Poland 1939 with Combat Patrol

At Historicon this Summer I had a chance to pick up the Sarissa armored train for 28mm figures.  Though it is meant to be a German train, I think, it works pretty well as a Polish train.  In these pictures you can see that I have sprayed it in field yellow and have not air brushed the brown and green camouflage pattern.  (I got out the airbrush and found out is was broken.)   Last Friday I put the scenario I plan to run at Fall In (in November) on the table at club night.

In the scenario, a Polish train has parked on a road that the Germans need.  The leading German forces have been tasked to capture the train so that it can be moved.  The Polish platoon is trying to defeat as many Germans as possible.  The idea is that a major German offensive is coming down this road, and it is imperative to get the train out of the way.  The rear car of the train has a gun that has run out of ammunition, so the train’s only armament is a 37mm gun in the forward turret.  The Germans entered the table along the top edge of the photo.  They had two half tracks and a truck full of infantry.  They had three more infantry squads and two Pz 38(t) light tanks.  The Poles had a light anti-tank gun and an anti-tank rifle.

Note that the Germans did not have to destroy all the Poles.  They merely needed to capture the train.  Most gamers will stop and fight, regardless of the mission, but this group had seasoned HAWKs who focused on the objective of capturing the train.  I defined capturing the train as having three infantrymen in the cab.

The Poles deployed no infantry in or around the train, deciding to defend well forward.  The Germans wisely avoided the obvious killing ground in the center of the table and attacked along both flanks.  The Germans did not know that only one of the two train turrets was operational, so they moved cautiously to stay out of its lines of sight.  The shack in the center of the table was unoccupied, and the Poles didn’t really have an opportunity to occupy it.  The shack did serve to limit the Poles’ lines of sight and enable the German infantry to move forward from the corn field.

The Poles had a strong infantry defensive position in the center, but the Germans avoided the area.  On the Polish left, the green German squads in the halftracks and truck moved up through the woods.  The Poles had place a small force on the small hill just off to the right of the picture above.  Their purpose was to slow down the German advance.  They did so, but at extreme cost.  They even tried to toss a satchel charge into the midst of the advancing Germans but it didn’t land were intended and did no damage.  As we called the game the Germans were swarming over the hill and advancing toward the front of the train.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any shots of the German armor advancing on the Polish right flank.  They kept well out of line of sight of the anti-tank gun.  The ATR got off a shot, but missed.  The right flank Polish squad had been all but wiped out by the combined fire of several German squads and tank fire.  At the end we called the game a German victory, because it was obvious that they were going to get to the train.