Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Heinrich505

Review of Kalvin Square Battle for Bannon DC

Recommended Posts

Bannon DC,

I just finished playing your Kalvin Square Scenario. Thought it quite interesting, and didn't know where else to post, so I figured here was okay.

Your map was quite close to the original, as I looked at those before playing. I have not studied the battles in Budapest in detail, but might have to now, having played and enjoyed your scenario. The battle took about 61 turns before it ended. I played German vs. AI. I gave the AI a +2 (probably should have made it a +3), and tried to increase the equipment for the AI by 50%, but for some odd reason, the game immediately diverted me to PBEM, asking for a password. I bailed out and retried, this time only giving a +2 and not increasing the equipment. The game loaded up properly. I used the scenario default set-up for both AI and myself. There is a lot of equipment to handle, and the map is large, which slowed down the computer a bit, but the dreaded blue bar crawl was only around a minute to a minute and a half, if there was a lot going on that turn. I enjoyed the battle greatly, and there were some very desperate moments, units breaking and routing into the street only to be cut down by the Soviets, that sort of thing. Tankers were hunkered down in their crates, awaiting the dreaded Red armor, that you just knew was coming. So, on to the details.

*********Spoilers********************

I just used the default placement, wanting to test it's logic. It turned out quite well. The pillbox covering Rakoczi Ave was a godsend, one I wasn't even aware of until it starting coring Soviet T-34 tanks. That covered Rakoczi just fine. The Soviet main thrust came from Jozsef Blvd., center of the map, but there was a flanking attempt by the AI from the south edge, moving NW towards Czarnok Square, but cutting north one block before. Luckily I had posted a Panther to cover that corner, and the Panther had a field day, turning the corner into a tank graveyard. The Panther's kills were 1 T-34 M44, 4 Su-85, 1 Su-76, and 1 ISU-152, and the Hungarian troops there hung tough, so no further action in that area.

The AI penetrated west about 5 streets from Jozsef Blvd., losing a lot of troops but steadily gaining ground. Eventually the thrust collapsed along Raday, due to crossfire down the street and massive artillery barrages. Still, enough troops got across and then began extensive use of sewer movement. This was particularly un-nerving, as they began popping up - unannounced - 1 block east of Csarnok Square, in the area of Vamhaz Blvd. The defenders there were just barely hanging on, about to be overwhelmed, when I slid in a SPW 251/16 flame halftrack. The carnage was terrible, and several Soviet units surrendered after being flamed. This was as far west as the AI got. A little slower with the flame halftrack, and they'd have made it further west.

There was a terrific battle in the large building on the SE corner of Rakoczi & Muzeum Blvd. The AI was stopped there, and never made it across Muzeum Blvd., thanks to artillery and some well-placed machine guns.

The battle for the National Museum was tense, as the AI had finally swarmed the building directly to the south, giving a good jumping off place. Massive armor, in the form of ISU-152s and IS-2 tanks, along with Su-76s, initially tried to drive up to the museum, but I had rushed up some badly needed panzerschrek teams. When they opened up on the armor, the assault guns backed off and pounded the museum from a safer distance. I had to run some SS Cavalry squads into the west side of the National Museum because the Hungarians only had molotov cocktails. The SS boys had panzerfausts and grenade bundles. Once the AI realized this, the ISU-152s hung back, at least 61 meters from the building. Odd, methinks, as the SS had the 60 meter version of the panzerfausts. Hmmm. Still, the Hungarians held tough, and didn't abandon their museum. Their Hetzers did well, as did the Zrinyi II. Had the AI rushed the museum again, I'd slipped the flame halftrack behind it on the west side, likely good for one or two hot foots. As it was, the AI held back, giving me time to pull a Panther into a covering position.

The very well placed 75 mm AT gun, covering Kalvin Square and bore-sighted SE down Ullio Ave really saved some flanking attempts by the AI. The 75 AT gun ended up bagging 2 T-34 M44s, 1 IS-2, and 1 M5 Halftrack.

