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 Post subject: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:36 pm 
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Here are the set up pics of the battle I will list my force when I get a chance

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Soviets stagger their troops to defend the retreating convoy.

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Anti tank troops wait to jump any pursuing tanks and the T-34 (best tank ever) prepares to form a rear guard.

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Nkvd wait in cover ready for the SS troops.

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Anti tank gun ready to open up once the convoy has passed. The second anti tank team set up to take out any possible survivors and a small Lmg to hold up advances.

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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:52 pm 
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As German forces make huge gains into Lithuania, Russian forces are left in constant disarray as communications send conflicting reports and orders. The 48th Rifle Division under the command of MajGen I.F. Nikolaev, take the decision to pull back attempting to rendezvous with the 23rd Tank Division of the 12th Mechanized Corps based just outside of Kedainiai. Commandeering any and every vehicle they can get there hands on the 48th begins to retreat unaware that the SS Panzergrenadier Regiment Thule of the 4th SS Panzer Division Totenkopf is poised to intercept them.

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Last edited by gazza on Thu Nov 27, 2014 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:59 pm 
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Ok, slightly confusing with 2 threads dealing with the same battle :oops: , but we'll stick with this one from now on :D .

Firstly, House Rules.

1) Non-AP weapons DO NOT pin vehicles (may be revised).

2) No movement penalties within the wooded areas.

Board Sector Set-Ups.

Sector 1.

T-34, Tank-hunter unit A, NKVD.

Sector 2.

LMG Squad, AT-gun, Tank-hunter B.

All we were waiting for was Rayner's trucks to arrive and have there free turn and then we could really unleash some death and destruction.


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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Turn 1.

Russian trucks sped onto the board a massive 12" before we threw ourselves into Turn 1 to begin the game properly. Obviously being pursued by the notorious Totenkopf had led to the drivers preferring haste over caution on the often dangerous Russian roads. As they shot past the stationary T-34, the tanks crew climbed inside and prepared to go into 'Ambush' mode. This meant that all four trucks looked good to make there escape, that was until a mighty explosion rocked the tank-transporter vehicle, causing it to stall for vital seconds while it's 3 cousins suddenly stretched to a huge 24" from the board edge. Russian eyes now looked back down along the road, wide-eyed, alert and full of battle-ready awareness.

The SS had found the 48th Rifle Division, it was a PzIII's round smashing into the rear of Ivan's truck causing it to lurch to a juddering halt. Meanwhile, large units of German soldiers were swarming onto the board. Armed with anti-tank grenades one squad charged the T-34, two of there number mown down as the tank crew desperately trained there machine-guns on the fanatical attackers. All around the sounds of battle could be heard as the Totenkopf attempted to prise the Red Army from there dug-in positions but most of there early attacks were ineffective.

From his observational position MajGen. I.F. Nikolaev watched the wretched SS attack head-on his units carefully chosen defensive positions. He hadn't yet committed the bulk of his force, when the time was right he would unleash the full fury of it, there would be no mercy given to these butchers he thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:33 pm 
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Turn 1 pics
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T-34 gets caught out by advancing ss troops as the panzer III hammers the trailing truck.

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A russian anti tank team move up to try and support the injured truck.

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The other 3 trucks (wacky race vehicles) race away.

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SS troops move up to support the Panzer III.

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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:45 pm 
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My force selection

I went with lots of squads for lots of dice, I also knew I had to designate at least 2 to each sector so the more I had I could push onto important sectors. I just wanted to hold the Germans up and allow trucks to run for it.

