Monday, March 18, 2013

1945, Attacking Lublin

A Headless Body production.

Location: Showcase Comics, Granite Run Mall, Pennsylvania
Tournament: Whiteout!
Game: Flames of War Late War 1780 points
Mission: Free for All
Players: Phil Gardocki, Legkiy Samokhodno-Artillyeriyskiy Polk (attacker)
                 Scott, Battalion Armii Krajowej (defender)

The Forces:

2nd Tank Army's 1st Battalion, 1441st SU Regiment, 1/307th Tank Company, 208th Flak Company, 5/1441 Reconnaissance Company (Confident, Trained), 89th Guards Mortar Battalion (Fearless Trained).

A total of 15 SU-122's in 4 Batteries, 10 T-34's (5 76's, 5 85's), 8 Katyushas, 2 DShk AA trucks in 1 battery, 3 ZSU 17's, and 5 Recon Rifle/MG teams.

Polish Batalion Armii Krajowej (Fearless, Conscript)  AK Piechoty Company with 22 stands, 2 Kedyw Companies (FT) with 9 stands, 1 Mortar Company with 6 8cm mortars, 1 AT Company with 2 7.5cm Pak 40, 1 Tank Platoon of 2 Panthers, 1 Armoured Car Platoons with 2  Sd Kfz 221's and an Artillery Battery with 6 105's.

Mission: Free for All.

Apologies:  This was the third round of a tournament and I didn't take as many pictures as normal. 
Bonus!:  However, Scott also has an AAR on this fight, and you can get his perspective, and with better and more plentiful pictures at

The Board:

4 by 6 feet. 
Late 1944, the town of Lubin, Poland.  A fresh snowful has announced that winter is coming.  All hills and fords are bog checks, all streams are skill checks.

As a side note and faux complaint, there were only 3 snow boards at this tourament, and I played on all 3!

Both sides start with full deployment on the board.  My plan is to attack left, but I still deployed two batteries of SU’s and the Flak Company on the right to keep his forces there honest.
The Poles anticipated this and also deployed most strongly on my left side, with most of his indirect fire on the center and right side.

A blurry vision of the town of Lublin.  A town full of revolutionaries, well equipped with material stolen from the retreating Germans.
Polish deployment left side.  AT guns deployed near one of the objectives, along with the moderate sized  Kedyw Company.  On the right is the Piechoty Company, some recon, and Are Those Panther Tanks?

Polish Deployment Center.  The large Piechoty Company, next to the Mortar Company and off to the far right, a battery of 105's. 

Polish Deployment Right.  To the left is a Mortar Company and off to the far right, a battery of 105's. 

Soviet Deployment.  Hub to Hub.  Boris Badinuff's T-34's leading the charge, with SU-122's behind.  Off in the distance are the Katyusha's and way off in the distance more SU-122's.

“This is intolerable.” murmured Petrov to himself.  His battalion had been waiting for a week to begin the assault.  Kommisar Ivan Inanovitch Ivanovsky  had explained why to him many times, but it seemed to Petrov that the Kommisar was trying to convince himself, and not Petrov of the right of the matter.

“We are waiting for supplies, spare parts, repairs, and his favorite, the Bosch are allied with the Poles, and we are scouting the situation.” 

But everyone could see the truth of the matter.  The Poles had revolted, successfully revolted, from the Germans, and were doing the Red Army’s work for it.  Liberating their own towns and were welcoming their Soviet brothers with open arms.  And what did the Red Army do?  They stopped.  And watched, as the Germans massed and crushed the revolutionary groups one by one.  The reason is clear, we are not coming as liberators, but conquerors, and we would rather have the Germans crush the revolutionaries now, then us do it later. 

What made it worse was now that the 2nd Tank Army had orders to take Lublin, that the revolutionaries had won, that they had resisted all attempts of the Germans to destroy their spirit, that it is now our turn.  And damn it, he will do it.  These brave men, whose only crime was to be in the way, he will crush them, so that he could continue on to defeat the real enemy.

Kapitan Petrov looked at the bottle of vodka he had saved for a victory party.  No more, he was going to drink himself insensible tonight, and morn the men that would die this day.

