Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Combat Commander - Cold Front
In the final weeks of 1941, the 31st Soviet Army - part of the Kalinin Front under General Yushkevich - received a large influx of Siberian troops. Clad in quilted jackets and fur hats and inured to the cold, they led many small-unit actions up and down the frozen front. One such attack took place near Staritsa, Northwest of Moscow, as the German troops of Infanty Regiment 18 were fighting to stay warm in their trenches.
Robert Bolan came over to renew our Combat Commander:Europe series. He chose to continue into the scenarios and scenarios #5 - Cold Front - presented a small troop of Germans trying to outlast the cold-hardened Russians. Robert chose to play the attackers (Russian) and setup first. The map setup such that I chose to try and force Robert to come at me from two major choke points: through a marsh or over a bridge. I setup my heavy machine gun in a trench near the bridge to chew up any troops he sent that way. The other troops were positioned with a light machine gun to handle the marsh. Robert started the game throwing some Russians at the marsh, which was slow going, but mostly ok due to my limited ability to really take a bite out of his troops. I couldn't get my heavy machine gun to bear down and kill anyone either. We quickly discovered that these Russian troops were much tougher than earlier scenarios. Unfortunately for Robert, when they matched up head to head with an overwhelming force, the Germans prevailed.
After I eliminated a couple of squads and a leader, Robert changed tactics and ran a load of troops for my unprotected back line. Points in this scenario were doubled for exits, and Robert was looking to erase the lead I had. With time disappearing, I too moved troops towards the back line (since I had eliminated the resistance on that side of the map already). We both got our troops out safely which meant the score didn't change. What did happen was I got reinforcements - three times! I brought in artillery, a leader, and a rifle squad. We both brought in our escaped troops for reinforcements as time ticked towards the inevitable - an easy win for me. I held nearly 22 points in advantage while Robert had another series of bad roles. But fate would play her hand against me. Robert "rolled the dice" and went melee against my heavy machine guns and we tied! He eliminated my big advantage. I had my reinforcement troops again marching to Robert's side of the map, but at the last minute, swung them around and into a building to chew up his rear forces. Unfortunately for me, Robert had more advance orders and achieved what was unthinkable only moments before - a surrender victory. Reducing my army to the end of my surrender track, I was forced to congratulate Robert on a stunning victory.