Somehow I decided to do a detailed AAR of a 15mm scale BGPG V2 game, recording every dice roll and DRM and then post it here. I’m not quite sure why I got interested in doing this! Maybe because the game rules are pretty good and I’d like other players wondering about or trying to learn BGPG to be able to see a detailed example of game play since one was not available when I was trying to learn the rules. Or maybe because I’ll see if anyone out there will point out some things I am doing wrong, or maybe it’s just that I like an excuse to play with myself. It had to be solo since it would take too long to record everything otherwise. When you play solo you need to be a little pseudo-schizophrenic. "Now what is that wily coyote in the mirror planning next..."
I’ve researched and prepared a historical early war 1941 Eastern Front scenario called "Across The Pronia" and have already played it once with a wargaming buddy. It has a good mix of units. This first posting for the "Example of Play AAR" will show the scenario background, mission briefing, force selection for each side, and the initial deployments. The next posting will be Turn 1 when the action begins. Players that are new to BGPG should first check out my previous posting "The Skinny" for a basic explanation of game play.
I’ll eventually post the scenario separately in the files section. If any BGPG players wish to play this scenario, it is best done with the German player NOT having read this AAR or the Russian scenario briefing, since part of the fun is the German attack into unknown territory. Either way, I hope you enjoy the AAR postings and please feel free to comment on game play or rules decisions.
Scenario Background - Across the Pronia July 15, 1941
The German crossing of the Dnieper and encirclement of Smolensk was a huge engagement. The initial June breakthrough was over and the Russians were arrayed defensively to prevent easy crossings of the Dnieper. This scenario involves forces on the far south flank of the German attack formation, near Mogilev.
As part of Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Group, XXIV Motorized Corps (3rd Panzer Div, 4th Panzer Div, 10th Motorized Div, 1st Cav Div) was tasked with forcing the Dnieper near Mogilev. Guderian chose Staryy Bykhov to the south because the bridges at Mogilev were heavily defended. Staryy Bykhov was also at the junction of the Russian Remezov’s 13th Army (Mogilev) and Kutzenov’s 21st army to the south (Rogachev) and it was an unexpected location due to marshy ground. Langerman’s 4th Panzer Division forced a crossing there on July 12th against light resistance and established a solid bridgehead. 4th Panzer was then given orders to press on east to Propoysk while Model’s 3rd Panzer crossing afterward was ordered to swing north and capture Mogilev.
However, Mogilev had become a Russian fortress with extensive entrenchments and fortifications manned by troops fiercely resistant. 10th Motorized Division behind was ordered to take over 3rd Panzer’s siege of Mogilev. 3rd Panzer was ordered to attack north-east to encircle Mogilev in a pincer, meeting up with S.S. Das Reich attacking from the north-west, to prevent reinforcement of Mogilev from the Krichev area to the east. Russian forces just east of Mogilev were mainly scattered disorganized remnants of divisions partly caught in Mogilev. The bridges at Chaussy are on the main east-west road from Krichev to Mogilev and are therefore vital to both sides.
Game Set Up - By The Book - Step By Step
Step 1) Establish Battlegroup Forces. While BGPG games based on points can be played (points are given for each unit listed in the manual), games are mainly scenario driven rather than points driven. Therefore, the forces chosen for this scenario are defined in the German and Russian mission briefings described later.
Step 2) Establish Unit Quality. These are also defined in the scenario mission briefings. The German has regulars and the Russian a range of quality: militia, inexperienced, regular, and veteran.
Step 3) Define Terrain. The terrain mainly has medium-height gentle hills (one steep) and dense woods (one open) interspersed with standing crops and marsh. There are two small cottages, one of wood and one of stone construction. The River Pronia is impassable except at the two bridges on the east-west roads. The highly arched bridges have elevations at the crown and are classed as a low hill. The game table is 4 x 6 feet.
(click on "+" above pictures to enlarge)
Step 4) Establish Objectives. Each side’s objectives are defined in the German and Russian mission briefings, scenario cards, and shown on the initial deployment map.
Step 5) Establish Air Superiority and Air Support Missions. Both players roll 1d6 and apply nationality/year DRMs. The German player rolled 2 with +1DRM = 3 and the Russian player rolled 3 -1 DRM = 2. German side wins Air Superiority and rolled 1d6 for the number available, a 5 which in 1941 column grants 2 air missions.
Step 6) Establish Off-Board Artillery. Ordinarily each side would roll for support, same as for air support, but Off-Board Artillery was deliberately left out of this scenario. Historically, the German divisional artillery was back near Mogilev and unable to support this fast moving German recon force. And with the disorganized Russian situation, divisional artillery was likely caught in Mogilev or already pulled back over the Sozh near Krichev. It is not much of an omission, since the procedure for carrying out an off-board artillery attack procedure is the same as that used for on-board artillery and air attacks, both of which are included in this scenario.
