23/09/2015 at 22:49 #31537
This is the second part of Scenario 4, Team Whiskey’s desperate rear-guard action to cover the withdrawal of 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. To refresh your memory, in Turn 1 the Soviets came on the table with a large armored force (Soviet Mech 1 of 6 BMPs and infantry, Soviet Tank 1 of 6 T-72s, Soviet Mech 2 of 6 BMPs and infantry, and Soviet Tank 2 of 6 T-72s) travelling at speed down the road. I small US infantry detachment was dug-in in and around the village of Bad Stulz, and let rip with five TOW launchers, causing heavy casualties. In Turn 2, the Soviets were able to reform, begin pushing forward, causing quite a few casualties among the severely outnumbered US troops. But, just when things looked really dark, a platoon of M1 Abrams came on the board to even the odds a bit.
Back to the action, picking up at the start of Turn 3.
Captain Lemmey leads three Abrams forward on the right, where they exchange fire with BMPs at very close range.
The BMPs take the worst of it.
Things get crazy in the village: I’m known for my missile shots, but this one is going the wrong way! A BMP launches a Spandrel at an M1. To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
In the big picture, Team Whiskey re-formed and fell back with the rest of 11th ACR to its next defensive line near the major city of Frankfurt. The 11th ACR (hell, all of NATO probably) has taken hellacious casualties, and the Regiment Commander is in the process of re-organizing his force (consolidating Troops** that have taken too many casualties) when something terrible happens… Stay tuned!
**Am I screwing this up? I’ve been calling Team Whiskey “4th Troop,” though it is battalion strength. But now it’s seeming to me that cavalry units that are battalion-level should be Squadrons, not Troops. But I’m also using the term “Team,” but I don’t mean Company Team, I mean Battalion Team, if there is such a thing. I mean, I know you can cross-attach different companies to make battalion-level teams, I just don’t know if they would then be called a ‘Team.’ I know I’ve heard the Army use the term “Battalion Task Force,” so is that what I should be using? Certainly Team Whiskey sounds better than Battalion Task Force Whiskey. I hate the Army 😉
Anyway, more to come.
Jack24/09/2015 at 00:06 #31538
Man I thought the rear guard was dead meat for a couple of turns…Good one Just Jack!!!24/09/2015 at 14:54 #31562War PandaParticipant
Great write up…and what a fight. Personally I really like the use of the dice shots. And always great to hear real enthusiasm in a preport; it’s very obvious you’re having a blast.
BTW I think Roberts really deserves his V sign. I’d certainly give him the V-sign if I met him
“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”24/09/2015 at 14:57 #31563War PandaParticipant
BTW apologies for not getting back to you about the SAGA stuff…I really would like to chat yourself and Rod about this game but I’m ridiculously busy right now…I’m struggling to read your AAR’s and still find the time to make some smart ass crazy comments that might cause some controversy and embarrassment 😉
“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”24/09/2015 at 15:25 #31564
Kyote – Yeah man, it was pretty wild. I think the rear guard still did get chewed up, but managed to do their job.
Panda – These games have been a blast. Everyone knows I like the small scale, small board games, but these have been a great change of pace from my normal stuff. It’s been a lot of fun having so many units on the table, and I’ve really enjoyed the fighting while grossly outnumbered.
Regarding Saga: I understand busy, no sweat man. I just need someone to explain to me who’s who and what’s what, very high-level. Not too high-level; I get that there’s two sets of guys that don’t like each other and are going to fight. But what are troop types and capabilities, how do they go about doing what they do. What are the tactics/tactical challenges, i.e., what are we doing other than ‘you guys run over there and kill those guys’?
Jack24/09/2015 at 19:18 #31578
I’m still wondering what the Teams heavy mortars are doing ?????24/09/2015 at 19:50 #31588
Kyote – What the heck are you talking about man? The mortars pounded the Soviet mech infantry on the eastern edge of the village and in the treeline north of the crossroads, which was a big reason the US TOWs were able to successfully displace to shoot the Soviet armor to pieces.
Jack24/09/2015 at 21:55 #31590
Yeah but 4.2’s would have done such a better job…..25/09/2015 at 14:07 #31627
Sure, 4.2″ mortars probably would have done a better job, but all the US has are 81mm mortars.
You’re confusing me man; did I mess up and say somewhere that Team Whiskey had 4.2″ mortars? My intent from the beginning has always been that US mortars are 81mm mortars.
