In February, two German Armeekorps -- six divisions -- were stuck in the area around Demyansk. The harsh winter had hit the unprepared Germans hard and, combined with stiff Soviet resistance, forced them into defensive positions. On 8 February, the Soviets closed the ring around the Germans, forming the Demyansk pocket. Nearly 100,000 Germans soldiers were trapped an the only way to supply then was by air. To solve this the Germans launched Operation BRUCKENSCHLAG on 29 March to crack open the Demyansk pocket and relieve their trapped comrades there.
Really interesting situation, with Germans trying to reach two sides of the river with Russian defenders on each side. Almost two separate battles, except of course that fire across the river is possible for both sides.
VCs are based on the Germans reaching the river anywhere along both banks, and this gives the Russians a very wide front to defend. My attack in the west rolled forward fairly smoothly; a StuG ran out of smoke when I needed it but otherwise I reached the river without too much difficulty. The east bank however was a different matter, with more restrictive terrain and mines and wire helping the defenders, For a while I thought I was going to fail, particularly when his HMG went on a rate tear against my 9-2 leader and a couple of 468 squads. The damage wasn't as bad as it might have been however (one 468 went fanatic), and I eventually managed to break the final Russian defenders. My opponent conceded on his final player-turn when it became clear that I would reach the river on my last turn.
Not an easy one for the Russians to defend, although dice analysis showed that the luck was definitely in my favour, so it's probably a balanced scenario overall.
(D) Paolo Cariolato
German/German (SS) win
(D) Dan Best
(A) Kermit Mullins
My Germans advanced cautiously on Turn 1 with not much action. The Russian 45LL AT Gun would reveal itself, and my STUG's would reverse course and head to the other flank. Russian resistance was very strong. The Russian HMG went on a Rate of Fire Tear for the ages. It would kill my 8-1 and then the Sniper would kill the 8-0. The HMG fired so many times, that one of the 4-6-8 SS squads broke twice and rolled snakes twice to go Fanatic and create two Heroes. It was flat out ridiculous and highlights the somewhat absurd results that occur from rate of fire. I very nearly conceded the game then and there. Probably should have. My dice were stone cold. My units broke early and often. Dan's dice were on fire with an average roll between 4 and 6. He managed to get results with nearly every shot. After he immobilized a STUG with the ATR (needed a 4 to hit)...I threw in the towel and conceded. His Russians were too well dug in and taking too much energy to break...if they even broke. As usual the Flamethrower was gone on the second shot. It's just predictable that you'll get nothing from your flamethrower. Even my DC failed to do anything...rolling 10's and 11's makes everything impossible. Yeah....rough game. I think the scenario is a good one...but poor rolls took the joy out of for me.