Skip to main content

Eastfront AAR: "From the Desk of the Man of Steel"

It’s EastFront a 1991 Craig Besinque block game about the war on the EastFront and this is the winter of 1941. My friend Pete of https://spprojectblog.wordpress.com/ played the role of Uncle Joe, and my friend James of https://twitter.com/ConsimsSheffied  turned into Hitler. I played STAVKA and OKH interpreting their orders and soloing the game. Every few turns I sent both a photo and awaited strategic direction.



Turn 1

From Der Fuhrer
Guten morgen from the Fuhrer's headquarter.

The Fuhrer is satisfied to hear that the invasion is going to plan and congratulates you on your progress so far.

Your objectives are simple: Moswcow and Leningrad must fall. You will divert a portion of your forces to push towards Tula from the south to draw the Soviets away from the main thrust of the attack, which will come from the north. Do not waste the Fuhrer's best units on this diversionary attack - once the Fuhrer's armour is seen on the streets of Moscow the USSR will surely collapse.

Remember, the Fuhrer will not accept failure or excuses."



From Stalin

The fascist invaders will soon learn that their capitalist oppression will be no match for the power of the proletarian working classes properly led. Now as they start to freeze in their stalled attack on Moscow, force well trained and equipped from the Far Eastern military districts are arriving to deal a counter blow.

From the latest Stavka meeting it has been decided. With the infantry spread between them. The armoured corps together with a mechanized and Shock corp is to form a reserve east of Moscow. 1 mechanized, 1 shock and one Cavalry Corp is to form a reserve South East of Moscow. The three remaining Cavalry Corps are to be positioned East of Rostov as a reserve there.

For the Motherland.”






I as both OKH and STAVKA deployed my forces roughly as instructed. The result was a main Nazi thrust northwards heavily at the expense of the south. The Russians countered with a low hook to army group centre.

The Russians move first in winter (snow) turns and they do not suffer having all of their HQs disrupted as the Nazis do. As such the Communists were able to get their infantry and shock armies moving around the German south flank, due south east of Smolensk. 

The Germans on the other hand attacked into the forests of the north, this makes it harder to concentrate forces and gives the defender double defence.  Whilst this was expensive on HQ logistics they did manage to concentrate a large force around Leningrad and start the siege.




Turn 3

From der Fuhrer

Commander
The Fuhrer is concerned that perhaps he has not made himself clear. Your instructions were to make a diversionary attack on Tula from south yet he sees that you have instead besieged Sevastapol and are now concerned that the Soviet forces around Tula are threatening our drive on Moscow. Perhaps the Fuhrer should relieve you of your position and take command personally?

Do not allow Leningrad to be relieved and do not allow the siege to drag on - finish the job, commander."


From Stalin
From the desk of the Man of Steel:

1) The hook from the south should continue. Counterattack due North into the units that have broken through.

2) Instill in the RKKA the will to succeed of the proletariat worker. 

3) Check train time table to see when the Siberian units will arrive from the Far Eastern Military District.”


I probably over spent on my HQs for both sides in the first two turns as things slowed down as the Winter dragged on. The Russians continued their drive from the south into army group centre with slow but steady success. Both sides rushed troops to weak points. Leningrad was starved out through the turns 1, 2 and 3 reducing it down to one block. So as the Germans flung everything and the kitchen sink at the city they managed to over come the triple defense and defeat the last block. 


Turns 5-6

“From the desk of the Man of Steel:

1) Keep the pressure in the centre.

2) Be ready to redeploy if necessary to meet the expected counter attack from the south.

3) Win at Rostov.”



Der Furher was a little quiet over the final turns, so OKH pressed on.  The snow was replaced by mud slowing everyone to a crawl. Despite the weather effects the Russian shock forces counter attack managed more or less wipe out army group centre. The German hook from the north got bogged down in the forest and causalities rapidly rose on both sides in a series of attritional battles.


The End Result


The final score was +12 to the Russians, a minor victory, as the high casualties the Germans sustained out weighted the capture of Leningrad. This was end game was mostly due to the effects of snow on the Germans. Aside from this, attacking through the south and centre is much easier than in the north.





Comments

  1. Thanks for running that Simon. Really enjoyed it. The full on attack on Lennigrad was hard to contain with my starting positions. Will have to return the favour sometime.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Looks: Won by the Sword

Won by the Sword went down like Fat Man over Nagasaki on most wargame forums when released by GMT back in 2014. Lots of misprints on the components and errors in the rules gave it a bad rep to such an extent that GMT decided to bail it out with a patch. James and I have played a couple of games reworked version, it still rides like a bike with two missing gears but its probably the most innovative and insightful design to hit the scene in the past 10 years.


The rules; they work fine for the most part, James is clearer on the gaps than me, he reads them, I'm the opponent. What I will say is that they work if you can put the daddy pants on and make common sense decisions to fill any minor gaps.



Forage; Some games are about movement, some about concentration of fire, some moral, others unit composition, some bluff or even supply routes. Won by the Sword is about burning peoples villages and taking all their food, mostly just to stop your opponent doing it. This is the 30 years war, a…

Wilderness War is probably the best CDG (review)

One attribute of a good war game is that it opens up rather than narrows down the more you play it. Each time you play you see there is more strategic depth than you thought there was. When I first started playing Wilderness War, a card driven wargame design (CDG) on the French Indian War by Volko Runke, I thought it was simply a case of the British building a large kill stack and marching it up the Hudson and the French trying to get enough victory points (vps) from raiding to win before the inevitable. The outcome would likely be decided by card play and who got the reinforcement cards when they needed them.



Four games later I have realised that this is not the case. Yes the British will sometimes win by marching a big army up the Hudson and sieging out Montreal, but a lot of the time things will play out quite differently. Maybe the French strike first, perhaps the British realise that going up the Hudson is going to be a slog try another route. Either way the players of both sides…

Quick Looks: Next War Taiwan

If there is a series for hex and counter hipsters at the moment it is Next War games by Mitch Land and Gene Billingsley. Kev Sharp's been blogging it 1, 3MA have been talking about it 2, these drunken reprobates have been playing it 3, two of my friends have picked up Next War India Pakistan 4, one of whom as his first hex and counter game. When I first saw the GMT Next War series with Next War Korea a few years back, I passed on it because it was pricey and I thought future wars were boring. I thought these things because I was a fool. I'm not entirely sure why the series has become popular, as speculative future wars seems like a hard sell but the continued releases (now three soon four) and the quality of the product seem to have carried it into the wargamer consciousness if not the popular.


Next War Taiwan depicts an invasion of Taiwan by mainland China sometime in the near future. I say sometime because the game has no fluff text paragraphs, opting instead to insert a few…