Mike Fallon
United States
Virginia
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This report is to summarize my experiences playing this game at CONSIM WORLD July 2016. It was a multiplayer effort covering XLVIII Panzer CORPS - game hosted by the game designer and developer. Note - II SS Panzer CORPS was played last year and III Panzer CORPS is planned for next year.

We started with the 4 July scenario to experience the general opening assault. I assumed the role as the Soviet Commander of both the 52nd Guards Rifle Division and 1st Tank Army. We played with optional Command and Control, Logistics and Air Modules. We used from Grognard the full GD, 3 PZ and 11PZ Death Ride games combined. Truly awesome in scope and depth.

To set up, I deployed the 52 GRD in a typical two regiments forward and one regiment back formation in the assigned sector. Army allocated generous support - with an AT Regiment, AD Regiment, ENG Regiment, ATR Regiment and a full Independent Mortar Regiment to stiffen the formation. These assets along with the Independent Tank Regiment already assigned makes the 52 GRD a serious impediment.

Initial deployment offers the 52 GRD excellent terrain and defensive measures (Bunkers, Mines, Wire and Dug In Positions) to enhance deployment. Noted particular attention to avenues of approach, seems with adjacent Divisions, and artillery deployment. Since I expect an immediate and furious assault, placed the regiments in mutually supporting positions backed up by artillery to inflict maximum casualties/ disruption in . I expect the infantry regiments to fight in place as German firepower is intimidating from the combined 11 PZ and 167 INF Divisions. I also know the 52 GRD must withdraw later off the map to the east, so I place some obstacles and units to facilitate delay when the time comes. Important is the attached Engineers will immediately begin constructing a key fall back position in the main channel in the sector while forward elements fight to delay the onslaught.

First Guards Tank Army is a sight to behold. With abundant Army level assets to employ, the key will be not to piece meal this formation. While only the lead CORPS is initially deployed on map, the formation posses a lot of highly mobile assets and arrives quickly. To start, 3rd Guards Mech CORPS is key. Set them up to get them quickly on the road and in position to adsorb the weight of German armored forces. . My plan is to not engage in a wild melee with GD and 3rd PZ Divisions, but to solidify our 2nd Main Line of Resistance (6 Guards Army) and dig in quickly on our left flank. Will use the 6 Guards Tank CORPS to deliver the intended counterattack.

More to come...

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B Schneider
Canada
Stittsville
ON
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As they say, pics or it didnt happen! Sounds like a great time.
 
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Mike Fallon
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Virginia
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This commentary is to provide an operational summary of our game play. This is not a detailed analysis of game rules or nit picks. We had a blend of seasoned and novice players. All enjoyed the experience.

Turn 1 and 2 - Game begins with Germans moving out of assembly areas and into assault positions. Care must be taken... Not much fighting. Maneuver to gain positional advantage. Minimal Soviet adjustment... Digging continues where possible.

The Night Turns - Germans close any gaps and prepare to engage across the whole front. Visibility limited and Germans take full advantage to advance very close to Russian outposts. Looks like they just need daylight to reveal an awesome firepower display. On the Russian right flank. GD Division impresses us as it drives toward the positions. 3 Panzer faces challenges as it slowly crosses a valley and up a steep slope to prepare to engage the Russians. Night provides great cover...

5 July - Day of destiny. Big things affect the start - Weather and the powerful opening Barrage. Rain.... Wow... The rain makes things tough for Germans... especially for 167 and 11 and 3 Panzer. Germans now slogging uphill in the rain into the teeth of Russian defenses... traffic jams and Russian counter artillery barrages disrupt / disorganize many opening plans. Russian also begin to suffer heavy fires and suppressions of key positions. 52 GRD absorbs the onslaught resists at key points along the eastern half of the sector (prepared defenses, weather and terrain) and after makes a few really punishing shots at dense advancing formations. 167th and 11 Panzer blocked temporarily with losses at two main assaults and locations. Supporting German attacks meet only limited local success. Meanwhile GD and 3 Panzer deliver strong blows to 1st line Russian positions along the western ridge. GD employs combined arms formations to engage and suppress key points while engineers work to clear openings in minefields. Some significant success later in the day in opening a corridor through the dug in Russians to the west. In addition... Many Panthers breakdown and go into repair. German air strikes punish resistance points. Intense air battles rage overhead with FW190s inflicting heavy damage.

6 July Germans begin to exploit success developed on 5 July in the West. In the East, 52 GRD still hanging on in good position, but taking casualties from strong German forces. 11 Panzer moves West to join GD to help exploit and surround forward elements of 67 GRD. Russians in West fall back from 1st Line of Defense.

 
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Mike Fallon
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Will gladly add the pics... uploaded into Images section...

