Opponent: Leadgend, WarPac (East German)
Mission: Counter Attack
Result: 3-4 Loss
General POTUS leaned back from the range finder as the East Germans came into view, slumping visibly as he settled back into his commander’s seat. Tanks…so many bloody tanks…..
The combined East German task force of two tank battalions and a motor rifle battalion under the command of Comrade Leadgend brazenly rumbled into site with little regard for the American tanks deployed before them. Confident in their numerical superiority a WarPac wall of steel was arrayed across the battlefield making good use of scouting units to reconoiter and extend their deployment zones. This aggressive reconisance in force had the East German motor infantry & swarm of BMP threatening to capture one of their objectives event before the first shot had been fired!
US orders to hold this sector were haistily prepared. Only two platoons of M1IP tanks would be available to defend Niederbayern – at least one unit had time to prepare an ambush position. The other took up position near the broken down EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle which was awaiting battlefield recovery.
Team Command had promised Scout units, however these had yet to arrive at Niederbayern. Their route of approach was now occupied by the better part of a East German mechanised battalion – when the Scouts arrive they would be walking into a cleverly laid East German trap.
Seizing the battlefield initiative, Comrade Leadgend drove his armoured column hard down one flank while advancing with his horde of BMP and digging in his Motor Infantry on the other flank to securely contest the objective. Fire from the advancing armoured column destroyed the Scout Company HQ M113 and caused the crew of a M1IP to bail out & make hasty battlefield repairs.
With contact made with the East German tanks, the M1IP tanks in ambush roared to life, firing on the advancing armoured column. Combined with the fire from the Abrams platoon already engauged with better part of two T-55M companies and a T72M company were left in ruins. A single Scout platoon arrived at the battlefield, surprised to find itself in the rear of the East German deployment area and heavily outnumbered.
This did not stall the East German advance. In turning to confront the T-55M tanks on the extreme flank exposed vulnerable side armour to T-72M and BMP fire. Soon two M1IPtanks were bailed out and another was inflames. The sole operational Abrams tank left in the unit requested permission to withdraw but received firm orders to continue fighting. The bailed out crews remounting their tanks shortly afterwards.
Return fire from the American tanks once again took a heavy toll on the East German armoured column, this time with several T-72M from two separate companies being destroyed.
The BMP swarm continued to advance into better firing positions on one flank as did the remnants of the armoured column on the other flank, slowly encircling both American tank platoons. While there was still some manoeuvre room, the vulnerable side & rear armour of the M1IP tanks could not be protected from all fire.
When the M1IP turned to take on the encircling BMP, they presented a target of opportunity to the reminants of the Armoured column encircling from the other flank (now down to three operational T72M and the T-55M battalion commander)
East German infantry following in the footsteps of the armoured advance now pressed onto the second objective supported by a T-55M company. Tank fire from the Americans destroyed the T-55M company before assaulting the infantry. The East German infantry deftly avoided all casualties and broke off the engagement without loss.
The Americans continued to fire on the armoured column reminants and spitefully pursued the withdrawing East German infantry. The now lone T-55A Battalion Commander a long with long ranged BMP and Spandral fire finally forced the American Tankers to abandon their tanks.
Victory and Niederbayern now belonged to the East Germans.
This game was also played as part of our club Fire Strom campaign using the club campaign kit available from Battlefront. The sector mission was decided by dice roll and the mission was Counter Attack – requiring half my force to be held off in reserve.
My opponent had quite a substantial numerical advantage (He had more unit formations than I had individual vehicles!)
I had my two M1IP units on table along with the Scout Compant HQ M113, one of the M1IP tank units in amush. In retrospect, I should have kept one of my tank units in reserve and started on with one of my scout units on table.
Credit to my opponent who effectively used his Scout units to Spearhead his larger Motor Rifle units & escorting armour across the length of the table with a series of “daisy-chained” spearhead moves that effectively had his infantry contesting the objective even before the first dice was rolled. These spear head moves also meant that any of my reserves that would be placed on the table would be facing a substantial opposing force.
My opponent was the attacker & had first turn. He pushed hard down one flank with his massed armoured column towards the objective & my only deployed tank platoon. The T-55 moving at dash speed because their fire would be inaffective shooting at the front of an M1IP. During the first turn he was able to destroy my Scout Company HQ (Single M113)
In the Encounter scenario, objectives only “go live” after turn six, so I had a little time to deal with the most immediate threat – the attacking swarm of T72M and T55M tanks. Fire was effective and the better part of two T-55M companies and a T-72M company had been destroyed (My opponent was also a little unlucky with a couple of motivation rolls which sent some of the last tanks running)
This was probably the high point of the game for me – from here on, my opponent was able to start the grind. His numerical domination of the battlefield and some (poor positioning on my behalf attacking the T-55M on the flank) allowed some early flank shots the BMP on the opposite flank which cost me a tank and bailed out another two. I was very lucky to pass motivation.
The BMP swarm continued to advance into better firing positions on one flank as did the Armoured column on the other flank, slowly encircling my two tank platoons. While at this stage I still had some manouver room, my opponent was forcing me into a corner from which I would not be able to protect my sides & rear armour from all fire. The immediate risk was still coming from the advancing tanks.
The first unit of scouts which came out of reserves were quickly destroyed by the East Germans in the reserve area.
With the Armoured column attacking on my right significantly reduced, I made the mistake of spilting my forces, turning on platoon to face the oncoming BMP and leaving the other to face the remaining T-72M & T-55M tanks. Unfortuantely – I was unable to destroy the remaining tanks in my turn, leaving the remaining tanks on this site (two T-72M and a the T-55M Battaliion Commander) to shoot my tanks in the side in the following turn – which destroyed two.
After an ineffective round of fire, the Battalion Commanders for both the T-72M and T-55M companies were still on the table, albeit bailed out. Having continued to press home my attack on the BMP on the other side of the table (and to still be in position to contest the objectives when they went live in turn six), the rear of my tanks were still exposed to the reminants of this armoured thrust.
Yup – you guessed it, two shots, two hits & two burning M1IP. This left me with only one Platoon of 3 tanks.
Feeling rather spitefull at this stage - not being able to contest the objectives when they were due to go live in two turns time – I went hunting infantry with my last platoon. After destroying another platoon of T-55M before and inaffectual round of close combat (every dice rolling “1”) the East German Infantry broke off without loss.
East German fire in the subsequent round bailed a tank which remounted, fired on the remanants of the Amroured column before assaulting the infantry again. The lone T-55M Battalion commander firing into the rear of the tanks along with Spandral fire bailed out two of the remaining three tanks forcing a motiviation test which they failed.
4-3 Victory to the East Germans. (Well played Django – a well earned victory pin!)