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"Ost Front '43 - Beyond the Bridgehead" Topic

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Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2022 5:59 a.m. PST

At our once-a-month game day in St. Louis, we played a connected, second scenario inspired by heavy fighting that waged around the Ukrainian town of Akhtyrka, in late August of 1943.

The first game we had played tasked the Soviets with gaining a river crossing -

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The new scenario had this Soviet tank battalion, reinforced with SUs and field guns, charged with gaining the next dominant terrain feature to their front, the ground around a state farm to the west of the river crossing.

The Soviets opened their attack with a tank company pushing on the right, and with two platoons of SU-122s in support, while attempting to deploy their medium guns just off the center road.

Around the state farm, the German had positioned an infantry platoon strongpoint, reinforced with a PaK section and StuG III section (the latter having extracted itself out of the earlier fighting beyond the river). These anti-tank assets began to successfully engage the Soviet supporting artillery along with some indirect fire, and scored hits against the advancing T-34s.

The Soviet tank CO doggedly pressed forward, and under supporting fires from the SUs and remaining field guns the enemy strongpoint is being neutralized.

Though to the west, earlier in the day any available Panzers had been sent to counterattack this Soviet bridgehead, and are now arriving, just in the nick of time to engage the new enemy assault. Although suffering a few KOs from SU HEAT rounds, the German "Cats" will successfully divide the battlefield with their fire down the main road (and the point where the uncommitted 2nd T-34 company and tank riders has yet to arrive at).

The Soviet right wing still presses forward, and destroys the last StuG, but loses a tank to infantry dug in around the farm……..perhaps these T-34s might flank the German armor along the road? To the rear, it is now the moment that the Soviet 2nd tank company is at last committed to the attack.

Although the few T-34s at the point are able to engage some of the Panthers on their flanks, they fail to score hits at this critical moment, and are instead destroyed by return fire.

Separated back to the east, and just arriving on the battlefield, the Soviet 2nd tank company quickly goes to cover in a few wood lots in their vicinity. The German Panzers will likely dominate any further Soviet attempt to cross the open ground in the sector, and the Soviet battalion CO decides further attacks will be futile.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2022 6:06 a.m. PST

Lovely terrain and vehicles.

Theron04 Sep 2022 8:19 a.m. PST

Yes really nice. I always enjoy when the scenery takes the focus off the miniatures. What rules are you using?

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2022 11:00 a.m. PST

We had a super turnout for First Saturday gaming at Miniature Market Retail Superstore and this presentation is one of the reasons why that is so. We invite gamers in the area to join us for our monthly events. We are on Facebook at Big Muddy Historical Gaming Alliance or feel free to PM either myself of FlyXwire for information.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2022 3:59 p.m. PST

PzIV43, thank you!

Theron, I appreciate your words on the scenery. I'm using a modified version of the Bolt Action mechanics, but adapted to single squad stands, and with a different unit activation method (plus lots of other changes…..home rules).

The overall results they give delivers enough granularity to tank hits, and personnel stands absorb a number of hits before they're destroyed, these hits deducting off their firing chances, so squads and hvy. weapons become suppressed without complete elimination required to see accumulated combat affect.

Fitzovich and me have lately been discussing and contrasting our observations of what rule systems work best at our public game days. First conclusion are those rules that can be taught in the first 10-minutes of tableside game briefing. This is a different experience than some gamers might be comfortable with, who have (or want) the time to crunch over a ruleset at leisure. Our game days require efficiency from the hosts to setup quickly, with rules efficiently conveyed and able to be retained from a short initial briefing, able to be played by multiple participants (usually expected for 4-6+ players per), and as scenarios that can unfold and play in 4hrs. or less.

Our game days are a lot like mini-cons I guess, and though we attract a solid return crowd each month now, we are always looking at attracting new gamers, and therefore need games that new, casual, or younger players can feel welcome to join in too. That's been our mission.

Captain Pete06 Sep 2022 6:14 p.m. PST

It looks excellent, FlyXwire. An excellent looking game with an interesting situation.

I fully understand the desire to have a game that can be picked up by new players quickly and the need for the host to be able to manage the game and the new players.

I used to do this with Mein Panzer at my FLGS. I would have a few players already and maybe pick up a couple that happened by and liked what they saw. I need to get another game going and see if the interest is still there. Been doing a bit of painting lately.

It is always great to see your AARs. I always look forward to them.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2022 5:03 a.m. PST

Thanks Pete, and I think we feed off of each other's energy here too.

Being able to observe how the local guys "Get Their Game On" at our shop events, has got us thinking about best practices used to deliver these presentations. We throw around the word "kit" in this hobby, but if having a thought out, travelling game kit gets a scenario up and running without headaches, and that can leave more brain cells to run the actual gaming.

(the axiom about logistics vs. actual mil. performance well, gettin' the game on for outside the home hobby events takes on a similar refrain, even if it's just about having fun)

Anyway Pete, looking forward to seeing your latest painting accomplishment, or that next scenario posting.

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