Wednesday, 1 July 2015

OML3 - The Lardest Day Part 2

For the afternoon game I switched the table about a bit, reducing the built up area and adding a river complete with a bridge on one side. This is the view from the west.

I also changed the sides a lot. For this game the West Germans would be attacking with a Panzergrenadier company in Marders supported by a platoon of Leopard 2s with the aim of grabbing the bridge. The defending Soviet force consisted of 2 motor rifle platoons in BTR60PBs, the company support platoon and a weakened platoon of 2 T64Bs. The view from the east:

One German platoon advanced quickly towards the wood and ran into point-blank range fire from a Soviet platoon that destroyed all 3 Marders and inflicted heavy losses on the panzergrenadiers as they struggled out of the stricken IFVs.

The other motor rifle platoon was deployed in buildings to guard the Soviet right flank. Seeing the ambush of the panzergrenadier platoon, they rushed out of the town in a counter-attack. The Soviet army considered defence to be a temporary measure before the offensive was resumed; good to see players getting into the spirit of it!

The bulk of the German force was pushed towards the right, advancing behind a smokescreen.

The survivors of the ambushed panzergrenadier platoon were caught between the infantry firing from the wood and the counter-attacking motor platoon on their left. Casualties and shock put them out of the fight.

The motor rifles pressed forward.

As the contents of blinds were revealed, the two sides were found to have their tanks separated by a smokescreen.

The second T64 drove round the other side of the supermarket to support the counter-attacking motor rifles.

It didn't look much better for the first T64 from his side.

The motor rifles reached the wood bordering the road.......
 .....and entered into a firefight with the second panzergrenadier platoon dismounted in the supermarket car park.

The Leopards picked out the T64 with their thermal imaging and knock it out.

The third panzergrenadier platoon pressed forward and reached the river.

These were better tactics than the first platoon used with Marders held back to provide fire support.

A couple of Milans were fired by Marders at the T64 but missed - the range was too short for effective guidance. The T64 responded by accounting for one of the Marders. A Leopard rounded the corner of the supermarket and ran into a 125mm fin-stabilised round.

The motor rifles pushed through the trees......

....and a major fight developed in the car park that eventually involved both motor rifle platoons, a panzergrenadier platoon and the Germany company HQ. It was carnage.

The Soviet support platoon opened fire with Spigot anti-tank missiles at the Leopards but failed to score a hit. One Leopard surged forward, over the bridge and into the minimum range of the Spigots.

This was a fantastic game to umpire. Unfortunately the pictures don't capture the mayhem around the supermarket, partly because I was enjoying it so much I forgot to take more. The Germans took the bridge as required, but it was at a high cost with just 2 tanks and 4 IFVs left.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

OML3 - The Lardest Day

June 6 saw the long-awaited OML3 Lardy games day hosted by the able boys of The Wyvern Wargames Club from near Evesham, Worcestershire. It featured some fantastic-looking games covering WW2, the Russo-Japanese War, the War of the Roses, the Sudan 1885, the Napoleonic War, Athurian and recent Afghanistan.

I put on 2 games of IABNM. The morning game concerned a Soviet tank company (T64Bs) supported by a motor rifle platoon, a recce platoon and some artillery attempting a breakthrough against a West German force of a Panzergrenadier platoon in Marders, a Heimatzschutzkommando platoon, a pair of Jaguars and a weakened panzer platoon (Leopard1A4) supported by some mortars.

Here's a shot of the table from the west.........

 And another from the east.....

A close up of the village.....

And the supermarket......

A further view of the village from the east....

The Soviets started by hitting suspected German positions with artillery (which did little harm) and laying a smokescreen.

The Soviet force entered on blinds

One blind was quickly spotted and revealed as the recce platoon of 3 BRMs

The German blinds were deployed to cover the whole front making use of available cover

The Soviet recce advanced quickly along the road.........

......and surprised the Jaguars parked in the supermarket car park

 The Heimatzschutzkommando platoon deployed off its blind to fire at the advancing Soviets

The Soviet recce was caught in a crossfire between the Heimatzschutzkommando and Marders and the BRMs were knocked out. Their passengers had already dismounted and piled into the village.

Before succumbing to hail of 20mm rounds the leading BRM accounted for a Jaguar.

The Leopards had been deployed to the rear to make use of their mobility. German infantry entered into a firefight across the road against the Soviet recce infantry that went on for the rest of the game.

