As promised these are a few pictures from a recent Stalingrad game. Not as many pictures as I would have liked as the camera batteries died not long after play commenced….
In a previous post I showed off my sewer collection whilst testing some rules for their use; given how well that test went I was keen to get them in a full game. The idea of staging an urban game with a parallel sewer network beneath had been one of my gaming objectives since I saw a demo table using the same principles in the very early 2000s (I know I’m not originally but it was a great table and more importantly inspired me- surely the point of any demo?).
I decided on a simple attack and defence scenario, the Germans were attempting to shift a group of stubborn Soviets out of their assigned area. To do so they had a infantry platoon of a HQ and 3 squads, 2 Engineers squads: 1 with a Flamethrower and 1 with demolition charges as well as a STUGIII. The Soviets had 2 squads of infantry, 1 squad of militia, 2 Anti tank rifles and a small but capable Engineer team, additionally they had plenty of Molotov cocktails that they could either cache in buildings or distribute before the start.
If any one wants the briefings or house rules just let me know.
I made the sewer network before I set up the above ground parts. The idea was to give the Soviets options to reinforce through the sewers quickly and relatively safely as well as the opportunity to try and use them to get behind the advancing Germans.
The sewer network- looking at it from the German side of the board.
Then I set up the urban terrain: the black counter represent manhole covers- I did have some better ones but they are AWOL in the shed….
Above ground- again from the German side.
Both parts side by side. The attack came from the left of the picture.
The game went well. Both players (Brian- Soviet and Evan- German) suffered from either extreme of luck throughout the game. We used the random events from the latest version of NUTS! (Two Hour Wargames) and they added a nice dangerous feel that felt right for the game, though Brian may dispute thiss as a booby trap was generated that took out his Anti Tank rifle team as it tried to close on the STUG. However the next turn saw reinforcements arrive in his favour- this came in the form of a very welcome T70, it’s 45mm gun being better (just) than the PTRD 41 that he had just lost.
Soviet defenders man the barricades.
Supported by the STUGIII the Heer advances.
Underneath the Soviets push forwards.
Given the lethality of Machine Guns advancing from building to building is the only way forward.
Using the MG34s to cover his advance up the board Evan made decent progress, his slighht edge in his figures rating also helped. Sadly I had not factored enough time in the evening for the game. Urban games always soak up more men and time than a rural one; adding an extra level just increases this. So we had to finish and pack up before a definitive conclusion- a rematch is planned for a yet to be determined Sunday afternoon..
The sewers were a big hit and some good suggestions came out during the evening. Mainly extend the sewers so they cover the table from edge to edge. This would give the attacker the option to set up initially sub surface. Also using bomb craters to allow ‘down only’ access to the sewers (either in the middle of the street or through a ruin’s cellar) to add extra option to game play.
Of course you don’t need a fancy set up to try a similar game, sketch maps and printouts would do the job fine, possibly better as they could allow for hidden movement; that would keep both sides guessing. However as I said at the start the visual side was the main reason for doing this set up. I would recommend Mark’s Island of fire for inspiration but the price that is goes for is eye- watering.