Home Forums Modern Team Whiskey – Fulda Gap Batrep 1

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  • #30652
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    It’s 0545 on 1 August 1986, and (for whatever reason, make up your own) the Soviets/Warsaw Pact has decided to launch an invasion of Western Europe. Battalion Task Force 4-11 (fictional 4th Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment) receives the call to arms, moves from barracks to assembly area to defensive positions in the Fulda Gap, awaiting the onslaught of the Red horde.


    Here’s the overlay of the table, with each side’s plan, with north being left.

    US Order of Battle
    India Company: Captain Phillips (M-577)
    1st Mechanized Platoon: 1Lt Eirserbe
    2nd Mechanized Platoon: 1Lt Ensmith
    3rd Mechanized Platoon: 2Lt Teigner
    1st Tank Platoon: 1Lt Dillon (only two of his tanks made it to the area in time)
    Elements of Weapons Company (4 x TOW, HMG, 4 x M-113)
    Elements of 10th Special Forces Group (2 x ODA)
    Elements of 399th Attack Aviation Company (1 x AH-64)
    Elements of 999th Tactical Fighter Squadron (1 x A-10)

    Soviet Order of Battle
    Tank 1 is 6 T-72s
    Tank 2 is 6 T-72s
    Tank 3 is 4 T-72s (coming on Turn 2)
    Mech 1, 2, and 3 are 6 BMPs and 6 rifle teams each
    The Hind and SOF are marked where they will insert, and the ZSU-23-4 is with Tank 3.


    Looking west to east at the village of Heffe, the Soviet Mech 1 pushes into the urban area while the Mi-24 Hind dashes forward to deliver two teams of Spetznaz…


    And runs into some problems coming out of Heineken.


    And then, from the US far right, the TOW 2nd Section opens up on Mech 1 moving into Heffe.

    The fight was epic, with vicious fighting in Weisse, and absolutely legendary fighting in Heffe and atop Hill 23, real bare-knuckle brawling. But the TOWs, the TOWs were magnificent. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    http://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2015/09/team-whiskey-fulda-gap-batrep-1.html

    Six hours, that’s how long this fight took, so please forgive me for how long the batrep is. But the table is set for fight number two, and I’m on my way upstairs, so stay tuned.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #30654
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Wowzer !!!! Great fight !!! Trees kept throwing me off…but in 6mm trees and tanks are hard to tell apart. I think Basilone’s ghost was commanding that HMG !!!!

    Thanks Just Jack !!!

    #30663
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Just Jack:

    Yup, I think Kyoteblue said it all; Wow! I was very impressed that the Amercican Cavalry managed to destroy 19 out of 18 BMP’s in the Soviet line-up!  That should be worth more than a passing victory. Great action and it was good to see that Lt. Dillon didn’t buy the farm quite yet despite the lethal war ‘panda-monium’ all around him. The ATGW’s and that HMG were very effective but the Soviet Artillery was asleep at the job. Smoke mixed with WP would have shut down those ATGW’s or made them spend all their time redeploying. The Soviet tanks and BMP’s should have been firing on the move and using the smoke generators in their engines to screen their flanks from ATGW fire. But I guess you had enough on your plate to single-handedly manage an under strength Motor Rifle Battalion and Tank Battalion so I fancy it’s understable! 

    A very exciting and riveting report with great action and drama in spades. Perhaps the report was a we bit too long and had too many piccies (172!) but this being the first in the series, you did have to set the stage and explain your methodology. I give this an A overall and an A+ for effort and enthusiasm! Well done, Jack on a home-run straight out of the bull-pen, in this new and scintillating Team Whiskey (Jack Daniel’s Whiskey of course) extravaganza! Bravo Zulu, Jack!

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    Oh, and thanks for finally hiding those damn carpet sections! 

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Rod Robertson.
    #30666
    Norm S
    Participant

    Great stuff – what a change of pace from the Cuban games. I think you are going to have a lot of people reaching for their modern collections. 6mm is the best scale to see choppers looking right on the battlefield.

