There's a Maus in the Haus! 15mm Battlegroup WW2 Game
I've been playing Battlegroup for a couple of years now whilst introducing my 13 year old son Jack into the hobby. He is a great player now and also a gifted modeller compared to me at his age!
As a reward for weeding the garden he requested and got the new Zvezda Maus kit which he has built and painted. He then had an idea for a (obviously fictional) scenario.
|I could barely tie my shoelaces at his age, nicely done Jack!|
His scenario is based on using an abandoned prototype of the Maus as an objective with bonus points if you can tow it to a safe area. I decided to ask the lovely chaps at the Guild forum for help and they chipped in very helpfully, including the main rules man Piers. Check out the thread for some great info and pictures on towing big tanks! The community engagement by Piers cannot be understated, the facebook page and forum are active and highly responsive to queries and feedback.
So, we created the scenario as follows:
MAUS in the Haus!
The Maus has been delivered to the testing ground, awaiting ammunition which arrived last night at the rail terminal and new engine parts which will arrive tomorrow.
The beast is guarded by 2 platoons of the Reich’s finest old men and schoolboys, with a couple of SPGs as support.
German High Command have gotten wind of a Soviet attack and have sent reinforcements. Will they arrive time to prevent the loss of the Maus?
The Maus (objective A) is in the town square and is unocuppied, it requires new engine parts to move so cannot move unless towed. However, its ammunition is at the railway compound on hand carts (objective B).
Infantry may move it at horse wagon speed at a rate of one round per four men. There are a maximum of six rounds in the rail depot.
Instant win if any side gets the Maus across their base table edge. (Unique, restricted and Unreliable! )
It may be towed by three tracked vehicles (playability over reality), each vehicle needs to spend a turn hitching to the Maus. It can only be moved on the roads and will be pulled 4 inches per turn.
If the Maus is crewed and stocked by one of your tank crews it can only hit on a lucky 6 and cannot be resupplied after all six ammo boxes are used. It uses Jagtiger stats +1
No instant win for both objectives but if one side holds both at the end of turn ten they win.
Company level game - Points were Germans 1297, Soviets 1292
Detailed Order of battle
Volksturm Platoon A - Deployed around the Maus in the town
Volksturm Platoon B - Deployed at the railhead.
2 x Hitler Youth squads - Deployed in the town beside the Maus.
Jagdpanther - Between the town and railhead.
Ammo truck - suppoerting Jagdpanther
Stug III - on the German right.
D6 units on Autofire
2 x Razvedka squads
Reinforcements - arrrive on respective table edges.
5 x T34 carrying Platoon A as tank riders
Soviet HQ in Kubelwagen
5 x T34 carrying Platoon B as tank riders
German HQ in Kubelwagen
Volksgrenadier Platoon in vehicles
Towed L49 Howitzer
We played at Tyneside Wargames Club (blog) and provided our own toys and terrain. I was German and Jack playing his beloved Soviets
|Jack setting up, German table edge in background, Soviet in foreground. Maus is in the central town, the railhead represented on the right with the four destroyed large buildings.|
|Soviet Razvedka troops deploy last in the German rear near the mortars. In captured Kubelwagens. Sneaky.|
First move is Soviet, reinforcements pour on and storm forward, riders jumping off.
