The second turn of the campaign has two battles as both sides launch attacks. The first battle fought was the Russian attack in the north against a small village surrounded by farm land. The village dominated the eastern side and fields the west with a large hill and the village centre as the attacking Russians victory objectives.
|The fields to the west
|The village on the east side
|Close-up of the village and a wrecked Hannomag - nice models so they will appear again!
Both sides have rather different plans, which makes for an interesting game. Hauptmann Koch opted not to defend the hill or the Jump Off Points in the western part of the table, but instead to focus all the German troops in the village and the fields to the east. The theory was they would destroy the Russians in this sector and seek a win on casualties.
|Fallschirmjäger in the fields
|FSJ occupy the village
The Russians had a somewhat opposite plan - they would mass their armour in the fields to the west and attack towards the hill. The village would be screened and infiltrated if possible.
|KV-1 and SU-76 seeking to flank the Germans
|Infantry mass across the table
|Russians deploy to flank the village but are outnumbered
The battle opened with the Russians making rapid progress unopposed in the fields to the west. I've very few shots of that as there was no meaningful action against this half of the Russian forces. Near the village things were more intense though. The Russians deployed on a hill overlooking the village and in the fields surrounding it. Both sides began to bombard the other with mortars that pinned a few units and killed a Russian Maxim team.
|FSJ in the village under mortar fire - it made them duck but little else
Critically though the Germans had elected not to garrison the church which allowed the Russians to infiltrate the building and contest the victory marker in the centre. This was likely an oversight not a deliberate plan.
|Sneaky Russians occupy the church
In the fields to the east of the village both sides hunkered down unable to see each other, leaving the Germans to exchange fire with the Russians on the hill to their front. In this uneven fight where only the Germans could ever be the winners, but it did keep most them busy for much of the game.
|Mexican standoff in the corn
With the Germans largely static the Russians pushed forward. They reinforced their position in the church and were able to overrun the German AOP who was left isolated in field to the rear of the church.
|Russians built-up in the church continues
|The German AOP and a JOP is overrun.
Having finally cleared the hill of Russians the Germans now advanced a section in an attempt to flank the Russian weapons teams firing into the village. They made a crucial error though and came in sight of the KV-1 that had finally made it across to the village. There were no casualties but raking machine gun fire pinned them and prevented them from competing their attack.
|Germans on the move at last
As the game was drawing to a close the Russians rolled the dice one more time and launched an assault against the Germans closest to the church as they had been pinned by combined Maxim and mortar fire. The attack was a stunning success, clearing the Germans from the building and meaning that the victory objective was definitely contested.
|Russians ready to assault
|FSJ have skedaddled
So a win for the Russians by a single point - their losses were higher but they had captured a victory objective and two Jump Off Points whilst contesting the second objective.
Ultimately it seems the Hauptmann Koch's gamble did not pay off. Ceding a victory objective and two JOPs was too much ground to make up even with the Germans greater firepower and survivability.