Saturday, 15 August 2015

6mm WW2 Russia 43 Holding Back the Tide scenario with Fields of Honor

This is my second battle in a series to use the Russia ’43 Red Guards at Kursk Skirmish Campaign book and use a different ruleset for each scenario.  I am going to scale the scenarios up from skirmish to the level required by the rules and then scale the measurements down from inches to centimetres to play on a small board with 6mm figures.

I am using Pinnacle's Fields of Honor WW2, available from DriveThruRPG.  A boardgame that is really a miniature game in disguise; I got it as a PDF many years ago and the concepts seemed OK - combat activation, some subtlety in the combat rules - but they never really seemed to get much traction.  Each base is a squad and a vehicle is a single vehicle.  This boardgamegeek page has some info, particularly this boardgamegeek review.

See this page for information on my replaying of WW2 scenarios with different rules.

I am using HOLDING BACK THE TIDE the fourth scenario from the Russia ’43 Red Guards at Kursk Skirmish Campaign book.

Soviets are trying to breakthrough across a river and German units are rushed to stop them.

Game is 8-13 turns, end game is checked at the end of each turn starting with turn 8.  Soviets win by putting two tanks on the other side of the stream, a T-70 counting as 1/2 a tank (most unfair - I like the T-70!).  

Table overview

German forces
Force HQ
     1 Infantry HQ base
     2 infantry bases
     1 Kubelwagon
1st Mechanised Infantry company
    1 HQ base
    8 infantry bases
    3 Sdkfz 251/1
4 x PzKpfw IVg
2 x PzKpfw IIIj (enter on turn 1)

The PzKpfw IIIj was the variable attachment to enter on turn d4

Soviet forces
1 x T-34 Command
3 x T-34
3 x T-70
1st Tank Rider company
    1 HQ infantry base
    8 infantry bases
2nd  Tank Rider company
    1 HQ infantry base
    8 infantry bases
1 x SU-152

The SU-152 was the variable attachment.

Note the Soviets only have 4 T34s and 3 T70s that can make it over the stream to contribute to the victory conditions of 2 tanks crossing (and the T70 counting as 1/2 tank).  The SU-152 cannot count as if it attempts to cross the stream it will be bogged.

The scenario calls for an 8’ long table that I am scaling to 30”. 

No units begin on the table - Soviets enter on the left of one side and Germans from the other end.

The stream is not fordable along the woods.  It is also soft and impassable to the wheeled vehicles and causes a bog check to AFVs and the half-tracks for each bank crossed.  The ford will cause only one bog check for all vehicles.  The SU-152 was a very heavy tank so I will rules that it will automatically bog entering the stream or the ford.

Tank riders may enter on or off the tanks.

All the units move on the table.  Soviet infantry is riding on the tanks

Russian entry
German platoon is in the half-tracks.  The first few turns are moving up into range.

German entry
T-34s move to the edge of the woods to either side of the woods and unload tank riders.  German halftracks reach the woods and unload as well.

Russians dash for the woods on either side of the ford and unload the tank riders
The Panzer IVs are positioned just behind the crest of the hill with a commanding view of the ford. One of the T34s is in range of all the PanzerIVs.  6 to hit (long range), one hit but no damage.  The T34 subsequently moves into the woods for cover.  The T-70s continue to go for the small gap at the edge.

PanzerIVs on the dominating hill; the PanzerIIi on the left will continue up the right flank.
The T70s are going towards the small gap at the edge.  Hopefully they make it.  The PanzerIIIs are moving to intercept.

The PanzerIIIs continue to move towards the gap on the German right flank.
The Russian infantry moves up into close combat with Germans but fails to hit anything.  The German retaliation also see no effect.  Hard to destroy infantry when it is 5+ (5+ to hit, +1 short range, -1 soft cover) and then a 4+ will save!