Second lieutenant
Nkvd squad - 11 men, includes NCO, light machine gun all troops fanatics
2x LMG squad - 8 men, includes NCO, light machine gun, all troops have anti tank grenades.
LMG squad - 9 men, includes NCO, light machine gun, all troops have anti tank grenades.
LMG squad - 4 men, includes NCO, light machine gun, all troops have anti tank grenades.
Free rifle squad - 12 men, includes NCO, all troops have anti tank grenades.
Medium Machine gun team, includes gun shield.
DShk Heavy Machine gun, includes gun shield
2x Anti Tank teams - 3 men, includes NCO, all troops have anti tank grenades.
45mm Model 1937 Anti tank gun
T-34 medium tank
Truck (this is extra to the 3 I get for free in the scenario)

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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:32 am 
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With Rayner's rolling board idea coupled with the speed in which the Russian trucks were fast disappearing into the distance, yet again the SS were forced to change tactics. The Totenkopf would have to go to brutal measures just to try and salvage even a draw as even by turn 2 the prospect of a German victory looked bleak.


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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:51 am 
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Turn 2.

Three of the Russian trucks began disappearing over the horizon as SS troops began to make their presence felt all over the board. The fourth truck, still immobilized in the middle of the road, it's driver frantically trying to re-start the engine, presented to ripe a target for the PzIII. Seeing there comrade's danger the brave Tank-Hunter squad charged the German medium tank but in a charge-reaction move all 3 men were mown down in a brutal manner before the tank's shell found the stationary trucks fuel tanks blowing it sky-high. A wave of heat washed across the battle ground as soldiers took cover from the vicious flying shrapnel produced by the explosion.

The steel shell of the T-34 was now being probed for weaknesses in it's structure, as the SS unit swarmed round it like a horde of ants round a larger foe attempting to drag it down by sheer weight of numbers. Although probably the best tank of WWII the T-34 wasn't indestructible and the crews nerve broke and the driver floored the accelerator to break free, fleeing across the road, through the burning debris left by the truck wreck and on through bushes and shrubs towards the NKVD's position. It was not one of Rayner's proudest moments he later admitted.

Along the RH side of the board a sequence of play was about to ensue that would prove deadly to the Russian forces. The LMG squad advanced, then targeted the SS squad next to the PzIII. The ground was churned up in a hail of bullets yet none of the Totenkopf men fell, but this had left the Red Army squad very exposed and the German MMG opened fire. Three of the Russians fell, the rest turned tail but were shown little mercy and were ruthlessly gunned down by the SS as they fled. At the sight of there comrades death the NKVD opened fire on the same SS squad, this time a casualty was caused, an SS man ripped to shreads by the Russians bullets. But reprisals were swift, the remaining nine in the squad targeted the NKVD and killed 4. A test was needed and made.

With the air filled with the sound of explosions and the screams of the dying or wounded the SS squad on the LH side ran through the dense woods, attempting to close the gap on the AT-Gun which had line of sight now to the PzIII. As they closed the distance, the gun's crew first shot hit the German tank but no damage was caused, would Ivan get another chance before the fanatical SS got into hand to hand combat with them?

As the 2nd Tank-Hunter squad ran to cover and the German Lieutenant lent his support to the LH side SS squad, the Russian general applied many of his later dice to his reserves, and so the 2nd turn ended.


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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:32 pm 
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The turn had gone well for me as I had picked up valuable points for wiping out units. This was where the Totenkopf were going to have to earn there reputation as hardened killers if I was to avoid defeat.

Each truck of Rayners that escaped by the end of the game was worth 3pts each, and with him racing them off into the distance I figured I had a small to little chance of catching them. This would mean he sat on a potential 9pts at games end.

Destroying the truck (2pts) and the two units (1pt each) meant I was a huge 5pts behind and in the position where I needed to kill a lot and lose very little (this is why you will see I was pretty pleased with turn 2).

I was confident of killing the AT-Gun, wiping the 2nd Tank-Buster unit out and possibly getting lucky on the T-34 and NKVD to close the gap but risks were going to have to be taken.

I'm sure Rayner will have a Russian outlook for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:57 pm 
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Ha, thought you'd had it after T1. Looked like you would get bogged down just inside the board - nice work, see 'the best tank' turn tail and run ha!

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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:43 pm 
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A little late with this but this is the Totenkopf list for this scenario:

1 x Second Lieutenant with veteran two man retinue.

