Yesterday I got to introduce a new player to CoH and played the first two scenarios of CoH again.
I still believe that the first three scenarios are very unbalanced because the Germans do not only have much better units, they also have numerical superiority in each scenario until the russian reinforcements come in. But in case of teaching a new player how to play, the unbalanced scenarios are a blessing. The more experienced player takes the russians and tries to make something out of the situation.
The story I want to tell you is from the journals of the two commanders in the second mission...
Captain Christianow 14:00
We know that there is a german platoon coming into our area. We´ll put our MMG into the stone building with one infantry squad as support in the next building. then we put two squads into the woods south of the main road to waylay any germans trying to run and scout the road east. Another unit waits in the north to engage german MGs entering the small woods. Now it´s just about waiting and hoping that our troops don´t get too nervous. I hope the reinforcements will be here shortly.
Lieutnant Fabian 14:00
Recon tells me that there is a MG in the next town. My men are well rested and itching for some action. Keep marching formation, I can already see the house!
Captain Christianow 14:05
There they are! I had the gunner lay down some suppression fire on the germans while they were still on the road. They must have believed that there was no opposition in the area. Their lead elements are in shreds. A good day for mother Russia. If I only knew where the reinforcements are.
Lieutnant Fabian 14:05
I let my platoon march according to the Handbuch except perhaps forgetting to put some scouts ahead. Stupid russians immediately suppressed my first squad. I´ll retaliate first and rally my troops later. Lets see them what the MG 42 can do. Did I see movement in the forest south of the road? Must have been wildlife I guess.
Captain Christianow 14:06
I can´t believe it. The germans are spreading out in the open field. It was great to see when some of my bolschewiks in the south opened fire into their flanks to kill some germans and spook some more.
Lieutnant Fabian 14:07
Not much I can do. One of my squads went berserk and ran for the town while the others regrouped and moved to deal with the russian in the woods. I have ordered the berserker to rush into the house while the russian MG was reloading.
Captain Christianow 14:06
Come my german friend. I´ve got another surprise up my sleeve. He is really running onto the road right in front of my infantry squad. They fired point blank but by Stalin those berserkers are hard to kill. I ordered them to fire again and finally they were dead. But my MG is in bad shape now. The germans in the open field are opening fire onto the stone building now. COVER!
Lieutnant Fabian 14:08
Verdammt! Half of my platoon dead. But we finally finished off that MG. Now let´s deal with that squad in the woods. If only I knew whats happening on the road east. Now that my units are spread and going ahead as a group the russians infantry can do little about them.
Captain Christianow 14:09
I´ve ordered the infantry from the wooden building into the stone building but they were killed immediately by that infernal MG´s. I also had the very unlucky squad 3 from the north fire at another german MG which only slowed them but the reaction fire killed my squad in the open. With the unit in the woods I killed another MG. Now they only have two squads and one MG left. I decided to keep the other unit in the woods quiet to keep the germans guessing. Where are those reinforcements?
Lieutnant Fabian 14:10
Started to kill some russians finally. The town seems empty, but I´ll be more careful now. We´ve suppressed the fire from the woods and are carefully moving into town.
Captain Christianow 14:11
Finally the reinforcements are here. If the germans knew that there is nothing between them and the town. I see them coming. It is a footrace now between the reinforcement squads and all the remaining germans moving together.
Lieutnant Fabian 14:12
I reached the empty stone building and put a squad in there with the others still in fire positions. I should get a medal for getting into the house so quickly. What is this? Russians are moving into the house but all units are too exhausted to do any damage right away.
Captain Christianow 14:13
I got two squads into the building and they are not shooting? At least we wrestled control from the germans. Now there seems some fighting going on in the building. Good, we got the germans cowering in the upper floor.
Lieutnant Fabian 14:13
Inside the building there is not much going on. I´ll let my MG fire in there to liven things up a bit. Who has ever seen german precision engineering doing it´s job so effectively? Within seconds nothing in the building moves anymore. If only I could close my eyes without seeing the soldiers on the top floor shouting "hilfe, hilfe - wir sind Freunde!".
Captain Christianow 14:15
Time is running short. I order my infantry squad to rush the building and the MMG to fire the germans in the back. This german commander must be a lunatic, firing into a building where his own units are fighting and killing everything there. Damn, the MMG didn´t do any good. The commissars will have my head for my incompetence if that last squad can´t reach the building.
Lieutnant Fabian 14:13
They are coming from all directions at once. Fire group - keep steady. Ammo low, but the russians are shouting more than firing. There is the last unit moving. Let them come closer and fire!
Got them - Endlich wieder Frieden...
Had that final russian attempt just to get into the building worked, the russians would have won 6:5. As it were with the german rolling 11 at the last shot needing 7, they killed the unit and the game ended with two units each. The russians had 6 points but the german got 2 bonus points for beeing in the building at the end and ended with 8!
Even though I as the russian commander was very fortunate in the beginning, as soon as my opponent started using groups to get some bonuses for his MG´s he killed my units very efficiently. In this scenary I still have to see the russian win after 3 plays.
The game was huge fun, took little more than an hour to play and showed off that the fortunes in this game can change within seconds multiple times in a session.
We played the KURSK rules and they worked great - especially during that race for the building in turn 3.
Bachten de Kupe
nice AAR, thanks!
In this scenary I still have to see the russian win after 3 plays.
I've won this firefight, but we were both very new players at the time (it was my second game, and my opponent's first.) It's definitely easier on the Germans.
For a firefight that's a bit harder on the Germans, I suggest trying The Bunker.
Great AAR by the way!
Nice write-up! I liked the format you chose to write it in.
This was really fun to read!
Since you used the new rules, did you note that group fire can only be done with units that are adjacent to the fire leader and can not join the group fire if firing long range?
Gruesse aus Ohio.
Thank you Uwe!
I have to admit that I was not aware of those rules, but in the scenarios we played these situations didn´t come up anyway.