The More Things Change...
C&CV1: War in the East #1
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||Poland (Defender)|
|Germany||9th Panzer Division|
|Poland||19th Infantry Division|
|Overall Rating, 6 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 182 of 609|
|Parent Game||C&CV1: War in the East|
|Maps||3: 17, 19, 5|
|Layout Dimensions||84 x 43 cm
33 x 17 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|C&CV1: War in the East||book|
|Eastern Front||maps + counters|
|Road to Berlin||maps + counters|
Most accounts of Germany's blitzkrieg into Poland include pictures of tanks, infantry and aircraft working together to shred Polish defenses. And while the new combined-arms warfare was key to Germany's quick victory, her initial assault on Poland's defenses drew its main strength not from tanks but from the playbook of the First World War: massed infantry backed by overwhelming artillery.
A big opening scenario where new Leader Characters have plenty of opportunities to earn LPs and medals. Given decent Polish AT support and the thin skin of German tanks, Polish Leader Characters can rack up LPs by directing the fire of their AT guns, while those with the Cavalry Leader skill can harass German flanks and make it tough for them to keep control of the roads. German Leader Characters with the Urban Assault skill will be key to taking town hexes.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|2 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)
This was my first C&C battle, and it went rather well, for the Germans. The Poles were badly outmanned and outgunned. They attempted to create a blocking position and fall back to the last map, hoping to eliminate German steps along the way. The German OBA was devastating. The German armor went Round the town on map 19, forcing the Poles to fire, so as to keep the German armor from flanking them. The Germans moved up support and their OBA worked the Poles over badly. No officers on either side promoted. The 3 German officers being tracked did not get in the mix enough to gain points. One polish officer was KIA. Major German victory.
|The More Things Change...|
On September 1st 1939, German invasion forces blitz into Poland while stalwart Polish units try to block the avalanche of troops. At 8.00 AM, German trucks roll down the main road towards the three Polish towns that need to be cleared first. In their arrogance, they completely ignore the Polish AT units deployed in the marshes just west of the first town. However, both AT shots miss the loaded trucks filled with battle eager fighters and their campaign leaders. Immediately, German artillery silences the Polish AT guns and the German invasion force continues to roll on the field forming a massive column of vehicles of all sorts. Polish hearts sink upon seeing this array of formidable fighting formations who are lead by some of the best leaders of the Reich.
Within the hour, most of the marshes are cleared of Polish resistance, only a single HMG nest defies all incoming fire and shows some signs of stubbornness. First casualty of the war is Por. Lato who is dragged from the field by his comrades. He only suffered a light wound while his unit gets completely annihilated trying to defend the southern marshes. Of all the Polish vanguard troops, not one leader or unit gets back towards the towns.
At that time, the Polish commander is on the brink of forfeiting the battle but his command post gets bombarded and the surrender order is never given. Following the bombardment of the most Western town, the first wave of Germans assault. And here, things change when the Germans reach the best Polish defense line. German casualty rates skyrocket when assault after assault fails. In this chaos, Lt Hartmann gets fatally wounded and the German commander retreats his troops out of the Polish mousetrap to change tactic. Artillery support arrives and the town gets blasted to smithereens. When finally, the shells stop falling, only a few Polish defenders remain and the Germans start mopping up what is left standing. During the bombardment both Polish special characters faced terrible ordeals. Por. Kowalski is reported missing while Por. Lubanski flees from the horrors of war never to rejoin the fight again. During the mopping up, the German Lt König shows enough bravery to earn the Infantry Assault Badge but when he decides to take a little breather, a Polish cavalry unit overruns his position and wounds the Lt.
Meanwhile, a second wave of Germans reaches the second town where Polish cavalry and cyclists try to stop them. The Polish cavalry major spots a few straggling Panzers and foolishly decides to attack them. Initially, the cavalry charges are not entirely a failure, but when the German commander ruthlessly bombards his own tanks to wipe out the Polish horsies, the Kozacy morale breaks and they head for the nearby woods, never to recover again. With the cavalry gone, village 2 is now on the brink of falling as well. An hour before end of battle, the most western town is finally completely secured by the Germans and all those Germans now rush forward to aid the attackers of town 2. Polish remnants are ordered to retake key roads and as such draw troops from helping the assaults, but again, German artillery proves murderous and all attempts at anything that might improve the Polish situation remain futile. During the last couple of minutes, all Polish resistance gets crushed and at game end, all key towns and roads are secure in German hands.
