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To Embark Upon This Great Crusade-Part 17

Mark Buetow
United States
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Combat Commander Archivist
Move! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
Axis Juggernaut Stopped 'Round the World

All over the globe, the Axis powers have been halted in their relentless advance for land and power. Our Soviet allies have held fast, finally denying Hitler's Army their coveted prize of the city of Stalingrad. On the sweltering island of New Guinea, Australian forces have harassed and broken the Japanese waves of attacks.

The Soviets Push Back Through the Rubble of the City of Stalingrad, October 30, 1942

There is little left recognizable in one of the Soviet Union's greatest cities. Yet it has been a prize of pride for the Fuhrer to have it. Yet the Russians have been tenacious in their defense, pouring everything they have into its defense. Here, arrayed across a "no man's land" of rubble and debris, the Soviets and Germans go head to head.

The fight begins on the Soviet left but the real story is in the middle of the neighborhood where withering fire from the Soviet units in the large building shredded the Germans in their bunkers. Units were moving through the battlefield but the Soviets were grabbing key buildings, or what was left of them. The Nazis are hit hard and can't get their troops motivated or back in action. The Soviets, seeing that victory is nearly theirs, are rallied by their efforts and the Germans are repulsed.

There is little left of the German forces at the end.

A Japanese Pocket Sewn Up, November 11, 1942

As cold descends upon the steppes of Russia, the sweltering island of New Guinea is the location of a decisive Australian maneuver against the Emperor's troops. Here, a smaller unit of ANZAC forces must withstand a devastating tide of Japanese soldiers crashing upon them in a series of Banzai charges!

The hapless Australians were frustrated when their heavy machine gun jammed and broke. Then they heard the harsh cries of the charging enemy, the grass rippling as the waves of men rushed forward. It was a slaughter. The Australians fired with their rifles, concerned that their ammo would run out but they continued to hit the enemy as they came on. Over and over, without ceasing, the Japanese rushed forward. The roar of a plane overhead and the grass was lit up with a shower of Allied lead, tearing into the Japanese line. Some of the enemy were able to break the ANZAC right and leave the battlefield.

At last, it was over. The Australians had held their ground agains the onslaught. That particular pocket was secured.

End of the carnage:

Between a Rock Commissar and a German Hard Place, November 13, 1942.

After months of bitter fighting, a bitter cold descends upon the city of Stalingrad. Here is a matter of pride for the German army, to take the large building called the Commissar House. The Soviets, however, have fortified the building and are not coming out alive!

Initial fighting as the Germans moved forward was light, the Russian delaying units slowly falling back. The Germans eventually came along the Soviet right, taking out the minor resistance they were facing. They moved toward the house but were harassed by fire from the House, and wire and mines that they encountered.

German fire support eventually came on line and Lt. Bunte and later Dietel tried calling in artillery to smash a way into the House. Time was running out for the Germans when Sgt. Biermann finally managed a daring dash which got him into the building. The Soviets held fast even after a final barrage of shattering artillery fire. The Germans could not do it. Stalingrad has been saved!

Here is the end:

Game Notes

Scenario 101 was one of the bonus scenarios that was included with the preorders of the original printing of Combat Commander: Europe. It the special scenario rules remove the roads as the Stalingrad Special rules do but we didn't add any others, playing the scenario as it was written and playtested. (But it might be fun to play with the full Stalingrad rules.)

It was the withering kill stack in Objective 5 that slowly wore down the central German bunkers and trenches. I was getting Fire Attacks in the high 20s, something rarely seen in CC:Europe. We both managed to exit some units but I was able to grab all of the objectives and a late game Battlefiedl Integrity event just pushed my VPs that much farther. My Soviets won at Sudden Death with 29 VPs. This scenario is a real mess with units engaging right off but with strong defensive positions that need to be cracked.

Scenario M6 is one of the Combat Commander: Battle Pack #4 – New Guinea scenarios for Combat Commander: Pacific. This is a pretty classic Banzai setup. The Japanese rush and the ANZACs have to hold out. In these situations, it is typical for the Allies to amass a lot of VPs. THe Japanese need to close quickly and take out their enemy in melee where they perform best. In this situation, it was a close run thing.

One dangerous moment was when I played and Asset Request to try for a radio, completely forgetting my HMG was broken. I could have fixed it but forgot and instead Marc played an Asset Denied. Without the HMG, I had nothing but my rifles (my LMGs having been taking out in hand-to-hand fighting). That really made me nervous and I needed that clock to move fast! It finally hit Sudden Death after I passed the Initiative Card to hopefully get the roll and it came back. Allies win with 15 VPs.

Scenario 41 is the Commisar House from Combat Commander: Battle Pack #2 – Stalingrad. There is a special rule which says the Germans cannot enter the big House except through the front door or unless they can get in through making one of the hexes a rubble hex and going in that way.

The Germans couldn't do it in time. They finally made it into the building but too late. Dietel called in a risky strike right in the front courtyard of the building. The Soviets entrenched inside were safe but Marc pulled an 11 on his own troops! He couldn't get Sudden Death at 7 but I only had one card left when I had to draw and it ended on Turn 8. Soviets win wtih 19 VP.

It was a good day for the Allies. Three fierce and, as always, close battles. The Combat Commander Series Chronological Playthrough now stands Allies-Axis at 16-22. On the way to a comeback!
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