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Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Soviet onslaught in Lvov rss

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Marcin Woźniak
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Niemcz
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I. Race for Lwow first impressions


Firefight is AWESOME! Game begins before it begins. Politics (even unspoken) play part sometimes greater than tactics. We began playing 8.30 pm, finished 4 a.m. And it was definitely worth it.

My only complaint was: do Germans need that much of CAPs? They are overpowered anyway.

The best thing for me was how imbalanced game looks at the beginning, and how (with very simple rules) there are implemented mechanics re-balancing this scenario, so if all players are careful, winner and loser are not determined till the very end.

I am buying all games where Michael Ozon's team created firefights. And this one was the best of them all!!!

II. Deployment - general remarks
I decided to describe this session report in form of chaptered AAR, as writing one post would be just too long for me to manage.

In this firefight pre - thought is very important.

1)Russians
Russians have a lot of armor - 8 tanks and 2 armoured cars, which is a steel fist able to make one initial push. ONE is a crucial word here - as using this reserve too soon can easily turn to disaster on other fronts. And there are many.

Two platoons of infantry with light AT guns and Maxims can be placed anywhere along future frontline. They cannot cover this frotline, as it is 4 map edges long - 2 longer edges will be German entry, and one, behind Soviet lines, will be Polish entry.

Placement of these two platoons and 3 T-26 is important, as this will channel Polish and German entry. Soviet player cannot hope to win game with initial forces, probably even to deal a lot of damage. They are to win most important resource - time.

Time works for Soviets, as all 5 victory points score for them each round. possibly totaling up to 25 points.

Strengths: terrain, armor

2) Germans : for them, this firefight presents strength and flexibility of Kampfgruppe (if Schwerpunkt is skillfully chosen), even without armor. Heaps of infantry and LMG's, two infantry guns, two mortars and zwei Leichte PaKs make for important strengths. And there is scary force more dangerous than many light tanks, and more flexible - Sturmpionieren. With 2 APs to fire, with 3 blue attack (7 in close combat) they can take off any tank that is careless enough to get too close and expose itself. And they can easily shorten this distance - with 12 CAPs Germans have. Perfect infantry, extremely lethal.
Germans have to hurry in the beginning, to take ASAP two hills and bring their heavy guns there. If they manage to do so, they can bleed out most possible Soviet counterattacks.

Strenths: flexibility, possibility to pick of place of attack, CAPs and 2 cards/round

3) Poles: strengthened inf platoon, with one weak armoured car and one tankette (kind of Self-Propelled, Turretless Machine Gun with weak armour). And of course one light AT gun
Their numbers is sufficient to take out one russian infantry platoon, but not much more. But opportunity to win is in theitr victory conditions: they don't score points, but rather win, co-win or co-lose depending on the number of victory markers taken in their diversion attack from behind.
They have to attack no sooner than both sides have exhausted their resources, but also must not wait till one side is decidedly winning, as in such occasion both csides can start pounding Poles

Strength: possibility to WAIT TILL A PROPER TIME. Need to improvise

III. Soviet deployment

After pre thoughts phase, which took much shorter than writing last post, we started playing.
Paweł chose Soviets, so he had to deploy first. he decided to keep his forces together. He explained later, that he had hoped Germans would fight Poles. Anyway, he put entire platoon on a hill overlooking polish entry map edge, with infantry in woods down the slope, MG on top and AT gun well protected on the other hill. strong position, Poles did have a hard time thinking of that.

Second platoon was screening hills overlooking the village, on the other side of the board. Entire troop was stuck close to each other, pointing one direction.

tanks were next to the crossroad, with position enabling quick maneuver.

IV. German deployment
Germans deployed with strong Kampfgruppe close to southwestern area of map, stretched in line so as to move with CAPs more than half of their units.

However, they put also 3 LMG teams and 3 infantry squads in Marsh area (northwestern edge) to get one objective quickly (and to hasten Poles in attacking two other hills). Had thewy not placed those units there, Poles would be willing to wait for both main opponents to bleed each other. But their attack against Soviet occupied hills would break too easily, if they received flank fire from high ground German MGs. Decision of this diversion proved to be crucial for entire game.

