Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Borodino, 1941 - Breakthrough AAR

My last game of the weekend was Breakthrough, a hopefully soon-to-be-released ruleset from Frank Chadwick. 

The scenario for the game was based on the Battle of Borodino, part of the larger Battle of Moscow.

The Germans had smashed the Soviet frontline units and were still pushing forward. The Soviets were somewhat scattered across the table, with two regiments battered but still somewhat intact. The rest of the Soviet forces were Siberian troops, fresh and ready to fight back. 

The Germans would need to keep themselves from getting bogged down before the Soviets could rally, and push off the opposite table edge to achieve victory. 

The starting German division consisted of two infantry regiments and an armored regiment. 

Using the massive road movement, the German tanks pushed up the center, while the infantry regiments covered the flanks. 

Tenacious Soviet defenders, however, pushed the attacking armor back. This would be a familiar sight for this game. 

While the German infantry on the left flank was doing well enough, the infantry on the right was also having a tough time. While the Soviets were slowly being pushed back, it wasn't fast enough. 

The Germans had to take their night turn to reorganize and bring up their artillery support. 

Unfortunately, I failed to bring the German armored regiment out of their reorganization stance, leaving the Soviet center free to bring up reinforcements and dig in. 

The German left flank was having a better go of it, scattering the Soviet defenders. 

Meanwhile, the Soviets' armored regiment had recuperated enough to begin rolling out. 

Time and time again the German center and right flank regiments were repelled. With so many disrupted battalions, the Germans lost their momentum as HQ units desperately tried to get their troops back in order. 

The Soviets countered with artillery and a sneaky armored car unit that threatened the infantry regiment's flank. 

The German regiments continued to receive reinforcements, but so did the Soviets, and the defenders' lines continued to deepen. 

I had to split my armored regiment into two groups to attack entrenched defenders, but finally managed to drive the Soviets from their positions. 

Of course, the German attackers were so disrupted (all those red markers) that we couldn't do much to exploit this.

A combination of Soviet armor joining the battle and a fortuitous night attack that pushed back the German left flank, we decided to call the game there for time. In-game, around three days had passed and the Germans were battered. The Soviets had lost more stands but were in a better overall position. The Germans would likely be able to push through, but the delay would be hugely detrimental. 

This game was alright, and I probably would have enjoyed it more had I a better grip on the intricacies of the rules. I think the scenario was decided early on when the Germans failed to keep up their momentum, allowing the Soviets to consolidate and deepen their defenses. It also didn't help that the Soviet players made some incredible saving throws, keeping their battalions in the game against the odds!

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