VP’s are counted: German: 61 VP, Polish 18 VP. After all still a devastating blow to the Polish morale which was pretty intact until turn 20.
After a long time reading through C&CV1 and enjoying the wire organizational diagrams, I decided to try out one of the campaigns. I picked the September campaign in keeping with my tendency to work with "minor" countries and odd units. I have a long term interest in completing all 80 scenarios with Polish units. By the time I get close I fully expect that there will be new ones and I will be on a perpetually expanding task. Oh well, kind of like parenting...
In this scenario a relatively undermanned Polish unit has to stand up to the initial German assault. In previous plays the Poles seem to melt away due to the OBA. My Poles, especially in the urban areas held up well and were able to mete out some terrible devastation on the Germans. The final score of the scenario was 42-41 Germany. I call that a draw.
The actual scenario play was called after the Germans secured the first town they came to. There were only 6 turns left and the Germans were highly disorganized from the swirling fight. As a "gamey" thing I could have pursued some of the outlying Polish troops with leaders to get some points from barrages but the Poles had blunted the German attack substantially and the Germans needed time to sort out their losses, recover morale, etc.
The key Polish tactic was to get the Germans into assault combat in the towns where their leader characters with Urban Assault skills could help out. The Polish leaders are Rejewski, Rozycki, and Zygalski, the three men who had the greatest impact in working out the Enigma machine.
The German leaders were also active in the scenario. For them I chose names from anti-Nazi leaders of the pre-war period. Ascher, a Jew who fled to Britain and joined the British Army, Stressemann and Wels who were members of the Weimar Republic and/or labor movements of pre-war German political activity.
All in all a very fun romp. I am playing with the leader character rules which add some chrome and a lot of fussy paperwork. I enjoy it but it may not be everyone's cup of tea (pint of ale, snifter of... well you get the idea). I believe that the campaign can be played without the leader characters without a substantial loss of enjoyment. As a ftf scenario this may not play as well since the Polish player has little maneuver possible, however if you commit to the entire campaign there will be opportunities for both players to experience attack and defense so it will even out.
|West of Jaslo – War Diaries|
September 4, 1939. West of Jaslo a battle was fought between elements of the German 4th light Division and elements of the Polish 19th Infantry Division.
We are not too sure what actually happened that day. But the diaries of 6 lieutenants were found relating to that battle. Our battle maps portray the probably locations of the forces mentioned in those diaries as we chronologically attempt to recreate the battle on that day.
Diaries have been translated for your convenience.
note: the word Porucznik is the equivalent to Lieutenant
Por. Godlinski: I spent the night with por. Przebilski in a small town west of Jaslo. We spent the night bunked in a glassblower’s, whose furnace kept us warm throughout the night. Our morning cigarette was interrupted by the radio informing us that the German 4th light division was spotted moving in from the east. Por. Mikolajek was sent to the west to defend the western road from a small hill to the south. We waited for the enemy’s arrival.
Lt. Jandl: It was just after 0800 when we encountered the first Polish resistance. Capt Muller was in front of me. A Polish HMG platoon dug-in on the road opened fire. The Captain, his platoon and trucks were caught totally by surprise. May he rest in peace.
Por. Mikolajek: We spotted a large number of German trucks approaching from the west. We fired at the approaching trucks with our AA guns. We had little success, but the HMG nests on the roads scored some hits. We rejoiced. But our celebration was cut short. The Germans spotted us and I heard the whistle of artillery. The AA guns were lost an I was demoralised!
Lt. Schiwy: We set up our mortars in the far northwest. As the crews were preparing to fire I spotted a flash of AA guns in the hills, far south of my position. I called in some divisional artillery strikes. I’m pretty sure they struck home.
