Monday, 7 December 2015

The only thing that will affect it is that you have to roll a dice...

Saturday saw the final game of the year for the TWATS and although it was a reduced turnout, fun was still had. In attendance we had Theatre Steve (who was running the game), Andy, new TWAT Paul and your humble scribe. This was the first time we had played with Steve's rather fine 20mm moderns and the Cold War amendments for Rapid Fire. As per usual, fine ale and sustenance were on hand throughout the afternoon.

It was East Germans versus West Germans, circa 1985, so whilst the Ossi's had the benefit of two T72 companies, the Wessi's had a recon platoon with a Leopard 2. In addition to the T72's there was a company of T55's, two companies of BMP1 mounted infantry, a recce company in BTR60's plus an attached artillery spotter to call in 3 BM21's and a battery of 122mm guns and/or a Hind strike and a 120mm mortar track. The West Germans had a Leopard 1A5 company, HQ company with another attached Leopard 1 and several companies of infantry in Marder and Fuchs APC's, as well as a company of engineers. So, having set the terrain, I took the East Germans and Andy took the Wessi's. Paul was observing with interest.

The aim of the Ossi's was to secure a crossroads in a town that was being held by a scratch force of engineers who were awaiting support. All the Wessi's had to do was stop that from happening. I thought I had a chance, but being tank heavy versus an infantry heavy force in a built up area, I knew this could get messy.

My initial aim, after a short period of consideration, was to grab a foothold in the nearest building in the town, and then take the crossroads with the BTR60 company. I also sent my T55's in first on the right flank towards some woods where Andy, quite rightly, parked his Leopard 1's.

If you go down to the woods today...
I quickly debussed the infantry at the building, just as Andy's recce platoon's Leopard 2 crashed through it.

Sshhhh! Be very, very quite...
Despite some light damage from an RPG, the Leopard was still there and causing me great worry. Fortunately, the BMP's on the left flank had ATGM's, and I managed against the dice roll to get a hit. Huzzah! Unfortunately, it was still active. But, to add insult to injury, it was finished off with a 73mm smoothbore round. First blood to the German Democratic Republic, With the Leopard now history, my troops fought their way into the compound. At this point, I was confident of success.

At this point, things became less one sided. There was Milan fire against the BMP's that missed, but the Leopard 1's quickly found the T55's, damaging two out of three. Meanwhile, the HQ Company Leopard had snuck into a gap between two buildings and heavily damaged a BMP. For the second time that afternoon however, my dice rolling was immense and another BMP ATGM killed the offending tank in short order.

Sneaky Bugger, but not for long...
My T55's also had their revenge, killing one of the Leopards and the T72's lightly damaged another. Andy had now lost half of his supporting tanks and I hadn't lost a vehicle yet. Confidence still reigned in the Socialist camp.

It was now time for luncheon. Superb vegetable soup and substantial beef butties were eagerly scoffed. (Thank you Jean, you really do spoil us!)

Back to the battle and Andy advanced his Marder's and debussed his infantry to try and regain the compound. It was now that the quote in the blog title came into play.

"Sarge, I think there is someone outside."
Andy managed to damage another T55, so feeling the pressure, I debussed my infantry well short of the town, targeted the nearest Marder with BMP cannon fire, the furthest with 120mm mortar fire, all of my T55's/T72's against the remaining Leopards and an artillery call against his infantry reserve. The was the kitchen sink tactic, and it needed to work if I had any chance of taking the town.

I began well, with a 120mm round killing a Marder and half of the attached infantry. Then my luck changed. Another Leopard died (albeit with horrendous dice rolling, 7 tanks against 3!) and the artillery call failed. Bugger!!! Although Andy had now lost two thirds of his tanks, his return was devastating. Milan fire took out a T55 and a T72, causing a morale check that halted one of the T72 companies. His Leopards passed their with flying colours and their fire took out another T72. I was now down to three working T72's and one T55. He had effectively neutralised the tank force and now stormed the compound, three companies against one.

The gathering storm...
He couldn't fail, and I was booted out, taking 30% casualties. A final request for artillery failed (ending an afternoon that started well for dice rolling but ended horribly), which meant that it was all over.

For want of an artillery strike!
Funnily, that's what Andy also thought, though the opposite to my view. Although he had held the town, he was hurting. His armour had been decimated but the infantry were dug in, whilst my tanks were raggedly holding a line but I didn't have enough troops to force him out.

Overall, it was a good game and we liked the Rapid Fire rules. They are set at a lower level than the usual Command Decision set that we play with and they worked well. There were a couple of amendments we would make for the next time, but on the whole, the afternoon was entertaining and a laugh. And that, gentle reader, is surely the point.

1 comment:

  1. Heaving a massive sigh of relief as the Artillery did not strike. A fine time had by all.
    We'll have to have another bash
    My version has just been posted.