Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Action at Ludifisk Pass

It’s been a while since I played Cold War Commander, I think my last game was during the Wargames Weekend back in February (not counting the modified version of the rules I used for a ”Great War Commander” in May…

Christian and Mr. Miller dropped by to play and we tried out a number of new things:

First was my new organization. My formations are now companies, HQs being company commanders. Vehicles units are full platoons (so three per company), but infantry units are approximately half-platoons (so, six per company). Because of this I allow IFVs to carry 2 stands, but only one may fire while mounted. Also if IFVs or APCs are KOed, I allow each occupant a single save equal to the save value of the vehicle (usually 6), if they pass they bail up but are suppressed and take hits equal to the number of hits taken by their transport…

Second we tried out the hidden deployment rules. I thought these worked very well and made a big difference.

Ludifisk Pass, 23 August 1985


The Russians have been pressing steadily southwards since hostilities began two weeks ago. A Russian Motorized Rifle Division has infiltrated through a remote valley and it making for Ludifisk Pass to flank the main line currently held by NATO forces. The only friendlies nearby are the lead elements of the Canadian Combined Air Sea Transport (CAST) Brigade.

On the ground for less than 24 hours, 3 Commando, Canadian Airborne Regiment was swiftly flown up to the pass by helicopter in the fading hours of the day. Elements of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment were to reinforce the position in the morning… if they could hold that long.


The lead elements of a Motorized Rifle Regiment must seize Ludafisk Pass. This is basically an Assault Scenario right out of the Cold War Commander book. The attacking Russians had to take it in six turns for a major victory, eight for a minor victory. If the Canadians could prevent this they would score a minor victory, if they could break the Soviets it would be a major victory.

The Canadians would start with only the Parachute Company, which would use hidden deployment. They would get three hidden deployment markers that could be placed anywhere on their half of the table. If the hidden marker did not move the force would be considered “dug in” when they were revealed.

The Canadians would also have two reinforcing companies. Starting on Turn Two they would roll a single die, if the result was LESS THAN the tuen number one of the reinforcing companies had would arrive using mobile deployment on the road in the southeast corner of the table.

Most of the table was dense pine forest and impassible to vehicles. Up in the pass above the tree line it was loose talus and therefore considered “dense terrain” for all vehicles moving off the road.



3 Commando, Canadian Airborne Regiment

6 Parachute Infantry stands
3 Carl Gustav upgrades
3 M72 upgrades

Elements of 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment,


2 companies, each with
6 Parachute Infantry stands
3 Carl Gustav upgrades
3 M72 upgrades

one company also had
3x M113 APC



Tank Company
3x T-72

Motorized Rifle Company
3x BMP-1
6x Conscript Infantry
2x RPG-7 upgrade

Artillery Support
Forward Artillery Observer
2x 2S1 122mm SP, each with 4x HE assets, 1x Smoke asset


Comrade Colonel Knudskavich planned out his artillery schedules and then LCol. Miller placed his three hidden deployment markers.



Chaos and confusion about orders caused a bit of a traffic jam on the road up to Ludifisk pass. (the Russian armour and reconnaissance made a single move, the BMPs didn’t even make it on to the table….

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

Traffic jam at the edge of the table. With only the one road to go up it would be a tough mission for Comrade Colonel Knudskavich.


The Canadians maneuvered about in the woods trying to keep the Russians on their toes… or maybe that was just some deer… or a bear… (Tim moved two of his hidden markers about).

LCol Miller, in his “lucky Cthulhu hat” (hasn’t lost a game while wearing it yet, apparently...) rolls command rolls for the hidden markers.


The first of the Russian scheduled artillery arrives.

Lucky little hidden deployment marker just moved out of the way of the artillery barrage last turn!

That was the only thing that arrived this turn. The tank HQ failed to move the tanks, The CO scored a Command Blunder when he tried to get them going and caused a bit of a cross fire when the nervous tankers started shooting at something they saw in the woods, and then at each other. No serious damage other than a completely lost turn.


A Blunder revealed one marker while a bonus moved another twice!


More scheduled HE managed to blow up nothing but trees. (if a tree gets blown up in the forest and there’s no one there, does it still get blown up…?)

This time the Tank Companies HQ scored a blunder, but Comrade Colonel Knudskavich climbed out of his BTR-50 and stormed up the column on foot, unleashing a torrent of verbal abuse while waving his pistol about and got them moving

The BMPs finally rolled on to the table following closely behind the tanks. (see that hidden deployment marker…? Awful close ain’t it?).


The first of the reinforcing companies from the RCR arrived, along with the CO (in the Grizzly – I didn’t have any other suitable stands…)



Recce spotted a decoy deployment marker, Artillery blew up more trees, and the armoured column rolled slowly up the road almost to the top of the pass.


Being in initiative fire range, the Canadians deployed and started firing! M72 rockets from obliterated the Reconnaissance platoon. The first Carl G section hit the lead T-72s suppressing them. A volley from the second Carl G section caused further disruption as the first T-72 platoon attempted to fall back into the following platoon (suppressing them). During the Command phase a further hits so disrupted the two lead platoons that they became combat ineffective. Tanks crashed into each other, a few brewed up, crews bailed out and made for the woods…

The noise from the pass caused the RCRs to hesitate (no moves) and go to ground while they figured out what was going on.



The pre-planned artillery brought smoke down just south of the Canadians position in the pass… where it did little to help anyone…

The sudden violence of the Paras ambush so caught the tanks and infantry off guard they failed to do anything this turn… until Comrade Colonel Knudskavich personally got the third tank platoon moving and firing on the Canadians positions… once… suppressing a single stand.


