Battle of the Blogs – WtP:Bzura AAR – Turn 9

Check out the Polish Turn 9 on Fog Of Wargames.

Again another Sunny day!

Lets check the Objectives screen. As you can see the number of troops in the area of the battle has been considerably reduced, the vapourisation of the Bulge. The defenders in the Warsaw/Modlin area have also taken a hit, from 765 to 611. There seems absolutely no way for the Polish to win the scenario, they haven’t enough troops on the map to win by defense, and similarly they haven’t got the manpower (nor the turns left) to mount an offensive on Lodz. However, if I don’t make it into the center of Warsaw by Turn 11, the game will be declared a draw! *shudder* Worst case scenario for me. I’ve got to make forward progress.

Here’s the lie of the land at the beginning of the German Turn 9.

With the bulge gone, this turn I’m going to focus on two goals – getting the western forces pushed east, and push forward through the concentrated defensive around the suburbs of Warsaw.

Showing the supply situation around the front lines, you can see my leading troops are all in supply. That should help with the attacks.

I run some air recon at the centre of Warsaw, and over at the Modlin Fortress, but nothing has changed there. A few serviceable aircraft in Warsaw itself and some artillery units in the fortress.

I spend the initial moves in this turn, just shuffling troops eastwards. The general push is along the roads – hoping the sunny weather and the transport system affords me the greatest distance per unit. However, many of the units in the bulge had to traverse open ground to get to a road, so their travelling range wasn’t consistently at full capacity. As I’m moving them, my mind wonders about the route through the Modlin Fortress  – and as an impulsive exploratory mission I throw a few units from the North towards the fortress. I chivvy an engineer unit all the way along the road to get a better feel for the area there. I think this pursuit is a flight of fancy to be honest, I’m not even sure I have enough turns to make the distance, but I’m desperately searching for a plan B, in case my Panzers can’t break through next turn.

The SS Leibstandarte command the clean up operation behind the front line.

They are merciless. It seems like callous genocide.

With the 4th Panzer Division leading the charge, they focus on the weak points in the Polish front. The Flak troops look easy prey.

Panicked and in retreat.

The Panzers roll forward. But it seems like slow progress. One step closer. So near, yet so far.

The Southern flank, led by the 14th Infantry again looks for a weak point, or at least a more achievable objective to hit. The Polish 2nd Infantry fit the bill, even though the 10th Infantry are weaker, I don’t want to add the river crossing cost to any movement, and it would be so easy to become trapped, isolated and away from the body of the main attack. We hit the 2nd Infantry.

They retreat.

Moving what I can into the gap, we now cut off the 2nd’s Artillery unit, stationed in a bunker. I decide to use the 19th Infantry and whatever else I can to hit the Woly Cavalry.

Again the German superiority in troop numbers, supply and position wins over. The Polish are panicked and in retreat. I’m hoping the swathes of demoralised troops pulling back towards Warsaw will fall as easily as the ones in the Bulge last turn.

I move what I can into the gap left by the Cavalry.

Even more Cavalry units become isolated and encircled, time to hit them. With all the movement, its hard to make convincing attacks when you’ve used a good chunk of your action points just to get to the fight. It seems to be a recurring problem for the advancing German army. Always focused on movement, and having little left to plough into an attack.

I hit the Cavalry, but run out of AP to make the killing blow or to force them to retreat. So they remain steadfast for now. If this happens in the next turn, just wading through the Polish bodies is going to seriously frustrate my clamber to the center of Warsaw. I’m starting to panic now, I’m not sure I’ve got enough time to cover the distance, chock full of Polish. My steel tipped drill doesn’t seem to cut so deep when thrusting into enemy lines, compared with the relative ease with which the Bulge encirclement suffocated the Polish troops trapped there.

Here’s the supply situation at the end of the German Turn 9. The offensive front has widened, more troops are pouring in from the rear, along a single road. Have I got enough bodies, up front with action points to do the devastation that is required? I’m not sure. My lead Panzer unit is a mere two hexes away from Victory! Surely we have the gumption to do this? Surely?

The lie of the land at the end of Turn 9. You can just make out the few Arty units at the fortress. Look at the distance that has to be covered for that desperate Northern contingent to make their way to the fortress, let alone punch their way through and come at Warsaw from the North. I should have started that push a long time ago. It seems I may have been distracted by the kill-fest the bulge afforded me, and the time spent “basking in the blood” has delayed my troops too much. On the knife edge, looking at a possible Victory, I can taste the bitter twang of a Draw here. I’ll be gutted if it comes to that.

Stay tuned for the penultimate German Turn 10!

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Ian Bowes / spelk