Misfire III: Fortune Favors the Bold (or not)
Kursk - South Flank #21
|(Defender) Germany||vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Germany||1st SS LSAAH Panzer Grenadier Regiment|
|Germany||2nd SS "Das Reich" Division|
|Soviet Union||169th Tank Brigade|
|Soviet Union||183rd Rifle Division|
|Soviet Union||2nd Tank Corps|
|Soviet Union||307th Guards Mortar Battalion|
|Soviet Union||62nd Guards Heavy Tank Regiment|
|Soviet Union||99th Tank Brigade|
|Overall Rating, 4 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 586|
|Parent Game||Kursk - South Flank|
|Maps||4: 36, 37, 38, 39|
|Layout Dimensions||86 x 56 cm
34 x 22 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Kursk - South Flank||maps + counters|
Arriving too late to support 10th Tank Corps didn’t deter General Popov from doing his patriotic duty. Hoping to salvage a bad situation, he immediately ordered his units forward as they arrived. He didn’t even wait for the units to consolidate before launching them into battle.
General Popov’s boldness caught the Germans off guard, as they were busy congratulating themselves on beating off the earlier attack. Unfortunately, fortune doesn’t always favor the bold, and the Germans rallied to win in a short but vicious firefight. The day’s counterattacks saw four Soviet tank corps savaged for little appreciable gain.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|4 Errata Items|
All SS 75mm IG guns are direct fire weapons (black), not indirect (white).
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The reduced direct fire value of the SS HMG is 5-5 in Beyond Normandy and Road to Berlin.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
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)
|Late arrivals will not be seated until after the intermission|
In this one a weak German force faces the possibility of an escalating assault by Soviet armored forces. There are four Soviet reinforcement groups which arrive on die rolls throughout the game. Their goal is to take towns, kill Germans and exit the board. The Germans primarily are tasked with defending across two boards without a strong force, although they do receive some armored reinforcements of their own.
The initial Soviet assault avoids the strongly posted town to the east and focuses on creating a path for the following armored troops to pass down the road and exit, essentially foregoing the "town control" victory condition. The idea was to engage the Germans with their starting forces (primarily infantry) and then follow up with their first wave of armor, leaving the road accessible to the subsequent armored forces.
Unfortunately, the following armored forces seem to have stopped along the way for refreshments or to view the beauty of the countryside, or whatever, as several hours (10 turns) passed before the first reinforcements entered the fray. At this point the Germans had virtually destroyed the initial forces and were able to engage the late arriving Soviet armor.
The Germans, feeling comfortable in their impending victory, did not actively address the newly arrived reinforcements by moving reserves from the unengaged town. As a result, when the second group of reinforcements quickly followed on the heels of the first, the Germans had to do a bit of a scramble to have sufficient force to deny the exiting Soviets, which they did by the skin of their teeth.
Ultimately, the Germans were able to contain the late arriving Soviets but this was by no means a certainty. The Soviets nearly pulled off the exit victory condition despite not even getting all their reinforcements onto the board during the game. This one went from being a snoozer to a nail biter almost without notice. I am learning to be bolder with the Soviets (and when to pull out the bold move, by no means an easy topic, as timing is critical to a Soviet success). The unexpected drama gets this one a "5".
|Defense reversed on the Soviets|
Finishing up the last of the Misfire series for Kursk, this has Soviet RKKA troops following up an attack from Misfire I. In looking at it I had some doubts about the Soviets chances and they were confirmed with the game, but I get ahead of myself. First a note about the game, I just this as a test for experimental aircraft mods, but they did not make any difference in the game. If you are interested they are posted on the forum under the "Aircraft" thread.
As for the scenario, the Germans have good advantages in setup and forces. Morale is good and a good leader draw will give the Germans a very though hand in the game. For the Soviets, they have low morale RKKA units, that have a staggered attack on the Germans. They will need to have good leaders to have any chance in the game. There are some Guard units but they are too few and will become targets for the German gunners. I was a bit worried that this might be a "reverse" Kursk scenario where the Germans have good defenses and the Soviets get slaughtered. I was to proven correct a bit later.
In my play the Germans positioned mainly on board 38 and 37, to cover the major towns. Outposts and AT guns setup on board 36 with the German commanding Standarntenfurher on the hill on the upper edge of board 39 with an 88, NW41 and mortars.
Looking at the German defense the Soviets looked to get the rather weak initial force on the board and possibly push the German outposts off of board 36 rather than assault the fortified town on board 38. But these outposts proved more that the RKKA units could handle. In the initial four turns seven RKKA steps were destroyed by artillery and 88 fire. Direct fire from the units resulted in three of the steps of the seven. Many others were disrupted or demoralized. Soviet leaders were power less to help as there were only two leaders with morale mod's. With more reinforcements coming on the board they eventually moved close to an 50mm AT and was able to destroy it an the covering SCH. But this was small consolation to the heavy HMG fire coming from a dug in group on the road on board 36.
This HMG group's will get the Iron Cross for there stand against the Soviets. They were able to weather repeated attacks by 3 companies of RKKA units as well as 1 Guard company. Between calling in support fire and select DF the Soviets we able to close but not kill the HMG group. Not until turn 14 would the HMG fall, but it have done the work for the Germans, holding up the attack down the road on board 36. It was so key that many of the Soviet tank losses can be accredited to it requiring the tanks to fire or attack it. The AT's could then get good shots on them to reduce them.
The game slowly became one sided and them was pushed over the edge when the bulk of the Guard SMG's suffered a bad assault and lost not only units but there last leader. It was all the RKKA could do to keep the retreating demoralized units from breaking again. German armor arrived and advanced to attack the few tanks that broke through as well as the remaining AT guns.
The Soviet reinforcements became slow in coming with the 169th Tank Brigade on not until turn 15 and the 2nd Tank Corp not appearing until turn 24. All to late to have much effect on the broken initial forces. It was a major German victory.
A good scenario that could go either way. There is much randomness to the Soviet entry, which will make it hard managing the battle, while the comfortable dug in Germans can fire away at the advancing troops. With good rolls, they can win the day. For the Soviets, more will be needed.
|Too many Soviets!|
I'll bet that in the historical battle, the Soviets did NOT do what my opponent did. I'll bet the historical Soviets were spread out over the front for this battle, attacking in bits and pieces. My opponent just hammered away at one spot- the road on board 36. It didn't help that his reinforcements came in turn after turn after turn (or so it seemed).
The scenario was only interesting in the possibilities for the German initial set up. Start too far back and you will lose the town, start too far forward and a breakthrough is inevitable. I started too far forward, and the Russians just came right up that road and began to wheel east behind my initial defensive line. They never even got onto the board with the large town when I called, "Uncle."
The German manpower short was really telling.