1941 REMATCH Battlegroup 1000pt Barbarossa Game

1941 REMATCH Battlegroup Barbarossa Game - Or "The little gun that could".

How do you defeat heavy Soviet armour in 1941 without 88mm guns?

A 1060 points game using the "Hard Road East" scenario from Barbarossa book. The reason for the game was to get the new Christmas toys quickly painted up and into action and also to try and get revenge for the sound thrashing handed to me last game by my son, Jack.

All the trucks freshly painted 1060points, BR69,a few of the tanks too and I made the air recognition flags for flavour.

My sons Russian force, 1060points, BR75, with his freshly painted T26 squadron and KV-1.. Lots of heayies in his list (again!) but its legal!

Russian Steppe terrain, keeping it simple. 

Initial deployment- Germans started with 4 forward units on the board and 2 recce units, Soviets started with one forward unit plus two recce units.

Turn 1 - German Turn

German Reinforcements  - None this turn
German Orders 6

I invested in mobility. Both my Platoons are now riding in motorised transport (Thank you Santa). I deployed the first platoon straight away hoping to gain ground by using my initial reinforcement bonus to try and seize two of the three objectives.

My recce troops were two Sdfkz 222's,  on two roads.

I hoped to  quickly capture this village and hold it.

The first Russian units were deployed ready to try to take the village too!

Soviet sniper is deployed on Objective three so i took a 2BR chit.

I capture the village and Jack takes a 4BR chit.

The platoon dismount and half occupy the buildings (Jack takes a 4BR chit),  whilst the rest form up to assault the wheatfield -Objective 3.

The platoon officer calls in mortars and pins both vehicles. they pass their morale tests

Meanwhile, my other recce seizes Objective1. This forces my opponent to take a chit but  this backfires on me as it turns out to be a Mine Strike! -  he plays it on the Armoured car and rolls a six!! Boom!!! I take a 4BR chit.

Turn 1- Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements- none this turn.
Soviet Orders - 6

Soviet BA10. Look closely at the turret. My son had painted a lightsaber on it due to the exploits of this vehicle in the last game. Nicknamed Skywalker,  it had been incredibly effective and he was rubbing my nose in it! See his previous exploits here

Skywalker hits the SDKFZ 222 and pins it.

Turn 2 - German Turn

German Reinforcements 7 (I used "Panzermarsch" but it only got one extra unit)
German Orders 11

Now for some fun.  My force is representative of a panzer division forward element in 1941 so struggles against Soviet heavy armour that my son likes to field (Kv1, KV2 and T34). I had learned from my mistakes however and had two options...invest in 88mm guns or go be creative.

So I invested in a spotter plane and an off table battery of 105mm guns! Expensive but more representative i think. I brought it on in my first wave of reinforcements.

Last time I also chose not to field the Pak36 platoon guns because of their relatively high point cost and everything i had read on their ineffectiveness. . This time I wanted to try them,  I thought they'd be good against Jacks T-26s or Bt-7s. Besides, they looked cool and they used them historically. So i got them some trucks as tows and threw them in!

My second platoon arrives. Again, I'm trying to seize ground before his forces can get on table.

My spotter plane calls in the artillery and it lands on target, destroying the wretched Skywalker whose luck finally ran out.

The Pak36 unlimbers to defend the village.

I use reserve move orders for the motorised infantry to maximise their mobility.

Turn 2 Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements 5
Soviet Orders 7

Now things begin to escalate as three T34s crammed with tank riders, arrive. One of them is the Soviet C-in-C.

Air cover too, uh-oh!

..and Jacks favourite unit. A KV-2. He tells me that this tank has survived all of the eight battles he has used it in previously. He has even painted 8 stripes on its turret to taunt me.

The Soviets waste no time and uses Stal! Stal! Stal!to quickly reinforce the threatened Objective3.

The KV1 takes a shot and destroys the armoured car in the village. My fault as i had ample time to hide it but chose to shoot instead. I suck with using recce troops. I take a chit...

Turn 3 - German Turn

German Reinforcements - 6!
German Orders - 12

... the chit turns to be a lucky one and I manage to succeed in summoning some air support and roll an Me110.

My Me109 will have to masquerade as its twin-engined brother as it dives into action against the KV2.  Soviet AA was unable to fire as it had not been put on  Reserve Fire! It scores a DIRECT HIT and drops a huge bomb down its hatch. The look on my son's face as his behemoth burns !

my second platoon had moved up during my opponents last turn and now split up as some occupied the town.

