The Cold War continues to heat up in the blogosphere and here on my blog as my early 80s US troops take on hardcore Soviet Guards in a small dust-up using the Modern Warfare variant (found on the AMW Yahoo Group) of Neil Thomas' excellent World War II Rules from his "Wargaming: An Introduction" book.
The mission for the US troops was to hold this village as part of the Main Line of Resistance (MLR). The Soviet forces, more of an advanced reconnaissance detachment, were to make contact, bypass through and exit off the board, trying to generally avoid a fight.
|Soviet Infantry and armor think they've located the Americans...|
|3 potential Artillery targets which I rolled for. The village got the lucky number and was plastered with 122mm SPA. The team in the building gets nailed and everyone else maintains their saves.|
|Accordingly, an M1 with a 105mm gun zooms past the gasthaus and over to the team's left flank.|
The M106 in the town thumps out a quick fire mission that is actually able to KO one of the BMPs advancing and forces Ivan to dismount and proceed on foot!
|The T-80s spot an Abrams emerging from the treeline!|
|The US tank commander spots T80s advancing at his front!|
|My MERDC M1s unveiled! Still dont have their full paint but I really wanted to get a game in with them on the table.|
|Ivan closes the distance with the M1s and continues to trade shots.|
|Kill! Good rolling by the Soviets gets a US M1 knocked out and the US commander starts chewing his nails.|
The Soviet infantry, really only here for mopping up, moved in for the kill afterwards but this game in the modern era is all about managing your platforms and using your infantry wisely - because there's alot out there that will kill them.
|US Squad facing off against Ivan. That BMP would tear this US squad to ribbons.|
|These brave soldiers would learn the value of cover the hard way...|
|US mobility kill. This M1 is now a pillbox!|
|cool pic from the Soviet side|
|Tubes are silent this turn.|
|Soviet infantry close assault a US fireteam and again due to crappy rolling, KO them. The US team actually had an excellent chance of hanging in there for the combat but they rolled a "1" and ivan rolled a "6".|
|T80s bypass the US positions and race for the rear. A few errant Dragon shots miss as the Soviet infantry mounts up and prepares for mopping up operations.|
LESSONS LEARNED AND THOUGHTS
The winner / loser concept in the NT book is good for people new to wargaming but probably needs a little refinement when it comes to people wanting to game some more realistic engagements. I was scratching my head trying to figure out "who won" here and I guess you have to apply the tenets of the mission in order to figure that out. The Soviet forces were able to bypass with a single tank platoon at 2/3 strength and the US forces did hold the village. So.... a draw?
By the way, you can read my write up of the World War II rules in an epic World War II fight I had here.
Anyways here are some tactical tips for you if you're inclined to go in, register for this group, and download these modern era rules:
Keep your tanks the hell away from enemy infantry! A good rule that many rules sets fail to capture. Neil Thomas' rules allow an enemy infantry unit to close assault a tank with fairly good chances of knocking it out.
ATGW are nasty. The infantry have missiles now and can reach out to 50cms. Also the modern variant rates your missiles as a "Super Heavy" gun so on par with a 120mm or 125mm gun. Not sure I agree with that but I played the rules as-is....for now.
Use your vehicle mounted MGs to attack infantry. The M113s in this game were able to reach out and kill troops that the small arms had a hard time getting to. It is nice to play a game where your vehicle mounted MG can play, too. That's a combat resource that, in real life, you can ill afford to neglect.
Mortars are awesome. Enough said.
Artillery is awesome. Enough said.
Even with advanced stabilization, your tanks have a much better chance of getting a kill when they're still. For now.
Try to attack infantry with mortars, artillery, and MG fire as much as you can to force a morale check. If he rolls poorly, you knock out an infantry unit for the next 2 turns while they recover morale. In the modern era, this is good news because of ATGM fire. Tactically, it also makes by-passing completely do-able now. Something that you have a hard time managing in other rules.
So bravo if you made it this far. In these Neil Thomas rules, you actually have a viable method for accomplishing real tactical tasks that occur on a modern battlefield: suppression, by-passing and isolating, combined arms opportunities, and most importantly, infantry have their teeth back.
Anyone who has followed my blog for any amount of time knows that I really enjoy the Neil Thomas rules and this fan-produced modern variant is no exception.