Blood on the Streets

Blood on the Streets 

Blood on the Streets
With Jacob Hopkins

Berlin German closes out the Late war for the Eastern Front. Featuring exciting new forces to replicate the desperate last stand of the third reich against their Soviet enemies. Alongside these exciting new formations, the book gives us two excellent new scenarios. Today we are going to take a look at one of those scenarios, Blood on the Streets, and give some insight into what to expect before you get your forces on the table.

First and foremost, Blood on the Streets is an urban scenario, as such you will be using the city fighting rules as available on the Flames of War website here:
As such, you will be fighting in terrain that will not be great for vehicles, most terrain will grant bulletproof cover and much more. Check out this article here for a great look at the basics of city fighting. Of course, fighting in Berlin itself has its own difficulties.

The city defence rule will only have the defending player fighting with 50% of the total points that the attacker has but with the benefits of some fortifications in the form of mines, barbed wire, street barricades and some bunkers. While you are likely familiar with how Mines and barbed wire work, the new street barricades function as impassable terrain for vehicles, a skill test for Infantry to cross, and function as short terrain and bulletproof cover. The fortification options are far less varied than what we had access to defend Normandy or Orsha, you have access to 1-2 tank turret bunkers, either Panzer IV or Panthers and up to 4 MG Nests. On top of this is the City Reserves rule forcing you to put 60% of your force into reserves at the start of the game rather than the usual 40%. Of course, this also comes with some neat sewer markers to allow your infantry reserves to pop up and attack from spots they wouldn’t normally be able to do. Lastly, we have the across-the-city rule in effect for both players, allowing your artillery teams to be deployed off table and bombard from there.

With the defender having to hold two objectives, and only starting with 40% of your force, you’re going to face an uphill battle to just slow down your opponent. When building your list, try to include any units that can deploy on the table while counting as 0 points in reserve, the Berlin Battle Group formation has a great set of units just for this purpose, such as the Volksturm. While these troops will probably be poor in quality, having them on the table at the start of the game can help create a buffer between the enemy and your more combat-effective troops. Secondly, careful deployment will be key. Try and set up your forces in positions where they can protect the objectives, while not being directly in line of sight from turn 1. The more you can force your opponent to maneuver to get shots on you, the longer you’re stopping them from pushing straight for the objectives. Of course, if they choose to ignore your units and try to blitz through, it offers you an opportunity to punish them with flanking fire. AT guns in ambush, Panzershrecks from the alleys, Panzerfaust teams scattered among the rubble, keep in mind, you only need to hold them back for 6 turns.

Blood on the Streets

Blood on the Streets Conversely, for the Attacker, you may think you have an easier go of it, but the canny defender will harry and harass you every inch of your advance. Try and maximize every tool in your arsenal to clear a straight shot for the objective. Direct fire your brutal weapons into enemy-held buildings, and bring your flame thrower teams and tanks forward as part of your first wave. And while your best bet is to focus on one objective, it doesn’t hurt to have a second thrust aimed at the other objective in an attempt to divert the enemy's focus. Of course, if they neglect the second thrust in favour of focusing on your main effort then that’s just a bonus for you.

We recently had a chance to try out the mission ourselves, and it really helped teach us some lessons in how to approach the missions itself. As part of our linked Berlin campaign which is going to release backwards to how we played it, the Soviets won enough of a victory at Seelow that we decided to go with delayed reserves in the city itself to represent the speed of their advance. This coupled with some rather unsurprising luck with my dice led to a very brutal and fast blitz through my defensive line by Bree’s forces. It was still an excellent game, and we highly suggest you check it out here:

I will outline my force that I went with below, as it was meant to represent one of the sectors that was still held with predominantly trained or veteran troops.
Blood on the Streets

May the dice be in your favour!

~ Jacob Hopkins
(Lack of Foresight Gaming)