From what I understand, this scenario was the first game in a 4 part campaign adapted from Skirmish Campaigns by Tom. Skirmish Campaigns has published a series of books with scenarios for several different theatres from WWII, this scenario was from the Russia 1941: Ghosts at Smolensk release and like most of their books has 10 scenarios that can be easily linked into campaigns. At $20-25 each they are an excellent value.
Since I am new to WWII gaming, a lot of the nuances of tactics and weapons are lost to me, but I have put some work in to understanding the ruleset and I believe I have most of the essentials down. Tom put a lot of work in modifying the scenario for this ruleset which he has discussed at length on the Too Fat Lardies forum. He also developed some very cool Commissar rules for the Soviets.
I acted as the Soviet commander with much advice from the more seasoned WWII players. So what you see below is the battle from the Soviet viewpoint. I will leave it to Tom to discuss the nuances of the Campaign and the Victory conditions. He has posted an excellent narrative of the game with some analysis on the TFL forum.
In general, the Germans had an excellent patrol phase as well as some amazing dice with multiple back to back phases in the first half of the game. The Soviets had a devastating patrol phase, and I do not remember us having any back to back phases except when we played our Chain of Command dice. The Soviet dicing improved in the middle of the game and the German's failed in the later half. Anyway, I would recommend that you open a couple of tabs on your browser with the photos in one and Tom's excellent narration in the other.
|From Skirmish Campaigns Ghosts at Smolensk|
|Looking North, with most of the terrain placed, we missed a bit that was added just before the game started.|
|Start of the Patrol phase, in this scenario the Soviets had to place all their Patrol markers first. They would then be moved to lock down the German markers as each was placed. The type of terrain has also been marked.|
|The lock down phase with the first placement of a German JOP.|
|Final placement of JOP's, I was really flummoxed here, Tom for the Germans had unexpectedly (to me anyway) focused his forces to the north. He did a great job. The Soviet JOP's were well bunched. Definitely a game in a game.|
|By now the Germans have deployed their JL as above as well as their Light Mortar.|
|The Soviets had deployed their Commissar into the barn (the centre most building attached to the fenced yard), he did a great job rallying shock and fortunately did not have to execute any of the comrades.|
|..........................A Random Event! Mike had thrown 4D6, the Random Event table was scrutinized, and the barn was set a fire! The Soviet AT had to be abandoned, with the crew bailing out into the fence yard with no cover.|
|The smoke blew to the east, the Soviets were done. I am hoping that I do not end up in the Gulag, as the game was a clear German victory. The Germans gained 29 points while the Soviets gained 13, a significant margin of victory.|