Mar 3, 2015

Slaughterhouse Eastern Front

Another 'last stand' sort of battle, this time during WW2, using house rules. The Germans are defending a small village in the Ukraine. There are some stationary defenses (walls) and they can set more up before the game (sandbags). The Soviets are arriving from the thick forest, determined to take the village.

German OOB
2x Pak40 with crew 
1x Opel Blitz, mainly for the guns
1x Panzer IV
1x Panther
Infantry HQ with radio (can order 1 artillery strike)
2x LMG teams
10x Elite infantry with various firearms and grenades 

Russian OOB
3x T-34
1x KV-2
1x KV-1
Infantry HQ
3x infantry teams with command, LMG support and 10 riflemen, poor quality

The Soviets plan a cautious advance with armor on the flanks and infantry sneaking through the forest.

A T-34 takes a pot shot at the Panzer IV and sets it ablaze.

A cautious advance means a slow one, too: the troops are suffering under concentrated enemy fire.

The KV-2 blasts the Pak and thinking it scrapped, turns its rear towards it, looking for another target. A grave mistake.

The Panther, using its superior ambush camo, rushes and disperses an infantry squad. The tank crushes some that can't jump out of the way and then the commander orders an artillery strike on their own position.

The Soviet armor is already inside the village, trying to breach the strong point of the MG teams and a carefully placed AT gun. The Panther targets the supporting infantry that were left behind.

The second AT gun is brought down the hill to face the Soviet armor while the Panther fails to blast the KV's rear.

The remainders of the infantry support rush the Pak, using their Mosins as spears.

The KV disables the Blitz.

And then the Germans, using their remaining grenades, kill the two T-34s.

The driver of the KV climbs out to face the lonely German clinging on top and manages to kill him, but he's already set off the grenades...

Inter Arma lends itself to great heroic actions and failures both. I was leading the Soviets and the chosen tactics paid off to a degree. I deliberately made some mistakes I felt suitable to a raw Soviet commander. One of the greatest moments of the game happened when the Soviet commander, barely saving a rifle team from routing, ran up to the German breastworks, shot two Wehrmacht guys and then managed to not get killed by the four still standing there. Later on, he got wounded by an MG42 spray and the commander of the lead T-34 took his place, with miraculous saving rolls until the end.

At the moment I'm thinking about combining the combat elements of IA with the RPG elements of FATE. We've played a fun one-shot (did not finish, actually) with FATE already and the system itself would compliment the combat crunch very well. The idea is that the players will begin as a low-rank officer of some branch of the army and climb up / survive through a campaign, not necessarily a strict historical but rather an ImagiNation one - this is just some subtlety, or rather a filter that lets me divert from historical events. I'd also like to give other skirmish systems (mainly Chain of Command) a go.


  1. great report and great minis!

  2. Interesting article and a fine, brisk action. Your 'campaign' idea reminds me rather of the Space Crusade game system. In that I once took over a 5-man Space Marine Squad (Imperial Fist) and after the first action (escaped, wounded with one other survivor,) eventually would up with at least two promotions, a bigger squad and more equipment.

    At the other end of the scale, I have an old game system 'Europe in Flames' in which you start out as a battalion commander, and gain credit (medals), promotions and bigger responsibilities as you progress. In my first campaign (part of Army Group North), in 10 battles I had progressed to command a whole panzer regiment. However, in defeating the Russians in the 10th battle, I got myself involved in an enemy artillery stonk, was taken prisoner, and was repatriated to Germany in 1955 with the rank of Colonel...

    This sort of thing can be a lot of fun...

    1. The players are inclined towards being part of the air force, which is interesting because of the diverse targets they had to hit on the east, but it's also trouble because there is little action and just pushing chits on the campaign map above a (low, in comparison to other branches) level of command. I'll figure it out and probably write a post about it when all the materiel is finished for the campaign.