Monday, 7 March 2016

Conwy Wargames Club Rapid Fire game Feb

Pete put on a 20mm WW2 Rapid Fire game using the Ponyri scenario in the Russian Front 3rd supplement (blue cover) p35.

Pete supplied the majority of the Russians with some reinforcement from Dave. The scenery were a mix of Dickeys', Daves' and Pete's. I supplied the Germans, with some reinforcements from Gaz.

The Scenario
The Soviets held a fortified line anchored on 2 hill in front of Ponyri. Their aim to stop the Germans breaking through.

The Forces

Germans - me, Gaz, Chris and Tony
1 508th Grenadier regiment
1 artillery regiment
1 nebelwerfer battery
1 654th Heavy Anti tank battalion - 2 x Ferdinands
1 x FW190 plan arriving turn 3

Soviets - Ian, Alex and Dickey
1023rd Rifle Regiment
Anti tank regiment
122mm Howitzer battery
Katyusha battery
Sturmovik plane (should have been a LA-5N but we didn't have one)

The Game

Soviet first line defences

Soviet 2nd line

The German's decided this is where they'd break through ignoring the other hill.

View towards the Germans

The Sturmovik 

Soviet 2nd line

Germans ready to go

Turn 1 German move

Turn 2

170mm pretending to be a 150mm

The best looking artillery on the board

The Grenadiers' integral artillery deploy

Gazs' nebelwerfer

Getting closer. For the majority of the game the Germans and Soviets failed to spot each other, and if we did both sides failed the artillery communication check. Mainly due to my error in reading the rules and telling everyone we can only call in artillery on a 1 or a 2, rather than the 3,4,5 or 6 we should have been using. 

Soviets wait patiently for the Germans to get closer. About now we realised that we'd made the board 2.5ft larger than the scenario asked for. When you moving at 6" that's a lot. Oops. My fault again as I added the extra table to get the right length - 8ft. Then we all set up the terrain up to use all the table length. If I hadn't added the extra table we'd been a foot short. Oh well.

Once we'd sorted all our errors out our dice for both sides was appalling. We couldn't spot. We couldn't hit anything. Rockets deviated in to unoccupied areas. The planes turned up on turn 3. The Sturmovik saw off the FW190, and in turn was seen off by the German AA. Both sides therefore failed to rain death from above. In the last 2 turns things suddenly changed. 

The Soviets on the target hill were near 50% casualties from concentrated artillery, nebelwerfer and mortar fire requiring reinforcement from the other defended hill. After repeated failures with trying to lay a proper covering smoke screen the Germans chanced a dash across open ground and the 1st battalion was cut down but still going forward as the game ended. 

On the whole an unsatisfactory game all round, but one of many 'if only' moments. Now that we've dissected where we went wrong, among which included needing to know the rules better, I'd play it again. The correct size board and the easier ability to call in artillery would have given us the game we expected where artillery did the hard work to enable the infantry to win the objective.

On a positive the company was good and the game looked great.