Sunday saw the Soviets regroup for another bite at NATO. In front of the USMC one BMP battalion withdrew completely, while a second, now reduced to little more than a company) took up concealed positions around fields and hedgerows.
Sea Cobras patrolling aggressively.
The Soviets were still plagued by poor command rolls, which meant their tank battalion eventually moved on table alone. Intentions were revealed, when it swung away to the west (USMC left flank), but not before TOW-1s and a strike from an A-9 Intruder (10 attacks - reduced to 9 by one unsaved AAA hit) took out half the available armor. This was a first for the marines and an Intruder strike is something to behold.
Unfortunately, the M60s tried to move laterally from woods on right to those on the left, under cover of a Soviet smoke barrage, but sadly failed a vital command roll and were reduced to one running tank platoon. Time for the Dragons to earn their keep and two stands can be seen advancing into the woods to bolster up the left flank and support British 1st infantry.
The empty terrain in front of the marines right flank - oh for some mobile reserves.
Over on the left, the remaining tank and Dragon teams made slow progress, while a follow-up Soviet BMP infantry battalion swings down the road in the distance, heading for the crumbling British defences off screen to the left.
What's left of the Soviet tank battalion and newly arrived BMP battalion still struggling to gain any momentum with poor command rolls.
By the end of play, a combination of long range ATGMs from USMC Tows, Sea Cobras and air strikes from Corsairs, Intruders, and Kriegsmarine Tornados, but mainly poor command roles, meant that the Soviets facing the marines were late to the party (top right in picture below). However, Steve, the next Soviet player had got to close range and was systematically destroying what was left of British 1st Divisions Chieftain and Milan assets. Although there could still be some costly engagements with British infantry in the town, it was felt that the Soviets had achieved a breakthrough. In hindsight, I could have broadened my left flank and taken up some of the pressure on the Brits sooner by moving my infantry into the fields and trees to the right of the view below (2 Dragon teams and an M60 weren't enough), but at leg infantry speeds, could they have moved fast enough?
Sadly, the M60 and Dragons couldn't inflict enough pain on the armor to stop them, although they had been reduced to 50% strength, thanks largely to the Intruder strike.
All in all a great couple of days gaming played with some old and some new friends. My AAR really only reflects what was happening on the extreme NATO right wing. Over on the left, Mark's Danes had a torrid time from Andy and Stewart's Soviet Spetsnaz and Marines. Next to them, Andy's German panzergrenadiers had stood up to severe pressure from repeated suicidal close assaults from Soviet infantry, so much so that their commander Ianski was visited by comrade Makarov on the Saturday night and a new version Ianski 2 appeared on Sunday, only to see his force virtually wiped out again. Between the Germans and Americans, Chris' British stood up to huge pressure, wiping out the first of Steve's Soviet wave, albeit at great cost in materials if not in infantry, only to be overwhelmed by the Soviet second wave. The US marines had kept Martin's Soviets at arms length on day 1 and reduced the effectiveness of 2 BMP battalions to a single company, mainly due to command rolls preventing the Soviets from getting going. Martin's Soviets eventually made it to support Steve's attack on the Brits and I didn't move enough strength soon enough to be able to support the British.
Loads of fun, some cracking banter, good food and a few beers. In total I think it was 11 game turns played, which says a lot about the players (new players picked up the mechanics really quickly) and the spirit the game was played in, but also the restriction of forces to brigades (or parts of) with suitable supports.