PanzerGruppe Guderian [SbS] p2

Turn 4

Das Reich conducts two overruns, loses a step in the process. Not wise to overrun untried units, when that big 8 factor turns up! Overruns are ½’ed on offence.  Elements of 14thand 18th PD ‘s combine to envelope Vitebsk.

The 20th press down the road towards SMOL, eliminating one unit. 19th PD focus on an OOS unit and eliminate it. Being able to kill the HQ’s and or place units in isolation is key to easier odds for the Germans. The 12th PD captures Yelna.

7/4 and 10th attack units South of SMOL.

In turn 5, the Soviets move and attempt to cover holes. They are hard pressed. Fortunately the ‘random’ reinforcement arrives in the South allowing a stop gap measure there. Rail units arrive in SMOL.

At Yelnya the 12th PD retreats from stiffening resistance. The 4th and 10th encircle  units blocking the river road. The 6:1 attack kills the  Soviets.  The 7th and 3rd PD attack forces in SMOl, taking a retreat and killing on unit in the town. The 117th and GD Regiment focus on scattered forces North of SMOL, near the marshes.

Turn 6, the Soviet scramble. Pushing units quickly west.  We make a mistake here and forget to bring HQ’s with the reinforcements. This slows down the pace of reinforcements.

In the German turn the continue attack South Vitebsk with reinforcements garnering a 5:1 d1 result, and a 9:1 attack. North of Mogilev the Soviets are surrounded and OOS, and thus another unit dies. GD and the 17th kill of units near SMOL. These clean up attacks will hopefully remove any ability of the Soviets to block the now long tenous supply line. Some units far South roll along under OOS rules 50% reduction in movement etc.

In the second move phase  the  Germans press South of Vyazma.  Regiments split off to lock ZOCs with Soviet stragglers.

By Turn 7 the Soviet collapse is clearly evident.  Germans move now over the course of Turn 7 and 8 to block rail support of the Southern map, by putting a unit smack on the rail line near Vyazma. This allows the units freed from SMOL to head south then East.  This will all but guarantee the capture of the Board Edge VPs in the South.  9 divisions of Infnatry are yet to arrive for the Germans, so they have high confidence of meeting even the stiffest resistance and can now afford to take higher risk attacks against the waning forces of the Soviets. Vyazma may not fall by the end of Turn 9, but it would likely  fall prior to game end.

This ends up a German Strategic Victory.

Turn 8

Assessment.

There are a few variable here that really took a bit for me to grok.  The difference from Operation Typhoon and later titles is evident, but not immediately reconcilable into a plan of attack or defence for either side.  Well not for me in any case. The Divisional Integrity bonus is nice, but it really has to be coupled with either a lot of armor, or OOS units. Nearly everything doubles the Soviets on defence  The biggest difference (as I recall) is the Zone of Control Locking.  Once in a ZOC you are stuck until you kill or retreat away. I don’t remember Op Typhoon being this way, it was a +MPs to move into or through ZOCs(?) Is that correct?

Well it took a few abortive starts to get the system working right, so I will count them as Soviet wins 2-1 V the Germans.  There are some optional rules floating that suggest the Soviets get the 0-0-6 units as 1-1’s. Fair enough but it wont make much of a difference.

The Soviets really cannot afford to attack until such time as they know their combat status and then have one of these divisions isolated and hopefully separate.

The one 1:2 attack in hindsight was a dumb ass move. This cured my desire to attack at all as the Russians.

This is a bit brutal at first for the Germans, you are in essence playing bling for the first few turns. So the decisions to attack are fraught with angst for me. I like that. I would happily set this up again soon.  It seemed to play much faster than I thought it would too.

Good stuff.

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