Jack25/09/2015 at 16:35 #31635
Don’t mean to confuse you…. I just wanted bigger mortars for Team Whiskey…..more bang for the buck.25/09/2015 at 20:52 #31650
Well hell, I wish I had more A-10s, more tanks, and Marines for infantry 😉
Jack25/09/2015 at 22:21 #31652
Don’t the Marines pine for the Fjords of Norway………26/09/2015 at 01:26 #31654
Real Marines pine for the beaches and bars of Australia, Bali, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines 😉
Jack26/09/2015 at 01:29 #31655
But the Fjords are calling………WW3 at the top of the world…..26/09/2015 at 03:45 #31656Shaun TraversParticipant
Luckily I note Jack put Australia first in his list.27/09/2015 at 18:16 #31682
I could not wait. I read part II right away. Another fine narrative and gripping action. I really enjoyed the battle and the ebb and flow of combat. Thrilling stuff, but so damned lethal! Maybe well trained and disciplined NATO troops might endure such losses without breaking but I suspect that Soviet conscripts would not have the élan and the endurance to absorb such appalling losses without breaking morale and shutting down/withdrawing/routing. Their determination to stay makes for an exciting and terrific story and a great game that hangs in the balance with each and every turn but I suspect that this battle would more likely have ended on turn 1 and the rest would have been a turkey-shoot for the Americans at the expense of the Slavic fowl. Nonetheless, it makes for a great scenario and Bat. Rep. so it’s all good in the end. This is great stuff you’re posting here Jack, so thanks once again for the wargaming gems you offer us so regularly.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.27/09/2015 at 18:25 #31683
The War Panda:
Two fingers in a V right back at ya, ya brutish Mick! And I’ll throw in a single digit for good measure! This ain’t Crecy or Agincourt and the Scots have never taken Irish fingers, heads yes (good for tossing at the games) but fingers never. Hope your workload lightens soon so I can discuss SAGA armies with you.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.27/09/2015 at 18:43 #31685
So, Marines love tropical climates and sandy beaches. They must have had a great time at Iwo Jima and Okinawa when the Japanese threw them those big welcome parties in the spring of 45.
Jack, have you ever read the writings of Marine General Smedley Butler? He had a unique and I would imagine somewhat unpopular (in the Marine Corps) take on the role of military intervention in American foreign policy. He was a hell of a Marine and an outstanding American citizen but I wonder how many Americans have ever heard anything about him. Is he widely known and discussed in the USMC or is his saga taboo? I,d be interested to know.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.27/09/2015 at 19:09 #3168627/09/2015 at 23:42 #31688
Thanks man. And I agree regarding morale, I don’t think either side would stand up for these levels of casualties in-game, but I’m doing it for the drama, and it’s been fun. I think combat would have been every bit as effective/deadly, I just think there’d have been a lot more giving of ground (NATO falling back, Warsaw Pact pulling back and by-passing), but the games wouldn’t have been as fun for me if they ended after the first TOW shots, with either the Soviets falling back to find a new path, the US falling back after having ‘stung’ the Soviets a bit, or both. I like the Hollywood version: the Soviets are the faceless, emotionless horde that just keeps coming, and NATO is fighting desperately to save civilization, with every single individual soldier aware of the stakes and willing to make the sacrifice. Makes for awesome games! 😉
And yes, Marines love tropical climes and sandy beaches, but I was thinking more of liberty locations to be honest. I obviously didn’t fight in Okinawa or Iwo Jima, but I was stationed on Oki for four years and made about a dozen trips to Iwo Jima. The terrain on both is absolutely hellacious, I can’t even fathom how they did it. There was a couple years when I was an instructor for our base Corporal’s Leadership Course, and we’d take the students down to Iwo Jima at the end of each course. Moving off the beach, up the first embankment, with Suribachi staring down on you from your 10 o’clock, across the escarpment, then up the second embankment, where you skyline yourself to a series of concrete bunkers that are only 50 yards away, was difficult for young Marines in great shape carrying only deuce gear and water, not being shot at. I couldn’t imagine (and never did) doing it with full gear, ammo, and weapons. What those Marines did is nothing short of legend.
As is Smedley D Butler, who, along with Dan Daly, are hailed as heroes from Marine Boot Camp forward, as the only two Marines to win the Medal of Honor twice. Butler is discussed in terms of his involvement in the Banana Wars, but then the stories usually switch to AA Cunningham and Chesty Puller, rather than getting into Butler’s (“Old Gimlet Eye”) views on US foreign diplomacy 😉 But that had its place as well, where it was discussed in NCO/SNCO academies with regards to the soldier as statesman in asymmetric warfare, and how far/where does the idea of empowering small unit leaders to seize the initiative to accomplish mission objectives (both combat and MOOTW, look that up! Talking Phase 3 and 4 operations) cross (bleed?) over to statesmanship, and what is the Marine’s role, rights, and responsibilities (at various echelons)?
