Monday, 26 December 2016

Lokhvitsa Campaign Day 1 - Game 1

The following sections in italics were given to us before we arrived on  the day to help us plan our forces.

Historical Background: Ukraine– September 15th-16th, 1941
On September 12th, 1st Panzer Group launched an attack from its Dniepr river bridgeheads directed north, to cut across the rear of the Russian South-West Front, currently defending the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. This attack formed the southern arm of two pincers aimed at encircling the Russian forces holding Kiev - 600,000 men in total. As Von Kleist’s panzers attacked north, so Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Group was fighting its way south as the northern pincer. The two powerful Panzer Groups would meet at the town of Lokhvitsa, some 180km west of Kiev.
After the successful initial breakout from the bridgeheads, Von Kleist’s panzers made rapid progress, and it was only then that the Russian commanders saw the imminent danger from the two German attacks. In desperation to save South-West Front, any available forces, some only just unloading from trains, were thrown in the path of the Germans to stall the attack and buy enough time for an effective defence of Lohkvitsa to be constructed.

Desperate Russian efforts to prevent the encirclement failed and the two German panzer groups linked up at Lokhvitsa on September 16th, sealing in all the Red Army troops and bringing about the largest Russian losses of 1941 as, over the next 10 days, 600,000 surrounded men were forced to surrender. 

Army List Restrictions
The Axis forces are attacking, and cannot take any Defences, on either day. All the normal army lists restrictions apply. There are no additional restrictions upon the German lists.
An Axis player can, if he so wishes, bring two different battlegroups, one for day 1 and one for day 2. Rosters and models must be supplied for both.
Luftwaffe Air Support: The Luftwaffe is very active in support of the panzer groups. For each round of games, 4 extra Timed Stuka air strikes will be randomly distributed to German players. Models will be supplied for this.
On Day one, the Russians are conducting desperate counter-attacks by any available forces. No defences can be taken. There is a restriction on KV tanks, but no other restrictions on the lists apply.
On day two, the Russians are now defending Lokhvitsa area itself. They may include defences in their battlegroup rosters, as per the normal rules. The player must supply the models for any defences he takes (where required). All the normal army lists restrictions apply. A Russian player may use two different battle groups, creating one for day 1 and one for day 2. This is optional, the same battlegroup can be used on both days if it does not include any defences.
Restricted KV tanks: No KV tanks may be included in a Russian player’s battlegroup(s). These heavy tanks were very limited in numbers and as such they will issued by the campaign referee. For each round of battles, two KV-1s and one KV-2 will be issued to the Russian side, one to three randomly generated players. These can be used in the battle as normal and give the player’s battlegroup a +3 BR bonus. A model will be supplied for this.
These are the same vehicles for each round of battles. If they are destroyed (breaking down doesn’t count) in a game then they cannot be used again over the weekend and will be removed for future battles.

 Playing Games and Campaign Points
Each game lasts 2.5 hours.  All battles are Platoon-sized games. The side that has 0 battle rating remaining has lost. If a game is unfinished, then the side with the battle rating closest to 0 has lost. Determine the margin of victory and inform the campaign referee.
·         Massacre: One side is reduced to 0 BR, but the winner still has over 50% of his starting BR remaining. Victor gets 3 campaign points. Loser get 0 campaign pts.
·         Solid Victory: One side is reduced to 0 BR, but the winner has 50% or under of his starting BR remaining. Victor gets 2 campaign points. Loser gets 0 campaign points.
·         Narrow Victory: One side is reduced to 0 BR, but the winner has 10 or under BR left. Victor gets 1 campaign point. Loser gets 0 campaign points.
·         Draw: Unlikely, but both sides have the same BR remaining at the end of 2.5 hours. Both sides get 1 campaign point.
Hero of the Reich and Hero of the Soviet Union
At the end of battle three the German and Russian players that won the most campaign points for his team will get a special medal for his achievements in the campaign. In the event of a tie between multiple players on a side, the referee will judge the winner on other factors, such as best painted army, friendliest player, who bought him the most drinks, etc.

