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.