Turn Four begins, and the German trap starts to snap shut. Breakthroughs in the north and south are quickly threatening to bottle up my units. I will need to push hard to hold open enough of the gap for my units to escape to Warsaw.
Battle of the Blogs – Bzura Turn Four
I notice that one of the units involved in the breakthrough is a weakened engineer. I send out a unit to attack it, hoping to push in on the breakthrough and threaten to cut off some of the units. It doesn’t go as well as I’d like, leaving the engineer alive and my unit tied up.
Turning to the Warsaw front, I see what may be a chance to force my way past the German units and take the road leading to the southwest. Even if the attack fails, it could tie up the Germans for the time being, giving me a chance to divert them from attacking Warsaw. Even if Ian successfully pockets my units, he will still need to take Warsaw to do better than a draw in this scenario. That means a delaying action is in order. Passive retreat to Warsaw risks my units getting cut off, placed out of supply, and eliminated. I’d rather avoid that if possible. Hence the following two attacks:
The first attack, on the German 18th infantry, uses my elite polish legions and an element of my cavalry. It is not particularly successful.
The second attack, on the German corps artillery unit is also unsuccessful. I figured that my infantry could overwhelm their guns at close range, but it appears that they never even got close. At least this attack resulted in few casualties, and may be able to do more damage next turn. Every artillery I eliminate makes cracking the defense of Warsaw that much harder.
I see one more attack opportunity near Warsaw, namely the 18th Infantry unit between the German’s 1st Panzer and the corps artillery division. My artillery soften them up, and then my infantry attack:
My infantry are victorious, panicking the Germans and driving them backwards.
The central mass of units continues driving eastward. I am planning on saving my Haste card, which is held by my POM HQ unit. Hopefully I can use it next turn to secure a path for my remaining units. While the situation is not ideal, I have enough strength to execute a breakout, if I can get enough infantry units forward to attack, and keep them in supply long enough to do some damage.
The southern rearguard units along the river have held valiantly. I am going to need to pull them back next turn, or they will be completely encircled. Holding those units at the river is really not that important anymore, as the vast mass of units in the center is no longer under threat from that particular set. I could probably best use these units either as a distraction or to cut off the encirclement, if Ian pushes too far forward.
The end of the turn sees me holding strong on the Warsaw front, while the encirclement comes closer and closer to cutting off my units before they can arrive. At this point, it looks like I will have to trek through the swamps and forests of Kampinos, and cross the river without a bridge, which will further delay my units. Hopefully that won’t prove fatal to my chances.
Now it is over to Ian. Hopefully he won’t cut me off during his turn!