Sunday, December 3, 2017

Panzergrenadier AAR - Krazny Oktyabr - Nov 10/42

Hello again! Back to the miniatures table after a summer at our little cabin on a north Saskatchewan lake! BBQs, beer, sand, sailing, etc. Now that snow and winter has arrived in Saskatoon (-21 C, -27 wind chill at game time) it's time to push some of the "little fellas" around the table again while we wait for spring.

It looks like we are still not done with Stalingrad so this scenario takes place further south, a few weeks after the last scenario, Barrikady Hall 6A.  In this one some of 24th Panzer Division's units have been ordered south to take over defensive positions at the southern end of the Red October steel factory (Krazny Oktyabr), jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

We continued with our customized set of rules for company/battalion based on the Panzergrenadier series (Deluxe & 2nd Edition), adding in some "special" Stalingrad rules. When we use a custom rule in the game log I'll indicate in blue to show where we depart from the original rules. To help refresh our memories about the game rules after the summer layoff I decided to moderate while Brent and Tim played. This AAR is reported in some detail for those that already play with the BGPG rules or those interested to see how BGPG plays. Or if you wish you can just look at the photos to follow the game events!

Krazny Oktyabr - October 10, 1942

Historical Overview
By the end of October the 24th Panzer Division is sufficiently depleted from fighting in Stalingrad from the beginning so not considered available for further large offensive operations. On November 1 some elements were ordered to take over defensive positions from 79th Infantry Division in the southern part of the Steel Factory near Hall 10. This was a very active attack point for the Russians in late October and this thrust continues against the 24th Panzer positions in early November. Sometimes Russian combat patrols are not spotted until within 20 meters of the German front line of trenches and shell craters due to the rubble everywhere resulting from months of bombardment. A determined Russian attack occurs on November 10. This scenario is loosely based on the various November battles in the southern Steel Factory.

Death of The Leaping Horseman: 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad by Jason D. Mark

Map And General Scenario Notes:
The table represents the area at the south-east end of the Steel Factory and includes part of the Volga bank and the burned-out oil farm and major gully (Bannyi Schlucht) to the south.

Here is a general view including the starting areas for each side :

All of the defending German units are deployed dug-in and Hidden north of the blue line with the Russian attacking forces deployed under blinds south of the red line. This is mainly an infantry slugfest so no armour is initially involved. However if German reserves are invoked limited tank support is included. The scenario proved to be very exciting for both players since they had no idea of the enemy dispositions, reserves, and strengths at start!

The relative force strengths were added up using only those forces likely to be involved in the initial battle, The eight full Inexperienced Russian platoons only totalled 520 points for the attacker! The long thin line of German defenders totalled 655 points. At first this seemed to be totally wrong since in BGPG we have found the attacker/defender ratio should be at least in the 1.25 to 1.5 area. However, the Russian's attacks are focused on only 2 areas so only about 425 points of the German forces should be involved, with no support allowed from adjacent German units. This put the ratio at almost 1.25 so I decided to do a solo "test run" with that. After lucky dice rolls neutralized the German MMGs the Russian horde just crushed the Germans ! So I decided to add in some German reinforcements that would arrive only if triggered by a huge Russian success, since much of the German strength depends on the survival of the MMGs. This also was rather historical since early Russian success was later wiped out by later German counterattacks.

I designed the scenario victory conditions to favour the Russians since any ground gained through local counterattacks in this area continued to thwart further German progress to the Volga. A variable game end was used starting at the end of Turn 7. Because the Germans do not know the Russian objectives, if the game ends by dice roll at the end of a turn, they get 2 VP for each Hall they control (no enemy troops on ground floor), 1 VP point if shared with enemy troops, 0 VP if only enemy troops. The Russians are only attacking Hall 10 and 8 so would get 4 VP for control, 3 VP for shared, and 0 VP for only enemy.

