On 16 April, the battle of Berlin started with a massive Soviet artillery barrage against General Theodor Busse’s 9th German Army, which numbered around 200,000 men and equipment. Zhukov’s Red Army, on the other hand, was a juggernaut of over 750,000 men and equipment. Busse, realizing that the Germans could not hold onto their forward positions once the Soviet forces had crossed the River Oder, had already evacuated most of his front line units back to Seelow Heights when the Soviet barrage started. The Soviet troops quickly cleared the remainig German front line but their advance ground to a halt when they reached Seelow Heights, the last major line of defense before Berlin. North of Seelow, the Soviet 47th Army and 3rd Shock Army
struggled to make progress against the Germans toward Letschin. In the south, between Seelow and Lebus, the Soviets almost gained a breakthrough but were contained by a fierce counterattack from the Kurmark Panzer Grenadier Division. Meanwhile the 28th Guards, while attacking the village of Dolgelin, were driven back by Tiger tanks. Zhukov, frustrated by the slow advance, threw in his reserves and ordered his tank formations forward even though his original plan had called for them to wait for the breakthrough. Late in the day on April 17th, the German defenders started to give way and Seelow finally fell the morning of the 18th. By the next day the road to Berlin finally lay open but Soviet losses were staggering.
Axis 10 cards. Allied 10 cards, move first.
Conditions of Victory:
The Axis side gains 1 Medal for each Recon 1 Command card that their side plays.
Exit rules are in effect on the portion of the Axis baseline in between the 2 Exit markers for the Allied player.
The 8 town hexes form a Temporary Majority Medal Objective (Turn Start) worth 2 Medals to the side that occupies the absolute majority. The Axis player controls the towns at game start and thus has 2-medal headstart.
Seelow Heights is made up of three groups of hill hexes (6 on the left, 11 in the center, 12 on the right). Each hill group is a Temporary Medal Objective (Turn Start) worth 1 Medal for the Allied player if one of their units occupies it AND no Axis unit occupies it.
Re-Supply rules (Action 24) are in effect for Supply Trucks (Troops 17).
Place a badge on the Axis and Allied elite infantry and armor units (Troops 2) and on Axis Engineer units (Troops
Place a badge (or use the proper figures) for the Mobile Artillery units (Troops 14), the Axis Tiger Tank (Troops 16)
and the Axis Heavy Anti-Tank Gun unit (Troops 23).
Special Weapon Assets late war rules (SWAs 4) are in effect for units equipped with Anti-Tank Guns (SWAs 5) and Machine Guns (SWAs - 7).
Air Rules are not in effect. The Air Sortie cards are set aside and are not used in this mission.
A classic two-board scenario from R Borg himself.
It took 45 minutes to set up and two hours to play. But well worth it for a scenario with some interesting conditions and rules.
Close up of the German right flank:
The first hour of the game was relatively close, but gradually the Russians started to build up the medals. Most of the action took place on the Russian (me) right, but then I ran out of cards for that sector (as well as having some useless cards).
That is when I utilised a House Rule called No Cards in 1 Section; one of the options with this rule is to miss a turn but discard and replace as many cards as you wish. So I ended up with four new cards which allowed me to push on the attack on the right.
Then came the killer blow - Their Finest Hour card; 10 dice produced 9 units to be activated with one extra dice!
So, in the end an 18-9 win for the Russians, with a number of other German units close to defeat.
Russian right flank at the end, showing overturned tanks from another House Rule card Tank Wreckage:
If you have time for a nice long afternoon session, then I would highly recommend this scenario. We both enjoyed it and it created a lot of discussion about the real event, some of the rules and cards, and how to develop our MM44 experience in general.