Monday, 29 September 2014

The Tide is Turning - Day 2

Day 2 saw a weary bunch of wargamers assemble at the unheard of hour of 9am on a Sunday.  After copious amounts of tea and coffee were consumed, battle commenced.  The first action was to activate the medical and repair stands on table to salvage losses from the previous day's fighting.  For me, most of the French armoured losses were made good (5 AMX-30 stands).

During the morning, the French successfully called in a 3 Mirage F1 airstrike which effectively dealt with Ian's T-72s.  We decided on weapons loads randomly with 2 planes loaded with iron bombs (6 ttacks each) and 1 plane loaded with ICM (6 attacks no saves).  What the iron bombs didn't KO, the ICM finished off.  While this was going on, the French mechanised infantry close assaulted Mike's dug in infantry in the smoke and woods (between the two bridges in the shot below), successfully neutralising them for the loss of the equivalent of a company of apcs and infantry.

Meanwhile, smoke continued to mask Ian's dug in infantry.

Mike's soviet armour continued to stand off against the M1s on the French right, but were beginning to be whittled down by artillery drifting over their positions.

In a gallant action, French Pumas carried out an air assault, ferrying underslung ERC-90s into a clearing behind Mike's lines.  With nothing in the fire arc, they were able to deal with Mike's BRDM-3s, which were holding up French armour expanding the bridgehead and then take out AT-4 armed BMP-1s which were attempting to form a stop line around the minefields (top right).  Having done this, they would have been free in the next move, had there been one, to drive down the autobahn into downtown Regensberg, with support from further ERC-90s and Foreign Legion infantry which would have air assaulted next turn.  Probably not enough to secure Regensburg, but enough to draw troops back from the front line perhaps?

Finally, French armour forges ahead out of the bridgehead to attempt to swing left and start to roll up Ian's troops from the flank.  Alas, it didn't happen quickly enough, thanks to two successive order blunders.  This left the armour to be pounded by a vast array of Soviet artillery and Hinds.  Although very little was lost, almost everything was suppressed, effectively stalling the advance.

Another view of all those lovely AMX-30s, itching to break free and deal with those pesky soviets.

Schwandorf - way beyond the reach of the French until the 2nd echelon could arrive (the French only committed 40% of their combat units with 1 each of a tank, mechanised and motorised battalion that could be committed the second echelon.  The battalion of ERC-90s and Foreign Legion infantry were going to be committed to causing trouble in Regensberg, leaving two battalions of AMX-10RCs to help the 2nd echelon in the dash north for Schwandorf and to probe east towards Czechoslovakia.  A man can dream if he wants.

French armour, right of view, after the soviet artillery had had their fun.

French first echelon troops awaiting the arrival of the second echelon at close of play (Turn 9 for us).

Close of play and the fighting for the outskirts of Regensberg.

3rd US infantry's right flank where they were trading fire across the Donau with Ben's East Germans.

Kelheim on the right in Soviet airborne hands - whether they were a coup de main unit hidden in the town or had assaulted across the bridge I didn't find out before we finished.

The far west, with Canadians attempting to ford the Donau.

All in all a great couple of days wargaming.  Some interesting differences in the interpretation of the rules at times, but generally resolved either through consensus or through a dice roll.  Considering NATO had to cross a major river system and were faced with similar sized forces, albeit of generally inferior quality to their NATO counterparts (with the notable exception of my 1960's designed AMX-30s), they did surprisingly well.  French and US forces had established bridgeheads over the Naab and Donau and were preparing to move on the Burglengenfeld and Regensberg objectives.  Schwandorf would have been a tough nut to crack for the French.  With the US cavalry also over the Donau and mauling the East Germans, they would have been looking to roll up the Soviet airborne from the flank, while the West Germans were keeping those occupying Kelheim busy.  It would have been interesting to see what the next 9 or 10 turns produced, although we would probably still be playing on Wednesday.

All in all a great weekend.  I just need a week at work to rest and recuperate before the Derby show on Saturday.

Thanks for looking.

The Tide is Turning - 1st day

Saturday morning saw us assembling at the Wings Social Club in Broughton for a 9:30 kick off.  After an hour or so planning and deploying the Warpact forces, NATO began the first turn at c. 10:30.  I was only vaguely aware of what was happening elsewhere on the table, being focused on driving a wedge between Ian's MR Regt in Schwandorf and Burglengenfeld and Mike's Armoured Regt in Regensberg.

My intitial fire plan called for smoke to screen off as much of Ian's dug in infantry and BMPs as possible, as well as one of Mike's infantry battalions dug in as a link with the Regensberg defeces and Ian's troops.

The smoke allowed French armoured and mechanised infantry battalions, with attached engineering companies, to approach two intact bridges over the Naab virtually unopposed.

