At the close of turn 15 both teams receive startling news. German forces have blown the bridge at Sandomierz meaning ‘Ivan the Terrible’, the Red Army’s self-propelled 800mm siege mortar, must now cross the Vistula at Lodowice if it wishes to continue its ponderous westward progress. Because the city’s southern and northern bridges aren’t strong enough to support the prodigious weight of the Soviet leviathan, control of Boleslav Bridge in the centre of the map suddenly assumes new importance.
The change in tactical priorities (previously AFV destruction was the be-all and end-all) coincides with an unexpected change in visibility. When the inverted meniscus of mist that has obscured Lodowice since the start of the scrap vanishes almost in the blink of an eye, the two spotter planes circling overhead realise they can now make out infantry as well as vehicles!
Both the Tiger and SU-100 seek out promising keyholes during turn 16. The Tiger returns to e10 before the relocating SU-100 has had a chance to traverse the potentially dangerous gap at h5. There’s a fleeting flank/tail shot opportunity, but buttoned and bleary the German gunner and TC fail to notice it.
The lucky tank destroyer makes it to h4W unscathed and is in the process of pivoting anticlockwise when the clock stops.
The driver of the Soviet halftrack is left utterly speechless at T+20. After manoeuvring his mechanical centaur into a position with LoS to the occupied building at the western end of Boleslav Bridge, he waits expectantly for his gunner to open up. When nothing happens and his string of expletive-sprinkled entreaties is met with complete silence, he glances over his right shoulder and finds his comrade has vanished!
The three-man Aufklärer team sent across the southern bridge this turn is also on the receiving end of an unpleasant surprise.
The unit is a few strides away from safety when it’s savaged by intense, close-range PPSh fire.
A) Panther crew
B) Tiger + King Tiger crew, scout team, and Panzerfaust team
C) LMG team
D) Truck carrying Panzerschreck team
E) Newly arrived Pak 40, crew, and ammo bearers
F) Scout team and tank hunter team
G) Flamethrower team
H) Newly arrived Panzerfaust team
I) Sherman crew and halftrack
J) Sniper and tank hunter team
K) Scout team
Next order deadline: Sunday night