I've been playing Squad Leader since 1978 and you know what? I don't think I've ever played the "Hube's Pocket" scenario. It looks great on paper, but it's pretty complex, and I think that's why I never played it. The vehicle rules are complicated to begin with but when you add in all the LOS variables, this one can be a little much.
Even now, I had a couple of false starts before I finally got the first turn done. So many options! What to do?
Well, here's what I did:
On the right, a group of Russian T34/76s
enter along a road and stop to unload 6-2-8 squads riding along. A
long-range shot by a German tank from the hilltop misses. All Russian
tanks have stopped while most of the German force is still in motion,
giving the Russians a decided advantage for the next turn. I might have
made a mistake with the German entry as it already looks like they're
going to be hard-pressed to stop the Rooskies.
This may be a short battle.
Okay, I'm starting to warm to this a little. A full turn at a sitting
is a lot to handle, though. I think I'll slow it down to a single Player
Turn per session from now on. Just to make sure I stay fresh. There is a
lot of rules look-up that goes into all of this. Brain fatigue sets in
pretty quick. At least for me.
Anyway, here's what happened.
Left-hand side of the board. The German tank takes out a T34/85, then
turns its attention to another emerging from behind some trees. A miss.
The Russian fires back and also misses. With armor factors at 11:8, the
T34s have the advantage. They'll happily trade shots.
than the tank kill, the only real success the Germans had this turn was
from some machinegun fire from their tank on the hill breaking a stack
of Russian infantry in a wooden building. The Russian had their sights
set on building potent fire group behind that wall and in the adjoining
Oh, I almost forgot. A Russian 6-2-8 squad was KIA.
The hex where this occurred is marked with a red star. So from a kill
standpoint, the Germans had the upper hand, but the overall situation
The German had some good luck, too. A
halftrack carrying a 6-5-8 and a LATW was fired on twice by a Russian
tank through a gap in the trees, once when entering the hex and again
when stopping to unload. Both shots were misses.
were not without some luck as well. Realizing that he was in a no-win
situation against that German Panther tank (armor of 18 vs the T34s kill
number of 17...Oops!), the Russian AFV spends a MP to start and backs
out of the hex behind some trees, surviving an almost certain defensive
fire shot by the Panther.
Meanwhile, on the Russian left, T34
tanks with a bunch of 6-2-8 squads, make a dash towards the German
rear. A single German PzIVH and some 6-5-8 infantry attempt to head them
off. This is where the battle will be decided.
have a lot of tanks, though. The German will have to think of a way to
get that Panther into the fray without giving up a side or rear shot. It
may be their only hope.