The melee in the woods.
Next turn the Soviets get a run of cards.  The Germans realise that the game could end at turn 8 - all the Soviets need to do is drive all the T-34 across, hope only one bogs and at least 2 survive the fire (likely) as to hit will be 5+ for long range from the PanzerIVs, and then another 6+ to KO.  The Germans need to block the stream.  But then I remember you get two d6s to hit if you don't move, so the 4 Panzer IVs can roll 8d6 when attempting to hit.  Not bad.  So they will stay on the hill.

The melee in the woods sees a German gruppe gone.

The melee still going; Looked much the same at game end.
The PanzerIV roll 8d6 to hit the SU-152 and roll 4 6's for 4 hits.  And one of those hits is they roll a 6 and the SU-152 is gone.  1 is always a fail on any roll 6 is always a success.

SU-152 is KO'd

Overview at turn 5.
A 3.5 month gap in playing here due to distractions (all good ones, no bad ones). Playing in a map drawer proves itself once again!

Start of turn 6. The Russians have a least 3 more turns before the possible end of the game.  It does not seem like much.  At the rate the infantry battle is going, it may be another 3 turns before the T-34s will be able to move in the open.

The Russians get another run on the activation cards.  The infantry inflict nothing again and the Germans do nothing in return. 2 T70s make it to stream at the far side of the table and pass the first bog check. But the PanzerIIIs move around the woods, spot the 2 T70s, to hit roll is both 6s (auto hit) then both KO the T70s (!).  The T70 tank riders are also destroyed (its the rules).  So not much point getting the third over - it is only 1/2 a point.

PanzerIII destroys two T70s
In a subsequent turn the Panzer IIIs fire on last T70 before it can move and KOs it too.

The three destroyed T70s

Turn 7 sees one German infantry destroyed in melee. That took time. As turn 8 might see the end of the game,  the T34s rush the ford and also fire on the PanzerIVs. 2 hits! At long range will only kill one a 1 or 2.  rolled a 1! one down.

The T34s charge across the ford.
Panzer IVs fire on the T34s  and kill 2. Things not looking so good for the Russians.

..and 2 T34s are destroyed (the KO'd SU-152 at the back)
Turn 8 and the Panzer IVs activate first and fire on the T34s again.  And KO the last two.

All T34s gone.
All Russians tanks are out of the game and so they cannot win.  Game over and a win the Germans.

Game end. All bar one of the KO'd tanks are the Russian vehicles
I think Fields of Honor is an underrated game system. It has the card activation, the infantry combat mechanisms is fine as it vehicle combat.  It is a simple game system and is fast and gives decent results. It is similar-ish to my rules for WW2 so I am completely biased!

The double shots for the PanzerIVs really slowed the Russians down, especially with no penalty for firing at moving units.  I am not sure what else I could have done as the Russians to increase their chances of winning.  Anyway, a fun game and glad I am getting to use my 6mm collection.


  1. Nice looking game, atmospheric photos!

  2. Yes really enjoyed this Shaun...despite the lack of a certain hog :o

  3. Thanks John. I don't have any 6mm farm animals. Of course, i don't have any 20mm farm animals but that diid not stop me in those games :-)

  4. :D Well the pics look just great; especially considering the size/scale.

  5. Shaun,

    Sorry for the delay, just got from vacation! Looks like a great game, sorry your Commies lost ;)

    It sounds like the Germans had some hot dice (if only hitting on 5s and/or 6s). The table looked great, and I'm a fan of the pics of the opposing forces (the minis look great, looks like Heroics and Ros?). I had no problems with the rules saying tank riders caught on a KO'ed tank are KO'ed too, but I prefer my melee a bit more bloody and quick ;)

    Thanks for posting, and I'm looking forward to more.


  6. Thanks Jack. I *may* have been going for the Russians (my wife is of Russian descent so have more of a connection than to the Germans). The rules give a stationary firer double dice, so the Germans had a large advantage and will so much dice, they were bound to hit something!