V.Polish deployment
Of course did not happen.
Polish main strength (and only option, in fact) is to wait for a proper moment. Do not overlook it, or they will be decimated trying to reach their goals.
As for a platoon, they are pretty strong, tankette and ACar can help in attacking uphill, but once two Soviet tanks get up the hill, not much will be achieved.
So wait, but not wait too long.

Round one is coming soon
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uwe eickert
United States
Helena
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Now you are keeping me in suspense!
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Marcin Woźniak
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VI Round 1
Poles waited most of the turn.
Germans right wing with mortars and infantry guns moved towards the closest small hill with light woods. Those units moved along some infantry cover for CAPs.
This group was moving uninterrupted, bleeding with CAPs. Three tubes unloaded on the hill for a cost of action card, in order to blow soviet platoon from top of the other, higher hill overlooking this side of the board. Soviet mortar started pounding german counterpart, but lacking CAP support, to no effect. And IG counterfire blew it up. Most of Soviet resistance was a mere threat. Have they not been there, probably german trucks would have chosen much faster route along the road and would prepare more dangerous position later. Rest of German infantry (3 LMGs and 3 Rifle teams) started fighting their way along the marsh. Soviets did not block their road too heavily, but one lonely maxim shot down overly brave Schutzen crossing some water. Soon it perished, pierced by LMG from short distance.

Then - after road was close to cleared, and most of German CAPs exhausted, German AT platoon came. Two packs on trucks were a potential threat to possible Soviet counterattacks next Round, so first T26 countercharged, to catch them mounted. Impossibly low rolls ended up in scoring a hit against truck, but not AT. Another t26 was luckier, taking one AT and catching some hit from pioneers. Vehicle Destroyed! first of many. After Soviet player spent last, third tank in hopeless charge against infantry and its guns (low luck again), I (Pole, if you remember) decided, that it was now or never.

Probably it was a mistake, that cost me a game. But to my excuse, situation was like this: Soviets and Germans spent most of their caps and all cards, German LMGs were approaching hill on my right flank, and it is not nice attacking those in frontal attack, not mentioning having them fire at your side while you do your best to attack those tough Russkies. If Soviets brought at least one tank on top of my target hill to accompany those mortar, second maxim and AT45 with all that infantry guarding the heavy woods down the slope, I would be far from taking even one of the hills.

So I started rolling high and bringing my HMG. Started shooting against flank of ATgun, and soon crew fell to Polish bullets. In return, Soviet mortar silenced my Browning. my mortar moved and had APs to shoot once against maxim. HIT! That was great news. wave of infantry accompanied by a tankette entered map for CAPs (Poles have five of them) and started cautiously shortening the distance to thirty soviet riflemen hiding in ambush. By the first half of second round Soviets were outmaneuvered and killed or imprisoned, having killed only one Polish squad. Those tankettes and armoured cars are great morale breakers. So how did I lose?

Wait, for the second round is coming soon
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Marcin Woźniak
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VII. Round Two or the Polish Disaster

(it must be added, that Polish old and weak armoured car ended its round straight in the middle of the road along hill that was first target, and Russian infantry held its ground stubbornly in the woods, two units fresh. That made bringing AT towed by truck impractical, as it probably would have been hit. And this AT was only means to stop one or two Soviet AVs. Therefore, I held it out of the map, waiting for infantry to finish its job)

So, all turn started with two t26 continuing their brave but premature charge into the ground held firmly by better half of mountain company and AT platoon. Maybe t34 would have lived longer... They did destroy one LMG and end up burning, thanks to priceless Sturmpionieren (the best infantry unit in this game so far). Remnants of Soviet platoon tried its luck and finally ran away, scattered, hiding for some time behind the hilltop.

Soviet player (Paweł) at this moment muttered something like "All is lost", and decided to start moving his reinforcements against (as he thought) only valid target.

Probably this reserve could have crippled Germans, that already spent their offensive force winning previously described skirmish, but he decided, that Polish occupied hill is much easier target. After all, Poles had only one AT gun out of the map, one weak armoured car and two molotov coktails.

