First NATO started their set-up. On Table 1 the chieftains set up in fighting positions between the houses:
And two infantry section did likewise:
The Mortar team was also on call to provide immediate support:
On Table 2 set-up it was a similar story, with the Chieftains dug in around the road junctions:
And another angle:
With the Abbots in support (like the FV432M the artillery support was available to either table)
A Swingfire armed FV438 and the Milan Teams waited, hiding behind the garage:
One Scorpion was deployed well in advance of the rest of the NATO force on Table 2:
He would be my first target...
Back on Table 1, Soviet forces began to deploy:
And then more substantial Soviet forces arrive:
My Soviets move up to a decent sized wooded area:
And then into them. This is nice...
Mick's lads continue to motor forwards:
The road to the bridge is clear!
Bugger! Both bridges are blown on the same NATO turn. Detours are required:
Leading to our first loss:
Probably should have said losses. At this point things appear to be going well for me and not so well for Mick. No Mick - you take the artillery - I don't need it... A wee be of hubris never hurt anybody... right?
My BMP-2 Recon Squad moves forwards, dismounts and takes on the Scimitar, knocking it out.
My first kill!
Charles's reply is to move forward his Swingfire unit and deploy his remote team:
I'm not exactly sure why he did that, but who cares - my carefully hidden tanks in the woods just got hammered!
It's OK - I have plenty more. Nah - I got this - I don't need no arty! Let's start to divert around the woods towards the smoking bridge remains.
Oops - looks like this route is covered to:
Yeah - no doubt. Charles has that angle pretty well covered also.
As one T-64B makes it in behind the final piece of cover before the British lines, my BMP-2 takes a hit and explodes. My remaining tropps rush towards the T-64B. Charles nicely points out I've just driven into his hidden minefield. Ahhhhhh bum.
Now things look a bit like this on my Table:
Where as back on Table 1, things have shifted a little. Mick's Soviets are again on the move:
He's taking the odd hit, but nothing like the killing zone on Table 2:
And he has lots of tanks, with good arcs of fire moving forwards:
Closer and closer to the rail line which is the biggest obstacle before the British lines on his table:
Meanwhile BAOR reinforcements have arrived and taken position
And the same story on Table 2, while the infantry wait with nothing to do...
More flamin' Milans!
At about this point you'll note the photography (and the generalship) takes on a distinct tone of mashocism. It's like the car crash you can't look away from.
A T-64B & BMP death zone begins to appear around the bridge.
I seriously believed it was the best way forwards - I swear:
On Table 1, it is a completely different story. Less terrain actually mean a straighter drive, so Mick was making good progress. It didn't hurt that Greg was having no luck with the dice while Charles was literally hitting everything he aimed at.
Over the railway - full steam ahead.
The first of a number of Chieftains on this table takes a hit.
Not that Mick wasn't losing vehicles. As you can see the Soviets had used so much flamey looking fluff balls that we had to resort to cotton wool to cover the amount of dead stuff we (really me) had.
OK - now Mick is ready to start rolling up the British flank
Back on Table 2 I almost fainted when I actually killed a Chieftain. I would be the rather pathetic highlight of my game. If we ignore the Scimitar, I only suffered something like a 20 to 1 kill ratio - meaning I lost 20 units and he lost 1. I guess that artillery wouldn't have been such a bad idea afterall!
Here's the middle of the beginning of the end.
Here's an example of reinforcing defeat
Here's an excellent example of what happens when you send a platoon of BMPs charging straight at dug-in tanks and missiles.
Here's the remnants of that platoon trying to escape their burning vehicles.
Here's why I'll never be a Hero of the Soviet Union - although, I sure if I survived all this to be able to report...
I could say I brilliantly lulled the enemy into a false sense of security while my partner in the attack rolled up the other flank.
Here are Mick's forces rolling into Lehre - taking the Brits in the rear.
So on Table 1 the Soviets won a glorious victory whilst on Table 2 the Soviets suffered an ignominious defeat. So -does that make it a balanced playtest? I kind of think so.
I think the playtest worked. I don't own any 6mm or 15mm Cold war kit - and had to make do with 20mm gear. Sure - this would look stupid on a 6' x 4' table - but spread across two 9' x 5' with 4 players it worked well. No real problems with the rules - sure air did not turn up and our artillery (especially the Soviets arty) was pretty light on - but that didn't stop us having a fun game.
Always lots to think about afterward - but as a good Soviet player, I would have promoted Mick and then taken myself out back and shot myself.
Onwards and upwards
Thanks for looking