Step 7) Defender Rolls For Concealed & Dummy Units & Notes Deployment Positions. For dummy units the Russian rolled a 1 with a -2 DRM = -1, so no dummy units. Dummy units (false units to confuse the enemy) may be placed in LOS of the enemy and need a successful recon or effective fire result to be revealed as false. All units are allowed to initially set up as concealed if they are in cover and more than 24 inches of the enemy. The Hidden units rolled for are for those units allowed to set up in cover within 24 inches of the enemy. The Russian rolled a 4 -1 DRM (for inexperienced troops) = 3 Hidden units. Ordinarily rolls would also be made for Ambush Camouflaged units, special concealment unable to be spotted by recon until they fire, but this was overridden due to scenario conditions. The Russians are masters of camouflage and have had ample time to prepare, so all Russian combat units initially deployed on the map were given Ambush Camouflage status. All the Russian initial unit positions were marked on the scenario map and will not be placed on the table until they are revealed by recon or fire.
Step 8)Attacker Rolls For Concealed Units & Notes Deployment Positions. The German forces did not roll for Hidden units since they were considered to be advancing swiftly with no need to become hidden.
Step 9) Deploy Forces. Initial deployments are shown on the maps and reinforcements defined in the mission briefings. One map shows the attacking German deployed in two columns from the west to the right and the second map shows the defending Russian deployment from the east to the left.
German Mission Briefing:
Major Chappenstein, you are commanding the leading Battlegroup tasked with capture of the bridges over the River Pronia just east of Chaussy and securing a bridgehead for further advance toward Krichev. You have just captured Chaussy and are quickly moving east toward the Pronia.
Your Battlegroup is comprised of elements of 1st Reconnaissance Batt., 3rd Batt. 3rd Schutzen Regiment, and a platoon of 6th Panzer Regiment’s light panzers. Divisional artillery is busy disengaging from the Mogilev flank far behind you and not available. The Luftwaffe mainly have their hands full with the heavy action north nearer Smolensk, but limited air support is available.
Enemy resistance in your approach and capture of Chaussy was disorganized and light, but persistent. No armour has been encountered, but Chaussy is on the main road from Krichev to Mogilev so the possibility of a Russian relieving force exists.
In your approach to the bridges you observe no activity or fire of any sort, which is unusual for bridges of such importance. Perhaps you have moved so fast the Russian Army headquarters don’t know you are this far east...
Objective: Secure the bridges and clear the crossroad of any enemy. Hold the bridgehead until the main force of 3rd Panzer relieves you. They are 8 hours behind you.
German Battlegroup forces, unit quality, mission, and objectives are shown on the scenario card and initial deployment map below.
German Scenario Card:
In the BGPG rules organization section 1 AFV model represents 2-3 vehicles, 1 AT gun represents 2-3 guns, and 1 infantry figure represents 2-4 men. We prefer to play with a House Rule (House Rules will be in blue) where 1 AFV model is one tank, 1 AT gun model is one gun, and 1 infantry stand represents 1 squad or 1 team, regardless of the number of figures on it. This puts more vehicle and gun models on the table as per OOB, but it works just fine. For this game the squad, MG, and mortar stands used are standard FOW medium bases and the team stands and command unit stands are FOW small bases.
Terrain Map With German Deployment and Objectives:
Two German recon groups are attacking, one at each bridge crossing. The Battlegroup HQ is located in the woods to the west of the Pronia and the 81mm mortar (part of the Heavy Weapons Plt) is located near the HQ, waiting for a call from the Heavy Weapons command unit or the HQ FOO/FAC embarked with them.
German South Recon Group
German North Recon Group
Russian Mission Briefing (German Player: Spoiler Alert! Do Not Read This!)
Kapitan Chappevitch, the Germans have consolidated a bridgehead at Staryy Bykhov and are attacking east and north-east, encountering cut-up and scattered forces from several divisions of 20th Rifle Corps, 13th Army, some inside and some outside the encirclement of Mogilev. 13th Army headquarters, now under Gerasimenko (Remezov wounded & relieved), has pulled back east to Krichev behind the Sozh River, unable to hold position because of the breakthroughs north and south of Moglilev, and has lost all communication and control over forces in Mogilev. Unaware of this pull-back, Timoshenko has ordered 13th Army to counterattack and drive the Germans back across the Dnieper. Therefore, an attempt must be made, otherwise it would be disobeying orders...
While the hedgehog defense of Mogilev remains strong, Gerasimenko’s 13th army has only scattered elements from 53rd and 132nd Rifle Divisions near you, east of Chaussy. We are aware you are commanding only a light defensive anti-tank screen in place at the bridges, without the support of any infantry troops.
However, a scratch force has been assembled nearer Krichev and ordered west to reinforce your group defending the bridges across the Pronia. They are close and will be arriving very soon. These reinforcements include two platoons of Cossack SMG cavalry, an armoured car platoon, and a T-26 platoon. The T-26 crews are raw recruits. You will have no further reinforcements.
With the help of Kapitan Vasilyev, your Kommissar (and Acting-Company Commander), your orders are to hold the bridges and defend the road east to Krichev with utmost determination to buy time for stronger defense lines being prepared to the east.
For the Motherland!
Russian Scenario Card:
Again 1 AFV model is one tank, 1 AT gun model is one gun, and 1 infantry stand represents 1 squad or 1 team.
Terrain Map With Russian Deployment and Objectives: (initial units are noted on the scenario map and are not placed on the table until revealed by recon or fire)
This completes the scenario Game Set Up. Please open the next file posted "ATP Scenario AAR - Turn 1" to begin Turn 1.