Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Rommel WW3: West Germany v Czech SSR

Bruce and I finished off another modern map plus table top battle this weekend. The map game is adapted from Scharnhorst while the table top game is adapted from Rommel. This scenario was a West German rapid reaction force (helo troops mostly, blue units) taking on a Czech second line uni (red).

The Czechs won initiative and decided to move on from the south. The goal was the population centres. The map above is the first moves of the second day.

Two potential battles developed (west and east). The victory points under Red Column 4 made Bruce decide to push here and evade on the west.

In the end, we each had to units in the battle zone and reinforcements ready to come on. At this point, the Czechs are way ahead on map-game points but the West Germans can bag three points plus 1d6 of they win the battle.

We deployed our troops and I gave the Czech orders to Bruce. He then gamed things out. I felt pretty good going in but under-estimated the quality differences between the Germans and the Czechs.

Bruce picks up the narrative here.

As per instructions the Czech tanks made spoiling attacks against the W. German Helicopter Infantry mustering for the battle. The attacks did not go well. The Czechs were repulsed with minimum German losses.

Initial set up

On the western front things went better for the Communists. The W. German Armoured Infantry attempted to assault over the bridge, repeatedly. Each time they were repulsed the T-60s would attack them in the flank while they were still disorganized (Tipped).

Meanwhile the W. German Helicopter troops swung north and west of the city. Using the hills as a staging area they followed launched assaults, after the Armoured Infantry and caused significant damage. The Czech commander tried switching in fresh troops, but after seven Helicopter assaults the city fell.

With the city taken, and the communist strength tapped (all units down to 1 or 2 strength) it was left to the reinforcements to take back the urban hex. On Turn 8 the Reds, in the north west sector arrived. Unfortunately, on Turn 9 the NATO reinforcements arrived on the opposite baseline. 

The Czechs used their wave assaults to close the ground, quickly. They cross the stream and a swirling, furious tank battle ensued. the superior armour of the M-60s and the Cobra Attack Helicopters caused extra Hits and rendered the Czech tanks impotent after a couple of turns.

As the battle of the north wore down the last of the Czech reinforcements arrived on the central-east edge of the battlefield. With time running out, Czech Armoured Infantry attempted an assault over the bridge. The NATO troops had used the time to construct defenses, so although the Czechs caused some damage it was absorbed by the entrenchments.

The infantry withdrew seriously damaged. At the same time, the T-62s had crossed the river and become disorganized. They reorganized, on Turn 17, and launched the final assault, on two flanks. However, the W. Germans had taken the opportunity to clear their OPs file, so they had a full range of tactical options open to them. 

The combination of tanks in cover, entrenchments, offensive shifts down and defensive shifts up were too much for the T-62s. The were solidly defeated and sent packing with a stand lost and the remaining stands down to strengths of "1".

The clear win for the Germans meant they also had the points to win the overall game. All in all a very interesting campaign, which led to a very flowing battle. The Attack Helicopter "Bingo" rules worked really well. Both W. German Attack Helo units were on and off the table several times. They aren't on for long - 3 or 4 attacks but then they return is short order - three or four reinforcement phases, or 1 1/2 to 2 turns.

We're presently playing out a USSR v China game and Bruce has fiddled the Scharnhorst rules a bit to see how they work. There are two main changes we're trying out. First, there are three types of objectives (population centres, infrastructure, and mineral resources). Each side security dices for their type of objective for the game. This add some strategic uncertainty.

Second, the winner of the recon phase gets to choose his entry side first. But the other player can then choose any of the three remaining sides to enter from. This slightly reduces the value of winning the recon phase and also means ones flanks are more vulnerable. I had hoped it might also means a more open and fluid game when adjacent sides were chosen--there could be a rush to bag points away from the main fight. We'll see how that plays out over the weekend.


Duc de Gobin said...

Loving this stuff.
So, are you assuming a unit = 1 battalion, or keeping companies as Rommel?
I love the idea of objectives and recon tinkering. That will put a new spin on the larger game.

Bob Barnetson said...

Yes, i think each unit is roughly a battalion, but I'll let Bruce chime in on that.

Bob Barnetson said...

Bruce clarifies that it is 1 company per stand as per the Rommel rules.