Turn 1.
 Scott rolled the first move, and adjusted his Panthers, and moved a Kedyw Company into town, but otherwise they stayed dug in their fox holes.  His PaK 75's did well though, destroying two T-34's in the opening volley.  However there was no victory dance as my return fire picked off both guns.  Meanwhile my Katyushas began what would become a fruitless set of barrages on the Polish 105's.
First move goes to the Polish.
The PaK 75's score the first kills.
But it came at a cost as my return fire picked up the 7.5cm Pak 40 Company.  (Previously occuping the blank spots in the left side woods terrian piece)
Turn 2.
The Polish could not fail to see the rocket trails and started to counter barrage the Katyushas with the 105's, destroying a Katyusha and pinning the battery.  Thankfully the Panthers are untrained, and have a ROF of only 1, and so only kill one SU.  The Polish have infantry in the town, so I don't want to get too close with my vehicles, especially with no MG's.  But the T-34 tanks, no longer fearing the 75's are racing around the edge towards the objective.

Katyushas take counterfire.

Another SU Gun is taken out by Panther fire.
Turn 3:
The brave and fearless 89th Guards Mortar Battalion blew their motivation roll and stayed hidden under their trucks.  They will pay for that by receiving more 105 fire, and lose another Kat. 

However, Boris's  Badinuff's 1/307th Tank Company was loose, mostly racing around the flanks, but also advancing under cover of the ruins to return fire, pitting T-34 85's against Panthers.  Not a good match, but if the Panthers are shooting the T-34's they are ignoring the SU-122's.  Which have advanced into town and are ready to start making life miserable for the Pols.

One battery of SU's moving up through town, uncover the hidden Sd Kfz 221's behind a building and kill one at point blank range.
Pinned down, and with a promise of more to come!

Both Panthers and Polish Infantry receive fire, with one Polish Kedyw team killed.
Polish 105's add another Kat to their score.

While the Polish Mortar teams smoke half the town.
Turn 4:
On the far right flank, the Kedyw make a brave move to double-time into the woods near two of my SU batteries.  This gives me a very uncomfortable choice.  Shoot at the mortar company with two batteries of SU's or retreat before the infantry assault to come.  Some of that infantry have flame throwers, and my SU's have no defenses what so ever.  No tank riders, no hull mounted MG's.  I decide to keep up the pressure on the Polish Mortar Company, and rely on the 208th Flak Company's quad 50'cals to keep the Polish honest.  I shoot the mortars, killing all but two of them.  They passed their motivation and so live to fight another turn.

The other Kedyw also had enough of being a pel, and advanced to assault one of the Soviet SU Batteries in town.

The  89th Guards Mortar Battalion, obviously embarrassed by their motivation failure, unpinned and pelted the 105's and killing of all things, the staff team.

In an unexpected turn of events, one of my T-34's actually killed a Panther in a frontal shot!   

The 1/307th cracks a Panther.  While the losses to mount on the Piechoty Company.  They were 22 teams, now they look closer to 8.

Kedyw moving unseen in the woods.
Kedyw moving up for an assault on my SU battery in town.  With no MG or Tank Riders, this should be easy for them.
The Polish Mortar Company, now reduced to two tubes, hurls its last smoke shells to provide cover for the assaulting Kedyw Company.

Turn 5:
Sorry, didn't take any more pictures here.  Some are still available at, but they may roll off.

On the Soviet right, the assault of the Kedyw went bad, even under the cover of smoke.  They charged into the Soviet SU's, which were supported by 18 dice from the 208th Flak Company.  The Kedyw was pinned, rolled back to the woods, where the survivors died to a man.

In the center, the Kedyw Company assault on a battery of SU's went in cleanly, and then went many rounds with naught to naught results before finally taking a hit, then failed a motivation check and retreated.   Then the Kedyw Company received 6 rounds of "volley fire", 5 of which hit, forcing the company to surrender. 

On the Soviet left, the Piechoty were still there, but at greatly reduced numbers.  I decided to ignore the remaining Panther and ran the 1/307th T-34 Company to the objective.  With a ROF of one, the Panther couldn't even cause a motivation check in less than 3 turns.  Meanwhile whole batteries of SU's were now advancing  around it's flank.  At this point the Armii Krajowej surrendered.  A 6-1 win for the Soviets. 
Kedyw lined up for the assault. 
Picture stolen from without permission.