Only Polish strength here was distance - and huge Soviet lossess. By the time reinforcements came, Soviet CAPs were zero. So no group movement, and only one shot per unit probably (we are using Three-minus-middle dice method to establish APs per unit). So first Soviet Acar came in. It rolled high, 10 APs probably, and started charging against Poles. Who shot once (CAPs) and disabled Soviet blue gun. Another car came in. Poles countercharged, and after several brave maneuvers which exhausted Soviet shooting ability, they shoot in SD and destroyed second AC.

That was not enough for the Soviets. They rushed in with all their tanks, and some of them even ended with good position to fire, but all shots missed but one, which did 'general light damage' and only slightly disheartened brave Polish crew.

Needless to say, motorized infantry also rushed in (never gather eight targets on one hex) , only to be shot at by tankette from top of the hill. Two trucks destroyed, one infantry hit, one killed.

TBC

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Michał Ozon
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MarcinW wrote:
I am buying all games where Michael Ozon's team created firefights. And this one was the best of them all!!!


Thanks! modest
 
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Marcin Woźniak
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Final section of this Session Report
... with lonely AT 37 mm gun taking position 5 hexes from small gap between hill slope and forest, right in the middle of the road. APs were just enough to shoot once, at only tank that was visible from this position. and - hit. Vehicle destroyed chit, but this was not he end of Polish miracle.

Because soon later,

VIII Third Round came

It began with Soviets trying to outmaneuver Polish AT with damaged Armoured Car, only to be destroyed by AT Rifle from behind. Single shot from Armoured car in CC, resulted in hit against gunners, who shrugged of the results with auto rally, and were ready for more action.
Polish small gunned car, standing against 5 larger tanks, was a heartbreaking view. Three first shots missed, leaving three tanks spent. Brave armoured scouts charged and destroyed one of those tanks, shred to pieces soon after by direct hit from closest distance by 4th tank. which, in the process, moved within striking distance to AT gun and was hit. 5th tank rolled so low for APs, that it made no sense to get within deadly gunners reach.
While some lethal exchange between Polish and Soviet Mot infantry which was finally silenced by a tankette, which no more had to be used as last mobile reserve for desperate AT CC (with machine gun only) , Germans took their time finishing remnants of Soviet platoon hidden behind hilltop. They also took small hill in the middle of marsh map, preparing to hop and take another hill. Most of their infantry moves were by this time uninterrupted.
Winner was obvious, for Germans started scoring more points than Soviets for VP hills, and Soviets took next to none points for killing Poles, which was their goal.
By this time, Soviets only could have hoped to prevent Poles from taking second (and third) hill from the Germans.

IX. Rounds 4 and 5


To sum up, molotovs and AT gun still precise shots rear protected by AT were enough to finish all but one Soviet tanks. One polish infantry squad running to take second hill was mown by tank's MG from behind. Other squads had to stop under LMG fire, and tankette rolled too low to play any role other then becoming sitting duck for German infantry still spitting with CAPs.

Summary

I loved this game. On the afterthought, I never imagined, that Soviets would throw everythinng against me. They never imagined, that their everything would be so badly screwed by stiff and legendary Polish resistance.
I guess, that since round two, German player would be bored, but he loved watching show we made. And his small diversion through the marsh and skillfull infantry tactics at the endgame phase caused that Poles gathered not three, but only one hill, making final score:
Germans - 29, Soviets 23 points and Poles - third but honourable place

One last afterthought: I got distracted by all those armors, got adrenaline rush when started destroying them with such a small force - and therefore I lost focus on what was important. But probably, if I didn't, I would not take and if took, would not hold the second hill, with tanks shooting from one side and CAP bloathed Germans charging from the other.
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Marcin Woźniak
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And now, to Uwe and Michał: Bardzo Wam dziękuję! Keep up great work!
 
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Marcin Woźniak
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One more afterthought and question
Organizational resources: probably Germans have one or two CAPs too many.

Question (to Michał, mostly)
There are weapon cards placed between unit pictures in descrition of this firefight.
That is why I have to ask: can ANY German unit use a Tellermine? And any Polish unit use Molotov? That would make a difference, if that was limited.
 
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