Sunday, February 28, 2010

East Front - Sabres in the Sun

You may recall that I was playing a PEBM (play by email) game of East Front with Wayne at the start of this year. It was a moderate complexity scenario, Sabres in the Sun, featuring a the attack of a russian cavalry regiment and armoured battalion against a series of scattered german outposts in rural countryside. The germans had a few Stug IIIs to help them, but not much chop against the T34s and KVIIs of the soviet.

The game took us about two months or so to complete, mainly because we had several week long breaks through the silly season. After initial resistance, the soviets punched through and shattered the german front line outposts before any reinforcements could reach them, pushed on towards the inner belt of objectives. As they pushed the germans back, however, resistance toughened, and was shored up in the nick of time by the arrival of the Stug company. The battle slowed down into a slugfest for the latter part, until the last five or so turns of the 21 turn game.

At that point, the germans pushed back into the 'State Farm' with their infantry on the Eastern Flank of the battlefield, somehow catching the russian asleep in the sector and making a daring dash across the open to break their way into the russian lines and retake the farm with minimal losses. They couldn't have done this if the russian hadn't gotten a bit cocky and sent some of his cavalry forces away from the site towards the centre of the map (where a lone german company had held out under close range armoured bombardment for most of the game, they crumbled in the last two turns).

The other excellent fun thing from my perspective was the way I managed to pull together several platoons that had been shattered and scattered in the initial soviet assault, shepherding them through woods and swamps out of sight of the russian, to emerge in the final three turns and threaten to retake at least one of the previously lost objectives in the west of the map. The russian had to divert a company of tanks to hold those locations, reducing the amount of resources he had to throw at the final redoubts in the north. Subsequently, the germans held the core objectives against the final russian assaults over the open.

End result? A close fought draw, not determined until the last turn of the game.

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