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Introduction
Honest to God, earlier this week, the missus had a hankering for Stalingrad. Apparently she had dream about shooting things up in an urban setting and, not wanting to let this chance slip, quickly set-up Scenario 43 - Lyudnikov's Island.

The scenario takes place in Stalingrad in a small isolated corner dubbed "Lyudnikov's Island". The area, as was typical of Russian redoubts in the city, was an industrialized sector, in this case full of empty fuel tanks meant to feed the tanks coming off the assembly line in the bordering Barrikady Tractor Factory. (As an aside, history buffs should check out Antony Beevor's Stalingrad for details on this firefight).

The fun circumstance for this scenario is that both players are in "Defensive" posture and thus have full access to all the "Hidden" actions on their cards. Additional special rules like "Hand to Hand Combat" and the entrance of reinforcements really set the tone of intense street-fighting.


Set-Up

The Russian Set-Up

I took the Russians by coin-flip and set-up in the above fashion. (A) was my main force that was going to plod its way down the right flank, taking Objective 5 and hopefully roll around towards the centre. The open objective in this scenario is Sudden Death Victory with control of all five objectives. Force (B) was specially placed so the Ampoulomet was in range of Objectives 5 and the centre German squads. They would pin the Germans down. Militia squads in the gully (C) were to sit and wait for anyone trying to encroach on the rear Objective. I had no real hope of them doing anything special.

The Russian right flank in detail. Note the Ampulomet in range of the objective.

Now, here's the one problem we had with the map -- LOS to and from the gullies on the righthand approach... The surrounding hexes are all on the next elevation. We decided in the end that the gullies where not visible to anyone unless they were adjacent (as per the rule) and the Germans in the Objective 5 hex could not see either, unless adjacent. (In the end it didn't matter, a combination of Russian Advance orders and atrocious Fire-free German hands combined to get the right side Russians to within spitting distance and even Melee).


Germans Set-Up

What my wife hoped to do was pin my forces with her centre, advanced elements and hose down with lead, anyone who approached her left. We'd learned in previous Stalingrad scenarios that it was very difficult to kill anyone in building but for some reason she set-up two leaders and attached squads in the open... Would that be her undoing?


German Centre Elements. Note Cpl. Rettenhaus is not in the haus at all...

German Left Centre Elements. Again, Lt. Lauerbach has chosen to stack with the HMG outside a building to achieve a nasty line of fire albeit in an exposed position.


The Battle!

Objective 5 surrounded!

The early game consisted of a series of Move and Advance orders to Lt. Khulovsky's attached squads. They took no fire except from snipers and were able to eventually totally surround the Volksgrenadiers in the lone building.

The Volk cry for Momma!

Above is a shot of the very very dire situation for the Wehrmacht. Jammed triggers, snipers and even minefields notwithstanding, they were about to get it...

The first Melee.

The situation played out slowly until Khulovsky's troop Advanced into Melee. The results were predictable. Harsh hand-to-hand combat resolved at the start of the Axis turn equalled a lot of dead Volk.


The right flank situation report.

With the falling of Objective 5 the Russians started to turn the flank. All that stood in their way was Lt. Lauerbach's foolish band. Note in the above pic: an SMG reinforcement has turn the objective past the next gully and would do an end-run through the backfield to surround the Germans in the centre later.

The second Melee.

There were a LOT of discard turns in this game. My wife, on at least one occasion, had to discard three turns in a row and I was no stranger to dumping cards. Stalingrad is a different beast than Pacific -- the tension and nail-biting that goes with doing nothing in a turn is terrific.

Above, the situation on the right eventually resolved itself into a series of gruesome Melees. Alas, the Wehrmacht were butchered to a man, in and out of the buildings.

The third Melee.


The mid-game overview. Not looking good for Germany.

The middle of the game saw the board basically clear for a final push on the Germans in the centre. Rettenhaus' boys were about to take a wicked crossfire. Note: see the tiny blaze started via random Event in the last row? Evidently this part of Stalingrad was made of kindling...


The fourth melee sparks a fire amongst the "empty" fuel tanks...

The situation in the rear was a bit strange. The Germans had run the reinforcements in from the extreme Russian left and was engaged with the Ampuloment squad. This resulted in yet another Melee and more German corpses. There seems to be a hole in the German training regarding close quarters combat!


Angry bear alert!!!

During the advance towards the final German squads, Gretchko showed up. (This now makes it pretty well five or six games in a row that I've had my Hero show up.) He was angry because every single Revive command from the Soviet side resulted in suppressed squads getting resuppressed with rolls equal to their morale. This happened on two consecutive Revive commands. Stupid peasants!

The beginning of the end...

The Russian advance was not slowed. The first victim was the Conscript squad in the middle Objective building. The firegroups led by Khulovsky poured ridiculous amounts of fire into the Germans. Because the Germans were just one squad away from Surrender I laid back and took my time. I ignored the walking wounded Lauerbach who took back two objectives in the rear and headed for a third. And I also forgot how hard it is to kill a competent squad in a building. The Weapons crew in the final building would break a couple times, if that, and always revive. I never did get my Surrender victory...

Things get a bit hot...

Here's a nice pic of the "empty" fuel tanks starting to burn. Notice the rear milita squads (now with a Leader from support table) wondering where to go in this conflagration...



The End

Now we're VETERANS! Your pop-guns do nothing to us!

In the end, Rettenhaus, in the lee of the building in Objective 2 never did get into any trouble. His heroic Weapon squad who turned Vet and were subsequently winners of the Knights Crosses with Oak Leaves held off Khulovsky's assault and made Gretchko hide in the house next door, crying like a baby. There would be no Surrender today -- just like history.

