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.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Market Larden Part 2 - A Crossroads Near Lardsburg

The second game of the Wyvern Lardy Day was a meeting engagement between a Soviet recce company of BMPs and T64s and a similarly-sized West German force of Marders and Leopards. The object of the game was to seize the crossroads near to the small village of Lardsburg.

A view of the table from the south with the Soviets entering from the right as the two sides read their briefings and concoct cunning plans:

The Soviets entered first but the West Germans sent a platoon to grab a vantage point on a small hill where they quickly deployed:

The Soviet direct thrust for the crossroads was spotted and the Germans poured fire into the BMPs and infantry. The Marders' cannons made quick work of the BMPs while small arms failed to inflict casualties but caused shock on the infantry:

A Soviet recce section had managed to infiltrate the village undetected and sprung a surprise on the Germans:

.... destroying a Marder with an RPG and inflicting casualties:

 The Soviet platoon left its wrecked BMPs behind and moved through the village to engage its ambushers:

Making use of local knowledge, the Germans move through the wood to the south:

The Soviets engage the Germans in a firefight from the cover of the buildings:

The German outflanking move clears the wood but is concerned about the possibility of Soviet forces in the wood in front:

The effect of the Soviet fire is felt as 3 Marders are hit and the infantry take shock:

The main Soviet attack develops to the north of the village as the tanks platoon advances with the other motor rifle platoon:

The Soviet commander observes the action from a vantage point:

Deciding that there is nothing to worry about in the woods, the German tanks move towards the objective:

It's a game of cat and cat as the Soviet tanks move to engage:

...and inflict 2 kills:

Although a T64 is immobilised in return:

The Soviet infantry advances from the village: the Germans withdraw from the hill. To their right the other German mechanised platoon pours fire into the village, the 20mms inflicting major casualties and forcing a Soviet withdrawal from the buildings:

By the end the Soviet infantry had suffered crippling losses but they had 2 tanks fully operational, while the Germans had lost one of their mechanised platoons and their tanks. Control of the crossroads was disputed with both sides needing reinforcements to succeed in their missions. it was another hard fought action in the best spirit of the day. Thanks to Noddy and Elton for commanding the Soviets and to Nathan for leading the West Germans.