“Interesting concept, The soviets included the appearance of fighting for intel which would be a combat indicator of intention as part of the Maskirovka activities. There is a mention of Forward Detachments being geared up to fight for intelligence at Coy and Bn level (can’t remember if it said Regt..will check when I get home). Div and Regt Recce were definitely expected to infiltrate into the rear areas.”
I’m with ya; hell, the NATO forces built units to fight for intel, that’ why their running around in Fuchs, Scimitars, and Bradleys, as opposed to jeeps. But they still would much prefer to conduct their infiltration into rear areas without a fight, or against rear-area security types than enemy armor. And certainly fighting for intel is much different than carrying out a planned assault, right? ‘Fighting for intel’ is moving forward under fire, laying down enough fire to try to keep the enemy off you while you figure out their strength, disposition, and composition, not forcing your way through their defense. You ‘fight’ to gather the intel, then you pull back, feed it to higher, and they bring in the heavies (if they deem it necessary to reduce the enemy positions), not send the recon guys back in to carry out the attack.
So again, from my standpoint, the recon has already happened, and whether it was successful or unsuccessful, and why, is irrelevant to me. I’ve got the US force, sitting in three strong-pointed villages, and a whole lot of Soviet armor looking to run through me. From the scenario book standpoint, we’re only worried about that last part; stuff happening before the battle, or in other areas of the battlefield.
“Coming back to the play test structures this pits the components of four soviet companies (ie if you get over 12 of anything it is a second company) but is broadly matched between Armour and Mech Infantry.”
I agree. Again, where this ‘conflicts’ with standing T/O&Es with regards to unit composition, I chalk it up to task organization, and where it conflicts with numbers (of vehicles, squads, etc…) I chalk it up to losses (mechanical and combat), as well as temporary duty (third squad or third platoon was detached to guard US prisoners, etc…). I will admit, that is all in my mind, I don’t tend to spend a whole of time thinking about it, I just focus on ‘this is what I have, now what are the enemy’s most likely and most dangerous courses of action and what is my best course of action?
“I would suggest that it should be 3:1 or 1:3 Armour to Mech Inf and give the Sovs the option of leading with Armour or Mech Infantry…”
I hear you, but from a play balance standpoint, the ratio worked out a like a charm, with the US barely eeking out a win, and the Soviets loss being down potentially to some hot US TOW dice and some bad luck with their Hind/Spetznaz. I will say that the author is looking at adding some Soviet off-board arty to provide a 2-3 on-call fire missions (and keeping the pre-battle prep bombardment). I feel the force composition gave the Soviets plenty of options regarding whether to lead with Mech or tanks; there were 22 IFVs and 16 tanks, albeit with 4 of the tanks mandated to come on in Turn 2 or later.
“…the option of both BMP and BTR units – The WG considered that in the CENTAG area the BTR regiments had more combat power in the closer terrain than the BMPs due to the short engagement ranges).”
The option is there in the book; the orders of battle in the book simply state (for example):
16 x MBT
18 x rifle squad/team
18 x APC/IFV
1 x Company Commander w/APC/IFV
3 x Platoon Commander w/APC/IFV
So they can be whatever you want them to be. I picked BMPs because I had a ton of them lying around, and I didn’t want to have to re-base a bunch of BTRs (if you look on my blog you’ll see I’ve got quite a few BMPs and BTRs, but a lot of the BMPs and almost all the BTRs are already multi-based, i.e., there are three on a 60mm x 40mm stand). The scenario book is flexible man; if you want, you could even make them BRMs 😉
“If it is a Bn then it could have the battalion supports.”
Again, these scenarios are not set up where the US player has 1 T/O tank battalion and 1 T/O mechanized battalion, and the Soviets have 3 T/O tank battalions and 6 T/O tank battalions with everything in them, to include the supply trucks, medical vehicles, and mobile bakery. T/Os are expected to be down due to losses/detachment, forces are expected to be left out of battle due to task organization (i.e., you don’t bring your 82mm mortars if your job is to blow through the enemy. The mortars stay mounted and are in the second wave, to catch up with us after we’ve blown the door open).
“I have commented on the Batrep 2 post about the ACR orbats. I thought Cavalry nomenclature would been something like 1st Tp, 3rd Squadron, 11th ACR sort of thing (Company, Bn, Regt equivalents)? and also the force make up isn’t ACR Div 86 but from the Heavy Div.”
Absolutely, but please check the other post where I got into it a bit more.
“I don’t know enough about the scenario book about how it generates the opposing forces. Not a critisicm of the game which I think are fantastic more about the playtesting of the book.”
Well, hopefully I’ve provided some insight; for me the book is pure wargaming gold. That is, me, personally, I don’t want to do a two weeks of homework to play a game. With the book, you crack it open, there’s my forces, there’s the other guy’s forces, there’s the map, a little background, and now let’s get it set up and whoop it on! My playtesting is being done to check play balance, i.e., can each side accomplish its mission given the forces at hand. The first two games have come down to a whisker, so I think it’s doing a great job.
Thanks man, it’s always interesting! 😉