Tuesday, 12 November 2013

IABNM Goes to Swindon

It's been a long time since I posted anything. I haven't been completely inactive and have been working on ironing out the gaps in IABNM. Last week I was invited to take IABNM on the road to Swindon where there's an avid following of IABSM so the bases of the rules were already known to the players. I set up a West German vs Soviet encounter with a mechanised company and a tank platoon aside with artillery support.
A quick view of the table from the north. The Commies were tasked with securing a route westwards, the forces of freedom with making sure that this didn't happen.

A close up of where the battle was likely to be focussed. The table was set up by the guys from Swindon so I can't claim credit for the terrain.

The Germans entered on blinds looking like they were concentrating on pushing into the village.

The Soviets entered on blinds taking seeking to use the woods and hills to cover their advance.

A platoon of Panzergrenadiers attempts to outflank the village from the north but is seen moving across open and the Marders are quickly destroyed..... the Soviet tank platoon that has taken up position on a low ridge.....

......before advancing rapidly.

The German tanks take up a similar position on the opposite side.

They inflict some quick kills on a platoon of Soviet Motor Rifles making a dash for the village. A platoon of Panzergrenadiers reaches the village and opens fire with its 20mms on the Soviet infantry.

The other Panzergrenadier platoon moves through the village and unloads its passengers to seize the buildings on the far side.

The Soviet tanks pour HE into the village as they advance.

The Leopards advance wisely reserving dice in case of the unexpected happening.

Unfortunately we were pushed for time and had to call it a day. it was a good try out for version 4 of the playtest rules plus I got to learn a bit more about IABSM which of course is relevant to IABNM

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

From the Halls of the shores of the Baltic Sea

Tired of reading about the landlubbers gaining all the glory, the USMC got in on the act last night. The aim of the game was to test the attack helicopter and air assault rules.

A company of the USMC was given the mission of seizing a vital crossroads aided by 4 AH-1W Cobras. Seeking to prevent this was a weakened company of the Baltic Fleet Naval Infantry.

A quick view of the objective lying between woods, hills and wooded hills. The Soviet defenders deployed with most of their force hidden at the edges of the two wooded hills close to the crossroads:

First to arrive for the USMC were the Cobras, flying in low:
Two Cobras move in to soften up areas of likely Soviet deployment:

.....covered by their wingmen:

At the edge of a wood a Soviet marine switches on the infra-red tracking system of his SA-16 and locks onto the tail of a Cobra. He fires:

.....and- against the odds - misses. The covering Cobra lets off a burst with its 30mm Gatling and the SA-16 group won't be bothering anybody again. With the SAM out of the way, the Cobras are left to attack the Soviet infantry:

Who open fire with AKs and RPDs:

Rocket pods strike home inflicting casualties and shock:

It's likes bees round a honey pot as the Cobras, their rocket pods emptied, fire their gatlings into the edges of the woods.

The Soviets fire back but woeful shooting means they can't hit a barn door or, more significantly, a tail rotor:

With the defence suppressed, the landing force arrives

The Sea Knights land and deposit the infantry who take some casualties from the surviving Soviets, but the objective is quickly secured and the remaining defenders sent packing:

Their work done, the Sea Knights take off:

.....and leave the table:

It wasn't a close game although an early kill by the SA-16 might have change things a bit. However the helicopter rules were given a good run through and a couple of minor issues were ironed out. Playtest version 3 is ready, we're nearly done.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Breakthrough Near Lardstadt

This game saw a Soviet tank company (T80s) supported by a motor rifle platoon seeking to exploit a breakthrough near the town of Lardstadt. NATO's defences had been stretched by recent fighting and the only force available to stop them was a US armored cavalry platoon of 3 M3s and 2 M1s although they could call on off-table artillery, air support and helicopters. It was set up to be a clash of numbers versus technology.
A quick view of the table from the south with Lardstadt in the distance and the Soviets to enter from the right:

Preceded by a preliminary artillery bombardment that inflicted no losses on the Americans, Soviet forces enter on blinds. The strange glow on the table is the mythical big yellow ball in the sky making its annual brief appearance:

Despite some poor spotting dice 2 Soviet tank platoons are observed advancing along the road:

Abrams and Bradleys inflict 2 quick kills:

The Soviets return fire and destroy a Bradley:

Carefully concealed at the edge of a wood a US officer makes a call:

The third Soviet tank platoon is detected advancing close to the town:

Soviet blinds move through the town and around its northern edge giving the US commander something to think about:

