This is the finale of batrep #7. So, first off, please accept my humble apologies for the delay since my last post; real life has been kicking my butt. In any case, when we last spoke, NATO is trying to hold a bridge over the Main River for as long as possible, and while NATO has taken heavy casualties, they are also exacting an atrocious toll on the advancing Soviets. The fight is really on a knife's edge, where Team Whiskey physically can't stand to take any more casualties lest it cease to exist as a combat unit, whereas if the Soviets suffer any more casualties they won't have the strength to push across the river and hold until the bridgehead can be reinforced. So, this is about as tight as the fight can get.
The previous batrep showed Turns 1 through 3, so we pick up the action with Turn 4, and the Soviets activate first.
Overall, pretty surprised (lucky) there were no kills.
So the Yankees lost an MG and a TOW team, while the Soviets lost two BMPs. Both sides have several teams in bad morale states, needing to be rallied. TOW2 is ready to fire, but has Soviet infantry and vehicles right on their doorstep, and TOW1 is out of the fight for the moment, with one team knocked out and the other hunkering AND needing to reload, then get into a firing position.
The gambit is successful, though it really means I traded a rifle team for a TOW team.
You can see Captain Sighe and his command team hiding in the bushes to the helo's 4 o'clock.
The US mortars spike their tubes then fall back through the forest to the Main River, look to find a crossing, then link up with friendly forces later.
Phew, we made it. I came out of the fight not feeling too bad. I mean, there was no way I (as the US commander) was going to stop the Soviets from accomplishing their goal of getting to and crossing the river. The whole point was to hold as long as possible, and make the Soviets pay dearly. The victory conditions were primarily about keeping Soviet vehicles from getting off the map (with the US retreating, I counted all Soviet operational vehicles on the board, minus the ZSU, as victory points for the Soviets). The Soviets started with over thirty vehicles, and so I was pretty happy/comfortable in the knowledge I had knocked out a whole bunch of them, immobilized a few (which clearly weren't crossing any rivers today), and even forced a few to retreat back off the Soviet baseline.
What I wasn't thinking about was the fact that, while the Soviet victory conditions didn't take into account US casualties, the US did have a bunch of fighting positions, and the Soviets got victory points for capturing them. So, as I'm reading the victory conditions in the book, I started thinking, how do I handle this? Well, the US forces retreated off the map, which logically means the Soviet survivors control the entire map, which logically means the Soviets captured all the US fighting positions. So, when counting up the points, I got my ass kicked!!! Dammit!!! I thought I had it in the bag, was feeling real good about how many vehicles I'd knocked out. I'm not displeased with the fight or how I handled it; I still see it as perfectly logical that the US fell back, rather than choosing to die in place. We just didn't knock out enough vehicles. Though it seems that if the Soviets capture all the US positions, I pretty much needed to knock out all their vehicles.
Obviously the true issue was to get troops to survive long enough to make it to the fall back positions then have them hang on until the time limit (game turns) ran out, thereby knocking out lots of Soviet vehicles but also holding some ground. In my defense, that as the plan. But, as they say, the enemy gets a say in the matter, and Soviet arty proved mighty effective at getting pins/hunkers/men down on my teams, making it impossible for me to have them fall back in an orderly manner, and even having to rush forward and sacrifice certain units to save others...
Major Kavscott received the Bronze Star with 'V' for valor, posthumously of course, for his heroics in trying to reach and rally troops under heavy enemy fire.
Lt Dillon is listed as MIA, having been seen escaping from his tank and blending in with a herd of local sheep, never to be seen again. He was, however, busted down to Private for his extraordinarily terrible handling of his tank platoon in this fight...
Lt LaManchew received the Bronze Star with 'V' for valor, also posthumously, for his gallantry and combat leadership on the US left, which proved to be a significant obstacle to the Soviet 1st and 2nd Mechanized formations.
6 Rifle teams
2 MG teams
2 TOW teams
2 Command teams
1 M577 command vehicle
4 M1 Abrams
8 Rifle teams
1 MG team
1 Command team
So, fight number 7 is finally in the books. I've actually fought fight number 8 already, just need to write it up and get it posted. Again, sorry for the delay, but it's been rough; I wouldn't have even got this done today but for the fact our baseball game got rained out. These games are taking a tremendous amount of time; research, set up, play, take down, write up, and post is averaging about ten hours per fight. I've got two more left to go for this campaign. They've been a lot of fun, but, to be honest, I'm looking forward to getting back to my smaller-scale fights. Which is funny, because the cool thing about the scenario book is that it's scaleable to what you want to fight: the problem is me! Anyone that's paying attention on TMP or TWW will notice that Mr. Ben Lacy is playing out these same scenarios, but his fights have far fewer troops and vehicles. We all have our own picture in our mind's eye, and for me I wanted to do Cold War on relatively large scale (for me), so that's why the Soviets usually have about thirty vehicles and 20-something infantry stands. 'Tis what I wanted, and lots of fun, but it's wearing me out! ;)
So, stay tuned and I'll get fight number 8 posted ASAP, and I'll look to fight out scenario 9 this weekend and 10 next. Hope you guys are having a good time.