Sunday, 18 September 2016

Aegean Strike 2016 - Day 2 action

Day 2 saw the tables modified to reflect the advances made the previous day.  This meant the town occupied by my Soviets was now almost on my base line.  Fresh troops appeared in the form of a BMP MR infantry battalion and 2 6 tank T-55 tank battalions, plus an engineer company with bridge layers.  The engineers made for the impassable stream on the Soviet right, the BMPs headed for the wood occupied by the Spanish infantry next to the castle and the 2 T-55 battalions advanced down the left wing.  The Spanish brought on the last of their reserves, a 4 stand Milan section and another infantry battalion in M113s.  A third command blundered on entry and suppressed itself, severely delaying their entry.  The Milans despatched the last of the T-72s in the Spanish rear, while the infantry deployed into a wooded hill near the baseline and the surviving M-48 battalion traded long range shots with the T-72s to polish them off.  Then, in came successive waves of airstrikes.  These were directed against the T-55s adjacent to the village, but a couple of high scatter rolls and some accurate Shilka AA fire resulted in most attacks being ineffective and ending with an air blunder, which caused air strikes on the nearest Spanish infantry, causing the loss of a stand.

The final effects of 5 waves of aircraft, not bad considering the number of potential attacks.

The following turn saw the other T-55 battalion advance and engage the M-48s, which were also struck by 240mm mortars, effectively wiping them out.

BMP battalion on the right shoots up the infantry in the woods, thanks to recce revealing their locations.

Another BMP battalion consolidates their hold on the castle (top left) and artillery clears out some of the infantry in the nearby woods.   Engineers advance to the ditch and prepare to deploy the bridges, while T-72s impatiently try to rush past down the flanks.

The Spanish infantry hanging on in the woods.

The final scene.  Engineers have deployed bridges on the right, while impatient T-72s race down the right flank.  BMPs wait impatiently to cross the newly laid bridges.  In the centre, the fresh BMP battalion and the remains of the second shoot up the Spanish infantry in the nearby woods.  On the left, T-55s try to take up overwatch positions in the woods on the left and hunker down next to the town to await the next phase of air attacks.

Viewed from the Spanish rear area, the surviving M113s, minus their infantry, prepare to flee the woods next to the castle..  Two infantry battalions prepare to pull back fro m their exposed positions and retire back off table.

So, at the end of day 2, after c. 15 turns in total, the Soviets succeed in pushing the Spanish back.  Although fed in in dribs and drabs, the Soviets finally outnumbered the Spanish 2:1, so they did a good job holding up the Soviet steamroller for so long.  The Soviets weren't particularly inspired, but played the numbers game and fed in reserves to maximise their effect on the game, relying on numbers telling in the end -  quantity does, after all, have a quality all of it's own.

A great weekends gaming, thanks to Mike A for providing such a sporting and amicable opponent, Mike Y for doing his best to get up to speed with a new period, games system and scale, while doing his best to wreak havoc on the Spanish flank.  Thanks to the umpires, Richard P and Gordon M, and to all the participants, it wouldn't be the same without the usual suspects and there were some notable faces missing through illness (get well soon!) or other commitments, so hope to see you all soon - and new faces are always welcome!!!.  Oh, and come on Pendraken, get the new version of BKC3 published and let's see CWC2 out before we get too much older.

Links to

Richard C's AAR

Richard P's AAR

Thanks for looking.

Aegean Strike 2016 - Day 1 action

Saturday saw the first day of Aegean Strike 2016 kick off.  My table involved a Soviet force pushing into Thrace, meeting a Spanish light infantry force probing for the Soviets.  I had some luck in starting first, which meant by turn 2 I had a BMP battalion secure in the main village in the centre of the board.  A battalion of T-62s attempted to push past the village and advance down the Soviet left flank.

Unfortunately, my other BMP battalion had failed to make the security of the smaller village with Ottoman castle and were left milling around in the open by the lakes.

The Spanish in M113s stalled just short of the security of the castle and woods, while their accompanying tanks stopped strung out along the road.

