Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Team Whiskey - Fulda Gap Batrep 7 Part I


It's 0130 on 7 August 1986, and Team Whiskey is in dire straits.  Following the crushing defeat of Kilo Company yesterday in Frankfurt-Am Main, V Corps has been tossing ad-hoc units into the fray to stem the flow of blood as various NATO forces fall back and herd civilian refugees across the last bridge still standing (in the Frankfurt area).  As dusk on the 6 Aug 1986 falls, the two sides retract from each other to lick their wounds and reorganize, with NATO stepping up its withdrawals to the south/west bank of the Main river.

However, by approximately 2130 on the 6th, deep reconnaissance noted Soviet armored elements forming up, and by 2300 they had broken through the thin outer line manned by West German Territorials.  V Corps, in the midst of evacuating itself, as well as supervising the evacuation of various severely beaten NATO units as well as civilians from a number of European nations, is very disorganized.  As a last ditch effort, 11th ACR's commander turned to Lt Col Lacy and begged him for units to stuff into the breach.

Lt Col Lacy immediately dispatched his Executive Officer, Major Kavscott, with Lt Lamanchew's 3rd Mechanized Infantry Platoon of Kilo Company, Captain Sighe's 1st Mechanized Infantry Platoon of India Company, and Lt Dillon's 1st Tank Platoon of Charlie Company.  The Brigade also provided a single AH-64 Apache as air support.  Lt Col Lacy's last words to his XO were "Major, every second you hold the bridge open is another soldier or civilian saved from the Red horde."

The opposing forces, with Soviets on the left and US on the right.  As usual, the Team Whiskey force is badly outnumbered.  But this time the Soviets actually have the services of a MiG-23 armed for ground attack at their disposal.

The US has two Mech Inf platoons, 2 machine gun teams, four TOW missile launchers, a platoon of 81mm mortars, a platoon of M1 Abrams, and an Apache.  Due to supply issues, each US rifle team is down to one LAW (vice their normal two).

**In the photo you'll see an M577 for the XO and two M-113s, for the platoon commanders (Lt Lamanchew and Capt Sighe).  But these vehicles are not in the OOB; I justified having them by saying that they were for the two PCs, but as I set up the defense I was becoming way too tempted to strip them from the platoon commanders and use them to move the US TOWs and MGs about the battlefield.  Ultimately I decided that that went against the order of battle for the game, so I took the M-113s out.  I really wish I hadn't ;)

The Soviets, with six mechanized rifle platoons, 3 machine gun teams, a company of T-72s, a ZSU-23/4 anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) vehicle, the MiG-23 (making one bomb run), and six fire missions from two 2S1 122mm self-propelled howitzers.

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

Overview of table, north is up.  The US force is occupying a line roughly from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.  The Soviets are entering the table at top right, needing to exit off the board at bottom left.  Tanks must use the bridge, but BMPs may swim.  All of that gray  mess is supposed to represent a paved slipway leading down to the river.

Looking west to east, with Soviets at top left.

Looking north to south, with Soviets at bottom left.  So far only the mechanized infantry are on the table, with the tanks coming on in Turn 2.  The six Soviet mech platoons are, as usual, formed up into three different formations: Soviet Mech 1 (bottom center left), Soviet Mech 2 (just left of them), and Soviet Mech 3 (bottom left).  All three Mech formations consist of a command stand, MG team, seven BMPs, and six rifle teams, and all infantry begin mounted.  The Soviet 122mm SPGs are off-table.

Looking at the far US right flank (from the Soviet position in the north), this shows Lt Dillon's tank platoon and the US mortar platoon (top center right).

I played out a scenario in my head in which US forces were converging on these defensive positions from varying points of the compass, and being thrown in.  In my mind, the tanks arrived last and on the right side, and so they were thrown onto the far right side of the defense, which is not a good spot for them.  The fact the infantry are without their vehicles also played into this; putting them on the right flank would keep them out of the fight as 1) they only have very short range anti-tank weapons, and 2)  there's no way they'd reach the bridge area on foot in time (i.e., the Soviet tanks and BMPs would simply speed past them.  Similarly, the TOWs, without vehicles, couldn't be put out there as they'd have nowhere to displace to, and if they stayed in place they'd be pummeled by Soviet guns and/or arty.

