Kursk - South Flank #2
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||Soviet Union (Defender)|
|Germany||5th SS "Thule" Panzergrenadier Regiment|
|Soviet Union||230th Separate Tank Regiment|
|Soviet Union||52nd Guards Rifle Division|
|Overall Rating, 17 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 245 of 607|
|Parent Game||Kursk - South Flank|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Kursk - South Flank||maps + counters|
SS Death’s Head Division had been ordered to secure the village of Gremuchii for their opening move in Operation Citadel. Defending the village was the veteran 52nd Guards Division, which could call on armor support if needed. The pace demanded by II SS Panzer Corps meant Death’s Head had little time to waste with the village before pressing on.
Wasting no time, the Death’s Head Division seized Gremuchii after a short sharp fight and continued onward. They caught the Soviets by surprise when they wheeled sharply to the right after leaving Gremuchii, forcing the remainder of 155th Guards Rifle Regiment into the right flank of the neighboring 375th Rifle Division and causing numerous command and control issues.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value of the SS HMG is 5-5 in Beyond Normandy and Road to Berlin.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
|Kursk South Flank, scenario #2: Gremuchii Town|
A basic assault scenario where the Germans must try and control a large town of 7 hexes! The Germans have about twice the Infantry and 3 engineers and a small amount of support armor: Tiger, StuGIIIG and a few SPW-251s but 2 x 24 off board artillery units as well. The Soviets have a smaller force of different types of Infantry units including a FLM engineer with and all kinds of AT Guns, and other support weapons and also a couple of Grant tank units that could show up starting on turn 5. The most important thing for the Soviets; is that they get four entrenchments and 3 mine counters.
The Soviet place the mines and entrenchments around the town of Gremuchii with most of the 76.2mm and 57mm guns in these surrounding entrenchments mixed with some machine gun units and in the town, the rest of the Soviet force awaits the German assault. The Germans have no time to waste, with only 12 turns, they have little time to soften up Soviet positions, so they move forward and shoot off-board artillery at the same time. The Germans also avoid direct conflict with the entrenchments and go around to openings into the town hexes farther north and with their engineer through the minefields which I have kept face-down, so it would be an interesting surprise even for me playing Solo.
The adjacent direct fire and assault combat starts within 4-5 turns, as mud has slowed the AFV’s a bit and the Tiger will take even longer to get into the action. The Soviets are banging away with their 81mm mortar back in the forest and their 76.2mm guns in surrounding entrenchments but the Germans have hit pay-dirt a couple of time, with some very nice rolls of off-board artillery. The assaults go on for the rest of the game, with the Soviets pulling units out the entrenchment hexes to reinforce assaults hexes or town hexes. In fact, a weird situation happened where I moved a loaded Soviet wagon with a 57mm AT into a hex that was then assaulted with that loaded wagon but fortunately there was other Soviet infantry in that hex. That Soviet FLM Engineer unit with other support units has given the Germans a lot of problems before it was finally taken out 4 assaults later at the cost of 3 German Infantry steps and one step of Tiger tanks which had to be brought into the assault hex to reinforce it. The Tiger with other INF took out the FLM and another step of Soviet INF but at a cost of the one step mentioned before. In all the other scenarios I played before, the Soviet FLM unit was not a factor and was taken out right away but not this scenario, it with support, took up a lot of German resources and time and was a real beast of a unit.
The Grant tanks showed up on turn 7 and anything later than this, and they might not have been a factor in the slow mud travel but they took a hit from the StuGIIIG but the survivors pulled into a vacant town hex, as both side had left that hex to reinforce other assault hexes. 12 turns went very fast in this scenario and it took me sometime to figure who won? There were 3 hexes contested in assault combat, 3 hexes in German control and 1 hex in Soviet control. Both sides lost 13 steps and both sides lost a leader. The Germans had a minor victory for more hexes controlled but the Soviets had a minor victory for eliminating 10 or more German steps. So the Game was a Draw!
