Well, after having to make an emergency order for more 6mm buildings, the battle can finally begin.
As a refresher since it’s taking me so long between battles, this battle occurs on day 1 in the afternoon of the combined Gardenstan/Rubishland attack on Wilhelmsland, about 3 hours after the end of the initial Gardenstan invasion of Wilhelmsland. Munnerstadt is a small farming community that sits about 30 kilometers from the Gardenstan/Wilhelsmland border. The defenders consist primarily of Reserve units, with one Active Duty Brigade available. Forces are being rushed to the Village to bolster the position.
Let the foolishness begin.
9:18 a.m., June 9th, 1985. Wilhelmsland Village of Munnerstadt. 27 Kilometers from the Wilhelmsland/Gardenstan Border.
Oberst Schultz, commander of the Wilhelmsland 4th Brigade surveyed the idyllic farming village of Munnerstadt, hoping he could keep the Gardenstan invaders from destroying most of the beautiful little village. He was impressed this his Infantry, both the active-duty units and reservist, had been able to dig in and camouflage their positions so quickly. Of course, the willingness of the local’s farmers to provide every piece of equipment capable of digging helped greatly. At one point he had counted 6 backhoes, 3 bucket loaders and 2 excavators in addition to his engineers equipment. Speaking of Engineers, he noted that they had just completed emplacing the last of the 2 hasty surface minefields he had directed them to place.
He had a battalion of active-duty infantry dug in to the North (front) of the Village, their M113’s were hidden behind some woods. He also had an understrength battalion of reserve infantry dug in around the village proper. He also had some ancient 88mm Anti-tank guns hidden in the woods along with some M-56 Scorpion self-propelled anti-tank guns, M04 Sherman tanks, and a some M113 TOW platoons sprinkled in as well as some M551 Sheridan tanks. The 2/4 tank battalion was hidden behind the town and would former a mobile counterattack force. There were two Tank heavy company combat teams enroute, but they weren’t expected to arrive before the Gardenstan forces.
Oberst Schultz had just received word that the Rubishland invasion had been halted and the attackers were retreating. He hoped that would free up significant air assets. He’d need them if he was going to stop this assault.
The Wilhelmsland observation post reported sighting he advancing Gardenstan forces in the distance. It looks like they were planning a two-pronged attack, with the battered remnants of the T-55 tank regiment on their right flank and a BTR Motorized Rifle Regiment (MRR) on their left flank. While not yet visible, Oberst Schultz knew from reports that there was a follow-on T-72 Tank Regiment.
Initial deployment from the Gardenstan side. On the lower right is a Tank Regiment that was pretty well beat up in the initial assault into Wilhelmsland. On the lower left is a BTR MRR with just a couple of losses (at this point it isn't all on the table yet). Minefields are on the middle right side. I rolled for random placement of the mine fields since I'm doing this solo.
The Gardenstan Commander started with a massive barrage of Smoke, screening his troops as they raced towards Munnerstadt. Unfortunately, one of the batteries was destroyed by Wilhelmsland Counter Battery fire.
With no visible targets, Oberst Schultz desperately called for air support, and was told air assets were arriving within minutes. Over the din of the activity in the TOC Schultz could hear the distinct whoop-whoop-whoop of Huey aircraft in the distance.
The Gardenstan Commander again called for an artillery smoke mission which was mostly on target. Apparently, someone called in the coordinates of the advancing Gardenstan tank regiment by mistake, which was not pleased when smoke rounds started going off in the midst of their formation. The Gardenstan forces continued to advance on Munnerstadt with the tank regiments sole remaining BRDM platoon entering one of the surface minefields, the platoon survived but failed its quality check and was removed. The 2 companies following advanced and dismounted infantry to either clear or identify the scope of the minefield.
The BMP Company company on the extreme Gardenstan right flank advanced on the other side of the small woods and 2 of the 3 platoons entered the minefield, destroying 1 platoon. The MRR on the Gardenstan left flank continued forward unaffected.
On the Gardenstan left flank, the MRR continued it’s advance. As the right most Recon platoon rounded the hill they say a flash to their left, (where the smoke screen did not cover) as one of the dug in M4 Sherman platoons fired, destroying the BRDM platoon.