Lt. Jandl: I spotted some Polish cavalry hiding in the fields about to charge our motorcade. I informed HQ who promptly and accurately scattered the jittery horse with some artillery salvoes. I began to pray as an AT Gun battery on the hill to the southeast eliminated the HMG platoon in the trucks in front of me! The Lt. Col. ordered us to abandon the trucks and proceed on foot. Our first objective was to clear the cavalry out of the fields. We took some HMG fire and my infantry platoon was disrupted.
Lt. Jekubik: Our Battalion, led by Col. Klink, headed east a few kilometres north of the main road. I heard artillery strikes to the south as our motorcade continued to follow the panzers.
Por. Mikolajek: I was terrified and unable to gather my nerves as the Germans advanced towards the hill.
Lt Jandl: Our forces advanced against the Polish cavalry. I ordered suppressing fire from our HMG platoon, but they had little effect. But the Lt. Col. advanced and the Polish horse along with their Kapitan were eliminated. I then ordered our divisional artillery to strike the HMG nests dug-in on the roads. A direct hit suppressed the defenders.
Lt. Jekubik: Our motorcade slowed down, as the armour got ahead of us.
Por. Mikolajek: There were too many Germans! Fearing for my life I abandoned my platoon and fled to the east.
Por. Mikolajek: The Germans were overrunning the hill. I continued to run.
Lt. Jandl: Our forces assaulted the last cavalry platoon after my HMG fire eliminated a large number of Polish horse. The forces on the hill continued to attack us, but another artillery strike eliminated the Polish AT Guns.
Lt. Jekubik: Our motorcade caught up with the panzers. Some enemy artillery began falling around us.
Lt. Schiwy: We were ordered to follow the motorcade to the town, so we limbered up and reloaded onto our trucks.
Lt. Jandl: My Captain continued his assault against the Polish cavalry while the Major and I advanced on the demoralised HMG nests dug-in on the road. The Polish horse tried to flee but was cut down. We continued to draw fire from the hill and my own HMG was demoralised.
Por. Mikolajek: I finally regained some of my nerves as some infantry was fleeing my way. I’d have to see if I could turn them around.
Lt. Jekubik: The motorcade began to take mortar, artillery and AT fire! I spotted some AT Guns in a copse of trees. Ordering an artillery strike of my own the AT Guns were devastated!
Por. Godlinski: I spotted the German trucks advancing from the northwest. Our mortars began to fire.
Lt. Jandl: It was my turn to lead the assault. So along with the Major we hit the dug-in Polish HMGs. I was a bit disorientated (disrupted) but my troops stayed good and a few of the nests were overrun.
Lt. Jekubik: Spotting the mortars in town, our artillery was deadly accurate! We decided to abandon the trucks as the enemy artillery was becoming dangerous, although we escaped it so far.
Por. Godlinski: Our mortars were taking fire. We continued to target the German trucks, but to no avail!
Lt. Jandl: I continued to lead the assault against the HMG nests as the Major rallied.
Lt. Jekubik: Our artillery continued to pound the town as we advanced from the north.
Por. Godlinski: I took over leading our mortars as the Major was severely shaken from shell shock. We had little effect on the approaching Germans. There were very many of them.
Por. Mikolajek: I couldn’t overcome my nerves even when my men on the hill repelled two German half platoons. Why you ask? I saw the Germans who overran our cavalry company head south to the hill. I knew they were doomed. I couldn’t go back!
Lt. Jekubik: Led by our panzers, we advanced to the town’s outskirts. We took some fire, but our morale was high! Our mortars, under the command of Lt. Schiwy, were still following us, about a kilometre behind.
Por. Przebilski: We began to fire at the advancing German infantry. They were screened by panzers. Por. Godlinski led the mortars and artillery, but we couldn’t slow the German juggernaut down!
Por. Mikolajek: My troops continued to hold out, but I still had insufficient nerves to advance.
Por. Przebilski: My quarter of the town was assaulted by some German infantry assisted by some Pz1. I have extensive training in urban assaults and was able to hold them off.
