Road to Berlin #1
|vs||Soviet Union (Defender)|
|Hungary||Szent László Division|
|Soviet Union||86th Rifle Division|
|Overall Rating, 17 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 78 of 573|
|Parent Game||Road to Berlin|
|Maps||2: 17, 20|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Road to Berlin||maps + counters|
With Budapest surrounded, the Axis prepared a counteroffensive to relieve the Hungarian capital. As the first element in the planned attack, a German infantry division and a Hungarian airborne division would each force bridgeheads across the Danube River. These diversions, the German command hoped, would draw off Soviet reserves before the real attack opened along the river's south bank.
The Szt. Laszlo Division had only one battalion of actual paratroopers, but was considered an elite formation and fought well during the few months of its existence. The river crossing had its desired effect on the overall scheme, but the division command considered the crossing a failure as they could not take any of their objectives and had to pull back across the river with heavy casualties.
|2 Errata Items|
The movement allowance on the counters in Airborne is misprinted. It should be "3."
(rerathbun on 2012 Jan 30)
The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
|And after your feet dry off|
Everyone has their favorite part of PG and mine is to see the odd ball countries and units in action. There is nothing more odd ball than this elite Hungarian river assault. A major question in the early going will be how many units the engineers can get across the river before you let them join the fight. In this case more than half the Hungarians crossed easily and then the crossing became bogged down and the engineers moved off to be infantry. Darn good too since I needed them for the urban assault bonuses.
The Hungarians are forced to deal with three basic "lines" of Soviet defense. Some troops are at the river's edge and will bring bombardment down on the crossing points. Some will be midway back holding a town and some will be at the very back in a second town. In this case, the Hungarians came in waves and overlapped those fighting at one level to begin fighting at the next level. This was a very exciting scenario filled with constant decision points for the attackers. The Soviet player has less decision making from an operational standpoint but has a chance to win depending on the crossing time and strength.
|Hungarian forces cross the Danube|
0700 – Engineers enter the river under fire and bombards from the Soviets. Hungarian artillery opens up.
0715 – Hungarian infantry attempts to cross the river but is hit by Soviet artillery. Russian mortar spotted and eliminated.
Crossing will be noted #1,#2,#3,#4 going west to east
0730 – Western woods being cleared out by Hungarian artillery. First of the Hungarian infantry makes it across the river at crossing #2.
0745 – Second Hungarian Infantry makes it across the river at Crossing #1. At Crossing #4 the engineers are disrupted. Soviets move to intercept but are hit hard by Hungarian artillery.
Casualty count: 3 Russians, 1 Hungarian.
0800 – Russians fire on Crossing #4 and all are demoralized. Hungarians lose a platoon and half the German engineers are lost.
Third Hungarian unit makes it across the river at Crossing #3.
Soviet Mortar batteries hit and eliminated by Hungarian 100mm.
0815 – Crossing #4 is demoralized again and the German engineers are eliminated. This crossing is over.
Crossing #2 hit by Russian artillery and demoralized. Engineers flee. (this crossing will need to be re-established if possible).
Hungarians enter the village on the river’s edge.
Fourth unit crosses the river at Crossing #3.
Casualty count: 4 Hungarians, 2 Germans, 5 Russians
0830 – Hungarian infantry reduced fleeing from Soviet HMGs. Two Russain infantry platoons eliminated in the woods and their sergeant is captured. Russian reserves move back toward town.
0845 – Russian HMGs and artillery focuses on Hungarian artillery in the woods on the far side of the river. Hungarian 100mm is eliminated!
Russian infantry in woods eliminated.
Casualty count: 6 Hungarians, 2 Germans, 10 Russians
0900 – Hungarian mortars retreat back into woods as their 2nd 100mm is hit and eliminated so they don’t suffer the same fate.
0915 – Soviet HMG demoralized by mortar fire. Another infantry crosses at Crossing #4 but the rest are demoralized by artillery fire!
0930 – Engineers flee from crossing #3. Crossing #2 is re-established next to Crossing #1.
Soviet HMG continues to draw attention and they are demoralized and reduced by artillery.
0945 – Mortar and artillery fire eliminates the routed Soviet HMG.
Casualty count: 8 Hungarians, 2 Germans, 12 Russians
1000 - 1015 - The second Soviet HMG flees the village at river’s edge, but to no avail, they are eliminated by artillery.
1030 – Hungarian infantry platoon lost trying to cross the river due to Soviet artillery fire.
1045 The battle at the river’s edge grows quiet except for the long range artillery strikes and a single Russian AT Gun battery still holding out in the northeast river village.
1100 – Another hit by Soviet artillery decimated crossing #2 eliminating a Hungarian HMG platoon! Crossing #2 is abandoned.