Dang, another really good scenario! With the 12 turn time factor, this is a tense one. The assault combat was actually interesting in this scenario, trying to figure out how to keep arranging them and where to draw resources from. The Soviets need to stale, the Germans need to push, good fun!
|Good things come in small packages|
So I'm coming home after doing a couple small errands and I get a call that the puppy who had just been to the vet and got a vaccine was having a reaction. Her eye had swollen badly and was clearly itchy. The girls were taking her to the vet for immediate treatment (Benedryl and a steroid) and we were told to keep the puppy quiet as that would help the medicine work against the allergic reaction. Our puppy is hyperactive so this requires some serious cuddling to keep her from running all over the house. By the time I got her resting it was already 9:00 - not enough time to play a longer scenario so I took a look and at 12 turns this one looked pretty straightforward.
The SS come crashing up the board but the mud slows them somewhat. The Soviets put the minefields and entrenchments a bit farther out from the town to force the SS into a kill box. Actually ended up knocking out one step of the Tiger so it can't be said to have failed but in the end the SS firepower and engineers were able to clear the town with one turn to go.
The SS Major (I refuse to even try to spell the actual "rank") was caught in the open by the Soviet major and the FLM unit. While the Major didn't turn into a crispy critter he was demoralized (a ridiculously low morale of 7) and then decided that he had forgotten something back in Breslau and ran away, decapitating the entire foot force leaving only the StuG, mortars, SPW 251s and a couple disrupted and demoralized SCH available to move in the next turn. It looked to be a stroke of genius until the Soviet major found out that he was in a three stack next to two SS HMGs (which when you work it out means that you are rolling on the 45+ column with a column shift to spare. That turned out to be a mistake as 6 Soviet steps, including an HMG, the FLM and one INF were shot to pieces and then recovered permitting them to be shot to pieces in the next turn as well.
The town finally fell on turn 11. All four Grant steps were flaming wrecks and the Germans had lost 7 foot steps as well as the Tiger step to give the Soviets a minor victory. The German major victory for taking the entire town trumped the minor victory. This was a lot of fun in a very small package. Unit density is pretty high and the combat is remarkably vicious. About right for the kickoff to Citadel. I give it a "4" with a nod to something higher.
|Good lines of fire|
*This was a Skype play with Hugmenot over two sessions. It was a nice Skype game, one board small to medium counter mix and a town assault for the Germans. It had some tense moments during the attack, but the dice rolls were with the Soviets as it seemed that they had marked their firing lanes well.
There is advantages and disadvantages to both sides, for the Soviets, they hold the town with Guard troops. This gives them an even morale with the Germans, helping in assaults. They have 76.2mm guns that will be spotted early and no OBA. Minefields and entrenchments round out the Soviet setup to Guard the town. The Soviets have a FLM unit, but did not play a big part in the battle.
The Germans have more troops including AFV support of a StuG and Tiger, but mud will slow them down. Four HMG's can give the Germans an impressive fire group, with ENG's to deal with the town and the mines. German OBA is also impressive, 2x24, which will give the Soviet guns a scare.
Victory conditions are simple, the Germans must take the town, or at least a majority of hexes in the town. Leaders on both sides well average to good, with the Germans having a slight advantage in quantity.*
The game starts with the Germans advancing onboard from the the south. The Soviet response is to get their 76.2mm guns and 82mm mortars going. They quickly establish their ranges by scoring a step losses on a German SCH as well as mortally wounding a leader German OSTFR. The Germans quickly take the southern hill and establish a fire group for their HMG's and mortars. One group of SCH's move up the east side of the hill, while another group looks to flank wide to the west.
Several turns have the Germans maneuvering there forces toward the town. Soviet OP fire is accurate and German troops begin to disrupt and demoralize, particularly their leaders. This slows their advance with the need to recover and reestablish the attack. By turn 5 the Germans have closed on the town and have units ready to assault. But Soviet fire scores another step losses and mortally wounding another OSFTR. But the Germans get two more assault groups in position, one at the critical point held only by a Soviet AT gun. Quick shifting over the Guard units bolsters the AT support with and SMG and a leading CAPT. The Soviets suffer their first loss of a reduced ATR by the large German HMG fire group.
