So a few weeks ago I travelled to a secret location in Devon in order to refight the battle of Stalingrad with 54mm figures. Now Stalingrad was a large and complex battle over the ruins of a vast city on the Russian Front in WW2 so any portrayal is going to be abstract. This version was no exception but the dedication of our host and the enthusiasm of the players made for a great game!
Soviet forces head out to occupy the factory sector at the north end of the table. As it was they stayed there for much of the game and saw little action.
More of the same - no sign of the Germans yet.
This building in the centre, though not representing any specific historic structure was the scene of ferocious fighting.
The Fascist invaders attempt to bring Blitzkrieg to Stalin's own city...
But the narrow passages will slow their advance and Ivan has a few surprises up his sleeve. This T34/76 proved especially hard to dislodge and took a heavy toll on the Panzers.
Supported by infantry the Panzers attempt to bypass the grain elevator but the restrictive terrain causes a bottleneck when the lead tank is hit by a hidden Zis gun.
The Soviets fire from the rooftops...
And ambush the advancing Germans.
German reinforcements are rushed in...
But armoured units are confined to the more open areas.
The job of clearing the buildings in the centre is left to the infantry who have to fight a bloody battle at close quarters.
In the south the bulk of the German force makes little headway and is now under fire from the Soviets in the grain elevator.
In the centre however the Soviets mount an increasingly desperate defence as they are pushed back sector by sector. They are only saved by the fall of night which allowed substantial reinforcements to cross the Volga. (Through the game these had been diced for but hardly any had escaped the Luftwaffe util this nightfall).
A heroic fightback begins.
By the end of the game the Germans still held in the centre but too weakly to exploit their gains and as the uncommitted Soviets moved in from the factory sector in the north defeat was only a matter of time.