[best played against human opponent / team game] July 10, 1941 - Orsha, USSR - Two days and nearly 300 kilometers west, the German encirclement of Russian forces around Minsk had been eliminated by infantry formations in hard fighting. Meanwhile, 4th Panzer Army's mobile units under Guderian's command in Panzer Group 2 were closing on the Dnepr river as STAVKA and Russian command cadre struggled to communcate with the forces under their control and build up a defensive line along the river itself. 4th Panzer Army commander Kluge wanted to wait until some of the following infatnry divisions could reach the river before trying to cross. But these were days of hard marching behind the mobile forces. Guderian would have none of this and, failing to convince Kluge of the need to bounce the river, simply told him preparations for the attack were too far along to be stopped. Kluge, already angry at Guderian's previous disregard for orders, was beside himself but felt his authority over Guderian was only token at this point (the German command heirarchy was nonsensical at this point). So, the order to attack stood. Therefore, on July 10, Guderian's units attacked along the mid-Dnepr, from Orsha to south of Mogilev, with some success against the not yet firmed defenses. The attacks on Orsha and Mogilev proper were failures, but south of Orsha, and south of Mogilev, the German's successfully created bridgeheads across the river. The need to exploit these crossings before the Russians could regain their balance and react effectively was paramount - the enemy must be kept back on his heels! This scenario recreates 29th Motorized and 17th and 18th Panzer divisions crossing of the Dnepr at and below Orsha and their exploitation further east. Historically, 17th Panzer assaulted Orsha directly and failed, but the German player has the freedom to alter history if he should chose to do so. Soviet units are in complete disarray and command and control is a shambles. To represent this, some units are fixed initially, and some are not (these units either do not know they have been ordered to stand in place, or their officers have taken the initiative and are disregarding those orders...). However, Soviet forces are no longer completely out of communication and without supplies; the danger to the Germans is increasing (and already, the German army has suffered more casaulties in Russia in three weeks than in the whole preivious 21 months of war on all other fronts combined). The forces represented are historically accurate, though both sides are at greater effective strength than was actually available. For victory, the German player will need to crush all Soviet resistance and dominate the map, and most importantly for future operations, the railways. German long-term supply is reliant almost totally on the railways at this point, and capture of the lines and particulary the bridges, is critical to keeping the offensive moving. Without the rails and the roads, the German advance to the East will grind to a halt. The main crossings south of Orsha were ferry crossings which the Germans took using their own boats, bridges, and the ferries themselves. To represent the assault crossing, the shallow water areas are mined and blocked - requiring engineers to clear them for a safe crossing. These engineers should be considered to be building bridges, operating assault boats, and setting up ferries during the time they are clearing the obstacles. Good luck!