The HMG's have a impressive fire group, 4x11 plus a 1 firepower leader, throwing a whopping 45 DF. This will get knocked down to 22 DF after town or entrenchment modifiers, but this is still enough to get kills. The Soviet dedicate several bombardment shots to quite their fire, with some success. First they disrupted the first leader leading the attack. Second, disrupt a HMG, that remains disrupted through the end of the game.
To the east the Germans, push up the edge of the board looking to turn the Soviet flank. Again the Soviet fire is good and strips away maneuvering platoons, but the German HPSTFR manages to himself an ENG into position to threaten the positions of a 76.2mm gun and mortar. Soviet quick shifting move an HMG into the hex as well as evacuate the mortars back into the center of the town. The Germans pile in for an assault, but no effect on either side.
At this point the Germans probe the minefields with their ENG's, but prior to getting into the minefield, they are hit by deadly OP fire from Soviets in a entrenchment. This reduces the ENG's heading into the minefield. This seems to have killed the key mine removal men as the remaining ENG's miss a group of mines and stumble right into them without their clearing equipment. This destroys the remained of the ENG's.
By now the game is getting late and the German are struggling with recoveries for their disrupted and demoralized troops. But they need to press the town, so the good order HMG's and any other good order troops begin to advance on the town. German artillery and mortars find their mark destroying a 76.2mm gun, while a German assault achieves mixed success. The assault destroys the Soviet AT gun, but they loose a step of SCH in the fight. The Germans also probe another minefield hex right in the southern front of the town. This one was a dummy and the Germans take advantage of this open avenue to the lone Soviet HMG defending the hex. The rush two HMG's and and SCH with several leaders to prepare to assault the town. It will come down to the advantage of the initiative in the next turn.
Turn 9 begins with the Soviets winning the initiative, which is disastrous for the the Germans as the Soviets can open fire on the Germans before they assault. With a 30 column shoot the Soviets score a M2, which the German leaders proceed to fail as well as the HMG's and SCH. More fire by the Soviets miss but the damage has been done, the main assault will not happen and the majority of the town remains in Soviet hands. At this point the Germans will require at least two turns to get their force back in good order and then they will only be able to threaten three town hexes, leaving the Soviets with the remaining four, so the Germans retire.
A good game, but the Soviets had the better dicerolls and keep the Germans away. Other keys to success were good interior lines to shift Soviet troops when needed, morale bonuses from towns and entrenchments, minefields and good Soviet leaders. The Germans played well with few flaws with their attack, luck was not with them in this assault. As for the play verses conclusion, this was a direct opposite to the conclusion and the reason why I gave it a 4 rather than a 5. The conclusion mentions more surprise, but the Soviets can setup with good lines of fire and still shock the Germans before they get close to the town.
|keep the eye on the prize|
The mistake was simple enough. Do what you need to do and nothing else. The object was to take the town, not the entrenchments surrounding the town, and the entrenchments were never taken because not enough forces were allocated since the majority of the troops were needed to take the town which was not taken. Our Obersturmbannfuhrer davidthedad is dead by his own hand. This report is written by Haupsturmfuhrer davidthedad2.
|Entrenchments, Lucky Dice, and Little Time= Soviet Major Victory|
The Soviets begin with just enough men and materiel to cause the German headaches, but not enough to adequately hold a defensive line- the Germans ARE going to get to the town. The Soviets therefore did some weird things in the set-up: a minefield on the hill to the south; entrenchments with just the 76.2mm's on the edge of the field to the west, covering the approach to the town; and an entrenchment at the north edge of the southern field, with the 57mm and 3 infantry platoons in the area. This meant that the town and a nearby entrenchment held the machine guns, the flame unit, and the remaining infantry, 76.2, the mortars and ATRs.
The question is not how to stop the Germans, but how to make them pay dearly for their progress. I figured the Soviets would at least be able to utilize all those 76.2mm's to good effect in an indirect fire role. That's how I conceived of it- but it didn't really pan out. Thanks to quite a few lucky dice rolls, what actually happened was more successful than a Soviet commander would have dreamed.
