Friday, February 12, 2010
Day Four: 20 October 1942
Having survived the previous day with my ELR intact and with a shortened line, I was feeling pretty good. Rolling up 18 CPP made me feel even better.
10-0 x 2
9-0 x 4
6-2-8 x 8
4-5-8 x 3
4-4-7 x 7
4-2-6 x 16
HMG x 2
LMG x 3
Lt MTR x 3
T34 M43 (immobilized T15>S13)
T34 M41 (Dug In E25)
T34 M41 (Dug In I25)
T34 M41 (Dug In O22)
KV1 M42 (MA Disabled; Dug In Z9)
Purchased Forces (18 CPP)
SMG Coy (Reserve, Full) 3 CPP [8-0, 7-0]
SMG Coy (Reserve, Depleted) 3 CPP [8-1]
120mm OBA (Normal) 3 CPP
Preregistered Hex 1 CPP
120mm OBA (Normal) 3 CPP
Preregistered Hex 1 CPP
160 FPP 4 CPP
Immediately upon rolling the 18 CPP, I decided to buy two Medium Artillery modules and fill in the rest as best I could. Ever since the 150mm drubbing I took in our previous game, I've been itching for some kind of payback in kind. I could have purchased two Militia Coys in Reserve, but opted for the higher-morale SMG Coys. The 160 FPP were needed to stiffen defenses around the Power Plant and Chemist's Shop.
My plan is to find the schwerpunkt(s) of his assault(s) and pour on the artillery. There are three potential objectives for the German on which I will focus: the Power Plant (J21), the P18 building and the Chemist's Shop (X9). One observer will go in BB18 (2nd Level) and pre-register hex X7. His objective will be to break up any thrust toward the Chemist's Shop and then to lay waste to any forces occupying the ground lost the day before. If I can miraculously destroy the BB7 pillbox - or better yet, recapture it - I will be ecstatic. The second observer will go in L26 (Rooftop) and pre-register hex C23. His objective will be to pummel any assaulting forces that push toward the Power Plant from the west board edge - which seems likely, given that Germans may now enter anywhere on the west edge from A1 - A22. I wouldn't be surprised if a Sturm Coy, or even a Pionier Coy, charged on from the A22 area into building B23. In a pinch, this observer can also direct fire onto the P18 building and into the rubble field around P19. I have another contingency for an attack up the middle, though (see below).
Over on the riverbank, I expect the Chemist's Shop to be crushed with medium or heavy artillery. Nevertheless, I must defend it with stalwart 6-2-8s and a 10-0 Commissar. It is just too important to give up without a fight. I will backstop the Chemist's Shop with the depleted SMG Coy. Over on the bluff, I wired up Taimyrskaya Street and put a 9-0, 4-5-8 + MMG in a 1+5+7 Pillbox in CC9>AA9 to cover the northern approach to the Chemist's Shop. The mobile T34 M43 is hidden in X12>W11 to cover the approach from the factories. I put an AT Ditch in hex DD5 to prevent an armored thrust/halftrack blitz down the riverbank and backed it up with all three Lt MTRS.
In the middle, nearly all of the Conscripts went into the S20 factory with orders to hold at all costs. The immobile T34 in T14 is already gone; anything he takes with him is a bonus. The P18 building and the rubble field behind are manned by Dummy "?" counters, hopefully to entice the German into diverting forces away from the S20 factory. Two Conscript squads are in P21 to help protect the dug-in tank nearby. My ace in the hole in this section of the map is the hidden 9-2, 4-5-8 + HMG, 4-5-8 + HMG in M24 (1st level). From this overwatch position he can bring fire to bear on the P18 building, the rubble field in front of it, the western flank of the S20 factory, the approaches to the dug-in tank and the Wire in front of the Power Plant - all while effectively shielded from potential German kill stacks. He can also shift a hex or two and be able to support the defense of Power Plant versus an attack from the C25 building.
The Power Plant, like the Chemist's Shop, is also probably going to be targeted by some kind of nasty large-caliber ordnance. Similarly, it needs to be strongly defended nonetheless. A mix of 4-4-7s and 6-2-8s should suffice, with a 10-0 Commissar to keep them in fighting trim. A screen of 4-4-7s occupies the F- and G-hexrow buildings. Over half of these forces are setting up in the cellars in expectation of big explosions. The Power Plant is backstopped by the full strength SMG Coy, which also is tasked with protecting the dug-in T34 in E25 and shoring up the left flank.
I uploaded my setup on VASL, and Dade was kind enough to post his setup as well - just to give me something to think about:
It looks like he's going balls-out for the Power Plant. Dade mentioned that he had preregistered hex J22 with something (probably rocket). If so, it's going to land a nasty punch.
Should make for some good carnage.
The day started with a German Nebelwerfer barrage. The rocket strike was targeted at the Chemist's Shop (Preregistered Hex: X8), but it drifted three hexes to AA7 and had a devastating effect on the Russian defenders in the trenches. The German followed up with a platoon of Pzkpfw IIILs entering from the north edge and overrunning the squads in BB1 and BB2. Between the armored hammer and rocket anvil, a company of Russian riflemen was smashed. One of the 9-1s managed to escape, round up a few errant squads, then - in utter folly - climb the cliff in BB8 to engage the Germans who now inhabited the pillbox in BB7. They managed to kill a broken 5-4-8, but did not survive the experience. All in all, a disastrous pummeling. The one saving grace: there was no attempt by the German to put pressure on the Chemist's Shop and it remained intact and in Russian control.
The platoon of T34 M43s came in very handy. Seeing the Pzkpfw IIILs rampaging in the northeast corner and the StuG IIIG lurking in the debris field near T8, the Russian tanks were able to engage their German counterparts and destroy all of them. One T34 was destroyed, and one immobilized, but all in all I call that an equitable trade.
There was some back-and-forth bloodletting in the O10 and L14 factories, but for the most part I tried to keep my conscripts out of harm's way. Eventually, though, they were backed into a corner and had to try and stand their ground.
Over in the west, not much happened. The Germans took the B17 building, and I made a half-hearted attempt to retake it but backed off in the face of withering firepower.
At the end of the day, the perimeter looked thus:
The CVP tally was 62 for the German, 42 for the Russian. I'll take it.