The Wilhelmsland Infantry (thanks to the botched smoke fire mission) now had a line of sight to the BMP’s of the T-55 tank regiment and quickly called in an artillery strike, 2 4.2” mortar platoons responded, suppressing 3 platoons of dismounted infantry and 3 platoons of BMP’s. The recently arrived helicopters proceeded in the direction of the just destroyed Gardenstan recon element, using nap of the earth flying.
The Gardenstan invaders continue to advance. On the right units have encountered the minefields, and the off target smoke fire landed amongst the Tank Regiment. On the left the first direct fire has occurred.
The Gardenstan commander started turn 3 by firing smoke again and also fired at the dug in Sherman that had just destroyed part of the recon element, suppressing both platoons of Sherman’s.
On the Gardenstan extreme right flank the Company commander ordered his remaining BMP’s to back up from the minefield and head into the woods to his left. The dismounted infantry at the other minefield continued to work to clear a path. (I couldn’t’ find anything in the rules, First Full of TOWs 3, about clearing minefields, at least not at the level of effort I was willing to put into it, so I decided 2 turns to clear 1 lane, 3 turns if suppressed.). The tanks maneuverd to take cover behind terrain features.
The PT-76 of the MRR recon section fires at one of the dug in Sherman platoons, getting a hit but failing to cause any damage. The T-72’s of the MRR advance into the smoke screen. One battalion of BTR’s advances to the hill in preparation of dismounting their infantry to assault the dug in Sherman’s. The remaining BTR’s continue to advance towards the town.
Schultz ordered artillery fire on the PT-76 platoon of the MRR, unfortunately the Reservist 2nd Lieutenant commanding the Sherman Platoon that was spotting gave his own coordinates, (I rolled poorly on multiple tables for the artillery fire), as 4.2” mortar rounds began impacting around his position, Lt. Dumbkopf was grateful to the local farmers for digging such nice, deep, protective positions for his tanks.
The Sherman’s fired at the PT-76 platoon, Lt. Dumbkopf’s platoon missed horrible, no doubt still shaken by having their own artillery land on them, the other platoon scored 2 hits, but failed to cause any damage.
The Gardenstan commander fires his last 2 smoke missions, giving his vulnerable BTR-60’s a little more cover. As the previous smoke screen clears, it reveals a battalion of T-72’s. The Wilhelmsland Sherman and 88mm AT platoons seeing the tanks appear out of the dissipating smoke a mere 800 meters away, say quick prayers and fire. The Sherman’s destroy the PT-76 recon platoon, and the 88mm AT destroys one platoon of T-72’s.
The T-72’s surge forward, closing to point blank range with the Sherman’s and the 88mm AT platoon and fire, destroying both platoons of Sherman’s, however the 88mm AT platoon was unharmed. The T-72’s spot the Huey’s behind the woods. The BTR’s advance into the new smoke screen.
On the Gardenstan right flank, the dismounted infantry has cleared a lane through the minefield, as the first 2 platoons of T-55 tanks cautiously cross the minefield.
Now things get interesting thought Schultz. A tank heavy company combat team had just arrived on the Wilhelmsland right flank. He called for artillery, directing 2 platoons of 4.2” mortars to fire on the minefield, and 2 batteries of 155mm Howitzers to fire on the T-72’s. resulting in 1 BMP and 1 dismounted infantry platoon failing their quality checks and being removed, as well as suppressing 2 BMP platoons and 2 platoons of dismounted infantry and suppressing 2 platoons of T-72’s.
The Helicopters behind the woods fired TOW’s at the T-72’s, causing 1 platoon of T-72’s to fail their quality check and be removed. The unit of Huey’s did a pop-up attack, destroying 1 platoon of T-72’s. The Gardenstan ZSU-23-4’s were out of range of both Huey’s and unable to engage them.
The Infantry dug-in in front of the Munnerstadt hill opened fire on the T-72’s, destroying 3 platoons of T-72’s.
On the Wilhelmsland left flank, the 2 platoons of ancient 88mm anti-tank guns hidden in the woods opened fire on the advancing Gardenstan T-55 Tanks, destroying 1 platoon. While the 2 platoons of M-56 scorpion self-propelled AT guns accounted for the destruction of another platoon of T-55’s.