I aslo threw a squad forward on the left of the village into a corn field to gain more ground. Two Stugs trundled in as support, followed by their brand new resupply truck.

Overview. Germans have stolen a march and occupy a line across the table centre.  My Mortars, artillery and air strike are causing problems for the arriving enemy but my infantry assault on the right here will have to wait. I place them on Reserve fire.

Turn 3 - Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements - 6!
Soviet Orders - 12

More Soviet armour arrives.

A T35 and four BT-7s.

Most Soviet units move forward.

Mexican stand off at objective3.

Turn 4 - German Turn

German Reinforcements - 4
German Orders - 14 (very good)

More artillery fire finds the KV1, it survives a direct hit. Artillery is proving effective versus his heavies.

Unmolested, a Stug can let loose.

..and claims a kill.

My reinforcements this turn are Three Panzer IIIs supported by a Panzer IV.

They dash forward to support my left flank.

Turn 4- Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements - 2!
Soviet Orders - 17! (From a maximum of 18 possible!!)

An uncanny glut of 17 orders allows the Soviets to dress their lines and push everything forward. I manage to ambush a Soviet truck as it pushes forward, destroying it with an MG34 team. It spills out an NKVD squad who take two losses and go to ground. 

Turn 5 - German Turn

German Reinforcements - 6!
German Orders - 11

I reinforce the left flank with  Three Panzer IIIs supported by a Panzer IV and two 75mm Infantry guns.

My forward infantry screen is in place pinning back the Russians whilst my mobile armoured reserves now dash forward to reinforce the line.

A ferocious firefight in the cornfield, my infantry hold the enemy back but are flanked and pinned by T34s using MG fire....however...

...My Pak36 notices an opportunity...

..and hits a T34 in its side armour, throwing 11 on the penetration table.! BOOOOM! That's two of his five heavies down.

The spotter plane calls artillery to pin the Soviet main thrust in the centre. Infantry call in mortars to stoke the flames.

My MG team clear away some russian infantry as they come out of the field. I choose to rally and unpin 5 units for the cost of 8BR in chits.

Turn 5 Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements - 6!
Soviet Orders - 9

Time for the new toys and a couple of T26's arrive with infantry.

..and an infantry platoon -Ura!

Soviet engineers erupt from the cornfield and wipe out one of my squads, only to be wiped out themselves by my mg team soon afterwards. Soviets spend chits to rally lots of their troops in an effort to push on.

Turn 6 - German Turn

German Reinforcements - 6
German Orders - 9

My wiped out infantry get me an air strike token but it fails to arrive.

Last game I saved points by not giving my infantry teams Anti tank grenades. This time I made sure they all had them, but this valiant attempt  to use them is thwarted by mg fire from the T34.

The spotter plane calls in the arty again.

It has been fired at constantly for three turns but is yet to be hit.

The artillery fire pins an entire Soviet platoon.

The Pak36 bounces a shot off the nearest T34. The tank passes morale and gets a free turn which it uses to charge down the AT gun to try and squash it. A ditch by the road means the tank fails to destroy the gun (it passed its cover save).

Another Infantry team  tries to close assault this OT26 flamethrower but fails to find the motivation to charge accross an open field from a position of strength.

..perhaps the troops behind influenced their decision?

Another team breaks cover in the village and manages to hurl grenades onto the rear deck of the stalled T34.

Thats four of his six super tanks down!

Troops in the town call down mortars whilst my Stug takes a long shot at the enemy command T34.

A hit is scored but fails to penetrate. It does force him to button up though!

Turn 6 - Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements - 4
Soviet Orders - 6

A platoon of T26s arrive and STAL STAL STAL! forward with great speed.

More chits are taken to unpin troops that have been pinned by German area fire. A crippling lack of orders this turn halt the offensive.

Turn 7 - German Turn

German Reinforcements - none as all units are on table.
German Orders - 12

Stug life...

Another victim explodes.

I finally have enough orders to move up the Panzers and fan out into formation ready to advance,.

I decide to hold on the right and push on the left.

Turn 7 - Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements - 3
Soviet Orders - 18 (maximum rolled on three d6!!)

Jack earlier rolled 17 for orders but this turn surpasses himself with a maximum 18!

