So think I have the basics down for defend scenarios for Battalion Forward. Have tried to meeting engagements. Time to try an attack. Now the enemy forces will be easy, it is trying to hide the enemies plan that will be the trick. My initial thought will be delay, hold and hold at all costs and counter attack. This particular battle will have a modifier as I don't think Russians delayed too often but it will depend on the forces they have at hand.
Scenario will be a german infantry company with a platoon of Stugs is suppose to tackle russian infantry occupying a forest blocking roads leading into a town. The russians are thought to be of company strength without armor assets. The 3 german companies are all classed as experienced [ Battlefront] and 1st line [O group] with the B company leader rated poor. [ affects maneuver rolls and company generated orders] the Russians are rated raw.
The map. [ The soviets were conducting a space launch two miles above the top of the board hence the flash!] Germans enter from the right as per O group set up. A company will demonstrate against the woods in the center supported by the guns on the hill and 81mm MTRs off board. B company will lorry along main road and conduct main attack on woods from the top. A Stug section will support. Combat patrols are sent out from the wings to scout the factory and trees above the main road. C company will be reserve. They will follow up assault into either factory or town as needed to clear area. Sounds great right?!
For those of you familiar with Platoon Forward mechanism for blinds is similar with A, B and 2 C blinds set up across the board. At this scale defense in depth is more practical. About halfway through the game we will roll for Soviet mission based on assets on the board.
Blinds set up in the woods and factory...
1st plt A Company prepares to set off towards the woods. Co/CC and Btl/CC watching.
As 1st plt sets off, 2nd plt/ A CO reaches the start line. B company in trucks starts their journey to the right of the woods to start the main attack. Unfortunately, the Soviets had the crossroads pre registered for artillery apparently! Not good. Our time table starts to slip. Why don't we have halftracks?
1st plt/A co reach the woods with no contact. A walk in the woods or have the soviets prepared a trap away from our stugs and mortars? [ 2As and 1 B in the next line]
Rats! A front line platoon and HMG...
A firefight starts in the woods. The LT thinks where is B Company?
B Company is having problems. 1st plt has decided it is safer to walk. A combat patrol found another front line platoon dug in to some trees above the road. The 2 surviving squads of 1st Plt plus Stugs and mortars go to clear the road. [ The far squad is from C company and is a flank squad. Red based figures signify disrupted units, pebbles signify suppressed units.]
The battle end of opening stage, center, 2ndplt/A co advancing to help stalled 1stplt under cover of smoke. B company 1st pt clearing trees near road to open road for rest of company to follow on to target woods.
1st plt/A Co is now non effective. A CO/CC switches from smoke to HE as he sends 2nd/plt in still trying to pin the main russian line. [ At least I think it is the main russian line.] Battalion CC [me] still sticks doggedly to his plan.
Beginning of mid battle. 1st plt/B Co has cleared the road. [ we don't see the ATG at the hill. I rolled for it to see if it was real and if it wanted to fire. It will wait for a vehicle to show up!] Orders issued for B CO to advance to woods and assault. 2ndplt/ A CO to pin main Soviet line. This will work!!!
The Soviets now uncover a third platoon! [ How many do these guys have?] Fortunately it is militia without LMGs. These guys will move up to meet B Company. [ ATG ineffective against trucks! Just shoot those guys.]
The fighting is close and intense. At this point the Soviets orders are to hold the forest! They attack with elan.
Another view of the fighting...
Mid battle situation in doubt. B company is having trouble deploying into and around the woods. The Btl/CC [me] is debating going over there to sort it out myself otherwise people will criticize my perfect plan. A Company is ordered to send in there last platoon and clear their half the woods. The russians are now visable to the near stug which opens up. I don't want to use C company because there is still the factory complex and I don't know what is in there.
[ sorry lost the next few pics] Mercifully B CO/CC pulls his head out and they do their job and clear the woods.
At the factory the russians have a militia platoon and a section of ATGs. At this point the germans have lost 9 stands of infantry. [ 3 platoons/ 2 A and 1 B company]. If the Germans lose 12 stands they will lose per O group rules which I think appropriate here. [ I waived this for the russians though they have lost 8.]
End game. Co A has the right 3 hexes of the woods with Co B everything to the left of that. You can see Co B is still strung out with their third platoon at it's jump off point. Yet another combat patrol is approaching the factory to try to determine what is in there. The remnants of the russian company are about to retreat to the factory.
Now I bring up C company for the final assault of my glorious and perfect plan!
Drat that artillery! I can't afford to lose too many squads.
The combat patrol succeeds and we start to trade fire with the russians. We have LMGs and Stugs and they don't so it goes well from our perspective.
After 10 minutes of softening up, even without C company it is obvious that the Soviets are going to lose. They are down to 2 squads left. The russians slip out the back. My plan worked perfectly!
Great game that was loads of fun. I really felt like a battalion CO willing my companies to "do their jobs". In hindsight my perfect plan could have used some work. The road wasn't as clear as I had hoped. I should have led B CO with my stugs. Also leaving the most complicated mission to my worst company commander wasn't smart but I wanted to test my leadership rules; they passed. He functioned but not quite as well as a normal CO. I should have personally gone over and "helped" him at the cost of some command dice.
The blinds and mission for the OPFOR also went well. I pegged the Soviets at a Company plus several assets and they ended up with 4 platoons plus 2 ATGs and 1 HMG; not bad for a first test.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate. Please remember our members in uniform far from home. Keep them and their families in your prayers.