Mark Buetow
United States
McHenry
Illinois
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Move! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
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Introduction

I mentioned in another Session Report that Marcuswoot and I had finished our march through the CCacific Scenarios. Yesterday we turned out attention to CC:Europe Battle Pack #2, Stalingrad. We were glad to have a full day free for gaming and away we went, blasting away through the first six scenarios. Here is the first report as the Battle for Stalingrad commences! (I finally decided to write these separately for the shameless purpose of maximizing my Geek Gold) I took the Russians. Marcuswoot is the Germans.

In a bid to better Napoleon, Hitler has awoken the Great Bear. Soviet Russia. The Motherland. Now it is Fall of 1942. The Wehrmach approaches the city of Stalingrad. It will be a victory and triumph worthy of the Third Reich. If they can overcome the swarm of patriot (read "get shot if you DON'T fight") soldiers who will stand to defend Stalingrad from the Fascist Horde. Thus begins the Battle for Stalingrad.

The Battle

Here they come. The other side of the forest. The Germans have arrived. They're on the outskirts of the city of Stalingrad. A resilient force of Russians is the only thing standing between Hitler and Mother Russia (at least at this 15x10 hex strip of ground called "Map 1.")

First mistake for the Russians: I threw my forces down, confident in my strategy. Leader and squad with MMG were in the middle building, covering the path out of the woods and the road. I put two squads next to the exit to the path and an LMG crew in objective three, at the edge of the woods to my right. The key to this action for the Russians is simple: hang on to your VPs and survive until Sudden Death.

The Germans advanced steadily, sending a group through the trail in the woods and others peeking around the trees to come up the road. Once they got close to the end of the path, they fanned out to attack my squads. EXCEPT ONE WAS MY OTHER LEADER! I totally, completely, missed that. I have no idea how, other than to suggest that the coffee early on a Saturday morning had not kicked in. So he died. The squad died. But that's OK. The MMG in the house was blasting away, trying to hold them at bay.

With lots of smoke, the other group came shunting to my right, sliding across the road behind the smoke and into the woods on my right. Move. Advance. Move. Advance. I decided to toss my soon to die squad into melee. They were taken out. Meanwhile, my leader in the house had been hit and routed out. He was stuck in the open (though some Recovers and a Dig In kept him alive). Although it looked like an ordinary dacha, the house in the middle was actually a hidden Pillbox! That kept the MMG alive until the Germans managed to get enough firepower to drive him out. By that time, the casualties were being strung out but much more ont he Russian side.

Just about this time, as the Time Track was nearing Sudden Death, the Russians suddenly got word that they were going to receive artillery support. A 122mm (11 FP) radio! The only thing that would have been more timely would be the end of the game by time... With an artillery request in my hand, the Germans stepped out of the woods across from the house. The squads with LMG in the left objective (toward my edge) laid down fire while at the same time setting off some mines. The Germans were stopped right in the road! What a perfect spot for a spotting round, eh? But no! Sudden Death arrived at 7. Marc rolls a 6. The bullet (recall my Initiative "Card" is an M1 Garand round) was passed and he rolls another 6! Game ends. Russians win with 5/8 on the surrender track and 13VPs. We've held the day. And it would be the last day today that the Soviets held fast....

Game Notes

Well, I was glad to be off to a good start as the Russians. As my next reports will show, this was going to be the best of my day. This scenario really is one in which the Russians need to set up well, maximize their use of Defender Only Actions and just sit tight. Let the Germans come to you. Save your Fire cards for Op Fire (and use lots of Crossfires, etc.). It's really a matter of time. A classic hold the line and burn your cards to end with the VPs on your side. Sounds simple. Today it wasn't so hard. (But I'm sorry I didn't get to fire my arty!)
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the scrub
Canada
Mississauga
Ontario
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Man, I love me some Stalingrad. Good report Mala! laugh
 
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