Meanwhile, the brigade from 3rd US infantry Div approached the junction of the Naab and Donau.

With the US cavalry battlegroup on 3rd Div's flank.

Looking further up the Naab, the West German and Canadian battlegroups are approaching the Donau (Kelheim in the foreground).

French armour pouring over the bridges, while AMX-10 apcs use their amphibious capabilities to ford/wade the river, all under a screen of AMX-30s with Roland SAMs.  On the right flank, US M1s stand off against soviet armour on the far bank.

Ian's tank battalion in T-72s emerge from the smoke to try and pinch out the first French armoured thrust across the river.  This view from a hasty Mirage III flyby attempting to locate the axis of the soviet armoured thrust.

Meanwhile, the US 3rd Division starts to fight hard for the approaches to the Donau.

As does the US cavalry on their right flank.

The West Germans on their right flank are approaching the Donau and Kelheim.

At the end of the day - most of the French left is empty - why give the defenders anything to target.

However, at the schwerpunkt, things aren't going too well for the French, T-72s are quite a bit more resilient than AMX-30s.  However, French mechanised units are in a position to close assault infantry dug in in the woods enveloped in smoke to the right of the far bank of the river.

The French bridgehead at the end of the first days play (turn 5).

As above, slightly different angle.

US 3rd Div are across the Donau and trading shots with Mike's Soviets, as well as engaging Ben's East Germans across the river.

So at the end of Turn 5/Day 1, French and US forces have crossed the Naab and Donau Rivers and hold precarious bridgeheads.

More to follow.  Thanks for looking!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

CWC The Tide is Turning

This weekend I joined a group of 10 CWC megagamers.  We played out a scenario involving a NATO counterattack in the third week of WW3 set in August/September 1985.  An L shaped table 6ft in width 20ft East - West and 10ft South to North with the Donau and Naab Rivers stretched from Regensberg in the east to Neustadt ad Donau in the west and north from Regensberg to Schwandorf.

NATO forces were tasked with assaulting the south across the Donau and east across the Naab.  Forces crossing the Donau comprised, from west to east, CAST, relocated from Norway in a stunning "coup de main", a West German mixed brigade-sized battlegroup, a US armoured cavalry brigade group and a brigade from 3rd US infantry division.  The US troops were tasked with taking Regensberg.  My French armoured division was tasked with crossing the Naab.  The Warpact opposition included Soviet Motor Rifle and Armoured Regts, an East German armoured Regt, various Soviet airborne units and a ?Hungarian or ?Czech battlegroup.  So, loads of T72s, T-62s, T-55s, M1s, M60s, Leopard Is, AMX-30s and more APCs than you could shake a stick at.

All in all I think we got through 9 or 10 turns in the two days, which was pretty good going for so much kit.  Lots of fun and surprisingly few major disagreements over interpretation of the rules - mainly sorted through letting "the dice decide".

By the end of the second day, NATO had pretty firm bridgeheads, the French across the Naab at Pielenhofen and Duggendorf  and the US infantry and cavalry across the Donau at Regensberg and Bad Abbach.  Unfortunately, they failed to control downtown Regensberg, clear the castle of SAMs at Burglengenfeld or control the railhead at Schwandorf, which were the declared objectives..  The Soviet airborne were even counterattacking across the Donau at Kelheim.

Looking east from Neustadt a.n. Donau.

Looking northeast towards the confluence of the Naab and Donau rivers.

Looking north towards Schwandorf.

The Schwandorf built up area.

The castle at Burglengenfeld.

Looking west from downtown Regensberg.

Similar view from Regensberg.

A fuzzy oblique image of the bridge at Kelheim, and TV mast, taken from a fast moving NATO recon aircraft.

A slightly less shaky image of downtown Kelheim.

The Soviet MR Division dug in around Schwandorf.

Ditto around the castle at Burglengenfeld.

The area destined to be occupied by the French.

Soviet armour dug in on the edge of woods south of Wolfseg.

Regensberg defenders.

Regensberg outer defences to the west of the city.

East Germans on the south bank of the Donau.

Soviet airborne on the south bank of the Donau, across the river from Kelheim.

The western end of the table around Neustdt a. n. Donau, with the ferry at Eining.

Lots more pictures of the action to upload, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

More Saga figures

I've progressed the Saga Anglo Danes over the weekend.

First up, the Anglo Dane warlord - he's armed with a long handled Dane axe.  From in front -

 Rear view.

A unit of Hearthguard, also armed with Dane axes.

A slightly closer view of the Hearthguard.

All the figures completed so far.  Hearthguard in front with Anglo Dane warlord rear left and Saxon warlord rear right.

I'm starting to feel more confident in painting these figures now so hopefully should get the Saga warband wrapped up in reasonable time.

Thanks for looking.