Una Gesta Heroica
Blue Division #6
|vs||Soviet Union (Attacker)|
|Germany||81st Infantry Division|
|Soviet Union||33rd Rifle Division|
|Spain||250th Infantry Division|
|Spain||250th Ski Company|
|Overall Rating, 4 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 599|
|Parent Game||Blue Division|
|Maps||3: 17, 6, 8|
|Layout Dimensions||84 x 43 cm
33 x 17 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Arctic Front Deluxe||counters|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
|Road to Berlin||maps|
During their first winter on the Eastern Front, the Spanish expeditionary division set up a ski company as a mobile reserve and reconnaissance force. When the German 81st Infantry Division was shattered by the Soviet 11th Army's offensive south of Lake Ilmen, no German unit could provide reinforcements. Sixteenth Army command ordered the Spanish division to send a relief force across the large frozen lake. Only the ski company could be spared. After a 22-hour trek through the ice, the Spanish found the Germans surrounded. Pausing to evacuate frostbite cases and warm the remaining men, the Spanish company went on the offensive against a Soviet division.
Though suffering badly in the cold, the Spaniards were at least better equipped for it than the Germans they relieved. They pushed through the Soviet lines to relieve the village of Shishimorovo, but there the attack halted thanks to stiffening Soviet resistance. The Germans trapped at Vsvad continued to beg for aid. Capt. Jose Manuel Ordas Rodrigues and his rapidly-dwindling company would continue trying.
Spanish use 2x sledge (Finnish)
|4 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The reduced direct fire value in Kursk: Burning Tigers is 4-4.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Kommissars never get morale or combat modifiers. Ignore misprints.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
|Who rescued who?|
I constantly pass cars with a bumper sticker shaped like a paw with the legend "who rescued who?". I get this at a very personal level as I won a rescued Great Dane (although how any animal that big needs to be "rescued" sometimes stretches the imagination, I can assure you that rescuing was necessary). The applicability to this scenario is that the Spanish are tasked with rescuing some German remnants who are holed up in a town and being besieged by a small but good order Soviet force. The Soviets expect a larger force of reinforcements sometime during the early part of the scenario.
As previous players have noted, the scenario looks to be set up to flow as follows: Soviets beat up Germans, Spanish beat up Soviets. Reinforcing Soviets and Spanish end up in a fist fight over the town. Everyone is supposed to be exhausted at the end from the swings of fortune. The idea that the tremendously undermanned Axis force could consider sending off half of the Spanish force seems ridiculous. Yet that is what happened, the Axis made off with a major victory.
It all starts with the Germans holding the town. The Soviets attacked the town from the east and were savaged by the opportunity fire. As the Soviets maneuvered to gain access to the town the Germans moved within the town to preclude an easy entry. The German leaders both had morale modifiers (as did all the Spanish) and were able to keep their men in hand while the Soviets ran around like chickens with their heads chopped off. The Germans were responsible for 4 of the first 5 step losses the Soviets experienced. Rather than needing any rescuing they were able to keep three of the four town hexes free of Soviets and set up the last for a long running urban battle. More on that later.
The Soviet reinforcements took their own sweet time arriving, apparently having read the previous AAR's and believing that they would be able to walk up to the town and begin fighting there. The Soviets arrived on the last possible turn for the reinforcements.
Meanwhile back north, the success of the Germans meant that two platoons of Spanish skiers could move south to block the arriving Soviets. They schussed by leaving the HMG and one SKI platoon to move the remnants of the initial Soviet force out of the town with the help of the Germans. The heavy snow caused the Soviets to move up the road through board 6 (heavy woods and a road running through it. The Spanish platoons set up at the exit to the board, forcing the Soviet to either assault them or move through the woods to get around them, either way signficantly delaying the force.
The Soviets chose to assault the Spanish and paid the price with significant losses. The assault, however, freed up more than half of their force to move on towards the town. As time passed the Soviets in the assault died out and the remaining forces in the area proved incapable of stopping the Spanish and their choice to exit the board. This choice was made possible by two key factors, one: the town was finally cleared of Soviets by the Germans and Spanish after the Spanish proved incapable of clearing it themselves and needed the German support to absorb potential losses, and two: there really wasn't enough time for the Spanish SKI units to get back north and contribute to the battle. As they slid past the Soviet mortars, whose support was denied to the town assault by the blocking role played by the Spanish.
As the Soviet reinforcements came into view the last Soviet soldier in the town was expelled freeing up the Spanish and Germans to conduct a second and more succesful denial of entry to the newly arrived troops. As turn 20 came to a close there was only one good order Soviet unit near the town and it was in an assault hex, pinned by Germans.
A very enjoyable ride in this one. Certainly the Axis had some great luck to gain a major victory but the swings are built into the scenario. In addition, it is a small scenario both in terms of units employed and turns and is easily playble in a single sitting. I highly recommend it. I give it a "4". It would go five but for the missing vehicles...
|The Spanish Ski Team to the Rescue!|
Note: Score will be denoted by (x-y), where x=Soviet casualties, y=Spanish casualties.
The Germans begin, depleted in the town with Soviets approaching through the woods to the west.
Spanish Ski Company is approaching from the north while the Soviet reinforcements will appear in the south (on turn 2)
Soviets approach the town and direct fire is exchanged with the Germans. They have little effect before the Spanish Ski Company approaches the north side of town.
Feeling the pressure, the Soviets assault into the town to minimal effect.
The Spanish enter the town. Germans and Soviets begin to rout out of town. Spanish brace for the impeding wave of Soviets still 1km to the south.
an hour and a half in (6 turns out of 20) and still no casualties (0-0)
Spanish chase the Soviets into the woods and half a platoon is eliminated. (1-0)
A depleted German platoon is eliminated along with another Soviet half platoon (2-1)
The Soviet reinforcements flood into town!
Soviets come under fire in the town and the Spanish mortar battery routs half a platoon before the Kommissar can rally. (3-1)
The assault takes a nasty turn for the Spanish as a Ski platoon is eliminated! Soviets get lucky! (3-3)
Spanish continue to attack and both sides suffer further casualties. (4-4)
Soviet HMGs get ready to fire. The Spanish are now in dire trouble.
Soviet fire eliminates a reduced German platoon. The Soviet Kommissar evens up the score. (5-5)
Spanish are now desperate as their troops are tied up in close assault. They initiate the attack and lose 2 steps to the Soviet 1 step!!! (7-6)
Again, the Kommissar evens the score (7-7)
The Spanish have taken too many casualties. They do their best to hold out.
German reduced infantry is eliminated as Soviet HMGs enter the town. (8-7)
5 turns to go. Spanish hang back defensively. Soviet HMGs are disrupted and have difficulty rallying. They can’t make any further advances. But they have captured enough of the town to gain a minor victory.
SOVIET MINOR VICTORY!!!
German SGT with +2 +2 modifier made the Germans much harder to crack than expected.
Spanish had some poor assault rolls, which ruined their chance to gain some “momentum”.
Soviet reinforcements rolled a “1” and came in as early as possible (turn 2).
I expected the battle to go like this:
But the German SGT stopped #1 from happening and the quick Soviet reinforcements and poor Spanish rolling stopped #2 from happening.
Still, a good battle that played very quickly.
Scenario Rating: 3/5. Quick battle with some interesting elements.