After Action Report: Column

Robert Ernst looked through his binoculars down the road. His unit had been cut off by the Soviets in the beginning rush of WW3, and he had been unable to contact friendly forces due to jamming. In the distance, a dust plume heralded the arrival of  Soviet vehicles advancing on his position. It appeared that now was the time to fight.

This game was a battle between an 2nd echelon Soviet unit, and an U.S. unit that had been surrounded and cut off. The Soviet goal was to destroy as many U.S. forces as possible, and advance off the board with minimal causalities. The U.S. forces were trying to repel the Soviets, but still maintain their fighting force. I was playing the U.S. forces, and would hopefully be able to ambush the Soviets, retreat while inflicting damage, and take none in return.

Soviet Forces were: T-72 x9, BMP x9 (Infantry x9), ZSU-23-4 x2.

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U.S. Forces consisted of: Starship x3, M113 with I-TOW x3, LAW Teams x4, M-60 Teams x2, Infantry Teams x2, Artillery Strike x1.IMG_7426

The Soviets started the game by bringing on 6 of their T-72’s. Immediately a U.S. hunter-killer team attacked out of one of the buildings next to the road, however they failed to destroy a T-72.

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The Russians advance with 3 of the T-72’s, while the other 3  peel off and attack with co-axil machine guns and main guns. In the hail of fire they killed the hunter-killer team and started the house on fire. The Soviets then brought on 3 BMP’s.IMG_7407

Seeing their comrades killed, 3 Starships revealed themselves and fired on the lead T-72’s, killing two of them.IMG_7408

The Soviet commander ordered the remaining T-72’s to pull off and engage the Starships in the forest. The Soviets then brought on an additional 3 BMP’s, while the 3 currently on the board head down a side road.IMG_7409

The Starships return fire on the advancing T-72’s killing 2 more of them.IMG_7410

All Soviet forces move up and attack the Starships, a Konkurs ATGM from a BMP kills one. At the same time, the Soviets bring on 3 more BMP’s.

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The Starships break contact and retreat, removing them from play. The threat over, the Soviets start to move toward the town again, and opt not to bring on more units this turn. U.S. forces wait patiently for the Soviets to get into range.

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The Soviets bring in their last BMP unit, and then the ZSU’s. U.S. M113 I-TOW’s strike, ambushing the leading T-72’s and kill off 2 of them.

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T-72’s and BMP’s advancing along the right side of the town find my Starships unawares, and, due to the surprise, they kill a Starship. IMG_7417

On the other side of town the Soviets return fire at the M113 I-TOWS, killing two, and forcing the other one to pull back.IMG_7416

U.S. LAW teams on the right side of town fire at the BMP’s, but both miss. However, the Starships fare better and kill a lone T-72.IMG_7418

The Soviets advance up into the town, the T-72 on the left side of town kills one more of my Starships. Another  T-72 with BMP support kills one of the LAW teams, while the other team scuttles away.

The remaining Starship returns fire, but misses its shot at the T-72 on the left side of town, the LAW team is luckier, and destroys another BMP.

The tank battle on the left side of town ends with the last Starship being destroyed, and the final LAW team wiped from the manor house. As the Soviets advance, M-60 teams in several buildings ambush the BMP’s, and a LAW team ambushes the T-72’s. However, the attack is in vain as they all fail to do damage.

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The ZSU’s kill off the LAW team, and the BMP’s machine guns wipe out a M-60 team. In a last attack, fire from infantry and the M-60 team kill off 2 squads of Soviet infantry.

Combined fire from the BMP’s, infantry, and ZSU’s, wipe out the last resistance.

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In a last ditch attempt to stop the Soviets, the bridge is blown, and an artillery strike called in. The strike is lucky, and kills 3 BMP’s. In the end though, it is to little, to late, and the Soviets advance off the table.IMG_7424

The game ended in a defeat for the U.S. forces, as they had been completely shattered, with only 2 Starships and an M113 I-TOW remaining. The Soviets did take heavy losses, but were still able to call it a win at the end of the day.

Reasons for U.S. defeat: My ambushes didn’t work, at the start it seemed to be going well. However, the Starships I had planned to use for an ambush in the town, were pinned down and destroyed, leaving me with little left. Again I failed to build a concentrated group of firepower, in attacks I would fire and then be hit back harder than I had hit. At the end of the day, I had poor rolls, poor luck, poor tactics, and poor decisions.

