This time the Russian Infantry Battalion deployed in the forest in the North-eastern part of the table, out of line of sight of German Artillery Observers! And the Russian Artillery strike resulted in the German Infantry losing a base and also their HQ!
However, the Russian movement stalled on the first turn, with the Infantry HQ rolling a command blunder and the battalion required to move half a move to the rear.
With little to see the German FAO brought down his strike more in hope than with any expectation of success but did manage to take out the other Russian Infantry HQ.
The Panzers, which I had split into 2 commands, failed their command roll as did the infantry and only the CO's command had any success and they moved East.
End of the first turn- only the German CO showing any sign of initiative.
The Russian advance started in earnest on turn 2 with the tanks moving down the Highway, the infantry, however, lagged behind. This, however, worked to their advantage as it meant that the armour met the German forces head on while the Infantry sneaked their way down the Eastern edge of the board out of harm's way. We had decided that for the Russians to win they had to get at least their break point equivalent of units (13) off the Southern edge of the table.
The German FAO dropped his radio and would suffer a -2CV penalty next turn but the Panzer HQ got it's act together and with a command bonus move sent his tanks Eastwards to approach the Russians from behind the hill that ran along the edge of the highway. In the meantime the German CO's tank units scored their first kill on one of the advancing T-34's.
The next 6 turns saw a massive firefight taking place on the slope of the hill and the highway beyond, with tanks being knocked out, German Engineers bravely assaulting the Russian armour and the Russian SMG infantry dismounting from their T-34's to close assault the Panzers. By the end of Turn 7, all 7 German Panzers were knocked out, the German Engineers had been destroyed and 6 of the T-34's lay in ruins. The Russians had, in the meantime managed to get 3 T-34's off the Southern edge and their Infantry battalion had now emerged from the cover of the woods on the Eastern edge of the table.
The carnage on the Borissov-Cherven Highway
They made a desperate break for the Southern edge. The German FAO, however, now had them in Line of Sight and called in his battery, the first strike deviated off the table edge, the following turn, 4 of the Russian infantry bases and the HQ were suppressed but no kills. Same the next turn - suppression but no kills. In the meantime the company of Russian Conscript Infantry had been making their way westwards had engaged in a firefight with the advancing German Infantry. While the German Infantry HQ failed their command rolls, the Conscripts held their nerve and scored sufficient casualties on the Infantry to force the Germans through their break point threshold. And even though the Conscripts were eventually destroyed it was too little too late for the Germans who promptly failed their morale test on Turn 10 and broke.
So whereas last night the German Artillery won the day for them with their devastating strikes on the Russian Infantry in the first battle, tonight they fell well short of inflicting a similar crushing blow. The German Panzers performed better but perhaps the extra company of T-34's just helped tip the balance in favour of the Russians. That, and the fact that Ruarok kept his Infantry out of harm's way until those final crucial turns when the only thing that could stop them from reaching the Southern edge of the battlefield was the German artillery strikes which proved impotent in the end.
So another good game. Starting to get into the swing of the BKC2 rules although still forgetting to add the extra attack die when firing at less than half range!
So plenty of incentive to get the Brits painted up and match them against the Whermacht's finest!!