It is eerily quiet at the Danube’s edge
1115 – The Soviet AT Gun battery is finally eliminated.
1130 – German engineers re-establish Crossing #3 at the broken bridge shielded by the northeast river village.
1145 - 1200 – All is quiet on the Eastern Front as the River Crossings are shielded from Soviet eyes by the woods in the west and the village in the east.
1215 – Six Hungarian units are trying to cross the river behind the woods and two more behind the town.
1230 – Hungarian HMG finally crosses at Crossing #1
1245 – A few more Hungarian units cross the river as their troops are closing in on the northern town.
1300 – German mortar is eliminated by Russian artillery. Hungarians continue to close in on the northern town.
1315 - Hungarians charge the town! Three more infantry platoons make it across the Red Danube.
1330 – Hungarians initiate assault. Soviet HMG flees and is eliminated by indirect fire. Both sides take hits by artillery
Casualty count: 13 Hungarians, 3 Germans, 17 Russians
1345 – Hungarians swarm the northern town!
Russian HMG is reduced and demoralized infantry flees to the South Town.
At the river, HMG crosses with the aid of two engineers. The AT Guns move to cross.
1400 – Soviet infantry is demoralized by artillery and eliminated in assault as their captain is captured. Russian lieutenant flees the town. One town and just under 2 hours to go!
1415 – Hungarian charge the South Town but are broken by direct and indirect fire!
1430 – They try to rally but are hit hard. Hungarian artillery replies.
1445 – Soviets flee, but reinforcements advance to take their place.
1500 – Hungarians assault in the northwest of the town and the demoralized Soviets are eliminated! Hungarians take more losses from direct fire.
At the river, the first mortar crosses at Crossing #1!
1515 – Hungarian artillery eliminates Soviet Lt and reduced infantry. Hungarians lose half HMG to Soviet artillery.
At the river the AT Gun battery makes it across.
1530 – Hungarians in the woods are reduced by an artillery strike. Russians are demoralized by artillery. Hungarians assault! (24 to 8!) Russians are shattered! (2X) Without any leadership, the Soviets are unable to effectively counter-attack.
(At the river a mortar and AT Gun crosses)
1545 - The final minutes witness a further Hungarian assault. The Soviet HMG holds out and rallies. Russian infantry is reduced but doesn’t rout.
(FYI, the first engineers cross the river)
HUNGARIAN MINOR VICTORY!!!
Unable to get all town hexes under their control, the Hungarians have to settle for a minor victory. A bit more time would have given the Hungarians a major victory.
Town Hex Control:
Hungarian : 6 Soviet: 1 Contested: 2
Final casualty count: Soviet – 31 steps lost Hungarian – 18 steps lost German – 3 steps lost
This has been one of my favourite PG battles to date. I loved the river crossing and constant pressure on the Hungarians to push forward. With much better morale, they could take the towns, but risk and casualties were high.
Artillery was strong and it was deadly being caught in the open, especially for routed Soviet units with their poor morale.
|Respect the Danube|
Shad's Note: I'm dumping in a bunch of my old BGG AARs. If you've followed my "work" on BGG then you've read these before...
My second attempt was going to be a little more respectful of the mighty Danube and Soviet artillery. The Soviets only get 3 leaders on the northern board, and no one on the southern board can move until the Hungarians get a nice foothold over the river. The reasonable approach, therefore, would be to blast those 3 asshole leaders to smithereens with the superior Hungarian artillery and then run like crazy for the riverbanks.
Good leadership and wise setup allowed me, as the Hungarians, to drop 55 indirect fire & the granted 32 OBA every turn. The Soviets shot back as best they could, but before too long the last active leader was ground into red paste by the unending barrage.
Even so, the Soviets on the south board commanded a good view of most of the river. Realizing that those leaders could still spot and drop shells on my western crossing point, I packed everyone up and shinned it over to the east side where my units could safely work their way across.
Once largely across, time was running out so the Hungarians just rushed through cover and attacked as quickly as possible. The Soviets couldn't hold in the face of the superior Hungarian firepower. And yet, despite suffering more than twice as many casualties as the onrushing Hungarian horde, they were able to slow them just enough in the final town to prevent a rout and make the Hungarians settle for a Minor Victory.
This scenario is 36 turns long. Had it gone 40 or 45, Hungarian Major Victory would have been absolutely certain.
Crossing the river with such low rolls is maddening, but appropriate given the particular river in question.
I recommend this scenario, although it would be more enjoyable solitaire than face-to-face because the first half of the game will be spent dicking around with artillery and failing crossing roles, leaving the Soviet player with basically nothing to do.
|F--- the Danube|
Shad's Note: I'm dumping in a bunch of my old BGG AARs. If you've followed my "work" on BGG then you've read these before...
