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Scenario #1: Russian private exclaims "What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?"

Introduction

Elements of the German 1st Panzer Division are racing to the town of Taurage. In their path are the sleeping elements of the Russian 657th Rifle Brigade…

The time is 5:00am. The morning sun has not yet risen. The German forces must cross the river to the east, capture the small town east of the bridge and also push NE to Taurage. One bridge, two towns, and 5 hours to complete the mission before 11:00am. The Germans also must maintain their integrity and suffer less than 10 step losses (armour counts double).

5:00am

The German armour leads the blitz and the tanks find the one bridge heavily defended by Russian infantry dug-in and half asleep. There are 4 platoons before the bridge, 2 at the bridge and another 4 on the far side.

The German panzers flank the defenders and the first truck loaded with infantry was destroyed approaching the Russians. (2 step losses!)

More infantry advances through the dark and unloads at close range. They begin to call in some major artillery strikes against the dug-in Russians.

Meanwhile, 2 platoons of engineers and 6 platoons of infantry head south of the bridge to make their own river crossing.

5:15am

Artillery and Tank fire disrupts, demoralizes and eliminates some of the Russian defenders. 1 platoon flees into the night.

Russian artillery begins to reply.

5:30am

Tank fire rips into the Russians at and before the bridge. Russian platoons can do little but keep their heads low and pray.

In the south, the engineers begin assisting the infantry across the river.

5:45am

The third Russian platoon is eliminated. Their small arm fire has no effect against the armoured tanks. Three platoons are still making their stand at the bridge with the four platoons behind it, awake but unmoving in their sandbags.

The first two German squads make it across the river in the far south. The begin to regroup south of some woods (south of the town, SE of the bridge).

6:00am

Serious shelling at the bridge from artillery and the tanks eliminates one platoon another flees in panic. Only half a platoon remains, held in place by a brave, but stupid, Lieutenant.

6:15am

Tank fire captures the bridge and some armour advances to face the 4 dug-in platoons on the far side.

In the south, the six infantry platoons have completed their crossing and begin to move, on foot, along the south side of the woods.

Dawn is coming…

6:30am

An AT gun (facing the bridge) and infantry platoon are spotted in the woods by the German infantry and they begin to exchange fire.

6:45am

The German armour, unable to rout the dug-in Russian defenders (without artillery support) line up along the west bank of the river and get ready for sunrise.

Death toll before Dawn:
Russian – 5 platoons, one officer (Lt)
German – 1 platoon, 1 truck

7:00am

The rooster crows as the morning sunrise shines light across the plains. The Russian defenders have a quick cuppa and spot about 20 armored platoons lined up along the river’s bank.

“Now I'm afraid that there's going to have to be a certain amount of violence. But at least we know it's all in a good cause, don't we?”

As the German tanks begin to open fire against the Russian infantry the AT gun (not yet engaged by the German infantry) fires against a PzIIIG platoon and takes out half the tanks! (Counts as 2 more steps!)

The Germans call in their artillery against the AT Gun which is demoralized.

7:15am

It doesn’t take long and soon the bridge is all but cleared. One lonely Russian platoon is unable to stop the German armor from pouring across the bridge.

German infantry assaults the AT Gun in the woods. Happy to simply “tie them up” they exchange small fire for the next hour while the battle rages around them.

7:30am

The German panzers head to the north of the small town and race due east towards Taurage.

German artillery begins shelling the unfortunate 657th Rifle Brigade in the small town as the German infantry moves in to assault. The artillery eliminates a second AT gun placement within the town.

7:45am

German panzers spot the Russian 76.2mm artillery in Taurage and begin drawing fire.

In small town, the assaults begin in earnest. 40% of the town is engaged in close assault. One German infantry and truck are eliminated approaching the town! (Germans have now lost the equivalent of 7 steps).

8:00am

German artillery is now focused on Taurage to knock out the Russian guns. Unfortunately, only half of them are silenced and the 76.2mm artillery targets and destroys a platoon of weakly armored PzIIs!

This counts as 4 steps, and the Russians have succeeded in their victory conditions! What were those lousy PzIIs doing up there!

In small town, Russian infantry begins to rout and head for the woods.

8:15am

Russian 76.2mm pick off half the remaining PzIIs (13 steps lost now) but are quickly demoralized by combined artillery and tank fire.

40% of small town is captured and the remainder of it is being assaulted by German HMG and Infantry.

8:30am

German artillery eliminates half the Russian 76.2mm artillery and force the other crews to flee. The Russian artillery is no more.

The Russians begin to rally in the woods, protected by some T-37s. Half the T-37s are turned to scrap by the superior PzIIIG.

8:45am

Small town is completely taken by German troops as German armour and Artillery continue to clean up Taurage.

As the battle winds down, the Russians flee for the hills.

Aftermath

Command is displeased with the 1st Pz division believing that, although acquiring their objectives, they should not have taken as many losses as they did.

Victory to the Russian Commander!

This was a very fun scenario and not at all bloodless like my previous forays into Panzer Grenadier: Airborne (Introductory Edition). The mass of armour was impossible to stop, but the Russian victory condition of inflicting #X step losses (armour counting double) makes for a great match-up despite being greatly outgunned. These alternative victory conditions allow for some “historical” play in unbalanced battles and are greatly appreciated.

I’m looking forward to playing the other 111 scenarios in this game!
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Xander Fulton
United States
Astoria
Oregon
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As you noticed, trick with this one is to not rush the armor up QUITE so rapidly. It's vulnerable to AT guns, and a full counter gives the enemy 4 'step loss' values. Also, consider you played through it in 15 turns - IIRC., this scenario allows for 20, so a few more turns spent softening the AT guns up with artillery would not be misspent.
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Ryan Hanson
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Washington
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Great narrative! Very readable format. Thanks a lot for the session report!
 
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