Valinsky Bridgehead, 12/42

This is my first battle report using BlitzKrieg Commander Rules (BKC). The battle is based around a defensive action by a German Battle Group against a Soviet Guards attacking force. For those familiar with the rules we played the Bridgehead scenario using armies from Dec 42 lists, the Soviets with 2200 pts and the Germans 1100 pts with a Romanian ally force of 500 pts. The Germans had prepared a hasty defence with barbed wire and a couple of minefields, one of which was hidden.

In the first pic, you can see the battlefield from the German viewpoint. The main deployment area is the village to the front centre. This was taken up by the Romanian forces with a few PzIV short and PzIII short attatched. In the woods to the front they placed a 105 How hidden from view.

The main German force on deplyment can be seen in the second pic. Two Stug IIIF8 can be seen in the deep snow with an 88 for support in the hedgerow to the rear. The CO can be seen to the rear in his 251/10. At this stage only troops clearly visble are placed on table, counters represent hidden units, with a couple of "dummy units" thrown in.

The Russian left flank advances against the ruined factory area in the 4th pic. KV1s and infantry support. The recce unit can be spotted in the centre. The smoke rising from the factory complex is whats left of stugs seen earlier... them KV 1s is hard nuts !!! The Russian left flank progressed well compared to the center which continually failed command rolls even though Paul the Russian CO had spent double points to increase their Command ratings....

On turn 3 the Soviet scheduled artillery fire started to arrive, the moment I was dreading, here the Romanian infantry dug in around the village first get bombarded with HE then Smoke, the red dice are the hits, the white counters, suppression. In the centre of the village can be seen the Romanian HQ, well and truly in the thick of it. The Romanians were placed in this defensive position due to their really bad command value, I couldnt trust them anywhere else!

The German force seen earlier rushed past the factory area hitting the German right flank. The 88 taken out by the KV's while only managing to disable the recce unit. The 250 fleeing is the German FAO .... retreating after been over run while hiding in the factory ! The only good bit of news at this time was coming from the Romanians who after getting over been bombed and covered in smoke carried out some very accurate artillery fire to hold up the Russian centre, what was more disconcerting for me at this time ( I was in charge of the unfortunate Germans ) was that this was being carried out by my 13 year old daughter in charge of the Romanians ( who loves the game .. ) and was putting me to shame....

In the last-but-one picture, the Romanians are still holding the village, while to the right the Germans are starting to be subdued, A Pz38t and a couple of infantry units in the house prepare to be next.

The Russian Right finally gets to grips with the Romanians. The Russian centre can be seen still trying to advance .. turn 7, while the T34's take care of the Romanian armour. Two moves later all the T34 are destroyed .. due to two well placed Marders hidden in the rear.

The game was played on an 8ft by 4 ft table with a game length of 10 moves. After turn 10 the Germans had fallen back to the last wood and were making a last stand having already passed one Morale command role at the start of the turn.. PHEW .... but the good news was that the Russians had also taken about 40% casualties ... Hooray.... so we decided on a draw with a view to playing the next game based on the campaign rules in the book. This was an excellent game lasting about 5 hours, with a real nail biter of a finish. The conclusion for me ... german armour early war is CRAP... bring on them Panthers. From the Russian point of view, if the game had gone one more turn the Germans would have gone, this would have been earlier had the centre not failed so many command rolls.

Still a damn excellent way to spend a sunday....

The battlefield.

The main German deployment.

The Russian left flank on the advance.

Romanians under artillery bombardment.

Russian breakthrough on the right flank.

The Romanians defending the village.

The Russian right flank.

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