Update... Sorry team. Boardgamegeek rejected all my pictures as they had some glare (from overhead lights) and were rotated 90 degrees off (I took it at an angle to get maximum in the pic)

Three new pics added to show how things were on morning of 5 Jul. Look under Images section - labeled 5 Jul... Notice strength of 52 GRD deployment in eastern sector. See the impressive attack positions of GD division in western sector...
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Christopher Fasulo
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Florida
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Mike Fallon
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Play Report Continued... (I tried to post more pictures today)

6 Jul. Headlines... Summary - German Assault Builds Momentum. Russians positions suffer hammer blows while some Russian units conduct withdrawal under pressure.

In the Eastern Sector - 52 GRD Front-line positions finally are overwhelmed towards end of day by 167th INF DIV as 11 Panzer breaks key defense position and exploits to help pocket 2 regiments of 67 GRD. One Russian INF RGT of 52 GRD begins the long movement to east exit points weakening defense at critical moment. Some AT and ART assets redeploy to help cover flanks as 67 GRD suffers under the onslaught. Attached Army level engineer assets continue move back and build dug-in positions and laying mines for secondary defensive positions.

In Western Sector - GD Division (with strong close air support) obliterates two Russian INF BNs, then exploit the opening and overrun some support assets as they scramble to exit a developing trap. Note: The combination of Panther firepower, mobility and well placed Artillery (CORPS and DIV) inflicts serious disruption to Russian defenders. After a long march... 3 PZ DIV brilliantly swings into action on the left as it turns the flank and overruns one INF RGT from 71st GRD. This happens as the Russian units try to extricate itself from their exposed front-line positions... At the same time - an arriving bounding Regimental Kampfgruppe of 3 PZ DIV pushes forward to engage and keep off balance another Russian INF RGT thrown into action from 71 GRD. Russians fight hard to delay the advance with what is at hand. Meanwhile GD quickly exploits and surrounds main elements of 67 GRD still in forward positions. These Russian positions are now in a pocket formed as lead armored elements of 11 PZ DIV link up with GD forces. Russian motorized elements (some AT, ART and Tank) of 67 GRD evacuate from the pocket while they can. These Russian mobile elements also try and screen GD as it turns to assault and crush remaining individual defensive positions in the pocket... Russian also conduct limited armored counterattack to exposed units of GD spearhead. (Russians suffer bloody losses, but continue to inflict casualties on the Germans along the Front)

Meanwhile 1st Tank Army continues to stream forward to prepare to absorb the coming German attack somewhere along the Pena River. Germans launch successive airstrikes to interdict this movement with limited success. 3 MECH CORPS arrives and begins to dig in and fortify the Eastern part of 2nd Main Line of Resistance (with two 6 Guards Army Divisions already deployed in western part of river line). 6 Guard Tank Corps arrives on map edge and marches forward... Two main artillery groups formed to support the Pena River Line Defense...

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Mike Fallon
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More pic posted...

7 JUL... 67 GRD suffers heavily in the pocket under deliberate assault. Germans continue to exploit tremendous success obtained the day before. GD uses firepower to suppress then clear out many Russian dug-in positions in the pocket. 3rd Panzer directly applies pressure and makes limited gains vs 71 GRD in the western sector south of Pena river. 52 GRD lines begin to crumble as 11 Panzer and 167 INF DIV apply more pressure. Meanwhile, elements of 52 GRD fall back and exit map as required. Defense now stretched beyond critical point. 52 GRD begins systematic withdrawal to fall back positions in any available cover. Gaps appear... Engineers busy on both sides. Russian units displace to hasty positions...

1GTA ... 3 MECH CORPS completes 2nd Main Line with help from attached Army Engineers along the Pena River just in time. Substantial AA and ART positions employed to cover this new part forming line. 1 Guards Tank Brigade and 49 Tank Brigade withdraws off map as required (ouch... all those lovely T34's). 1 GTA attaches two AT Regiments to fill in for the departing armored brigades... plus... a MRL brigade and mortar regiment newly attached to 3rd Mech Corps to increase killing power. 6 Guard Tank CORPS arrives along the Pena river to form main counterattack force and is marshaled into an assembly areas near the center of the 2nd main line of resistance. 6 Guard Army infantry divisions with attached engineers and AT units complete more dug-in positions along Pena river.

At this point we ran out of time. We had played for 6 and 1/2 days at CONSIM World. Our turns covered 4, 5, 6 July with a couple of turns on 7th. Many visitors observed and a few people joined in. A lot of fun...

Lesson's learned - some things stick in your mind... 5 JUL assault was really insightful and challenging. Weather had huge impact. Russians must be deliberate and careful... with their limited mobility and when caught in the open vs any German Panzer Division is certainly no fun. Germans must force the Russians to react. The Panzers move fast and hit hard. Terrain is tough on both sides. Rivers, streams, gully, woods and towns... impact the battle. Russian AT and ARTY assets are key to suppressing some of the assaulting forces. At the end of elapsed time we played... the Germans were beginning and making mincemeat of the 1st defensive echelon. However, we Russians had really strengthened our 2nd echelon defensive line as a deliberate trade off. No 1 GTA assets were deployed across the Pena River - as was our plan.
 
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