The bulk of the German infantry advanced directly towards the town and the southern field- only one engineer unit was hung up on the mined hilltop. Their tanks approached cautiously from the blind spot created by the southern field. The STGIII didn't expect the entrenchment in the southern field, blundered adjacent to it and was reduced by the 57mm.
The German approach then swung north to the east of the town, and to the west to take out the two entrenchments with the 76.2mm's. The Soviets had to rearrange their dispositions to cover all the town hexes; they even had to clear out of the one entrenchment adjacent to the town- and they would have been quickly overwhelmed if the Germans hadn't been distracted by the entrenchments. Three German platoons went after the 76.2mm's in the western entrenchments, but having been reinforced by a lone ATR from the town, and aided by the advantage of first fire, the Soviet defense proved relentless and murderous. Having committed too many resources to unnecessarily taking out the entrenchments, the Germans were able to create only two footholds in the town- in the far south, and to the west. The remaining Soviets were able to ride these assaults out- especially once the Grants were able to reach the town.
For the entirety of the game, German assaults bogged down on the entrenchment in the southern field- it was never taken by the Germans, despite commitment of the Tiger to the assault.
By the end of the game, step losses had become nearly equal-15 or so for both sides- but that wasn't the point. The Germans had run out of time, and the Soviets still held Gremuchii.
Well, an unexpected quiet day deserved a good game. Russians hold the large town in the center of board 38 with a mostly guard force of infantry supported by entrenched anti-tank guns and mines, and even a flame engineer platoon, and a chance at 2 platoons of Grants joining them. The Germans need to take the whole town in this 12-turn slog. The muddy conditions affect the armor but not the infantry. The Germans get a Tiger platoon and a StuGIIIG to support their infantry, along with a company of combat engineers, but only 2 halftracks, which doesn't matter much since they can move just as fast on foot as by vehicle since there is no road moving north from the southern edge of the board. The Soviets set up with the 76.2 guns entrenched with their wagons, and the 57mm AT gun in the southernmost town hex with an infantry platoon to protect it, the mines surrounding the town to the south, and the entrenchments extending right and left so the Germans have to either brave the mines under fire or go around. My Germans chose mostly to go around to the west, with the Mortars accompanied by infantry taking up positions on the hill in the southeast corner of the board. Armor and infantry force moved along the west edge while the foot force centered on the SS Obersturmbahnfurer moved up just west of center, skirting the entrenchment initially and then assaulting both that western entrenchment (after OBA took out the defending gun) and the first town hex northeast of that entrenchment. The entrenchment bogged things down so much, the Tigers were called in to try to make short work of it, but things didn't go that way. Instead, the Tigers became demoralized and fled, stopping on the western edge of the board. The StuGs went in next and helped somewhat but the entrenchment became a quagmire for both sides. The German force with the LTC did a bit better, destroying or chasing out the defenders in the town hex and taking that hex before close range fire from defenders in the next two hexes demoralized the LTC and most of the force he was with. More German troops tried to move north and around the edge of town, and getting caught up in more assaults. As things went back and forth in the middle, it was the Soviet Major with the flame unit and an SMG defending against the German LTC, an infantry, an HMG and an Engineer. Both sides again became demoralized, the Major fleeing the hex and the Flame platoon dyeing in place as the SMG fled back with the Major. All around the town, the Germans were getting pounded and losing morale, and neither side could force the other out of the town. The Grants came along and down the road from the north just in time for the Tigers to regroup to disrupted, which was enough for them to take out one step of Grants and cause the Soviet armor leader to flee with the remains of his platoon and leaving the other platoon there leaderless but where the Grants could take shots at the German infantry. A combination of mortar and OBA fire took out a second 76.2 entrenchement and opened the door for an assault by the infantry that had supported the mortars, but this force gained just the one town hex and couldn't manage to get any further. In the end, Germans had lost 6 steps but controlled only 2 hexes, the Soviets had lost 9 steps and controlled 4 hexes, the rest being contested. Soviet major victory. I think the German tactics were sound, the luck was just with the Soviets on this one as Soviets rolled high enough to overcome the better German morale. The Germans OBA killed off the guns in the two entrenchments with rolls of 12, so it wasn't always the Soviets that had the luck, they just had it more often. Great game.
|German Leaders did not Earn their Pay|
Played against Alan Sawyer via Skype in two sessions and 4 1/2 hours.