The remaining dug-in infantry unleashed their Dragons on the BMP’s halted at the minefield, destroying 2.
The follow on Gardenstan tank Regiment comes on board.
On the Gardenstan right flank the remaining BMP platoons race through the cleared lane in the minefield and dismount their infantry to assault the Wilhelsmland anti-tank guns, The dismounted infantry at the minefield moves forward. 1 company of T-55’s takes up hull down positions and engage the infantry and the other company of T-55’s follows the BMP’s through the cleared minefield, the BMP’s in the woods stay put (at this point I realized I forgot to fire them last turn – my bad, part of the down side to solo play with so many figures on the board).
On the Gardenstan Left Flank the remaining tank platoons of the MRR advanced to engage the newly arrived Company Combat Team to their front, destroying 1 platoon of M60A1’s and causing another to fail their quality check (I guess Wilhelmsland should have taken their overwatch fire – oops. That’s not the way our training went when our M60A1 (RISE) Passive tanks engaged T-72’s) while the BTR’s moved forward with 1 battalion dismounting their infantry.
1 of the dismounted Sagger platoons takes a shot at the 88mm in the woods and the other takes a shot at the Huey behind the woods, both attacks fail to do any damage.
On the right flank the 2 BMP platoons in the woods fire at the 88mm AT guns in the woods, with both shots missing.
Shultz’ stomach sank as he saw the new Gardenstan Tank Regiment come into view. Turning to his artillery officer he barked out “I want rounds here, here, and here, NOW!” as he pointed at the map indicating the area where the dismounted infantry and BTR-60’s were. 3 4.2” mortar batteries and 1 battery 155mm Howitzers responded, causing 3 infantry platoons to fail their quality check and be removed and another 3 to be suppressed.
The Huey’s fired at the 2 nearest platoons of T-72’s, destroying one of the platoons.
Everything in the Wilhelmsland front rank of the defenses fired, resulting in 3 destroyed BTR-60 platoons, 2 BMP platoons, and 2 T-55 platoons.
The Gardenstan commander had 2 batteries of Rockets and 2 batteries of 122mm Howitzers at his disposal and he targeted the dug in infantry and the AT guns in the woods. The results were 6 suppressed Wilhelmsland Infantry platoons, 1 platoon failing a quality check and being removed, 2 suppressed 88mm AT platoons and 2 suppressed Scorpion self-propelled AT platoons.
All of the dismounted infantry advance. The now empty BTR’s of the 1st battalion advance to fire on the dug in infantry, 2 platoons making into contact/close combat with the 88mm AT gun on the Gardenstan left flank. When all of the dust cleared one Infantry stand had failed it’s quality check and the 88mm AT gun had been destroyed.
The rest of the BTR’s (still carrying infantry) advance trying to turn the flank of Munnerstadt.
The remaining T-72 platoon of MRR maneuvers onto the flank of Munnerstadt and engages the M113 platoon of the recently arrived Gardenstan reinforcements, destroying it. They also now spot the Wilhelmsland Tank battalion hiding behind the hill.
The T-72 Tank Regiment advances up the middle.
The Wilhelmsland infantry take overwatch shots at the advancing BTRS, destroying 3 platoons.
The BTR’s fired at the dug in infantry, causing 1 infantry platoon to fail its quality check.
The T-55’s on the hill shoot at the Wilhelmsland infantry getting 3 hits but failing to cause any damage.
The BMP’s fire at the AT guns in the woods, destroying 1 platoon of 88mm AT guns.
Oberst Schultz was starting to get nervous, the Gardenstan forces were starting to flank the hill Munnerstadt was located on, and the Tank Heavy Combat team that had just arrived had been wipped out. “Time to launch the tank battalion counter attack”, he said turning to his Operations Officer.
Schultz request for air support was answered with a flight of Harriers and a flight of Tornado’s arriving (I had been rolling, poorly, for both sides to get some air support for several turns). They both were directed towards the advancing T-72 Tank Regiment, The Harrier’s bombing run suppressed 6 platoons of T-72’s. And the Tornado’s cluster bomb attack caused 4 platoons to fail the quality check and suppressed another 2 platoons. Fire from the Regiments ZSU-23-4 was horribly ineffective, and the attacks went in without any problem. It may have taken forever to get some aircraft on the table, but this time they were decisive. Basically, breaking the back of the attack.
