RO3 - Defenders of Stalingrad Last Two Turns
Russian Turn 5
The rallies were a mix. A self rallying NKVD squad came back (with a broken side of 10 that’s not a major surprise) and two half squads over in the West of the Hall. The Russians (this turn at least) have an equally serious shortage of squads so flipped straight to movement. The rallied half squad with the Demolition Charge from the administration building attempted to force fire and failed then an NKVD 6-2-8 moved next to S22 in T22 in an attempt to use the interior wall to force HTH again. The S22 squads could not see them but the squad with MMG in R21 could and it broke them and rated. Unfortunately for me the shot also caused a smoke stack sniper who then pinned the 1st line MMG squad in S23 Next the second available NKVD unit moved into the debris between the halls at T23. This could be seen by the S22 stack so firstly the pioneer squad took a shot. They cowered but the resultant morale check also failed to break the attackers. So since it took two to get in I decided on a FPF shot with the pioneers. After all 8 morale should be good for something? No? This actually worked and with a 6 rolled the attacker was broken and the pioneers did not break. This released pressure on what I am loosely calling the 'forward lines'. This left the Russians with two half squads and these he moved next to the other 4-6-7 with medium machine gun in R21 that had after all first fired plus the machine gun even though it had rated was still locked pointing in the other direction. I could only take a 4 flat point blank shot which failed. This left the pinned 4-6-7 with machine gun in S22 which could see so I took a 4 up 1 shot back which hit with a 3 breaking one of the half squads. This extra 3 also caused a deadly smoke stack sniper who proceeded to break the very squad I was trying to protect. Best laid plans and all that.
To make matters worse the Russian 8-0 who had been on rallying duties for eternity was then used to sprint across to block rout paths causing that unit to get wiped in the rout phase. The unbroken half squad then piled next door into close combat with my last unbroken officer. Fortunately their ambush roll was crap and the my own 8-0 ambushed. I did spend a little time deciding whether to just infiltrate but went for the 1-2 hand to hand odds with ambush advantage and wiped the Soviets out before infiltrating on top of the pile of dropped weapons next door. This may seem suicidal but I can try and pick one of those medium machine guns up which will make me a much harder infantry overrun target plus add an additional speed bump.
German Turn 5
Not much to do now and not much to do it with.. The officer did pick up a medium Machine Gun, the Russians rallied three squads. Irritatingly both sides rolled snake eyes in the rally phase though the Germans roll was an officer self rally so nothing nice happened. The Russians was on a half squad who battle hardened..
The only fire in the central factories was between the German officer with MMG and the Russian newly battle hardened half squad with light machine gun and neither did any damage. The key phase perhaps was the advance phase where I shifted troops around to try and create speed bumps around the pioneer squad, which has the best chance of surviving. Finally I managed to get the remaining 1st line squad in combat with a Russian defender. Since it’s the last German active turn it has no longer any utility in stopping the Russians swarming the factory. Worse case I lose the squad and the Russians get to reinforce with an extra squad. As it stood neither side killed the other (again) and so they succeeded in blocking a further 6-2-8 suicide run.
Last Russian Turn
The Russians needed to threaten combat on every German unit. They started by prepping against the unarmed 8-0 pinning it. Next they tried moving the 2-4-8 with DC next door to the officer with MMG and tried to set the DC. The officer shot back back; his shot caused the attackers to go berserk whilst placing the DC. This meant they basically stopped setting the DC and used the extra movement to enter the officers hex in a charge instead. Considering the amount of units left I decided not to risk the halved triple point blank fire as I didn’t want a sniper… This left the key two strong units. The furthest 6-2-8 with light machine gun was run into the debris outside the factory at T23. I decided to shoot the 4-6-7 at it and with a 12 cowered, final fired and did nothing. This left me in a quandary. There were two 6-2-8s and the Commissar left and they could also get next to my pioneer squad. Eventually I decided on a risk and 'just' shot the captured medium machine gun hoping to avoid cowering (ok I would get a FPF but that would be less effective). The attack caused a lowly 1MC but the NKVD troops failed and broke!
Yet another 'phew'. Next one of the Commissars NKVD 6-2-8s advanced next door to the 4-6-7. Again I avoided fire due to not wanting either a sniper or to break in a FPF shot. This just left the commissar himself and a further 6-2-8. These moved through the buildings avoiding any risk of a snap shot by bypassing to S24. I had to respond to this with everything the Pioneers had. The problem being the damned Commissar basically made the squad 9 morale. The shot was cowered from a 2MC down to a 1MC so things did not look good but then the Commissar failed his morale test with a 10!!! And then the squad rolled a 9 also failing (even if the Commissar had passed that 0 would have pinned meaning the Russians would have needed a 4 up 3 advance fire shot against 8 morale troops to potentially win). The Germans had done it by the skin of their teeth…
We finished of the remains of the turn just to see whether that was a key point or whether the scenario would still have been lost. The berserks combat could not ambush so adding in another squad and officer made it so the Russians needed a 12 to do something which they easily passed. The officer only (only?) needed a 4 to wipe the attackers but failed. Next up the 9-1 with a counter exhausted 6-2-8 had attacked the other officer. The addition of the negative officer just prevented the German officer from ambushing and he was also duly killed. Finally there was no ambush between the NKVD and 1st line Germans but the Soviets also won wiping the enemy squad. The final combat was over in Hall 7 where the Germans overpowered their own opponents in a 1 v 1 fight.
Since we were still in 'what if' territory we also pretended that key double morale fail had not happened and rolled out there as well. The Russians advance fire attack would have done nothing with a 10 rolled then they actually ambushed the Germans but failed on the 1-2 attack roll needing a 7 and getting an 8. The Germans in return needed 6 (7 base -1 as ambushees so 6 to do anything and win) and rolled a 5 thus 'might' have wiped the attackers there as well.
So it did come down to that one attack and morale fail as the Soviets otherwise wiped every other German unit in the target building off of the map.
A really fun scenario. I'm not certain 'furious onslaught' by both forces was the ideal tactical interpretation of the scenario in game but it certainly gave a realistic flavour of Stalingrad. The Russians were also really unlucky as if it was not for that key ambush by the flamethrower crew then they would have an extra three squads and an officer and be in the German position two turns earlier. I would recommend...