Time's Up!

As the final time trigger went and the sudden Death roll made, the tally of VP gave the Russians the win but it was hardly the beating that the game seemed to imply.



Thoughts and Reflections

1. As always, a fun game in Combat Commander. Something always happens to make re-telling the firefight an interesting one: fires, Gretchko doing squat, Lauerbach feigning death and running around, the Weapon squad that would-not-die...

2. The double Defense posture scenario is a neat idea. There is always something you can do with the cards in your hand.

3. It's funny that the game ended up the way it did. From my knowledge of the actual battles around this area of Stalingrad, I believe something very similar happened. The fighting was close, melees were pretty commonplace, and the Russians, who had set-up one of their command posts under a large fuel tank had assumed like everyone else, that it was empty. During a German advance they found out they were wrong and had to hurriedly relocate or burn to death.

Hope you enjoyed yet another spin through Stalingrad. Thanks for reading!



Links:
Stalingrad by Antony Beevor

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Drake Coker
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Great report Scrub!

You need to rent Mrs. Scrub out to the less fortunate. Wait, that didn't come out right...
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Richard Pardoe
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scrub wrote:
The Russian right flank in detail. Note the Ampulomet in range of the objective.

Now, here's the one problem we had with the map -- LOS to and from the gullies on the righthand approach... The surrounding hexes are all on the next elevation. We decided in the end that the gullies where not visible to anyone unless they were adjacent (as per the rule) and the Germans in the Objective 5 hex could not see either, unless adjacent.


Yep, so anyone sneaking through the gully will be subjected to fire from Obj. 5. And I just want to mention that normal elevation LOS rules still apply.

So the Germans in Objective 5 in the photo above can see into all the gully hexes (and of course, with LOS always being reciprocal, any Russians in the gully hexes can see the Germans). But the SMG squad (w/ the Ampulomet) can't see any into any of the gullies as the LOS crosses a crest line of equal elevation in an intervening hex (eg E8).

It sounds like the Germans didn't fire on the approaching Russians until they were adjacent. I suspect it makes a bit of a difference if attacking forces are under fire in all the gully hexes.
 
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Olvenskol wrote:
Great report Scrub!

You need to rent Mrs. Scrub out to the less fortunate. Wait, that didn't come out right...


This has been considered.
 
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the scrub
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RPardoe wrote:

Yep, so anyone sneaking through the gully will be subjected to fire from Obj. 5. And I just want to mention that normal elevation LOS rules still apply.

So the Germans in Objective 5 in the photo above can see into all the gully hexes (and of course, with LOS always being reciprocal, any Russians in the gully hexes can see the Germans). But the SMG squad (w/ the Ampulomet) can't see any into any of the gullies as the LOS crosses a crest line of equal elevation in an intervening hex (eg E8).

It sounds like the Germans didn't fire on the approaching Russians until they were adjacent. I suspect it makes a bit of a difference if attacking forces are under fire in all the gully hexes.


Thanks Richard, we sort of assumed that was the other possibility but in the end she didn't have the orders in hand to stop me anyways. It's a bit of a culture shock at times to return to CC:Europe from Pacific -- a lot more chucking of cards.

 
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the scrub
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scrub wrote:
Olvenskol wrote:
Great report Scrub!

You need to rent Mrs. Scrub out to the less fortunate. Wait, that didn't come out right...


This has been considered.


Mrs. scrub says we're funny guys. I go now.
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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mmmmmmm...........
but the rule on LOS and Hill, tell that the los in gully it is possible by adiacent hex or by more hig elevation.
Or not?
I think that the los is clear by every hexes adiacent to clear hexes (D8 and D10) and by hex E7, for example.


It is ok?
 
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Richard Pardoe
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GC58 wrote:
I think that the los is clear by every hexes adiacent.... and by hex E7, for example.


LOS into the gully is blocked from hex E7 because the LOS crosses a crest line of equal elevation in an intervening hex (eg E8).

You are correct that being at higher elevation allows one to potentially see into the gully. But the other rules of LOS and elevation (crest lines) must be applied.


 
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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I think that it is not clear.
You look my question : http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/375482

In this case we are in Pacific, but I think that is same.

Mhà..........
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Where is it not clear? I am trying to understand what part of the rules you think are vague.

I read the rules

T88.3.2 Vertical LOS....a unit on a Hill may trace a LOS to
a hex at a lower elevation only if that LOS never passes through a Crest Line of equal or greater height in an intervening hex.


and look at the potential LOS from E7-E8-E9.

There is a Crest Line in E8 that is at the same elevation as E7. Therefore, the LOS is blocked to E9. Can I ask why you think it might be unclear or different?

 
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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RPardoe wrote:
[q="scrub"]
The Russian right flank in detail. Note the Ampulomet in range of the objective.

Now, here's the one problem we had with the map -- LOS to and from the gullies on the righthand approach... The surrounding hexes are all on the next elevation. We decided in the end that the gullies where not visible to anyone unless they were adjacent (as per the rule) and the Germans in the Objective 5 hex could not see either, unless adjacent.


OK; you are right. At this point, the LOS can be:
E8> E9, E10;
D8> E9, F9, G10;
G8> G9, G10.
It is ok?
And also in gully..........


GC
 
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Richard Pardoe
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GC58 wrote:
OK; you are right. At this point, the LOS can be:
E8> E9, E10;
D8> E9, F9, G10;
G8> G9, G10.
It is ok?
And also in gully..........


Yes, those are all correct and include seeing units in the gully also. So more importantly (for this scenario), the German squad and LMG can see and fire on the approaching units in the gully.
 
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