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Subject: Scenario 40 - Sneak Attack rss

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Tom H
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Basil Hilder KIA Lone Pine, Gallipoli
Panzer Grenadier – Scenario 40 - Sneak Attack

Army Group North – 22 June 1941 0500 hours near Vindava, USSR.

505th Infantry Regiment (291st Infantry Division) began the unprovoked invasion of the Soviet Union early in the morning of the 22/6/41. The Germans struck the thin soviet border defenses in force with orders to break through quickly and attack the naval base at Liepaja.

SETUP - The Germans set-up their 105mm artillery in a fire group in a nearby town. The infantry , HMGs and armoured car (Sdkfz 222) were on the edge of Map 2 ready to push forward onto Map 8 and off the northern edge of the board to gain VP.

The Soviets set up in depth, with units scattered across board 8. Major units and officers were placed along the road to try and help the units pull together in defense. Russian deployment forced all units to be separated by at least 2 hexes. The Russians aren't too strong but are dug in.

VICTORY – The Germans need to exit 8 units (Rifle squads, HMGs, SdKfz 222) off the northern edge of Map 8. They must not lose more than 2 steps in completing this mission or they lose. The game is for 6 turns.

TURN 1 - 0500

Initiative – Germans roll 2 + 5 = 7
Russians roll 2 + 1 = 3
Difference is 4, divided by 2 means that the Germans may perform 2 actions before the Russian start.

The Germans move up to the Russian positions and onto board 8. All opportunity fore has no effect on the advancing Germans. The German artillery has been formed up into a fire group of 70+ fire factors (2 x 105mm howitzers + 81mm mortar + offboard artillery = huge bombardment). This disrupts the Russian fire position in hex 0711 which has been dug in.

The Russians move troops up and consolidate their defense, ready to push off the Germans.

TURN 2 - 0515

Initiative rolls - Germans roll 3+5 = 8, Russians roll 2+1=3, 5 difference, ie 3 German activations before the Russians can react.

The Germans advance into assault along the road with dug in Soviet troops. They have 2 rifle platoons and a SdKfz 222 armoured car, as well as a good captain (+1/+1 leader). This destroys the Russian unit (2 steps) and causes the officer present to fail his morale check (M2 test). He flees the melee to the safety of the next bunker along the road.

The massive German bombardment lands on the machine gun hard point on the road at hex 0711 and destroys a Russian step (unit), causing another M2 morale check which wipes out the demoralised lieutenant who had fled the hand to hand combat further up the road. You can't run away from your own death. Soviet morale is now in the doll-drums with 3 steps lost and a leader (ie -2 morale = 4/3)

More hand to hand combat follows with another 2 German platoons concentrating on a weakened Soviet platoon (reduce strength). Another Soviet step loss. The Russian was lucky and caused a German morale check which came to nothing.

A German 20mm AA gun which was pulled up to the front started firing at the Russian machine gun hardpoint on the road (hex 0711) and rolling a 12 managed to get another step loss and a M2 morale check. The Russians had now lost 5 steps and a leader. All other firing had little effect although the Soviet morale was sinking slowly as each time they were forced to check morale, they inevitably failed and became disrupted due to their low morale (4/3).

TURN 3 - 0530

Initiative - Germans roll 1+5 = 6, Russians roll 1+1=2 , difference = 4, ie 2 activations to the Germans before the Russians can react.

The Germans continue to move north in order to satisfy their victory conditions. They come under opportunity fire from Soviet troops as they move. Due to the higher German morale this has little effect.

The Soviet machine gun hardpoint on the road (hex 0711) opens up on the German armoured car and the 2 rifle platoons with it. This manages to demoralise the captain and disrupt the SdKfz 222.

The Russian 81m mortar again targets the three unit stack of the armoured car and the 2 rifle platoons which was already under fire. A lucky roll and the officer is killed and the SdKfz 222 crew demoralised. Dangerously close to running!

The German 105mm artillery again thunders down. This time another rifle squad is pounded and loses another step. Now 6 Russian steps are gone and a leader – morale continues to plummet (3/2 – morale checks are virtually hopeless now for the Reds).

TURN 4 – 0545

Initiative - Germans roll 3+5 = 8, Russians roll 4+1 = 5, ie 3 difference. 2 activations before the Russians can react.

The Germans move 2 unit off the northern edge of Map 8. Only 6 more to go.

The German batteries reload and commence their bombardment again. The unlucky target is a reduce strength Soviet rifle platoon on the northern edge of the board. This was disrupted and prevented from interfering with German units trying to cross the board.

The Russians react, with their 81mm mortar again lobbing shells onto the vulnerable German armoured car and accompanying troops. This has little effect with the Germans making their morale rolls.

The Germans try and recover their struggling units. The SdKfz 222 is still shell shocked though and fails to rally. An infantry platoon successfully recovers. The Germans continue to move north trying to get units over the line. Another 3 units join the first group off the board, taking the total to 5 German units exiting off the northern edge.

The Russians try and recover the disrupted HMG platoon on the road, but poor morale prevents this recovering. In it's current position it is becoming irrelevant and it needs to move to target German units.

TURN 5 – 0600

Initiative – Germans roll 5+5 = 10, Russians roll 2+1 = 3, difference = 7, ie the Germans have 4 activations before the Russians can react.

The Germans continue their moves to the northern edge of the board – another 2 units exit (now 7 units off – only 1 more unit to go!).

The Russian 81mm mortar continues it's vendetta against the armoured car troop. It manages to demoralise the armoured car and a rifle platoon.

The Germans who has been getting a pasteing with the three units in the one hex moved the good order rifle platoon out of the hex. The Soviets took the chance for some opportunity fire, but failed to do anything. The only way the German armoured car and rifle platoons had been surviving was because of their very good captain (+1/+1 leader). The German 105mm artillery begin pounding the Soviet positions again targeting a dug in rifle platoon. M1 result leading to a disrupted unit.

The Russian machine gun platoon attempts to move north to pressure the German teams but walks into some opportunity fire by the German 20mm AA. The hit results in the HMG being demoralised.


Initiative – Germans roll 5+3=8, Russians roll 2+1=3, 5 difference which means 3 phases to the Germans.

2 more German units move north but fail to get off the board. They walk into Russian opportunity fire but are unharmed. The stack at hex 0208 (armoured car, etc) successfully recovers the infantry platoon, but the SdKfz 222 fails. The German artillery commences firing again and targets the dug in Russian 81mm mortar – demoralising it.

The Germans continue to move north with some ineffectual Russian fire as the game draws to an end.

THE END – The Russians win as the Germans were unable to exit 8 units off the map. Seven doesn't quite get there!! The Russians were also unlucky in that they had 1 German step and the armoured car had clung on for 3 turns, mainly due to a good officer with the squad.

There wasn't much left of the Russians as their morale was now 3 for full strength units and 2 for half strength. Any morale checks or recovers were doomed to failure.

A very tight game with the Germans very close to winning but the Russians holding on grimly in their dug in positions and managing to slow the Germans just enough.

It was interesting to see the role of the Russian 81mm mortar and the German 105mm howitzers in the game.
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nick P
United Kingdom
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I have played the later version of this scenario included in the Deluxe set. I found it really good and shows one way in which game balance is countered by victory conditions. The Germans are 99% certain to break through - they are just going to 'win' the battle in that sense, but if they take more losses than the VCs allow (I think it is 2 or 3 steps) they lose. Interesting from a psychological/historic viewpoint: the assumed 'push-over' turns out to cost half a company and this on the first morning of the war! 'Maybe this invasion isn't going to be as easy as we'd assumed...'
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