Just remember this: putting the US tanks on the far right was a bad idea, you heard it hear first.  They should have been in the center, where they could pop back and forth between the center and far left to chew up enemy armor while staying on the move.  On the far right the only options available to the US tanks were 1) advance towards the attacking Soviets, or 2) shoot then move left towards the US center, leaving your flanks open to Soviets in the northeast.

Sorry, pretty crappy picture.  So, this is looking north to south at the US center-right (Soviet center left).  At top right you can see the paved slipway coming off the main highway running northeast to southwest.  At bottom right you can see Major Kavscott's M-577 command vehicle.  Just above him, across the highway, you can see Capt Sighe's 1st Mech Plt, India Co (I/1) dug-in in the treeline (there are little purple beads showing the five stands are hidden).  At far left is a US minefield.

Looking north to south at the US center-left (Soviet center right), you've got Lt Lamanchew's K/3 infantry in the foliage in the foreground, with MGs at either end of the line (far right and at left, in the bushes just right of Maj Kavscott's M-577 at far left), and the 2nd TOW section (TOW2) in the buildings at center.

On the US far left (looking north to south at the northwest corner of the table), you can see the 1st TOW Section (TOW1) at bottom center left, just below the second US minefield.  You can just see TOW2 at top left, and the left-hand MG team is in the bushes at far left, below the orange building.

This is looking west to east at the US rear area (TOW2 is in the buildings at left, K/3 is just above them, I/1 is in the bushes at top center).  The green beads are pre-prepared fallback positions (fighting holes), the idea being the Americans will engage then fall back to this final line of defenses.  TOW1 (just off camera to far left) will fall back to the two beads at bottom left, then fire east/northeast across the US front (one of the MGs will join them there), while K/3 and the other MG will fall back to the green beads in the center running diagonally from bottom left to top right.  I/1 will fall back through the trees into their holes, which are staggered in echelon to allow them to fire north (top left) into any enemy infantry that may pursue through the woods, or northwest (top left) into enemy units coming onto the paved slipway.

So all you amateur strategists take note: I did that part right, despite totally screwing up the deployment of the tanks.  Well, I was a grunt, not a tanker...

Looking north to south at the center US rear, you can see the fighting holes again (I/1 at center, TOW2 at center-left top, K/3 at top center, TOW1 off camera to top left, tanks off camera to right, mortars off camera to bottom right), as well as the Apache hovering over the river, below the treeline.

Hopefully in this photo you can see that the US left side of the line is on a hill (from the highway-left), descending down to the water.

Looking south to north from the US right (US tanks off camera to bottom center right, I/1 at bottom left), you can the three Soviet mechanized infantry formations.  Mech 1 at top left-center, Mech 2 at top center, and Mech 3 on the road at top right.

Looking north to south at the Soviet center, with Mech 3 on road at left, Mech 2 at far right, and the Soviet AAA vehicle and CO at center in the field.  You can see Lt Dillon's tanks in the treeline at top left, and Capt Sighe's I/1 at top right.

And one more from the Soviet perspective, with Soviet Mech 1 (center right) moving straight at Lt Lamanchew's K/3, backed up by TOW2, and TOW1 at far right top.

Sorry for the groups of infantry on the right edge of the table; that's my 'admin' area, and it's holding the Soviet infantry that are currently mounted in their BMPs.

Well, it's time to get my ass whooped again ;)

Looking west to east, the fight starts with the Apache flying nap of the earth up to the buildings housing TOW2.

Then popping up (top right) and loosing a salvo of Hellfires at the BMPs of Soviet Mech 1.

Not again...  He didn't hit a damn thing.

Another US card, so TOW2 launches its missiles over the heads of Lt Lamanchews infantry, again targeting Soviet Mech 1.

Would you believe it?  Sorry to take photos of the dice, but @#$%!!!

So, the total miss by one TOW means the Soviets have acquired and will be able to engage the US anti-tank teams.

But the other US missile hits: a BMP and its rifle squad are put out of the fight, while another BMP is immobilized by secondary explosions, though the crew stays with the vehicle (red and white bead).  A third BMP is pinned.

Not bad; imagine if both TOWs had hit something.

But one of the BMPs at bottom left returns fire with its 30mm gun...

