Friday, November 9, 2007

Bridge at Dunvegan - Redux

This is a replay of last night’s scenario. I wrote up my AAR before I cleaned everything up and then decided I should leave everything set up and have another go at it this evening – incorporating some of the ideas I noted in the last reports conclusions.

So here we go again:

Dunvegan, Alberta, Canada, 30 August 1988

The SITUATION, SCENARIO, and FORCES remain the same as last night’s scenario.


Tonight, instead of “entrenched” I counted all of the Scotts and VDV as “dug in”.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

These are the start positions. I tweaked the Brisith set-up based on some of Chris’ observations and afterthoughts. I tweaked the VDV set-up slightly too. The Motor Rifles I set up entirely differently – rather than run right up the middle taking fire from both sides I decided to concentrate on the east side of the highway – forcing the Brits on the west side to redeploy or just take long range shots as we drove by.

The Motor Rifles start line. I set these up with a bit more thought. As suggested in last night’s conclusions I set them up so the armoured elements would be under the command of the CO and the dismounted infantry under command of the HQ. I probably should have done this the other way around as one generally moves their CO last – that way the infantry would have just followed along and never have been getting in the way of the armour. The infantry I also made sure to set up as far forward as allowed – spaced between the tanks – to give them a fighting chance of covering the ground they needed to cover in 8-12 turns.

This is A Coy (2nd Bn, Scotts Guards) set up on the east side of Highway #2. With them in the woods beyond is the CO.

This is B Coy (2nd Bn, Scotts Guards) set up on the west side of Highway #2.

TURN ONE - Russians

As I was concentrating on advancing up the east side I set my creeping barrage up there as well – same distances from the table edge as last night but instead of centered on the road they hugged the eastern table edge. (As I was playing this solo I was able to take considerably more notes – and I also remembered the KRUMP markers). The change to “hasty defences” helped me out a bit… a little bit… I caused hits on three of the four or five units under this section of the barrage (including the FAO and CHQ) and suppressed the infantry section with the Carl G (whew!).

I was also a bit more proactive with the VDV in this game. The VDV 1st Company (on the north side of the river) moved out in the command phase.

One platoon moved towards the Scotts B Coy. One of the VDV sections was hit and suppressed by opportunity fire. The other returned fire on a second order hitting and suppressing one section of Scotts.

Same group as mentioned above – different angle.

The other two platoons of VDV moved on the Scotts A Coy’s positions hitting and suppressing two sections, causing one to fallback into the Milan section, on the other side of the narrow stand of trees, suppressing them as well.

The M-R infantry began to move forward cautiously, and the Armour also began to creep forward taking some opportunity fire from the Milan ATGW with B Coy – 5 hits, 3 saved (good thing I found out T-72s do get a reduced save vs. ATGWs and IATWs!), no suppressions.

TURN ONE – British

B Coy started off the turn with some initiative fire against the VDV in the woods, with little effect. Later in the Command Phase they fired on them again causing 3 hits and a suppression. They also did a bit of maneuvering in the woods.

Perhaps A Coy’s HQ was a bit shaken by the artillery barrage, because it failed to issue any successful orders this turn – the Battalion CO stepped in and got some fire coordinated; “Carl Gs! Enemy IFV to your front, FIRE!” Ka-BOOOM!! Up went the BMP. One of the sections survived, suppressed with 5 hits! (for those that aren’t familiar and/or maybe didn’t read last night’s AAR, because I’m playing with 20mm figures and the vehicles take up so much space I use a figure scale of one stand = one section of infantry or TWO vehicles or guns – so a full strength tank company would be about 5 tanks. Because of this I allow IFVs to carry 2 sections and allow the sections within a save equal to the save value of the IFV (generally 6) – if the IFV/APC is taken out they may roll this save – if successful they deploy outside the vehicle and are suppressed with hits equal to the number of hits taken by the vehicle – it gives them a slim chance of surviving, otherwise if an IFV model is taken out it would wipe out over half a platoon worth of infantry…).

TURN TWO –Russians

The artillery barrage rolled forward hitting, but not suppressing the FAO and CHQ again, as well as hitting and suppressing an MG and Infantry section.

During the initiative phase the BRDM added +1 CV to the HQ, The T-72s all fired but I never wrote down any effect so I presume there wasn’t much of any, and the VDV fired on the B Coy Scotts in the woods, suppressing one section.

During the command phase those same VDV were feeling a little too bold and tried to close assault the suppressed section. The unsuppressed section did some reaction fire at them suppressing them. The VDV lost the assault and were wiped out. (I remembered later in the game that VDV were supposed to get an additional attack in Close Assault – this may have saved these guys – if they’d had one more hit the Brits wouldn’t have doubled them and the VDV would have only had to retreat, suppressed. Ah well, I think I forgot to try and call in for artillery for the Brits in turn one…).

The other two platoons of the 1st VDV Company maneuvered and fired on A Coy’s positions causing severe hits, but no suppressions. The Scotts, however, suppressed one of the VDV sections with some opportunity fire.

The Motor Rifles infantry cautiously crept forward again (one move)!

