Monday, December 11, 2017

Another Mini-Kursk

On Friday evening I took a couple of boxes of tanks and some terrain down to the Christmas Fair of the local primary school and gave my simplified tank game another run for its money.


This time I planned a simple campaign with up to four stages.  In the first game the Germans had to cross the remains of the Soviet minefield and get off the far end of the table.  If they did so the Soviets wouldn't have time to blow the bridge in the second game.


Here's the first table:





In the event the Germsn managed to get a few tanks through the minefield belt but didn't penetrate to the edge the table. 


As a result the following game saw the bridge destroyed.  This was a more exciting affair.  There were no fewer than three German tanks within a move of the far table edge when the last card came up....




... unfortunately for the Germans the last card to come up was a red so they didn't quite make it.


And that was it.  Sadly I didn't have time to take any more pictures.


The kids had a good time and we raised over £20 for the school which can't be bad.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Flashpoint Potsdamer Platz

Chris Barnes came over on Wednesday evening and I introduced him to Arc of Fire to give him a chance to use his new Cold War-period British platoon.  Chris is building Berlin Brigade models so a Berlin-based scenario was called for.

I designed an introductory scenario in which a KGB operation to snatch back an important defector from under the noses of British intelligence has gone wrong.  At the start of the game the KGB snatch squad is heading for the Wall (the Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart if you wish) at Potsdamer Platz where a VDV Spetsnaz team waits to activate the emergency extraction plan.

The area of the action- the Wall at the top with viewing platform and
refreshment kiosk. The wooded area front and left is the edge of the
Tiergarten. The green VW Beetle at the junction carries the KGB team.

A camera crew was filming interviews at the Wall

Fortunately for the British a platoon from 1st Bn Royal Hampshire Regiment (The Tigers) is patrolling nearby in the Tiergarten.  Even more fortunately, I forgot the scenario set-up I myself had written and allowed Chris to deploy his men well forward through the wooded area instead of starting them from the edge of the board.

This meant that Chris was able to open fire almost immediately on the fleeing KGB team who had the drugged defector in the back of their Volkswagen.

This fire proved to ill-advised in the extreme. Three rounds from the fusillade of shots found their mark. All three of them hit the defector killing him instantly.  In that first moment Chris had technically lost the game!  However, he could at least prevent the KGB agents from escaping.

The British in NATO T-formation on the edge of the Tiergarten.
As the KGB agents got out of the immobilised car, their would-be rescuers arrived by truck on the eastern side of the Wall.  This was a first chance to use the enormous 8-wheeled truck I got from The Works.



First VDV squad debusses
A shaped charge was rapidly placed and exploded...


By this point the KGB agents had taken cover behind the VW but the incoming fire from two British sections and the platoon HQ's 51mm mortar was too much.


The female agent was killed but her male colleague made a successful dash into the frightened crowds milling about around the viewing platform.

At this point it became apparent that my initial error in the British set-up meant that the game wasn't going anywhere.  With an entire platoon's SLRs aimed at the breach in the Wall any Soviet attempt to move through would be suicidal.  We agreed to wrap it up there.

It was nice to get some new toys on the table and I was reminded how much I enjoy Arc of Fire.  With over thirty games played or umpired it's well clear in second place (behind HOTT) in the list of my most-played games.