Reasons for Soviet victory: The use of mass units operating in two teams, allowed the overwhelming of resistance when it was presented. The unorthodox flanking of the town proved to be lucky, as it prevented a counterattack by the Starships that were lying in wait. They also had a superbly executed pincer movement that identified, pinned down and destroyed resistance, while eliminating the threat of counter attacks.

Robert Ernst looked down at the town where the rest of his unit was, or had been. The town was smoldering, and you could no longer hear the sound of gunfire. The Soviets had crushed all resistance. Robert turned back to his tank, now low on fuel and ammunition. He was still cut off. At least he was alive, and could continue the fight.

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

 

 

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After Action Report: Screening Force

3 hours ago, Soviet forces moved across the German border. British forces in the area are rushing to prepare for the oncoming red tide. In front, the screening forces are desperately trying to buy time for their units to organize. – BBC News Correspondent Edward Brown

The game was British screening forces vs. a Soviet column, with the Soviets trying to get off the board a quickly as possible and the British trying to stop them. I was the screening force, so while I had fewer forces, I also had surprise on my side.

The British forces consisted of Scorpion x5, Swingfire x2, Chieftain Mk. 10 x3, Fox x1, and Artillery strike x1.

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Soviet forces were: T-72 x10, BMP-1 x10, ZSU-23-4 x2, BMD-1 x3, BRDM-1 x2, Pre-game barrages x5, and Mig-21 with rocket pods x1.

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The Soviets would start on one end of the board, and drive forward trying to reach the other end as fast as possible. The British would set up hidden, until revealed by the Soviets, or the British fired.

Pre-game barrages of the Soviets only destroy a Scorpion in the town and pin another Scorpion down.

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As Soviet forces move on to the board, the British artillery strike hits and kills 3 T-72s, 2 BMD’s, and pins a BMP.

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Soviet forces are cautious, and spread out into the forest to hunt for enemies that may be lying in wait. While they do find enemies, they are wasting valuable time.

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A BMP is confronted by two Scorpions, and the Scorpions fire ineffectively at the surprised BMP.

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Reinforcements move to attack the Scorpions and take one out.

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The Scorpions in return kill the last remaining BMD, but the second Scorpion is knocked out by BMP fire. The first (small) victory goes to the Soviets!

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The Soviet advance continues and a Chieftain fires on the enemy column approaching but is taken out by a Malyutka ATGM.

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Parallel to the advancing Soviet column, a Chieftain and two Swingfires appear and attack the Soviets, destroying a T-72.

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In revenge the combined Soviet fire kills one of the Swingfires and the Chieftain on the ridge.

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The Soviet advance continues by knocking out the other Swingfire. The Soviets then pass the halfway mark on the board making their way towards the town.

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A Scorpion is revealed and fires, but misses its shot at the leading BMP.

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The Soviets move into the town and knock out the Scorpion that shot at the BMP.

The Fox and a second Scorpion appear and take out a BRDM-1, and a BMP. The burning hull of the BMP now prevents the Soviets from crossing the bridge until it can be pushed away.

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The Fox and Scorpion quickly have the tables turned on them and are knocked out by Soviet fire.

The last remaining Chieftain fires from the church, where it has been waiting. The shot goes true and kills a T-72.

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One of the ZSU-23-4’s bulldozes the burning BMP off the bridge to clear it, while the BMP’s ford the stream.

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The Chieftain is finally destroyed after 2 rounds of ineffective Soviet shooting at it.

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At this point it was realized that the Mig had not been used, but it was to late to do anything about it. With the last British units destroyed the Soviets were free to move off the board.

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All told the game took about 2 hours to play and I had a great time playing. Unfortunately the game ended a tie, as the British did not kill enough and delay the Soviets for long enough and the Soviets did not move off the board fast enough to call it a victory.

Reasons for Soviet defeat: the Soviets spent to much concentrating on one target and stoping the advance because of it. They should have tasked some units to killing it and continued to move the rest of the column ahead.

Reasons for British defeat: as usual for me, my bad rolling got in my way. I failed to kill anything in my ambushes, which would have tipped the game in my favor. My other problem was not building a concentrated group of firepower, as every time I would attack, I would fire, and then get destroyed by the tons of Soviets around. The other thing that would have helped would be waiting for the enemy column to pass and then attacking with the Swingfires and Chieftain. I could have killed my opponents command tank and won.

While the Soviet drive has been slowed by our brave boys, the Soviet momentum is still present. British troops will be prepared, but not as much as they wished. Good luck to you lads from everyone at home, and God save the Queen! – BBC News Correspondent Edward Brown

Until next time,

– MinisMuse