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I was able to get in a half a game of IABSM on Saturday night (1/21/2012) and completed the game on Sunday night. Needing a scenario, I grabbed scenario 1 from the rule book and used it. Never one to leave well enough alone, I modified it to change the British to Germans, the Germans to Soviets and set it in the Ukraine in August of 1941. The table layout was the same but much of the fields were cut off as I had a short 5' by 4' table to work with. This would cause a number of early casualties. If I had to do it over again, I would drop some of the collective farm and leave the fields. Also, I need to make some fields. Anyway....

Our Story August 1, 1941: The 11th German Army continues to push toward the Bug River. In an effort to surround the Russians in a Kessel of their own, the 11th Army sends out men to find the enemy and attempt to herd them towards the river to pin them in place. One such expedition was undertaken by Hauptmann Hermann Schmidt of the 285th Regiment. Hauptmann Schmidt has three fully manned platoons at his disposal. His Company headquarters is reduced as it only has one full strength squad. Each platoon has a light mortar. Ordered to advance upon a collective farm, the company has advanced through harvested wheat fields towards the collective.

The Collective farm was defended by elements of the 469th Rifle Regiment of the 8th Soviet Army. The soviet commander is joined by a commissar, two maxim machine-guns (this forms his headquarters) and two platoons of three 10 man squads.

The Germans entered through the fields and quickly found and began to engage the Russians deployed in the first set of trees. The distance from the table edge to these first hedge/tree line was way too close. Most of the troops counted as auto spotted. The Germans attempted to close assault immediately with two squads from the first platoon. Both were repulsed but suffered no shock. The second two squads decided to soften the Soviet positions up rather than follow the fate of their peers.

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The next platoon to arrive attempted to turn the flank of the Russians in the initial tree line. It took several turns for them to do so as they advanced much more cautiously than the first platoon. Eventually they were successful.

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Once the Germans were in the trees with the remnants of the Russian platoon, they were able to roll up the Soviets and destroyed two platoons to a man.

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The German third platoon and had a much longer distance to travel. The Russian's moved their headquarters to attempt to intercept and halt the German advance. Unfortunately for the Russians, this did not occur until they had already lost their first platoon.

Once deployed, the two Soviet MMGs with the headquarters were able to cause significant trouble for the third platoon. For several turns they managed to pin or suppress two squads until they were broken. The remaining two squads laid fire down on the Russian second platoon while the headquarters squad flanked their position as well.

It was at this point of the game where my three year old decided he wanted to play the game too.

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By this point the Russian troops were pretty much destroyed. The casualties were very high on both sides. Starting the game too close together leads to a very bloody game. For a first game of IABSM 3, it was a fun learning experience. I am looking forward to the Early War supplements to be released and see if my assumptions of force structures match. I used the cards and the markers for the first time. I was dubious of the markers when I first saw them. Now, I really like them.

Chris Stoesen