He puts heavy casualties on one team (white bead), and pins the other.  This really sucks; this means that 1) they won't be able to fall back out of sight, thus they are definitely at risk of being whacked; and 2) this throws off the schedule, which, if you've not been paying attention, takes awhile:
1st Turn: Shoot and fall back out of sight.
2nd Turn:  Reload.
3rd Turn: Sneak into new, hidden firing position.
4th Turn: Rinse and repeat.

But these guys are suffering, so now they're going to have to be rallied, then move to a safe location, then reload, then move back into position, then fire again, which puts them firing again in Turn 6, rather than Turn 4.  There are ways to speed this up: you can move other friendly units over to rally them, speeding up that process, but those friendly units have their own job to do, and don't really want to expose themselves next to two teams that have already been spotted by the enemy.  On the backside, once the TOWs are reloaded, you can have them move into position and fire in one turn, but that means they won't be able to move until the next turn, so they're exposed again.  It's far better to spend a full turn sneaking into firing position, then shoot and fall back out of LOS the next turn.

In any case, these two teams getting suppressed right off the bat, coupled with the Apache missing everything with his missiles, means this may be a real short fight...

Soviet Mech 3 moves up the road, while the Soviet CO pulls forward and mounts a two-story building (bottom right).  Then, of all damn things, he makes a great roll and spots Lt Dillon's tanks (top left, with Capt Sighe's I/1 infantry at top right).

And while he's up there in the building, perusing the neighborhood with his field glasses, the Soviet CO decides to mark TOW2's position for his off-board direct support artillery (pink bead at center).  And then another Soviet card with a great activation roll means...

The Soviet 122mm rounds begin falling immediately...

But they suck too!!!  Damn that had me sweating.

Looking west to east at the US left, with Soviet arty falling on TOW2 at center, TOW1 (bottom left) fires its missiles at Soviet Mech 1 BMPs (top left).

Another BMP is hit and damaged: the turret is knocked out, but somehow the crew decides to stay with the vehicle (BMP with red/white beads in front of it; the BMP with red/white beads behind it is immobilized), while a near miss forces a BMP to fall back and hunker (red bead at center).

With missiles flying about, several of the BMPs kick out their infantry to keep them from being cooked in case of a direct hit.  Makes good mortar targets if they can't get moving to disperse in time.

Pathetic!  I've fired two Hellfires and four TOWs, and I've got one BMP knocked out, two damaged and needing to be rallied, and one BMP hunkered.  It's not entirely unreasonable to have expected six missiles to have knocked out five or six BMPs, and pinned/hunkered a couple more.

The Soviets (top left) are unable to acquire the TOWs, so they fall back (they are at bottom right, from the purple beads/bushes to their top left.  While they haven't reached cover yet, they are out of LOS, though if the Soviets move up quick enough they could catch them in the open.

Looking south to north at the US far right: with his tanks spotted, Lt Dillon figures the only thing to do is lead his armored steeds forward.  It would be kind of cool if they could knock out the enemy ZSU (just visible to the right of a gray building at top center), giving the Apache free rein, but they don't spot him.  They move north, where three of them are able to line shots up on BMPs of Soviet Mech 3; the 105mm guns roar, and HEAT rounds sally forth to wreak havoc...

Lt Dillon's round strikes home, knocking out his Soviet counterpart's vehicle, team, and their MG team (smoke at top center-right).  Another Abrams damages a BMP, but the crew stays in the fight (wow, that's three so far, against very high odds; center-left with red/white beads). The third Abrams scores a near miss, forcing a BMP to fall back (red bead, bottom left).  A miss!?

The Soviets didn't get the opportunity to disperse their recently dismounted infantry, so the US mortars (bottom center) fire on Soviet Mech 1 (top center).

The enemy rifle team at bottom is knocked out, while the MG team (yellow bead) is pinned.

I've had better...

Withe Mech 1 being pounded by mortars, Mech 2 buttons up and tries to slide by to the south (the BMPs in formation with black beads).  They are unable to spot TOW1 (off camera to far right).

Soviet Mech 1's commander successfully rallies the pinned MG (yellow bead at center), then sprints to help rally a BMP (top left).

