Sunday, 14 February 2010

Club Night 12th February

Seelow Heights April/May 1945
At the club we tried our first big multi-player Flames of War game using historical forces rather than points forces. Steve H and Rick took the Germans, defending the heights using the lovely resin trench line the club won as a show prize about a year ago and painted up by Steve K. Below is the German right under Steve H's command.

The Russians (myself, Mike, Steve K and Steve D), decided a concerted attack on one part of the line was in order. Steve D would demonstrate against Rick to keep him occupied and prevent him moving to reinforce Steve H, while the other three of us would attack towards the town, where the buildings restricted fields of fire and gave us a good defensive position if we managed to breach the line.

I volunteered to take the lead, with the other behind me, so the Germans could only engage one unit at a time and we could protect the follow up units. So my tanks led off with Steve K's following up, and Mikes at the rear with his infantry, while my infantry moved up on the left and Steve K's on the right to try and pin down any attackers and protect the flanks of our main thrust. As we moved forward I came under heavy fire, Mark IV's, Marders, Pak 40s and Tiger tanks engaged my company, but to everyone's amazement only 2 tanks were destroyed in this opening bombardment and I was able to advance again and destroy the wire entanglements, although the second salvo of fire was more decisive I still had an operational force.

On the flanks of this main thrust the infantry were getting bombarded by Mortars and Artillery and the narrow front we had chosen to advance on made our men bunch up and take heavy casualties, but this failed to deter them. By now we where past the start of the heights and onto the original trench lines and engaging the Germans at short range, but there defensive works were protecting them. My initial infantry assault was beaten back with heavy casualties, but we had opened a gap in the lines. As the C-in-C and the Kommisar moved back to accompany Mikes follow up wave, the ragged survivors attempted a second assault on the isolated part of the defending platoon. With the bend in the lines and a simultaneous (although unsuccessful) assault going in to my right from Steve K, I managed to get the only surviving squad of the company into the trench lines. A breach had been achieved!

By now my force was battered, my last T-72/85s had been abandoned, my infantry reduced to a single stand, and my ISU-152s immobilised by the loss of their commander. But my casualties had absorbed the weight of the German fire, Steve K had kept the flanking fire directed towards him, and Mike had been able to close with the enemy lines relatively unscathed. A viscous mortar bombardment pinned down his infantry command and killed the C-in-C but intervention from the Kommisar rallied the troops and pushed them on to an overwhelming assault on the enemy trenches, taking them in a storm of lead and grenades.

Although the armour on the right of our breach took some casualties from a valiant (and annoyingly persistent) Panzerfaust, we destroyed the armour support, overran the mortars and turned to face the German armour redeploying to try and close the break though.

All in all we all agreed it had been a excellent game. The rules stood up to the multi-player and massed troops we deployed, the battle had been very close, and the Russian were all pleasantly surprised we had managed to breach the lines in an evening with minimal recycling required. Now we need to do a large desert game!

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