Shane and I played today, and my Germans won pretty convincingly. Shane had chosen the Stalingrad-defending Russians, with balance.
Russians set up the following on the south half of board z:
- 5 x 447, 5 x 426
- 8-1, 8-0, 7-0
- MMG, 2 x LMG
Germans set up the following on the north half of board z:
- 4 x 548 (smoke exponent 4), 7 x 467
- 9-2, 9-1, 8-1, 8-0
- MMG, 3 x LMG, FT, 2 x DC
Russians get reinforcements of 3 x 527, 9-2, LMG whenever they can roll less than the turn number. Shane failed this roll until his last turn.
The Russians presented a thin, almost contiguous, line of up-front defense, with the MMG far back on his right, and his right flank (where 2 of the 3 required VC buildings were) lightly defended. It was apparent that the VC building on his left would likely be the location of the end-game.
I split my Germans into two groups. A kill stack (DC/9-2, FT/548, 2 x 548) and 8-0, 2 x 467 would attack and hold his weak right flank, and everybody else would creep towards his end game building, firing all the way.
Mostly, this worked pretty well. A couple of times the Russian chose to counter-attack in CC, when falling back might have served force preservation better, and provided more defense in the end-game. But sometimes risks are rewarded – not so much today.
I should add that in the first half of the game, my dice were pretty hot. The German MMG had a rof tear of about 8 shots in the first Prep.
In the top of the 6th, I finally reduced his on-board forces to zero – his only hope remained his still-missing reinforcements. They came on-board on the right flank, after most of that force had headed for better targets. The Russian “shock group” had to run a gauntlet down the road, adjacent to 3 hexes containing, respectively, a German 247, 467, and 548. Needless to say, the Russians didn’t make it.
Shane could have won if his reinforcements had arrived sooner. Without them, the Germans had too easy a time – they never even tried infantry smoke, or fired the flamethrower. One DC, placed by the German 9-2, took care of his MMG group handily – the other DC had been held in reserve for the reinforcements.
I’d play it again as either side, and count on better timing for the reinforcements.