But the Soviet leader (top center-right) fails, and the BMP falls back (red bead, bottom left).  The BMP tries to self rally, but fails again and leaves the map! (the edge is just below this photo)

At bottom left, the two damaged Mech 1 vehicles self rally, while the three rear-echelon vehicles, totally untouched because of the poor performance of the US Apache and TOWs, move forward, kick out their infantry, then fire their 30mm guns.  At what you ask?  Oh, they also made some incredible spotting rolls to identify a US MG  (in the trees at top right) and a rifle team of Lt Lamanchew's K/3 in the woods at top center.

But with all that's going on their gunners' aim is thrown off and they both miss!

Soviet Mech 1's rifles begin moving up, and the two US teams that were just fired on react.

The US MG (top right) forces one enemy team to fall back (bottom left), but the other two Soviet teams fire, and they put 'men down' on the K/3 rifle team (top center).

And with that, Turn 1 is in the books.  We're still alive.

Turn 2 starts with the US on-scene commander, their XO, Major Kavscott, driving his M-577 over to TOW 2 (center, from top right), where he dismounts and rallies both missile teams successfully.

Which allows them to fall back out of LOS.  They still need to reload then move to new shooting positions.  I'm scared that the Soviet pace of advance means their only option is going to be to move back into those buildings to fire again, which is risky in terms of acquisition.  I'm kind of worried that if I have them start falling back now they'll get run down from behind by Soviet BMPs; better to have them overrun while their in fighting positions I guess.  I really need tracks to shuffle these guys around!

And then the fight I'm not looking forward to arrives at my doorstep...

With numbers on his side, the Soviet commander brings on his first echelon of five T-72s in the northeast.  Lt Dillon's options are: 1) react fire now, before the Soviets shoot, albeit with less firepower dice; or 2) let the Soviets fire, and wait to fire on your own activation with full fire dice.  Of course, if another Soviet card comes out, they'll bring their other five T-72s on to fire before the US tanks get to activate, however many are left from the first round of firing.

Well, as you see above, I wasn't willing to wait and try to weather the storm, so all four US tanks fired.

Meanwhile, a Soviet T-72 moved up the road and tried to rally a BMP, but it failed and fell back off the map (that's the second one)!

It doesn't go well: only one of the four US tanks scores, getting a single knock out.  Three T-72s return fire...

The first Soviet round immobilizes an M1, and the crew bails (bottom right).  The second Soviet round is a near miss, and forces an M1 to fall back and hunker (red bead at bottom center).  The Soviet firing on Lt Dillon's vehicle misses, so he gets to return fire...

And the Great War Panda (as Lt Dillon's vehicle is called) strikes, knocking out a second T-72.

Looking east to west: but then the second echelon of Soviet tanks comes on (bottom right), and all five unleash sabot rounds at the three remaining US tanks (far left).

Soviet tanks four and five didn't even need to fire, the first three Soviet shots knocked out the remaining US tanks in order.  Poor Lt Dillon was last seen running in search of a muddy puddle, arse in flames...

And just like that, the US tanks are gone.  I told you the tanks should have been in the center.  This mission was going to be rather difficult to begin with; with my tanks gone, and my shootin' dice gone cold, I'm not sure I'm up to the task.  I finally understand what it's like to be Army ;)

Back on the road with Soviet Mech 3, a hunkered BMP self-rallies up to pinned (left, on road), while four more BMPs of Mech 3 push south down the road.  I roll to see if the Soviet Mech 3's commander has his spidey senses being riled up, and, of course, he does, so they kick out their infantry.  Meanwhile, the overall Soviet CO (bottom center left) again marks targets for his 122mm arty (pink bead at top right, on Lt Lamanchew's K/3 Mech Inf Plt).

The US AH-64 (top right) moves to his right a bit, drawing react fire from the ZSU-23/4 (bottom left), but the 23mm tracers from the four-barreled behemoth fall short.

The Apache fires on the buttoned-up BMPs of Soviet Mech 2, hoping to knock out some vehicles and cook the riflemen inside.

One BMP with rifle team is knocked out (center top), while another BMP is forced to fall back (red bead at top left, next to Mech 1's commander).

That is not good enough, @#$hole...

TOW1 falls back into new firing positions (bottom right), remaining hidden but still needing to reload.  This is looking west to east, with Soviet Mech 1 and 2 at far left.

The US mortars (bottom center) once again target Soviet infantry that are still bunched up from just dismounting, this time belonging to Soviet Mech 3 on the road.