    #30671
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Kyote – You despicable old bastid, you can’t tell trees from tanks! 😉

    Rod – Always got something, eh? 😉  This is not my scenario; I’m playtesting, so I can’t just add stuff, so the only artillery allotted (to either side) was the Soviet preparatory fires, nothing once the fight started.  The Soviets tanks and BMPs were firing on the move, they just didn’t hit anything.  Part of that was the fact that there weren’t really any vehicle targets for them to engage (Panda’s two tanks, and the four M3s of 1st Mech Plt in Weisse, whom the Soviets just blew through), and the other part was the fact the Soviets had an extremely hard time spotting US infantry and ATGMs (unitl after they fired), which was what the Spetznaz were there for, but the Hind could never get them inserted.

    Whaddaya mean, ’19 out of 18 BMPs…’?  Did I write that?  The Soviets had 21 BMPs and a BTR, and 16 T-72s.  I imagine you’re adding from what is says at the top of the post, but that doesn’t take into account the three platoon leaders’ BMPs and the company commander’s BTR50.

    And Panda should have gone down; I literally couldn’t believe it when his tank was hit, damaged, and then forced to fall back off the table.  His Team Whiskey avatar should do the honorable thing and end it all 😉  Good Lord, I suppose I should explain that I am only joking, even though I’m referencing a make believe 6mm character…

    Norm – Thank you Sir, I appreciate it.  I miss the quickness and character development of Cuba Libre, but I’ve played two fights already and they were both a blast, can’t wait to get to number three.  And 6mm is certainly working for me; to be honest, I kind of wished I’d have used an even bigger table for this fight!

    And I don’t know if you noticed, but with folks that regularly follow my gaming exploits, I often add their names into my campaigns.  I hope you don’t mind, but you “Lieutenant Ensmith” is you, and you just won the Silver Star for your dogged defense in Heffe leading 2nd Mech Platoon 😉

    I’m writing up the second fight, stand by.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #30673
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    The trees on square bases just are off with me…but you do have some new bridges and not a carpet hill in sight !!!!

    #30677
    CAG 19
    Participant

    You know I like how you set things going.  Care to share the CW changes for all us other 5Core gamers ?

    #30678
    Sparker
    Participant

    Beautifully presented batrep – particularly liking the missile ‘telltales’ – thanks for posting!

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #30679
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Hey what happen to Kilo Company ????? Did I not get to fight ?????? Er oh Just Jack…come on couch put Kilo into the game !!! Your trees look great…really….

    #30701
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Good grief, I just read my post; everyone please forgive me as I had the baby sleeping on me as I wrote that.  I hope the next batrep doesn’t look like that…

    Rod – I forgot to address the smoke generators.  The Soviets didn’t do that here because it only helps formations following in trace, which was not part of this tabletop fight.  There was only one wave in the fight, so no use laying smoke.  It would have looked cool though 😉

    Kyote – Yeah, I gotcha about the trees, but I’m not about t individually base 6mm trees!  No, you weren’t in this fight, you can’t put everyone in the line.  But don’t worry, Kilo is up next in the meat grinder.

    Si – Not yet, I’m still figuring stuff out 😉  And honestly, we need to get with Ivan.  He’s been instrumental in helping me do this, it’s his info, and I’m not sure what (if) he plans to do with it.

    Sparker – Thanks a bunch, and those pipe cleaners have proven quite popular!

    The next batrep is almost finished, but I’ve got baseball practice tonight so not sure if I’ll get it posted.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #30704
    CAG 19
    Participant

    Jack, as this is a play test of someone else’s scenario and I don’t want to pry, but why are the soviets blundering around? I would have expected the scenario to lead off with an expected meeting engagement, Soviet Div and Regimental Recce Units first looking for the gap to pull the CRP and FSE through.  What brief do both sides have (in general terms)

    <hr />

     

    #30706
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    OK , Just Jack. don’t want Kilo to sit out the whole war….

    #30728
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Oh and Just Jack, did that case of Scotch get to the FO ?????