Alan set up his defenses very well - you should publish your starting positions Alan to encourage solo players to try this scenario.
I positioned a large HMG firegroup south of the town and send units to assault the town from both the east and west sides. Unfortunately, my leaders did not like the plan at all and were disrupted and demoralized as a consequence. Two groups made it to town but only managed to contest the hexes, not take over.
I took a huge gamble on turn 8 and moved a 3-stack plus three leaders through a dummy minefield counter and next to town, with a bunch of unit ready to follow up in the same path but it did not pay off, not at all. Alan's Soviets won the initiative for the first time in the game, and by 2. Being overstacked next to a two machineguns (one might have been reduced) is not a good position to be in if you don't have the initiative; net results two more demoralized leaders and one more disrupted. With only 3 turns to go and with the Germans having no good order leader being able to move troops closer to town, I conceded.
Soviet major victory.
I rated this scenario a strong "3" as it was very enjoyable despite my Germans never being a serious threat to take over the town. Very good short Skype scenario.
|To the point of exhaustion|
This is a relatively fast scenario where a slightly superior force of SS must capture a town from the Russians. In my playing, I had the Russians ring the town with their entrenched 76mm guns and some infantry, while the rest of the force occupied the town. An outpost of infantry and hmgs occupied the hill south of town.
The SS stormed the hill and advanced into the wood southwest of town for cover. They took the hill quickly but struggled with the ring of entrenched positions and the scattered mines between them. With only three hours to take more town hexes from the Russians than they could hold, the SS took some big gambles assaulting Russian town hexes that were insufficiently softened.
By the end of the Game, the SS had managed to obtain no uncontested hexes, and had lost more than ten steps, for a major Russian victory.
|First PG play ever|
My first FTF play ever of PG! I met Rich at PGHQ and he was generous enough to help a noob like me. I took the Soviets on defense. I deployed most of my troops dug in in an arc in front of the town, using the entrenchments to give them cover to get back to the town when necessary . I placed the mines between the entrenchments. Rich advanced carefully at first, but later pressed his attack more quickly, due to our personal time constraints. He was having mixed results when we ran out of time. Because the result of a full play remained in doubt we called it a draw.
|Solid PG fare|
This small one board scenario has a SS force with a Tiger and Stug platoon in support trying to take a small Russian village at the start of Op Citadel. The SS have only 12 turns to take the village and have to overcome minefields and entrenchments and not lose 10 steps. There is no doubt that the German forces can take the town can they do it quickly and without undue loss? In my game the answer was YES but only just. The Soviet's used minefield to block a right flank attack and hoped a mixture of entrenchments and 76.2 artillery would force the Germans into a frontal assault, giving time to reinforce the town with Grants and what ever was left of the Soviet covering units. The German commander decided that his OBDA would deal with the Soviet guns and pushed a large force around the fields, the frontal attack would be all his HMG units grouped together as a very impressive fire-group with the Tanks behind. The German attack got off to a slow start, with several units being disrupted by Soviet MTR and ART fire, however the German artillery was soon dealing with the entrenched 76,2 positions which the SS SCH bypassed. By GT 6 the town was almost surrounded although the Grants arrived promptly for the Soviets they were shot up by the STUG platoon although not without loss. However the numerous assaults which went in made little progress, with one Russian ATR unit tying up 3 SS units for several turns. The Tiger platoon with SCH support was slowly churning up the town and several Soviets units but had failed to clear a single hex by GT10. Then as so often happens the Soviets defense began to crumble and finally a single hex was cleared by the attackers and would be enough to claim a minor victory as now the Soviets were in assault throughout the town and therefore did not control a single town hex. The Soviet forces could still claim a draw if 10 German stepes and been destroyed but alas for the Soviet Major in charge only 9 SS steps had been eliminated. A narrow German minor victory. The game reads more exciting than it actually was, this is very much standard PG fare and once the setup is complete there is little for the Russian player to do. Still there are worse ways to while away a few hours.