Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Battle Report - Battlegroup Kursk

So this past Friday we had our bi-monthly club meeting, and Serge wanted to try out a game of the Battlegroup rules for WW2. So we have organized up the first scenario in the book, a piece of the Battle of Prokhorovka, which is itself a part of the Battle of Kursk.

Basically we have a a bunch of T-34s attacking with infantry and other support into a defended position in a farm and around a hill with a mix of Germans including a few Tigers, Panzer 4s, and a few infantry platoons.

Technically this game has you tracking the ammo of every tank, and indeed you should even track what type of ammo the are loaded with (AT of HE), but I find this to be very tedious as we have 30 tanks a side on the table mostly un-numbered. So I talked us into omitting this detail. That being said most of the tanks carry 9 rounds, so they would ahve to shoot twice every turn to run out on turn 5 and we only played 5 turns, and not every tank shot every round.

So here we have the German forces deployed, they started with almost everything, and the Russians come on in 3 waves I think it was basically 1 company of 10 T-34s a turn and infantry all at the end. I set up one platoon in the farm compound, spread everything else out. The Russians started with a timed Katusha rocket attack aimed at the corner of the fields and the cross roads, which did a moderate amount of damage. I believe they destroyed 1 anti-tank gun, 1 tank, and a number of pins.

The Russians then started the long drive, some moving shots were exchanged, but not effective at this point. My Pak 40 in the farm fired off a long rage shot from ambush fire at the very start of the came thou and killed the first tank. The start of the Russian troubles.

In the subsequent turns the Russians continued their advance, bringing more tanks on as they became available. I sat in my spots generally with the aim to return fire as it presented itself. The Russians have allot more tanks to move the they have orders really, in this game each unit has to get an order and you only get so many. To compensate for this they have a Sthal Sthal! order which moves d6 tanks for a double  move and ineffective shot. 

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures for a couple of turns, I think this is 3 or 4. The Russians have moved mainly to the crest of the hill, where they were destroyed piecemeal by my stationary tanks. In addition I was able to get a few with artillery and an air strike which was timed for turn 3. At these ranges I would say tank lethality is about even with Flames of War, so the T-34s have a very hard time getting a kill on a tiger, especially if they are moving, and the Tigers can kill them fairly easily. But they did a reasonable job of killing Panzer 4s, and took out my Tiger senior commander with a lucky break down effect.

In the farm compound I was attacked by a company of tanks and a tun of infantry. They assaulted with the infantry in a bit of haste and we were almost trading units really, until I pulled back and gave up the farm. I decided that I was losing more morale to dead units then I was saving by not loosing the objective. Also they don't really have the orders to advance this huge mass of infantry if I try to avoid it.

In the end roughly half of the T-34s were knocked out, a similar amount of Panzer 4s, a tiger and a few guns and infantry. The Russians were not successful in achieving all of their objectives and neither force broke when we ran out of time so the game went to who ever has the most battle raiting remaining. Partly because I started with a smaller force, and partly because I took more chits from being pinned and loosing objectives I had less left, so it was a tactical victory for the Russians.

I am not sure what would have happened given more time, could have went either way really, it was allot of losses for both sides if we are honest.

This game is similar to Flames of War in scale and scope, but is completely different in allot of ways. The platoons can spread out as much as they want, you need orders to give out, you have to spot units before you can fire directly, artillery is mostly off board, ect.. It's a good game just going in a different direction with things, it would be fair to say it is more detailed / tries to be more accurate, but is slower and a bit more cumbersome.

We are going to try a much smaller infantry game tomorrow.



  1. Very cool!! Would've been awesome to see that many tanks on the table. Nice report...

  2. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the smaller game, and if you think the game is flowing more smoothly once you get used to it