Wargame: Borisov, July 1944 subject logo: MILGAM
Posted by: badanov

We have been playing the East Front II scenario Showdown at Borisov over the passed few days as a kinda celebration of Christmas. Haven't played East Front II in ages and Christmas was just the right time to do so. It's slow at work now and this is an idle time before the big bowl games begin.

Anyways, this is a monster scenario, depicting a Soviet Tank Army ( Soviet 5th Tank Army ) versus a German Panzer Korps ( 39th Panzer Korps). This is essentially a meeting engagement, so the task in the early going will be to make and maintain contact with the enemy, while trying to buildup forces for a decisive blow.

That is the essence of a modern mobile warfare.

Standing in the way are elements of a German motorized rifle unit, dug in along a line, roughly north to south. The map is about 250 square miles all of it a combination of swamp, steppe and some small forests.

Aside from the initial battle line, there are three basic objectives for the Soviet side:

1)Bolshie Stakhov in the north on the far side of a river.

2)Brodna in the center.

3)The heavily fortified town of Zhodino in the south.

There are several other objectives further beyond this initial line: Ostrov, Gradki, Peremezhoe and Chernoe Les, all equal in value to the objectives in the static line the Germans have set up.

The scenario description states that mobile elements of a German Panzer Korps are heading into this battle area in hopes of breaking this attack before Soviet infantry can arrive.

We have hit the static line at the three main places mentioned, but we have captured only one thus far ( turn 10 ), Bolshoe Stakhov. Brodna we are about to encircle and cut off major parts of a German motorized rifle battalion. We figure that by the time the encirclement is complete, we will have a rifle regiment including engineers ready to assault the town. We own Bolshoe Stakhov, and we are currently trying to hurry rifle units into the town so we can expand this bridgehead, and this push on to meet the main elements of the Germans' main force.

However, at Stakhov, the AI has been reinforcing with more infantry, and we are hearing all this equipment in during the AI's phase, we are wondering if the AI may be building up for an assault to retake the town. And tanking Stakhov has been bloody, for both sides.

The last main center of resistance, Zhodino, has been a mama bear. The whole town is fortified with favorable terrain enabling artillery to pound Soviet troops in its approach march. We have several rounds of smoke available, but we do not want to use them until the Germans' main force hits.

The best way to play this scenario is with multiple players with one player on each side overseeing the artillery and air interdiction strikes.

One of our published game scenarios ( Rostov was so large, Front Line members played with an artillery commander, yours truly, making sure the right fire fell in the right places. And it was a lot of fun to transmit to your peers that a 152mm and 120mm mission would fall on hex 45,78 in turn 13, and to receive requests for fire from the others in anticipation of maneuver and/or attack.

And there is a ton of artillery in this game from the 82m man-pack mortars to 152mm howitzers to and 132mm Katusha MRLs.

What we are trying to do as Soviet commander is to push as much mobile units as far forward as possible so they can monitor any reinforcements that as they arrive. We are trying to cobble together a brigade sized task force centered in the middle so that they can effectively intervene the main attack, wherever that may fall.

But the game is still young.

If you have something to add, Fire Away!

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