FT81 Dubrovka

von Marwitz

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Nov 25, 2010
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Kraut Corner
FT81 Dubrovka

I have played this recently at Grenadier as the Germans and lost to Francois Boudrenghien in an exiting and eventful game.
Now I have played it again with my long-time opponent from Australia, David Wallace - this time as the Russian defender.

When looking at the scenario card, the scenario does not seem to have particular appeal. It is a pure infantry 1941 infantry action on the Russian front in a Ground Snow environment where 20 squad equivalents of elite and well led Spanish troops (represented by German units), some of which are 548 Assault engineers equipped with 2 FTs are pitted against 20 Russian squad equivalents of mainly 1st line troops scattered with some Conscripts, only three leaders and burdened with an ELR of 2 which have to defend the board 48 village with 3 fortified locations and 2 roadblocks.

Ground Snow being in effect means that the approaches to the board 48 village are pretty much open ground without cover. Those familiar with board 48 will recall, that it is full of unexpected and close LOS within the village. And that it is time consuming to push through the village house by house as this will mean having to move adjacent to the enemy at Point Blank range and being slowed by a 'wall' of broken units forcing either Prep Fire or moving out into the open to circumvent the blocking brokies.

This means, that the Germans really do need the Infantry Smoke provided by their 6 squad equivalents of Assault Engineers and that the Russians need to think carefully on how to preserve their brittle troops - mainly by buying time and delaying the Spaniards by making the best use of the 3 HIP squads (+SMC+SW) granted to them, the fortifications and the open ground.

The setup areas are such, that the Germans are invited to a flanking move with about one third of their OoB. Which is a good idea to attempt as it might impede the delaying tactics of the Russians while they fall back through the village. However, once more the Spaniards will have to dare to cross some Open Ground at start to bring this about which the Russian will very likely have covered.

Basically, fortunes for my Russians ebbed spectacularly back and forth. Among the events were most threatining FTs being beaten back in the last second or going empty and the Russian Commissar going berserk and taking two vital squads with him charging across OG into a hail of lead to their deaths. It looked very grim for the Russians after German Turn 5. The Russians were just hanging on to the last two buildings the Germans needed to control, one of them being fortified. I had one concealed 426, a 226+LMG, an 8-1 and some brokies left in the fortified building and an 8-0 with 447+LMG and some brokies against the German hordes, partly being adjacent with a 9-2.

In my Russian Turn 5, I basically wanted to see if I could rally anyone or concede otherwise. No one rallied nor did I concede. We all know that many things can happen in ASL and as there were only few Russians left on the board, it would not take long to find out if such thing occurred.

And, damn, it did! I feel really happy that we played out til the end as otherwise we would have missed a most exciting last German half-turn! With no one having rallied and hardly any place to fall back to, all that was left to me were two PrepFire shots. The first one was a 12+2 from 48U4 vs. 48T4 were the German 9-2 sat with a 548. That shot managed to break the 9-2 and while the 548 passed but failed its LLTC to pin. In turn, this enabled me to leave the fortified building in 48U2 to 48V1 and thereby avoiding a huge blob-attack by the German hordes. They turned instead against my guys in 48U4 which had stopped the 9-2. With their attacks, they broke my 447+LMG, mortally wounded the 8-0, and killed off a broken HS. However, they also caused HoB on another broken squad with LMG which rolled the perfect result creating a hero and battle hardening to a 458. Another attack against the same hex improbably caused HoB again on the other freshly broken squad with LMG. Again, perfect result creating a second hero and battle hardening to another 458+LMG. Unharmed, my concealed 426, the 226+LMG and 8-1 advanced back into their Fortified building.

Now how's that for your last half turn, Sanchez? :p

Gnashing their teeth, the Spanish had no choice but to do some PrepFiring. Needless to say, that this went particularly well. My just revived and reinvigorated guys in 48U4 were broken multiple times, lethally wounded etc. so in the end only a single Hero remained. My Fortified Building across the road was equally blasted: Fate, Casualty Reduction of the brokies, and my last hope, the concealed 426 also broken.

How's that for defending your miserable shacks, Pjotr? :cool:

However... The 8-1 leader in the Fortified Building who had rolled first, rolled his Snakes and Battle hardened to become Berserk. After resolving the attack against the rest (which was devastating as described above), that very angry leader tried to convince the survivors to get mad as well. He succeeded with the 426. So all of a sudden I had a morale 10 squad in there which would happily use FPF vs. any Fritz attempting to get ADJACENT into the Open Ground.

Move up, Sanchez - it won't only be curses we'll be hurling at you!:highfive:

However, being Berserk and thus not Good Order would not prevent the Spaniards from entering the Fortified Building any more... So the Spaniards did move. One of his 548s did get the all-important Infantry Smoke ADJ to my Fortified building, so I was looking at 8+1 shot against him, which caused a 1MC against the 548 moving into the freshly placed Smoke. He rolled snakes and went Berserk. This allowed the damned Spaniard to spend some extra MF to enter my Fortified Building which my non-GO Berserkers could not prevent. That screwed up my plan (well, last resort) of using FPF against adjacent hexes because now I was bound by Target Selection Limits within my own hex.
Here I AM, Pjotr - seems that the only thing you threw at me besides curses was your last bit of hope!:hellyes:

After this misfortune just about every Spaniard in creation moved up to my last two buildings. The Defensive Fire of my sole Hero had no effect, nor had the Advancing Fire of the Germans except killing every Russian brokie that might have survived to that point in the maelstrom.

So it was down to the last CC-Phase. The Odds weren't encouraging to say the least: My Hero was looking at 10:1 and the others at 16:5 odds.

We all have lived through games where we screwed up a vital CC roll, haven't we Sanchez?:bow:

First, my lone Hero went down, knife in his hand. Then came the last CC roll, in which he abushed me, decreasing the Russian chances yet some...

Haha! You are dead, we live. You didn't expect that, did you - Pjotr! :poser:

Spanish win. Blast of a game!

Here follows a screenshot of the situation at game end and of the dead-pile which testifies the vicious fighting in this 5.5 Turn scenario.



And the morale of the story: Play until the end!

von Marwitz
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Forum Guru
Nov 7, 2007
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Eau Claire, Wi
llUnited States
Funny, I usually do the "got smacked down by buzz saw" annotations as well (well perhaps not that wordy) & even used to write it down in my little "Lessons learned (I hope) for a dummy" book with live FTF play. I even use the same terminology [EXC: "Lethal Wound" is just DOW to save time] but par for the course from a (former) military guy, I abbreviate (acronym) almost everything. Interesting scenario, I remember looking at it for a quick hitter myself. Nice job and yes unless it's so out of hand there's no possibility of a comeback, you should ALWAYS try to stay in the fight as long as possible (gotta get dirt dog mean sometimes).:cool: