Another in the series of scenarios involving Soviet VDV landing in Northern Scotland as a prelude to a full-scale invasion. If you’re wondering why I’m using American tanks in Scotland remember I’m sort of using the background from Red Dawn here – NATO has more or less dissolved and all American and British forces have pulled out of Germany – so I figured to maintain a strategic presence in Europe the US would probably maintain a couple of round forces bases in the UK – and likely one in Scotland that being the most likely route of invasion – now that Western and Central European fronts have been taken out of the picture.
I played the game with John Burt and Christian Knudsen as part of our afternoon of gaming madness. We three worked together at the Wizard’s Corner – Saskatoon’s original gaming store - in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. John owned it, Christian and I were the employees (ever see the movie High Fidelity...? It was stunningly similar, except we were game geeks instead of music geeks…).
While I kept in touch with John over the years Christian kind of dropped off the map for a bit – I hooked up with him again earlier this year and, if you’re a regular reader, you’ve probably seen him mentioned in a few of these reports over the last couple months. John now lives in Calgary and was in town for a wedding so I set up an afternoon for the three of us to get together and tell some lies, toss some dice, and push some toys around on the tabletop just like in the good ol’ days.
In fact I think it was even BETTER than the good old days! I think the last time we actually played games together was in John’s old place at the end of Melrose Avenue… when was that…? Like 15 years ago…? I think we’ve all (well at least two of us) have done a lot of growin’ up and settling down since then. Anyway – you get the picture - it was good, good times. Thanks guys! We’ll have to do it again soon!
Glenn Dunny, Scotland, 1520GMT 5 May 1988
Due to unexpected defenders at their nighttime objectives and fearsome counterattacks in the morning at Dunny and Dunnymuir the shattered remains of the 119th Parachute Landing Regiment (106th (Tula) Guards Airborne Division) is in full retreat up Glen Dunny – hoping to meet up with friendly forces coming ashore earlier in the day. Hotly pursuing them are elements of the 5th Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers (TA) with attached American M1 tanks.
This is a pursuit scenario out of the Cold War Commander book.
Elements of the 119th Parachute Landing Regiment
14x VDV infantry sections
1x SA-7 team
1x Spigot ATGW team
1x SU-25 flight
Q and S Coy, 5th Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers (TA)
1x SF-GPMG team
2 Companies each with:
6x Infantry Sections
1x FAC (USAF)
1x Phantom II Flight (USAF)
2x M1 Abrams Tanks teams (2/32nd Armored Regiment – 3rd Armored Division)
B company, 3 Para
8x Para Infantry Sections
5x UH-1 Iroquois (G Co/227th Aviation Regt)
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
John played the Soviets and Christian The British (with American attachments). John set up his force to head off the north-west corner of the table – so he could start under some amount of cover and wouldn’t have to cross the river. The Christian set up with his infantry behind cover but his tanks in the open where they could start firing on turn 1.
Wider view of the start lines.
Then they rolled for Air Superiority. Throughout the day the British seemed to be getting the upper hand in the air and had established Total Air Superiority!
The infantry got moving and then CO got a command bonus and the tanks opened up and took out the ATGW… hmmmm… maybe I should have implemented some sort of spotting rules… or perhaps pre-game the ATGW had just fired and missed alerting the tanks to it’s presence. Ah well…
Both HQs failed to move anybody so the CO took over and got the entire formation moving! Once…
Q Coy charged forward three times (including another command bonus!). The SF-GPMG team was the first to the hedgerow, they set up and began firing (six dice, five ones, and a two…. Damn we still got blanks in this thing!! Where’s the live ammo!?)
S Coy’s HQ failed to get things going so the CO stepped in and got them moving along with the tanks. The CO tried to bring in the air assaulting Paras – but failed. (lookit how that goon wears his beret – it’s shameful! …boy and I made fun of Britton! Sorry Britton – see the Phd was good for something, you know how to wear a beret better than a guy that’s been in the army a dozen years….! well… he is only a reservist…)
The 1st Company got moving. The 2nd company held and returned fire knocking out the GPMG. The FAC actually got the attention of the SU-25s but they were chased off by British Harriers.
Comrade-Colonel Burtovich. Is he sticking his tongue out at me…!? Oh those Russians….
Q coy moved up to the hedgerow, fired – knocking out a section of VDV -and moved some more up, then got all confused and decided to FALL BACK (Command Blunder)!
S Coy and the tanks moved up, taking some opportunity fire.
The paras, once again, failed to arrive.