So yeah, I’ve heard of the guy, and I’d wager you’ll not find a Marine that hasn’t heard of Smedley Butler, though not all will be familiar with his objections to Marines securing the way for pineapple, sugar, and tobacco companies. Me, I’m way too simple for that: they tell you to go, you go. I believe that, given his stature and notoriety, he not had the ability to voice his concerns, it was his duty to shape the battlefield as best he could for his Marines, which he attempted to do via the (attempted) establishment of doctrine as to when, where, and why Marines should be used. I can also understand why civilian leadership had its issues, though the concept isn’t totally foreign (look at our, for a time accepted, ‘Powell Doctrine’). But such things were beyond my scope of concern 😉
Jack28/09/2015 at 02:16 #31706
Thanks for the background. I am impressed that you have walked upon the hallowed ground of Iwo Jima and stood upon Mt. Suribachi. Those were iron men who fought over that infernal landscape and it’s a wonder that so many survived. So, have you ever read Butler’s account of fighting for Standard Oil in China? You should have read of his very short but also very revealing book “War is a Racket”. You might also consider looking into his role in exposing the “Business Plot” against FDR in 1933-35. It’s a fascinating story and was largely suppressed by the US Government until a clerical error released the transcripts of Butler’s testimony to the Senate Comittee on Un-American Activities many years after the fact.
It’s funny that you mention Dan Daly. My mum’s brother, a 93 year old ex Coast Guard sailor and Sandy Hook Pilot married Alice Daly. One of the on-going debates in the family was whether the patriarch of this Daly clan named John Daly was the same John Daly who was the father of the famous Marine. At the time of hearing this debate I was a disinterested child and I had all but forgotten about it until you mentioned his name above. I have no idea whether he was related to “our Dalys” but my sweet and delightful ‘Grandma Daly’ always speculated that he was. She was born in the late 1890’s, so she might have even met him, but by the time I was exposed to these stories she was ill, infirmed and a little bit unreliable in the memories department. So the jury is still out on the Daly claim to fame.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.28/09/2015 at 19:23 #31747
Alright man, now I know you’re just pulling my leg. Are you saying you’re related to Dan Daly? I didn’t know the man, but trust me, he wouldn’t have nuthin’ to do with no Canadians 😉 And yeah man, I’m familiar with Butler’s views on war, and his ‘coup.’ Nowadays I’m less into the political side, more into the battle and personal sides with my reading. Which reminds me; if anybody out there is interested in WWII Pacific naval combat, I just finished “Neptune’s Inferno.” I’m not particularly a naval guy, but let me say that this one of the best books I’ve ever read. Not best naval books, one of the best books, period. I’m now reading “Islands of Destiny,” which is pretty good as well, but Neptune’s Inferno was just fantastic, I couldn’t put it down.
Regarding Iwo Jima, I’ve got a bunch of photos. Here’s one from my blog:
Of course that’s Suribachi in the foreground, with the (primary) invasion beaches at right. I need to post some more pics from my Iwo Jima trips. I don’t know if you saw this post or not: http://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2014/05/for-my-buddies.html#comment-form
It’s got pics of Iraq and Afghanistan as well. I bid you adieu, Professor Robertson-Daly. 😉
Jack29/09/2015 at 00:07 #31754
Uncle Carl was in the 5th Marines on Iwo Jima. And you should read Shattered Sword about the Japanese Carriers at Midway. I have done WW 1 and 2 Naval games in the past and had a blast…29/09/2015 at 02:16 #31756
Kyote – Your uncle was with 5th Marine Division brother, not 5th Marines. When we say ‘x Marines,’ that’s referring to the regiment (5th Marines is in 1st Marine Division).
I’ve read Shattered Sword, pretty good. I really want to get into some Land-Sea-Air gaming in the Pacific, but need some Naval rules. I’ve tried four different sets, nothing floating my boat, so to speak 😉
Jack29/09/2015 at 02:29 #31757
Oops yes he was in the 5th Marine Div after getting transferred from the 1st Marine Div. I played Cordite and Steel very old school Naval rules er 40 ish years ago… I don’t know of any modern Naval rules that could combine Sea Land Air and not need a computer.29/09/2015 at 09:01 #31772
Related by blood, no. Related through marriage, perhaps but far removed if true. Do I believe it to be true, I am very skeptical. I phoned my uncle up and he remembered the discussions well but he had no opinion on the issue. He had always been wisely skeptical unlike his mother-in-law, my “Grandma Daly”. So don’t read too much into this other than your earlier post sparked the memory of this bit of family lore. And don’t worry. In the unlikely circumstance that the connection is valid, Daly was beyond this mortal realm before the Canadians were ever in the mix, so calm down Jack. And for the love of Pete, don’t tell Panda there’s Irish kin in my family tree! He’ll be insufferable and so damn smug.
Great pictures of Iwo Jima and it’s a bit surreal to think that you have walked upon the nightmare terrain that still sheaths with savage carnage in my mind’s eye. I am very impressed. It looks so peaceful now but I can’t help but super impose the carnage and the destruction on those tranquil photos. Thanks for linking to that.
On naval rules and land-sea combat you and Kyote should ask David Manley for some recommendations. If anyone knows, it would likely be him.
Cheers and good gaming.
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