The BMP battalion looking to occupy the castle sensed blood with the M113s in the open and advanced towards the gap between woods and castle, but crucially failed to capitalise in failing orders after only one round of firing.  On the Soviet far right, Mike Y's recon company threw itself out on the far right in an attempt to swing past the impassable ditch and move down the Spanish rear areas.

T-62s continue down the left flank.

Waiting to op fire when those M113s start to move.

The Spanish had a counter measure though, in the form of a pair of attack helicopters, although that didn't save all the infantry.

T-62s make good progress down the left flank, but then start to receive waves of air attacks from Phantoms, unfortunately, I left their Shilka model in the box so they were pretty badly pounded.

The T-62s advance around the far edge of the village - a tactical error as they exposed their flank to the M-48s lurking at the back of the woods top left and I'd forgotten about the restricted visibility of Russian tanks.

The BMP battalion trying to get infantry into the castle and cover to counter the Spanish infantry deploying out of their M113s in the adjacent woods.

A good counter for Spanish attack helicopters, three Hind Ds attached to the Soviet recce elements clears the helicopters from behind the woods and strikes the M-48s off photo at left rear.

The other M-48 battalion emerges from the woods and makes my T-62s pay for exposing their flank.

More T-62s attached to the recce group swing around the Spanish rear areas to see off the last of the M-48s on the Soviet right.

Scratch the T-62s, but the T-72s engage the other group of M-48s, pretty ineffectually as it turns out.

The contest over control of the castle goes on.

As the sun sets, the T-72s get whittled down, inflicting little damage in return - some stunning low dice rolls for Soviet attacks and saves.

The spectacular Soviet naval landing on the Aegean coast with Turkish defenders in the foreground and Portuguese in the distance, both groups now lurking in the woods and olive groves as waves of Soviet BTRs, PT-76s and T-55s push inland.  I don't have a narrative for the action here as I was too wrapped up on my end of the table.  Next to us, the Soviets, with Bulgarian support, saw off a NATO counterattack by Spanish marines, and a follow up force of USMC failed to stem the flow, resulting in the Soviets clearing the table.  I must confess to not knowing much about the furthest table, I'll have to find out today.

So, about to head off for the next instalment.  Thanks for looking.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Aegean Strike 2016 - the set up

Friday afternoon saw the Cold War Commanders, me, Ian S, Richard P, Mark J, Gordon M, Mike A, Keith and Steve B met to set up the tables for Saturday's Aegean Strike game.  The year is 1985 and the Warsaw Pact are trying to keep NATO forces in the Mediteranean busy, so have arranged and amphibious assault on the Turkish coast and are advancing into Greece and Turkey from the Balkans.

The Turkish coastline - lots of trees immediately behind the beach.  

Another view.

Inland from the coast, the coastal plain was cut by a river flowing parallel to the coast before opening into an estuary towards the far end of the table.  Beyond the river were dense stands of olive groves and vineyards.  Steve B decided there weren't enough so went home to turn out another boxful for the table this morning. 

Soviet deployment zone.

Lighthouse on the Headland.

The estuary.

The other table included the Greek/Turkish border with Yugoslavia/Bulgaria and parts of Thrace.  The border is marked by a line of industrial units and the river beyond splits the big table into three gaming areas.

Parts of the border area.

Industrial areas along the border.

The central area.  NATO was counterattacking from left to right on the table.

Somewhere in Thrace, where Soviet and Spanish spearheads were destined to clash in a rush for terrain followed by a cat and mouse jockeying for position.

The built up areas somewhere in Thrace, key targets for both sides.

NATO counter attacks would come from the bottom of the table.

Another view of the border.

Scattered woodland near the Aegean coast.  Steve B's olive groves were to sprout up here overnight.

Olive groves like these further upriver, with a Roman villa masquerading as a vineyard.

More of the same, just waiting for the Portuguese defenders to dig in.

Thrace, the area where my Soviet thrust was due to exploit.

Three woods in the foreground that were due to receive some thermobarics, if I could only roll less than 6 on 2 d6.

The other three woods, also destined for thermobarics with the same requirement.

Pics of day 1 action to follow.

Thanks for looking.