If At Game End       Russian      German    Winner
The Russians:             VP              VP
Control 0                      0                 6          German Major
Share 1                        3                 5          German Minor
Share 2                        6                 4          Russian Minor
Control 1                      5                 4          Russian Minor
Control 1 & Share 1     8                 3          Russian Major
Control 2                     10                2          Russian Major

We play on a 5x4 foot table in 15mm with figures based on FoW stands and use modified Panzergrenadier rules: Our guns and tanks are 1:1 and we use the 20mm ranges for firing and activation. We also replace Built Up Area terrain with individual buildings or portions of buildings as "small terrain features."  We continued to refine and use our special Stalingrad rules that modify the basic LOS, terrain effects, close assault, troop quality and motivation level rules.

Krazny Oktyabr Special Terrain And Movement Rules:
In November at the Steel Factory the terrain has been pounded by heavy artillery and Stuka bombs to the point that it all of what used to be Open Ground is now Rubble (Difficult Terrain) allowing LOS with -1 DRM Cover, but only tactical movement even for infantry. Roads & rail tracks are “Light Rubble" with -1 DRM Cover allowing LOS, still requiring tactical moves for infantry, but not classed as Difficult Terrain for vehicles. LOS visibility between ground level units is limited to 8 inches due to rubble, smoke and dust. Even LOS to/from elevated positions is only 12 inches (+1 DRM down). Shell craters are Hard Cover, Impassable by vehicles, and a -1 DRM Hindrance.

LOS between units at the same level inside a factory is limited to 1 inch and provides Hard Cover for Direct Fire and a +2 Strongpoint DRM for the defender in Close Assaults. From outside the factory there is no LOS to/from units inside a factory unless they are manning a wall.

Since the level of rubble throughout the battlefield approaches the same level of cover in factories, factories are not considered to be large or small terrain features so eligibility for Close Assaults are treated the same as for open ground (only friendly units within 1" of a Close Assaulted defender are included).

The Exploit Order Phase is not used.

Krazny Oktyabr Troop Quality Rules:
Germans: Breakpoint is back to 50% to reflect losses but, with a defensive mind-set still begrudging any retreat from hard-earned positions, they ignore suppression results from Breakpoint Tests.

Russians: Their ability to adapt to "rattenkrieg" with no option of retreat altered their resistance to effectively a fanatical level. Therefore the Russian ignores any suppression results from a Breakpoint Test. Russians also have a whopping 70% Battlegroup Breakpoint before losing the game. In addition, all units have unique capabilities to accent their defensive strength: All units are 2D6 = 7 for Phase Activation, -1 for Direct Fire, +1 for Close Assault, +1 for Morale and +1 for Rally, absolute. See scenario briefing for further details. Due to the chaotic battle conditions coordination between platoons units is poor so no Coordinated Infantry Assaults are allowed
German Briefing and Force (Hauptmann Von Pollus)
In command of 24th Panzer Division troops you are ordered to hold the current front line positions earned by the deaths of many men of 79th Infantry Division previously assigned to this sector. In particularly hold at all costs Halls 8, 9 and 10. Enemy attacks in this area have been constant and determined. If outflanked by nearby enemy penetrations, forward positions may withdraw to maintain a continuous line but withdrawing troops may not leave their assigned frontage to aid adjacent platoons. Infantry reserves with armour support are available if that occurs. Available artillery and air support will not be available since the attackers will already be at extremely close range.

Cause a Russian Battlegroup Break Point for an instant victory, or have the most Victory Points at game end. VP = 2 each for no enemy troops in the ground floor of Halls 8, 9, or 10. VP = 1 each if shared with enemy troops. VP = 0 if only enemy troops present.

Special Rules: Ignore Breakpoint suppression retreats. Battlegroup Breakpoint is 50%. Special Stalingrad terrain, movement, and troop quality rules in effect. The MMG Teams may not be moved other than to rotate in position (stay in place with Damage if Disengaged). Platoons not in buildings must hold starting positions unless flanked. If flanked, the only movement order allowed is with a Withdraw Order.