5 x T34 carrying Platoon A as tank riders
|Jagpanther on ambush fire spots the first wave of Soviets...|
|The Stug gets one too. This going to be a fun day i think!|
Turn 2 reinforcements
Soviet HQ in captured Kubelwagen
|The Stug crew didn't even have time to paint a kill stripe on its barrel before the first ISU 152 shell ruins their day.|
|The Soviets attacking the town (two T34, mmg and two supporting infantry squads) open fire to pin the defenders. A Shrek team flees.|
|With the enemy pinned, the infantry storm in against both forward tower blocks at the railhead complex. TEXTBOOK. Jack throws his patented D6 for grenades. He does that a lot. The two Volksturm squads hold but lose many men.|
|Elsewhere, the soviet scouts start causing havoc in the German rear....|
|Then Jack makes a mistake. He gets cocky and does a huge URA! URA! charge of a full platoon against the town whose defenders are on ambush fire. He has mortars to hand but afterwards claims he got impatient.|
|Much dakka dakka ensues and even the Volksturm cant miss at this range. Three squads wiped, the fourth pinned.|
|Better success at the railhead as the defenders begin to melt away.|
|Hail my elite reserves arriving, ten men on bicycles peddling like hell to join the fray..followed by my Ace in the hole my Volksgrenadiers in trucks, Tiger and Panzer IV!|
|My Reserve infantry command squad debuss to finish off the irksome Scouts which my tanks kindly pinned down.|
|The rest of the Platoon (Volksgenadier regulars) thunder past in Trucks that luck cunningly disguised as Italians being painted up for a different battlegroup book.....|
|And my chit backfires as my third most expensive troops, the Hitler Youth, discover that half of them have Dud Panzerfausts. Oh Poo.|
|Russkies take half of the railhead.|
|The tanks can now advance to threaten the second row of buildings (chits representing the ammo for the Maus in foreground)|
|Jack being Jack, supports with a little artillery in direct fire mode.|
|Turn five, Jack masses his tanks to attack the centre...quickly wiping out the Infantry gun and HMG emplacements through a combination of mortar and tank fire. My morale rolls are woeful.|
|I move reserves into the town.And debuss ready to reinforce the railhead.|
|ISU's continue to soften up the town.|
|Eight of the ten T34s are still operational, Jack having husbanded them well after losing the first two in turn one.|
|Now they lend fire support to the central attack.|
|Two more failed morale checks. the railhead is down to one battered squad holding the last building.|
|Turn six, the heavy artillery has almost completed destruction of the railhead.|
|News on the radio informs me of why my surviving mortar still hasn't fired a shot all day.|
|This time jack uses combined arms to pin the village whilst infantry creep up.|
|"Soon the Maus will be mine! muhahahaha"|
|Not so fast, boom! Panzerfaust to the face. Ok side armour.|
|The town defenders are mainly Volksturm, with my Elite Hitler Youth in the second line.|
|Turn 7. The artillery finishes off the last building at the railhead. This was one of my fortified ones, the volksturm legged it out the back door just in time..|
|The Soviets continue to pin my forces along the whole front but on my turn a solitary Panzershrek team creep forward and bags itself a lovely ISU 152!|
|..reloads then repeats the process on a T34 ! Huzzah! there's a chance to win this!|
|Turn 8. Jacks infantry pile into the town throwing grenades (six as usual) as he realises he has only two turn s left after this one to seize the Maus! (yes remember that?)|
|Soviet infantry surge accross the Railhead against the dazed and confused German reinforcements.|
|The railhead is almost theirs...almost..|
|.In the town further Soviet charges capture the front row of buildings....German casualties becoming critical. BR in single figures!|
|The Soviets can see the Maus! its only a few feet away! No time to tow it but if they can capture it....and capture the railhead they will be victorious!|
|With the Soviet infantry commited in the town, my heroic geriatric Panzershrek team calmly creep forward through a hail of Dhsk fire to blast a hole in the side of the remaining ISU152. Jacks BR plummeting fast.|
|Turn ten, the FINAL turn Soviets mop up the last defenders in the railhead and claim it as an objective.|
|So we shoot and largely miss and throw these cover saves in the melee. I astonish myself at times.|
|The survivors throw two morale checks..|
|And with that, the German army thunders past its BR break point (it started on a lofty 61 points!) at the exact moment the Soviets seize the second objective.|
|German BR log, took consistant heavy hits. Some games its all ones and twos but not today.|
|The Soviet tally, not too bad, plenty left in the tank but they had a lot to do. First time one of our games hasn't been within ten points.|
|No aircraft meant this beast was unused.|
|To the victors the spoils. Notice all the other games have gone home, reckon we played from 10.30 to 5.30 with a break for lunch and loved every minute of it.|
|A great game, I never "Pull any punches" when playing Jack any more as he is more than capable than most middle aged players i know....a terrifying situation!|
Plus sidesA totally immersive game from start to finish.
Reinforcements allocation seemed to work perfectly.
Battle rating system working perfectly again.
Jack's rash attack was suitably punished whereas more considered, deliberate assaults worked much better, using Russian numbers and fire support.
My army felt totally historic, the shiny machines falling to bits and the grunpy old volksturm being great fun to use.
The bad chits were hilarious and made the game such a challenge.
None in terms of the actual game, but the Maus could have featured more. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to tweak the scenario, please leave a comment.