The T-72s must have been too busy pumping shells into the British positions directly to their front to hear the Co urging them forward and trying to exercise some fire control…

TURN TWO - British

The scotts took no initiative actions, instead B Coy kicked off the Command Phase with their OC deciding it was time to redeploy. The four sections of infantry north of the woods were ordered to move out back towards the bridge to aid the other platoon that was engaged with the VDV. The platoon already in the woods continued to exchange fire with the VDV. The Milan was left in position to menace the flank of the advancing T-72s. This turn it got 4 hits through, but NO SUPPRESSION!

I remembered to call in artillery for the Scotts this turn! The barrage straddled the south end of the bridge and causing hits among four sections, suppressing three.

The platoon of A coy defending the woods at the south end of their AO continued their exchange of small arms fire with the VDV.

A Carl G, also in A Coy let rip with a rocket at the BRDM suppressing it!

TURN THREE – Russians

The artillery barrage only managed to hit and suppress one section of A Coy. This looked like bad news for the Russians.

In the initiative phase a stunning fusillade of small arms and RPG fire from the VDV section in the woods with elements of B Coy wiped out one of their sections. Similar action against A Coy’s position saw another section of Scotts leave (through excessive fallback) and another suppressed. The T-72s continued to pump shells into the forward positions of A Coy, this time suppressing both sections on the rise.

During the Command Phase The M-R infantry surged forward onto the rise overrunning the positions of one section of suppressed Scotts – this however drew some opportunity fire from the Scotts MG and infantry with Carl Gs on the next rise which took out one of the assaulting sections.

There was some confusion at the VDVs 1st Company’s HQ and no orders were issued. The 2nd Company, on the south side of the river, however, decided to get into the action as started to redeploy; some ready to rush across the bridge – others into positions to give covering fire should any Scotts show their faces at the south side of the woods on the other side of the river.

The T-72s then finished off the remaining section of Scotts on the rise – this drew some opportunity fire from B Coy’s Milan and a Carl G from A Coy, which hit and suppressed two tanks. Not that it mattered much, this being the end of the Russians turn…


B Coy started things off again by hitting and suppressing the one VDV section in the woods with them. The immediately followed this up with a close assault on their position which wiped out the VDV. In the ensuing chaos some trigger-happy Scotts got confused about where their friendlies were and a couple sections got caught in a crossfire between other sections of their own unit (COMMAND BLUNDER!). 3 units took hits but nothing too serious.

The Artillery FOO called in a concentration on the VDV in the woods near A Coys position. Two sections of VDV were hit, one being suppressed. But the proximity and magnitude of the barrage was a bit much for the remaining section of the platoon guarding the southern approaches to A Coys position and the remains of the section scattered (4 hits on a section that was already suppressed – fell back too much!)

A Coy’s CHQ was proving utterly distracted this game failing to issue orders once again. Once again the Old Man had to step in and calmly issued orders that saw the remaining platoon of A Coy and the MG section execute a textbook fighting withdrawal – by the end of their turn they had finished off the M-R infantry section on the next rise and fell back under order to the woods to defend the BHQ area.

TURN FOUR – Russians

There was no one within initiative distance and LOS so I went straight into the Command Phase. The 1st VDV Company moved out to attack the woods with the shattered remains of A Coy and the Battalion CO – but there was some confusion about the coordination of the sections attacks and they all ended up halted out in the open just as the first section arrived at the woods!

The 2nd VDV Company tried to rush across the bridge while the covering group engaged the Scotts across the river with small arms and RPGs knocking out one section!

The infantry began to pick up the pace rushing forward to the base of the next rise.

The FAO was unsuccessful in his attempts to get further support from the divisions artillery.

The T-72s fired on the Milan, suppressing it once again.

TURN FOUR – Scotts

A Coy’s MG section fired on the VDV at the edge of the woods suppressing it during the initiative phase.

Some of the B Coy Scotts exchanged small arms and RPG/Carl G fire with the VDV across the river while others maneuvered through the woods and fired on the VDV trying to cross the river. 2 sections of Scotts took hits, one being suppressed, while the two leading sections of the VDV trying to cross the bridge were suppressed – effectively holding up their entire assault.

The remaining platoon of A Coy assaulted the suppressed VDV section at the edge of the woods – so utterly destroying them (6-0!) that the other two VDV sections that were supporting them were also suppressed (in the open…).

Some artillery was called in but it was way off and only managed to blow up a few trees on the south side of the river.

TURN FIVE – Russians

The remains of the 1st VDV Company were all suppressed… so they did nothing. The 2nd Company continued firing at the Scotts across the river suppressing two sections.

The M-R infantry crested the rise, taking some opportunity fire from A Coy’s MG section. This suppressed one of the M-R sections. The other two returned fire successfully suppressing the MGs.

In the confusion of the battle the CO may have ordered some of the tanks to fire on each other. There were some mistaken reports of British Challengers in the area. All the tank commanders involved swear they were fired on by enemy tanks, and in the end no damage was caused so who really cases… (Command Blunder – Crossfire – 6 attacks on each tank!)

No Artillery.

