Friday, October 16, 2015

SABRE SQUADRON Small Infantry Practice Game!

Since Ken and I still have that "big game" up at his house, I figured it would be a good time to just have a small practice game with the rules so I don't forget absolutely everything that we learned so far....

Dutch forces creeping up in the top of the pic.  Soviets hold the crossroads and have detailed squads to hold at various points.  The PT-76 is tucked away in an orchard on the far left but you can't see it in this picture.

 This game was another "quickie" and featured a Netherlands infantry platoon in M113s facing off against a dismounted Soviet platoon with a PT-76 in support.  Simple mission - Soviets must hold the crossroads until additional Soviet armor can arrive.  This is a classic scenario and these troops could be Air Assault or Naval or even paratroopers who have been detailed to hold this important objective.  Don't look too closely at them, though.

They're WWII troops disguised as modern Soviet Army troops!  My Dutch infantry are kit-bashed West Germans, who themselves have been assembled from "Command Decision" US Paras and Vietnam troopers....

Another view of the battlefield.

The "mighty" PT-76 creeps forward to observe for enemy infantry!

A Netherlands M113 moves up into the light forest and its passengers patrol on ahead, searching out the crossroads - and Ivan.

FIREFIGHT!  The Dutch and Soviet infantry mix things up.  First round goes to the Dutch forces as 1 Soviet team is neutralized (black bead) and 1 is suppressed (yellow).  The Soviets have placed a request marker for their 82mm mortar team at Battalion (off-map) so yeah, I guess these are light infantry forces here.
 Action heats up on the Dutch left and in the center as infantry squads trade fire and the Dutch learn the hard way that their M113 is vulnerable to enemy RPGs as well!  Scratch one AFV!

Netherlands infantry on the right move towards the tree line.
 I should mention at some point I had a disappointing performance from both mortar teams on both sides.  As in way off course.  The Dutch 81mm mortar practically fell on their own guys and the Soviet mortar landed way off target as well.

Probably should have had an AOO in there somewhere, as they would normally be there...

RPG hit!  An M113 burns and a Dutch fireteam is lost to small arms fire while another is suppressed!

PT-76 noses forward.  The light armor on this guy too would be his undoing.

 The Dutch squad on the right uses their Carl Gustav "heavy RPG" to take out the PT-76 at long range!  The odds have been evened!

Meanwhile the Dutch on the left break contact as they lose a team!

PT-76 is burning

Let's get those .50s working!  Netherlands platoon leader brings up the M113s and tries to get some suppressive fire onto the Soviets while he figures out what the hell to do next!  2 out of his 3 squads have taken some pretty significant losses...

Firing from the cornfield

Scratch 1 Ivan team!  The 50 caliber HBMG clears out those small woods to the front.  Time for us to advance!
While the game isn't over yet, I have to get ready for work so I thought I would end it there with some small comments.

Once again, SABRE SQUADRON does not disappoint!  Simple rules but in-depth mechanisms and I love the results.  You actually get to use all the toys at your disposal ( I just used a Carl Gustav in a game to knock out a PT-76, and a squad's RPG-7 took out a M113!  How cool is that?).

Remember you need to suppress enemy infantry as you advance.  Your artillery or mortars could do that for you, but if you have on-board machine guns in your APCs don't forget to use them!  In this game, one of my 50 cals took out a Soviet fireteam in light cover.  "In real life" the 50 cal is a fierce weapon and I love in SABRE SQUADRON how it is given its due respect.

So right now the Dutch platoon leader is trying to figure things out and the Soviet platoon leader is trying to get more firepower to cover the objective.  I'm not sure who's going to come out on top of this one but it will be fun to find out.

This game would have been a little more interesting with tanks in support but I did want to get the basic infantry mechanics down in my head and I think I did that.  Mission Accomplished!


  1. Great post of a nice little skirmish. Those PT-76s are just such cool tankettes.
    Looks like the game is in the balance and will probably go to the force who can get their mortars ranged in first

    I do love me a .50 cal - quite effective and SOOOO much fun to fire too! :-)

    1. Paul,
      They are equally fun to shoot and game with :)
      I love the PT-76 - just too bad it never lasts long on the table, although I always seem to find an excuse to include it in my games :)

      So far the game is quite balanced. The Soviets are holding their own but you're quite right if they can get their mortars (or the Dutch can get theirs) then game over! I'm looking forward to playing the other half.

      So that's now 2 Sabre Squadron games I have to complete!

  2. Great to see the Dutch in action Steve. These games look fantastic. I had to get a little V&B game out of the way first, though now that I have a little more time, Sabre Squadron is calling again.

    1. Good to hear from you, Darren. Glad you liked the battles of late. I haven't had much time for gaming so they're all very short affairs.
      Ahh V&B has been calling my name as well, and since it's fall in the US here that has me in the mood to play AWI games!

    2. Just did Brandywine and posted it up. It's a good thing Mr. Washington was in charge for real - that's all I can say. I might have lost the war in 1777, the way I was playing!!! I do remember your previous post on Brandywine, so it brought back memories, but I've just had to get the AWI stiff done to get it off teh painting table. I really must get over there to see the battlefield.

      Oh V&B is a great game too.

    3. Excellent, headed over there now to take a closer look. Reading your comment had me digging through my old V&B AWI blog posts on my phone during the train ride into work this evening!

      Chadds Ford is very well preserved as a battlefield. Many of the fords have been built over now unfortunately. There is also a neat museum there as well. Goodness there are scores of AWI sites of interest around the Delaware Valley. Too many to list here!

  3. Sounds like a good game and an interesting set of rules.