Last Wed night I hosted a Soviet-German (1943-ish) game using the I Ain't Been Shot Mum rules. Bill and Nick played the Germans while Joe the Soviets. This is the first time that I hosted a proper game; I was also the umpire.

Here are the respective briefings which I sent to the players before they arrived at the house:

 

Soviet Briefing

Your scouts have crossed the German held-river line during the night to create a bridgehead on the other side in preparation for your major offensive. They made contact with the German garrison in a nearby village and fought each other to great slaughter and ultimately to a standstill during the course of the night. You ordered the remaining troops to dig in for the night and await reinforcements. By themselves they are not strong enough to continue the struggle and will likely be overwhelmed soon if unreinforced.

Meanwhile your engineers have been making good progress defusing the rigged up German explosives at the seized bridge as well as building some "sunken bridges" across the river at key points. Hopefully you would have some mean to get your main force across ... By the way German Stuka attacks in the last hours of the day yesterday have delayed the arrival of your follow-up forces, including the armour, but they should get there by dawn.

Your job - whether you choose to accept it or not - is to enlarge the bridgehead and seize the main lines of communications beyond that lead into the Enemy's rear (some Cossacks will be on hand to exploit any gaps that you make/find).

Strike dead the Fascist Imperialists! You will have powerful forces to hand and rocket artillery will be available should you choose to call in a strike (but they aren't that accurate are they and your troops are awfully close to theirs).

You can either be a Hero of the Soviet Union or the Zero of same by the end of the next day. Good luck comrade.

 

German Briefing

During the night, Soviet scout infantry crossed on rafts and infiltrated the German river line, establishing forward positions in three small woods by the river's edge (top of picture). The Wehrmacht company at the scene (garrisoning the village nearest the bridge) tried to dislodge them but after heavy fighting with heavy casualties to both sides, the remaining troops of both sides stayed put and waited for reinforcements.

There is a bridge over the river that you have prepared for demolition but which the Soviets seized before you could detonate. You fear that armoured forces might come across that bridge at first dawn so will take care to position your forces accordingly. Fortunately an assorted SS armoured and Panzergrenadier fire-brigade force has been sent to plug the gap. Once available at the beginning of the game (early morning) you must advance them into forward positions and use them to counterattack.

Your brief is to reinforce the forces at the river's edge stop the Soviets from consolidating their positions for use as springboards for further attacks. And you must stop them fmor controlling the crossroads at the end of the game at all costs. You achieve complete victory if you can see to it that no Soviet forces remain on your side of the river.

 

This is the first time Nick, Bill and Joe played with these rules (IABSM). I played them once at a convention but am otherwise new to them. Setting up and getting started therefore took time but otherwise the game progressed easily and well; we began to know the rules fairly well after this one session.

Session One

The Soviets chose to have their two sunken bridges on the on the side of the river's edge that is closest to the village and enclosure; that therefore had to be the direction of the major push. Infantry were the first to deploy from blinds but these soon ran into the fire of a German squad in the village as well as that of a 150mm IG within the stone enclosure. Bad luck. Further, a stonk called by the Soviet came two turns into the game and landed in the midst of charging Ivans, pinning them in the open! Still the Soviets kept charging on.

Meanwhile German reinforcements began to arrive along the two main roads and deployed out of their blinds near the scene of the major fighting as the first of many Soviet tanks also appeared on the scene.

Soviet infantry on the other side of the village also decided to charge what now appears as the the central stronghold of the Germans but they were pinned by fairly accurate mortar fire in the middle of the road. Still, only a lone 37mm AT gun opposes them directly and they may yet break into the village.

This is where we got to after about 4 plus hours of play. The game resumes tomorrow night and coverage will follow in due course. Both sides have very substantial reinforcements yet to be revealed... it should be fun.

 

Session 2

A Soviet platoon card came up first and the central mass of Ivans charged home, winning the close combat against the crew of the hapless Pak36 guarding the main road. The Russians are almost in the central village! Another platoon deployed into a "Napoleonic" formation and joined the attack. Three T-34/76s deploying out of blinds also joined in the fun.

Starting Positions

The Russian Advance

The Russian Advance

The other German column raced up the road and began to attack the advancing Russians in the flank, doing some useful pinning and severely mauling the Soviet platoon that KO'ed the Pak36.

Three PzIVHs joined the firefight.

At the same time the battle around the stone enclosure continued. Remnants of the one Russian platoon charging the 150mm IG pinned in the open (not good) at the start of the turn were wiped out to a man halfway through this game. The T-34 platoon decided to fire at the IG (which ended up having 2 killed and 2 wounded crew) instead of the PzIVHs facing them (which were soon supplemented by a towed Pak40!). Bad call I should think and all three were KO'ed but not before one (with turret jammed and main gun out of service) decided to charge the Pak40, stopping just short due to die roll and was fried in the next turn (with gun barrels of the models overlapping!).

The middle T-34/76 platoon charged into the village with one tank breaking inside while the other 2 closing in on the remaining German strength along the edge of the village. Two newly arriving Waffen SS squads with PzFaust30s quickly debussed in the enclosure and raced up to the edge of the village facing the Soviet breakthrough. The T-34 is out of range of the Panzerfausts so they fired ineffectually at the three Soviets who got into the ruined house.

On the river's edge on the other side, the lone Soviet squad in the woods held up the Germans but was written down until none remained. The Germans can take the woods in the next turn.

Meanwhile the umpire introduced a lone Soviet blind on the German rear and on the Soviet Recon card deployed a force of Cossacks - a scouting unit that broke through further up the front and which now rode to the sound of gun fire. This is meant to be more amusing than threatening.

Also, another Soviet blind in the church (also in the German rear) was revealed as a party of Cossack ghosts (no time to paint up):

So far Soviet casualties have been severe with two platoons of infantry and one of tanks wiped out. But more will be coming - next week.

Casualty tray at the end of Game 2:

The players are gently threatening to come over and resuming the game at 8:30am (to 10pm) next Wed on account of their being on vacation that day. We will see.

Richard L.