Recently started a «5 act Campaign» having the actions around Tarnopol March/April 1944 as focus.
Basically I’ve used Steven “Balagan” Thomas work on the subject for a “Crossfire no linear campaign” and adapted it to Force on Force:WW2.
Being a limited in time – around one month of battle – and in scope – the germans have at maximum 4600 troopers inside – it easier to make such a type of campaign.
This isn’t the classical type of campaign, were a unit improves as it fights its way out (or in) but in reality a system were historical events were put on the table. The way as these were played, were dependent on the actions of the gamers.
The first game was a «Road to Tarnopol» were the soviets forces were trying to close the Kessel, around 22/23 March 44.
For info we are dependent mostly on the writings of Alex Buchner «Ostfront 1944» published in English, by Schiffer in 1991. While meager is almost all we have, apart from some soviet veterans accounts, available from the former Russian Battlefield or published in historical magazines.
Unfortunately, most researchers and veterans tend to mix the actions of Tarnopol with the ones from the Kamenets-Podolsky Kessel and the “Hube’s wandering pocket”…..
Enough of talking and let go to the game…
As stated the first scenario was set on the closing of the Tarnopol kessel, so soviets on the offensive, and germans trying to hold, against all odds.
The tabletop (2,40x1,80m affair)
As viewed from the german side, with only the main stuff on the spot.
As the table end up
For the game 3 objectives in play: The windmill, the big house with columns and the one with a grey roof (the school), plus the casualties each side suffers.
Pargana – with FCunha – played the Soviet side of the affair, dividing the forces in two groups, and using an all front approach
Artur, as the german player tried to hold on the front line, just to discover an overwhelming force in terms of number and quality.
Unknown to the soviets, they were striking a zone were panzers were repaired, so some of the germans AFV have some crippling problems and their crews were mostly mechanics….
Soviet sources stated «Ferdinands» «Tigers» and «Panthers» in the area, most probably confusing with others types of german AFVs. They also stated that in some cases, they (the soviets) easily outflank them, as the panzers didn’t move…. (you get the idea….)
After getting heavily mauled by the combination of mortar fire, tanks and assaulting infantry, Artur understated that keep that way he will be defeat with no appeal, so changed his tactics – after all he was losing almost is resources….
Concentrating on his meager panzers and hit & run tactics with the infantry, he tried to stall the soviet advance.
Luck was with him again, giving him some extra units and panzers (Fog of War cards), managing to cover a much needed escape route, while keeping at least part of the objectives.
In the end he manages to be defeated, but by a minor margin – instead of a major Victory, as on middle game things were looking.
Next game will see the germans already inside the pocket, with soviets units trying to ID defensive positions on the outskirts of Tarnopol, so stay tuned
Thanks for looking, comments welcome