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 Post subject: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:34 pm 
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As Russian troops retreat from Minsk they are harried every step of the way by German forces. Many pour out from the North of the city and head in a North-West direction, hoping to make there way towards Riga. Along the dusty roads and dirt trails across Belarus and Lithuania they are continuously attacked, Ju87 dive-bombers torment from the skies while elite German regiments move ever closer. In the dense wooded landscape along the Belarus/Lithuania border the Russians finally have to chose to fight rather than flee.

House Rules.

1) The tree-line is classed as heavy woodland and therefore invokes a - 1/4 full movement penalty (eg 6 becomes 4 1/2 inches) and always counts as soft cover. Troops inside the wooded area can only be targeted if they are 2" or less inside the perimeter and can only fire out of the woodland under the same measurement ruling.

2) Hide/Hidden. If a unit is hidden it cannot be shot at unless it reveals it's position by shooting or is less than 4" from an enemy unit & is therefore detected (or is clearly out in the open). Any more queries on this ruling please don't hesitate to ask.

Turn 1.

With the Russian Lieutenant getting one of his famous 'hunches' that an attack was imminent, Turn 1 saw the majority of the Red Army stragglers take up 'Ambush' positions. The only exceptions were the NKVD who began to advance into the RH side woodland to flush out any SS units ready to cause trouble on that side of the board while the 'free' rifle squad moved along the dusty road running through the centre of the board as movement was heard on the LH side amongst the dense undergrowth and trees.

Elements of the SS 4th Panzer Grenadier Division Polizei had began making there way onto the LH side of the board causing the sudden movement of Russian squads, 2 squads (1 x 9 men and 1 x 8 men) + an MMG team rapidly closed the distance towards the Ivan force. All other German units spent the first turn in reserve meaning that not one shot had been fired in anger, yet.

We only managed to get one turn in and although nothing much had happened in the way of action, the overall feeling the game gave was one of a slow-burner with a lot of cat and mouse moves before finally exploding in a symphony of chaos. With the amount of bodies the Russians could field the longer I could keep them at arm's length and whittle away at there fragile leadership the better.


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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:16 am 
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Look forward to seeing how this goes!

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:48 pm 
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Photos turn 1

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Soviet troops hold the corridor open.

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Soviet LMG squad hides in the rocks

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The majority of soviet forces take refuge in some ruins.

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SS forces move in to try and close the gap.

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Crack troops sneak through the woods

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Nkvd troops enter the woods to hunt the hun!

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:59 pm 
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The Russians are looking at a 2:1 outnumbering ratio at present. Apologies for the bare-metal figures in photo 4, this has now been remedied as all of the SS Phase 2 have now been constructed and under-coated.

Hopefully the battle should reconvene this coming Wednesday.


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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:17 pm 
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Turn 2.

The turn started with the brutal NKVD pushing further into the woods on the RH side hoping to surprise any enemy units, however the first shots fired in anger came from the other side of the road as the 8-man SS unit opened fire on the dug-in LMG unit opposite them. Due to the hard cover afforded them by the protective walls not one hit was registered and the Russian unit returned fire.

House Rule.

When in 'Ambush' mode a unit can retaliate against hidden enemies who have just revealed there position by shooting them. The retaliation attacks can only be done once all enemy shots have been resolved.

The LMG squads retaliation was swift and brutal as they fired into the tree-line, taking out 3 of the SS squad. First blood to the Red Army and a painful lesson for the German commander who couldn't afford such high losses each turn. This led to a major tactical re-think as the SS force received orders to disengage from various locations along the road and re-deploy at weaker points. From the top RH corner came reserves in the form of a 10-man strong SS unit, the Lieutenant plus 2 additional veterans and also the Flamethrower team made it's long awaited debut. The 9-man SS unit and MMG team stationed on the LH side opted to run towards the top end of the board thus giving the SS a strong presence that end.

With much of the Russian forces on 'Ambush' the 'free' rifle squad repositioned, taking up position in the rocks vacated by the NKVD who were in turn backed-up by an additional LMG squad in the RH side woods. The Lieutenant advanced between 2 of the LMG squads and with that the turn ended.

Again it had been very much a cat and mouse turn, the Germans, mindful of the need to conserve numbers had learnt a valuable lesson and changed strategy but it did look like the Russians had reacted. Turn 3 up next and things start to get very messy.


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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:43 pm 
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Looking forward to seeing how it went. Hard to call it so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:27 pm 
Noise Maker
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Turn 2 pics

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The Russian NCO shouts out orders as fire comes from the woods

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SS squad and lieutenant close in on the Soviet howitzer.

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The Nkvd advance deeper into the jungle to buy the rest of the forces time to escape, The rookies dive into the vacated cover.

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More SS race to close the gap and end the retreat.

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:06 pm 
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Turn 3.

When such brutal foes come face to face, all tactical thoughts can become of secondary importance in warfare. This was the case when the SS flamethrower team spied the advancing NKVD through the trees at the start of turn 3. A sudden stream of flesh-searing flame engulfed the Russian unit causing 2 casualties but despite the 2 PM's the NKVD moral stood firm, the flamethrower team rolled a 3 meaning they retained enough fuel to have another go if they survived that long. Eager to out-do the dreaded weapon-team the top RH side SS unit vacated it's cover and in true brutal back-stabbing fashion shot across the road into the LMG unit which had been making ready for the SS units pushing through the LH-side woodland, killing 3.

