After the armoured fight on the outskirts of Osen, the Russian victory has now pushed the Germans back into the town itself. The aim of the Russians is to take the one remainder bridge in the town and of course the Germans have to stop them. The Russians have more men and tanks as would be expected, but not as many as they would like and they certainly can’t take too many casualties as is the norm.
The town is on a valley below the hills from where the Russians will appear. The river and bridge are at the far end of the town and the Germans are well dug in and waiting. An interesting aspect of the game is that every random card the Germans throw a d6 and once to total is 25 the bridge is ready and can be blown. This put a time on operations but very random as we shall see. Good one and I hope to see it in more IABSM games.
The Germans are all hidden in the building and so the Russian advance is slow and with a lot of spotting. Suddenly from the centre of town two German sections destroy the Russian section scouting too close. That is what I was talking about with casualties. Bad luck on the Russians there.
After that excitement the action slowed somewhat as the Russians advanced in a line slowly across the front.
By turn 5 the bridge demolition was only at 2. The Russians could afford to take their time it would seem.
Near to the stream the advance was going well to plan. Those Russians SMG sections are excellent in this close terrain and before you could shout “Heil Hitler” the Russian had taken their first building from the bemused Germans.
At the same time the heavy guns of the T34s made the German retreat into the town to keep off. Both the town and the big building above it are full of Germans but they are looking ominously at the tanks advancing almost unopposed. In both cases it’s time to send the infantry in. All the Russians are SMG armed so get +3 dice in all combats.
Suddenly at turn 7 the dice turned as it bridge demolition went to 9 and then to 15 two turns later. The Russians were under some real pressure now as the game could be over in two turns!
Time for the tanks to get moving. Both large sections of T34/85 move into the square, and hit a wall of fire. Each of the Germans have 2 panzerfausts and 3 tanks are stopped immediately and a huge cheer goes up from the Germans as they see safety on the horizon; at least for now.
Looking at the whole map now. The far Russian smaller T34s are loitering but have finally cleared the large building of Germans. In the centre of the town the beleaguered Germans are just about holding out and have destroyed one of the T34s as well.
It is getting desperate for the Russians as on turn 10 the bridge was at level 20 it could be over any time now. In light of this the Russian charge the Germans in the centre but are defeated and the heroic Germans have gained desperate time for the engineers to finish their work. I can’t say enough of this as I have never seen this tension in IABSM before as both sides really do have to try anything to gain time. Brilliant.
The end is nigh. The town centre is cleared now and the T34/76s have woken from their slumber and are outflanking the Germans with just one Stug to stop them; the first Stug was destroyed a long time ago in the first actions near the river.
Turn 11 the dice throws 4 so it 24 now. The next turn of the Random card will be it, but of course this could be a while as it was at the beginning of the game. If only the Russians could regain that time!
It all ended very quickly as the Random card came up very quickly in the next draw. The position can be seen below and I decided that the German could count this as a victory as most of the remaining troops could get across the river and troops already across could cover them.
An excellent game and made even better with a time constraint put in. At first it seemed the game would go on forever and either the dice were low or the Random card didn’t appear, then in the 3 turns it advanced from 9 to 24 and finally over to the finish.
This game had it all. Mad charges, great defence, Panzerfausts, Artillery breaking a large Russian attack just in time, friendly fire from planes, bridge blowing and lastly a great game.
After this German victory we move onto 3B Near Ploschad which on a glance looks another good one. This will have to wait a couple of weeks as am getting to Berlin before these Russians at least.