|THE GUARDS RIFLE DIVISION BATTLE THE WAFFEN-SS FOR PRZEMYSL|
This game was played using some homemade rules and takes place upon my usual 2x2 gaming board. The battlefield was populated with a variety of painted scenery made by “Pendraken Miniatures”, most notably a couple of dwellings and a barn, as well as some areas of woodland. In addition a large ‘soggy’ field was placed in the centre of the table. The three buildings were each awarded an objective marker, ranging from values 1 – 5. The winner would be the side who held the most points at the end of the twelfth turn. However no-one would know how many points each objective was worth until the end of the battle.
“The story so far… It is 1941 and as part of Operation Barbarossa Germany have launched an attack upon a small farmstead near Przemysl. Ordered to advance without any armour support, and waylaid by the snowy conditions, two Heer infantry divisions and a unit of Waffen-SS slowly approach their destination. But the Red Army won’t give up their territory without a fight, and have assembled a large force of conscripts to repel the invaders…”
|THE TABLETOP - A FARMSTEAD IN PRZEMYSL|
The German forces are made up of the First Infantry Division including a Hauptmann and two Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun teams, the Second Infantry Division including a Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun team, and the Waffen-SS including a Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun team.
The Russian forces are made up of the First Rifle Division including a Captain and a Degtyaryov light machine gun team, the Third Rifle Division including a Degtyaryov light machine gun team, and the Guards Rifle Division which comprises of Veteran and regular soviet soldiers and a Degtyaryov light machine gun team.
|OBJECTIVES: (1) STONE-WALLED BUILDING, (2) RED-TILED DWELLING, AND (3) THATCHED BARN|
The Russian forces immediately moved to try and take the two closest buildings, by pushing the Third Rifle Division west past the small wooded area towards the red-tiled dwelling [Objective 2]. In the centre a few regulars of the Guards Rifle Division emerged onto the battlefield, along with one of their light machine gun teams. Whilst to the north the Captain lead the spearhead of the First Infantry Division towards the stone-walled building [Objective 1]. In similar fashion the Germans also advanced to try and take control of their nearest objectives, with the Waffen-SS actually entering the thatched barn [Objective 3]. While the Hauptmann split his First Infantry Division around the woodland in the south-west in order to better attack both the red-tiled building [Objective 2] and the central field. Finally the few units of Heer which arrived in the north-west moved forward towards some trees.
|SOVIET FORCES HEAD TO WARDS THE CLOSEST BUILDINGS. WHILST THE WAFFEN-SS DO THE SAME|
The conscripts of the Third Rifle Division poured into the red-tiled building [Objective 2]. Whilst Soviet reinforcements emerged to reinforce the Guards Rifle Division. However the Captain still only had a single unit of conscripts with him in north-east, so ordered one of his commissars to start shooting some soldiers if the rest of the First Rifle Division didn’t soon arrive. Despite this poor showing the Russians still have troops enough to capture the stone-walled building [Objective 1]. Meanwhile the German’s First Infantry Division began forming up in order to assault the red-tiled building [Objective 2] with the Hauptmann and Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun team in support. The Waffen-SS had completely taken the thatched barn [Objective 3] and started to push on in order to repel any Russians planning on crossing the central field.
|THE RUSSIANS ENTER OBJECTIVE TWO, AS THE WAFFEN-SS ADVANCE EAST|
The German First Infantry Division began their assault upon the Soviet forces occupying the red-tiled building [Objective 1] and destroyed the Russian Degtyaryov light machine gun team holed up inside, despite the dwelling providing the Red Army with some additional cover. In the centre the Waffen-SS exchanged shots with the closest soldiers of the Guards Rifle Division and destroyed one of the Russian Degtyaryov light machine gun teams. In the north-east ‘inspired’ by the threats issuing from the commissar’s mega-phone the First Rifle Division suddenly found itself swamped with wayward conscripts and up to its full-strength. As a result the German Second Infantry Division momentarily paused to allow some of its stragglers to form up. It was going to need as many Heer as possible if it was going to charge and take the stone-walled dwelling [Objective 1].
|AS THE FIRST CASUALTIES FALL THE RED ARMY CAPTURES OBJECTIVE ONE|
In the centre of the battlefield a real scrap was starting to brew over the field, as the Guards Rifle Division’s firepower started to take its toll upon the Waffen-SS. But the elite German regiment were far from beaten yet and were slowly grinding down the Russian soldiers as well. In the north, despite still being badly understrength, and without any sign of their Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun team, the German Second Infantry Division pushed on towards the Soviet Mosin-Nagant Bolt-action rifles pointing at them from within the stone-walled building [Objective 1]. At the opposite side of the battlefield, things were looking better for the Germans as one of the Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun teams, encouraged by their Hauptmann, clattered the red-tiled dwelling with bullets and sent the majority of the Soviet conscripts inside running for home. Those few who did remain urgently called for more of their comrades to come help man the beleaguered objective.
|BOTH THE GERMAN FIRST AND SECOND INFANTRY DIVISIONS COME UNDER ATTACK|
The battle was now starting to fast reach a climax, and as the Heer sporadically approached the stone-walled dwelling, they began feeling the sting of the Soviet conscripts housed inside. The radio of the Second Infantry Division crackled to life to report that more Heer and a Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun team was en route. But disappointingly the fight was now far too well advanced for them to play any part in the proceedings. From the red-tiled building [Objective 2] the conscripts were reinforced with fresh fodder and actually started to repel some of the German soldiers who had overconfidently approached the dwelling. But suddenly both of the machine gun teams from the First Infantry Division opened fire upon the Russians and cleared the entire front of the building of Soviet troops. The homestead was ripe for the taking.
|RED FLAGS FLYING - THE GUARDS RIFLE DIVISION ADVANCE WEST|
With the end in sight, the Guards Rifle Division suddenly pushed forwards and managed to break the majority of the Waffen-SS units in front of them, including the elite unit’s Maschinengewehr 34 machine gun team. In addition the Russians were also able to direct a portion of their firepower towards the German Heer approaching the stone-walled building [Objective 1], and astoundingly wiped out two of the Second Infantry Division’s units. Before dispatching their Degtyaryov light machine gun team south to support the few remaining conscripts holed up in the red-tiled dwelling [Objective 2]. The Soviets trapped in the homestead needed all the help they could get as the Germans determinedly fought to oust them from its walls. The First Infantry Division’s machine gun teams finished off most of the remaining conscripts, allowing a unit of Heer to charge into the building and challenge any survivors. Picking their way through the battered walls the Germans badly mauled the Russians they found. But amazingly just failed to break the grim-faced soldiers of the Red Army; clearly another Guard Rifle Division in the making. To the north the German Second Infantry Division was now so anaemic that he couldn’t hope to best the Soviet stronghold of a stone-walled building [Objective 1] and failed to mount any sort of challenge to its occupants.
|POSITIONS HELD - BOTH THE CONSCRIPTS AND WAFFEN-SS HOLD OFF THEIR RESPECTIVE FOES|
Having finished the game, it was very clear that the Russians securely held the stone-walled building [Objective 1], whilst the remnants of the Waffen-SS had just managed to retain the thatched barn [Objective 3]. Finally despite the Heer of the First Infantry Division almost besting the conscripts inside the red-tiled building [Objective 2], the building was still controlled by the Russians… just. However when the objectives’ values were revealed the Red Army had only accrued four victory points and the Wehrmacht five, giving the Germans a rather marginal somewhat unbelievable victory.