28 April 2015

Road to Hünfeld - Game 3 - Part 1 - The set-up...

GAME 3 - Set-up

Game 3 was a much much much bigger game, played on a long table with 2 Soviet players and 3 NATO players.  Bottom line - we didn't finish the game, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves none the less.

First - let's have a look at the table:

This is Hünfeld, the town at the Western end of the table.

Looking west, towards Hünfeld.  I wanted there to be a couple of wide spaces on the table for a planned air assault - which we ended up not doing...  Best laid plans and all that...

The bridge in the centre of the table crossing an autobahn.  Ignore all the vehicles as the photo was taken before the game began.  The bridge was essentially the centre of the table.

Same view from the other side of the table.

Another view from the east lokking west at the centre of the table.

The table centre looking east.  We rated the vertical area near the bridge as impassable, while the sloped areas were -1D6 to vehicle movement.

An overview shot of the Eastern table half.

A small village at the extreme east of the table, with a small bridge over a very small stream.  Again - this was ruled as impassable - so the Soviets would use their MTU-55 AVLB.  On review - perhaps not such a great idea...

Cars were used as objective markers - with 5 used in total - 1 each for the two bridges - and one for each of the three main intersections on the main road.  Capturing the bridge would cause you opponent to pull 2 chits.

GAME 3 - Forces

The Soviet force – Fwd HQ (BTR-70), Signals Unit (Zil Van), FAC (UAZ-469), FO Team (UAZ-469, 2 x T-80 Platoons (5 tanks total – reduced by 1 tank because of Game 2), 1 x BTR-70 Company (9 BTRs in total – reduced by 1 as a result of Game 2), full support options in BTR-70s  – so a SAM Section, AGL section, ATGM section, 120mm Mortar and tow and a Fire Support Section, 1 x BTR-70 w/Combat Engineer squad, 1 x MTU-55 AVLB (Bridgelayer), 3 x 2S1 (122mm SP Arty), 1 x ZSU-23-4, 1 x SA-13, 1 x BRDM-2 AT-5.  Phew - out of breath...

The Soviets had 7 timed strikes in total…. which sounds like a lot.  The first one did this:

Pinning several West German police teams, but most of the rest of them did this:

Hitting empty fields... that what happens when you play on a 27 foot long table...

I had created a couple of hex maps to allow plotting of timed strikes before the game:

The Eastern half of the table.

The Western half.  The bridge area was a no-go area for artillery (conveniently).

The West German Forces - the West Germans actually had 4 separate forces – some of which were on the table before the game (we had 6 pre-game turns of the West Germans moving around, getting stuff ready on the table before the game officially began).

Force 1 – West German Police – a command squad, a rifle squad (w/a Pzf 44) and a MG Squad

Force 2 – Home Defence Platoon – 1 Infantry Platoon mounted in trucks with 1 x Jagdpanzer Kanone and a Static mount Bofors 40 L/40 AA gun.  Also available as part of this force was a Leopard 2 whose crew was having a bit of R&R and a broken down Leopard 2 that was in the process of being fixed by a M88A1 as the game began.  Finally they had a Bundeswehr Pionner Squad in a Fuchs.

Force 3 – Fallschirmjager – 1 FJ Platoon that were air transported onto the board before the game began along with an Improved TOW KraKa, a Milan KraKa, a 20mm AA Kraka and a supply KraKa

Force 4 – BGHQ (Marder) 1 x PzrGren Platoon (3 Marders), 1 x Panzer Platoon (3 Leopard 1A4), 1 x Gepard, 1 x Panzermorser (120mm SP Mortar), 1 x Beobachtungspanzer, 1 x Off Table 3 gun 155mm Battery.  This force started coming on down near Hünfeld several turns into the actual game.

As I said earlier, prior to the game starting we had 6 pre-game turns for the West Germans.  The only unit who actually started on the board was Force 1 - who were placed into the houses near the bridge.

The R&R Leopard 2 crew were activated and mounted their tank while the other Leopard continued to have work done on it.  Over the course of the next few turns, the Territorials came onto the table and moved upto and over the bridge, with the AAA gun deployed near the bridge.  They were followed by the first Leopard and the Fuchs, who deploye the pioneers to lay a minefield.  The players then had a choice of where to land their Fallshirmjager (helicopter) and choose to land on the Eastern side of the bridge - ready to defend as far forward as possible.

On the final pre-game turn, the damaged Leopard was fully restored and began to drive forwards.  The Soviets got a small pre-game bombardment (one of the timed strikes) which pinned down the police units - and many West German units went onto overwatch.

The Reds were coming....

More to come soon


Berlin Brigade Part 2

I know I'm meant to be posting up Game 3, but these little beauties arrived in the post today and I just had to show them off.  Oh - and a little something I'm working on for a mate is lurking in the background...

Love these Landies - Oxford Diecast - not done a thing to them apart from take them off the stands.

