So we continue to playtest a variant of the Battlegroup rules by Ironfist Publishing and The Plastic Soldier Company and our most recent game set the forces of the United States Army in Europe (USAEUR) against the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSFG).
Mick took out his Americans. His armoured infanty were mounted in Bradleys, as was his Battlegroup HQ and a Cavalry squad. He also had a basic M1 (105mm gun) platoon, a dismounted recon foot patrol, a FAC in a HMMWV and a Timed Apache Strike. He also had a M163 ADA unit.
I took my Russians. I had two motor rifle platoons, all mounted in BMP-1Ps and a T-80BV platoon. My BGHQ was mounted in a BMP-1Ksh, along with a recon BRDM-2, a recon command in a BRDM-2UM, a BRDM-2 AT-5, a mortar fire controller, 2 x 120mm heavy mortars, a ZSU-23-4, an SA-14 team and a SA-13 Gopher. (I expected Mick to bring an Apache). Finally I had a 122mm Timed Artillery Strike and a MiG-27 Timed Air Strike.
The primary aim of the test was to look at helicopters and aircraft and how they interact in the game, along with a couple of new options we've been working on.
Many of my photos did not work out - so I'll only posted up the ones that worked - so it will not be a blow by blow accounting of the game.
First up - the table
This is the USAEUR end of the table. All US units entered from this corner.
The corner closest to the US entry corner - heavily wooded - no action took place in the woods, but much of the action took place around the intersection near the church, the supermarket car park and the garage.
A little industrial area which dominated my entry corner. It gave good protection for my mortars and commanders to deploy, but when a couple of my critical vehicles broke down behind the park, it kept them out of the battle for the rest of the game.
At the beginning of the game I deployed an interdiction strike. Whilst this had no impact on anything on the table, it delayed Mick's reinforcements in the next turn. This meant I effectively had two turns to deal with his recce units, and I managed to take out the Bradley, with 1 dismount alive but pinned, and to reduce his recce foot patrol to just one man as well.
More Soviet reinforcements arrive and start to move out from behind the industrial area.
My ZSU-23-4 arrives and immediately goes on Ambush Fire to deal with any Yankee planes while my mortars deploy.
OMG!!! Mick's Timed Helicopter Strike arrives, plus inflicting chits on Mick only lead to bad results for me - including him drawing a Helicopter chit, and randomly rolling up another well armed Apache. Things had been going my way until these two beasts showed up!
The first US reinforcements arrive. Damn those M1s and Brads look cool on the table...
The hurt is about to be placed on my guys!
You can see some action in this photo. I've managed to drive off one of the Apache's (which would be back) and kill a Brad up in the Supermarket car park.
So yes - at a 73mm Grom round can knock out a Bradley!
Killed that Brad near the church too! Here you can see Mick's CAP flying high above the tabletop. It offered him air supremacy which meant he could try and intercept any aircraft I might get in the future.
The Apache is back! You can see my BMP has died as well...
Final decent photo... Shortly thereafter two more BMPs blitzed into the carpark, disgorged their troops who split into fireteams and while the RPG fireteams took out both the Brads, the infantry attempted to take out the US troops in the garage.
Mick responded and knocked out both BMPs (of course). Meanwhile his Apaches which had suffered first game nerves, finally knocked out 2 of my T-80s - so things were looking dire for me.
We called the game there with the US well in front. Despite me knocking him around in the first 4 or 5 turns, my kill all the Brads plan (which worked) did not lead to much problems for Mick with his untouched M1s and seemeingly untouchable Apaches.
My SA-14 team proved unable to lock onto the Apaches as they popped up from behind buildings on the 3 or 4 occasions I tried to hit them. Neither could the SA-13 in the one chance it got. My ZSU-23-4 was broken down in the industrial park and could not get a shot on.
I ended up winging 1 Apache with my Timed Air Strike and then, in a turn of events we had not considered in the rules, the Apache was eventually knocked out by a mix of stray mortar shells and bomblets from a cluster bomb which scattered right on top of it as hit hovered just above the ground behind a house. Ouch.
So an interesting game - which threw up some very interesting results.