In the artillery phase only 2 Mortar platoons were available, causing just one suppressed dismounted Gardenstan Infantry platoon.
The M60A1’s of the Wilhelmsland Tank Battalion began their slow move to the Eastern edge of Munnerstadt hill with one company firing on the sole remaining T-72 platoon of the MRR, destroying it. No other tank units were in range of any targets.
The Huey behind the woods fired it’s 20mm gun at the a BTR platoon, causing a BTR platoon to fail a quality check. The other Huey fires a TOW (Hey, the American’s are providing the ammo, who cares if it isn’t cost effective) and destroys 1 BTR platoon.
The Anti-tank guns in the woods fire, causing 1 Gardenstan infantry platoon to fail a quality check.
Only 1 rocket battery was available for the Gardenstan commander (apparently the others were moving rather slowly after firing the last mission) which managed to suppress 1 platoon of Wilhelmsland infantry.
The infantry continued their advance closing to close combat range. The BTR’s moved forward, with the 2ndbattalion dismounting their infantry. The MRR anti-aircraft platoon maneuvered their ZSU-23-4 to obtain line of sight on one of the Huey’s. And all other Gardenstan units advanced.
The results of the close combat between the opposing infantry forces was, 2 lost Wilhelmsland Infantry Platoons and 3 lost Gardenstan Platoons.
The Wilhelmsland Heuy’s behind the woods fired their guns the ZSU-23-4, and missed (that stand of Hueys’s had limited TOWS, and had expended all of them). The sole remaining 88mm AT gun took overwatch fire at an advancing BMP, destroying the BMP platoon.
The Wilhelmsland remaining infantry on the Wilhelmsland left flank took overwatch fire on the T-55’s of the Tank Regiment who had finally come out from the cover of the hill, resulting in 1 destroyed T-55 platoon and one being removed for a failed quality check.
The 1st battalion Gardenstan BTR’s fired their Machine Guns at the dug in infantry , without any effect.
The 2nd battalion of Gardenstan BTR’s fired their Machine Guns at the Huey behind the woods, destroying it.
The BMP’s fired at the anit-tank guns, destroying the last remaining 88mm AT gun.
Schultz’s calls for fire support went unanswered as did his air support request.
The M-60A1 battalion continued forward and engaged the BTR’s trying to flank the village, destroying 6 platoons of empty BTR’s. Fortunately for the Gardenstan forces they had dismounted the infantry on their last move.
The remaining unit of Huey’s does a pop-up attack and destroys the last BTR of battalion that was starting to flank Munnerstadt hill.
The 2 platoons of TOW’s dug in on each flank of Munnerstadt fired on the 2 remaining T-55 platoons,
The remaining Wilhelmsland infantry split their fire between the last platoon of T-55 resulting in the T-55 platoon failing a quality check and being removed.
The 88mm AT gun hidden in the Village fires, destroying a platoon of BTRs.
The Reservist infantry dug in within the Village of Munnerstadt fire their dragons at the BTRs, destroying 3 platoons and causing 1 to fail a quality check.
The Gardenstan commander had 1 battery of 122mm gun available and finally had his pleas for air support answered. The artillery targeted the Wilhelmsland infantry dug in to the front of Munnerstadt, A flight of MiG-19’s targeted the Wilhelmsland tanks emerging from behind Munnerstadt Hill, suppressing 1 platoon and causing another to fail their quality check and be removed.
The BMP’s of the T-72 tank regiment maneuver to be able to fire on the Wilhelmsland tank and TOW’s. The remaining BTR’s move to the base of Munnerstadt hill. The dismounted infantry continue to move against their opposite number resulting in both sides losing 2 infantry platoons.
1 Company of Wilhelmsland tanks takes overwatch fire at the Gardenstan BTR’s, destroying 4 platoons and causing 1 to fail a quality check and be removed.
