Thursday, 25 February 2010

Raus, Raus

We played the first scenario of my '6th Panzer Division in Russia' mini campaign yesterday. This covered Kampfgruppe Raus and its rapid advance to the Dubsya River in Lithuania on 23rd June 1941. The Russians are essentially static targets in this one, so it seemed easier for me to play them (deployed hidden) while Tim Gow and Jon Armatys played the Germans. The only real tweaks to RKKA Commander I'd made was to simplify the morale rules (back to a D6) and to modify the requirement for pre-assault morale checks so that tank units only take a morale check if the enemy have effective anti-tank weapons. This makes a very big difference in early war scenarios as tank units can simply drive over units without anti-tank guns (and they are then also subject to the penalties for tank shock). For this scenario I used random morale for the Russians, so they could be anything from nervous to fanatical, which models their historical behaviour in this period.

The 'tank shock' and random morale rules worked very well, two battalions of Russians surrendered to overunning German tanks, however another battalion located in the town of Rasseinie rolled up fanatic morale and fought to the last man, inflicting heavy casualties on one of the German motorised infantry battalions. The Russian gunners fought to the last man, one battalion eventually being destroyed by counter battery fire, whilst the other was overrun by a panzer battalion from KG S coming up the main road, but not before knocking out some tanks firing over open sights. The Russians also sprang an effective ambush on the track coming in from the west, cunningly waiting until the leading elements had passed then bushwhacking some motorised infantry in their trucks. Unlike their real life counterparts, they failed to make their escape as the Germans vengence was rapid and overwhelming.

The Germans eventually crashed to victory, elements of KG R taking the bridges over the Dubsya as the sun was setting, in both cases manging to capture them intact. The first bridge failed to blow and an entire battalion of Pz 35(t)s forded the shallow river and smashed the covering engineer platoon before they had a chance to try again. At the second bridge a detached company of tanks managed to surprise the engineers who promptly surrendered as the panzers burst in amongst them. The commander of this latter company was awarded the Iron Cross First Class as they'd also single handedly overrun and forced to surrender a Russian infantry battalion.

I thought the game went pretty well and I was pleased with how the scenario turned out, so we'll probably have another trip to the east in a few weeks to se what happens next.

Otherwise I've been doing a bit of painting, finishing off some Cromwells I got last year. I had an unfortunate black wash disaster as my black ink had dried up so I made up a wash of water, black acrylic paint and washing up liquid. It all looked fine at first, but I obviously hadn' t mixed enough washing up liquid in as suddenly the 'wash' extended all over the vehicles and they dried black! Oh well, back to layers of drybrushing, which retrieved something from the disaster. Must buy some more black ink.

I've also developed a sudden enthusiasm for the WSS in 2mm, a period I've put off for decades due to the compelexity of all the different flags and what passed for 'uniforms' in that period. I suddenly realised that in 2mm I didn't have to worry, so I need to do some shopping lists for Irregular, maybe pick the up at Triples. Tim is bringing his 2mm stuff to the club in a couple of weeks so I can have a closer look at some of the different strips.

No gaming next week as I'm away, but hopefully 2mm ACW the week after.

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