|Somewhere near Fulda - the covering force battles. Soviet forces looking for the US main line of resistance.|
|The US Force. Forward HQs in a M577, M1 Tank Platoon (straight M1 with the 105mm gun), and a mechanized infantry platoon with the ITV support option, M901 with the improved TOW.|
|One of the objectives but I really loved these cornfields. Going to make them like this!|
I will say right off the bat that Richard really thought of everything with this supplement and the Army lists are incredibly well thought out. I love how the US Tank platoons are in "wings" with the Platoon Leader and Platoon Sergeant commanding each wing, and these are purchased as their own section (this is incredibly realistic).
|Another US M1 on Ambush Fire|
Advanced Stabilization cancels the -1 modifier if you moved prior to firing. There's also rules for Advanced Armour, Advanced Fire Control, and Advanced Stabilization. The T-72s had advanced stabilization but no other of the fancy upgrades. Advanced Armor is cool as it allows you to roll a D6 which can add to your armor protection level when hit. These were very subtle, but important changes to the Battlegroup game but what I liked the most was that they kept the Battlegroup rules relatively untouched and instead enhance the game.
The additional realism and period feel came with the modifiers and also the army lists.
|Hull down M1s|
|Here comes Ivan!|
|Ken makes an impossible shot! Then we realized I was reading the flank armor column...|
We did not play with rotary or fixed wing aviation this time around but that's coming to a battlefield near you.
|M1 breaks from cover to engage a trouble-making T-72 in the factory. I just couldn't help myself.|
|Another shot of those excellent corn fields.|
|Ken rushes a hill east of the factory and starts shooting up my exposed M1. He's toast.|
|BMP's arrive on the scene. Ken uses the Stal Stal Stal order and rushes them up as fast as they can go!|
|Burning M1 on the right, abandoned one of the left. The crew bailed and ran off! They're gonna court martial me!|
|US commander in the town.|
|infantry platoon leader with his RTOs. I was using dice to track BR as I forgot my chits at home. we would roll an average die for BR. Unfortunately this meant we didn't get to pull any cool chits but we really wanted to test the rules out anyways.|
|Dragon team with SAW team moving up.|
|The next turn I'd end up shipping the APC's out and off the table.|
|Dragon team up front. I can hear Ivan's tanks sir!|
|Lots of forward firepower including all of my platoon's dragon teams. 2 x to the left of the road and 1 to the right.|
|Sergeant! Set up this missile next to this massive fuel dump! (objective marker).|
|My unfinished US Army from the 1970s/early 80s proxy as a SAW team. Note the shiny boots!|
Another thing I'd point out about Richard's rules are the ATGM rules, which are superior to my own in that there is a "sweet spot" for ATGM engagement. Likelihood of hitting your target actually increases from the 20 to 40 range brackets (3+ base to hit) then gets worse. The dragon missiles hit harder than they do in other games, which was a relief in this game as I could still somewhat threaten those T-72s until they completely closed the range on me. Ken starts lobbing HE rounds at me and it wipes out 1 dragon team.
|dragon team takes out a T-72|
|Hunker down men!|
|Ivan bags another objective and swarms through the woods.|
|Reminder for the "backblast" rule. Yes, Richard included a backblast rule too!|
|Ivan's trying to over run us!|
Ken causes some more casualties and I conceded a mere 2 x BP away from 43. I'd love to blame this loss completely on my bad rolling (which was present in force yesterday!) but I made some bad decisions about how I used my M1s. The 105mm gun has a tough time (not impossible just tough) against the T-72's armor so you're better off using the great mobility of the M1s to get flank shots. Just make sure you have an escape plan when Ivan's tanks maneuver up during their turn.
Some interesting stats here - 10 total turns played in about 3.5 hours. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon.
Richard's rules are very well thought out with, I believe, solid representation of the equipment used during the period. I also very much like how the army lists are put together and he includes substantial upgrades that will include all of your Cold War favorites (US PASGT, AT-4s, LAWS, Electronic Warfare, etc).
I really appreciated the "advanced" rules for stabilization, fire control, armor, etc as they give NATO tanks advantages, but they're subtle.
If you do plan on using his rules for a game of modern battlegroup, you may wish to make an "army list" that lists the stats of your troops and equipment as this will save you some flipping time.
I urge anyone to check out Richard's work. He has lists for the key NATO allies' heavy units (US, UK, West German, Canadian), as well as Soviet heavy units with motor rifle and tank division lists, equipment lists, Soviet naval infantry lists. The work is all done for you!