It's 0730 on 9 August 1986, and Team Whiskey is again playing the role of fire brigade. Having moved to counter the northern pincer enveloping Frankfurt (and successfully turning back the Red horde in their sector), Team Whiskey was pulled back to see where the next blow would land. They didn't have to wait long.
Rhein-Main Airbase has been key to NATO evacuation of civilians in the region, serving as both a collection point and evacuation point. But evacuation operations concluded this morning with the Soviets once again striking the flightline, and with Soviet armored formations on the horizon, the decision was made that Rhein-Main had to abandoned. All day NATO troops have been packing up personnel and gear, and destroying what couldn't be taken. But these were lightly-armed rear echelon troops, and so with Soviet troops on the airfield's perimeter, Team Whiskey was flung into a hasty defense. But due to travel issues (military and civilian traffic blocking the way, dealing with Soviet interdiction airstrikes, and getting lost due to no time available for route reconnaissance), only Captain Bronshtein's Kilo Company makes it into position in time, where they link up with two teams from 10th Special Forces Group (10 SFG). And here comes the Soviet armor...
For activation cards, the US is such:
Two quick admin notes:
1) India Company still has M2/3 Bradleys left, but Kilo's all got blown up a long time ago. They've been riding around in M-113s they 'borrowed' from various US and West German formations along the way. Seeing these as unsuitable for combat, they ride them to their destination then dismount to fight, having the tracks laager off-board.
2) Sgt Bajers is not the rank 'Sergeant,' i.e., an E5. I haven't really specified, but I figure he's probably a Sergeant First Class (E7) or Master Sergeant (E8). But I will simply refer to him in the reports at Sgt Bajers. Or, as the Army does, "Big Sarge." ;)
Soviet activation cards are:
-Off table arty
-Mech 1 BMPs
-Mech 1 Infantry
-Mech 2 BMPs
-Mech 2 Infantry
-Mech 3 BMPs
-Mech 3 Infantry
As always, the TOWs are very vulnerable to return fire, so they must displace immediately after firing. If they're still alive...
In other words, charge!!!
Let's get it started, and even getting started is interesting. If a US card comes out first, a TOW section can launch and pop some BMPs of Mech 1 before they even start laying smoke, and if two US cards come out in a row, both TOW sections can pretty much wreck Mech 1 before they get anything done. Of course, a Soviet card means Mech 1 BMPs are off and running, laying smoke to cover their buddies, so the TOWs can pop the lead BMPs but are going to have a hard time identifying what's behind them (and that includes calling in the A-10.
That's a cool looking pic, if I do say so myself ;)
Things don't seem to be going my way. That's the end of Turn 1.
Again, coulda been worse. Knock on wood, the past couple games has seen the Soviet arty not as devastating as it had been in previous games.
I know it seems backwards to have the infantry following the BMPs, but bear with me. The infantry dismounted because I figure all the BMPs of Mech 1 are going to get smoked, so no use having them turn into caskets for the riflemen too. And keep in mind the Soviets have to keep moving; I probably haven't mentioned it, but there's a time limit for them to get their vehicles off the southern (right) table edge.
So, the TOW is in firing position, but I think you can see the problem: the BMPs of Mech 1 are strung from center to top left, laying smoke. They are all already past TOW2 (or will be by the time he reloads), and the smoke is obscuring the tanks following Mech 1.
And Turn 2 is in the books.
The Soviet Hind has fixed itself and is available for fire support next turn.
More to follow.