Saturday, May 21, 2016

AAR: Flames of War: Korsun Pocket 1944, Game 1

     It has been awhile since I had brushed off my Flames of War miniatures and used them. It occurred to me quite recent, that I have not played Flames of War in over a full year. So when my friend, Tom called up to continue our second half of our campaign, I, of course, jumped in. After all, it had been two years since the first half of the campaign for the Korsun Pocket.
   So what is the Korsun Pocket? The Korsun Pocket was a result of the Korsun–Shevchenkovsky Offensive from the 24th of January to 16th of February 1944 in the Soviet 1st and 2nd Ukrainian fronts. The Soviets surrounded German Army Group South in a pocket that resulted in heavy casualties for the Germans in the relief and breakthrough. The results were a great Soviet victory, despite not punching a hole through the German front lines.
   Now, as usual, I love to play the Germans in most games they are involved. The exception to the rule is with the Polish, since my family is mostly Polish descent. And when I took the Germans for Flames of War, I consider them the challenge of the underdogs in Late War, especially. Are they really that bad? No! But in the progression of the first few years of playing Flames of War (Version 2 and 3), I have noticed quite a large push towards pro-Allied lists. There are some great German lists. Don't get me wrong! The 2nd Panzer rules for "Push for the Rhine" rock! I also love my Market Garden 107th Panzer Brigade and my 9th SS Hohenstaufen lists.
     However, in the case of historical accuracy, I will play it historical. In the case of this second campaign of the Korsun Pocket, I choose a list from Kampfgruppe Bake. Was this a smart decision? Not really. For one, this is a winter battle. Despite the pictures in the game in this post, this first game was fought at night with snow and mud that is frozen until day breaks. What this means is that I have to take double bog checks for everywhere, but the woods (still a bog check) and the roads. The only advantage I had was the re-roll for bog checks based on my "wide tracks" rule. Two, I only could take four platoons with one only seeing action on the last turn. With the Panther tanks and my small infantry unit, I could push onward. My Nebelwerfers never had line of sight until dawn broke. That was on the last turn. Three, I was playing against Tom's Soviets. Tom is a calculated player by nature. So he is very challenging. I have won few games against him. I think five! Lets says about 1%. This does not detour me from playing him, because I am not sore about losing. I have had enough of bad rolls to know tactics is not the problem. Also, because I still have fun playing games against him. This is also why I chose my company. I know he does not like Panthers, but still enjoys killing them! I just want to see a company of Soviet Strelkovy run away for a change.
   Anyway, these are pictures from our first game. Mind you, they are in winter conditions, despite the terrain. Enjoy!

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