The battle had some typically east-front vicious hand-to-hand fighting. The AI rarely took prisoners, but I was surprised to see a number of them surendering after losing a lot of men in the unit. There were many dramatic moments, typical of this game, which makes it so enjoyable. Unterofficer Steiner (Cross of Iron fame??) took up position with his squad,just to the west of Jozsef Blvd, rather far forward. The AI flooded the same building, but south of his position. As AI troops moved past his second story post along the street, his squad rained fire on them, eliminating several squads. The never knew what hit them. Then a T-34 eased it's way past Steiner's position, and a well-placed panzerfaust knocked it out. The tank crew came out fighing, and crawled into Steiner's position, eliminated by hand-to-hand. I was thinking it time to sneak them out by this time, as some waves of Soviet troops just south of Steiner's spot were trying to overwhelm defenders on the west side of the boulevard. As I started to move Steiner's troops, anticipating a wild dash across the boulevard, an OS-34 Flame Thrower tank appeared nearby, but seemed to skirt Steiner's building, probably intending to flank to a street further north. Steiner's boys couldn't resist, and fired off their last panzerfaust, from a second story position. Arrggh. They missed, and suppressed themselves with the back blast, which set the second story on fire. I ordered them out down the stairs, but they were still groggy. The OS-34 slowly turned it's turret, and a gout of flame engulfed the squad. Their numbers instantly went from 9 to 4, with 5 casualties screaming from the flames. They were now routed, running for their lives, and didn't stop at the bottom of the stairs. They dashed out into the crossfire of the Soviets in the street, and took 3 more hits, leaving only the Unterofficer Steiner as sole survivor. Fortunately, a panzerschrek gunner immobilized the OS-34 with his last round, putting it out of the battle. I retreated Steiner back to safety near the river. He and his squad accounted for 47 casualties and one T-34 tank.

All in all, the battle went well. The AI performed better than I had expected, trying to flank me several times. There were even some attempts at human waves, as I saw Soviet troops rush from their positions yelling "Urrah, Urrah." The AI used sewer movement well, unless that was just them infiltrating through a building and my not having a LOS to them. I think it was though, as there were several squads that all appeared in the same location, seemingly at once. That would have been a real breakthrough for the AI, if not for that durn flamethrower halftrack. I didn't have to use many of my troops, as the AI got bogged down, so it wasn't a nail-biting, white knuckle, hold them at the river battle. The task of getting the wounded out was a nice touch, and added a real sense of urgency to the battle. Conversly, that meant a lot of micromanaging of the trucks and halftracks needed to rescue the wounded. There were many traffic jams on the bridge. The AI seemed very adept at locating most of my Panthers and immobilizing them with Sturmovik Jabos.

That was my take on the battle. It probably would have been closer had I given the AI a +3 and been able to adjust the equipment up for the computer side. I enjoyed the heck out of it, and it had the look and feel of a desperate battle in the last days of the Reich. The map was very nice too, and it helps to play a scenario on a map that is close to historically accurate. If you have any specific questions, please let me know. Thanks for putting this battle together.

Heinrich505

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heinrich505, great review. The proper place for the review is in the review section at TSD2. If it is there others who upload the scenario can read it. Here it will just get lost. I'm sure BannonDC would appreciate the review at TSD2. If the scenario is still in playtest at TPG then that is the proper place for the review. Scenario authors always appreciate reviews, it is amazing how few are written. Thanks, Von Schwendeman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heinrich505

Thanks for the fantastic write up. I had my doubts that the AI could attack well in this one, but it seems to have come through for you. Very glad to hear you enjoyed it.

This one is still in testing at The Proving Grounds. For a large battle, it has actually received a lot of interest in the playtesting stage. With your comments, I know of two people playing it against the AI. And in addition to my head-to-head test against Highliner, there is one other H2H test going. I'm having a great time playing this one and it is very challenging against a human opponent... especially one who seems to have little regard for his men and is throwing them at me in the most ruthless and relentless manner. Talk about a steamroller!

Von S is correct... there is a discussion thread for all the individual scenarios on both TPG and TSD. Just click on "discussions." (Not always easy to find the link, but look around). If the battle is older or not as active, you may have to scroll the list for it, but they all have their own thread.

For your convenience here is the link. See the "discuss this scenario" link at the bottom. But, no need to copy your comments unless you wish to. Also some Google images and a battle map in this thread.

Kalvin Square Scenario at TPG

For those who are not interested in large scenarios, I did a cut down version of just one street in order to test my tank trap idea. This one has been moved over to TSD already after some good playtesting. Balanced for two players (better) or as Russian vs. AI. You can find it here:

Tank Trap Museum Blvd, Pest

Again, as Von S said, designers appreciate any feedback. Good feedback makes for better scenarios for all of us.

Bannon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bannon DC and Von Schwendeman,

I took your advice and posted this to TPG in the discussion section. When I originally searched for the scenario there, I just typed in Kalvin Square, and came up zip. Had I typed in Kalvin Square, Pest, I'd have found the scenario.

I'm glad I could help out with this. I, too, have seen very few reviews. The really neat part about this game is the many people willing to research a historical battle and flesh out a scenario for the rest of us to enjoy. It is kind of like bringing the pages of a book to life and experiencing just a touch of what it must have been like to be there. The game never really gets old when authors are creating new battles and scenarios for us to enjoy. So, Bannon DC, keep up the good work. We appreciate your efforts.

Heinrich505

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...