Relentlessly, the Russians drive through the city - block after block of buildings are wrestled from the Germans, albeit at very high costs…
Along the Friedrichstrasse, a lovely shopping street with vibrant bars and cafes and a big theatre nowadays, the Russians have created a bulge in the German line. Short of troops, the Germans are ordered to clear up this bulge, and take back enough ground to straighten out the defensive lines…
In scenario terms, the Germans need to take back a good number more of building locations than they lose. At their disposal is a small number of SS squads, and an equal number of high moral, but low fighting value security forces in the north.
Scenario:#15 Counterattack on Friedrichstrasse
The Russians are now on the defense with a good number of forces, though they do only have small number of leaders. They get reinforced by super-heavy IS-2M tank in turn 3. Looking at the high number of MGs at the German disposal, but the smaller number of actual troops, the Russians decide to defends largely on the inside of buildings to force the Germans to come close (i.e. avoid those kill stacks!).
A smaller active group in the south is positioned to threaten the German flank, and force them so guard that area, squads that are now not available anymore for the main attack.
The attack opens with heavy German MG fire to soften up those defenders that stuck their nose out to contest the streets. Losses straight away are heavy, and the first Russians break (this is important as in ATS broken units in the turn they break are not allowed to move!). Two German assault parties cross the Friedrichstrasse, and infiltrate into the big department store they aim to take back.
In the south, the Russians get frisky, and try a spoiling local counterattack with some success.
It is Germans though that hold the initiative. Led by capable officers, they quickly overcome the main defense groups in the target building, and are pushing back the defenders (or are killing them outright). This in turn forces the Russians to shuffle further defenders into the building to deal with this main threat, although this severely weakens their own southerly attack.
The midgame, both sides play cat and mouse with each other… In the south with both parties being now of equal strength none dare to close in as they would be forced to endure heavy fire, so the dancing around each other’s positions goes on.
The main centre, the Russian heavy tank, almost invulnerable against all but the most concentrated and lucky Panzerfaust fire, makes building locations in his fire dangerous ground for the Germans to be in. The Germans are content with their superior numbers to slowly push the Russians southward, or force them to take withering fire on the chin. The German officer leading the assault takes it upon himself to take a swing at the dominating tank, but his panzerfaust shot misses narrowly. Return fire costs several of his men their lives…
But over time, the Russian get squeezed in the final corner of the main building with nowhere left to go. Those who don’t fall raise their hands, and the fighting on this flank comes to an end. With nothing to loose, the Russians in the south take more risks, and advance up north. Losses are inflicted on both sides, but not decisive ones. Without infantry support, the tank alone cannot turn the tides, and the scenario comes to an end with a German victory.
Unsurprisingly with most combat being fought either in hand to hand combat, or at ranges of 1-2 hexes at most, losses on both sides very high!
Great stuff – really enjoyed the game! The attritional losses that characterize ATS (as opposed to ALS) really shine in this kind of setting where even without ever breaking, an entire force just melts away over time…
(pics again taken with a mobile, so not the greatest quality - sorry)