Friday, October 2, 2015

Team Whiskey - Fulda Gap Batrep 6 Part II


Here is the second part and finale of Batrep 6, fighting in the outskirts of Frankfurt-am Main.  The quick refresher is this: the US right flank is crumbling, almost entirely gone, and the overall tactical commander, Captain Keepers (of Kilo Company), has gone down fighting.  The US left flank, a Mech Infantry Platoon (under Lt Rownnan) and part of a tank platoon (under Lt Sorenson), is fending off attacks on its side, and preparing to counterattack to the right in order to kick the Soviets out of the objective buildings (there are five, and the winner is the one that has three, with the US down to two at this point).

Looking north to south at the Soviet center, Turn 3 began with Soviet Mech 2 rallying a hunkered rifle team (bottom right) up to pin, while the rest of its infantry pushed forward, capturing an objective building (top center left, with Mech 1 at top right).

The US attack helo fell back (bottom left, from center left building), once again drawing fire from the Soviet ZSU (top right), but the enemy AAA missed for a third straight turn (unbelievable, going with 1K 2S).

So the Apache fired more Hellfires on the Soviet tanks in the center, knocking out a single T-72.

While the US mortars (bottom right) fired just right of the Apache strike, hitting Soviet Mech 3 with its 81mm HE rounds.

Looking north to south, you can see the two enemy rifle teams forced to fall back (bottom left) by the US mortar strike, and the T-72 knocked out (center right) by the Apache.

On the Soviet far left, Mech 3 uses its BMPs to move to its infantry teams and rally them.

Three infantry teams are good, but two fall back (right, red beads).

On the US left, with the TOW screwing around and the tanks missing everything, Lt Rownnan goes a little crazy.  First, he charges his command team into close assault against the enemy team with heavy casualties (white bead at center).  His boys easily subdue the broken Soviet rifle team, then Rownnan leads his men...

To the hunkering BMP.  The US infantrymen fire their rifles and pistols into vision ports, then stuff grenades into hatches, knocking out the BMP, then moving on...

To the pinned Soviet BMP!  There they successfully close with the enemy vehicle, again climbing all over it to pry open hatches and force grenades through...

Then they charge the nearby pinned Soviet rifle team!

The US troops knock another enemy team out, then Lt Rownnan leads them to cover (center left), where they go unspotted (purple bead, with 2nd Plt rifle team at bottom right and 1st Plt rifle team at top right).

Looking west to east on the US 2nd Mech Plt, with Lt Rownnan at top center left (just above burning BMP), the MG team sprints to the M-113 and loads up (bottom right), while Rownnan's rifle teams continue to move forward (far left, center, with TOW at far right near pink bead signifying an objective building).

The M-113 carrying the MG moves up and fires, pinning an enemy rifle team, while 2nd Platoon's TOW takes up a firing position (bottom right, with Lt Rownnan just to the left of the tracer).

TOW2 fires on the Soviet Mech 2 (looking south to north).

A BMP is knocked out and a rifle team takes heavy casualties.

Back on the US right, the Soviet tanks push forward, nearing the US baseline.  In the center, a T-72 moves up and spots 1st Platoon's TOW team; the enemy tank's main gun roars, and the TOW is eliminated.  The other two tanks are at top right.

The other two tanks push ahead on the US far right, where only the 1st Plt MG team stands ready.  The US MG team charges the lead tank...

But they are gunned down (far right), and this allowed the other tank to shoot past it (bottom right), where it spotted 1st Mech Plt's M-113 hunkering in some brush.  The Soviet fired a HEAT round at point blank range, which shot straight through the lightly armored vehicle, destroying it nonetheless.  The T-72 that knocked out 1st Plt's TOW team is at far left, with Soviet infantry sprinkled across the top.

US 1st Mech Plt has now been completely eliminated, save one rifle team that is at the crossroads.  The US right flank is completely gone, and while the Soviets have not occupied the three objective buildings in the east, there is no one to stop them.  The only US option for victory is to keep the two objective buildings it has in the west, and launch a counterattack to take back at least one of the objective buildings in the east.  A pretty tall order, if you ask me...

