Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Wednesday 31 January 2024

Kampfgruppe Heller: Battle 08, Poland

Okay, the next battle in this campaign, following the equivalent battle in JustJack's original 'Kampfgruppe von Klink' campaign, is set on the same ground as the last action, but this time it is a more deliberate German attack, aimed at breaking into the suburbs of Warsaw...

This is an infantry based attack, with some artillery support to give it some punch.
As in the previous battles, I am playtesting John D Salt's Gummipanzergrenadier rules.

The Forces:

 Company Command: 1 x Armoured car and command section, 1 x SdKfz 222
1 Platoon: 3 x Sections (belt-fed LMG and bolt-action rifles, inc. 1 x Comd section), 1 x 50mm mortar, 1 x ATR, 1 x sMG34
2 Platoon: 3 x Sections (belt-fed LMG and bolt-action rifles, inc. 1 x Comd section), 1 x 50mm mortar, 1 x ATR
Support Platoon: 1 x FOO, 1 x 8cm mortar, 1 x 75mm infantry gun, 1 x sMG34
Supporting fires from 4 x 105mm howitzers
Company Command: 1 x Command section (bolt action rifles and BAR), 1 x truck
1 Platoon: 4 x Sections (bolt action rifles and BAR, inc. 1 x Comd section), 1 x47mm mortar, 2 x ATR, 1 x MMG
2 Platoon: 3 x Sections (bolt action rifles and BAR, inc. 1 x Comd section), 1 x47mm mortar, 2 x ATR, 1 x MMG
AT platoon: 2  x 37mm anti-tank guns

The Set-Up:
The same battlefield, with the Germans again approaching from the West (left) and attacking the suburbs and environs, defended by a fresh Polish infantry company...

A German platoon in the woods (left); they haven't spotted the Polish infantry overlooking the fields in the opposite woods (right)

The German OC has deployed his second rifle platoon by the stone wall (top), with his support weapons gathered in the nearby wood (bottom-left); the FOO is in the wood between (centre-left); the OC's armoured car and an SdKfz 222 are on the road behind

The Polish infantry occupy similar positions to that in the previous action: a forward detachment on the wooded hill (top), a platoon position behind the stone wall (with a 37mm  (right)...

and another platoon position around the suburbs; with some outposts around the woods. Note the German AFVs from the last battle are still gently burning away...

The Battle:

German infantry approach the wooded hill, and are engaged by Polish troops in the woods

German infantry on the other flank head directly for the muzzles of the waiting Polish infantry - after the leading Germans get gunned down however, the Polish section is in its turn destroyed by German covering fire

By the wooded hill, the Germans have brought up the remainder of the platoon and the SdKfz 222 in support - which immediately gets knocked out by a Polish ATR crew! Meanwhile, the 105 concentration hits the woods and the Polish troops inside

A bigger image

Again, enlarged so you can see better - the surviving Poles have run off to the far side of the hill

Meanwhile, the German platoon on the opposite flank makes decent progress

It encounters another Polish infantry section...

But after a brief, intense firefight, the German MG34 team works around the flank to enfilade them - the few Polish survivors run off.

The 105mm barrage lifts, and the German infantry advance through the wooded hill

A firefight breaks out between the advancing Germans and the Polish infantry defending the suburb - the Germans suffer heavy casualties in the initial exchanges...

Polish troops try and cross the road to assist their comrades (right), but they are spotted by a German sMG34 team (left)...

...and are gunned down in an instant; meanwhile, the 105 battery begins lashing down shells into the suburb

The German platoon on the left sends forward a squad, covered by the remainder of the platoon...they are ambushed by the Poles immediately!

The barrage on the suburb lifts, so the German infantry can get forward...

The German OC tries to get forward to assist, but is knocked out by an anti-tank gun!

The German platoon in the wooded hill has been shot to bits by the Polish platoon facing them: the wall was better cover, plus they had more support weapons to assist them

The German infantry in decent enfilading position in the suburbs, making life very difficult - and sometimes very literally impossible - for the Polish defenders

More Poles try to get to the other side of the road...

but the German sMG34 team is having none of it!

The position at the end of the battle: two very, very battered forces, but the Poles are still holding on

Game Notes:

Another very bloody action, but with overall somewhat similar results to last time. The Germans have lost two AFVs, 14 KIA and 33 WIA; whilst the Poles have lost 12 KIA, 27 WIA (inc. 9 POW) and 7 unwounded POWs.
In the end, the Germans have not yet committed sufficient forces to make a breakthrough particularly likely here. What they really needed to succeed in these rules were the forces from the previous battle and this one combined.
That said, it was clearly a mistake for the Germans to attack on two axes: whislt that is a defensible choice with vehicles, it isn't for leg infantry and the Germans would probably have done better to concentrate both their platoons on the southern (near) flank - given the ability of the German infantry support weapons to dominate the road, that would have made it difficult for the Poles to stop the Germans before they were in the suburbs up to the crossroads.
Anyway, all very good fun indeed, they worked very smoothly, definitely think I am making some progress.

Models by Baccus, Heroics and Ros, Scotia and Leven


  1. Another fine game there and good post game thoughts. As I read the AAR I thought the Germans certainly needed more numbers to try and take the BUA, plus as you say concentrating their attack where possible.

    1. Yes, couldn't agree more. It felt like a big ask for the Germans, and so it proved! I wonder how much more combat power they would have needed to succeed...