Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The massacre at Piepsk

The Russians make an early move with some Berserkers.

Well, the scenraio is actually called The Hedgehog of Piepsk, which old school wargamers will recognize was the fourth scenario in the original Squad Leader.

I hauled out the old warhorse for some old school wargaming with Game Store Tony. I haven't played the scenario in 10 or 20 years, myself, so things were more even than they may appear, especially because one of Tony's more notable qualities is that he's a quick study.

I took the Germans in the interest of saving setup time, because I could plan a clever defense ahead of time. Well, I thought it was at least solid, if not clever. I placed four LMG-equipped squads in the four buildings in the center of town to form the main position. Covering the left flank was the MMG with a squad and 9-1 leader while the right flank was coverered by the HMG with a squad and the 9-2 leader. The 8-0 and radio were also posted on the left as the lines of sight seemed better. Finally the other 9-1 and two squads were posted in reserve behind the town in the center to react to the Soviet advance.

Tony's plan was a simple, wide front advance evenly spread around the board, with the LMGs, MMG and leaders seeded throughout the force.

Things got off to a decent start as the first few defensive fires from the German machine gun teams cut down Soviet stacks like wheat. A full dozen Soviet squads were KIA'd before the first German loss. I have to say, though, that I don't really like playing the Germans in SL because it seems like they're always relying on a few key units -- so long as they're doing their job the Germans are tough, but a moment of bad luck can be very costly. I actually prefer the Soviet and US forces which are more homogeneous.

Sure enough, a bad morale check on a fairly low odds attack cleared the left flank MMG and the Russians surged forward. Bad luck with the initial artillery placement and an ineffective FFE foiled my back up plan and the 8-0 was overrun.

After this point things went down hill as Tony was able to swarm the town. German ffire groups, even massive ones with 20+ FP were not able to finish off Soviet targets. Throw in some berserk Russians, some bloody close combats and the end came swiftly. The Germans losses in the second half of the game actually exceeded Soviet.

While I felt my battle plan had legitimate promise, the fact of the matter is that Tony wiped out the Gemran force to a man and captured all five buildings in just 8 turns of the 10-turn scenario -- not a result that could be termed "close."

The Grim Finale!

Nope. I just got owned, simple as that. Still, it was fun to bring the old game to the table again after so long.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this brings back some seriously good memories.