The NATO artillery table.
The airport in my sector, garrisoned by a RAF Regt Sqdn with 2 sqdns of Chieftains over watching the runway from the nearby ridge. I was expecting a Soviet paratrooper of heliborne infantry assault on the airport.
More Chieftains deployed as a back stop on the ridge and skulking in the nearby forest.
Major General Dennis' lead regiment from his armoured division ignores my British armour and concentrates on the Belgians to his immediate front. In response, my lead Chieftain squadrons race forwards, with one squadron reaching as far as the ridge overlooking the advancing Soviets, with another coming up fast..
Major General Dennis' lead regiment beyond the red roofed apartment block and Lieutenant General Shawovski (overall Corps Commander) personally leading the lead regiment from another armoured division in the distance.
British reserves were also committed, with a regimental battlegroup of battalion strength, in Challengers, motoring hell for leather along the main road, which fed them directly into the rear and flank of the advancing Soviets (off the top of the photograph).
On my left flank, Lieutenant General Steve's British armoured regiments start to advance towards a VDV paradrop in regimental strength. The blue supermarket turned out to be occupied by a Spetsnaz detachment, which also sprang an ambush on the advancing British. My Chieftains on the ridge overlooking the airport were able to make a small contribution and snipe at extreme range at the ASU-85s in the angle of the road up and to the right of the two cooling towers, eventually knocking out two out of the three.
On the British right flank, the gallant Belgians await the oncoming Soviet storm of armour.
The first regiment of Dennis' armoured horde advancing in waves.
The VDV regiment coming under pressure from Steve's British.
Spetsnaz and British infantry slug it out down at the Netto store.
I think these are Mike's troops, initially forming a screen between the VDV and the armoured divisions advancing on the Dutch.
More of Mike's armour.
Ben's armour throws itself at top speed down the autobahn, heading for the river crossing. Can anything stop it. Yes, apparently concentrated artillery firing on pre-mapped coordinates (note the cluster of red suppression dice just to the right of the river crossing).
Marks Dutch lining the river. These heros, high on something or other, are about to wade, swim and snorkel across the river and take the fight to the enemy.
The scene of the first mapped artillery strike. Note Ben rightly able to claim that the East German armour was the first to cross the river, showing the Russians how it's done. Unfortunately, they were living on borrowed time.
Mikes forces advancing on the Dutch flank.
The VDV regiment taking up defensive positions, but being whittled down all the time.
Dennis' lead tank battalion has advanced to the minefield bordering the river, but Chieftains line the crest line of the overlooking ridge. Fire from these has knocked out more than half of the rear tank battalion.
Ian's troops making good use of the reverse slope, but they should be pushing up to the river at top speed.
Andy's West Germans waiting patiently. The bridge is mined for demolition and they are feeling confident.
The Belgians, awaiting Dennis, with Nicks British advancing up to the river line from lower left. This bridge is already blown. Where is the Soviet bridging equipment? Off table at the moment!
Challengers race down the highway to intercept Dennis. They already have their eye on Ian's troops as well.
My Chieftain sqdn on the ridge is now supported by the regimental HQ with attached FV438s and a pair of Chieftains.
The Challengers now stretch across the board, pushing along the road as fast as they can.
Steve's British armour close in on the VDV, being careful to keep out of RPG range.
Ian and Dennis pour on the reserves - their part of the table begins to look like a giant tank park.
One of Steve's air strikes randomly drew a Buccaneer. The model is one of mine and I was rather pleased with the paint job.
Another view, hopefully it contributed to erosion of the VDV.
Ian's troops close up to the river line in front of the West Germans at the close of play. Much was made of the BMPs ability to swim, although the bridging equipment is still at the back of the pack on the edge of the table.
So, with the light fading fast and a curry calling, we closed the first day's play. An excellent day for all, although there were some worried faces on both sides at times. Day 2 pictures to follow.
Thanks for looking.