Wednesday, July 5, 2017

SabreSquadron Refresher

It's been a long time since I played SabreSquadron.  While it's technically "the summer of Battlegroup" I was much too busy this past weekend and holiday to form the "Ochka River Crossing" scenario for my I Battalion/507th Infanty Regiment assault at Ponyri using the Battlegroup rules.

Dave had suggested Crossfire but he had also mentioned he wanted to try out SabreSquadron so we played a small introductory game featuring a West German TA infantry platoon in Fuchs wheeled APCs with 2 Leopard IA3s fighting against a platoon of Soviet T-80s and BMP-2s.  Not exactly even odds but the Germans were defending and had some decent terrain. 

 This game reminded me of all the reasons I LOVE SabreSquadron!  With all of the fuss over Team Yankee, which is a very fun game in its own right, I think SabreSquadron is just incredibly well thought out and delivers a very satisfying company level game.

Leo I's (Dave) move into position along the Soviet infantry attack route.
 Dave played smart and kept all of his forces out of detection from the very start.  My Soviets surged forward at "transit speed" looking to get mixed into NATO's lines before the shooting even started.
I'm counting on the thick hide of the T-80 to stand up to that fire!

Fuchs with their infantry laden payload of HEER troops and Milans.
 Dave loved the cohesion rules in SabreSquadron.  Also the To Hit rolls are very streamlined as well.  It was also neat how the concept of reactive fire is built into the sequence of play, versus a forced mechanism.

prowling T-80s looking for prey.
 The Soviets eye up some key terrain to their front and the Company Commander wants that stone farmhouse!  It will facilitate onward movement of the whole battalion and enable the company to flank the village rather than attack it directly.  Dave realizes the corridor is key real estate too.  I move up the BMPs and dismount the infantry.  It's a good thing, too, because Dave's Leopards start to pick off the BMPs.

Stone farmhouse.  I have to have it!
 Dave's Leopard gets too close for its own good as my troops let loose a couple RPGs at it.  The single hit doesnt kill the Leo I but neutralizes it instead.  Translated - the crew freaks out!  The platoon BOLO's its morale test and drops to WITHDRAW.  Dave learned a lesson about combined arms in SabreSquadron and I learned a lesson that those RPGs need to be used more often!

Leo I at the farmhouse mixing it up with dismounted infantry and BMPs.
 Dave is determined however to hold on long enough to kill some tracked vehicles before bugging out in the face of all those infantry at the farmhouse.  Meanwhile his infantry in the woodline start firing off MILANs at the T-80s but they fail to hit.  Damned TA!
Dead BMPs but the infantry are still advancing.  The platoon morale holds.
 I remember another thing I loved about SabreSquadron - the platoon and company morale.  Unfortuantely it doesn't love me back!  I am forced to take a company test after I lose my last BMP and I fail one roll.  Company morale drops to uncertain which sucks because my infantry, already at a crawl, slug their way forward at a whopping 1.5 inches per turn...  The farm house is so close, but yet so far away!

 The T-80s are not very anxious to mix it up with dismounted infantry so they head back towards the farmhouse to lend a hand.  Or some APSFDS-T.

Leo I rallies from "neutralized" to "suppressed" - the crew is shaking off the effects of the RPG hit and getting back into the fight!

Ivan captures the stone outbuilding and is about the assault the farmhouse for the Company Commander.

T-80s on the scene!

Waiting for the showdown

Infantry in their Fuchs carriers getting ready to defend their homeland!

So while this game crawled, it's funny how quickly I picked the concepts back up after a short amount of time and was able to teach them to Dave pretty fast.  We will be playing SabreSquadron again with more forces and gadgets on the table!  Mission Accomplished!


  1. Who won? I wanna know! Looks close.

    1. Stuart it was close but we never actually finished as it got too late at night. I should have specified in the write up!

  2. So did Ivan get the longed for stone farmhouse?

    I would really like to try these rues out, especially with 6mm figs

    1. Paul,
      Not yet we didnt finish the game. Unfortunately ivans morale is precarious as the whole company dropped to "uncertain" making it that much tougher to get them moving under fire (as Dave found out with the RPG strike on his Leo).

      Im reinforcing them with a platoon of t80s but it could be too little too late if i lose another stand the platoon will have to check morale again!

  3. I love it. One from the past that I haven't played enough of. I did LOVE the artillery rules in Sabre Squadron. Hmm, must do another game.

    Exciting game too, and good to see how the concepts came back and made it intuitive.

    1. Cheers, Darren. There are many novel concepts in this game, foremost among them are the artillery, action options and built-in advantages for the defender that take the place of opportunity fire in other games.

      It's not for everyone but personally I don't think I've ever had a disappointing game of Sabre Squadron.

  4. Great looking game. Like the sound of some of the rule concepts. But I'm going to wait to see what the Cold War Battlegroup rules look like.

  5. Love reading your battle reports. I'd never heard of Sabre Squadron up till now. Where would you find it these days? Still in print?

    1. Hi Paul, Certainly still around. You'll find them at
      There's a free trial version to try before buy.

    2. Thanks Paul Sabre Squadron is one of my all time favorites for moderns. I will be playing more of it as the year goes on. Possibly some big battles as well with microarmor. The website has everything you need to get playing right away.

  6. I pop in from time to time to see what you guys are up to. It's always a fun read, often of stuff I know little about. Pleasant surprise to see you get the rules out again. Good one!

    1. Glad you stopped by! Im thinking about a "proper" Team Yankee scenario (from the GDW boardgame) using SabreSquadron rules and microarmor.

      You will be seeing more of the rules played soon! Watch this space.

      Any word on new supplements?(AIW?) How about a WW2 version? :) you had to know i would ask!