|A zoomed out view of this scenario's map. My forces are the only icons visible.|
The screenshots are better seen when expanded. Please remember to right click and open them in a new window/tab.
The scenario description, right from the game menu, follows:
Teterevino North, South West of Prokhorovka: July 10th, 1943. (Scenario Size: Regiment. German Human vs Soviet AI) SS-Obersturmbannführer Hugo Kraas's 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment had rested for the last 48 hours. Reordered after the initial days of battle, it's I &II Battalions reinforced by the Aufklarüngs (reconnaissance) Battalion were to clear the two large collective farms between Teterevino North and Prokhorovka. This is a shorter version of scenario #0710_03 focused on the clearing and capture of the Komsomolets State Farm and Hill 241.6.
The bulk of my forces is the 2 SS PzGr. Regiment. I also have a reconnaissance battalion to the north of my sector, and some armor echeloned to the rear of my two PzGr. battalions. The armor units are fixed until turn five (scenario length is eight turns). The armor I have available is just a company sized force, mainly StuGIIIs and 4 Pz VIe Tigers.
The tactical plan is a sector wide attack with points of main effort on the low area south of Komsomolets and Hill 241.6. We will clear Komsomolets and the low area south of it with the two PzGr. battalions and then use these terrain gains to assemble a combined arms push (infantry plus armor) onto Hill 241.6. The reconnaissance battalion on the north will be used in an economy of force role, clearing the state farm area and pushing on a west axis. Ideally, the reconnaissance battalion would provide a great opportunity for a reconnaissance pull. But the time allocated for this mission (8 turns/4 hours) does not allow for a change in the point of main effort.
|A zoomed in view of a portion of the map. The two PzGr battalions are highlighted in yellow. To the north (not highlighted) is the reconnaissance battalion.|
|The bulk of the first battalion has moved near Hill 258.2. Fire support from mortars is called.|
|The second battalion has just made contact west of Komsomolets and is starting to suppress the enemy positions with their weapons platoons.|
|The maximum range of a weapons platoon. No LOS restrictions are computed here nor above.|
|Air missions are available: reconnaissance and ground attack. The air to air battles are abstracted, but remember to put your AAA units where they can prevent your units from lethal airborne nuisances. It happens. A lot. ;)|
|The assault succeeds. Then enemy losses 7 men and runs down the hill. My units (details on the right panel) have no movement points available to pursue them, but they fire at them and inflict more casualties.|
|Do not underestimate the firepower of the weapons platoon. In this case, the platoon highlighted red has inflicted some losses on the Russian infantry sheltering on a trench.|
|By the end of turn 2, the enemy outposts have been cleared by direct assault and the battlefield looks empty again. Concealed in these not-so-forgotten farmlands, the Soviets await.|
|I am not a big fan of wasting rounds on suspected enemy positions, but it may come in handy sometimes: the ability to call indirect fire missions on either greatly concealed enemy or just on the tactical void of empty real estate.|
Yeah, the reconnaissance battalion up north is moving nicely. But who is going to exploit their success?
|The ability of the Russians to keep their anti tank guns concealed is uncanny. Our clever obscuration plans are derailed when a new enemy AT gun pit is spotted. The tanks and assault guns loose precious time engaging them.|
|And then the scenario ends with a minor defeat for my forces.|
I was unable to keep the momentum of my main effort, giving the Soviets a chance to shoot back at their pleasure. I underestimated how much involved and difficult is fire and movement through woods and villages. The 2nd PzGr Battalion inability to clear himself from enemy remnants in Komsomolets was a pivotal factor in my defeat.
Panzer Battles is cleverly designed and provides a much desired scale of combat that was missing from the Tiller line of products. The game play is very fluid (lots of things happen per turn) and I find myself not overtaxed even with the biggest scenarios I tried (one at the Corps level). This scenario took me a couple of hours to play, but I was taking notes and screenshots for the AAR.
I hope you enjoy reading this AAR as much as I did playing the scenario and writing about it. Here is to a great weekend of tactical war gaming!