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A Ukraine '43 SneakPeek

The opening Soviet attacks aim to smash the German defensive line, surround Belgorod, and threaten Kharkov. All five attacks should be magnitude one, but one attack, number 3, will be magnitude two because of committing the Zhukov leader. The Soviet player uses three of his four air units in this sector, plus the five artillery divisions shown. Units stacked with the 1st Tk and 5th Gds Tk HQs are shown in the boxes in the upper center. Four highly stacked hexes (tan boxes A - D) have their units displayed on the left edge. Action begins at the start of the Soviet Combat Phase. The Soviet player will make attacks against the defender hexes numbered 1 - 5.

Defender Hex 1: The Soviets have attack strength (AS) of 13 (four infantry units with AS of 3 each, plus an SU2 unit with AS of 1) to a German defense strength (DS) of 12 (DS of 7 for the German division, 3 for the strongpoint, and 2 for the woods in the hex). Basic odds are 1 to 1, but the Soviet player flips one air unit to its Flown side for a Combat Support shift, and flips a regular artillery division to its empty side for a second shift. The two shifts raise the odds to 2 to 1. More than 50% of the Soviet steps are Guards steps, so no die rolls of 6 will need to be re-rolled.

Defender Hex 2: The Soviets attack with an AS of 15 (In hex B, the two tank corps [AS 7 each] and tank brigade [AS 2] are both halved [rounding up] for AS 9 because they are attacking a fortification; the two adjacent infantry units contribute a total AS of 6). The Germans defend with DS of 10 (DS of 7 for the division, and 3 for the strongpoint). The Soviet player removes a Guards artillery division to raise the odds from 1.5 to 1 to 2 to 1.

Defender Hex 3: The Zhukov leader counter is committed, raising the magnitude from 1 to 2, and increasing the odds of heavy loss to both sides. Total AS of the tank corps, SU regiment and four of the five adjacent infantry units is 17. The Germans defend with DS of 10 (DS 7 for the division and +3 for the strongpoint) for basic odds of 1.5 to 1. The 7S (sapper) brigade and an air unit are committed to shift the attack to 3 to 1. If successful, the mech units can advance two hexes to begin the encirclement of defender hex 5.

Defender Hex 4: The Soviets attack hex 4 (DS of 10, counting the fortification) with 5th Guards Tank Army (AS 15: 4+4+4+1+2 for the HQ), plus the adjacent tank corps, mech corps, tank brigade and two infantry units (AS 15: 4+4+1+3+3) for a total AS of 30. The basic odds are 3 to 1, and the Soviet player raises it to 5 to 1 by flipping a regular artillery division and removing a Guards artillery division. There will be no re-rolls - more than 50% of the steps are Guards.

Defender Hex 5: The attack is conducted last in hopes that a ZOC Bond between units advancing from attacks 3 and 4 will prevent the German division in defender hex 5 from retreating. The Soviets commit the 1st Tank Army (AS 13) and an adjacent infantry unit (AS 3) to achieve odds of 1 to 1 (the Germans have DS 12 from the division, strongpoint, and woods). Odds are shifted three levels to 4 to 1 by committing the adjacent 6S brigade, one air unit, and removing the Guards artillery division adjacent to 1st Tank Army.

Retreat and German Reaction