Sunday, November 12, 2017

Playing Modern Battlegroup: West German Hasty Defense

Got together (finally) with the usual suspects at Ken's house to play another test game of Battlegroup: REFORGER on Saturday afternoon.  Same forces as the previous battle but played like a meeting engagement with forces trickling onto the table as the result of a D6 roll each turn.  We used Ken's outstanding terrain and Soviet forces for this battle.

Ken commanding the Soviet tank company.  I did get to see the new plush Cigar Box Mat and it was pretty cool.  I didn't think I would have liked it due to the dark colors but it turned out to be a perfect compliment to the miniatures.
 West Germans started with 2 x Leopard Is and the Soviets started with 4 T-72 main battle tanks.  The Leopard I's fared a little better than last night against Ivan this time.

The Soviets came on very aggressively and charged the tree clearing making their way straight towards the village proper, their only objective of the day (Schwarzenborn...again!).

Leo I's behind the town.
 I placed the Leopard I's on "ambush fire" in the village and engaged the Soviets as they came through the break in the trees.  Ken led most of the T-72 company and Dave led the mech infantry platoon with a sliced off group of tanks in support.  The Soviets are attacking right out of the march, continuing on with their success from the previous night's game.
T-72s racing down the road to secure their D+2 objectives.

Ivan's tanks advancing in the distance!

2 x Leopard I's are all that stand in Ivan's way at this point.

Ouch!  Leopard I destroyed.

Ivan deploys to attack the village

Lead Soviet tank is pinned.

Russians deploy the first wave to assault the village.  

Ken moved his T-72s rapidly through the clearing and before I knew it I was up to my eyeballs in communist armor!  The Leo's use open fire orders and promptly dispatch them and buy some time for the rest of the German tank platoon to move up and engage.  I got lucky and rolled a "6" for reinforcements and both Marder platoons arrived.  I really needed their MILAN ATGMs at this point and used them to good effect, taking out more Russian tanks and pinning others.
reinforcements move up to engage the Russian tanks.  Making much better progress against the Soviet armor then yesterday.

Kill one and two more pop in behind them.  The approach to the town became a killing field littered with burning armor.

Marders move onto the table.  They cant use those MILANs this turn unfortunately since they moved.

and on the left, more Marders show up to engage the Soviets.
 At this point, I didn't want to make my defense around the village but I dont have much of a choice while the Soviets have reached the woodline before me.  So I've got to defend from the area around the village.  Ambush orders are the order of the day, since I know Ivan has to move before he shoots being on the other side of the woodline.

Ken moving more armor up to the treeline to engage!

Comrade Davidovich!

T-72 moving into the treeline to get into a better position to assault!

More dead tanks!
 The first wave is defeated but Ivan has some more tricks up his treacherous, starched sleeve.  More tanks and mech infantry make their way up to the treeline for the second wave.  Ken puts his tanks into the trees to get a little better protection.

Marder IFVs take advantage of the lull to advance.

Second and third wave are moving up to engage.  Not sure how much longer I can trade shots with them!

Dave is consolidating his position and massing to move through the treeline.  Even all of my stuff on Ambush isn't going to stop all of them!  And Ken still has lots of tanks back on the highway.

Marders advance towards the clearing to use auto cannons to pin down Ivan.

Note Ken's tanks piling in behind the dead ones!

Dave's infantry for the second/third wave move up and this flank's gonna fold!

jaguar on ambush fire.  too bad he's pointed in the wrong direction.
More tanks, including the Company Commander, move up into the attack!

Ken's command tank would constantly find himself being pinned, subsequently un-pinned, then pinned again.  Nothing was able to break the skin though!

Ken's tanks consolidate in the woods into a support by fire position while Dave's infantry advance on my right.  It's a game of numbers now.  Time to get the hell outta dodge! 

I'm fighting tooth and nail to pin or kill as many of these communist SOBs as I can before they rain hell down on my position 
 Dave plays chicken with my Marders on ambush orders, gets me to fire off my MILANS, and then promptly knocks out the MILAN carrying Marders.  I lose 2/3ds of the platoon on my right and throw in the towel.  Interestingly, I still have preserved a good amount of forces and withdraw in good order.  Breakpoint is still only 22 out of 30.  Soviets are, I think, 24 or 25 out of 36!  (clearly need to work on the values).

I dont think Ivan is in good shape to pursue in this instance.

view from the Jaguar turret. 

Lots of knocked out vehicles on both sides!

Marder hit and the infantry bail with 2 KIA.

I was able to take a pot-shot with the Leichte Panzerfaust44 but missed....

Remaining Germans when I threw in the towel!  They retreated towards Kassel in good order.
By day's end, the West Germans gave a great account of themselves (the troops, not their commander lol!) and pulled out when their position became untenable.  Dave had some more tanks and infantry in carriers on my right and when they broke through the woods, I withdrew in good order, leaving some knocked out Marders and Leo's on the table and we called the game.

  It was another great game of World War III combat.  The German covering force succeeded in their mission to buy some time for the rest of the Corps to pull back behind the next line and Ivan got a bloody nose before walking into Schwarzenborn.

So the breakpoint needs some work.  The "tightened up" rules on spotting and To Hit worked brilliantly and really made the game go faster.  Once again we didn't track main gun rounds but we did track ATGM rounds which I am fine with.

I probably could have given Dave's mech infantry a hell of a time breaking into the town but would have just lost with less dudes alive.  the proper thing to do, in this instance, was to pull out of the town and withdraw.  The Leopard I's gave a much better account of themselves this time and I wonder how more advanced tanks would have fared.  Also would have loved to have used my mortars and / or artillery more.  The mortars fired 1 fire mission that didn't land on the table.

Until next time!


  1. Great AAR. Looking forward to see the next round in the battle.

    1. Thanks Gary. Thinking a limited West German counter attack since the mighty PanzerGrenadiers were able to at least slow Ivan down.

  2. Nice AAR. Looks like a fun time was had by all. Thanks for posting