One rifle team is 'men down' (white bead) and two more are pinned.

That's not going to cut it either.  What has happened to my dice?

Then the Soviet arty strikes the left side of Lt Lemanchew's 3rd Mech Plt, but the only suffering that occurs is a rifle team is forced to fall back (center right, red bead just to the right of the rifle team with the white bead).

Soviet Mech 1's commander rallies a hunkering Mech 2 BMP up to pinned (yellow bead at far left), then he moves up (infantry at center left with black bead).  The Mech 1 MG team moves up to rally a hunkered rifle team (red bead at bottom center), but they fail and run off the map! The MG fires on a US rifle team (top right), to no effect.

Two Soviet Mech 1 rifle teams push forward (far left and bottom center).  This draws fire from the US MG team there (top right), while the nearby Soviet rifle team fires on the US MG team.  The US MG mows down the Soviet rifle team (far left), while the other Soviet rifle team (bottom center) misses them.

Truly I have a dizzying intellect...

But then the Mech 1 BMPs move forward.  They fire, as does their immobilized comrade at bottom left.

But their dice aren't really working either, and all they manage is to pin the US MG team (bottom right).  That does kind of suck though, because he really needs to get out of dodge, back to his fall back positions, before he gets overrun.

Back on the road, the three suffering Soviet rifle teams of Mech 3 self rally, while their two compadres move up.

On the US right, things are  not shaping up the way I thought they would, and Captain Sighe, commander of India Company's 1st Mech Inf Plt, is getting a bit antsy.  He's got a slew of enemy tanks off to his right (off camera to top right), and BMPs coming straight down the road.  He figures he'd better move up to take the BMPs on before the enemy tanks get in position to cut him off or ground him to dust, so he moves his men up (black beads at center, from purple beads at bottom left).  His men are able to remain hidden.

Back on the US left, Lt Lamanchew falls back and rallies his hunkering rifle team (center, red bead).  The US MG at bottom right self rallied.

And then they rush through the forest (Lt Lamanchew at far right), where they successfully rally their rifle team comrades, then fire a LAW at the nearby BMP.

The first rifle team (top center right with blue bead, Lt Lamanchew at top right) mad a great shot, knocking out their target BMP (smoke at dead center) and pinning the enemy rifle team at bottom center.  This allowed the freshly rallied rifle team to move up and fire their own LAW.

Knocking it out (center), and forcing another BMP to fall back (bottom left, red bead, from bottom right).

Pretty cool, but now those two rifle teams are out of LAWs, and can only destroy enemy armor by close assaulting it, which is not nearly as cool as it sounds...

Looking south to north at the US center, with Lt Lamanchew's Mech Inf Plt at top left and Capt Sighe's Mech Inf Plt at bottom right, the US right-hand MG moves up (center, on the left side of the intersection, from purple bead at far left), sets up its M-60, and begins slinging rounds down the highway at Soviet Mech 3.

One enemy rifle team is knocked out, one team is 'men down' (white bead), and one team is pinned (yellow bead).

Now, that's what I'm talking about!  Leave it to the machine gunners.

With Soviet Mech 2 in the center, a pinned BMP tries to self-rally (far left), but stays pinned.  The rest of their BMPs skirt the vehicle knocked out by the US helicopter and push forward, where one of Lt Lamanchew's rifle teams, lying in ambush, fires a LAW.

The BMP is knocked out, as is its transported rifle team, prompting the rest of Mech 2's BMPs to kick out its infantry.

The Soviet MG (center left) opens fire on a US rifle team (top center), while two more US rifle teams (far right and center) react fire on encroaching Soviet rifles.

The US rifles miss, while the Soviet MG knocks out one US rifle team and pins another (top center).  The Soviet rifles that the US rifles missed open fire; both Soviets score, getting 'men down' on both US rifle teams (bottom center and far right)...

Two Soviet rifle teams move up and fire on the pinned US rifle team at top left, while two Soviet rifle teams charge into close combat with the two 'men down' US rifle tams (white beads)...

The US rifle team at top left is knocked out by concentrated rifle fire, but then the improbable occurs: the US rifle team at far right flat out wins its close combat (-3 modifier vs +1 modifier), knocking out the offending Soviet rifle team, while the US rifle team at center (same modifiers) fights the enemy to a draw, in which case they were forced to fall back and hunker (bottom left, red read).

