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Stalin's Organ

Katukov continues - playtest request

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Anyone care to playtest this for me? smile.gif

Herewith follows the joint briefing:

During October 1941 the German advance on Moscow continued. Marshal Yeremenko flung depleted tank brigades against Guderian's advancing Panzergruppe 2. Reinforcements were rushed up including Lelyshenko's 1 Guard Rifle Corps including the 4th and 11th Tank Brigades, 2 of 22 such formations formed by Lelyshenko in his previous position as Deputy Commander of the Main Armoured Forces Administration.

Mostly the counter attacks were conducted by isolated units and handily defeated.

But not always.

The 4th Brigade, commanded by Colonel M Katukov, had a high proportion of T34's among it's 64 tanks, as well as 7 KVs. It had been formed at Prubdoi near Stalingrad, from the instructors and cadets from the Kharkov tank training school, as well as recently recovered tank crews wounded in earlier battles.

This battle a representative action in which a the 4th Armoured Brigade strikes at the flank of the 4th Panzer Division between the 14th and 16th of October.

Historical outcome:

Russian tanks swept down onto the exposed flanks of the German advance spread out 25km east of Mtsensk. The Germans found it difficult to respond – where the Russian tanks could move at speed the German ones were largely restricted to roads or risk foundering in the mud. In some places even the roads were difficult for the Germans due to the heavy fighting that had occurred in the recent past.

Using their superior mobility the Russians were able to stand back out of effective gun range of the Germans and destroy them with relative impunity.

The Russians claimed 150 tanks destroyed, and Guderian wrote, "Up to now we had enjoyed tank superiority, but from now on the situation reversed. The prospect of rapid decisive victories was fading in consequence." Many of the tanks could be repaired – but the blow to German morale was tangible.

In November Katukov was promoted to Major General and the Brigade was renamed the 1st Guards Tank Brigade in honour of its success.


The description comes from "Russian Armour 1941-43", by Eric Grove. The map is essentially random.

The scenario is designed to be a walk in the park for the Soviet player - if you can't get a major victory consider giving up playing wargames!!

Conversely the challenge for a German player is extreme.

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Yep, Stoffel and I played, it was an unstoppable onslaught.

Kudos to him, though, for picking off my tanks...I ALWAYS seem to make the mistake of poor unit cohesion.

I sent Stalin Organ an e-mail on it...

This scenario really underscores a scenario designer's dilemma...

When you assemble historical ones, how "accurate" do you want to be, versus how much do you want to make a good (read: balanced and challenging) game? Historically accurate games can simply be no challenge at all, especially for reasonable skilled CM players,and especially on the Eastern Front, where sometimes one side totally dominates.

So, there you have it.

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Guest Mike

Yep - I'll get it off to yuo when I return home after work.

And thanks for the feedback guys - I think I'll add an exit requirement to the Russians, and/or carve a couple of moves off it - perhaps take away the variable end (erally I'd only want a 1-2 turn possible variation if that was selectable).

But I don't want the Germans to be able to do much to the Russians - the idea is refelcted in the briefing - the Germans WERE massacred without inflicting much loss, so the challenge for the Russians needs to be something other than mere destruction, and a tight timeframe to exit the map might just be what's required.

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