Next post - GAME 3!

I promise...



25 April 2015

Road to Hünfeld - Game 2


Game 2 was meant to be a slightly bigger - more platoon sized - action.  This was to represent a Conbat Reconnaissance patrol from the leading Soviet Motor Rifle Battalion clashing with a West German Covering Force, which is attempting to slow down and perhaps confuse the Soviet advance elements, buying some more time for the main defensive line to dig in.

I had thought about giving the West Germans some defences, but after reading a bit on their doctrine, and looking at what they were going to field, I decided the West German defene would be more of a mobile - counter attack at any opportunity defence - rather than a static defence.  I'm not sure how historically accurate this is - but it seemed right to me!

The Soviet Force – 1 x T-80BV platoon (of 3 tanks), 1 x Motor Rifle Platoon ( of 3 BMP-2 with dismounts), 1 x BRDM-2 AT-5, 1 x NBC BRDM-2 and 1 x BTR-70 with a mounted Combat Engineer squad.  In addition the Soviets had basically had the whole force from the recon game, minus the BMP dismounts – who were all killed.  I had given them 2 x Timed 122mm strikes when I prepared the list and the I gave them 1 more added as they had won game 1 so convincingly.

The West German force consisted of 1 x Panzer Grenadier Squad (3 Marder with dismounts), 2 x Leopard 2 MBTs, 1 x Jaguar 1, 1 x SP 120mm Panzermorser, plus 1 x Fuchs (with dismounts) and 1 x Luchs which had survived Game 1.  The Germans also had 2 x 3 tube battery On Call 120mm Mortar Barrages.

The scenario was as per Attack/Counter Attack from BGK with the recce units that start on the table being those units that survived on both sides from Game 1.

The table looked like this once the recce units had been placed on it.  The Soviet table edge is to the left and the West German edge is to the right:

You can see two large wooded sections on the Soviet side, with small tracks leading through them.

Looking at it from the other side it looked like this:

The combi vans centred on each intersection and the beetle in the barnyard are the objectives.

The player's plans were bound to cause an interesting game.  The Soviet player had decided to nuke the centre of the table with his timed artillery strikes and drive down both flanks, while the West German player had decided to hold the centre and win the game from there.  It would prove a costly, but ultimately sucessful choice.

The recce BMP-2 and motorcycle with sidecar drive straight down the main road towards town (as bait) before heading off into a copse of trees.

The centre of the village before it erupted in artillery fire:

A Luchs in its starting position

The results of a couple of turns of activity (and a crap photo to boot).  The BMP-2 drove to to the small woods to overwatch the village.  The Luchs in turn drove around the opposite side of the woods and slotted the BMP-2.  The Luch was in turn taken out by the T-80BV - which is now in a stand-off with the Leo 2.

The Germans - in keeping with their plans, drove up behind the village and dismounted troops into the houses.  The Soviets, in keeping with their plans, shelled the living daylights out of the village.  Results:

2 dead Marders, a dead Fuchs and a Pinned panzermorser.  Some infantry were killed as well.

The Leopard 2 pulled back towards the centre of the board - ready to go onto Covering Fire

The West German luck turned and they picked up an Aircraft chit and scored an Alpha Jet - which had been left at home so a standin RAAF F-18 stood in!)

Sadly for the west Germans - despite dropping 2 cluster bombs - no Soviet units were taken out, although several were pinned.

Here some overview of the table shots from later in the game - I get caught up and forget to take photos!

You can see the Leo 2 and the Jaguar are on Covering Fire.  Infantry from one of the destroyed Marders and made it across the main road into one of the house and nailed the BTR-70 with a PzF 44.

From the Soviet side you can see a T-80BV has been destroyed shortly after it attempted to take out the Jaguar with a long range shot - and was knocked out the next turn by the Jaguar with a HOT missile.

Down the other end of the table a stand off was occuring between a lowly BRDM-2 and a Leopard 2, along with some infantry

This would be resolved when the Leo 2 raced up to the corner of the block, was missed by 2 T-80 shots, a AT-5 shot and was not pinned by the BRDM-2 hosing it down with 14.5mm HMG fire so it blew the BRDM-2 into little pieces and went back and hid behind the building again.

Final shot I managed to take, before the now lone Panzerfaust 44 operator (they rest of his squad had been gunned down but he soldiered on for 1 more turn) took out the NBC BRDM-2.  But his bravery award would be post-humous as he in turn was killed by Soviet infantry.

Suddenly - when it looked all over for the West Germans, the Soviet player announced he had just exceeded his battle rating and it was all over.  The West German player could scarely believe it - nor could I.  But the West Germans had won Game 2, which meant they would have more time to prepare for the Soviet assault in Game 3.

Which is coming soon...


Oh - and I should say - a BRDM-2 and the even more herioc recce motorcycle combination survived Game 2 and will be leading the Soviet forces in Game 3!

