Somewhere in northern Germany the BAOR are facing the advance of Warsaw Pact forces invading West Germany. This was an early play-test game for my ‘Cold War Gone Hot’ rules in development, Battlegroup: NorthAG (WIP title).
Whilst drawing from Battlegroup’s WW2 rules, these aren’t the same game, everything has been tweaked, changed, dropped or had stuff added, to try and get a better feel for a larger size game with smaller models (we play in 10mm, but 6mm and 15mm will be equally fine and dandy I think).
This was the smallest game size (Platoon), with Company and Battalion-sized games included as well. In it, my Chieftains were facing T-64s, backed by infantry and mortars. It was close, but I lost too many precious tanks, and my TOW Lynx - when it arrived - failed to hit anything before being pinned under Shilka cannon fire. The Russian won it when a platoon of airborne infantry dropped onto my frontline objective and seized it in a lightning assault. Lessons to be learnt were that, with the possibility of an airborne assault from mobile reserves, lightly held objectives, anywhere on the table, are vulnerable. In this game objectives are vital - more important than in BG, and mostly only available for infantry units to capture. So, in a big tank fight, the infantry have a specific role, to get to, capture and hold the objectives. That is where they bump into each other.
The game worked well, I was happy, but it did need the tweaks that followed. Mainly I’m very happy with the new army lists, which have been completely re-written and provided the sort of forces and the sort of battle I think a ‘modern’ game should. Combined arms, task-orientated mixed battlegroups, but leaning towards the tanks for these open-field battles (the game isn’t going to worry overly about purely urban combat). But recce, infantry and artillery all have a role to play. So too the AA vehicles, because airborne firepower on helos and aircraft is frightening, leave yourself open to it at your peril. AA vehicles parked up, just waiting on ambush fire, makes me oddly happy! It turned out in this game that 1 infantry team with a Blowpipe didn’t really provide much in the way of air defence. Another lesson learnt.
Development work will continue, and some of the heavy restrictions I had on artillery will have to go. Atm, it’s just not doing enough in the game to feel like it’s a major factor, and against massed Red tanks, 81mm mortar fire just doesn’t cut-it! They just roll-on with barely a pin amongst them. My Scorpion recce tank did a lot of spotting, but his called mortar fire was largely ineffective.
Later, we also introduced the new gas-attack rules, which are nasty but added a new dimension I like… no tactical nukes yet, but they are defo coming.
Here are a few snaps of the first game in progress, not many, as my mind was firmly on the rules. We also played a second larger game, which was another Red win... a pounding this time as his T-64s overran me. Hard life as Chieftain crew in these rules.
Red Steel. T-34 company giving (and taking) fire.
Russians on the left, BAOR on the right, Lynx choppering in inbetween.
The Lynx lines up the T-64s. 2 TOWs away, two TOWs miss!
Some mechanised infantry FV-432s unload infantry teams into the woods (an objective). Once the men are out, these tracks are redundant, so withdrawing them off-table is a good move. This I also like, it feel right. Quick in and then quick out before the enemy tanks starting targeting them.