We used the scenario from "The Bear Marches West", a compendium of World War III scenarios taken from popular WWIII fictional novels and includes classic battles from Red Army, Red Storm Rising, and of course Team Yankee.
Given how things went last time, I went into this game feeling nervous. Very nervous, especially about Soviet artillery concentrations, and the survivability of my forces. (sounds like something an actual commander would have been worrying about?).
This game called for a different set of tactics to defeat Ivan instead of setting up in the treeline and blasting away. I would have to fight a little cagey if I was to have a chance at beating the red hordes.
Here's a sneak preview - not the pushover it was in the book for Team Yankee, but not a jailbreak either.
The good guys are holding the line - so far.
|Second platoon on the right, overwatching the valley and NOT in their firing positions. The FIST'ers are with them as well. The ITV's are off to the right.|
|First Platoon minus the command tanks (Bannon in the 66 tank and Uleski in 55)|
|They came in the same, old way!|
|Dismounts who are not yet placed on the table, will start in their fighting positions.|
The Soviets need to get half of their elements off the table. The scenario doesn't specify about those being mounted or dismounted so Ken has lots of options to win.
This is due in no small part to my bad rolling. The next turn, I shoot, killing some more stuff, then retreat back to my hide sites. It's a constant game of back and forth and not allowing Ivan to have a stationary target to shoot at.
The tanks concentrate their fire on the T-72 company moving into the valley. Ken surges the BMPs forward, leapfrogging the platoons, shooting ATGMs with one platoon, while moving with others. Does all this sound real-world? I think so.
|The orange boxes are the corners of the minefield. The red poker chip is my mortar fire mission.|
|A squad is all that remains of the infantry platoon.|
|Dragon team to catch stragglers that make it through the valley|
|BMPs going around the minefield.|
|More T-72 wreckage.|
|Dismounts from a knocked out BMP.|
|Most of the tank company is knocked out and the M1s switch their fire to the infantry company now.|
|A BMP reaches the sleepy village|
|More BMPs reach the village|
|Ken drives a BMP through the minefield, which was reduced 2 levels by Soviet artillery fire. The mines knock out a BMP.|
|I start to train my fire on the BMPs once the tanks are KOd.|
|BMPs crossing the creek.|
|Soviets at the edge of the minefield.|
|BMPs still coming on strong|
|FIST Team unbelievably still alive|
I will say this has been a very fun game that requires much planning and thought. The old Soldier's saying "if it can be seen, it can be hit, if it can be hit, it can be killed" comes to mind when playing Sabre Squadron. A hit from an MBT on another MBT pretty much guarantees a kill in this game, requiring you to use cover and concealment as much as possible.
This is probably the biggest game of Sabre Squadron that we've played so far and it has been very satisfying and thought provoking. I'm looking forward to playing more. I also received my Sabre Squadron markers in the mail today, so no more fussy cutting out! Thank you Nick!
In other news, I finally received reinforcements for my Arab Israeli Wars micro armor including Magach 3s, T-55s, Ishermans, BTR152s, and PT76s that I purchased to participate in Alex's mega game, among other games. Dave and I had much fun playing Fate of a Nation recently, so naturally the answer is to paint them up and game with them! So much good Cold War gaming goodness to be had!