Sunday, 5 November 2017

Landjut 1989 NATO counter attack

This Saturday, a small group of the Cold War Commanders met at the Deeside Defenders Club in Broughton near Chester.  We had planned to fight a NATO counterattack around the Danish towns of Kropp and Owschlag.  Andy T fielded a West German panzergrenadier force, while Mike opted for a British mechanised force.  I kept to my Polish marine infantry, this time minus their transports, while Ian opted for a Soviet Motorized Rifle Brigade in MTLBs.  We each took around 7000 points or so.  I started the game with three marine infantry battalions on table with hasty defences, which left me with an improved T-55 battalion in reserve and Ian with a battalion of improved T-55s, plus three regiments of infantry in MTLBs.  NATO brought all their gear on on the first turn using mobile deployment.

I allocated Ian one of the Polish infantry batts to his left flank and he deployed them along the highway west of, and woods south of Kropp.  I deployed an infantry battalion in the woods southeast and east of Kropp and in the ruins of Owschlag.  The Warpact used mines to close the open spaces west of Kropp, and west and north east of Owschlag, covered by fire from T-12s and AT-4s.  Dug in infantry with RPG-7s covered the various minefields.  Soviet and Warpact reserves were diced for per battalion, needing a 6 on turn 1, 5+ on turn 2, 4+ on turn 3 and so on.

This account covers the eastern flank, where I was facing Mike and part of Andy T's forces.  Andy T's account of the western flank in more detail can be found here; .  The first turn saw Mike advancing on the Warpact left, rather reluctantly, with one command failing command from the HQ and CO.  His scouts were active, but one Scimitar was brewed up by concealed T-12 fire east out of Owschlag.  In Mike's 2nd turn, he used scouts to reveal two of my infantry units in Owschlag, targeting them with some ineffective long range canon fire from the Chieftains and single squadron of Challengers that he was allowed.  His Phantom air strike ended in disaster, as it flew into a hail of SA-7 and close-in air defence fire from my local HQs.  Strike one Phantom.

The NATO advance failed to concentrate.  One mechanised battalion occupied the fields (on right) and shot up Owschlag along with raining artillery barrages, with limited kills, although a few suppressions.

A second mechanised battalion strung out in line used the field systems to shield themselves from Owschlag and the woods to the west, fearin g the AT-4s covering that line of approach.

The mixed Chieftain and Challenger mechanised battalion, which made it onto the table.  Andy T's Leo 1s and Marders can be seen in the distance closing in on the woods northeast of Kropp.

These same Leo 1s and the last sighting of the Marder companies.  The plan seemed to be to suppress the dug in Poles with Leo 1 fire and then close assault with the Marders and their infantry.  Unfortunately, suppressions were in short supply and the Marders suffered almost 50% losses to RPG-7 fire.  Their infantry debussed, but then ran out of orders.  In the following Warpact turn, infantry and HMG fire KO'd or suppressed all the dismounts.

On the right, Leo 1s and Marders show appropriate elan in charging the Poles.

In an astonishing display of European co-operation (pre-Brexit), Mike called in an airstrike in support of Andy T's Marders, which deviated onto the Marders instead.  Polish troops cheered in their trenches as more West German Marders burned and were suppressed (this was the most damaging British air attack of the day).

Turn 4 saw the Soviet MR battalion assigned to my sector arrive and I pushed them forward towards the fields on my far right.  By turn 5, the MR batt occupied the fields, but remained buttoned up due to the threat of artillery.  Meanwhile, the Polish T-55 battalion was also on and moving up east of Owschlag to trade shots with Mikes Chieftains.

The T-55s did manage a blunder, which cost them one troop of tanks.

In the following turn, long range BRDM-3 fire, T-55 canon fire and T-12 fire (including a double order (double 1) despatched a company of Chieftains by concentrating fire on one troop at a time, overwhelming their armour.

Artillery strikes were also quite effective in suppressing the British mechanised battalion attempting to breach the mines north of Owschlag, although the mine clearing engineers lead a charmed life.

By this time, the Soviets on the left had pushed their mechanised units into Kropp and had tanks and infantry pushing forwards having pushed the West Germans past their breakpoint.  This drove Mike to reconsider his advance and pull back, thereby ending the game, with the Soviets and Poles claiming a victory.
This was a fun game, played in a really good spirit.  Lots of action.  Thanks to Andy T (who suggested the game and came up with the scenario), Mike and Ian for a great way to spend a Saturday.  Thanks to Richard P for the map.
Thanks for looking.


  1. Just one thing - my armour was upgraded T55 without missiles. Fun it was, and I managed to get close enough to Andy T to deny his Leopards their range advantage.

  2. Very nice indeed

    Take care


    1. Thanks Andy,

      It was a lot of fun.


  3. Hi Andy. It's Ian from the "Renaissance Operational Game" on Saturday. If you or anyone else wanted to try our WW2 operational game we are trying to organise a battle for the 2nd December. It would be great to see what you think of it. Thanks Ian.

    1. Hi Ian,

      Sounds good to me. I've let Andy T know - he was the other player who wandered around looking at your game, speak to you tonight if your at the club.

      Cheers, Andy