The scenario, such as it was, was about the Warsaw Pact forces trying to extend their bridgehead over the Lippe river before launching the major attack that will, presumably, form one third of next month's game. The table was arranged like this:
The Warsaw Pact forces started in the northern (furthest from the camera) third of the table, just over the Lippe river. They had two tank battalions. On the left was a battalion of T-62s (nine models) accompanied by a Guards tank company with T-80Bs (three models) and with a battery of 2S1 122mm SP guns in support. On the right was an East German battalion of T-55s accompanied by two infantry companies in BMP-2s.
The NATO forces (commanded by George Ashmore and Jamie Crawley) were all British. On the right was a squadron (four models) of Chieftains from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. On the left was a squadron (three models this time) of Challenger 1s from 15/18 Hussars. Each tank squadron was accompanied by a company on infantry from 1st Bn Cheshire Regt. Here are the Royal Scots:
We were short of players at the start so I took charge of the Warsaw Pact forces. Game turn one saw them prepared to march. Their plan was to seize the ridge lines just south of their bridgehead before the NATO forces could reorganise sufficiently to occupy them. Unfortunately, I couldn't roll dice for toffee and none of the Warpac forces managed to move at all!
The NATO forces weren't much more active but the RSDG did manage to advance towards the easternmost ridge line.
On the second game turn the East Germans finally got moving and advanced on the right. They trundled forward quite impressively, tanks in the lead, BMPs following behind. All looked well until I chose to roll a double six! The resulting cross-fire (we guessed it was from unseen NATO elements off-table to the west) took out a whole company of BMPs and left the Warsaw Pact force six-sixteenths of the way towards its breakpoint before the real enemy had even been engaged! Still, at least the T-55s had reached the right-flank ridgeline.
By turn four Chris Justice had arrived and taken over the right flank East German forces in what was to become a vicious close range fight with George's Challengers.
Meanwhile on the NATO right, Jamie's Chieftains (supported by RAF Regiment types serving as stand-in mechanised infantry) had reached their ridgeline and were preparing to engage the on-coming T-62s. Things looked good for them, although on their left a company of T-80s looked likely to be a threat.
Jamie seemed confident.
By the end of turn six the battle was clearly in the balance but everyone seemed to be enjoying the game.
At this point I rather lost track of what was happening in the confused melee on the Warpac right. I was too busy wheeling the T-80 company onto the flank of the Royal Sctos' Chieftains. With NATO one loss away from their breakpoint, I was fairly sure the T-80s could swing it with a few flank shots.
Sure enough, the T-80s caused one casualty and forced the Chieftains to redeploy to face them:
Game turn seven saw the NATO commander make his command roll so the British fought on. Somewhere on the western flank, meanwhile, a flurry of Carl Gustav and 120mm rounds took out enough Warsaw Pact armour to bring the Warsaw Pact forces to their breakpoint too!
Sadly, the Warsaw Pact commander...
... chose this moment to roll a 10!
And so the attack faltered. The Warsaw Pact forces will begin the big game with the shallowest possible bridgehead over the Lippe next month.
It was a most enjoyable and tense game though with both side one kill away from breakpoint for some time. Thanks Jamie, George and Chris for the game.