23 April 2015

The Road to Hünfeld - Game 1


Game 1 was meant to be a small reconnaissance mission.  This was to represent part of a Soviet Regimental Reconnaissance Company, well ahead of the regiment, clashing with elements of a West German Reconnaissance Company.  The aim of the game was for the Soviets to get as much of their force off the table as they could and for the West Germans to stop them, whilst not suffering too heavily.  Any forces on either side left alive at the end of the game would be available as an addition to their Game 2 force.

The Soviet force was 2 x BRDM-2, 1 x BMP-2 with a Recon Motor Infantry Squad, 1 x Recce Motorcycle Combination, 1 x Timed Strike

The West German force consisted of 2 x Luchs, 1 x Fuchs with an Infantry Squad, 1 x On Call 120mm Mortar Barrage and 4 Hidden Unit Markers/Blinds.

The table looked like this from the West German end:

It's meant to be Southern Germany (north of Fulda - near Hünfeld) close to the border.  It's heavily forested, but there are trails through the forest.  The roads allow, well... road movement, the trails allow off road movement, and attempted to travel through the woods forces a D6 penalty on each move.  No one attempted to travel down the rail line.

From the Soviet end:

The lichen represents the edge of the woods.

I decided to make some cammed up hidden markers/blings just to do something a bit different, and add a hint of mystery to the game.  The West Germans had 4 to represent their force – 1 of which was a dummy.  They did not have a significant impact on the game or slow it down – but both players enjoyed not knowing what they were facing.

The blind was removed if the West German player wanted to reveal it, shot or moved within LOS of a Soviet Unit.  Otherwise the Soviet player had to Observe the blind as part of a shooting action.  I wouldn’t bother using them in a larger game, but in such a small game it worked well.

The Soviets drove 2 units straight down the main road at speed:

Sorry for the crappy photo...

One Luchs revealed it self and opened fire...

... and missed.  This setting the tone for the West Germans for this game.

But the Soviets kept coming

A lucky harassment barrage caught both the revealed Luchs and one of the blinds

And the Motorcycle combination cruised on by with not a care in the world!  One more turn and it was off the table

Another crappy photo

The BRDM-2 pulled up and decided to have a crack at the pinned Luchs - not knowing if its 14.5mm heavy machine-gun could even penetrate the Luchs.  It didn't... but it caused a Morale check and the Luchs crew took that opportunity to abandon their vehicle

The BRDM then drove off the table, after the other Luchs tooks some more shots at it and missed (see what I mean about the German shooting).

After unpinning all the blinds were removed leaving the centre of the table looking like this - after the Luchs in the foreground takes a long range shot at the rear of the BMP-2 - and of course misses.

You can see that the West German infantry has dismounted and moved up to the main road.

The sole BMP-2 moves past the abandoned Luchs.  German infantry across the road eye it off.

The West Germans moved up - so the Soviets decided to dismount their own infantry and inflict some more damage on the Capitalists.  This does not go to plan and in the one turn of events that goes the West Germans way the whole game, the Soviets fail to spot the enemy in the undergrowth.  They are then unceremonially gunned down in the next turn by the West Germans.  The BMP-2 drives off the table...

Meanwhile, up the other side of the table the other BRDM-2 carefully makes his way through the woods.  He is being chased by a Luchs, which never quite gets within 4", so able to attempt to spot and shoot at the Soviet AFV.  The BRDM-2 slips of the table edge - leaving the ineffective West Germans to wonder what the hell happened.

So in Game 2, the Soviets will have added to their force - 2 x BRDM-2, 1 BMP-2 (with no dismounts) and 1 slightly heroic Motorcycle Combination.

The West Germans will have an additional Lucha and Fuchs with all the Fuchs's dismounts.  Hopefully the Luchs crew will get some shooting practice in before the next engagement.



13 April 2015

More Campaign Prep

Well the campaign games are going to happen this weekend - so over the last week or so I've been building and painting things for the games.

I've also been mildly chastised for not posting up more content - so here goes with a few more things to keep you going (Andy!)

These are a some Faller buildings I've been collecting and recently built for the game (and all other games set in Germany in the 1980s - although some will also do fine for WWII).  They are pre-coloured and so far, apart from the church, I have done nothing to them.  Once I have more time I'll put some thought into weathering them a bit.

When the AARs come up (next week) hopefully you'll see all these in a better setting...

Anyway - First up is a large Farm complex:

Now the church:

I repainted the tower roof and the stone pavement stones (which you can't see in the photos...) and also added grass.  One of the things I love about this kit was it comes with 2 optional tower toppers (technical term).

Needs to be painted... and...

Kind of cool eh.

Next up a couple of duplex homes:

Now a home with a garage:

And finally a couple of standard suburban homes:

Slightly dodgy construction there - didn't take enough care leaning the peice against the house for the photo...

One more farm to build - but it won't make it to the game on the weekend sadly - ran out of time...

So - on with the show

Have fun