On the Soviet right, it's rather incredible, but Soviet Mech 1 is still in the fight, and working to right itself.  A rifle team moves up to the pinned rifle team and BMP.

The pinned rifle team fails and falls back (bottom center), and the rifle is unable to rally the pinned BMP (top left), though the other BMP is able to self rally (center right).

Looking southwest to northeast at that mess of Soviet Mech 1 on the road at top left, Lt Sorenson moves his M1 up (bottom left) and fires at Soviet Mech 2 (top right), managing only to pin a single BMP.

Man, I ain't never rolled like this before!!!

The other M1 pulls up next to Sorenson's tank (bottom left) and fires.

One BMP is blown sky-high, which immobilizes the BMP next to it, causing the crew to bail out.

Looking north to south at the crossroads, BMPs of Soviet Mech 2 begin pushing west (right, where Sorenson's tanks sit off camera).  The last rifle team from 1st Mech Plt fires a LAW.

Soviet Mech 1 is on the road at right, Mech 2 infantry is at center left, having captured one of the objective buildings, and you can see one (of three) Soviet tanks at top left.  Soviet Mech 3 is off camera to left.

A closer shot.

The plucky infantrymen knock out a BMP (center), and force another to fall back (bottom left, red bead).  But that team is now out of LAWs.

Units of Soviet Mech 2 strung out to the north, needing to be rallied.

Looking northeast to southwest at the Soviet center, the enemy CO (bottom left) marks targets for his two 122mm guns (green bead at top right, marking the building the 2nd Mech Plt TOW is in).

Further left (Soviet CO at top right), Mech 3 reorganizes itself: one rifle team failed its rally and retreated off the map (red bead at center right, the guys ran off table to right), two teams rallied (bottom right, red bead, and center, black bead), and three teams moved to BMPs and loaded up.

Looking south to north at the US 2nd Mech Plt positions, the Soviet arty comes in.

Oh, for @#$%'s sake!!!

The TOW team is obliterated, a nearby rifle team is 'men down' (white bead at center-right), the M-113 and MG team fall back and hunker (top center, red bead, from black bead at far right), one M1 falls back and hunker (red bead at bottom left), and Lt Sorenson's tank is pinned (yellow bead).

Well, holy @#$%, there goes any shot at a counterattack!!!  Now both TOWs are gone, and both tanks and the remaining M-113, MG, and a rifle team are pretty much helpless.  Lt Rownnan and two rifle teams are the only ones still in fighting shape over here.

I've got a real bad feeling about this...

For the Soviets of Mech 1 on the Soviet right, the pinned BMP (at left) still can't rally, but the other one pops through a hole in the treeline and fires on the hunkering M-113 carrying the MG team (sorry, I don't usually stack 'carried' infantry teams on APCs/IFVs like that, but with so many vehicles  on the table and so much infantry, I kinda need to)..

The M-113 and MG team are knocked out (center), and a rifle team is forced to fall back (bottom left, red bead, from top center left black bead).

And that's how Turn 3 ended.

Turn 4 starts with the enemy CO (bottom left) marking the crossroads for his last artillery fire mission, while BMPs of Mech 2 move over to rally (center).

And then Mech 2 BMPs moved onto the east-west road and launched Spandrels at the two US M1 tanks.

Lt Sorenson's vehicle (top center) takes a hit, but shakes it off with only a pin, though his partner (bottom left) is immobilized, though the crew stays with the vehicle.

Looking south to north at the right side of the table, the Soviet tanks form up in the US rear area and begin pushing west, looking to cut off the US forces their, who are off camera to top left.  The Apache, down to its last salvo of Hellfires, looks on (bottom left).

Looking south to north, the Soviet artillery hits the crossroads (US rifle teams at bottom center left, center right, and Lt Rownnan at top left).

From the opposite perspective (Lt Rownnan at far left), the 1st Plt team is pinned (yellow bead at top left), while the 2nd Plt team is forced to fall back (top right, red bead).  The 'men down' rifle team at bottom right occurred during the previous arty strike.

