Monday, December 23, 2013

Operation Hubertus: Day One

Chris from Sharp End Gaming has graciously invited me, along with Tim Williams from RangerX3X to playtest an early version of his majestic Operation Hubertus scenario.  Tim already has an AAR up of his initial turns, playing as the Soviets. I'm going to play the scenario as the Germans.

If you are a Command Ops player, you are definitely going to want to play this scenario.  The forces are finely balanced and the urban combat is unlike nearly any other Command Ops scenario I've played. Winning this will take some fine generalship - probably finer than I can muster! This is probably the most fun I've had playing Command Ops - and I generally find Command Ops scenarios a lot of fun to play.

Some scenes from Day 1 of the battle:

Day 1 objectives are the Red October and Barrikady factories. I'm moving a Pioneer battalion and KG Seydel into position to join the 212 and 226 Sturm Companies.  Once the assault is prepared, I'm going to attack the Red October factory with the Pioneers and Sturmtruppen with the KG in support.

While my formations move into place, I bombard the objective in preparation.

Dawn breaks as the assault forces maneuvers into position.

Meanwhile, in the south of the city, I prepare several shaping attacks.  I want to tie up Soviet reserves and keep them out of the fight for the factories.

Soviet resistance and artillery fire in the south of the city is tough.  The shaping attacks take casualties before they even really kick off.

By 0822 the Pioneers and Sturm Companies have secured a foothold in the Red October factory.  Strong Soviet forces are still in the area, however.

To the north, a Soviet flanking attack is developing.  I commit the entire 576 Grenadier Infantry Regiment to a spoiling attack to break up the Soviet maneuver before it becomes a problem. The battered 544 Infantry holds in place north of the tractor factory.

The Germans hold the Red October factory, but significant Soviet forces are gathered around the Commissar's House.  That looks a lot like a counter-attack shaping up, to me.

In the south, the 191 Regiment attacks the Pavlov's House objective.

Around noon, most of the Soviet troops in the vicinity of the tractor factory have moved west to threaten the 576 Grenadier Regiment HQ.  A recently arrived Croatian regiment is headed north to reinforce them.  I take this opportunity to move the 544 Infantry Regiment south and take the tractor factory objective.

The 576 Infantry took a bit of a drubbing, but managed to stop the Soviet flanking move.  I pull them back to their original positions to rest.

After heavy fighting, the 191 Infantry take the Pavlov's House objective around 1600. This prompts a counter-attack from Soviet forces in the area to the north that will require a further five hours of fighting to clear.

Two reinforcing Pioneer battle groups are now in place to begin the assault on the Barrikady Gun Factory. It is late in the afternoon, but these are fresh troops and I think sufficient to take the objective.

The 544 Infantry hold on at the tractor factory in the face of Soviet counter-attacks.  If they can hold, I'll move the 369 Croatian to their north and seize the Skudri Crossing.  I hadn't intended on grabbing any of the crossings on Day 1, but doing so should keep the Soviets in the north occupied and away from the main effort at the factories.

Things are going well, so I optimistically believe the Pioneer unit backed by KG Seydel can take the Commissar's House objective.  This is a mistake: those troops have been moving and fighting for 14 hours and should be rested before any further attacks.

Assault Group Linden's planned path to the Barrikady Gun Factory takes then straight into a pile of Soviet units. I'm going to adjust their orders to try and bypass the enemy and head straight for the factory.

The attack on the Commissar's House objective is a disaster.  By 1930 I pull my troops back to the Red October factory to take up defensive positions for the night.

Around the same time, 191 Infantry with help from some reinforcements KG Scheel has defeated all the Soviet counter attacks on the Pavlov's House objective and the Germans are pretty firmly in control of the south of the city.

The assault on the Barrikady Gun Factory gets underway while the 396 Croatian prepares to take the Skudri Crossing.  Artillery pounds Soviet units caught in No Man's Land.

The Croatians have taken the crossing, and the 544 Infantry still holds the tractor factory as night begins to fall.

Around midnight the 336 Pioneer Regiment secures the Barrikady Gun Factory, and with it, I've taken my planned for Day 1 objectives.  It's been no picnic, however, and I've taken some casualties.  If the Soviets can mount a significant counter-attack tomorrow, I may be in trouble.

Situation at the end of the first 24 hours. I'm working on an encirclement of the Lazur Chemical Factory and Commissar's House objectives, which are my primary objectives for Day 2. I don't have a ton of reinforcements expected, but I am getting a couple of battalions of assault guns.  Combined with still relatively strong Pioneer formations, I think I stand a decent chance of taking the Chemical Plant.

More to come!  I'll also be finishing up the Zumbelay Withdraw AAR in the next day or so.

Update: Chris has provided an updated scenario, that I'll be playing through this evening.  So, I won't finish this particular AAR, but I will do a full AAR of the entire scenario once we have a release version, probably this weekend based on Chris' latest post.