Hopeless, But Not Serious #2
|(Defender) Austria Schutzbund||vs||Austria (Attacker)|
|Austria||11th "Feldmarschall Loudon" Infantry Regiment|
|Austria Schutzbund||Bruck an der Mur Schutzbund|
|Overall Rating, 9 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 533 of 559|
|Parent Game||Hopeless, But Not Serious|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Hopeless, But Not Serious||counters|
The small city of Bruck an der Mur in Styria had a large concentration of industrial workers and became a hotbed of Schutzbund activity during the 1920s. Schutzbund leader Alexander Eifler's plan of action called for the socialist militia to concentrate in urban areas where he believed the Federal Army would be reluctant to use its artillery. But when Bruck's Mayor Koloman Wallisch called out the local Schutzbund, he assembled them outside of town on nearby high ground. It was a tactically sound choice of ground - but also a free-fire zone for the Army's heavy weapons.
The Schutzbund had trained its fighters for urban street fighting, and the Bruck contingent was completely out of its element once it left the workers' district of the small city. The Federal Army was reluctant to fire on its own citizens, but when the Schutzbund took away the prospect of civilian casualties the heights were swept with mortar and light cannon fire. Schutzbund leaders later described the fighting on the heights as the fiercest of the Austrian Civil War, but by dawn the men and women of the socialist militia gave way. Wallisch was captured four days later and hanged in Leoben, with his men allowed to return home under amnesty.
|Schutzbund Defeated Again|
This one felt so historically correct at the end. The Schutzbund troops have pulled out of town to fight in wooded hills on board 23. They set up on the northern hill hexes with two mixed infantry/big stacks forward backed up by 2infantry on the North end of the 40meter hilltop. The Austrian Army set up in a line to the northwest, with their Arty and mortars on the small hill just south of the town. The Austrians swept up the hill to a position to direct fire two stacks to one, doing tremendous damage. The 1hex night range meant that terrain had little effect as all shots were adjacent shots by 13 to 18 factors. On turn 11 the Schutzbund commander fell in an assault. The surviving Schutzbund elements tried to trade space for time and moved south into the last hill hexes, but pressure from their pursuers turned it into a route as the last 3 steps and last leader stopped at the south edge of the board, off of the hill mass. Ironically, they managed to regain their morale on that last turn and caused one step loss to the Austrian Army troops, but they were too weak to push back onto the hill and lost, 11 steps lost to only 1 Austrian regular. Major Austrian Army victory. Great game.
|Hopeless for the Schutzbund....|
This scenario found the Austrian Schutzbund defending a hilltop against the attach of the Austrian Federals. The key instrument of battle in this scenario was the ability of the Austrian Federal Artillery to fire for effect without concern for civilian casualties. With no artillery and few heavy weapons of their own, the Schutzbund truly found themselves in a hopeless situation.
The Austrian Federals advanced under cover of darkness and withstood the initial rounds of opportunity fire with no effect. Then the battle became a textbook matter of softening the position by artillery fire, followed by further softening from small arms and heavy weapons fire. Ultimately, the assaults were performed against largely demoralized Schutzbund forces. All Schutzbund forces were killed. One officer was captured, and another killed. The lone survivor was a Schutzbund Lieutenant (Zugfuhrer) that managed to flee far enough away to avoid capture. Austrian Federal losses amounted to one step of a rifle platoon.
This is a quick scenario that will probably never play to completion. It would serve as a good introductory scenario to explore the basic mechanics of fire, movement in restricted terrain, and assault combat.
|Why wait for the guns?|
The scenario description points out that a significant issue in this circumstance was the ability of the Austrian army to use their artillery against the Schutzbund.
Since the scenario starts out with the Schutzbund on the hills (and in this setup in the woods as well) and it is pitch black (sighting range is 1 hex), I started 2 companies of infantry with attached HMG support up the hill commanded by a Lt. Colonel, with a Captain and Two LTs in tow. The other company of two platoons and all of the artillery set up in the town at the foot of the hill.
Upon reaching the Schutzbund and experiencing opportunity fire the Lt. Colonel had an inexplicable fit of the heebie-jeebies (perhaps it was a case of from bad to wurst?) and basically ran away. It took 1/2 an hour for the Captain to gain control (see decapitation rules) during which the two forces stood next to each other and the Austrians did hammer away with their artillery causing nearly as much damage with friendly fire as they did to the Schutzbund. Once he got control the captain led the men in a series of assaults that completely destroyed the Schutzbund, captured the Baon Kadet and killed the other two leaders, and did so within two and a half hours of their first march.
The total price was 1 step of Austrian infantry that, having been disrupted by friendly fire and was then shot at repeatedly by the Schutzbund to some reasonable effect.
The scenario itself is wildly unbalanced but it clearly portrays the inability of such political troops to stand against regulars. If the numbers of Schutzbund were doubled they might have some chance but I would still bet on the regulars.
|Hopeless, But Not Serious, scenario #2: Styrian Comrades|
My first scenario in the 1934 time period with interesting formations! Just a short AAR on this one, as the Austrians with a stronger force and on-board artillery support cleared the forested hill top of all undemoralized Schutzbund units for a major victory. The causalities were 3 Austrians steps and one Leader vs. 9 Schutzbund steps. I am sure that poor Wallisch was later hanged in my game as well. What away to damage a perfectly good hill top.
|A Midnight Stroll On The Hill|
Played solo in less than 90 minutes.
You can view the Schutzbund setup in post 2 of this thread.
I set up the Schutzbund in defensive terrain with the leaders on the front lines hoping this would be enough to cause some disruptions/demoralizations/casualties to the Austrian if they assault without first weakening the enemy with direct fire.
The Austrians take four turns to move into positions on both flanks. The don't bother wasting bullets with direct fire and immediately start the general assault. Ninety minutes later, on turn 11, it’s all over; all Schutzbund units are eliminated.
There is nothing else to say about this scenario; the Schutzbund will get massacred if they do not run away from the battlefield (and even that is not so easily accomplished because of SSR 4).
Casualties: The Schutzbund lost 16 steps of infantry (3 from Bombardment, 8 in Assaults, 5 demoralized foot units trying to leave assault hexes). The Austrians lost 1 step of infantry (eliminated in an Assault).
I gave this scenario a generous “2” because I enjoyed seeing political troops in action.