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Breakthrough at Seelow Heights - April 16, 1945 - April 19, 1945

Seelow-Berlin Offensive Operation
Eastern Front By: Brummbar44 - Last update: 09/24/2013
Axis Player: Allied Player:
x5 x12 x6 x2
    first You play first

Historical Background:
The Battle of Seelow Heights was a part of the Seelow-Berlin Offensive Operation (16 April - 2 May, 1945) and was one of the last assaults on a large entrenched defensive position during WWII. Approximately one million Soviet soldiers of the 1st Belorussian Front, commanded by Marshal Georgi Zhukov, attacked the position known as the "Gates of Berlin". They were opposed by about 91,000 German soldiers of the Ninth Army, commanded by General Theodor Busse, as part of Army Group Vistula, commanded by General Gotthard Heinrici.

In the early hours of 16 April, the offensive began with a massive bombardment by thousands of Soviet artillery pieces and Katyushas. The German Generals Heinrici and Busse anticipated the attack and withdrew their defenders, from the first line of trenches, just before the Soviet artillery would have destroyed them. The swampy ground proved to be a great hindrance for the Soviet forces and, under a German counter-barrage, Soviet casualties were heavy.

On 19 April, the fourth day, the 1st Belorussian Front broke through the final German defensive line at Seelow Heights and, from that point on, only broken German formations lay between Berlin and the Soviet Army. By the end of 19 April, the German eastern front line ceased to exist and all that remained were pockets of German resistance.

Before dealing the Command Cards, the Axis (German) player may place 8 Wire obstacles on any hex in the 5 rows of hexes, indicated by the Exit Markers, on the Allied (Russian) side of the Breakthrough line (which is indicated by the top Exit Marker).

Conditions of Victory:
The Allied (Russian) player must capture 2 of the 5 objectives, indicated by the Soviet Medal, before the Axis (German) player earns 12 medals. One of the Allies' captured objectives must be an Outskirts of Berlin hex in order to win. The objectives are considered a Permanent Medal Objective (Air Pack, p.12) *unless* the Axis player reoccupies the objective's hex. In this case, the Allied player must return the medal to that hex.

Special Rules:
Russian Shock Troops: A standard Allied (Russian) Infantry unit has 5 figures; Elite Russian Infantry units are still limited to 4 figures.

Hetzer Tank Destroyers: Axis (German) Armor units with 2 figures (marked with a badge) hit Allied (Russian) Armor units when a Star symbol is rolled in addition to the normal Tank and Grenade symbols.

Determined Defenders: The Axis player (German) may ignore an additional retreat flag while occupying any terrain except open countryside.

The Supply Depot (Terrain - 43) is a landmark subject to the Sabotage rule (Actions - 6). A single Battle Star must be rolled to remove the Supply Depot hex from the board and, in the event the Supply Depot is "demolished", the Allied player receives the Soviet Medal "permanently" as the Axis player can no longer reoccupy the Supply Depot hex. In addition, destroying the Supply Depot reduces the movement of all Axis Armor units by one hex (Terrain Pack, p. 11).

The Barracks (Terrain - 17; designated as HQ) is subject to the Capture HQ/Supply Tent rule (Actions - 17). The Barracks hex is ?reclaimed? once an Allied (Russian) unit has either retreated or been eliminated from the Barracks hex. It is not necessary for an Axis (German) unit to reoccupy the Barracks hex in order to ?reclaim? it.

Camouflage: Axis (German) units, marked with a Battle Star token, are camouflaged (Pacific Theater, p. 8).

Cambush: If the Allied (Russian) player declares a Close Assault against a Axis (German) unit that is camouflaged, the camouflaged Axis unit may roll 1 battle die. If the result of the battle die roll is a star symbol, the camouflaged Axis unit can ?ambush? the Allied unit. The camouflaged Axis unit may battle the Allied unit by rolling their battle dice first. If the Allied unit was not eliminated or forced to retreat, it must battle normally.

Breakthrough!: The Allied (Russian) player may order any one unit, each turn, that occupies a hex located on the Axis (German) side of the Breakthrough line, indicated by the top Exit Marker, in addition to the orders on a Section Command Card (not applicable to Tactic Command Cards).

Russian Reinforcements: The Allied (Russian) player receives 3 "reinforcement" tokens that may be exchanged (i.e. 1 token = 1 unit) for a Russian Shock Infantry (5 figures) or Armor (3 figures) unit if the Allied player has enough eliminated figures to form a complete unit. An order from a Command Card is required to place the unit on the game board anywhere along the first row of hexes on the Russian side (baseline).

Scenario Bibliography:
Battle of the Seelow Heights - Wikipedia

Please note that this scenario was not approved by Richard Borg or Days of Wonder, so you have to check yourself about playability, potential gaming issues, etc.

Set-up Order