On Table at Start: (unless indicated,deployed at ground level as per map, dug-in and hidden)
Elements of 24th Panzer Division (all Regular except as noted)
  Battlegroup Command (Veteran)
  Infantry Company #1 Command
    Pzg Plt (Command, 3xRifle/LMG squad)
    Pzg Plt (Command, 3xRifle/LMG squad)
    Pzg Plt (Command, 3xRifle/LMG squad)
    MMG Team (1x MMG Team) - (top floor Hall 10)
  Infantry Company #2 Command
    Pzg Plt (Command, 3xRifle/LMG squad)
    Pzg Plt (Command, 3xRifle/LMG squad)
    MMG Team (1x MMG Team) - (top floor Hall 8)

  Reserve 1: Next German Phase after there are only Russian troops in the southmost ground floor areas of Halls 8 or 9.
    Pzg Plt (Command, 4xRifle/LMG squad)
    Heavy Panzer (1x PzIVD) (on north west road edge)
  Reserve 2: Next German Phase after there are only Russian Troops in the ground floor of Hall 10.
    Pzg Plt (Command, 4xRifle/LMG squad)
    Heavy Panzer (1x PzIVD) (on north east road edge)

Here is the German deployment:

The German platoon defending the Hall 10 is most concerned with the Volga bank and nearby gully and are supported by an upper floor MMG which will also cover part of the ground in front of Hall 9.

Similarly an MMG is added the upper floor of Hall 8 ruins to support the platoons defending Hall 8 and part of Hall 9.

After the usual brief enemy artillery barrage this morning causing no casualties (the German troops had their heads down), heavy enemy troop movements are heard in the Volga bank and the south gully...

Russian Briefing and Force (Kapitan Millerov)
As local commander of the Russian troops under Chuikov's 62nd Army you are ordered to attack toward two objectives, Hall 10 and Hall 8. The goal is to outflank German forces in Hall 9 to force them to withdraw. Chuikov has ordered all available nearby troops for your use and they are in their jump-off points currently hidden by the Volga bank, oil tanks, Bannyi Schlucht and the Machine Shop. No artillery or air support is provided since your troops will be at close quarters for all of the fighting.

Mission: Cause a German Battlegroup Break Point for an instant victory, or have the most VP at game end. VP = 5 each for no enemy troops in the ground floor of Hall 8 (southmost two areas) or Hall 10. VP = 3 if shared with enemy troops. VP = 0 if only enemy troops present.

Special Rules: Ignore Breakpoint suppression retreats. Battlegroup Breakpoint is 70%. Special Stalingrad terrain, movement, and troop quality rules in effect.

On Table at Start (deployed under blinds as per map):
Elements of 138th Division (all Inexperienced except as noted)
  Battlegroup Command (Regular) - Near Blind 3
  1st Company Command - Near Blind 7
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 3
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 5
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 7
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 8
  2nd Company Command - Near Blind 13
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 12
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 13
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 14
    Rifle Platoon (command, 4x rifle squad) - Blind 15

(Blinds 1,2,4,6,9,10,11 are Decoys)

Reserves: None

Here is the Russian set-up with the most likely routes of advance to their objectives.

For the Motherland!

Game Play

Turn 1 - German initiative & force the Russians to go first.

Russian Command Phase:
Kapitan Millerov orders a tactical Move & Fire for Blind #15 which charges forward and moves into LOS of a hidden German MMG on the top floor of Hall #8 and a dug-in squad (blue). They both reveal and defensive fire at the newly revealed Russian platoon (white) resulting in one squad hitting the dirt, suppressed. The Russian platoon's fire is all over the place and misses. Millerov next orders Blind #14 to move into Building 1 and Blinds #12 and #13 to move into Hall 8A. In the centre Blind #11 moves up into LOS of hidden German units and is revealed to be a decoy.

Further east Blinds #9 & #10 move up into LOS of more hidden German units and are both revealed to be decoys. Blind #8 moves east (see photo below in German turn) toward the oil unloading tank into LOS of two hidden dug-in German squads (green). They both defensive fire at the newly revealed Russian platoon (blue). One fire is a double 6 dispersing one Russian squad! Ouch! A second Russian squad is suppressed. Determined Russian fire causes one suppression test but the German squad shrugs it off . Millerov orders Blinds #6 and #7 to move east into the Volga bank gully near Hall 10 to join Blind #5 to concentrated friendly forces there. The remaining blinds #1 - #4 just reposition north within the Volga bank. End Russian Command Phase.