Russian units were now starting to come under intense pressure at the head of the board as the SS began to gain further stronger footholds in the game. The bottom RH LMG unit which had so much success with it's first round of firing found the depleted SS unit a more stubborn proposition now as no wounds were caused despite several hits. The German unit would then go into 'Rally' mode, losing both it's pins. Even the brutal NKVD were having a tough time as they failed to charge the flamethrower and therefore had to end the turn in 'down' mode (this was a massive failure as it meant that at the beginning of turn 4 if the Germans could get the first activation the flamethrower would again be able to strike Rayners top unit without needing to roll dice to 'hit'). The Russians were now desperately trying to plug holes in there defences as the SS concentrated there fire at a handful of the less defended parts of the road, the 'free' rifle squad ran back across the road but only to run into the MMG team which had relocated at that position, 2 of the inexperienced Russians were brutally gunned down.

Seeing his force begin to exert some control over the battle, the SS Lieutenant fired from the forest edge into the LMG squad shot in the back earlier, again another Russian was slain as the Howitzer team frantically tried to redeploy. But yet even more forces began to pile towards the intense fighting at that end of the board, on the LH side was the 9 man (non-painted) SS squad, while on the RH side an LMG squad hastened through the branches and bushes to support the beleaguered NKVD (both units having 'run').

The Russian lieutenant went into 'ambush' and turn 3 ended.

It was a very one-sided affair this turn as the SS seemed to get a lions-share of the luck and also came out on top in the shooting stakes. I wouldn't say I was confident of claiming victory but I certainly felt I had clawed back some ground on the Russians after my ineptness of turn 2 and was now making Rayner react more to the decisions I was making rather than the other way round. It would be interesting to hear his opinion on this.

As for the game as a spectacle, what we had expected to happen did. The cloak and dagger nature of the first 2 turns had now been replaced by short-range fire-fights breaking out all along the road giving it a very skirmish type feel. It was going to become Veteran expertise vs Russian numbers.

If you've enjoyed the first 3 turns especially this last one, wait till you see what happened as dice were rolled in Turn 4 (Clue. The board begins to look a lot emptier).


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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:33 am 
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Great write ups.

Another game now peaking my interest

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:06 pm 
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GamesVaultSteve wrote:
Great write ups.

Another game now peaking my interest



DOOOO IT!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Another quality report gents. Played the last 2 Mondays and loving the system for fast playing interesting battles. Steve, it's great and you'll love it; however you're not allowed to play until you sort your ecw force...


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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:32 pm 
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Cheers Paul, Gazza deserves most of the credit tbh. I whole heartedly agree. ECW first Steve!

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:58 pm 
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Nkvd get torched by the flame thrower team.

Image
SS squad and lieutenant try to jump the Howitzer and take shots at the LMG team across the road.

Image
SS MMG takes aim on some unlucky Russians.

Quote:
It was a very one-sided affair this turn as the SS seemed to get a lions-share of the luck and also came out on top in the shooting stakes. I wouldn't say I was confident of claiming victory but I certainly felt I had clawed back some ground on the Russians after my ineptness of turn 2 and was now making Rayner react more to the decisions I was making rather than the other way round. It would be interesting to hear his opinion on this.


Turn 3 had been very SS friendly but I knew I would have to survive at least a turn of that, I was playing a reaction game being set up completely on the board with no Germans present, having such a long area to "keep the Germans out" of imeant it was always going the be that way. I was reasonable happy with how the battle was going (losing a few men didn't put me off) I had one of Gazzas units locked down and all the German troops had been committed, I just now had to hit him with everything I had and stop the pincers from closing, the next few turns were going to be critical.

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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Turn 4.

Hot scorching flame once again engulfed the NKVD at the beginning of Turn 4 as the first order dice out of the bag was grey in colour. 4 of the hated Russians died in the inferno while the remaining members of the unit failed there leadership test and fled the tabletop. They were quickly followed off the board by the Flame-thrower team who rolled a 2 and were promptly out of fuel. One turn, two units removed.

Russian units now attempted to re-group after losing there flagship unit. The howitzer team ran towards a more central position on the board but the LMG squad behind it was indecisive, failing it's command check it was placed in 'down' and promptly shot in the back once again by the SS unit across the road. 3 killed, a failed moral check and the rest were slain.

Elsewhere the firefight between the dug-in LMG squad and the depleted SS unit at the bottom of the board reached a dramatic climax. The SS again took casualties, the trees affording them little protective cover at this end of the board and a spectacular failed command check saw the others wiped out to a man.

Despite this setback the top end of the board was very SS heavy, the Polizei really making their presence felt. From the woodland in the middle of the board on the LH side came heavy gunfire, thudding into the 'free' rifleman squad and killing 4 of them. The brave inexperienced Russians however held fast but would fail to advance on the German positions. The German Lieutenant advanced forward joining the platoon near him despite this attracting unwanted fire from a Russian LMG squad moving-up along the RH side tree-line, no casualties were sustained however as the SS began to turn up the pressure on the Red Army stragglers.

The last plays were the Russian MMG advancing while the German one fired at the Howitzer, it's shots bouncing harmlessly off the field-guns gun-shield.

Turn 4 had certainly thinned the number of models on the board and with game-end looming timing was now going to be key to winning the battle. Much of the Russian forces were located towards the bottom of the board, all SS threats either nullified or redeployed, could they move up the board quick enough to stop the Germans digging in and contesting the centre of the board at the games finale?

The Road Of Despair concludes tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Road Of Despair - The Minsk Retreat.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:22 pm 
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I reckon this is a german win

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