1A Games Product Manager Bill S. Jaffe and Chief Game Developer Craig Robertson are going head-to-head playing the Tide of Iron “Iron Horsemen” scenario from the Stalingrad expansion.

When we left them, each had revealed their game plan. Now, let’s see what happens in Game Rounds One and Two.

Game Round One:

Bill (Soviets): With two actions per side in the scenario, I have the initiative and start with revealing a sniper token, which misses an easy shot. Then the mounted unit moves to the road hex next to building on the 45B and 48B meeting point on the eastern maps edge. The MG crew fires at a moving German squad and causes one casualty during the German move. Next, the SMG squad moves to the eastern side of the two-story building that contains the central Command Objective on board 45B. My last two activations place a squad in the central Command Objective building on 45B and the last squad ends up in the clear hex in the northeastern side of the other two-story building. I think I made a mistake by placing the MG squad in Op Fire; it should have moved up as well. The Strategy card drawn in the command phase is “Sniper Attack.” It’s useful and cheap to use.

Craig (Germans): I pretty much succeeded in my first round goals. I was able to secure the Command Objective on my side of the board with my regular squad and my other squads made it to their first round positions with the loss of only a single regular figure to Op Fire from Bill’s MG. In addition, since Bill set up his sniper tokens inside the buildings, I was able to remove two of them just by entering the hexes. Right now, Bill has an advantage in command. I had to invest in gaining the initiative, because I want to nail Bill’s cavalry squads with some serious normal attacks at the beginning of the turn. I also drew “Stormwedge” as my Strategy card this turn, which will come in really handy later.

Iron Horsemen Scenario - End of Round 1

Positions at the end of Game Round 1, after reinforcements have been placed.

Game Round Two:

Bill (Soviets): The Germans have the initiative and they eliminate the mounted squad of Division 1 and Craig eliminates the last sniper token using his “Sniper Hunter” Operations card. The SMG squad eliminates the German squad that fired on the mounted squad and then suffers three losses leaving only one elite soldier alive. The MG squad fires and inflicts no damage. The squad next to the other two-story building moves into the building, while the squad in the command objective building exchanges fire with the Germans and loses one regular infantry figure.

Iron Horsemen Scenario - Cavalry Massacre

Cavalry Massacre

Iron Horsemen Scenario - Cavalry Avenged

Cavalry Avenged

Meanwhile, Division 2 starts moving forward. The mortar crew advances into the clear hex between the two eastern two-hex buildings, the mounted unit moves up to support the SMG squad and two squads end up next to the small building on the northeastern corner of map 45B. The final squad ends up behind the two-story building on the western side of 45B. It’s a bad idea to leave this group of squads in the open especially the two in hexes adjacent to each other. Craig’s mortar should have fired earlier than it did. That mistake cost the Germans a squad. In the command phase I drew the “Surprise Assault” strategy card.

Craig (Germans): Oops…I made a huge mistake. I used my first action to take out the final sniper counter. Then I wiped out his cavalry unit that was adjacent to my eastern lead squad. However, what I should have done was hammer his SMG squad that was just to the east of the center building. I figured that out when the SMG squad avenged the cavalry by wiping out my lead squad. An 8-dice attack is no joke, particularly when your opponent rolls 5 hits. However, my mortar and regular squad were able to chew them up some, leaving him with only one elite infantry figure in the squad by the end of the turn.

The rest of the turn was spent moving more troops up. My MG is now in a useful Op Fire position on the first floor of the factory and the rest of my troops are safely in cover in the buildings on each side of 48B. Also, I finally have enough command to use the “Fliegerkorps VIII” card on all of the units that Bill so conveniently left out in the open. I also drew the “Flamethrower Support” card at the end of the turn, so I have some goodies I can use later.

Iron Horsemen Scenario - End of Round 2

Positions at the end of Game Round 2. Note all the juicy Soviet squads out in the open.

Be sure to come back and see how this turns out, as Bill and Craig continue the battle in Rounds Three, Four and Five.