The Gardenstan BMP Battalion of the T-72 tank Regiment fired through the burning wreckage of the just destroyed BTRs at the Wilhelmsland tanks, destroying 1 platoon of M-60A1’s. (I rolled 5 1’s in a row, followed by 2 2’s; in a row for the BMP battalion to hit. My dice skill sucks)
The 2 platoons of BMP’s from the T-55 Tank Regiment fired at the anti-tank guns in the woods and missed.
Oberst Schultz looked at the carnage before him in amazement. The Gardenstan forces had lost nearly every vehicle in their MRR and T-55 Tank Regiment, and still they continued to attack with just a T-72 Tank Regiment left. Granted they still had a majority of their infantry which was slowly eliminating his infantry, but even if by some miracle the Gardenstan troops could take Munnerstadt they’d never be able to hold it. He still had a fresh company of M-551 Sheridan’s hidden in town that hadn’t been committed yet. And his Brigade still had one tank and one infantry battalion that were still enroute to the battle. Plus, there were more Reservist infantry units expected to arrive at his location within the hour. Such a pointless loss of life. The Gardenstan must really fear the results of displeasing Big Daddy Fish.
Schultz call for an air strike was unsuccessful, as was his request for artillery.
The remaining helicopter unit attempted a pop-up attack targeting the BMP’s , but missed.
The M-60A1 battalion advances, with 2 companies engaging the Gardenstan Infantry, remove 4 platoons from play, and 1 company engaging the BMP;s of the T-72 Tank Regiment, destroying 2 platoons and causing 1 to fail a quality check.
The Wilhelmsland infantry fired at the BMP’s destroying 2 platoons. The AT gun and Reservist infantry in the Village fired at the remaining BTR’s, destroying the last 3 platoons of BTR’s.
The 2 TOW platoons fired at the BMP’s, with each missing.
And at that I called the game.
The Gardenstan commander ordered what forces he had remaining to pull back to the bridgehead at the Border Crossing bridge. He hoped Big Daddy Fish was in a benevolent mood when he heard the news.
Once again, I ran out of destroyed vehicle markers, who knew that 50 of them wouldn’t be enough. I hope Litko has a sale on them sometime soon.
So, the Communist invaders were defeated. What will Wilhelmsland do now? Invade Gardenstan? Invade Rubishland? Do nothing and just wait for the next round of attacks? What will the United States let them do? What will the Soviet Union do now that both of their proxies have been defeated? What will the people of Gardenstan do without access to Wilhelmsland’s Betamax VCR’s and reruns of Gilligan’s Island and other decadent capitalist luxuries? Will Rubishland be able to maintain control of their oppressed population with the loses they suffered in their assault on Wilhelmsland? I have some ideas, but only the dice know for sure.
All in all, I think it played well, even though I’m sure I botched the rules several times. I probably should have allowed Gardenstan one more smoke barrage, or not started firing them as soon as I did. I spent most of the game standing on the Gardenstan side of the table, so I kept forgetting about some of the Wilhelmsland units hidden in the village, that could have played a bigger part in the battle, like the TOWS and the Company of Sheridan’s.
I really thought the Gardenstan infantry was going to make it into the Village. A couple of platoons did make it onto the hill and the outskirts of the Village.
Thank you to anyone who bothered to read through to the end of this.
Spring is almost here (although the 10”+ of snow the other night doesn’t feel like it), get out and enjoy the warming weather if you can.
So much lead, so little time.
At the present rate of loss Gardenstan will be neutered. Big Daddy Fish is no doubt enroute to a neutral place to list requirements to rebuild the Gardenstan Armed Forces.ReplyDelete
Rubbishland is even worse off, so analysts predict a cease fire followed by a UN brokered peace deal that will satisfy no one, proxy nor super power.
Great AAR, Barry great plot and views of the toys, as usual.
Thank you Joe. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It will be interesting to see what happens next.ReplyDelete
Could the cost of replacing all of the Rubishland and Gardenstan losses really be what brought about the fall of the Soviet Union?
Well, I thought perhaps the attack would succeed until the last few paragraphs. Quel Masacre!ReplyDelete
Peter, I all thought it would end up with the infantry slugging it out in the streets of the village. The Attackers rolled poorly especially near the end of the game.ReplyDelete