TURN FIVE – Scotts

The remaining platoon of A Coy savaged the VDV that were suppressed in the open under their own initiative. One section was wiped out and the other took 4 this and was suppressed before the CO got control and started directing fire which finished off the other section. All that remained of the 1st VDV Company was a single section in the woods opposite and the CHQ.

B Coy just maneuvered it’s unsuppressed units around in the woods to get a better position to cover the approaches to the bridge with some Carl G’s.

The artillery observer successfully called in a barrage that caught the 2nd VDV company in it’s entirety. EVERY SINGLE UNIT WAS SUPPRESSED!! (except the HQ…?)

TURN SIX – Russians

In the Initiative Phase the remaining section of the 1st VDV Company fired on and suppressed the Scotts in the woods opposite. They followed this up with a close assault in the Command Phase which wiped the Scotts out and suppressed the other infantry section and the ATGW team which had supported the assault.

The infantry had fired on and destroyed A coy’s MG section in the Initiative Phase. They then moved up to assault the suppressed ATGW section and HQ – which had attached itself and utterly wiped them out. They carried on into the woods and assaulted the remaining infantry section and the attached CO. These last Scotts gave a good account of themselves, giving almost as good as they got before retiring from the woods under the sheer weight of the attack into the open beyond. One of then tanks then rumbled into view, overrunning the FAO’s position – who then attached themselves to the remaining infantry section along with the CO. They were all sitting ducks out there in the open and with the next set of orders they were all finished off by fire from the T-72.

Meanwhile the other T-72s of the supporting tank company fired relentlessly on the Milan and B Coy sections with Carl Gs. They destroyed the ATGW section and one of the infantry sections and suppressed the other.

TURN SIX – Scotts

The OC B Coy assumed command of the battlegroup and tried to rally the troops for one last stand (rolled for withdrawal). Game Over. They could be asked to do no more – so instead the four remaining shattered sections of B Coy, 2nd Battalion, Scotts guards decided discretion was the better part of valour and executed some E&E westward up the Peace River!

M-R Infantry and VDV meet up. There was much rejoicing.

Final positions at the end of the game.

Same thing, different angle.


This was a much more exciting game – as Gary would call it: “a real nail-biter right down to the bitter end”. Around Turn Five I was still thinking it could really go either way – both forces were hovering close to their breakpoints and those two VDV sections had just been wiped out in the open – I thought the game was up for that company and the Scotts would be able to redeploy to face the Motor Rifles coming over the hill. Didn’t quite work out that way… That’s the way she goes sometimes.

British loses:
8x Infantry sections
2x Milan ATGW
1x HQ
1x CO
1x FAO
Breakpoint: 8, Total Loses: 11

Soviet Losses
5x VDV Infantry
3x MR Infantry
Breakpoint: 11, Total Loses: 9


  1. Looked better, Tim - though it's always nice to give the attacker a 2nd chance...

    I feel that I would have set up C coy (on the MRR left) quite differently than you did. I liked the Milan setup, but I would not have deployed on either of the hills at all. Instead, I would have put the troops at the base of the forward edge of the hill to the rear, meaning that either you would have had to come from the far left and risk an approach under the Milan, or crest the hill and face 3 Carl Gs at very short range. Keep in mind that the approach to that hill would be covered by B Coy Milan. Had the rules for firing thru friendlies been different, I would have placed my one remaining small arms section at the rear base of the first hill to provide close assault capability on the tanks.

    In addition, I feel that the brits would have been better served by assaulting toward the bridgehead as soon as it became clear that you were committing to the left flank. This would have reduced pressure on the rear of the other company by taking it to the VDV. Would have been costly, but all I would need to do was keep one of the VDV coys pinned while providing close AT defense on the road and the west bridge approach.

    The Armchair General, formerly CO 2 Scots Gd.

  2. Fair enough! We should try something similar again next time.

    I wasn't really playing it agains to see if I could "win" it had things been different. I was just curious to see how things might have turned out different. When playing solo - I'm playing BOTH sides to "win" and generally don't favour either.

    I had thought of deploying the brits on the reverse slope - but sometimes I think I'm still a bit in Flames of War mode - where there is no opportunity fire and tanks are the king of close assault - the way to stop any kind of attack seems to be you must get the best field of fire possible and start firing at the approaching enemy as soon as they are in range.... bah don't get me started...

    Thanks for the game and the coments on the re-run.


  3. "it's always nice to give the attacker a 2nd chance..."

    Think of it as the second company/wave of the regiments attack. Since I was playing the Scotts we can say it was the 2IC in charge and you were in a secondary defensive position with the other two companies of the battalion on the south side of the river.

    Now that the Russians have taken the bridge they're going to want to break out of their bridgehead and head for Grand Prairie.

    When you're available again in a couple weeks we'll see if the russians can break out of their bridgehead. I'll have some more BMPs done and maybe I'll get to work on my Warriors and Challengers this week too!

  4. Have you considered doing a future war one?

    The year is 2012, the Russian Bear has arisen again and is now threatening Canada and Denmark over the vast oil reserves around the North Pole.

  5. Maybe when Future War Commander comes out (Pete's next project....)