Wowzer...  So Turn 2 ends with action in the center.

And that's exactly where Turn 3 picks up.  Soviet Mech 1's commander (center left) moves up and marks targets for their artillery (the intersection, off camera to top right), while the immobilized BMP (bottom left, white bead) fires on the US rifle teams and a damaged BMP moves up to the hunkering BMP (red bead at bottom center) and rallies it.

The US rifle team that fought to a draw (top center) is once again 'men down,' while the US rifle team that won (top right) is pinned.  Once again they are very vulnerable to Soviet attack...

And the BMP that just rallied moves up and rallies the pinned rifle team, then fires on the recently rallied US MG team, pinning them.

Dammit!!!  I really need to get that MG out of there, which causes me to get a little irrational...

Team Whiskey's XO and on-site commander, Major Kavscott, braves enemy fire to move his vehicle and command team to the just-pinned machine gun team (top right, from behind the buildings at top center), but a Soviet Mech 2 BMP (bottom left) react fires with its 30mm gun...

The XO's vehicle and command team is destroyed (bottom right).  Unable to move (due to being pinned), the MG team fires across the remains of Lt Lemanchew's platoon's front (actually between two US rifle teams, with Lt Lemanchew at far right), putting heavy casualties on an enemy rifle team.

While back in the center, the other US MG fires down the highway again at Soviet Mech 3.

Putting heavy casualties on a rifle team and pinning a BMP, though another BMP returns fire, missing.  The enemy rifle team that the left-hand MG team just put 'men down' is at bottom right.  At top right you can just see the pink bead signifying where Soviet Mech 1's commander marked for the Soviet arty.

From behind the US lines, the right-hand MG team falls back (bottom center, purple/black bead, from far right explosion/pink bead, with a TOW of TOW2 to his left).

The Apache pops up again, once again firing on Mech 2.

Another damn Soviet vehicle is immobilized with the crew deciding to stay (that's gotta be some kind of record, and very much against the odds), while the MG team is pinned (yellow bead at center right, with US 'men down' rifle team at bottom right).

Lt Lemanchew leads his command team through the brush, where they rally his pinned rifle team, then fire on the Soviet team at bottom center, missing (US MG at far right, pinned, and 'men down' rifle team at center left).  Dammit, I need to hit that damn rifle team so they can't react fire when I move the recently rallied US rifle team forward to rally their 'men down' brothers.

So the just-rallied US rifle team also fires on the Soviet rifle team at bottom center, but they miss!!!

Gotta go anyway: Lt Lemanchew and his command team (far right) look on helplessly as their comrades leave cover, sprinting towards their buddies (top center, white bead) and the grim Communist riflemen let go with all they have...

Forcing the US rifle team to fall back and hunker (far right, red bead, with Lt Lemanchew's team to their left and the 'men down' team at center left).  My only option left is for the 'men down' team to self rally, so I give it a go, and they fail, staying 'men down.'

This is such bull@#$%!!!!

At bottom left, TOW1 reloads, so they are hidden in good firing positions and ready to rock.  Next turn...

And then the Soviet arty hits the crossroads (Captain Sighe's I/1 Mech Inf at bottom right, MG at far left).

At top right, two of Captain Sighe's rifle teams are knocked out, and the MG team is forced to fall back and hunker (red bead at bottom left, from bushes at center left).

You can see one of the fall back positions at bottom right; but I don't have any troops left to fall back...

On the road, BMPs of Mech 3 start reorganizing after several bouts of US mortar and machine gun fire.  One 'men down' rifle team is rallied, while the pinned team at center fails and falls back.

A BMP falls back with them and tries again, good to go.  A BMP moves up to rally the 'men down' team at top right, but they stay men down, and the pinned BMP at top right tries to self rally but stays pinned.  Off camera to bottom left, a pinned BMP successfully self rallies.

Looking south to north at US center, with the remains of Lt Lemanchew's K/3 Mech Inf Plt intermixed with vehicles and infantry of Soviet Mech 1 and 2 at center, the missile teams of TOW2 sneak back into the buildings (bottom left).

This was probably a really bad idea; the blue beads mean they still need to reload, so they won't be firing for two more turns, if all goes well.  They'll probably be overrun by that point.  I'm going to have to pour helo rockets and mortars in there to keep Soviet Mech 1 and 2 off them, so they can launch their missiles and fall back.  It's gonna be close...

