The Bridge at Urk


Another solo game using IABSM 3 and Vyazma or Bust.

After the narrow win by the German the situation moves onto the village of Urk, and its important bridge. The area is dominated by the large river running diagonally across it, with Urk in one corner and hills and trees holding the edges. A main road runs through the village and across the river and then towards the area where the Germans are expected.

This is the view from the German entry point, and shows off the ground well.

The German Recon Platoon on their Motorbikes arrive and make very sort shift of the Green Russians guarding the immediate area around the bridge. One Section then rushes the bridge and jumps into the Russian defences.


This was all too easy for the Germans but the Russians suddenly came to life and decided they needed to get rid them. A mad charge by the Russians though wasn't too good as whilst it did damage the Germans it also put the Russians out of action for most of the game. All in all the game was going well for the Germans. The infantry were across the river and the Recon Tanks especially were giving some nasty punishment out. All of the Russian 1st Platoon was out of action already.

After what had seemed an age the Russian Tank reinforcements finally arrived. They made short work of the Recon tanks which was a great relief to the Russian infantry. Then Stukas arrived from the sky and one less T-34 was the result. This was especially bad luck for the Russians as the T-34s are key to this game.

Another attempt to destroy the Bridgehead was undertaken by two Sections of the 2nd Platoons. With only 2 dice for these Green Russians the only real tactic is hand to hand so there is a lot of this in this game. Of course being green they are also very poor in melee, which was something I learnt very quickly! This melee went the same way as the other but at these it only left a minimal German force over the bridge.

After the long time for the initial wait for reinforcements, suddenly everything seemed to arrive at once. The Germans Pz IVs arrived and started a fire fight with the T-34s and BT-6 which went on for the rest of the game, but was certainly interesting with some great features.

You can see the German infantry from the reinforcements rushing over the bridge as well. This was a double shock for the Russians as they had expended most of their infantry to clear the Recon Platoon and then immediately more Germans arrived.

The Germans rushed the bridge quickly and as one can see were now in the Russian positions again. The Russians Sub Machine team had arrived and was deploying in the background.

The tank battle had now reached its climax. All that was left was one BT-7 for the Russians and for the Germans the newly arrived Stugs were getting into position to finish it off. Then the AT rifle team on the bridge went into action and with a double 6 took the last Russian tank out. Brilliant. This tank combat had something I had never seen before and it was all the Germans tanks withdrawing through morale, the T-34 also went the same way. Another feature of IABSM I had not really seen and very good it felt.


The climax of the fight was certain now upon us. The German MMGs were in position so any uneven fire fight was about the begin, and the Russians had to do something as without any tanks left they looked too weak.

The SMG Section suddenly burst into life and attacked the defending Germans. Both hand to hand fights were enormous and in the end all the Germans were dead, but unfortunately for the Russians they too had been badly damaged. So when they got first shot on the MMGs it was too weak. The return fire was not.

The end can be seen in the grainy photo taken through the smoke. The Stugs had advanced and were putting the few Russians in the village under fire. The Russian infantry in the field was too spent to do anything and the Germans still had too much fire power. The Russian reatreated and faded into the woods behind the position

A massive German victory and another great game of IABSM as well.

The tank battle was excellent and brought the system out. The Russians were unlucky again in both the immediate destroying of a T-34 in the only successful aerial attack, and the fact that their OOB artillery couldn't hit anything again. I even reread the Artillery rules again to make sure!

With this German win we now move onto Scenario 3B. This time my mate will be coming over to play this big game.

Craig Ambler