In my second play of the Fall Blau scenario I played both opposing sides more aggressive. I reasoned the German Army Groop Command would want to repeat the stunning successes of 1941 encirceling and destroying large numbers of Sovjet units. Therefore I let the attack with little regard to own losses. The Sovjet basically fight a delaying battle, but do get ample units to stage some counter attacks.
One of my newest aquisitons in wargames is Stalingrad ’42. I played the Case Blue scenario to get to know the game mechanics. All in all they are quite familiar to me, similar to Ukraine ’43 and Holland ’44 with minor differences and game specific rules. I like the medium complexity of the rules as they allow for a fluid fast paced game. I think this particular scenario could be played in an eveneing when you are somewhat familiar with the rules. The campaign game probabely takes an entire weekend to complete.Continue reading
Entering the twenties of our 21st century the Great War is long ago and nearly forgotten. But our contemporary conflicts are more often then not a consequence of the results of this war. Many issues between nations remain unsolved. In the wake of the downfall of old empires national borders prove to having been drawn arbitrarily and thus get contested, especially in eastern Europe, the western Mediterranian, and in the middle East. Therefore to deal with the campaigns of the Great War in reading and wargaming to me means also learning about the basics of todays international relations.
In March 1943 Army Group South’s operations led to the Third Battle of Kharkov. This scenario takes us to the town of Graiworon some 40 km northwest of Kharkov during a German attack on 12 March 1943. The forces involved are elements of Soviet 305th Rifle Division and 3rd Tank Corps opposing the advance of armoured elements of the Großdeutschland Division.
Oliver commanded the Germans and I had the task to come up with an defensive operational plan for my small Soviet force.
My wargames buddy Matthias recently proposed to play The Dark Sands from GMT. This we will do and certainly there will be a post on our game. Normally we prepare by reading the rules and setting up a game solo to get used to the game mechanics. When I went for this I reminded myself of a huge box in my COSIM library: The Dark Valley.
The Marine Brigade is somewhat short of its objectives. Over night an additional Naval Infantry Company and one depleted Machine Gun Company move from the landing site to reinforce the attack. The scene is TM-3 set in the morning of February 5 1943.
The Soviets call up 3rd Naval Rifle and 1st Machine Gun Campanies, prepare a 130mm Naval OBA preplanned fire mission, dedicate a 100mm Naval OBA, call in Combat Air Patrol and Close Air Support, increase their Sniper density, and dig some entrechments.
With fresh Naval Infantry Companies moving up from the landing site the Marine Brigade will now renew its attack towards GLEBOVKA. This brings us to TM-2 set in the afternoon of February 4 1943.
Soviet 255th Marine Brigade is to clear the road along the Ozerekya Valley as far as the southern outskirts of GLEBOVKA as a prerequesite to the actual Assault of the town itself..
Having done all pre-game dispositions I can now start the Tactical Mission 1 proper. TM-1 is the starting scenario set on the late morning of February 4 1943. At dawn the Soviet Naval Forces have landed under enemy fire and have now advanced north and reached the town of ABRAU DYURSO in the south-west part of the map.
Soviet 255th Marine Brigade is to advance and to take the wooded area north of ABRAU DYURSO as a prerequesite to further advance towards GLEBOVKA.
This is the first of 8 Tactical Missions to be fought over the excellent Ozerekya Breakout map sheet. The map shows the area south of the Black Sea town of GLEBOVKA towards the Soviet naval landing site in the western Caucasus. In game terms this area is 39 hexes deep and 33 hexes across or roughly some 2 square kilometres. The terrain is mostly a valley confined by hilly terrain on the western and eastern edge. Movement and LOS is restricted by ample woods and vineyards.
The time is February 4th 1943, 06:00 hours. The Soviet Naval Landing Forces have landed 1.427 men and 12 light tanks under heavy enemy fire. Now the Soviet 255th Marine Brigade is to move north along the Ozerikya valley and seize GLEBOVKA.
With the latest addition to my ASL game arsenal, namely the ARMIES OF OBLIVION, I am keen to use those Axis Minors. As I already own the OZEREKYA BREAKOUT pack published by Lone Canuck, I found it obvious to finally give this HASL a try. This campaign is about the landing of Sovjet Naval Forces in February 1943 west of NOVOROSSIYSK to cut of the German First Panzer Army on the Caucasus. Here we will find Russians fighting mostly Romanians and some Germans.