German Command Phase:
In the east the two German green squads fire again on the Russian blue squads causing one to lose heart and disengage back into the cover of a burned-out steel oil tank. Return Russian fire all misses. The Germans are rolling hot so far and the Russians are not!

In the west, Hpt. Von Pollus orders the German MMG and blue squad to fire at the Russian white platoon but both miss. The Russian return fire is also off target. [Custom Rule: A unit fired on is an Acquired Target by the firing unit with automatic activation to fire at it. Units that are mutual Acquired Targets are engaged and roll dice to see who fires first (Interactive Fire)] End German Command Phase.

Rally Phase:
All the Russian squads rally. End of Turn 1.

Turn 2 - Germans barely win initiative & force the Russians to go first.

Russian Command Phase:
Out west Kap. Millerov orders the white platoon to boldly advance toward Hall 8 taking defensive fire from the westmost German blue squad that misses. The Russian tactical fire is on target and suppresses the German squad. Then Millerov orders the rest of the nearby blinds to advance. Blind #14 moves out of Building 1 into LOS of the MMG and reveals a platoon (grey), but no defensive fire from the Germans who realize there may be two more platoons coming next. The Russian platoon's tactical fire at the MMG just bounces off the bricks. Blind #13 moves out of Hall 8A into the MMG's LOS and sure enough reveals another platoon (purple). One new dug-in German blue squad just east of the westmost German squad now reveals and defensive fires at the purple platoon along with the MMG. One Russian squad barely survives a dispersal test and runs back to Hall 8A. Another Russian squad fails two disengage tests and is wiped out due to double damage! [Custom Rule: Infantry units also take damage.] Blind #12 moves out of Hall 8A into LOS of the MMG and reveals still another platoon (green). Two more new German squads reveal and defensive fire, one blue squad near Hall 8 and one grey squad in a shell hole just south of Hall 9. One misses but the other causes a Russian squad to falter and disengage back to Hall 8A. Russian tactical fire is anywhere but on target. German fire continues to make it hot for the Russians!

Further east, Kap. Millerov orders the blue platoon at the oil farm to advance. They run into seriously accurate defensive fire from the two German green squads and one Russian squad is dispersed!

Seeing the strong resistance at the oil farm Millerov now orders Blind #5 out of the gully near the oil unloading tank revealing a platoon (tan) that charges toward Hall 10. One German squad in the ground floor of Hall 10 and another dug-in German squad just to the south reveal themselves and both defensive fire at the Russian platoon suppressing one squad in the ruins to the east. A German MMG reveals itself on the top floor of Hall 10 and fires on the Russian tan platoon, causing one squad to lose heart and disengage back into the gully. However, one Russian morale test results in a double six which allows an immediate Reaction Shot against the MMG suppressing it! Urraahhh! The remaining two Russian squads and commander valiantly charge forward and press home an assault on the forward dug-in German squad, dispersing it while only suffering one suppressed squad in return. Finally a Russian success! After winning the assault they reposition to better cover in the nearby shell crater and ruins.

The Blinds #3 and #4 move threateningly north along the Volga bank and into the north gully, staying hidden. End Russian Command Phase.

German Command Phase:
A second German squad in Hall 10 reveals and both squads fire at the Russian squads but they are off target. Russian return fire also just pings off the bricks. Further west the two dug-in German squads near the oil tanks fire on the Russian squads in the shell holes but the Russians just duck down. Russian return fire also misses (no photos). A brief standoff at Hall 10 and the oil farm.

To the west, the German grey squad fires on a Russian green squad but misses as does the Russian return fire. The two German green squads more to the west fire at the Russian purple squads and aim straight and disperse one squad! Finally Von Pollus orders the MMG to fire on the westmost Russian white platoon with devastating effect, dispersing one squad and causing another squad to abandon the charge and run back to Building 1! Nasty MMGs! End German Command Phase.

