We continue the forced march through the Russian conflict of Barbarossa Solitaire in 1943.
Our front lines are becoming fragmented under the weight of Soviet numbers, the initial victories are becoming but memories in our cold and shivering hearts.
GER8 moves into Warsaw. Silesia is garrisoned.
ITA8 moves into Moldovia.
HUN2 moves into Kiev.
AGS11 attacks Kharkov. 1 unit rolls 1d3 = 2 (+ 1 from German Bonus from 1943) = 3, which is a successful attack, however 1 Unit is lost during the attack. Since AGS11 was the only Unit involved it was withdrawn from play and placed on the Winter 1944 reinforcements track.
Luckily the remnants of AGS17 has had time to recuperate and regroup, they are able to be deployed this turn in Moldovia, supporting the Italian 8th (ITA8) currently stationed there.
Running the game under ‘Easy’ conditions the Soviets have 3 planned counter-attacks to make this turn. The German front line are no doubt beginning to feel the pressure from the resistance.
#1 Location Roll 1d6 = 6, Weakest Point, attack Kiev. Resolution Roll 1d3 = 3, Eliminates HUN2! Removed to Summer 1944 reinforcements track.
#2 Location Roll 1d6 = 4, Grozny/Odessa, attack Odessa. Resolution Roll 1d3 = 3, Eliminates AGS6. Removed to Autumn 1944 reinforcements track.
#3 Location Roll 1d6 = 5, Roll TWICE again! (adding a further two attacks #4 and #5)
#4 Location Roll 1d6 = 1, Demyansk/Berlin, nearest front line attack is Velikje Luki. Resolution Roll 1d3 = 1, No Effect!
#5 Location Roll 1d6 = 1, Demyansk/Berlin, nearest front line attack is Velikje Luki. Resolution Roll 1d3 = 1, No Effect!
The first two counter attacks were very successful and have thinned the German lines significantly in the Southern corridor. Army Group Center 4th Division have become completely isolated – with Russian troops all around them at Smolensk, Tula, Kiev and Kharkov! The German presence in Moldovia is now being threatened from North and South, at Kiev and Odessa respectively.
My spirits dropped when the extra two attacks fell out, but luck was on the side of the Germans that day, and both extra efforts failed to rattle the front line.
With the fairer weather my hopes are lifted slightly, although movement on the front line seems to be very restricted.
GER8 moves into Minsk. Garrisoning Warsaw.
AGS9 attacks Smolensk. 1 unit rolls 1d3 = 2 (+ 1 from German Bonus from 1943) = 3, which is a successful attack, however 1 Unit is lost during the attack. Since AGS9 was the only Unit involved it was withdrawn from play and placed on the Winter 1945 reinforcements track.
RUM3 forms up and deploys at Bucharest.
This turn reduces the Soviet counter attacks (on Easy) to one.
#1 Location Roll 1d6 = 4, Grozny/Odessa, attack nearest to front Moldovia. Resolution Roll 1d3 = 3, Eliminates ITA8! The Italian 8th division are removed completely from the game.
It is clear from this very short turn, that the forward momentum the German Army had in the early rounds has now stopped. The Soviets are pushing back as time goes on, with my AGC4 stranded, and chunks of the front line being breached (Kiev, Odessa and now Minsk!). The number of troops on the ground and able to fight are very limited. I have a lot of casualties, regrouping and refitting in the reinforcement pools. Without a good die roll, attacking with a single unit can be disastrous, and I think my eagerness to push further has caused a lot of those casualties which now have drained my offensive power.
In fact my worries now turn to whether I have anything to defend my back lines with! The success of Operation Barbarossa is now looking like a very remote and bleak prospect.
As we move into the last season in 1943, desperation sets in, in the German High Command. Stand and fight, and die!
RUM3 move into Moldovia to provide support for AGS17.
AGS17 attacks Kiev. 1 unit rolls 1d3 = 3 (+ 1 from German Bonus from 1943) = 4, which is a SUCCESS! AGS17 moves into Kiev!
AGC2 is reconditioned and deploys to Slovakia, removing the Garrison there.
The Autumnal season affords two counter-attacks on the Germans.
#1 Location Roll 1d6 = 3, Kharkov/Budapest, attack nearest to front Kursk. Resolution Roll 1d3 = 2, No Effect!
#2 Location Roll 1d6 = 3, Kharkov/Budapest, attack nearest to front Kursk. Resolution Roll 1d3 = 3, Eliminates AGC4! The unit is placed on the Summer 1945 reinforcement track.
We’re still pushing forward, but without the manpower to support it. AGS17 was trying to reconcile AGC4 at Kursk, but a harsh Soviet counter attack dispatched them before we could make the link up at Kharkov.
As the war in the east drags on, the unfavourable conditions begin to stack against the Germans. In 1944 we lose any Bonuses to the modifiers in our Attacks, plus the Soviets begin galvanising their resistance and begin mounting more and more counter attacks. With so little up front, and so little behind, I’m beginning to worry about a total collapse of my line and the subsequent Red Tide washing over the Fatherland itself!
Join me next time, as we enter 1944 in Barbarossa Solitaire!