    #30730
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Kyote – Don’t worry, you’ll get your ass kicked in due time 😉  Oh, and the FO didn’y receive the Scotch; I heard it was intercepted by the Operations Officer.

    Si – An excellent point regarding Soviet doctrine/  My personal opinion is that for their recon to do that job properly (as opposed to the usual wargame issue of ‘recon assets =just another line unit) we’d need to game at a higher level, probably brigade or even division.  In this fight we only had a US Mech Company (+) vs a Soviet Mech Rifle Bn (-) and a Tank Company (+).

    From my perspective, it didn’t bother me at all; this was a clash of heavyweights.  Please keep in mind that this is only a small piece of the battlefield.  The whole Soviet Army (seemingly) is pouring across the border, and this table doesn’t even show the whole Troop in action (only about a third of it).  So it’s a big battlefield, with lots of stuff going on in the rest of 11th ACR’s (and other NATO divisions’) areas of operation.

    So the lack of Soviet reconnaissance (on table) was not addressed.  I’d like to throw these ideas out there:
    1) it’s a big battlefield and we’re not seeing the whole thing; maybe the Soviets didn’t have enough recon elements to go around due to other operational considerations.
    2) Perhaps Soviet recon elements already conducted their mission successfully and fell back to leave the positional attack to the heavies; they didn’t press battle against stronger NATO forces, and NATO didn’t fire as they were hoping to not expose their positions.
    3) Perhaps NATO allowed the recon elements to push by, then occupied its defensive positions behind them, prior to the Soviet heavies arriving.
    4) Perhaps the Soviet recon elements advanced and were seen off by NATO recon elements, north of this battlefield.
    5) Perhaps the Soviet recon elements advanced and were seen off by Team Whiskey.
    6) Perhaps the Soviet recon elements were dispersed by NATO supporting fires called in by deep reconnaissance elements.

    In any case, I’m fighting my small piece of the overall war, and no recon elements were called for in this particular fight, which suited me just fine, tons of fun!

    Thanks for the comments, fellas.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #30731
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Hurry up and post part two !!!! Man I try to bribe the FO and it gets stolen !!!! Next time I’ll hand deliver it !!!

    #30733
    Nick Turner
    Participant

    Just Jack, reading above, one thing to remember if playing BAOR our recce would not engage the enemy except under exceptional circumstances. I am pretty sure that this would be the case with the Belgians, Germans and Dutch. Unlike a Russian combat recce patrol, we were there to observe, report and live to observe another day not get into a fight. Of course they could call for fire or air.

     

    All looking good, must get some pipe cleaners done for my 6mm stuff!

    #30760
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Hey if you come back to Oklahoma, I have a bottle of Jameson, Just Jack……

    #30769
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Nick – I’m with ya man.  I would even submit the Soviets, though they prepared to ‘fight for their intel,’ would also choose to not get into it with NATO armored elements.

    Kyote – I’m good Old Man, those days are behind me 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #30814
    CAG 19
    Participant

    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.

    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 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 (and possibly 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).  If it is a Bn then it could have the battalion supports.

    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.  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

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by CAG 19.
    #30817
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Si,

    “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! 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #30829
    CAG 19
    Participant

    Thanks Jack, very useful. As I said not criticising more about asking what the book is going to provide to the gamer, from what you said it is rule agnostic, so the 5core rules seem to give a good game. Play balance looks  good and if it comes down to the last roll of the dice even better. Be interesting to see if you can scale it up for brigade commander or if the scenarios only work with the force troops provided.

    When a mate and I playtested a set of rules for someone we didn’t pick up on certain game mechanics because of how we play games. I refuse for example to play anything competition based or with lists preferring to pitch “realistic” force elements against each other so we never tried certain troop combinations ie all dismounted or all mounted mech inf and it takes that kind of game where the rules work or don’t.  The troop density for the table size looks good as well.

    One suggestion could be that rather rescue the guys from 10th SF, you are looking for downed crews from the Avn Squadron which would seem to be more a likely activity (it is also one of the ones in the Armor vignettes) 🙂

    Keep ’em coming

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by CAG 19.
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