We finished up the Russian night counter attack of Sept 14th this weekend. There were a few more surprises for Russians, a total German collapse in the North, followed by an unexpected reprieve.
The first surprise was unveiling the HIP flamethrower squad the Germans had lurking in the cellar of M41. They assault move up to the ground level in German turn 2, maintaining concealment, then advanced into M42. They regained control of both hexes, and were ready to hose down the Russian MMG's firing from the upper level of M43. (Note: M43 does not actually have an upper level. Joe made an error and I did not catch it.)
Before they were able to, the MMG stack got a K/2 result, followed by a failed morale check. Then with ROF, they finished him off. The Russians moved a squad into the hex, and picked up the FT. That should have worked. It's so bitter.....
Situation in the block south of the Nail Factory, end of turn three.
Meanwhile......up by the 9th January Square..........
My other surprise for Joe was the two assault eng. squads I had HIP in the cellar of the Q10 building. In German turn three, one squad advanced concealed up to the ground level location of R9 which was full of CX Russians. It was the first time in the scenario that the Germans had an ambush advantage.
So, of course the Russian won the ambush. Went H-T-H and dispatched the invader.
The other squad moved from the cellar of Q10 to Q11 during movement phase, and fired upstairs in AFPh, breaking the two conscript squads in that location. They then advanced upstairs to gain control of the hex.
Even further north........the rout was on.
The Russians had two guards companies coming on the north edge where I was thinnest. Inside of three turns my left flank was wide open, when something very surprising happened: Joe asked me if I wanted to agree to end the scenario early. (!)
I think I said something like: "Yes".
My northern flank had been blown wide open and the door to Berlin laid out before the advancing Russian hordes....and they want to call it a day? Where do I sign?
Joe said that he felt he had reached a point of diminishing returns in that area (there weren't many Germans left to kill). He had already wrapped up the scenario victory being +14 on stone hexes. He thought in the south the momentum had swung my way.
Well.....that's all true, but the opportunity to shove two companies into the German backfield would not have been something I'd turn down.
Russians win the first two scenarios. German losses for the night:
467 x 12 548 x 1-1/2 838 x 2
8-1 x 1 7-0 x 1 8-0 x 2
Looking forward to sunrise, and getting back on the attack.