The patrol phase ended with the
Germans positioned in soft cover along the base-edge. The Soviets had two jump-off points in a central position and one on the left flank of the German position in a wood.
The Germans had 3xFallschirmjäger squads, an MG42 MMG, and a 50mm mortar. As the attackers the Soviets had a 3xRifle squads, a maxim MMG, a 50mm mortar, a sniper squad, and an elite scout squad.
The DeploymentThe Fallschirmjäger's plan was simplicity itself - they deployed early with one squad covering each jump-off point and the MG42 in the centre. With seven of Hilter's buzz-saws in the line they intended to rely on firepower to see off the Soviets.
The Russians had an equally simple plan - they hoped to use the scouts to force an early deployment, establish a flanking position, and then attack through the heaviest cover in the centre, using the orchard as an attacking platform.
|Soviets deploy in the centre
|Germans deploy on the right flank
The BattleThe battle opened reasonably well for the Soviets with the scouts pressing forward and the maxim deploying to the flank to begin wearing-down the Germans
|Soviet scouts move forward
|Maxim and Snipers on the flank
|Rifle squad follows the scouts
|Two rifle squads move to the flank
|Soviets try to establish a base of fire
|The view from the German right
The VerdictThis scenario really suited the Germans - their superior firepower meant they could mow-down the Russians with minimal damage to themselves.
In hindsight the Soviets made a few mistakes that contributed to their downfall:
1. The flanking base of fire proved ineffectual and isolated. It should either have been placed later so it was nt isolated or placed further back on the hill so it was at long-range for the German LMGs.
2. Attacking in waves did nt really get the best from the Soviet numerical superiority, they were defeated in detail and did nt damage the Germans much.
3. The sniper's focus switched too late to the MG42
The general agreement was that we're enjoying the rules - it really feels like you are a platoon commander and tactics are critical to a good performance.
We have noticed that the terrain placement is critical though. There is a difference between what looks neat and what gives a good set of options for jump-off points. More scattered "lumps" of terrain will likely give a better game than a few large areas.