Continuing our march trough the Awakening the Bear firefights, Kris and I found another player and tackled FF6 – Breakthrough to the Mzensk Pocket. Dave, from our old Memoir ’44 group, has been playing Conflict of Heroes solo for awhile now. He was looking for some tank action and got his fair share in this battle.
Kris and Dave teamed up to play the Germans while I took on commanding duties for both Soviet platoons.
Firefight 6 depicts the resupply efforts directed at German infantry platoon hulled up in a Russian town about 150 miles south of Moscow and 150 miles west of the present day Belarusian border. A German armored column, with ample supply wagons is heading from the north to the town. A Soviet mortar platoon stands in the way while a Soviet infantry platoon is raiding the village.
From a gameplay standpoint, the Germans stand to win if the can hold the village and their supply wagons relieve the troops while the Soviets score the best by prevent both points.
The Soviets mortars are well positioned high in the hills and can rain down shells on the Germans in the village. However, those Germans are well entrenched and prepared to repel invaders.
In the first one and a half turns, things were pretty even it seemed. The Soviets took advantage of their mortars placed high in the hills and with a Turn 2 artillery barrage. Both did some damage. The limited Soviet armor in the middle of the board, and facing the advancing German armored/supply platoon,held its own. It was well positioned for good shots but didn’t inflict any causalities on the Germans.
What struck me as the Soviet player was while I felt comfortable from a unit volume and type match up, the Soviet problems with AP costs for moving and firing were very apparent. Most units could only get off one shot before really ending their turn and becoming spent.
I also made the mistake of advancing a unit at a time on the village rather than in group movement. I think it would have added some force to the advance but I ended up being a sitting duck for the German LMG.
Things fell apart for the Soviets beginning at the end of Turn 2. With nearly all of the Soviet units spent, Kris, playing the German platoon in the village, took advantage of a +AP card play and really pumped up his LMG unit.
This unit proceeded to move on the spent Soviet infantry units, many who were stacked, and unleashed a fury of firepower knocking out four units in short order. The Soviets were powerless to stop it.
The LMGs 2AP attack cost is amazingly low and it has a healthy firepower rating as well. They are big trouble for any opponent.
On the hill overlooking the city, nearly all of the Soviet armored units were in dire strats. I used some of the wagons to load up infantry and head toward the village. One of my tanks broke off from the main body and was approaching the village from the east where I thought defenses were softer.
Turn 3 provided some hope for the Soviets as armored reinforcements including two T-34s appeared from the East (#3 Objective card). They slowed the German advance some, but were outnumbered in the end.
Soviet mortars scored some kills on the passing supply wagons inflicting some of the first casualties on that platoon.
The loss of further Soviet armored units only reinforced what was already apparent, this was a lost cause for the Soviets. Great rolls, great cards, and the second Vehicle Destroyed chit pulled on the Soviets really spelled out what kind of night it was. Outside of a hit or two on the supply wagons, the Soviets never really threated any of the German positions at all.
We were pushing 1:30am at this point and it was half way through Turn 4. We called the game after a BT-7 was eliminated on a Vehicle Destroyed pull.
Final scoring: Germans: 36 Soviets: 13
This was a tough one to play as the Soviets. I think all my great rolling in earlier firefights caught up to me. Kris and Dave played a great game, I just wish I could have given them a better fight. Having said that, I really enjoyed playing those mortar units. Fun to use for sure.
This was certainly the biggest and longest firefight we’ve played to date. Even pushing 5+ hours we didn’t even make it through the end of Turn 4. I think having another player would have helped had they been experienced. We did spend a lot of time going over rules. Much of that ended up as rules questions over on BoardGameGeek that Uwe was nice enough to answer.
On a related note, I will say this was the first time I felt really hamstrung by owning 1st edition Awakening the Bear. While we were playing with the upgraded Price of Honour unit counters, it was clear the AtB cards and hit counters were missing information relevant to the latest rule set. Also, during set up the number of changed unit stats from the original AtB counters was more apparent to me for some reason.
Not a gamebreaker, but those challenges were very apparent and lead to many questions about unclear rules.
Conflict of Heroes still rules in my book. Not perfect, but tons of fun to play.
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