Once again the Apache (far left) pops up, and once again the ZSU-23/4 (far right) fires, and once again (for the fourth time) the ZSU totally misses!!!

That is a total of 12 D6 rolled, and not one of the them was a 1 or a 6.  This has only been countered by the Apache's own relatively ineffective firing dice...

The Apache fires on Soviet Mech 3, on the US far right, which might seem a little odd (why fire on the far right, when Sov Mech 1 and 2 are causing you real problems in the center).  Mech 3 was picked because Mech 1 and 2, despite having plenty of vehicles and infantry between them, are actually pretty beat up, while Mech 3 has just reorganized itself and is concentrated in one spot.

Two BMPs are knocked out, though their rifle teams manage to survive (left).  A third BMP is pinned (yellow bead at top center).

On the Soviet right, Mech 1 goes into action: a rifle team moves up and helps the BMP on the road rally, while another rifle team moves over (bottom left) and fires into the flank of a US rifle team (top center right), knocking them out.  There is a 'men down' US rifle team at top right, and Lt Rownnan's team is at top center left.

Looking south to north at the right side of the table, the US mortars (bottom right, actually on the bottom right corner of the table) opens fire on Soviet Mech 2 infantry (top center left).  One rifle team is knocked out, and one takes heavy casualties.

Back on the left, the immobilized Abrams (bottom left) successfully self-rallies, while Lt Sorenson's vehicle (center left, on road) fires through the crossroads and knocks out a BMP of Soviet Mech 2.

With the crossroads just off camera to bottom left (the explosion at bottom left shows the BMP Lt Sorenson just knocked out), Soviet Mech 2 infantry set about reorganizing and rallying themselves, though one rifle team remains 'men down' (center left, white bead).

With Lt Sorenson's pinned tank at center left, a 'men down' rifle team just to their right, a hunkering rifle team at far left (red bead), and another at bottom right (red and blue bead), Lt Rownnan decides to keep pushing his luck: he leads his team forward (top right), where a BMP react fires at his team but misses.

The far left rifle team manages to self-rally up to pin, while the other two rifle teams are back in good fighting shape.

Lt Rownnan's team fires a LAW at the Soviet BMP...

Just shoot me...

Of course a total miss, in which the target suffers no ill effects at all, allows the target to return fire for 'free': the BMP's chain gun rips and Rownnan's team takes heavy casualties.

Looking west to east, with Lt Rownnan's team and the BMP that roughed him up at top center, the other remaining BMP of Soviet Mech 1 moves up (bottom center left, from top left) and fires its chain gun into the flank of Lt Sorenson's M1 (bottom right).

Ripping it open (bottom left) like a can of sardines.  Meanwhile, the other BMP throws it into gear and overruns Lt Rownnan's team (top right)...

The BMP easily crushes Lt Rownnan's team (far right), and as the BMP continues forward a US rifle team react fires a LAW.

So the last two US leaders just went out of the fight.  The US is now down to its Apache (which is seemingly invisible to the Soviet Air Defense vehicle, but out of Hellfires), their mortar platoon (who are worthless as infantry, firing only with shock dice), an immobilized M1, and three rifle teams (one of which is pinned).

The BMP is pinned.

Looking north to south at the far Soviet left, Soviet Mech 1 (spread across far left) sets about reorganizing after getting roughed up by the Apache.  Several units rally, while the rifle team at bottom left fails and falls back off the map.

Mech 2 is at far right, and the Soviet tanks are actually off camera to top, moving west (right).

Still looking north to south, two rifle teams of Mech 3 load up into their BMPs, then head west (center right, just below road, coming from far left, with Soviet CO at bottom center and Mech 2 at far right).

Looking northwest to southeast at the center crossroads, don't forget there is still one rifle team left from Lt Ditteaux's 1st Mech Platoon.  The detritus of 2nd Mech Plt (Lt Rownnan's team was just knocked out by the BMP at center with yellow bead) is spread across the bottom center, top right, and far right), while the last rifle team of 1st Mech Plt is at center top left, in the brush with two blue beads (signalling he's out of LAWs) and a yellow bead (signalling he's pinned), with BMPs of Mech 2 at top left.

