This game featured 1 American M60A3 platoon against 2 Soviet T-64 platoons (6 AFVs total). The Americans are defending a battle position. Both sides have artillery in support. The Americans have 1 platoon of 155mm artillery (self propelled) and the Soviets have a battery of 122mm Self Propelled in support.
What follows is my account of the battle in the picture captions, with a specific emphasis on the mechanics of the rules.
|American armor awaiting the "red hordes"|
It takes some getting used to, but I really like it. Much better than a linear, more predictable game.
|The "Red Hordes" 3 T-64 disguised as T-72. (actually they are T-72 but you get the idea)|
|Americans went first. The "ranged in" marker was a Soviet request for fire.|
|Ivan enters the battle area!|
|gratuitous shot of a tank.|
|another gratuitous shot of a tank!|
|US forces take up firing positions. Good shooting (and some lucky rolling) and the US player KO's 2 T-64s.|
Target not visible at start of your turn, (so you were moving him and just spotted him during your movement) Firer suppressed, Target at long range, and suppression.
Here's something different. "Firer and/or target using action option #4" which is stationary firing. So you get a bonus for staying still to shoot - and the bad guys also get a bonus to hit YOU when you stay still to shoot. I really appreciate these subtleties that the author put into the game. They show thought, research, and an appreciation of real-world tactics.
|Artillery plasters the Soviets|
The Artillery stays in place for an agonizingly long amount of time so it can also affect the maneuver plans 1 turn down the road as well. So you have enormous flexibility in using it and it can be used for its intended purpose. Destroy, Neutralize, or Suppress the enemy (all 3 are possible) and if you want to get creative with your artillery you can - like using artillery to "turn" an enemy's flank or force him into an obstacle belt!
|Soviet turn they KO 1 M-60|
|Suppressed Soviet tanks driving straight through a nightmare!|
There are rules for company morale vrs platoon morale but I didn't get that far as I didn't have a full company on the table. The author wants you to have at least a company command element on the table to help with rallying though, so perhaps next game will be bigger.
There are also rules for ATGM, "Confusion" (which occurs when platoons occupy or overlap the same space! So cool - when do you see that in modern rules??), and infantry combat in the "rapid deployment" rules, which are the author's introductory rules that are available for free.
The real version of the rules are coming out in a month or so! Sign me up for a copy!
|This platoon this guy belonged to doesn't exist anymore. His morale rolls didn't go so well so he's on "withdraw" orders until I can rally him.|
|Ivan's next turn he would move out of the barrage area.|
|This lone tank has rallied!|
|The Americans fire into the Soviets but fail to hit anything. They beat a hasty retreat from the battle position for fear of Soviet artillery landing on them!|
|the advance continues|
|Ivan's tanks are still suppressed and that's a game.|
So as you can tell, I really enjoyed playing Sabre Squadron and am looking forward to playing it in a bigger battle, hopefully with more "goodies" like infantry, ATGM, and of course more artillery.
I think these rules are really something special and definitely worth trying out at least once in your gaming career.
The author has a real appreciation for tactics and a real respect for the weapons systems that are represented on the table. They were easily learned, even by me, so that's saying something.
If you are going to play it, read up on your field manuals. Failing to do that, take a covered and concealed route to the objective, and remember - if you can be seen, you can be hit. If you can be hit, you can be killed!