In the morning of day 2, I took the opportunity to take some shots of the Kiel Canal table. All I knew of this one was the Soviet forces radio network, telling us that Soviet forces had crossed the canal in strength, throwing a number of bridges across. While they were mopping up some Canadian holdouts, hiding in the cellars, the bridgehead had driven inland and secured a perimeter.
This was the additional table added to the Soviet right flank to place the action in a more central part of the table.
Soviet bridgehead from the Canadian and Belgian side.
Dutch arrive on NATOs right flank on the Kiel Canal.
Back on the Polish landing table, the Brits on NATOs left flank continue to hold solidly.
In the centre, Polish marine engineers hold the UE building in the distance.
On the Polish left, units make best use of concealing terrain to survive and hold the perimeter.
Back at the canal, the Soviets continue to cross the river.
On the Polish table, the marines are dismayed to find they are now facing a regiment of Challengers!! Now what are they doing assigned to Landjut one may ask. The marines had been told to expect light screening forces and here they are facing the latest generation of British heavy armour. At least that's another heavy armoured regiment not engaged at the Kiel Canal or available to Northag.
As they were unwilling to commit suicide, the Poles decided to hunker down in cover and see what developed. An artillery duel began with the British using 105s to bombard marines in the centre, while the Polish used counterbattery fire to silence all 4 batteries in 2 turns - good shooting lads. Air support also came screaming in, but iron bombs had little effect on Challengers.
Simon even called in strategic assets on Nicks Brits, but even the 12 dice this rained down had little effect on the Chieftains;.
The Polish marines hunkered down in cover.
The last flings of the day involved the Poles finally getting some meaty air support with a strike from cluster bombs, air delivered ATGMs and iron bombs.
At the same time, Gordon, the umpire, released the Polish reserves, a T-72 tank regiment, which flank marched onto the far left of the table, into the flanks of the Challengers. Another close range knife fight was about to break out with the Brits needing to turn to fire back, and face close range op fire. Unfortunately, their excellent saves would make them a tough nut to crack, but Polish armour was now loose in the British rear.
Nick's Brits on the right still holding out with no bother.
Meanwhile around the Kiel Canal bridgehead, stalemate on the Soviet left flank next to the bridgehead.
The Soviet bridgehead at the end of day 2.
Soviet right flank on the Kiel Canal.
All in all a great couple of days gaming. The Polish marines had secured their beachhead and were starting to expand with the aide of the T-72 regiment reserves, albeit at the cost of about 1/3rd of their effective strength. Simon's Polish infantry had suffered extensively and were present in little more than reinforced battalion strength on the right flank, but still securing the key town and river crossing point, splitting the British defenders. News from the Kiel Canal also seemed to be promising, with at least one of the Soviet commanders claiming the roads to Hamburg and Copenhagen were now open and booking his ticket to see the Little Mermaid. The other Soviet player seemed less confident of total victory and is no doubt currently mining salt in Siberia, or Droitwich.
I can't praise the organisers enough. Richard's great terrain is always a pleasure to play on, and we were all truly sorry he had to miss out on attending. Gordon did a great job as sole umpire, while Mark F organised the event brilliantly. Ian and I managed a clandestine meeting with Richard at a secret location in Shropshire to hand over maps and terrain features. Apart from that, it is the players who make the event for me, we're all competitive and like to win, or at least lose gallantly, but always played in a spirit of fun and friendship. There are a lot of players could take a leaf from the Cold War Commanders book in terms of maintaining a good happy atmosphere and avoiding the win at all costs approach. Thanks to all the players for making the game such a great experience. Special mention to Simon for fielding some great looking troops and then rolling some truly diabolical dice rolls, all with a smile on his face.
Thanks to you for looking.