Monday, 3 August 2020

OP Alpha 1981 - part 2


As we return to West Germany, AH-1 Cobras have appeared - their fire and that of several Sheridan platoons makes a fair mess of the  Sov force (a reinforced MR Battalion) on the highway.  Meanwhile, the Div Recce Btl (left) probes the outskirts of Haselstein.
On the left can be seen the Polizei from the first post.  They were (of course!) Spetsnaz and their planned assault on the US HQ was a spectacular failure.
By now the Cavalry was taking casualties - not least from Sov air and artillery strikes.
Plucky Sheridans (left) getting too close for comfort.




The Sov advance gained fresh momentum when Richard's Divisional Independent Tank Battalion arrived.  A chunky 51-tank formation, this was represented by four stands of T-62.
a surprisingly savage defence of Haselstein caused some Sov casualties.


At one point the air was very busy - two flights of AH-1, one of MiG-27 and Mi-24!


None of this affected the DITB which rolled slowly but relentlessly westwards.

By now the Cavalry were taking up their second or third firing positions

While a (reasonably) fresh reinforced BMP Btl cleared the hill on the right, the DITB went left and carried all before it.  A dramatic final turn (sadly un-photographed - blame all the excitement) at which point Martin decided to pull back the surviving cavalry to positions a few km to the west.  A very pleasing game which kept six of us occupied for a total of  nearly three hours spread over two evenings.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Op Alpha 1981 - part 1


This was another of our linked series of WW3 games set in 1981.  This particular scenario was actually the prequel to the Plugging The Gap game and was set very close to the Inner German Border or, if you prefer, the Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier.Elements of the US 11th Cavalry Regiment were having a tough morning at the hands of a reinforced Soviet Motor Rifle Regiment.  I set up and ran the game on my Hexon terrain with 6mm toys, the players joined my by Skype, having seen their briefings and held staff conferences some days before.  Martin was the 11 ACR, with Simon as the West German local defence forces.  On the other side, Tim C was the representative from Div HQ, with John running the MRR and Richard in charge of the engineers and Independent Tank Battalion attached from division.
Above - the field of battle - East is towards the bottom of the frame and each hex is 1km across.  Part of the IGB can be seen near the SE corner.
The roads were clogged with fleeing civilians - here the Polizei are in attendance at a particularly nasty pile-up.
The battalion-worth of German territorials took up defensive company positions in villages.  They were armed with basic infantry weapons.  
But here comes what Simon referred to as his 'Panzer Division'.  Weak companies of M-48 and JPz Kanone, both with mighty 90mm guns.  
Richards engineers rolled forward to create gaps in the border defences - so surely the main attack would come that way?
Well no.  Having used artillery to flatten the outpost at OP Alpha  - the columns of smoke at the bottom of the frame - John's early moves seemed to be intent on intimidating the Germans in Rasdorf.
As panicked refugees drove west, the Cavalry took up positions.  A rare and very welcome outing for my Sheridans!

The Sov engineers had gapped the border but were under US artillery fire.
11 ACR seemed well provided with attack helicopters. Missiles from these and the Sheridans had soon ventilated several BMP.  
An enraged John violated all codes of decency by crushing civilian cars beneath the tracks of his AFVs.
More Soviet atrocities!  

Monday, 20 July 2020

Virtual Conference Of Wargamers

The very first VCOW took place over the weekend of 10-12 July and was - according to the 20 or so attendees I have so far heard from - a great success.  Certainly that's my feeling as an organiser of said event.  At the moment we at Wargame Developments are amassing feedback from attendees (if you've had the survey by email please complete it!) before deciding on our next move.
Meanwhile, here is a brief overview of my VCOW weekend.   Sessions I attended are in bold with presenters names in brackets.  Where I have a record of the numbers in a session these are in red.

Friday
1400-1500    Mad frenzy to get work stuff finished and clear desk
1500-1600    Virtual Battlefield Tour  - Landsdowne 1643 (John Curry)
1600-1920    take time away from screen, finish off some work stuff, base some figures, eat
1920-1930    Welcome and opening remarks (me!) 52
1930-1955    Plenary Lecture 1 - Wargames: What and Why?  (Peter Perla) 52
2000-2020    Plenary Lecture 2 - Professional & Hobby Wargaming (Mark Herman) 52
2030-2230    Day of the Jackal (Russell King) 

Saturday
early breakfast followed by....
0900-1030    Give me back my Legions! (John Bassett) 24
1030-1100    break for tea
1100-1230    ECW Virtual TEWT (John Curry) 22
1230-1630    break from screen - sat in gardens, lunch, varnished a few figures
1630-1710    Wargaming & History (Gary Sheffield) 44
1720-1800    Defence & Wargaming (Graham Longley-Brown)
1800-1930    break for meal
1930-2130    Unfortunate Differences (Ed McGrady, Peter Perla, John Curry) 28
2140-2230    VCOW2020 Singalong (Jim Roche) (I dropped out early as I was so tired!)

Sunday
0915-0930    appear on screen still eating breakfast and chat to other early arrivals
0930-1010    WD40 - Oiling the wheels of wargaming since 1980 (Bob Cordery) 32
1020-1120    Storming a Medieval castle (John Curry) 24
1130-1230    walk 3 miles with dog
1240-1320    Wargame Developments AGM (chaired by me) 37
1330               collapse in tired (but rather elated) heap


Kosher Cobras - part 2

Here are the completed AH-1 Cobras resplendent in (ancient and slightly flaky) Israeli decals. Not the greatest kits but I did mention they were at least cheap!