Rally Phase:
All Russian squads in the west rally except the one in Building 1 and the one in Hall 8A. The western German squad rallies Battle Hardened! In the east all the Russian squads rally except the squad in the gully. The Russian squad in the ruins also rallies Battle Hardened! Unfortunately for the Russians, the German MMG in Hall 10 also rallies. End Turn 2.

Turn 3 - German again wins initiative and again forces the Russian to go first.

Russian Command Phase:
Near the Volga, Kap Millerov orders his Russian platoon (tan) near Hall 10 to get going and bravely assault the German squads in the ground floor of Hall 10. Hpt. Pollus holds fire with the MMG since there are still two more Russian blinds in the nearby gully. The German platoon's defensive fire causes one Russian squad to falter and disengage back to the ruins but the remaining two squads and commander charge into close assault against the two German squads in Hall 10 and get a surprise with a German commander that was lurking right behind them.

The Germans roll very high causing the Russians to lose all 3 attacking units! Yikes! The Russians roll average causing one German squad to be dispersed and another suppressed. There aren't even any Russians left to retreat from the fight!

With most of his tan platoon unfortunately wiped out Kap. Millerov orders Blind #7 out of the gully and reveals a Russian platoon (red) which is immediately shot at by the nasty MMG, again with harsh effect, dispersing one squad and suppressing another! German MMG fire continues to devastate. However, Lady Luck steps in (as usual) and during the Russian end-of-move tactical fire at the MMG one Russian squad fires at the MMG and with deadly accuracy rolls a double six, eliminating the MMG! Payback time! A bit further west the Russian blue squad in the shell crater near the oil unloading fires and misses the German green squad with the return fire also off target.

Over to the west Millerov orders the green platoon with 2 squads and commander to charge forward and assault the nearest German blue squad. One Russian squad is stopped by defensive fire and retreats back to the shell hole, but the remaining two Russian units press home the assault. The rolls for both sides result in one suppression each so the the Russians win the assault because they have one unsuppressed unit left after the assault. The German squad retreats back into Hall 8 and passes his rally test. [ Units retreating from a lost close assault must pass a Rally Test or they are suppressed] Then Millerov orders the purple platoon's squad and commander to assault the centre German green squad, but the accurate defensive fire hits the leading platoon commander hard and he fails his morale roll miserably and he is dispersed! The surviving Russian squad plunges into close combat and takes one suppression but causes two suppressions on the German squad. The Russians win the close assault causing the German squad to be damaged and retreat back into Hall 8. The purple squad wisely decides to reposition back behind the tracks out of close range of the MMG.

The white platoon now rushes forward and close assaults the battle hardened western German blue squad which misses with defensive fire. The German squad is easily eliminated but being Battle Hardened he heroically disperses two Russian squads and suppresses the commander!

Finally the Russian grey platoon advances toward Hall 8 and comes under heavy fire from the MMG which is accurate and deadly, dispersing one squad and causing a second to break off the charge and head back to a shell crater. The Russian tactical fire just pings off the bricks.

End Russian Command Phase.

German Command Phase:
Von Pollus orders the German dug-in green squad by the oil unloading to fire and they shoot straight causing a Russian red squad to abandon position and retreat back into the gully. However, the defensive fire from an adjacent Russian squad is on target and suppresses the German squad. The nearby German green squad fires on the Russian squad in a shell crater near the oil farm but misses. However, the Russian return defensive fire roll is a double-six which disperses the German squad! An encouraging success for the Russians!

A bit more to the west the German grey platoon in front of Hall 9 having seen a friendly platoon's squad on their left flank just wiped out by Russians and company strength Russians outflanking them to the right, Von Pollus orders them to withdraw back towards, and some into, Hall 9.

In the far west, the MMG fires on the Russian grey platoon right in front of it, merely suppressing one squad. Russian return fire just bounces. End German Command Phase.