3 x 10 man SS squads all with LMG team, SMG on NCO, anti-tank grenades and fanatics rules.

1 x MMG team.

1 x Panzer III Ausf H or J.

Total 999pts.

Am quite happy with the list except for the MMG team which due to it's rules is unable to move and shoot thus wasting valuable time in the chase after the trucks. The 65pts would probably have been better used on another 5 man squad.

@Chris - yep, it wasn't looking good after turn 1 tbh. Luckily 2 was one of those rounds when pretty much everything goes your way. Just got to get a move on across the board so the more elite troops of Rayner's force already deployed get taken off leaving me the cannon fodder to mop up and pull the points difference back.


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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:25 am 
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The turn wasn't a good one for me, I became increasingly concerned that Gazza could win this just by advancing and destroying units rather than chasing the trucks. That said my forces were barely putting up a good showing. I modified the rules for trucks slightly (due to error and concern they would just run away) but I still had to cross my fingers they could get away and get me the points.

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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:03 pm 
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Turn 2 pics
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SS troops advance

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T-34 races away from danger and nkvd race out of cover and enter a huge fire fight.

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Panzer III and supporting SS clear the way.

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Battlefield over view after turn 2

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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:38 pm 
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After the short break over the xmas period battle was rejoined on Wednesday 7th January. When we last clashed the SS had began to close the gap in the points advantage the Russian forces currently held with a brutal 'kill everything in sight' policy. With the heaters on full blast and a hot mug of coffee, the order dice bag was shook...........

Turn 3.

With the road becoming more perilous with each bend in it, the 3 remaining Russian trucks still continued making a solid dash for freedom. However, they couldn't yet be counted as a solid 9 victory points for Rayner so he extended the gap between the precious vehicles and the Totenkopf force at the start of Turn 3. But Red Army shooting suddenly eased his fears as an AT-gun shell smashed into the front of the PzIII and before the stunned crew of the German tank knew what had happened the follow up shell from the rallied T-34 sent them to oblivion in a massive explosive fireball. Two SS soldiers to the left of the wrecked tank were also mown down by MG fire from the NKVD. The Russians had held there nerve and retaliation was brutal and unforgiving.

The loss of the tank was massive for the SS as it was one of the few things that if presented with a chance of a shot at the trucks would actually be able to have some success (the destruction of a truck, even at this mid-way part of the game is a huge points swing). At this annoying development the German commander swore, asked who wanted another coffee, swore some more and then passed his dice over to his Finnish under-study who went on a kill crazy spree. The AT-gun was charged by the furthest forward SS unit who wiped it out. The MMG team fired into the ranks of the NKVD (4 Dead, test passed), the second squad to the left of the burning Panzer tried for the NKVD but were still picking themselves up off the floor after the earlier engagement, so it was left to the 3rd squad who silenced the NKVD once and for all.

With most of the Russian dice being committed to Reserves, the final Russian Tank-hunters squad took cover and the German Lieutenant ran to support the AT-gun killers. End of turn 3.


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 Post subject: Re: Falling back to Riga-The Minsk Retreat
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:52 pm 
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Turn 3 thoughts.

We were at an important part of the game now as with 1 run move the board would roll, thus meaning Rayner would need to remove any remaining units he had on the board. The Tank-hunters were small fry but the T-34 would be a big loss. It would also possibly get me a shooting chance at the trucks again but I would probably be needing 5's followed by 6's and then 6's so the odds were long (but a chance is a chance). I was happy with most of my force although one SS unit was in a bad way with 4 pins on it that would need some attention.

With the death of the Panzer but the destruction of his AT-gun and NKVD I had pulled another point back at the half-way stage (6-10). Also, up ahead was some of his less heavy-hitting units, had he softened the SS up enough or had his elite units failed? Pics up next then Turn 4 write-up (yes, we actually managed 2 turns in an evening for a change :wink: ).


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