Wednesday, 3 April 2013

AAR Soviets vs USMC Denmark August 1985

To try and get in the swing of playing CWC again, Ian Shaw and I played a game last week at Deeside Defenders between Ian's Soviet Tank Regiment and part of my USMC Brigade.  The game was based on a hasty defence by two battalions of USMC infantry, supported by an overstrength M60 Company, a company of Jeeps with TOWs and a LAV battalion.  In support the USMC had three batteries of M198s, three AV-08 Harriers and three Sea Cobras.  The Soviets first wave comprised a tank regiment from a Motor Rifle Division, comprising three batallions of T72s with ERA, plus various artillery and anti-air assets.  The Soviet objective was to exit a battalion off the western edge of the board, which was set up as shown below.  A massively shell damaged or "nuked" town in the northeast corner of the board lay close to an east-west motorway.  The rest of the board was relatively flat, with occasional low hills and stands of woodland.

View of the board looking west
View of the board looking east
I chose to deploy one infantry batallion in the woods on my left flank, opposite the ruined town, with the other batallion in the woods in the centre of the board.  The tank company was strung out on the right flank behind a hedgrow with the Jeep TOWs deployed around some shallow hills on the far right.  The LAV batallion was deployed in the rear, around the gas handling plant on the left flank.

Left flank infantry and LAV batallions

Central infantry batallion

Right flank M60s and Jeep TOWs

The first turn saw the Soviets bring on three tank battalions, but fail to bring on any air defences.  I saw my opportunity, three Harriers scrambled, only to find the FAC was out to lunch.  The scouts and HQs were unsighted, so no opportunity to call in Cobras.  Turn 2 saw the three tank batallions advance, one towards my left flank along the motorway, the other two towards my right and centre, but this time the SAMs turned up on table too.  The SAMs saw off my Harriers and the Cobras struck the tank batallion on my left flank, taking out attached BMP-1 platoons, but failing to do anything decicive to the T72s.  In turn 3, Cobra and Harrier attacks continued to be ineffective and the Jeep TOWs attempted to open up, but were spectacularly ineffective as well.  Not only that but they failed to "get out of Dodge" and were blasted to pieces by the approaching tanks firing on the move.

Start of turn 4, looking east.

 Start of turn 4, the low hills lower left were where my TOWs had been!!

Cobra attacks did a little bit of damage, but nothing decisive on my right flank.

Air attacks on the left flank were more effective, but only in clearing up the attached BMPs.

 In turn 4, the Soviet tank battalions to my centre and right advanced rapidly, the right flank company coming in range of my M60's.  Using opportunity fire, the M60s damaged the two platoons on the far right flank, while return fire was largely ineffective, given the M60s excellent save values.  In the USMC turn, the M60s opened up, as did a strike by three Sea Cobras.

Start of turn 5, looking east.

Turn 5 looking west

The Soviet batallion on the right flank after Cobra strikes and M60 fire.

In Turn 5, the Soviets brought fire to bear on the M60s from what was left of his battalion on the right flank, but also his centre batallion, resulting in the loss of two M60 platoons.  He also brought counter battery fire on to my M198s, knocking out one battery - not a great loss as their fire had been less than devastating to the T72s.

At this point, before the USMC took a 5th turn, we agreed to call a halt for the evening, with the Soviets claiming a victory, arguing that there was little credible anti-tank defence left - certainly on the right flank the M60s weren't going to last long and I didn't expect the LAV TOWs to last long on the left flank - given the performance of the Jeep TOWs.

I must admit, I expected the Cobras to be more effective than they were, but was pleasantly surprised at how effective the M60s were.  The Jeep TOWs were poorly positioned at the start of the game and they lacked their own HQ, so couldn't "shoot and scoot", something to put right before Arctic Strike 2.  The other advice for infantry would be to "dig in", rather than relying on concealment to do the job.  Once they fire, units can expect artillery to rain down on them and the dug in save and harder hits are essential for survival on the game board/battlefield.

So, a scenario in keeping with the back story for Arctic Strike 2 with NATO being ejected from Denmark.  The performance of my USMC just contributing to NATO's frustrations on the northern flank.  Hopefully, there shouldn't be too may T72s in Norway to deal with!  Got another game with Ian planned for tomorrow - don't know what yet but will try and take photos again.

Thanks for looking.

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