Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Bear vs BAOR

A few weeks back, Bruce and I wrapped up a series of modern games where we used Scharnhorst for a map game followed by gaming out the tabletop battle using Rommel (with slight WW3 tweaks). Our final game was a Soviet push (1985ish) through West Germany to run into the British. The crux of the map game was a series of bridge grabs.

Rules-wise, we reverted to the original Scharnhorst recon rules (winner picks a side and loser comes in opposite). We also reverted to a single type of shared victory objective (towns in this case). We fiddled the recon rule such that at the beginning of each day, each players roll 1d6 and adds their Recon Points. The higher roll gets the Recon Bonus, but only for that day. This tones down the effect of winning recon at the start of the game and, I think, provides some tension and balance.

The Soviets (red units) won recon and chose to enter from the top (north). At the end of Day 1, things looks like this.

I think the British (blue units) had initiative on Day 2 and rush up the right flank to grab a three-point city and jam up the Soviets on the river. The British plan was to grab as many cities as possible and the eventual winner was determined based upon cities held plus 1d6 of points for the battle winner.

The British hoped for a fight over on the left flank and maneuvered to deny the Russians an advantageous positioning of the battle map should they get initiative on day 3.

Day 3 dawns with the British having the recce advantage again and selecting the battlefield (green below). There was some last minute maneuvering to get troops on the field or to act as reinforcements.

In the end, the British had the same number of units on the battlefield as the Soviets but the BAOR units were of high quality. The Russians had reinforcements that appeared a die roll. The set up and the battle plans are below--the battle self itself was a bit of mess, with troops arriving intermixed.

Bruce gamed this one out and sent me this AAR. The Soviet mounted infantry in sector 2 had intended to rush to the bridge and catch the British in a pincers action. Unfortunately, the British got first turn and the Chieftains used a Double Tactical move to catch the leading Soviet APCs even before they could move. The thin armour of the Soviet BTRs were no match for the British front line tanks. With the help a timely A10 Warthog strike the three companies of Russian infantry were ground down to a single strength-step each. 

The same fate awaited the second detachment of Soviet mounted infantry.

In the center (Section 5) the British infantry moved forward fast, crossed the bridge and occupied the Victory Point town. 

Repeated Soviet assaults wore the defenders down but NATO defensive tactical moves caused more losses on the Russian side of the ledger.

To the north (above) two attachments of Chieftain tanks, crossed the stream and “got stuck into” the Soviet T-80s. Again, the combination of British Armour and NATO airstrikes, did in the Russian armour. By turn four, the British had achieved a breakthrough and occupied the Soviet supply base

By the end of turn five the Soviet general was ready to concede. His western flank had eveperated, his assault force was worn to exhaustion and his Supply base was occupied. He decided to see if the reinforcements would arrive (a 1-in-6 chance) – and if not, he would concede. As luck would have it, they did arrive.

In fact the new Soviet troops got off to a roaring start. They over-ran the Russian Supply base and advanced to the bridge without much bother. 

However, the British player had used to the lull to remove his worn infantry and replace it with fresh troops, re-organized his armour on either side of the town, whipped his tactical chart clean and entrenched his infantry in several locations. 

The Soviets tried to assault the town and use armour to pry open the eastern flank, but the fresh British troops and entrenchments were too much. After two such assaults, some damage had been done to the town’s entrenchments, but the Tommy infantry was hardly scratched. The Soviets had no strength left , so with the British armour and Attack Helicopter devouring his right flank, the Russian general called it a day. 

We didn't roll victory points for the British win because the Brits were already way ahead in town points. Some fortunate map play by the British really put the Soviets in a difficult tabletop position.

A very interesting (if unbalanced) game. Rommel really captures operational armour combat and the OPs Sheet choices really give the feel of the rolling Soviet jugernaught verses NATO flexibility and tactical advantages.


Duc de Gobin said...

A really great game - and great series to follow.
Are you likely to make the NATO/Warpac sheets available for anyone interested in trying out the games?
Would very much appreciate those

Bob Barnetson said...

Bruce says that the op sheets are on the honor forum that Sam Mustafa runs and can be downloaded from there.

PhilT said...

Hi, really would be interested in the WW3 Rommel adaptations. Will take a look on the Honour forum, but any pointers appreciated?