The Battle of Verkhopneye 8 July 1943: A Rapid Fire Solo AAR

Last weekend was VE Day and due to lockdown still being enforced I decided to play another solo wargame. I turned to Rapid Fire and the Battle of Verkhopneye, which was fought on the 8th July 1943 between elements of the German Gro├čdeutschland Division and the Soviet 200th Armoured Brigade. I also filmed the game and this video can be seen below and below this are the photos of the game which I took as I played and posted on Twitter. 

This post is part of the Partizan in the Cloud event, the virtual wargaming event that has taken the place of the normal Partizan show due to the lockdown. Not only have I put out this video and photo report, but I will also be playing another solo game with a live report over on Twitter and the SoS Facebook page. I'm doing this for charity as well, Breaking Ground Heritage is a company who do important work in helping recovery for veterans through archaeology. A Just Giving account has been set up for them to help them weather the storm during the UK lockdown. Please give what you can here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bgh 


I set the board up as in the Rapid Fire scenario book for games set on the Eastern Front. It is supposed to be played on a 8 foot by 5 foot board, but I was able to get it on my 6 by 4 foot table.

Verkhopneye board looking from the Soviet lines

The Soviets are armour heavy and begin the game attacking down the central road towards Verkhopneye. Whilst the German defenders were spread across the table in cover, waiting their chance to fire at the advancing tanks!

The Soviet 200th Armoured Brigade

The Soviet T-34s begin their advance, supported by the motorised rifle units. 

The Soviets begin their attack

Immediately the Soviets take fire and a T-34 is brewed up immediately! 

The Germans open fire and destroy a T-34

But the StuGs come under fire themselves and one is knocked out.

A StuG is brewed up

The Soviets bring in their big guns and open fire with the Katyusha rocket launcher with no results.

Soviet rocket launcher opens fire on the German defences

Meanwhile on the right flank the tank destroyers move forward.

The Soviet SUs move forward

As the Soviet tanks advance they are able to fire at the German defences in the woods.

The Soviet attack moves forward

Two T-34s duel with StuGs

T-34s and StuGs fire at one another

Two StuGs are taken out causing the rest to panic and rout off the table!

The StuGs fail their morale roll and rout off table

The Katyusha fires again and wipes out the defending PAK 40.

A PAK 40 gun is destroyed by Katyusha fire

The Germans push forward their Wespes with the morale collapse of the StuGs. 

The Wespes are sent forward

Meanwhile the Soviets are making ground and exploiting the gap in the line caused by the StuG retreat.

The gap of the defence is exploited by the Soviets

The motorised rifle infantry get onto the road to move closer to the enemy.

Soviet motorised rifle infantry hit the road!

As the T-34s round the woodland they take fire from the Wespes and Stummel.

Germans fire on the T-34s

The infantry debus from their transports and head towards the cover of the woodland.

Soviet infantry pile out of their transports

On the right flank, the German light armour is destroyed by Soviet fire.

More Soviet accurate firing

Heavy fighting starts in the centre of the field with German guns firing on the Soviet tanks and infantry.

The armour clash in the centre of the field

The Germans commit their mobile reserve.

The Germans try to plug the gap

The fighting gets confusing in the centre

Deadly fighting in the centre of the field

Other German vehicles gather together at the rear of their line.

The Germans are pushed further back

Despite taking casualties the Soviets keep moving forward in their attack.

Soviets advance!

The SUs also knock out more light armour and press on the right flank.

The Soviet tank destroyers cause even more casualties

Soviet air support arrives over the field and attacks the German armour.

A Soviet ground attack aircraft dives in

The situation in the centre of the table.

The Soviet line is advancing

The Airacobra destroys a Wespe, whilst the tanks take out more German armour.

Germans on the hillside are hammered by Soviet fire

As the Soviet air support hunts for new targets the Germans fall back to their final defence line.

Soviet air support looks for its next target

More and more German vehicles are destroyed by Soviet gunfire. 

The Germans take more casualties

The battlefield is littered with burning hulks.

The German vehicles are burning

Game over with a Soviet victory!

The Soviets are victorious.

I called the game over, with the remaining German units falling back and most of their vehicles either burning or damaged in someway there was no way they could have pulled the game back. I've played this scenario several times and always had a different result, which shows it's a nicely balanced game. If you want to see the German and Soviet units, then here is a video of the models I used:

Comments

  1. Thanks, very enjoyable and also a good opportunity to show how much 15mm action can be got from a 6' x 4' space - very helpful to many gamers.

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    1. Cheers Norm, I am glad you liked the post. Yeah, 15mm is a great size for gaming, it makes the board seem a lot larger than it is.

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  2. Great video- enjoyed watching it. I'd forgotten how brutally quick Rapid Fire plays at times. The Russian definately had the run of the luck in that game... Za Rodinu....

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    1. Cheers Pete, I am glad you enjoyed the post and video. Yeah, RF can be bloody brutal, but it is a 'fast play' set of rules!

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