Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Teeny- Tanks in Modern mayhem

 So there were were in the pub  when Andrew the Tekkie says
 "I'll run the next game"
 "Okay sounds good ." says I eager for a chance to actually play as a change from Umpiring.
 Andrew reflectively s takes a pull at his pint
"Floating Jeff has  lots of teeny -weeny tanks- Cold War stuff , so I'll have a go with that Tank Wreak  rule set I bought a while back .
So there Gentle Reader we see sundry TWATS  gathering at the pub for the game  laat Saturday- 26th July
 Intial British  briefing and orbat as follows

BAOR Briefing
Colonel Andrew George Ponsonby-SmytheCopestake
Officer Commanding
Day 4 of the war, and the situation remains finely balanced. Whilst the Soviet Armies have yet to enact a definite breakthrough of our forward lines, the pressure they have placed on front-line units has led to a massive strategic withdrawal, a far more massive endeavour than any pre-war plan supposed.
Whilst this is an unpopular policy with our German friends, it has allowed Second and Fourth Allied Tactical Air Forces to target the Soviet’s increasingly elongated supply lines and severely interdict their follow on forces. As this continues, both sides are beginning to show the strain of continuous operations. Losses to 2nd/4th ATAF are high and replacements are only slowly arriving, demonstrated by the increasing scarcity of air cover to FEBA troops. Ammunition remains at a premium, usage rates are far in excess of pre-war estimates and stockpiles are low. This is hampering our ability to support FEBA forces with artillery.
Negative as this sounds, there is hope in the short term.
REFORGER is in full swing, and CENTAG, the area under most pressure, will receive additional forces in the next 24 hours. Additional units have arrived at Cherbourg and Le Harve and are disembarking now. These will be funnelled to your area of operation.
However, we haven’t been able to hide the fact that REFORGER convoys have completed their trans-Atlantic voyage. Intelligence has caught wind of a last push by Soviet Category A forces in your sector to enact a breakthrough to the coast. Thankfully for us, the initial fighting seems to have broken the back of Soviet Frontal Aviation and no air support is expected for the Soviets.
Using the forces at your disposal, defend in depth the three valleys of theTantobietzen area. You will initially have just one battle group, scrounged from what is left of 2nd RTR and two companies from 1stBtn Staffordshire Regiment.
Follow on forces consist of two further companies of 1Btn Staffordshires and two companies from the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards. Early arrival of REFORGER forces is not anticipated but may happen. Hold them. That is all we ask. Slow them down, grind them to a halt. Do not loose fighting cohesion! I am sure you are ready for another bash at the enemy after your recent experience of Die Waliser!!!
Good luck, God Bless You, and God Save The Queen!

Initial Deployment
1 x HQ group                      1 x Challenger 1
                                                2 x Sultan
1 x Battle Group               2 Cpy’s Challenger 1 (2 x HQ vehicles, 6 x Challenger 1) 2nd RTR

                                                2 Cpy’s Warrior (8 x Warrior IFV) 1stBtnStaffordshires

                                                2 Recce Troops (4 x Scimitar) 1stThe Queens Dragoon Guards

                                                2 ATGW Troops (4 x Striker)7th Arm Bgde Recce
                                                AA Troop (1 x Tracked Rapier) 12th Air Defence Regime

 It was with this tiny force that we were supoosed to hold off the Orange hoardes......(For the uninitiated "Orangeforces" was the  official NATO designation of the Russian armies -  NATO were Blue the Russians Orange- this on exercise after all you couldn't call them the Red Commies ... they might be listening ......)
 The Orange forces  were briefed thus ... 

GSFG Briefing
Colonel Jeffry JeffreyvitchAdwasetzski
Officer Commanding
Day 4 of the war and the imperialist forces cling to their spoils like the greedy thieves they are! Valiant Soviet troops have plunged mercilessly into the weak belly of the puppet German capitalists and we are on the verge of an historic victory!
You shall lead the final push to the coast, wiping out the enfeebled British lackey’s with the cream of the 20th Guards Red Banner Army! Clear the three valleys of Tantobietzen!
Personal note
JeffryJefferyvitchAdwasetzski, I cannot further the lie. I remember too fondly our fishing trips along the Volga with your grandfather, and the tales he told of the Great Patriotic War. The truth is, if you fail in the task above, I fear we shall all be lost. We have taken too long to push through the Americans at Fulda, too long to smash the Bundeswehr, and as for the British, well, their plan (for we know it was theirs!), of trading ground for time was a masterstroke. It weakens us and angers the Germans. Very Russian! Their airforces, although decimated by our Frontal Aviation and ground fire, still continue to pound our reserves and supply lines without drawing breath, whilst our own pilots are too scared to fly over our own troops, in the event they are shot down by our valiant rocket troops! And yet, our esteemed comrades in Naval Aviation and the Red Banner Fleet, despite their valiant efforts, have failed to stop any REFORGER convoys reaching Europe. They made the Americans pay, but in terms nowhere near enough suitable for us. American reserves are already supporting the Central Front and I fear your area of operations will see them shortly.
You have the last Category Aunit in the theatre. Use it wisely. Destroy the British in Tantobietzen and we can push what we have in Category B and C units through to the coast. Fail, and we must conclude the war. 
With ever, my love and respect,
Uncle Vanya

The Orange first wave - photo by Andrew Oyston- who also Umpired.

