Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Kursk - Part 15: ...and now the end is near

Hurrah and huzzah for that! I hear you cry. If you've been following the carnage, which is this blog in recent months, you'll know the Russian armoured counter attack has (relatively) only just happened. They are already up to 68 tanks KO'ed and 32 other vehicles destroyed not including damaged, driven off and runners. A significant number of aircraft have also been lost to enemy action. I haven't totalled up the German losses so far yet...

T34's and Studebaker S6's sweep up from deep in the flank of the now retreating German armoured formations
 The Germans are dividing their fire between front, flank and rear threats...
 Ironically the KV1 battalion to the front left has the hull down position of the railway embankment...
 ...and the German armour is in the open.
 Even at that the disparity between German and Russian weapons means the Russians are at a distinct disadvantage at this stage of the war but will leap ahead later on...which is no comfort to the russian tankies just now...
 Mortar fire plasters the area the long FH18's are just vacating...
 So long as the gun line holds the infantry, transport and artillery can withdraw in relative safety
"Can't see a thing!" - "Yes, sir...smoke gets in your eyes"
 ...then, one of two things will happen...
 either the Russian assault will run out of steam (ie I run completely out of Russian kit) and the Germans will hold what they plan to hold of the trench line until everyone has exited stage left pursued by a bear...
"Get Regiment on the the line..."
 ..or the German stop line will be stretched to breaking point and a general rout will presage a massacre
"Tell them we have blocked the one of the western exits"
 It seems kind of fiftyfifty at the moment. The last 30-40 Russian vehicles are on the table.
 The last of the German infantry is well dug in to the former Russian trenches. They are down to a few battalions worth of troops...
 The Russians have no worries over troop numbers. There are still at least 600 figures that still can come on plus all the infantry already committed. The problem is getting them forward. At 6" per move. It will be a long time before they get to grips with the last of the German infantry
 We began with intention of a 36 move game but after the first 24 we realised we wanted to get to a decisive conclusion and the time frame was just too tight. As you can see from this shot the visibility is restricted due to the smoke. We use an inverted periscope to check line-of-sight; invaluable on an undulating surface.

 With no physical time restriction a game can last as long as we wish. We had to move Adolf's redeployment order or it would come in the wrong sequence. So, we settled on 42 moves or the limitation of the actual kit we have...whichever comes first
 But...the German kit, like the Ferdinand, is performing so much better than expected
 ...er, most of the time...
 We have therefore, a dilemma. We have either too much German stuff for the area depicted...but not according to the stats. They tell us the Germans should have had slightly more. We left some stuff out because of space and just to make the game smoother to run eg towed a/t battalions and further German artillery and some ancillary stuff...
 ...or we didn't have enough Russian armour, but we're having trouble fitting it all on...which means a bigger table...
...Hmmm, now that's an intriguing thought...?

Next: The butcher's bill? Historical outcome? Lessons on conducting mega games?
Gentle reader...watch this space


  1. Nice mix of figures and kit, cool game

  2. Problems with a bigger table? Try the local gymnasium floor :)

    1. Good idea Joao...but it would cost a fortune for exclusive use for a few months

  3. Truly impressive on a massive scale.

  4. Very nice, impressive pictures!

  5. Thanks Phil. Discussion in progress as to the next disas...er...project.