Welcome to the already eight installment in my and Dave endeavor to play all base game scenarios in the Combat Commander Europe. Our enthusiasm is not waning, we are having blast with each new session and still learning new strategies and tactics. Discord for files sharing and VASSAL to play asynchronously prove to be fantastic tools.

Other Combat Commander scenarios in our camping with Dave:
#1 Fat Lipki
#2 Hedgroves and Hand Grenades
#3 Bonfire of the NKVD
#4 Closed for Renovation
#5 Cold Front
#6 Paralyzed from the West Down
#7 Bessarabian Nights

What we played this time? #8 Breakout dance – a scenario which brings completely new level and depth in the tactical combat. How is that possible? This is first set-up with hills! They add so much possibilities – for cover, sneak approach, concealment, vantage points placement, hindrance negation – you name it.

It is 1943 and the war is still more or less in balance. This is story of German 277th Infantry Regiment (Dave, Recon posture), completely encircled in January that year near Velikiye-Luki by the Soviets Shock Armies (Michal, also Recon). The relief will not come – soldiers know it. So order has come for the Wehrmacht units to try a breakout.

In this scenario there will be no exit points for Red Army (which set-ups first) and the Germans will try in one, decisive dash to break through (exit points are doubled). It is night, so each hex of distance reduces fire power – bonus for the Wehrmacht trying to sneak-out. Let us see ho wit went!

You can click on every image and enlarge it for better visibility.

Our set-up of Scenario 8 – I have tried to be prepared for any placement of Germans. For Dave there was not a perfect spot – he has chosen Northern approach.
The first part of our game was rather slow and uneventful. I managed to reposition my forces while Germans moved forward under the smoke and gully cover. And then – in close contact – things started to happen!
Yeah, a melee was inevitable. Both sides met in muddy, dark and stenching gully – you can imagine a desperate, night close combat fight. Finally, the end Red Army was victorious. However, in the meantime Germans get a free Rally and Hero!
After what looked like a stalemate Dave started to use completely new tactics. He built hand full of Move cards and started to dash between my units! Due to night cover he was successful – it did not help also that my Medium MG was destroyed by the sniper!
When Germans were almost exiting the map – and that way they would win by points – I finally managed to regroup my forces. It was race with time – who will draw first the needed cards…..
I got Advance and Ambush just in time and moved into another melee against Germans. First fight was lost but the second decisively won! At this moment in Time Wehrmacht reached Surrender level and the game ended immediately.
Causalities and destroyed weapons on both sides. It was pretty balanced but Soviets could afford those losses.


What a game! We first thought it will not be so exciting, but once Dave started to energetically moving forward – successfully avoiding my fire – things really sped up! Hills played important role in our game, negating hindrance and adding so much needed Firepower during the night. We felt this game can only finish in devastating victory by one side – and thanks to Soviet advance the Red Army achieved it.

That was refreshing and completely new type of scenario. You can expect more CCE reports soon – Scenario #9 is of course already underway!