In any case, the 1st Mech Plt rifle rallies itself, and that finishes off Turn 4.  Not to let you down, but Turn 5 is largely a formality, there's no way the US is winning this one, even on points, so it's time to take what little is left and get the heck out of dodge.

Looking south to north, the US mortars (bottom right) toss smoke (top left) to try to shield the US survivors from Soviet Mech 1 (top left) and Mech 2 (center, with Soviet tanks on the bottom road, heading west).  Then the mortar platoon packs up its tube and did-maus off the map.

Looking south to north at the US left (US only?), the immobilized tank (far left) lays down fire with its main gun and coax, covering the retreat of the US infantry teams.  The main gun fire knocks out the BMP that ground up Lt Rownnan's team (top right).

The US infantry uses the immobilized tank as a rally point; the tank crew dismounts and destroys their trusty steed, then the whole flock heads west (left) on foot, trying to escape the marauding Soviets.

Speaking of marauding Soviets, the red tank platoon moves west (bottom right, with US troops at far left).

The Apache (bottom center) swings about to get leave the area to the south (down), while Soviet infantry swarms the objective buildings in the east.

And their BMPs in the north form up and begin pushing west.

And with that, Team Whiskey, which has been beaten up previously but not beaten, receives its first ass-whoopin'.  Here's where you probably expecting me to say something along the lines of, 'well, even though I got my butt kicked it was still a good time.'  WRONG!!!  That was bull@#$%!!!  I can't believe I got my ass handed to me like that, and @#$% this @#$%, I'm done, not playing anymore.

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, it was a good time, even though I got the tar knocked out of me.  Sorry about all of that, I'm neither accustomed to, nor appreciative of, losing at anything (I wasn't in the Army, I'm just playing them here).

So, the fight itself; once again, tactically, Team Whiskey finds itself without appropriate battlefield intelligence.  This forces the Team to defend the whole battlefield, whereas the Soviets had clearly scouted out NATO defenses and were thus able to come up with a plan where Mech 1 could pin the US 2nd Mech Plt in place on their right, while the Soviet tanks, Mech 2, and Mech 3 crushed the US 1st Mech Plt on their left.  The Soviets made excellent use of their direct support 122mm self-propelled arty, while the US mortars and rotary attack assets weren't nearly as effective as they'd been in previous fights.  The Soviet arty was very helpful in keeping the US ATGMs from being able to reload and displace, instead having to spend activations rallying.

So, in my mind, we've seen fight 1 go down just as the US hoped, 2 turn into a dogfight the US barely pulled off, 3 a US win technically but with atrocious casualties, 4 went according to US doctrine, but again with a bit heavier casualties then expected, 5 was just a first-come first-serve dogfight that saw the US have better command and control (luckier activation rolls), and then 6 finally went according to Soviet doctrine, pounding the stuffins out of Team Whiskey by concentrating armor on a narrow front, using economy of force to seal the flank, and arty to keep US anti-tank weapons off them (though they did stumble into their fair share of infantry AT weapons).  The only thing that didn't go their way was the fact they didn't shoot down the US helo, though apparently the AAA fire had some effect as the Apache didn't do all that well.

3 Command Teams
4 Rifle Teams
2 MG Teams
2 TOW Teams
2 M1 Abrams (one immobilized and destroyed as the US withdrew)
3 M-113s (actually, one was an M557)

1 Command Team
7 Rifle Teams
15 BMPs
1 T-72

With regards to characters:
-Captain Keepers, Commanding Officer of Kilo Company, Missing In Action.  Last seen clubbing Soviet infantry with an empty M1911.
-Lt Ditteaux, Commander of 1st Mech Plt, Kilo Company, POW/WIA.  Fighting naked due to the concussive effects of Soviet artillery blasts, ultimately he was clubbed unconscious by a Soviet rifleman and captured.  Awarded the Purple Heart.
-Lt Rownnan, Commander of 2nd Mech Plt, Kilo Company, KIA.  Awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for leading his command team in successive close assaults which defeated two enemy rifle teams and a BMP, was ultimately ground into hamburger while counter-charging a charging Soviet BMP with his bayonet.
-Lt Sorenson, Commander of 4th Tank Platoon, Charlie Company, KIA.  As Lt Ditteaux, also fighting naked (save for his tank commander's helmet), though no one is sure why, Lt Sorenson was awarded the Bronze Star w/V for manning his burning tank's .50 cal HMG to lay down covering fire so his crew could escape, and became the world's first 'Grilled Danish.'