 Another good bit of Soviet shooting accounts for one of the M1s. The Big Man escapes and runs to the remaining tank:

Near the town an Apache pops up to look for targets but no Soviet tank passes into its nose sight:

The earlier call is answered as an A10 makes a pass:

A sight no Warsaw Pact tank commander wants to see:

The package is delivered. One T80 is destroyed, a second is damaged while a third gets away unscathed:

 A second Bradley is hit and the remaining one has fired both of its ready ITOWs so needs to reload but contact is made with an off-table Apache. As 3 laser designators paint their targets:
 The 2 tanks that survived the air strike are struck by Hellfires and find that even their ERA is not sufficient to save them:

The remaining tank in the first platoon receives the other Hellfire and suffers the same fate:

The surviving M1 holds its position and hits 2 T80s destroying one and immobilising the other:

A lonely M1 - all that stands in the way of a Soviet breakthrough:

A final view of the table. Pillars of black smoke mark knocked out armoured vehicles as the Soviet attempt to breakthrough is thwarted: 

A much better result for the US - 9 T80s destroyed for the loss of 2 M3s and an M1. The Soviet motor rifle platoon had infiltrated the town unseen but its path was blocked by the last M1 and it was going to need more than 3 BMPs for a successful breakthrough. So a clear US victory this time and a test of the air support and ATGM remote guidance rules. The next job is to incorporate recent findings into a new version of the rules.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

AAR - The Cavalry Arrives

Today's game saw the West Germans hand over the task of repelling the red horde to the Good Ol' Boys of the US Armored Cavalry. The game was a predominantly armoured battle featuring an armoured cavalry platoon of M1s and M3 supported by a weakened platoon of 3 M1s and artillery under the control of an AOO in a FISTV. Their task was to stop a breakthrough by a company of T80BVs with an attached motor rifle platoon in BMP2s and supported by a MI-24 Hind F.

Here's view of the table with the Soviet forces due to enter from the left:

The Soviets enter on visible blinds. From the look of it they are looking to move around the American left while sending a thrust through along the road. The blinds reserve a die each in anticipation of American action:

The Hind flies low around the American right:

....and finds the M1 platoon in turret down positions along a low ridge. The Hind fires its rocket pods but does no damage to the M1s:

The Hind uses its final action of its turn to shelter behind the nearby wood to avoid US retaliation to its failed rocket attack:

Soviet tanks are spotted advancing on the US left using the a wood for cover:

....and advancing along the road:

The platoon commander and the Bradley section come off hidden blinds and fire an ITOW each at the Soviet tanks:

The launch of the ATGMs is spotted by an overwatching Soviet tank platoon:

The Armored Cavalry's M1 section also shows itself to open fire. 2 Soviet tanks are destroyed and a third survives an ITOW hit courtesy of its ERA at the expense of a damaged engine:

The AOO in his FISTV tucked into the edge of the wood looks for a target:

.....and spots the motor rifle platoon. His request for fire support is accepted with the news that fire will arrive very quickly. DPICM will cause this lot a few problems:

Things start to go wrong for the Americans. Some good shooting from the overwatching Soviet platoon destroys both of the armoured cavalry M1s:

The Soviets take advantage of the Armoured Breakthrough card to push forward in numbers leaving just the overwatching platoon in position:

....with one platoon reaching the village:

That's what I call shooting. Even a well chosen hull down position won't protect against pinpoint accuracy or a double six:

The Hind flies back into action and fires an AT-6 Spiral at an M1:

The M1 turns to present its best armour which saves it from destruction at the expense of being immobilised:

Think like a Soviet commander - Soviet tanks and IFVs push forward quickly. A salvo of ITOWs destroys one tanks and damages the gunsight on another. The US left is in jeopardy as the M3s have each fired both of their ready ITOWs and need to reload:

More good shooting, this time an M1 is the victim:

....followed by the final remaining undamaged tank:

This is how to shoot on the move -  one action to move and aim, one to move and fire, a third to fire unaimed resulting in 2 Bradleys knocked out:

With the US force devastated and the leading T80 poised to exit the table, the battle was over in turn 4. A total Soviet victory that was unexpected. The Americans were unlucky in getting a bad run of cards at a critical moment, rolling low scores in resolving some of the ITOW hits and receiving some first clas Soviet shooting - twice a T80 scored 2 kills in a turn, but the Soviets exploited their opportunities and took some stopping. A few issues with the rules arose which will be part V3 to be released for testing soon.