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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mamayev Kurgan at Stalingrad

Yesterday was the MD gamers' phenomenal Stalingrad game. Each side had 6 or 7 players, across two boards (separated by the Volga).

The setup was great- they had all the highlights from Stalingrad itself. The East Front is definitely not my area of expertise, but this has certainly inspired me to research more.

The Germans had 4 primary objectives.

#1 was to hold the major landing zones where soviet troops were arriving as reinforcements on barges crossing the mighty Volga river

#2 was to capture the grain elevator.

#3 was to capture the train station.

#4 was to capture the mighty hill Mamayev Kurgan.

As the commander of the 295th Infantry Division I was tasked with capturing the hill. It loomed in front of me like an ant hill swarming with bolsheviks. It was not going to be an easy battle.

Read on for more!

Enemy at the Gates is far from a perfect movie, but the opening does a good job of showing the horror of the battle. Here's a link to the video: ignore the british accents

I brought Pioneers. 2 full platoons, backed up by 4 Panzer wearers and 3 marder III Ms.

My list may have been more ahistorical than I thought. I was accidentally left off the German pre-game planning e-mail list so I had no idea about most of the scenario special rules, or had any feedback on my list.

Anyhow, let's get to the pics.

There she is. In minutes she'll be swarming with reds. A huge portion of terrain had yet to be placed at this point. Really, I cannot say enough good things about the preparation these guys put into this. The terrain was top notch.

The soviet side of the Volga. Their reserves had to cross in the barges.

Just to the German right of the hill. The white building in the center is "Pavlov's House"

The Department Store.

More of the city

Soviet barges

The Grain silo.

Literally, "across the volga"

The God of war

The ingenious way of making such a huge board playable- stick a huge river in between!

Pavlov's house again

The fountain. Again, the terrain had yet to be filled out- some gorgeous buildings were put in before the game.


More of the silo


And finally my force makes an appearance! We deployed in in the "woods" near the hill. The woods had been deforested due to intense bombardments, and so only offered concealment.

You want me to take what? The hill is fortified with an HMG company, and a PTRD AT rifle company. Since I was accidentally left off of the German comminique e-mail list I didn't know the soviets had an ambush. A Strelkovy company awaited me. Just to my right of the hill was another strelkovy company, and light infantry and AAA guns. Behind the hill was a massive katyusha battery (8 with extra crew).

The order is given. We advance cautiously under a hefty smoke barrage.

Just reaching the base.

The Russian lines to the German right of the hill.

The pioneers advance under the cover of a smoke barrage.

Germans capture the first line of trenches

View of the field


Heartbreakingly, this is when I discover the russians have an ambush. Shan hits me with a full strength streak co

hold the line men!

The hill spews russians like ants from an anthill.

The Germans rally and strike back

And lo and behold the russians fail their motivation and kill their commissar!

The panzerwerfers were infinitely useful.

The department store. I had no clue what was going in most other sectors of the battle.

Bloody assaults for the train station

Brutal city fighting

The attackers of the grain silo.

The German far right flank

The main battle board

The Russian reinforcements board

Eventually my pioneers were ground down. My good buddy Pete was in charge of corps support and decided our tanks had a chance of taking the hill. He took up my charge after I had exhausted my combat troops. Under cover of my panzerwerfers, but with Shan's troops deep in German lines, we continued to fight.

All I had left were my mechanized forces

The hill is scantily defended

My mechanized forces are in danger of being flanked

Go Pete go! Looks easy enough right?

wrong. Russian reserves land a naval infantry company and a T-34 company on the hill.

Our high water mark. We held the hill for a very short period of time.


Pete and I gave it our best shot!

What a great game. Serious kudos to Jeff and all the MD guys for a phenomenal event. Shan is a phenomenal opponent, even when we screwed up some things. I think it's time I sit down and re-read the rulebook again, I think I've gotten rusty.

I think in the end the Germans only held the train station. Fairly solid Russian victory.


Hein said...

Wow an amazing looking table(s). Must be lot of fun to play a game on such table(s). Thanks for another great report.
Wish i was there to witness it.

jmezz382 said...

Makes my drive of Eastern front battle history and battle force making go into hyperdrive. I am so making a German Eastern Front company

indierockclimber said...

Dude, Lydia is encouraging me to buy up some Stalingrad terrain since, in her opinion "that city looks way cooler than anything you've ever done".

If you do Germans, I'll start Russians and we can progress together!

Hein- thanks for the encouragement!

jmezz382 said...

Steve .... sounds like a deal! When do we start ?

indierockclimber said...

I'm ready to start whenever you are!

Here's some planning- let's start with two balanced tank forces (easiest to get painted), and scale them up from 1000, 1500, and 1750 pt together, trying to keep them well balanced.

How's that sound?

indierockclimber said...

Oh also, I plan to try and make my russians easily convert to late war so I can run them in a firestorm campaign.

jmezz382 said...

Sounds good to me ..... taxes are coming soon and I can use some cash to tank start. Do we have a book to reference ? I had planned to make the germans easily roll over to late war as well ....

Dan C. said...

Wow - this is very cool. I have always been a fan of the Eastern front and even played a Steel Panthers computer game Stalingrad campaign where I had to take Mamayev Kurgen (its basically the city's park) from the Russian Swarms along with the grain silo, the train station, the tractor works etc.

Seeing all of this done with models is pretty awesome. It looks like these guys put a lot of work into setting all of this up and did a great job.

Indy said...

Steve, were you using a digicam or a cell phone for the photos? If a digicam, we need to get you a mini tripod. :-) Some great photos in there were just a little blurred. But otherwise great photos! Thanks for the AAR, something I can live vicariously through. :-D

indierockclimber said...

It's actually a mix. Some are my iphone, some are my cheapy point and shoot digicam.

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