Soviet Forces (GSFG)
1 x Divisional HQ               1 x T72, 1 x BMP2, 1 x MT-LB, 1 x ZSU-23 Shilka, 1 x SA-9, 1 x BRDM

1 x HQ                                   2 x BMP2, 1 x GL, 1 x ZSU-23 Shilka                          
1 x Tank Btn (R)                 3Cpy’s T-72 (1 x HQ vehicle, 9 x T-72)25th Guards Tank Division
1 x Mtr Rifle Btn (R)         3 Cpy’s BMP2 (12 x BMP2, 1 x SA-9)35th Guards Motor Rifle Division
1 x HQ                                   2 x BMP2, 1 x GL, 1 x ZSU-23 Shilka                          
1 x Tank Btn (B)                 3 Cpy’s T-72 (1 x HQ vehicle, 9 x T-72) 25th Guards Tank Division
1 x Mtr Rifle Btn (B)         3 Cpy’s BMP2 (12 x BMP2, 1 x SA-9) 35th Guards Motor Rifle Division

This mad an awful lot of Russian armour .- The Brits really really needed REFORGER or they were goijg to get ground into the North German Plain ....

Orange forces first Victory - thats MY pint !
     The Russians got into gear quickly , brushing aside the Brtish Recon  watching the river line. Tom and I as the British commanders began to worry a tad- there seemed to be nothing we could do to halt the Orange juggernaut.  Floating Jeff sniggered the while as his vast forces  moved resolutly onwards 
View from the British position- our Forward elements alrsady brushed aside. /
 Things were looking desperate for the Blue forces when the US cavalry turned up .


American REFORGER    
  1 Cpy M1A1 (1 x HQ 4 x M1A1) Team Yankee

                                                1 Cpy Bradley M2A1 (1 x HQ 4 x M2A1) Team Yankee
 these quicly took post on  the reverse slope of "Kidney Hill "  with the Bradley company   to thier flank protected by the  Marshy areas at the front Flank of the said hill.
 No sooner had  REFORGER arrived than the second British Battle group turned up - for once a tasty dice roll or two - There was cheering from the hard pressed BAOR !!

1 x Battle Group            
   2 Cpy’s Challenger 1 (2 x HQ vehicles, 6 x Challenger 1) Royal Scot Dragoons
                                                2 Cpy’s Warrior (8 x Warrior IFV) 1stBtnStaffordshires
                                                2 Recce Troops (4 x Scimitar) 1stThe Queens Dragoon Guards
                                                2 ATGW Troops (4 x Striker) 7th Arm BgdeRece
                                                AA Troop (1 x Tracked Rapier) 12th Air Defence Regiment

Kidney Hill  The US REFORGER  arrives .

This put a different complexion on the day now we could approach the Russians with something close to parity.
 Nevertheless they hammered on breaking the Bradley Company and its Tanks - over 50% klosses - though a single surviving Abrams platoon  rallied to the British HQ on the Nippelberg and continued the fight.
 Both sides used air elements A US Apache accounted for several russian vehicles and at least 1 Challeger fell to a Hind attck  and a Hind Fell to a Raper strike(cries Bloody hell the thing went off! were heard from its surprised crew)
The battle now developed into a slugging match  with both sides losing vehicles and both sides throwing truly bum dice in almost equal quantities and to be honest niether side getting much of an edge- certainly the Tank Wreak rules gave no techological superiority to the NATO forces, but the Orange forces were running out of steam. They reached and indeed threatened to take Kidney Hill  but  that was their high water mark.. The sight of the Second British battle group forming for a counter attack made him realise it was all up . Little did he know we didn't really have the strength to do much more than hold our own

Orange forces High Water mark - Kidney hill under pressure.
  Well the West was safe for Democracy- but only just. 
As for the rules well- a few observations were made at the time- The initiative based move counter move system - by individual compamies was found to be Laborious and indeed - given the scenario just plain wrong so an extempore  Russian Move- British Fire Britsh Move Russian fire    system was adopted with the Umpire free to fiddle to suit the scenario as he chose- no RULES ARE HOLY WRIT twaddle here thans you !  The idea being rather to find a way to     get the feel  of a largish armoured engagement  from the Commanders perspective rather than merely stick slavishly ti a set of games rules.. After all these were teeny tiny tanks so a different perspective was called for   than that we'd use in the lower command level 15mm games.
 Tank Wreak needs fiddling with  but overall- with an Umpire who knows his period -they work well enough  and yes we'll go back to them .

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