Spring September 1942 (ongoing vassal PBEM campaign game)
The map situation:
Hitler railed at his incompetent generals. 1941 was slow going and none of the summer '42 objectives had been met. Fuhrer Directive 45 envisioning the capture of the Caucasus oilfields was kaput.
The Russians had gone on the offensive. Smolensk was in Russian hands and their tank armies were threatening Minsk.
Hitler sees an opportunity to pinch off the Russian salient. Army Groups Centre and South are directed to gamble on one last offensive 'Fridericus' before the inevitable harsh winter.
The front was scoured for men. The flanks were stripped bare. Supplies were readied. All Panzergruppen were committed.
Attacking Smolensk were 3rd and 4th Panzer supported by 4th and 16th army. Attacking in the South were 1st and 2nd Panzer supported by 2nd, 6th, 9th armies. Their targets were the weak (3-3) South, Crimean and Northwest fronts. Armour and blitz would provide the necessary attack momentum.
Stalin was aware of the danger of encirclement and manoeuvred forces (played central command) and ordered spoiling attacks (2 counterblows) to derail the German offensive.
The Russian counterattack towards Kharkov panicked general Bock. Hitler dismissed the interruption of his plan as a 'minor blemish'. Bock retorted, 'This is no "blemish" its a matter of life and death.'
Hitler was unmoved: he repeated that the situation would resolve itself as soon as 'Fridericus' gathered weight. Events proved him right (Keegan 2nd world war).
Manstein plays Backhand Blow to brush aside the counterblows. All 3 attacks are very successful. Rolls of (to make up for many poor rolls in the campaign to date ). The three Russian fronts disintegrate and the Panzer troops complete the encirclement.
The Russians attempt a breakout at 6:1 odds.
Leutnant Kurt Meissner was watching yet another despairing Russian attack on the hard-pressed German ring. 'This great mass of singing humanity had only been told to break out in our direction,' he said. He and his men were new to combat and afraid. They had never seen anything like this before. (Kershaw War without Garlands)
General Walter Model (card play) strengthens German resolve and the Russian breakout fails - rolled
Winter arrived with the new strategic situation.
Hitler was ecstatic but his soldiers were more realistic.
'Russia's military might is certainly broken, but the land is too big, and the Russians are not thinking of surrender.' (Kerhsaw War without Garlands)
Now it was Stalin's turn to send his generals to the firing squad...
Designer Carl Paradis' promises
The box blurb that made me buy the VPG and now the Deluxe edition:
Each turn is alight with intriguing on-board challenges plus the surprise of card hand Events as players vie to win in one of three different ways.
It is a skillfully blended collation of classic hex-based wargaming and modern card-driven simulations, No Retreat: The Russian Front stays truly story-centric, providing the proper feel of sweeping maneuvers, exploitation and encirclements across the vast steppes and forests of Russia .
And the blurb was right!
“"To Aetius, now consul for the third time: the groans of the Britons ... The barbarians drive us to the sea; the sea throws us back on the barbarians: thus two modes of death await us, we are either slain or drowned".” ―Gildas
Great read, great game. Thanks.
Wow, cool AAR!
The Germans postion in 1942 was quite bad, but Manstein seems to have pulled off a successful "Kursk" battle just in time to save the German Army!
BTW there was one way the Soviets could have played it safe and cut their OOS losses to just one Unit and not three (check the staking rules, 8.4.3). But I mean: Losing at 6-1 odds, the firing squad is too good for these incompetent traitors: Send them to the lead mines in Siberia, or to some penal battalions to atone for their sins agains the Soviet people!
- Last edited Sun Jan 8, 2012 2:35 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Sun Jan 8, 2012 2:31 am
Damn you, I now need to buy this game. I had promised myself no more East Front, but this just looks too good to pass up.
Great session report.
...this just looks too good to pass up.
I never played another one, but still:
"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience"
Great AAR! If only this could have happend to me in Poland in my last game.
I am the Soviet player. As it happens, I did overstack one of my units for this very purpose. Initially, I did two, but changed my mind thinking that I could use another for CB opportunities. Alas, it was not to be. Roger even had the the Model card ready in case it made a difference in the attack roll.
Stalin was displeased to say the least, and several wagon loads of traitors are now nearing their destination in Siberia.
This is my first game of NR......a great system.....I'll offer you my next vodka toast Comrade Carl!