Some VDV with RPGs fired on and actually suppressed one of the M1 teams, while others moved away at a crawl.
Q Coy regained their wits and moved back up to the hedgerow. Then they started firing and suppressed a section of VDV….
Then they fired again… and again and finished off the section of VDV and a few more!
S Coy got all confused and mistook their CHQ for “spetznaz infiltrators” and started firing on them (Command Blunder: CEASE FIRE!!!). Hits were taken at the HQ but when they got the everything sorted out they carried on.
The FAC was finally in a position to call in the Phantoms. This was John’s first game. From Turn One I was telling him to disperse his troops a bit as once the FAC got line of sight on them they were in for trouble. He did try a bit; unfortunately the path he was trying to take – hugging the cover along the western table edge – didn’t afford him much space TO disperse… Nine units were hit, six suppressed – of those hit, two took five hits, and three took four….
John at this point decided to point out I was using an inappropriate model as the flight stand (which cam with the model) labeled it as a PhantOOm II – take a close look – it is actually misspelled!
So after all that damage all Christian would have to do is get a couple of rounds of firing in with his M1s and he could finish off a PILE of Russians… It was not to be… Not only did S Coy mistake their own CHQ for spetsnaz infiltrators – they also thought the COs landrover looked rather like a Ural… or Lada… One of them actually said he thought he saw a T-72 and fired his Carl G at it…! (Command Blunder: CEASE FIEING!!!). There were sufficient casualties amongst the Battalion HQ to suppress the CO and thus end the turn and cause him some trouble the next turn (-1 CV).
The three stands that weren’t suppressed moved. The SA-7 deployed. That’s it…
Look at this clown… how many hundreds of thousands of our tax payers dollars went into paying and training this goof over the last dozen years… and he STILL hasn’t figured out how to wear a beret properly…?! Or maybe that’s what he figured the COs hat would look like after his Land rover took a direct hit from one of his own Carl Gs…
Q Coy was up to it’s usual tricks; firing, firing again, then getting yet another command bonus, moving and firing even more – the total for this turn; three VDV knocked out, two suppressed. They did draw a bit of opportunity fire which Knocked out one of their own and suppressed another two. They had the numbers though, things were looking bad for he Soviets.
The FAC called in another flight. AA fire caused two hits but those steely pilots just kept on going. I didn’t note down any casualties so I assume no one was knocked right out…
S Coy continued their saunter across the heather.
Not only did the Soviet FAC actually convince the SU-25s supposedly supporting them to take a run at their AO – the pilots actually made it through the cloud of AA fire (5 hits, 4 saved, mission not aborted!). Both M1 teams were hit and suppressed in the attack!
Apparently no one else did anything productive enough to warrant me noting it down… perhaps they were all suppressed again…
Q Coy's commander was really pushing for a VC or something or his company were a bunch of fire-pissers because they got ANOTHER command bonus and shot the crap out of the soviets AGAIN, knocking out two. Op fire suppressed three, but they got two more rounds of firing which only managed to suppress one more VDV section.
The S coy overtook the suppressed tanks with two moves forwards – taking some opportunit fire themselves, which suppressed one section.
Then the Paras arrived… Two sections landed directly into a close assault which killed a section of VDV and the Soviet’s FAC. Further orders saw three more VDV sections knocked out by fire – including the SA-7 team – and a close assault that knocked out another.
John rolled his first break test… at -6 to his CV of 9 - because in one turn he went from just under his breakpoint to six over!!!! (Go on John, roll a three if you can…) He rolled a 12… and that was the end of the 119th Parachute Landing Regiment…
Guess I'll have to start work on some equipment of the amphibious landings... see if they go any better...
Despite the utter slaughter I think everyone had fun. I certainly did.
After the Cold War Commander toys and terrain were all cleared away john busted out one of his copies of Command and Colors: Ancients. I’ve played this once, and Christian never, but it’s a pretty quick and easy game to pick up
Christian setting up his stuff for round one.
I forget the scenario (hopefully John will probably post a comment informing us!) but I think I remember John saying he’s never seen Carthage win…. In BOTH games (you each have a go at playing both sides) the Carthaginians were down 4-2 (5 units killed wins the scenario) and came back to win!
After that was packed up the boys said good-bye and we decided we need to do this again sometime soon. Maybe next time Pamela gets married, or my Wargames weekend in February… whichever comes first…
If that weren’t enough gaming madness for one day – after a quick supper and getting kiddies to sleep I got ready for the arrival of group two – the Local Savages for my regular Saturday Night Savage Worlds game! Whoot!