Hmmm… I didn’t write anything down… not sure that they actually did anything this turn… too much smoke from the burning tanks in their way perhaps…



Artillery successfully screened off a pack of wolves in the woods and brought HE down on a single stand of Canadians, who were duly suppressed.

The T-72s managed to get moving again and fired on the suppressed paras (not very sporting…) and caused them to fall back a bit (though I just realized that being dug in they didn’t really have to move, did they… ah well, it’s been seven month since I’ve played this last…)

The BMPs moved off the road to deploy, but did little else.


The Second company of RCRs arrived. Both companies made their way slowly up the road towards the pass.

Paras moved out of their positions…!? Taking it to the enemy I guess, those hard-charging bastards! They fired on the BMPs suppressing one unit and knocking out another – though BOTH occupying infantry units successfully rolled their save and bailed out into the adjacent wood! I seem to recall they took some opportunity fire as they moved out, but made no note of it… ah well…



While one of the 2S1 batteries blew up more trees on schedule the Forward Artillery Observation team successfully called in a barrage on the paras moving in the open. Five units were hit, four suppressed. Unfortunately it crept a little to close to the Russians causing two infantry stands to fallback, which caused confusion among the BMP platoon directly behind them (suppressing it as well!).

The T-72 platoon finished off a section of paras with one of the Carl Gs.


RCRs slogged their way a little further up towards the pass.

One Para team fired M72s at one of the BMP units causing some disruption, while one of the other teams moved up a bit. Most just stayed pinned to the ground having been thoroughly suppressed earlier in the turn…



Perhaps the scheduled artillery was planned to make a new road out of the pass… it fell nowhere near any troops of any kind

The other 2S1 battery was called in right on top of the RCRs, hitting four suppressing three.

The infantry and BMPs fired on paras, as did the T-72s suppressing some but not enough to dislodge them from the pass…

Technically that was it, the Canadians has scored a minor victory. We kept on playing a bit though… In the Canadians next turn the M113s moved up, drawing opportunity fire from the T-72s. The M113 unit was suppressed and the infantry within bailed out, also suppressed. A single para stand KOed one BMP unit and then an infantry unit, bringin the Russians to their break point. This was the same unit that had blown the BRDM recce platoon to pieces earlier. I think they KOed something else but I can’t remember what… anyway, medals all around for that lot!

I had kind of stepped out of the room and Christian and Tim carried right on into the next turn, forgetting to roll for the Russians to break. During the Russians turn The infantry and BMPs took out two stands of paras, but opportunity fire KOed one of the Russian infantry. The T-72s KOed an M113 unit…

Here’s what things looked like when we called it quits.

Afterwards Christian rolled his break test and the Russians were routed… So I guess that was a Major Victory for the Canadians in the end…

Like I noted earlier it was a tough slog for the Russians up that single road. Christian suggested we try a game with some more open terrain next time, so I think next week we’ll see some AK-47 Republic Commander action on the Savannah of Timbogo…


  1. Good game - can you share those hidden movement rules you mentioned? I'm a Blitzkrieg Commander fan so I'm hoping they'll fit there as well..

  2. Hi Steve!

    It's page 49 of Cold War Commander. I don't really want to type out the whole page. If you haven't picked it up already - consider it. There's lots of goodies in there you can use for BKC - the Close Combat system is WAY better, same with opportunity fire, hidden deployment. It's all good.

    We may modify the hidden deployment rules further making them more like I Ain't Been Shot, Mum - where all units could potentially start the game as hidden deployment markers and move around (slowly!) until detected...



  3. Typical Junk - But this time it was not the game system, but the Russian commander.

    I totally wasted the scheduled arty, which is actually pretty hard to use effectively, but there were several critical errors that I made.

    First was not paying any attention to the scenario - I had no idea that Tim was going to receive reinforcements, nor that the actual hidden marker represented a full COMPANY of elite infantry. I got it into my head that a revealed marker was going to be a stand or two, not six. Had I been thinking, I would have deployed my tanks off the road a turn earlier, and probably not lost 2/3 of my armour right off the hop to suppression fallback. Second, I should have used my arty to deny movement at the rear of the pass, which would have slowed his reinforcements even more than they were by the poor RCR command rolls.

    In addition, I don't think that Tim or Tim would argue that my luck SUCKED throughout. Expecting 8 hits on 16 dice and rolling 3 was commonplace, and a good indicator. I need to stop using Tim's feldgrau dice pack...

    Next time I will try a formation apart from column, too.

  4. You did, in fact, have appallingly bad luck. From the series of command failures and blunders that halted the column for two whole turns (out of an eight turn scenario...) to your dice rolling for firing...

    I think it was the other Tim's "lucky Cthulhu cap" he admitted to me after you left that he hasn't lost a game - of anything - while wearing the cap...

    Next time, wear an elder sign t-shirt...

  5. Perhaps we will have to require that if he is going to wear a hat it should be appropriate to the force he's playing!

    Of course if he's running a force of Elder God cultists...

  6. Guys - this looks amazing! What scale figures/models are those - and where did you come by them?


    Greg B

  7. Hi Greg,

    The figures are all 20mm-ish/1:72... the T-72s are Forces of Valour die-cast models that I re-painted, the BMPs are from ACE Models out of Ukraine, the M113s are Italeri. The Canadian infantry I modeled and cast myself and most of the Russians are old Combat Miniatures...



  8. Oh and the Grizzly, BRDM1, and BTR-50 Command vehicle are also from ACE Models.