So the US mortars (bottom right) do exactly that, fire on Soviet Mech 1 and 2 (top left; you can just see the Soviet tanks at top right).

The mortars pin a Soviet rifle team.

You read that right.  All the mortars accomplished was to pin a single Soviet rifle team.  I don't mean to sound like a @#$%, but this is really starting to hurt me deep down inside...

Happy the US machine gun in the area pulled back and the US mortars targeted someone else, the infantry of Mech 3 begin pushing forward, rallying the 'men down' rifle team and pinned BMP at top right.

This shaky-ass photo is supposed to show you that Soviet Mech 3 is creeping ever further up the road (bottom left), with only two rifle teams and Captain Sighe's command team (top center, purple beads, just right of the minefield) to oppose them.

Then, looking north to south at the left side of the board, the Soviet tanks roll forward (far left, eight of them).  Mech 3 is on the road at center, Mechs 1 and 2 at far right.

If you look for the orange roof at top center, then come right to the minefield, just right of that is Captain Sighe's three teams.

Back in the center, the Soviet Mech 1 commander (top left) and MG team (right) move to their BMP (bottom right) and load up.

With Soviet tanks (top right) and Mech 3 (top left) bearing down on Captain Sighe's reduced platoon (bottom left)...

He orders his men to fall back to their original positions (bottom left, black beads, from center, purple beads).

A Soviet Mech 2 BMP tries to rally but fails and falls back (far left, red bead, from yellow bead at top right).  The Soviet CO moves to the BMP and rallies it, but only gets them up to pinned.  That's a knocked out BMP at far right, and the ZSU-23/4 at bottom center, which reminds me...

I forgot to let the ZSU react fire when the Apache popped up last time, so I let him (bottom left) fire at the US helo (top right) now.

The Apache is forced back by the concentrated anti-aircraft fire )bottom left, from top center).  This means the helo won't be able to act next turn.  No sweat I guess, he hasn't been hitting anything anyway...

A BMP moves up (bottom left) and rallies an immobilized BMP (red/white bead) and the hunkered rifle there, and both are successful.  At center, a BMP charges the 'men down' US rifle team.  Lt Lemanchew's team looks on from top right, frustrated with their inability to get up there to rally those men.

The BMP grinds the Yanks under its tracks (explosion at center), then moves forward, where Lemanchew launches his team's only LAW.

The BMP is immobilized, but once again the crew somehow stays with the vehicle!!!  I believe that is five BMPs that are damaged and would be counted as kills if the crew had bailed.  That is really incredible.  Or should I say, INCONCEIVABLE!!!

I hope my post doesn't seem to negative for you guys; it's all tongue in cheek, it's just a game!  Okay, maybe it's pissing me off a little bit ;)

Well, that's all for now, turns 1-3 are finished.  This is going to be very interesting.  Assuming the Soviets don't simply crush me, and I start scoring some kills, it's all going to come down to how many Soviet tanks cross the bridge, and how many BMPs cross the bridge or swim the river.  This brings up a weird situation with regards to victory point counting, I need to check the book.  Black and white is Soviet vehicles that exited vs Soviet vehicles knocked out.  But what about the Soviet vehicles immobilized but not knocked out, or the two that fell back off the map?  Very interesting.

More to come, so stay tuned guys.



  1. And the Soviet air force hasn't even made its appearance.

    1. Yeah, exactly. The MiG-23 only gets one run, but it's with a 1000-pound bomb!!! It won't (shouldn't) be particularly devastating in terms of kills, but suppressions...

      We'll see.


  2. Is the MiG-23 a random event or is it something that is on-call?

    1. It's on call, but you have to pass an activation roll for it to arrive, with the chances increasing each turn.


  3. Jack,
    Could you please tell me what colors you have your AFVs for each side painted? Thanks.

    1. Clay,

      I'll have to get back to you on the US, I don't recall. But I'll take a look and let you know. The Soviets are simply a Wal-Mart spray green with a black wash, rust-colored tracks.

      Regarding the Wal-Mart sprays, it's part of their camo series: they have a desert sand, khaki, a dark olive green, a black, a dark brown, and a medium green. the medium green is what I used for the Soviets.

      I'll get back to you.