Por. Godlinski: Our mortars screamed against the advancing Germans. I knew that soon, they would be flooding into my quarter of the town as well. They have already begun their assault against Por. Przebilski.
Lt. Jandl: The Polish HMG nests were proving problematic. I attempted to rally the men as the Major fled.
Lt. Schiwy: I ordered some artillery to strike some Polish in the open. The enemy infantry and their Kapitan were eliminated. Out of no where some Polish artillery came whistling down. I barely had time to leap for cover as we were heavily hit.
Por. Mikolajek: My Kapitan and some infantry were meeting me at the rally point. Enemy artillery, no doubt directed by some trucks to the northeast, struck us. I was the only one to survive! I grabbed the radio and ordered my own artillery strike. The German trucks burst in an explosive ball of flame!
Lt. Jandl: I rally my HMG platoon for a final assault.
Lt. Jekubik: I advanced with the HMG platoons as Col. Klink lead the town assault.
Por. Godlinski: I was assaulted by the Germal Colonel’s forces. We managed to hold them off temporarily. The situation was looking very bleak. The Major ordered me to the southwest quarter to join the Infantry and Cycle platoons there. So I left my brave major with a few mortar crews to postpone the German advance.
Por. Przebilski: More Germans joined the assault against us. We demoralized the German panzers with a volley of molotovs as our anti-tank rifles herded them down a narrow road. We counter-attacked and the rest of the Germans were demoralized.
Lt. Schiwy: I rallied my men and ordered a further artillery strike against a Polish officer and his radio man.
Por. Mikolajek: I rallied and ordered an artillery strike against the German mortars. My troops still on the hill were surrounded and slaughtered by the German butchers. Artillery shells explode all around me. The end is nigh, all is lost…
Por. Przebilski: I continued to push my men and the counter-attack. But it was too much. My troops failed to keep morale. We were now in trouble. I rallied my infantry but the engineers fled.
Por. Godlinski: Gathering the Polish troops we joined the assault in the southeast quarter. We fought the Germans hard, but I knew in my gut that we would eventually be overwhelmed.
Lt. Jekubik: I moved into the town to aid the assault, but the Polish mortar crews were dug in deep, and we couldn’t break or dislodge them.
Por. Mikolajek: My Podpulkownik continued to defend with half an HMG platoon. I knew he would soon be killed. I decided to flee to the south. An errant artillery shell exploded at my feet. With my ears ringing a death’s dirge, darkness overtook me…
Lt. Schiwy: I finished rallying my mortar crews and ordered an artillery strike against the fleeing Polish officer. Such a coward did not deserve to live.
Lt. Jandl: I rallied my infantry and we struck hard. Finally the road was cleared! The hill was also taken. The only Polish troops still resisting were those in the towns.
Por. Przebilski: I managed to escape and together with Por. Godlinski we fled the town. As we withdrew, we heard the gunfire stop. Our Polish brethren had surrendered. Por. Godlinski and I made our way across the countryside to our division HQ. We were eager to take the fight back to the Germans, but that would be another day.
I only played 12 of the 24 turns. Complete German victory seemed certain, and I didn’t want the Polish to lose all their commanders in the campaign. So, I’ve instigated a house rule which allows cessation of the battle by retreat, thus giving all objectives over to the enemy. The outcome seemed certain.
This was an overwhelming German victory. Total step losses were in favour of the Germans 11 to 23! The Germans gain another 35 VPs for clearing the towns and roads, making the final score 58 to 11.
Lt. Jekubik: 2
Lt. Jandl: 10 – receives Infantry Assault Badge, and promoted to Captain!
Lt. Schiwy: 8
Por. Mikolajek: -6 (imprisoned)
Por. Godlinski: 3
Por. Przebilski: 5
A very difficult scenario for the Polish. Again, there was just too much ground to defend and too few Polish to do the job. Perhaps they should have focused more attention on just one town, instead of spreading their forces too thinly.
Off to a bad start in the campaign, the Polish will have a chance for their revenge in scenario two where they are on the attack.
Scenario Rating 2/5: Too imbalanced and not a great way for the Polish to begin the campaign.