A Soviet tank platoon advanced on the left through a cornfield

While another pushed into the village

A close range fight ensued between T64 and Leopard

With losses on both sides

The other Soviet tank platoon was held back to seek a gap in the defences

These Commies have no respect for property

By the end the Soviets were close to a breakthrough but had little left with which to exploit it.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Quick Review - QRF T64B

There has been a bit of discussion on TMP about the correct Soviet tanks to use for IABNM and who makes them in 15mm.

The most common Soviet tank to be encountered by NATO on the Central Front would have been the T64 (not, repeat NOT the T72 which were supplied to some satellites but were otherwise kept safely at home in the good ol' U of SSR).There is only one manufacturer of T64s in 15mm which is QRF who make 3 variants - the basic T64A, the upgraded T64B and the T64BV with reactive armour stuck all over it. The latter can be seen in some of my AARs, but I've recently acquired 10 of the T64B to make a full company, so I'm going to take a closer look at it.

The tank comes as a kit in a ziplock plastic bag.

It consists of 8 parts - hull, 2 sets of tracks and running gear (identical and reversible so useable for both sides), gun barrel, 2 parts for deep wading snorkel and the AAHMG.

The casting is very clean. There are some faint mold lines, which are easily removed by a quick scrape with a model knife, and very little flash. It is necessary to drill into the mantlet cover to make a hole for the barrel lug. I also drilled out the other end a little. A small hole in front of the cupola to hold the lug on the AAHMG is needed too. The drilling aside, the parts go together easily and there's no need for any filling.
There is no picture of this model on the QRF/TSS website so I went to Jane's Armour and Artillery 1986-7 to find a picture for positioning the wading bits on the back of the turret.

Overall a good model. Here's the first half of the company, ready for the spray booth:

Monday, 20 April 2015

Breakthrough in the '70s

For this game we left the usual setting of the mid-1980s and went back to the early 1970s. The scenario saw a hastily assembled US force of a mechanised platoon, an anti-tank section and an armored cavalry section on a mission to stop a breakthrough by a Soviet company of T62s with a motor rifle platoon in BMPs attached. 

The table is below , from the Soviet entry edge. We were trying out a new Cigar Box Grasslands Mat with stuff under it to make areas of high ground in the bottom right, top right and top left of the picture, but they don't don't show up so well in the pictures which is lesson for next time. The trees show the extent of a dense wood and there are two field of crops.

The US deployed blinds. The bottom left and the 2 on the right are concealed from the Soviet side by high ground.

The Soviets sent a blind along the road to flush out any US in the village but failed to spot anything.

Two more blinds advanced uphill check out the wood.

The blind in the wood was found to be a dummy, as was the Soviet blind on the road. Another Soviet blind advanced through the centre to try another spot on the village.

Soviet spotting was poor but the central blind was revealed to be a platoon of T62s.

The 2 blinds moving uphill by the wood was also spotted and shown to be the infantry platoon dismounted with the BMPs behind in support.

Failure to spot the US blind in the cornfield led to an outbreak of impetuosity by the Soviet infantry who rushed forward on higher than expected movement dice followed by the BMPs on a Breakthrough card.

The US infantry platoon deployed off its blind and opened fire.

The first Soviet squad suffered badly and 2 of the BMPs were destroyed by M67s and M72s.

Another Soviet tank platoon moved through the cornfield on the Soviet left and was spotted by a US blind that deployed as the anti-tank section. It moved into a firing position of high ground and.....
.....made quick work of the T62s.

The US infantry's M113s had been deployed separately behind the ridge and cam of their blind to fire on the Soviet infantry, inflicting casualties including the last BMP.

The 3rd Soviet tank platoon advance over the hill past the wood and fired into the US infantry.

The M113s were spotted by a T62 who accounted for 2 with well-aimed shots from the halt.

With the threat to the US right dealt with, the anti-tank platoon moved to flank the Soviet tanks using the buildings to hide their movements.

The Soviet tanks poured HE into the US infantry's fox holes putting one section out of the battle as Soviet infantry also suffered.

The Sheridans of the armored cavalry section revealed their position to fire at the Soviet tanks. The range was too short for Shillelaghs so they had to fire shells which immediately broke their sights. Two T62s were hit and brewed up. However the Sheridans received return fire and some uncannily accurate shooting hit all 3.

An M113 mounting a recoilless rifle was destroyed by an overwatching T62.....

......that was then knocked out by the other anti-tank vehicle.

M67s accounted for 2 more T62s leaving the Soviets down to less than a platoon and the breakthrough was prevented.

A note on models - the US are all Battlefront, the T62s are by QRF, the BMPs are by Skytrex and the Soviet infantry are from Irregular.