Rally Phase
The Russian white squad in Building 1 rolls extra low and routs! All other German and Russian squads rally except one Russian squad in the eastern shell crater by the oil tanks, one Russian green squad in the western shell crater and one Russian squad in Hall 8A. End Turn 3.

Turn 4 - Russian Initiative and goes first.

Russian Command Phase:
In the west Kap. Millerov activates the green platoon, now down to one squad and platoon commander, and orders them to close assault Hall 8 from east side flank. One German squad in LOS defensive fires and misses. But it is 2 Russian vs 3 German units so the assault does not go well for the Russians. Both the Russian squad and platoon commander are eliminated but they at least take out 1 German squad in return. Then using combined arms, the tan platoon (2 squads & commander), 1 purple, 1 grey squad and the white platoon commander simultaneously rise up and with a loud "UUURRRAAHHHH" charge forward and close assault Hall 8. The MMG and one German squad defensive fire which suppresses their commander and causes one Russian grey squad to disengage back to a shell hole.

The remaining 4 units assault into Hall 8, eliminating the last 2 German units (platoon command and squad) but 1 Russian unit is dispersed. The Russians have cleared Hall 8's ground floor and the two squads and commander take up new positions as much out of the upper floor MMG's LOS as possible.

Sensing a Russian breakthrough and hoping that the last pesky MMG is soon silenced the company commander in Hall 8A and a purple squad advance to a shell hole on their way to reinforce Hall 8.

Over to the east near the oil farm the blue platoon commander and a squad advance and fire at the German green squad in the foxhole but miss as does the return fire. Now Kap. Millerov activates the Russian red platoon and orders two squads to assault Hall 10 and the remaining squad and platoon commander to assault the German green squad in the foxhole. This must have the Germans rattled since all their defensive fire misses. The German squad in the foxhole is wiped out with both assaulting Russians just taking suppressions so the Russians win. The platoon commander and squad reposition into the foxhole and a nearby shell hole. The other two red Russian squads assault Hall10 against a defending German squad and platoon commander. In the assault one German squad is dispersed and one Russian squad dispersed. A tie so the German defender wins since there are still unsuppressed German defenders. The remaining Russian squad withdraws to a nearby shell crater and passes his rally. Then Kap. Millerov orders the company commander in the gully to activate the two nearby tan squads, hoping they can charge in and finish off the lone defending platoon commander in Hall 10. But they roll snake eyes for activation causing Command Confusion and the Russians lose 3 CP! [Custom Rule: Only a double-one roll for any activation attempt causes Command Confusion and a loss of only 3 Command Impetus.]

In the far north-east Blind #3 activates and charges out of the Volga gully revealing a Russian platoon (cyan) plus the Battlegroup Commander. Unbeknownst to them they are sighted by a fresh German green platoon dug-in to the north of Hall 10, which reveals itself with defensive fire.

The Russian platoon doesn't falter a bit and immediately close assaults the German green platoon. German defensive fire causes one Russian squad to change its mind and retreat back into the gully while the rest press home the assault. the Russian platoon wins the assault losing one Russian squad but eliminating two German squads. The remainder of the German platoon retreats behind the rail car and passes rally.

Now that the threat to their right flank is reduced, on their repositioning move after the successful close assault the Russians pull back into to the cover of nearby shell holes and ruins. End Russian Command Phase.

German Command Phase:
In the far northeast Hpt. Von Pollus orders his units to fire. The green squad behind the flatcar fires at the nearby Russian squad and misses. A new German squad at the north end of Hall 10 reveals by firing at a nearby Russian squad in a shell hole but also misses. His platoon commander moves north from the south end of Hall 10 to support his remaining squad.

Over to the west in Hall 8 the MMG repositions to fire down at the Russian platoon commander below him and hits but the Russian commander casually shrugs off two disengage tests.

Because the ground floor of Hall 8 is now occupied only by Russian troops, this triggers German reserves of one new infantry platoon (red) which appears activated in the north area of Hall 8 and one PzIVD which appears activated at table edge on the nearby road. The tank must stay on the road or railway track, otherwise take a bog test for movement.