There are rules, and then there are rules. Scenario 1 of Road to Berlin acquainted me with what has become my most hated rule in all of wargamedom. Not because it's bad...
5.75 Combat Effects of Rivers
...If the ENG assisting a crossing becomes disrupted or demoralized, so do all friendly units in the hex with it at the time.
...just because its application is brutal.
In Scenario 1 the river crossing numbers are 4 or less for foot and 3 or less for motorized on 2d6. If you stack 2 Engineers in a river hex (they do not count against stacking limits, but they DO count against attack bonuses) you can up those to 5 & 4, respectively. Never do this.
My first attempt at this scenario I happily sent two engineer platoons into the river to assist 3 infantry platoons in what I thought would be a quick crossing.
"What's that whistling sound?"
"Dunno, but it's getting louder..."
"Sounds like... artillery?!?"
BOOM! go the Soviet shells
BOOM! go the Engineers
BOOM! go everyone else in the hex thanks to Rule 5.75
Wash. Rinse. Repeat a few times and the Hungarian attack was in ribbons and Commander Shad was stood up against a nearby tree and shot.
|Let's go swimming with your friends|
This was my first RtB scenario. Very interesting to have the Hungarians attacking, especially across the river. The Soviets just need to keep them from crossing so they will just pound on the ENG as they enter the river hexes. In the play the Hungarians did well crossing the river the Soviet attacks were weak and soon a company was across that could now start attacking the Soviets so others could cross. In the end the Hungarians won a minor victory as the Soviets could not stop the flow of troops over the river. A good well balanced scenario with a lot of thought for the attack and defense.
|Road to Berlin Scenario 1-A Grunt's View AAR|
This was my first game of PG. it took me a couple turns to get used to the process of integrating tactics in to the system, but in the end it was a very enjoyable experience. The Hungarians had to be slow and steady in their pounding of the crossing on each flank, being wary of the village in the center also. During the first half of the game, OBA and arty was the order of the day, finally hitting the forward Soviet positions enough to finally allow for crossings that wouldn't be hammered with direct fire fire or arty. Once secured, the crossings went relatively well. The biggest mistake by the Soviets was keeping so many units forward for so long. Instead of pulling back, the forward line tried to hold the crossing points and were all but eliminated. That resulted in just enough losses that made it impossible for the Soviets to hold out for the victory. It was a very close run, but the Hungarians pulled this one out.
|A question of time|
Played solo in 4 sessions
Spread out the Engineers over the whole length of the river, preferrably at one hex crossings. Teamed up the Hun/Ger 81mm's and 100mm's as usual. Left the 100mm's on the north bank for the whole scenario giving indirect fire support. The Russians set up in the woods and fields of board 17. Prime Hu action: get the Ru leaders away from there asap. Lucky for the Hu, the Ru offboard artillery proofed impotent at first, but became stronger during the day (they probably decimated some officers back there.. :-)) However, this resulted in a relatively unhampered crossing. Well ok, Eng and Inf got disrupted and even demoralized, but on the whole, the crossing went according to statistics. As soon as the Hu Inf was on the other side they developed a pincer attack on the mid-bd17 town which couldn't be held by the Ru, so they fell back on the 4-hex town down south. After that it was just a question of time. The town was taken about an hour before the end of the scenario. Major Hu victory.
Well balanced scenario and VC's. The Artillery shootout between the two parties proofed to be the decisive factor in this particular play. The Hu with their off- and onboard artillery as well as their not to be neglected mortar units were a bit too dominant but that was evened out by the at start vulnerability of the Hu crossings. Make it less arty dominant and chop of about an hour of scenario duration and I would give it a 4.
|I think I'm going to like this. (Panzer Grenadier)|
Well my first hex and counter war game in many a year.Enjoyed it! This really was a training game for me, playing the rules through using tactics I felt suited the situation but you can't really appreciate the value of good set up tactics until you have seen and felt the effects of the Combat Tables. Got a lot of 'my mates' hit due to poor turn timing and the power of off board Art was at times shattering; not good being stuck on that river.
This was a solo game but with my focus on the Axis side. Difficult to cross that river and expensive but once across moved OK, just ran out of time. A minor victory. Very few river hexes that can't be seen by some Allied Leader. Lay down as much f/power as possible move under its cover, trick is the set up and Leadership spacing; having the right leader in right place OR with the right bit of kit.
Loved the way the rules flowed, this Game is one to savour rather than expect to finish in a couple of hours. Just got to keep the table safe from the wife & kids. Will play this again. Rated 3 because it was my 1st game and this will be my bench mark.