And for those of you out there asking "did he finish his British started on Thursday?" The answer is most certainly YES! All got done except the Harrier, who got a pathetic gull grey dry brush and that's about it...
I really tried to make the table look good as the terrain becomes so important when the micro armor is on the table and each time I play I learn a bit more about what I need to "dress up" on the table next.
Anyways, to the action. The orders of battle were very similar to last week's except the Soviets received an "upgrade" with a T-64A tank company, 2 platoons of infantry in BMP-1 IFVs, and the recce was beefed up to include a BMP-1 with dismounts. Soviet BP was 51 (down from 61 last week) and the British was 37.
Also, I'm kicking myself but I paid for dedicated artillery support and never used it! Inexcusable. I'll be off to Siberia counting Pine Trees before the month's end. Okay now onto the action!
|Soviet recce patrol skulking about the objective.|
|Scimitars and "Strikers" (swingfire models) move into position to challenge the Soviet recon.|
|Gratuitous shot of one of the British Swingfire models.|
|British FOO Team. Check out that DPM camo! Not great but not terrible - they're 6mm tall!|
|carnage on the autobahn as the recce BMP burns.|
|British recce is containing the Soviet lead elements!|
|T-64A company arrives on the field! Hey I have an idea, comrade. Let's blast the borscht out of that house in front of us.|
|Relief in place of the scout elements as the heavies come in. YES I KNOW THEY ARE T-72s|
|Target rich environment as a Striker targets the tanks along the autobahn.|
|My 1/300 Harrier was the ONLY thing I didn't get completely finished painting in time for this game so you'll have to make due with Ken's OUTSTANDING F-16 with ordnance installed!|
|T-64 company "bounds" up and foolishly sits still to engage in a tank duel with Chieftains. What was I thinking???|
|The Chieftains will get the better end of this scuffle...|
|Burning Scimitar and the objective (yellow die) is ripe for the taking.|
|BRDM races into the town and ends up leaving the table forcing a chit draw.|
|meanwhile T-64s on flank guard are ready to be pulled back. (YES I KNOW THEY'RE T-72s!!)|
|Ken is cagey and throws a Striker (Yes it's a Swingfire!!!) out on the flank.|
|Meanwhile the tank duel with the Chieftains is in full swing. The burning Chieftains behind them fell prey to another Chieftain lurking on the flank.|
|Look at these monsters!|
|Soviets preparing to enter the cornfield and the town. NATO troops were spotted there!|
|Soviet command shows up and with it, the ability to call 122mm SP Artillery. Too bad I forgot about them!!!!!!|
|Soviets charge their AK74s and move out!|
|Meanwhile the Brits establish a main line in the woods west of the autobahn.|
|British mech infantry establish blocking positions holding out against Soviet flanking moves and attempts to breakthrough off the table. They'd all go on Ambush Fire soon!|
|Looking to run the gauntlet, this BRDM guns the engine and moves out off the table! a LAW flies at him and misses!|
|My attempt at 6mm DPM camouflage. I think they turned out quite nicely.|
|Assaulting Ivan in the cornfield.|
|Soviet team pinned and the British are coming on!|
|This last BMP "would" have probably gotten Ken to pull his final BR counters but as fate would have it, I pulled first.|
Wow where to begin. The second game of NORTHAG and one which we actually finished. There were a few key take aways for me.
First of all, it would have been better to keep a closer eye on my forces. I completed missed out on the opportunity to shell the FOO in the house, among other things. So right away - keep a detailed roster of your forces close by. It sounds incredibly stupid I know, but when you're managing a bunch of forces it's not hard to do. Keep a roster!
Have a Plan
The game also rewards good planning. Timing artillery and air strikes to coincide with advances is a solid tactic that works. This becomes particularly more for the Warsaw Pact player and the game really forces you to centrally plan. Things like treelines to shell, buildings to shell, and locations for airstrikes should be timed to cover your advance as it speeds along. NATO will have to be agile and unpredictable (ahem...Airland Battle) to win.
The game really rewards mobility for both sides. Push your tracks, troops, and choppers hard. Keep them moving.
Win the Recon Fight!
The game rewards good tactics and planning. In any battle, you have to dominate the recon fight with counter-patrolling, and heavily supported scouts. Soviet doctrine was pretty clear that they intended to win the encounter and armed their scouts with radios, BMPs, the ability to call in fire, and even tank platoons. NORTHAG rewards when you out-scout your opponent so in my opinion, don't skip out on recce support (like I do in WW2 battlegroup!). Winning this fight means you might be able to pick your table edge.
As I mentioned earlier, it was pretty inexcusable that I didn't bum-rush those Chieftains and zoom right past them. (I admitted to Ken it felt a little cheesy to drive around them or zip across their front) but Ken reminded me you have the rule in place to win as the WP player and there is probably no way to win going toe to toe with British Chieftains and even when you have T-64A's in your stable. So instead of settling in, bypass, re-gas, and haul a** as our American tankers like to say. (I'm sure there is a British and Russian equivalent to this expression).
Anyways I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed playing it!