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Subject: AAR of 3 The Czerniakow Bridgehead "A tale of patience" rss

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Martí Cabré

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This was a PBEM VASSAL game with

eloi soler
Spain
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played during November 2010-April 2011.

The Czerniakow Bridghead features a battle that took place in Warsaw on September 22, 1944. For connoisseurs, note that meanwhile the Market Garden operation was just ending. The Red Army had made a small bridgehead across the Vistula using Polish troops that linked in the city with the Polish Home Army. White Russians fighting under German colors faced them and bombarded for five days until they launched a frontal assault.

The scenario lasts 10 turns and the Germans must have a number of troops on the east side of the map to win.

This is our setup:


I took the Russians and Eloi took the Germans. The Russian setup is forced to have a number of troops totally exposed to a German bombardment that took some losses among my troops, including killing a leader. And Russians go scarce of leaders...

My setup idea was to have maximum concealment of units to hide my MGs and take positions able to lay fire to different avenues of approach. I also planned to have a number of lines of defense so if a line was overrun I could still stop the Germans. As each defense line was compromised the whole line would retreat to join the next line of defense.

The Germans opened very hard with heavy machine gun fire and assaulting the first buildings across the canal. I could do nothing to stop the crossing.

This is the situation after the Germans cross the canal:


On my right flank the Germans were very hard and I had to retreat to avoid being overran. On the other hand my left flank was attacked by a small force and I used a couple of dummy stacks and some skulking to keep them guessing for a few turns. These German units were out of the action while they could have been more useful helping assault the center.

The center became clearly the turning point of the battle. Controlling the center meant controlling the avenues of approach to the Vistula, so the initial double flank attack by the Germans quickly turned into an assault to the center, using his right flank troops that had routed my defense (he initially did not cross the canal by the center).

This is the situation after the German left turns and goes to the center:


Things were going pretty well for the Germans, winning almost all firefights and with the Russians crumbling into conscript level everywhere. The partisans lacked the firepower to effectively stop the Germans so they could only fire and move. Lots of Russian units just moved from one hex to another to cover the German approach, but avoiding any fire to keep concealment. This was really a tale of patience.

But then the Germans realized the clock was quickly timing to the end. Only two turns to go and still no German unit on map 8... So the Germans started a big rush: their right flank attacked to discover half the Russians were dummies, and his center started dashing all streets to get the units close to the final map. The German left became deserted as I had also moved my units from there to the center.

This is the situation after the German rush:


The scenario could fall on either hand. Scattered German units made it for the Vistula while the surviving Russian units held street crossings and good hexrows laying residual fire everywhere. Finally, the dice decided and the main German group was stopped two hexes short of its objective, with the Germans losing the scenario only missing a couple of points.

This is the situation at the end:


I found this a well balanced scenario, really fun to play but long. I think that manning the Russians require skill and being really patient to avoid losing concealment and revealing the true defended positions.

Edit: corrected image links.
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Ryan Voznick
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"The Russian setup is forced to have a number of troops totally exposed to a German bombardment that took some losses among my troops, including killing a leader. And Russians go scarce of leaders..."

Russian SMC should not be rolling this NMC, only Russian 4-4-7 according to SSR 2. Also, the Polish player should note that only the Partisans suffer from ammunition shortage, not the 9th Army 4-4-7's...or any LMG's they posses (hint hint).
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Martí Cabré

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AcesWild5049 wrote:
"The Russian setup is forced to have a number of troops totally exposed to a German bombardment that took some losses among my troops, including killing a leader. And Russians go scarce of leaders..."

Russian SMC should not be rolling this NMC, only Russian 4-4-7 according to SSR 2. Also, the Polish player should note that only the Partisans suffer from ammunition shortage, not the 9th Army 4-4-7's...or any LMG's they posses (hint hint).


You're right, I broke and killed my leaders and should have not. That's for not rereading three times the special rules.

On the ammo shortage and any possible fire lanes, I think we did it right.
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