Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Pavlov's House - Version 1

The Scenario:

Over last few years have been putting together forces for 15mm Barbarbossa, using Mark Fastoso's Fireball Forward! rule set. Last year I had the idea of trying to create a Pavlov's House terrain board, considering most FF scenarios can be played on a 4x4 or a 3x4 board.

This was first test of a Pavlov's House scenario with three platoons of Germans supported by armor attacking two platoons of Soviet infantry dug in the apartment complex and surrounding buildings. James and I commanded the Germans, while Lt. Pavlov was played by Fil supported by his Comrade Commissar Eric.

Reference Map
If you are interested in a scenario breakdown, please comment and I can send you forces/ratings, feedback is welcome!

Initial table layout (3'x4') is trying to remain close to the reference map. I still need to purchase some more apartment blocks, as ideally Pavlov's House should be multiple stories high. But for now, a destroyed factory was a placeholder.

Shell crates provided cover for infantry advancing as to not get gunned down easily crossing the square leading up to the House. The tram and rail lines both provided cover for infantry as well.

German infantry prepares to come on
Turn 1 the Soviets stayed hidden, while Germans poured onto the board. Both German infantry platoons, supported by light mortars pushed in from the Milk House, supported by a platoon of Pioneers in half-tracks to their left.

As soon as Germans attempted to push into the craters the Soviet infantry opened up and getting enough hits to slow down the first German infantry platoon. The German's quickly attempted to lay down smoke to cover their advance, but the eastward blowing wind only helped the Pioneers advance, while leaving the infantry in the open.

Smoke attempts to slow Soviet fire
Mad dash across the square!

Getting held up on the push towards the house, James, the German commander on the right flank pushed his armor down the main street hoping to put pressure on Soviets to reveal their positions. One Soviet 45mm gun quickly appeared in a crater outside the mill, but its shots ricocheted off the Panzer 4, which quickly returned fire and destroyed the gun and its crew.

Russians appearing in the apartment block across from Pavlov's House were quickly pinned down by fire from the armor as well as the second German platoon who shifted positions to try and advance.  This German advantage was quickly countered by a hidden Soviet sniper who killed one German squad and made the German's think twice about advancing.

Sniper gets a crossing German squad
Being stuck on both flanks, the Germans pushed forward aggressively, and their Panzer 3 quickly discovered the second 45mm gun hidden in the rubble of an apartment block. This gun did not miss its opportunity and quickly set the Pz3 aflame.

The pinned Russians quickly rallied from a good roll on their Commissar table, that allowed them to rally all units in their second platoon and obtain a free action.

Za Rodina Comrades!
By this point the Germans were close to admitting defeat, having their left and right flank advances stopped by relentless Russian fire. The Pioneers managed to make one last assault into the trench outside Pavlov's House and one brave squad even managed to get inside, but it was too little too late and comrade Pavlov and his platoon were able to hold off the German assault in the end.

Final Positions

Take Aways:

Scenario obviously needs tweaking as this was the first attempt, but think Germans could either use more armor support or another platoon of Pioneers, as the infantry was quickly pinned down trying to cross into the buildings.

Soviet forces felt good overall, but the sniper was very effective, I may consider removing him scenario as they do slow down advances very quickly.

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