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At this years Action we essentially continued the game we had on last year. Which meant we were back in WW III and still in the Magdeburg region. The idea behind our game was two soviet armoured divisions that had had spearheaded their forces over the River Elbe. This is where they are supposed to be stopped and pushed back over the Elbe by a NATO strike force consisting of a German armoured division and a mixed British force. Last year a platoon from the Black Watch had to take a bridge over the Elbe to prevent soviet re-enforcements. This year we were on the far right flank of the NATO forces. This is where the British forces had to hold back a soviet counter attack. At the beginning of the game the battle had already been going on for hours and exactly is exactly where the British had been forced back to their fall back position.
On the British side was a platoon from the Black Watch that was down to 60% of its manpower and two Warrior IFV´s. They were supported by two 81cm mortar teams and a HMG in the fallback position as well as a Scimitar and Striker from 9th / 12th Lancers. All tanks were low on ammo.
On the Soviet side things looked brighter. They had two T-80´s (one of them belonging to the battalion CO), two sections of Motorrifles with BMP-3s and two sections of conscripts that could be equipped with trucks if they wanted. They too were short on ammo, but they were not as bad off as the Brits.
The Brits had to hold back the Soviets as long as possible. They knew they would soon be re-enforced by two Challenger II´s from the Scots Dragoon Guards HQ. They also knew that they were moving up the list for artillery allocation. But they did not know when they would be supported or when they would reach the top of the list. The Soviets had to try to break through the British line.
Except for the units in the fallback position the Brits could set up anywhere on 3/5th of the board. Two sections of infantry went into position in the woods along the edges of the board. Another section stayed behind the building as a reserve in the middle of the board while the command section went into position on the first floor. Both Warriors hid behind the trees near the home edge of the of the board while the Scimitar and Striker hid inside the woods. They were the only units that the Soviets had not spotted yet.
The soviets set up on their board edge with the vehicles spaced evenly and the infantry dismounted (which meant the conscript did not get the trucks).
On both sides the first loses were inflicted by the snipers. The sole sniper of the two conscript units killed three British soldiers on their right flank with a little help from his NCO. The British sniper from the command section killed the three Soviet snipers and then moved on to the soldiers with the heavy weapons while his mates spotted for him. But both sides also lost vehicles early on. One of the T-80´s got a hit from a LAW-80 on his right flank and went up in flames (ammo explosion!). On the British side the Scimitar was spotted by the second T-80 and taken out. The Brits had therefore lost one of their two units that could give fire corrections for the mortars or call in artillery. And the Warrior on this flank moved up too much and was taken out by the T-80 as well. The suffering was not over for the infantry either. The mortars slowly got their mark on the Soviet infantry and the HMG did the rest until hardly any Soviet infantry was left alive. To protect the few that survived the T-80 fired high explosive shells at the building. After several tries one shell breached the walls killing the whole command section. This left the Brits with no unit to adjust the mortar fire or call in the artillery. Just a short time later the artillery would have been available. The Striker gave his position away by firing at the remaining T-80, missed it andwas taken out by one of the BMP´s. While the Soviets tanks closed in the reserve section moved into the ruins since they had no AT-weapons. The ammo carriers for the mortars moved to the fields edges to spot for their teams. The mortars and HMG tried to team up on the tanks to slow them down, but had no success. But neither did the T-80 manage to kill the HMG team behind their sandbags (they had run out of HE ammo). Just when they thought it was all over the situation changed... the Challengers had arrived. Together with the remaining Warrior they managed to take out the T-80 and one of the BMP´s as well as crippling the other BMP. This last one managed to limp off the board over the British edge, but could not count towards victory conditions in the state it was in.
All in all it was a very good game and both us and our players had lots of fun. We did a second run of the game on the second day of the convention, but had to end it prematurely at the conventions end (which is why we chose not to include a report of that game).
|© 2004-2011, Alexander Schölling and Burkhard Schulze|