Wednesday 8 March 2023

The Action at Rudnik - Poland 1939

For the moment, my main project continues to be developing my variant of the WRG 1973 Armour and Infantry rules. Tweaking the morale rules (or 'reaction' as the rules call it) had been causing me some trouble, but I thought I now had it figured out.

I decided to test things out using a full-blooded attack-defence game with a battalion-sized German Kampfgruppe attacking a Polish position. I hope any readers gaming WW2 will find the scenario of interest, regardless of the rules you are using.

The terrain map (6' x 4' table) is shown below. 

The Germans are coming from the south, and are looking to open up the routes to the north. They need to capture Rudnik and force a crossing of the bridge. 

All the hills are classed as 'low', which means that they are just representing folds in the ground or low rises which block line-of-sight but have no other effect on the game. The narrow river is crossable by infantry, but vehicles will roll as they wade: a 1 or 2 and they are stuck. The pillboxes hold an MMG each. The defenders can dig-in as required. Polish reinforcements dice from move 2, needing a 5+ to arrive. If they fail, they try again next turn on a 4+, and so on. Arrivals dice 50-50 to see which road they will arrive on.

The forces were:

German - 'Kampfgruppe Meyer' (attacking from the south)
Kampfgruppe HQ - Command group in radio truck

Panzer Company HQ - 1 x panzer I command tank
2 x light panzer platoons - 3 panzer II, 2 panzer I
1 x heavy panzer platoon - 2 x panzer II, 2 x panzer IV, 1 x bunkerflak (attached)

Infantry company HQ - 1 x light truck with radio
3 x infantry platoons each - 1 x platoon command group, 3 x rifle group, 3 x rifle/lmg group, 1 x 5cm mortar group, 1 x anti-tank rifle group, 1 x MMG group

Recce section - 1 x sdkfz 231 (6 rad), 1 x sdkfz 222

Anti-tank section - 1 x light truck with command group, 2 x towed pak 36

Off table mortars - 6 x 8cm mortars with on-table MFO
Off table artillery - 4 x 10.5cm howitzers with on-table AFO

Polish (defending. Placed up to 700m/28" from north table edge)
HQ - Company command group in truck with field telephone

2 x infantry platoons each - 1 x platoon command group, 6 x rifle group, 3 x rifle/lmg group, 1 x 46mm mortar group, 1 x anti-tank rifle group, 1 x 37mm anti-tank gun with tow. Right flank platoon also has a towed 75mm field gun attached.

MMG section (attached to left flank platoon) - 2 x MMG group

Attached tank platoon - 4 x Renault FT-17

Reinforcing tank platoon - 4 x 7tp

Reinforcing recce section - 2 x Wz-34 armoured cars

On-table mortar section - 2 x 8cm mortars with command group and MFO (telephone only)
Off table artillery - 4 x 75mm field guns with on-table AFO

Photos of the Battle

A Polish 75mm field gun waits in Rudnik

The Polish positions in Rudnik.
Many infantry bases were inside the houses.

Polish positions around the bridge.

Overall shot before game start. 

The pre-game barrage fell on Rudnik and was deadly.
Many infantry elements were knocked out and the platoon fell back.

German armour races forward past the orchard.

Polish artillery claims a truck on the German left flank.

Tank platoon with infantry on the German right.

As the Poles fall back, German armoured cars enter Rudnik.

The Germans edge forward towards the bridge.
The pillboxes are pounded with suppressive fire.

Polish reinforcements (the 7tp platoon) enter the table,
passing by the Polish mortar position.

Overview in mid-game.

The Germans press forward to the bridge, firing as they go.

Polish casualties around the bridge include
a 37mm anti-tank gun and an FT-17.

At last the German infantry close up to the stream, 
only to be bracketed by Polish mortar fire.

The Poles evicted from Rudnik manage to fight back.
German armour burns in the village square.

A Stuka strike arrives over the bridge area.

The Poles at the bridge are under pressure but holding...

...They have the support of both tank units.

After 6 moves I stopped the game. Rudnik is in German hands,
with Polish armoured cars acting as rearguard for the retreating infantry.

Even playing solo it had been a fun game, with the rules nicely tested out. The reaction rules seem to be fixed, and most other issues were minor. 

Usually I show knocked out tanks and guns with grey-dyed soft toy stuffing. For this game I used my new Litko 'flaming wreckage markers'. I like the way they catch the light and give the illusion of flames.

The Germans had taken Rudnik, and after a struggle the Poles at the bridge were finally beginning to crack, with the infantry platoon falling back. But the FT-17s and 7tps would doubtless make the Germans pay if they tried to rush the bridge. However, the bridge position was now outflanked to the west and I decided the Poles would pull out to avoid being trapped. A German victory.

'Til next time!


Norm said...

I do enjoy reading the posts on this system and that is a nice sizeable game for the table. i am intrigued by the area blast marker (75) that has a reference to being bracketed by mortars … how is that plastic template suspended in the air?

Steve J. said...

Great to see these troops back in action Keith and hope to see you soon for some FtF games with these rules. Expect an e-mail soonish...

Peter said...

A nice scenario and on a 6x4 tabletop. Very useful and interesting game report.

Keith Flint said...

Norm - it's just resting on the surrounding figures and tank. A convenient coincidence!

Duke of Baylen said...

I found this interesting as it's something I don't play because I have a Polish force but there are no Germans to be seen! Perhaps one day. The rules are on the shelf somewhere too!
A good looking game with clear explanation. Thanks

Stryker said...

A very good looking game! I’ve never played WRG but always assumed they would be quite slow to play, how long does each turn take to play out?

Keith Flint said...

Stryker - the 1973 rules are pretty easy to understand and play (unlike the 1988 version). Once you're used to them it's around 20 mins a turn.

david in suffolk said...

Thanks, a lovely looking game, just the right numbers of troops, vehicles etc and I like the style of the table. I never had those rules 'back in the day' ( Charles Grant and then Bruce Quarrie I think, though I should have stuck with Grant!), very interesting to see you reviving them.

pancerni said...

Classic game, figures, great AAR.