Appreciating the arrival of support, Von Pollus orders the tank to move up the road and, spying the Russian platoon commander in Hall 8, fires his 75mm gun at him causing the platoon commander to retreat back into the ruins. The reserve red platoon then moves up into the middle area of Hall 8, still out of LOS of the Russians. End German Command Phase.

Rally Phase:
Unfortunately for the Russians only three Russian squads rally. The rest fail to rally: The platoon commander in Hall 8, the grey squad in a shell hole near Building 1, the purple squad in Hall 8A, the red platoon commander in the foxhole south of Hall 10, and the cyan squad in the northeast gully. End Turn 4.

Turn 5 - German Initiative and goes first.

German Command Phase:
The MMG team, seeing help on the way fires at the Russian platoon commander but misses. The PzIV moves further up the road and railway track to get into better range of the enemy. Still seeing Russian troops in Hall 8 the PzIV fires his 75mm at the Russian squad there causing him to think there must be better places to be and disengage back into the ruins beside his platoon commander.

Then Von Pollus orders the German red platoon in Hall 8 to clear the building of all Russians. The platoon advances and close assaults with two separate combats. The westmost combat with two German squads assaulting the suppressed platoon commander and squad. In this assault the two suppressed Russians are eliminated but still manage to suppress both German squads. In the nearby combat just to the east the remaining two German squads and their platoon commander assault the lone Russian squad. The Russian squad is easily dispersed but he also valiantly manages to suppress two German squads.

Over to the far northeast the German green squad behind the flatcar fires and suppresses the nearby cyan Russian squad in a shell hole. Also the squad in Hall 10 fires on the nearby Russian cyan squad in a shell hole and with deadly aim scores a double-six and disperses it! End German Command Phase.

Russian Command Phase:
The unexpected loss of the 3 Russian units in Hall 8 and the squad to the far northeast has put the Russian side dangerously close to their Battlegroup Break point. So Kap. Millerov orders the Russian company command near Hall 8A with a combined arms order to activate a purple and green squad and move them further east, away from potential enemy fire. He also orders the grey platoon commander in front of Hall 8 to withdraw toward Hall 8A, but the German PzIV defensive fires with uncanny accuracy and, unfortunately for the Russians, scores a double-six which ends the platoon commander troubles. This pushes the Russian side over their Battlegroup Breakpoint immediately ending the game.

Here is the table at game end with a red dot for Russian troops and a blue dot for visible German troops (the still hidden German Battlegroup Commander and Company Commanders are not shown).

Tallying The Score:
The Russians lost 25 of 35 units (71%) and the Germans lost 12 of 38 units (32%).

Comments On The Scenario:
The German MMGs were awesome! The MMG in Hall 8 caused enough mayhem to put the Russians quite far along the road to their Breakpoint . Since the game ended this way we didn't get to define the level of victory based on points earned for each side. I'm still not sure if the initial Russian/German force ratio was high enough, but I feel the balance is so dependent on the MMGs that Lady Luck could step in either way. In any case the group enjoyed playing it!

Historical Aftermath:
On November 10 several hundred Russians managed to assault and control the southern half of Hall 10 but were unable to penetrate further there and also were stopped in the attacks further west toward Halls 9 and 8. Over the day, determined German counterattacks managed to hold against six Russian attacks of 200 to 300 men. Hall 10 was retaken by the Germans the next day, but near daily Russian attacks thereafter ensured that this was the furthest east that the German advance ever achieved in the south part of the steel factory.

Comments On The Panzergrenadier Customized Rules:
The special Stalingrad rules for modelling the intense "rattenkrieg" urban combat seemed to replicate the challenges faced by both sides. The better rally and morale DRMs plus the higher Breakpoint for the Russians was still offset by their inexperience level for activation and firing DRMs. We continue to enjoy game play with this customized rules set.

Thanks for taking the time to look at this AAR! Not sure what will be next. I'd still like to do something like the Kommissar House or Pavlov's House, but these seem to lend themselves more to skirmish level rules than the company/battalion level BGPG rules.

Until next time...