Well, I hope you guys had a good time, 'cause I sure didn't! ;)  Nevertheless, the war goes on, and the table is set for fight number 7, so stay tuned.



  1. Is there anything left of Whiskey? Looks like the Soviets have ground the force down to scraps!

    1. Randall,

      Yeah man, it's been rough. Whiskey has already had to dig out all the rear echelon folks and dragoon them into the line units, then 3rd Squadron and 4th Squadron (Whiskey) folded into one unit due to casualties. Not sure what they're going to do next, maybe use German Territorials? You can see the current roster here:

      And look out, I've got officer vacancies to fill so you're likely to be drafted! ;)

      Also, I was taking a look at your blogs, good stuff! I really like your War Plan Red deal; I'm certainly into alternate histories and even Imagi-Nations (ergo my Cuba Libre campaign). And I just saw your 'Rounds Down Range 2' blog. You need to turn on the Blogger widget so people can follow your blogs, man. And don't ask me how, somebody had to explain it to me when I started and I don't remember now, sorry...

      I like your 5Core Company Command chart; I've basically got the same thing, just hand written, though I've made things even deadlier, and I make ATGMs take an action to reload. There's some other stuff as well, but I'm wanting to hold off on putting it out until I've played these ten scenarios. Ivan (the author) may want to do something with it, we'll see.

      In any case, thanks for taking a look and commenting, hope you're enjoying them.


  2. Wow. I knew it happen to happen for a least one game in the 10 you are playing. Probably only one though - I am sure you really do pay the Soviets the best you can, no really, I am sure you do :-) I also really thought Lt Rownnan was going to survive - he had some amazing luck and thought it would last. With two named officers down, I am not sure if I want to be in future games (as if I would have a choice!) but you are running out of Team Whiskey units to field.

    1. Shaun,

      Yeah, it happens every now and again, despite my best efforts and superior strategical mind ;)

      Playing the Soviets the best I can is kind of a misnomer; there's always a million of them, so I push them forward as hard as I can. As Ivan's buddy Kruschev said, quantity has a quality all its own. At least you didn't break out the 'magic dice' again; but I'm sure Panda will along at some point...

      Yeah, I was kinda hoping Rownnan would make it, he's scored the highest so far in terms of personal awards, but, alas, he was run down like a dog. And whaddaya mean 'down two named officers'? Hell, we lost four named officers just in this fight (you probably don't know him, but Rownnan is a guy from the Pendraken forum)!!! Every name on the roster is someone from the TMP, TWW, Pendraken, or Specialist Military Publishing forums, or someone that comments here on my blog.

      Yeah, we're down to the dregs of the Army, as if the Army wasn't merely dregs to begin with! Thanks for checking in man, now if I can only get Ivan to take a look.


  3. OK, lots of officers down. I recognised most names, but not all of them and it did not click they could be from elsewhere. My apologies to Mr Rownnan!

    I did not resort to "magic dice" as they were hot for the Soviets, not you :-)

    1. Yeah, you guys are dropping like flies. Wait 'til you see the next one ;)


  4. With all of the Whiskey officers lost (and presumably the Soviet front-line troops also taking a beating), at one point do one or both forces drop in quality? I'm not sure if that is something to even factor into a series of games on this scale, or if the rules allow for different troop quality.

  5. Frogfan,

    Yeah, both sides have been beaten to hell. The rules do have mechanisms to deal with different quality troops, but I hadn't even really thought about it, to be honest. My thinking right now is that both sides are dropping, so, relatively speaking, there's no change. I hope that makes sense.