Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Expanding a Soviet bridgehead in the Don Bend

Thursday evening Drew and I had another game of Chain of Command set on the River Don during the 1942 Stalingrad Campaign, Fall Blau.

In this game the Soviets are attempting to widen their bridgehead over the Don and we represented the action by using the Blitzkreig mission from the 1940 book. Again Drew would play the Soviets and myself the Germans.

With 13 points of Force Support available Drew picked a T-34, a T-70, a mine clearing team and a wire cutting team. With the mission rules, I was hardly likely to see them, but I picked a tripod MG-34 and a Sniper.

The jump-off points were laid out as per the picture below. It does not show so well in the images, but the majority of the terrain is rolling grasslands with lots of small hills.

We would both start with Force Morale 9. Rolling off for who went first, it would be my Germans, but I elected to do nothing.

The Soviets made their first roll and.....

Four sixes! rolling on the Random Event table it would be heavy rain which is very apt as looking out of the window it was persisting it down......

Years ago I bought a weather dice, so duly fetched it out and used it as a reminder that visibility was now only 18" and we would need to roll again at the end of the turn.

The Soviets started to appear, massing their forces in a small farm on their left flank.

I did not want to get caught in a rush, so I deployed a section on overwatch in a wood facing them ready for either the rain to clear or them to become visible.

The infantry in the village started to filter forwards and the armoured support was now moving up. Fortunately the heavy rain masked my troops.

The Soviet infantry started to be visible in the rain and my section started pouring fire onto them, it was only a handful of casualties and a little shock but a start nevertheless.

By now though the tanks were coming into tanks and although the initial fire was ineffective I knew this situation would not last. It was at this time the turn ended and the rain cleared.

My Grenadiers were engaged in a overwhelming struggle against the advancing hordes and although their fire was very effective they could not hold against the tanks. The first German casualties happened a blast from the T-34 killed two men, unfortunately one was my section leader. Unable to manage shock on this section this was going to go badly!

Hoping to take some pressure off I deployed another section in the woods on my left and they were having a ripping rime firing down the road at the Soviets in the village before the T-34 blocked their line of fire.

My Feldwebel deployed with the troops in the wood to attempt to stabilise the situation, but having analysing the situation found he needed to be somewhere else so rallied a little shock and buggered of out of there before the situation became to dire.

With the T-34 blocking my shots into the village, my section deployed on the left was out of targets, for reasons unbeknown, Drew deployed a section in the rough ground, my Grenadiers redeployed and were soon ripping into them, killing the Junior Sergeant and piling on the Shock until they broke.

It was all for nought though, as expected my section on the right was broken, a double move followed by the end of turn saw my jump-off in the woods captured, the other one on that flank denied to me and my Feldwebel shot down. With a clear route to the table edge the Soviets saw their chance and made their strike to the table edge winning the game.

I'd lost one complete section and my Feldwebel, the Soviets were down about 20 men. The Blitzkrieg scenario is a bugger if your force doesn't have any integral anti-tank and your opponent has some armour. In retrospective I should not have bothered spending my support on troops and bought instead barbed wire, minefields and entrenchments.

If playing as a campaign I would have likely buggered off after killing a few Soviets having taken no losses of my own.


  1. Great looking units and table, well done Russians!

  2. A fine looking game Paul, it was going to be a challenge with those two chunks of Soviet steel no matter what you did.

    1. Cheers Phil, it was never going to be an easy one.

  3. Great looking game as usual Scrivs! I envy your painting output & memory of so many rulesets to be honest...
    Very best wishes,

    1. Cheers Jeremy, just a pity I cannot remember the important stuff ;)

  4. A nice looking game, and a tough one for the Germans :-)

  5. Ace looking game Paul! Hope to see more of the same in the not too distant future.

    1. Thanks you, hope to do some more when we get back from our road trip.