destroy the 2xBERS reinforcing from hex B2/1216. Sadly, the Russian LT went insane after a severe head wound and fled east.
The two assaults the Russians had begun earlier were simply going no where. Either both sides "fizzed," or IT first-fire so confounded the Bolshevik fanatics that the subsequent attack had little chance of a significant result. Note that a single BERS + LDR resulted in a 13-col first fire against the 7/6 morale Soviets (by the way, they also drew no leader with a morale bonus) due to the ldr + higher morale shifts. So one can see that even with an INF+HMG+SMG+ldr vs. the entrenched BERS at higher morale, the Soviets were at a disadvantage.
By Turn Seven, the Italians had suffered three step losses though, mostly due to the "hero platoon," in an assault vs. non-entrenched BERS, and a DEM which freed their reinforcing elements. Further, just as the Soviets were able to get their remaining HMGs back into good order (that 10 morale Kommissar in action), the Italians reconfigured their OBA for 3x14 = 42 col attack and roll "11" (Spinal Tap fans please note).
By Turn Nine, with something like 6xBERS platoons arriving in proximity; 3xHMGs a turn or two out; and the Soviets unable to crack even a single ENT, Hill 331.7 was swamped with green, white, and red.
My rating is only a '3' for this specific play. I must concede that Italy had much the better rolling and the Russians had a mediocre leader draw. That being said, the Stalinists have a very difficult problem here: entrenched, higher morale opponents who hold the high ground and who are supported by copious OBA (much better than the typical German 2x16 found in later war Western Theatre scenarios). For the survivors, it was a choice between Siberia and an Italian prison.