The German offensive has caught the Russians by surprise, and realising the threat to the defenders of Kiev, any available forces are being redirected into the path of the German advance to stall them, whilst behind them, more forces are digging in around Lokhvitsa itself. The Russian commanders have instructions to attack immediately. The German commanders must push on towards Lokhvitsa with all speed.
Scenario Type: Meeting Engagement
Scenario Size: 450pt Platoon game.
The terrain will be provided. You will be assigned a random table to play on. Please do not adjust the terrain.
The side that loses all its BR is defeated, and his opponent wins. In the event that neither side has broken, the side that is closest to their break point has lost. Inform the referee of the size of the victory (see Briefing), Massacre, Solid, Marginal or draw.
1. Place Objectives
Place a single objective in the centre of the table. Neither side can win an ‘all objectives secured victory’. 
2. Place any Pre-Registered Target Points and Timed Barrages
Both sides should note down where their pre-registered target points are (if they have any). They should also note down the location and turn for any timed barrages or air strikes. Also, remember to chose ammo for your armoured vehicles.
3. Deploy Reconnaissance Force
The player with the least Scouts (or the loser of a D6 roll-off in the event of a tie) places all his Reconnaissance units. These can be anywhere in his half of the table, but not within 10” of the centre line. The player with the most Scouts then places his Reconnaissance units, as above.
4. Deploy  Initial Forces
The player with the least Scouts then deploys 2D6 units, freely chosen from his battlegroup,  anywhere within 15” of his table edge. The player with the most scouts then deploys 2D6 units, as above.
5. Out Scouted
The side that is out scouted must take a counter.
6. Reinforcements
Any units not deployed at the start of the game are reinforcements. For both sides, from the start of turn 2, 2D6 units arrive from each player’s table edge. Roll at the start of each player’s turn until all the forces are on the table.
7. First Turn
Each player rolls a D6 and adds the number of Scouts. In a tie, re-roll. The player that scores highest takes the first turn.
The game is played along the length of a 6x4 table.
The weather is again fine and sunny, so do not roll for weather, aircraft will be available all day as normal.
The impartial referee(s) has the extra reserve forces. The Russian’s 3 KV tanks and the German’s 4 timed Stuka attacks will be assigned to tables randomly.

The Forces
German Panzer Division 
Pts Forward HQ (L,AFS) BR Men
24 SdKfz 265 Pz Befehlswagen r (SO,AS,U) 3 3

Pts Infantry (R,E,S) BR Men
101 Schutzen Platoon r 11  
5 Schutzen Plt command (O, MS)   6
  Schutzen squad x 3   18
  MG34 Team x 3   12
15 AT grenades x 3    
24 80mm mortar 1 3

Pts Tanks (R,E, L, S) BR Men
61 3 x PzII F r (O)  6  
108 3 x PzIII H r (O)  9  

Pts Recon Units BR Men
10 Sniper v 1 1
10 Sniper v 1 1
20 SdKfz 222 (S, MS) 1 0

Pts Spec Units BR Men
59 Heavy AA Gun 88mm with transport r 3  

Pts Additional Fire Support BR Men
10 Off table fire support request 4+ 0 0

Total BR 36
Total Points 447
Officers 4
Scouts 3

Soviet Mechanised Corps

PtsForward HQ 

26NKVD Blocking detachment


58Motorised Rifle platoon


112BT7 platoon

PtsRecon Units

Infantry foot patrol
BA-10 armoured car

PtsArtillery Units

Mortar battery
Timed 76.2mm barrage
Timed 76.2mm barrage
Timed 76.2mm barrage

PtsAdditional Fire Support

Pre registered target point
Counter battery fire mission

The Game

My first Soviet opponent was Juho, one of the trio of gentlemen who'd traveled over from Finland for the event.

My Germans deploy. I'd lost the reconnaissance round so I was down a BR token already.

Sneaky Soviets - the reconnaissance infantry patrol

A race to the village


Reserve move order revealed

T50's waiting on reserve move orders

I advance and pin the Soviet infantry patrol which has captured my objective marker. A BR token for me

T50's take up a good flanking position

Add caption

Soviet artillery arrives! I loved Juho's use of a bottle top with aircraft decal as a spotter round marker. A Panzer II and an infantry squad are pinned

One of the well placed T50's is given Ambush Fire orders

The Soviet BT7 platoon arrives with tank riders. The NKVD are on the right in the 2 cars

Vehicles begin to be destroyed on both sides. Well 4 on my side and 1 BT7

The German left flank seems to be attracting a lot of Soviet armour

The BA10 pops out to take some shots

1 more BT7 get's it. My 88mm gaining the honour.

In additional firing the BA10 get's it 

A BT7 is immobilised another pinned as are some of the infantry squads. The Soviet advance is slowed

However the Soviets are dealing damage to my vehicles and pinning which I have to unpin to keep fighting adding more BR tokens to my total.

Pinned again and the last of my tanks brews up.

The MG team is one of my few units still in the fight, but weren't many targets to fire at.
My other unit still in  the fray, my sniper. Again not many targets for him.

Juho's BR token haul. Not that many

Mine - I definitely won 'who as the most counters'. Major defeat for the Germans. Juho scores a Massacre victory for the Soviets
I really enjoyed the game, Juho was a great opponent and his knowledge of the rules was impressive. It was hard fought and I found it tactically difficult. I'd never faced an opponent before who used the reserve move order so that was interesting. My lack of artillery was telling, made worse by failing the communication roll repeatedly.