Troops form up behind the OT26 (which fails to aquire any targets).

The Soviets attack anyway and overwhelm my infantry on the left flank.

Luckily, the chit i pull is a mine strike which takes out a T26 and  pins an Mg team that it was carrying.

The Quad maxim continues to blaze away at my spotter plane.

And finally scores a pinning hit.

Gratuitous shot of uncommitted units that I wanted to feature because they were freshly painted!

No Soviet planes arrived all game.

Turn 8 - German Turn

German Reinforcements - none as all units are on table.
German Orders - 14 (very good)

My C-in-c gets on the radio and gives the spotter pilot a lecture in what will happen to him if he doesn't get back to work calling in the artillery. Tactical test passed, the pilots artillery mission scores another direct hit on the KV1 and pins it again (for the fifth time). The NKVD are also wiped out.

I got this tank free by pre-oredering the Battlegrouop market Garden book. To celebrate...

..it blows up one of jacks new tanks.

However, to keep me from enjoying myself too much, the chit pulled is a breakdown and is played on my Stug which sheds a track.

Another shot is fired down range..

..and another kill is scored!

Another PzIII opens fire

And pins a tank. Every time Jack tried to unpin and move forward i seemed able to halt him again with combos of aimed and area fire.

Turn 8 -  Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements - 3
Soviet Orders - 6

The spotter plane gets hit again, this time damage is caused. The lack of orders this turn is devastating to the Soviets as most troops are now in effective range of each other.

Two hits in twenty four rolls so far...one more should do it.

Turn 9 - German Turn

German Reinforcements - none as all units are on table.
German Orders - 17! (very high)

I get a good roll on orders so unleash my best firepower now that it is in position at last.

 A Panzer IV melts a BT7  just as it was unpinned.

Four point blank shots manage to miss the OT26!

More area fire and many units placed on Reserve Fire.

I finally have orders to shore up the defence on my left.

Turn 9 - Soviet Turn

Soviet Reinforcements - 1
Soviet Orders - 9

The OT26, having survived so many shots aimed at it, calmly drives up to the Stug and melts it!

Then the spotter plane is finally shot down by the Soviet AA!  

A speedy BT7 maneuvers for a kill shot.
And that is where we had to end the game as all the other games at the club were packed up. We had played for 7 hours and nine turns.

The rules explain in this situation we compare Battle ratings so we did so and...

Germans started on 69 and now had 28
Soviets started on 71 and now had 27

I had won by ONE POINT!

Conclusion , we both loved the game as it felt, once again, Uber realistic.

Although I had inflicted many losses on the Soviets, they too had chipped away at my units. particularly my infantry. As my units are generally more expensive it meant the BR had ticked down evenly all day which led to another cliff hanger of an ending.

My aim of finding a way to combat heavy Soviet armour without the use of 88mm guns was a success. My investment in a spotter plane and off table mortars and artillery was key. 

The other unsung hero was my Sdkz221 Forward signals unit which kept a very low profile at the rear. This expensive unit (39 points) enabled my to have a RADIO COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK special unit which allowed me to re-roll my reinforcement dice every turn. This allowed me to win the reinforcement battle and because all my troops were now motorised I could grab ground quickly and await the Soviet attack on my terms.

At the end, all the line was engaged with a definitive front line from left to right.

Coordination proved difficult. the Soviets never used their mortars though.

Unlucky AA rolls maybe led to the spotter being very effective for most of the game.

Lack of Soviet orders in turn 6 meant that all of these troops stalled after having been unpinned. This allowed me to re-pin most of them in my turn and destroy others.

My fighter was still flying at the end of the game, straffing infantry units. I should have attacked his AA unit with it though, doh.


  1. Replies
    1. Coming from you that is high praise Michal. Thank you.

  2. Looks like you Two had fun, really interesting read with some great models on show!

    1. Thanks James. Wargaming is the best quality time I think.

  3. Wonderful pictures, what a terific collection of vehicles!

    1. Cheers Phil. Lots of new ones brought by Santa. I hope to be using my new kursk army soon too 😎

  4. Herbert Erpaderp29 January 2018 at 15:53

    Glorious battle!! Though I am saddened the mighty KV-2 was knocked out!

    1. Hey it took me over two years and nine games to destroy that behemoth! Thanks for posting Mr Derp!

  5. What does the rule multiple turrets do in barbarossa


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