Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Red on Red

I was somewhat startled to see how long it had been since I updated the blog. It's not that I haven't been wargaming - including plenty of C20 like Chain of Command, IABSM, IABNM, Squarebashing and even a modern tournament - it's just that I've been a rather slovenly blogger. Perhaps too busy palying to write is a better way of phrasing it.

Development of IABNM continues, including this recent Commie versus Commie clash in 6mm. The game was set in the late 1980s based on the Sino-Soviet split getting nasty again. The Soviets were seizing the initiative and launching an assault with a reinforced motor rifle company against positions held by a PLA infantry company.

The table as seen from the Chinese side is below:

The Chinese force consisted of 3 infantry platoons, one with an HJ-8 ATGM attached, and a platoon of Type 63 light tanks. One platoon deployed on a blind on the edge of a field on the Chinese left, another deployed in the village with the company commander and the third deployed on a blind between two woods with the ATGM positioned to fire across the table. The Type 63s took up turret down positions behind the low ridge. A dummy blind was placed to 'watch' the right flank.

The Soviet force was a full motor rifle company in BMP2s; 3 rifle platoons, a machine gun section and a grenade launcher section. This was supported by a platoon of 3 T72s which was split up to provide each motor rifle platoon with one tank in 'intimate support'. The Soviet commander could also call upon 4 Mi-24s armed with rocket pods as flying artillery support. The mission was to inflict maximum damage on the Chinese forces in the area and ensure that they could not interfere with a Soviet advance to the Chinese table edge. The Chinese were tasked with stopping this.

The Soviets entered the table on blinds but were quickly spotted and the toys came out of the box. 2nd platoon covered the woods, coming off blinds dismounted with their BMPs held back to give covering fire should the infantry meet opposition from the edge of the woods.  3rd platoon advanced very quickly over the ridge but failed to spot the Chinese infantry in the fields.

1st platoon advanced across fields straight towards the village with the MG and AGL sections in support behind.

The Soviet 3rd platoon had advanced too quickly. The Chinese Type 63s came off their blind and opened fire.

Two BMPs were and the tank were hit. The 85mm rounds made no impact on the T72 but the thinly armoured BMPs were easily penetrated and their passengers piled out suffering shock and casualties to be engaged by the Chinese infantry.

The T72 immediately retaliated and destroyed 2 of the T63s. The surviving light tank drove quickly away to seek shelter at the far end of the ridge.

 In the centre a Chinese ATGM operator put the crosshairs of his sight onto a T72 and launched a missile. The Soviet tank had prudently reserved an action from its turn just in case of such an occurrence and fired its smoke dischargers to block the missile operator's view of the target. It was to no avail as the missile struck the tank's side and, true to form, the T72 exploded.

 The remaining Type 63 saw an opportunity. It moved into the open, aimed and fired at a BMP, scoring a hit that destroyed the IFV and accounted for several of the passengers. The Soviet infantry piled out of the remaining BMPs and came under fire from the Chinese infantry platoon with the ATGM.

The commander of the Soviet 1st platoon remained in his BMP to direct its fire. It had the chance of shot on the Type 63 - decision time, a couple of bursts with its 30mm or a Spandrel ATGM? The missile was selected which turned out to be a sound choice as it tore the light tank apart.
 With 2 out of 3 platoons heavily engaged and one tank destroyed, the Soviet commander called for the air support. He didn't have long to wait as 2 pairs of Hinds flew on at low level to attack the defenders.
 Mass discharges of 57mm high explosive rockets inflicted serious losses and shock on the Chinese infantry, but they held their positions.

A pair of firefights ensued as the Chinese infantry in the village joined in the action firing on the Soviet infantry in the centre. The hitherto unengaged Soviet 2nd platoon advanced through the wood and launched a close assault on the Chinese. This was too much for the Chinese who were overrun.

The tide had turned. The Soviets concentrated fire from 2 platoons and the support sections on the village. The auto-grenade launchers proved particularly effective against the Chinese positions. On the Chinese left, the Soviet tank proved the game winner. Surviving 2 Type 69 RPG hits, it fired high explosive rounds with spectacular success against the defenders still reeling form the shock of the Hind strike. With the PLA running out of bottle, the defence collapsed.