Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Kursk Part 16: ENDEX - ...with a bang and a whimper...

The HQ elements of the  9Pz Div...the de facto forward controller of the skeleton battle groups (once the Corps assets)Tiger Bn, Ferdinand Bn, Brumbar Bn, along with 79 Assault Div, 292 Inf Div and attached elements...gets a visit from the air which damages but does not destroy the winch Famo 9.
The staunchest believer in 'final victory' knows for sure that the attack to take Ponyri and push on to Kursk is now a pipe dream
 Russians appear everywhere...
 and although they are mown down in heaps and vehicle after vehicle is destroyed...
 the tide has turned.
 Even as this last attack is beaten back by the Germans there is no possibility of the situation being recovered. Retreat is the order of the day, defined by circumstances rather than commands
 The butcher's bill in this game is high
 Air regiments concentrate on the air defence capability of the German flak units
 but the cost in aircraft is appalling
 Over the railway towards the former Russian trenches
 ...supported by armour
 a two battalion attack goes in
 The Russian 76.2mm, which gave the Huns such a shock at the commencement of hostilities, is no match for the latest long 75mm L43 and L48's of the Panzer IVF, G and H's...
 Few SU's are left...
 so much smoke on the field leaves most of the artillery blind...
 The attack fails...
 ...and the survivors pull back into cover
 Aircraft fall... nine pins
 But the Germans keep moving back. Here they are taking their long '100's' out of the line to relative safety
 Fewer now, but still fearsome, the Flakvierling are the umbrella of the troops
 Another couple of companies try to get on the end of the German line
 Their tails are up...
 ...but not for long
 Technical and tactical superiority save the German line again
...but they know it's all over.

Everything that follows is expressed in kits and figures we used. The multiples are according to the Rapid Fire rules set we used. The game ended at move 41, one short of the time span set, because we ran out of units able to get at each other at that point due to the usual problem of overstretch. The active stuff left on the table came to about 60 Russian runners, plus a few hundred troops, and about the same, maybe a few more German runners and troops.

German Losses

Over 60 model tanks, other vehicles and guns etc. = over 300 irrecoverable losses.
30+ aircraft (of around 40 deployed) = 150 or so aircraft lost.
448 figures = 6,620 KIA

Russian Losses

87 tanks, vehicles and guns etc. = 435 irrecoverable losses
40+ aircraft (of over 60 deployed) = 200+ lost
700-750 figures (I keep finding more in the sand and in trenches) = 11,600+

We learnt a great deal from our long game. Some kit went over 30-40 feet up the table and back. Record keeping needs to be simple but tight. Elements can easily get left out of battle. Different commanders turn up on different nights/days and, even with specific orders, interpret things differently. There are always gray areas in rules but we found RF to stand up robustly through the most challenging circumstances. Even where there are anomalies they work themselves out over a large/long game.

My thanks to the long suffering:

...and the various helping hands that pitched up from time to time.


  1. Epic- I love it.



  2. What a fantastic game and so entertainingly presented! I have enjoyed following this more than anything else I've seen in blog-land for quite some time. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

    1. Thanks Stryker. I'm not sure of the running order but we've some interesting games we want to this space.

  3. Epic and spectacular, beautiful figures, trenches and vehicles...and these explosion markers are so impressive!

    1. Thanks Phil. They certainly have developed over the years. It's the tweaking that keeps us thinking.

  4. This was a terrific AAR and was about as close to the 'real thing" as you could get on the battlefield. Very well done, indeed.

    1. Cheers CC. We want gaming and a little realism to make it all believable. Thanks for the feedback it's appreciated.

  5. Are you planning an extended version Hobbit/LOTR kind?

    1. Don't think so Joao. We'll leave it there and if we go again we'll do the other flank.

  6. great mix of scenery and kit

  7. Thanks Al. We really had to use everything on this one. It's that kind of battle, sort of mid way between the old gear and the new so you can use it all...fortunately for us.

  8. well done , great AAR , nice kit .. lov how you do your table top too..

  9. Cheers Dave. Sand is a great medium, cheap and very versatile. Looks realistic, without joins and you can dig in. It also has drawbacks. Moulding takes time and you have to wait until it's dry to play.

  10. Dunno George...the guys will have to get inspired. Somebody said Russian Civil War but there's also the whiff of the Peninsular about. Bussaco has been mentioned and we're not far off the figures for that one.

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  12. Epic in scope and reportage! As has been said, this will be a hard act to follow; but I'll be looking forward to future posts.

    Thanks for sharing all this. Appreciate the effort you put into both the game and the blog.