Monday, November 14, 2011

Prokhorovka Playtest Turn1

This will be an ongoing record of my first playtest of my Prokhorovka (Kursk) scenario.  This is Turn 1, the PM turn of July 10, 1943.  The Germans would like to accomplish a few objectives in this turn:
  • In the center, seize Hill 241.6 from the 26th Tank Brigade by the end of the turn (nightfall).
  • Clear the 99th Tank Brigade out of the first two villages along the Psel River valley on the left table edge.
  • If possible, seize the town of Storovhezoe on the right flank. 
In Field of Battle World War 2 (FOBWW2), each side flips cards from a card deck to determine what their units are able to do during the turn.  Each turn is divided into initiatives and the number of cards per initiative is determined each time by the difference between opposed initiative dice (D12 for the Germans and D10 for the Soviets).  A turn ends when the initiative dice are tied or either players runs out of cards in his deck.

There are a variety of cards which can make up the deck.  Better armies have better cards in their decks.  I took photographs after a few cards were flipped already.

(ABOVE)  After a brief exchange of direct fire, both German commands rolled a "1" on a D12 on a Move card resulting in no movement for anyone!  Minefields, maybe? Finally, the Germans flipped the "Move 1 Command" card and advanced a battalion from the 1st SS PG Regiment toward Hill 241.6

(ABOVE)  The panzer grenadiers then used the Tactical Advantage card to increase their firepower and suppressed the entrenched Soviet anti-tank guns.
(ABOVE) Close-up on the grenadiers moving over the railroad embankment (Use your imagination, dammit!) with supporting armor.

(ABOVE) Another Move card finally allowed the Germans to roll well enough to make a general advance in the center.  The division's recon battalion moved against Storozhevoe on the right while a battalion of panzer grenadiers marched forward to clear the first Psel River village.

(ABOVE) Concentrated fire from the grenadiers managed to suppress the tanks and Soviet infantry defending the village.

(ABOVE) The Germans managed to kill most of the Soviet infantry in the 26th Tank Brigade defending Hill 241.6 and this used up all of the brigade's morale points.  When the Soviets flipped a Morale card, the brigade passed its first Morale check, but when this second Morale card was flipped by the Soviets, the brigade failed and routed (picked up). Much to the Germans' dismay, the defiant 99th Tank Brigade troops defending the village of Andreevka along the Psel line passed their Morale and grimly settled into the rubble (BELOW).

(ABOVE) The grenadiers get closer to the Psel villages and German artillery begins to pound the stubborn Soviet defenders.

(ABOVE) On the right flank, German panzer grenadiers infiltrated through the woods and began to flank Storozhevoe.  When the Germans flipped the Close Assault card, the German armored cars and recon troops poured fire into the town.  A company of recon troops and a company of panzer grenadiers assaulted the town and become involved in a vicious hand-to-hand fight with the Soviet motorized infantry.  The Soviets lost a full company of infantry, but the hardy Slavs drove the Germans reeling back out of the town.

(ABOVE) The Germans advanced onto Hill 241.6 and began to to tighten the cordon around Andreevka village.  After a sharp firefight, the defenders were finally liquidated and the Germans moved on to attack the next village in the Psel chain: Mikhailovka.

(BELOW) And then the Soviet defenders posted there began to enjoy the attention of the German artillery.

The Germans rolled great for their next Move cards and managed to advance well past Hill 241.6 in the center and down into the valley beyond it.  The Soviets did manage to drop some very effective artillery fire on one of the dismounted panzer grenadier companies and forced the infantry to fall back and take cover (BELOW).

(ABOVE) as the artillery fell and after the artillery hammered the exposed Germans (BELOW).

At this time, the PM Turn ended and the Night turn began.  The Germans made excellent progress at the cost of only 7 morale points.

(ABOVE) German progress on the right flank.  The recon battalion has been stymied by the Soviet infantry defending Storozhevoe.  In the center (BELOW), the German grenadiers and tanks have made excellent progress, but the Soviet 99th Tank Brigade is still stubbornly hanging on to Mikhailovka village along the Psel River on the left flank.  

The 1st SS Panzer Grenadier Division has slightly exceeded its historical progress at this point in time.  

On the left flank, the Psel River villages were hard for the Germans to clear in the real battle.  Also, in this scenario, if Totenkopf Division has difficulty advancing on the left of the wargame table, the Germans will have to garrison those villages to prevent them from being re-occupied by reinforcing Russians.

In the center, the Germans have made good progress, but they now face the dug-in 9th Guards Airborne Division, AT batteries, minefields, an anti-tank ditch and supporting heavy armor across the valley . 

On the right flank, the Germans are outside of Storozhevoe which matches their historical progress.

LAH 1st SS Division Morale Points Left:   41/48
There's a lot of game left.

(BELOW)  The Soviets still have the T-34 companies of the 169th Tank Brigade safely in reserve behind the Storozhevoe woods.  What should we do with them?  Make a night attack and attempt to butcher the German recon battalion or save them to threaten the right flank of the German panzer regiment as it advances along the railroad embankment?

Next post will be the July 10, 1943 Night turn.  During playtest breaks, I'll be painting Marders, Stugs, and more Panzer IV's for the Germans.  I'm also going to add tank commanders for the tank command stands, tank riders to spice up the plastic T-34's, and better terrain to represent the railroad embankment and some of the towns.


  1. Awesome setup. Very nice photos and report.

  2. Fascinating stuff! Looking forward to seeing this game unfold.


  3. Thanks guys.

    I should get the Night turn and the first AM turn started this weekend. Word is that the Soviet infantry are winging their way to my house via USPS as we speak.

  4. Very inspiring. Now I am tempted to emulate this scenario, yet another project added to the list. Darn you!!!!

  5. @Mandarin That's why I post these blogs! Mission accomplished!