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Firestorm: Red Thunder

The Team Yankee Global Campaign

Combat at Alverskirchen

Warsaw Pact
VS West German
Polish 16th Tank passing north east out of Kassel to engage desperate NATO forces

BH wanted to try a 'pure' battle without objectives, which of course is Annihilation. Since my Ruhr offensive is over, this became the follow-on force, Poles of course, trying to push the NATO forces out of the critical NE corner of Frankfurt, further crippling NATO's ability to move gasoline into Hannover. BH played Leo Is with 4 Luchs and I played 31 T55s with 2 BRDMs; just to make it 'fast' I organized them with 3 ten-tank companies. Those who play know that goes against my religion, but fielding 3 tank 'battalions' with 43 tanks seemed beyond the spirit...

Alverskirchen Map - Assault Map D - north is to the right

Setup - took longer than the actual fighting. I deployed a spearhead, and BH deployed one to the other side. Obviously I just dumped all three companies behind the spearhead, mostly because I didn't see spreading out as accomplishing much initially. Too many terrain compartments caused by woods and the large ridge.

BH followed along and then put one of his tank platoons with the second spearhead, saying he was going to flank me. I pointed out that it was a long walk, and included some pretty dense terrain. That was the last unit placed on that flank.

German Turn 1- one tank destroyed

I surprised BH by not firing at all on Turn 1. Instead I moved up to get to where I could fire on Turn 2 with a lot of tanks. This ploy worked, as BH brought forward some hidden tanks and opened fire taking a dozen shots (two tanks bogged getting into position, and I bounced a couple hits) producing a single dead and one bailed tank.

Polish Turn 2

Poles moved again. T55s have the nasty slow-firing rule, and thus many of my tanks were shooting at 5+ instead of 4+ and 6+ instead of 5+. But a lot of tungsten was in the air, and BH had counted perhaps too much on that modifier. I knocked out three German Leo Is and bailed two others, forcing two morale checks - both passed.

Zuruckstahlen ist eine Schlampe

BH moved up his lost platoon recovered bails and tried to get most of his tanks in cover. Serious killing now was the order of the day. I lost five T55s to fire from 11 Leo Is. One was hit three times - needless to say he didn't survive. But soaking up the fire of a whole platoon helped. The rest broke about the way you would expect - of 11 hits two were bounced cleanly and two were bails because firepower failed. But with big companies, there were no morale checks. Not even close.

Turn about

I continued to press forward. My battalion commander successfully led a blitz on the southern flank, and this got 9 tanks into firing positions. Other tanks finished off his platoon on my ridge, leaving the Luchs section unsupported. This turn, as a result of my firing picking up key tanks, he had two platoons destroyed completely and had another check morale - pass.

His remaining platoon arrived and took up firing positions. There was no good place for the Luchs to hide so he remained gone-to ground behind some trees, taking the chance of being hit 3 times on a 5. What he overlooked was 12.7mm machineguns. NATO fire was weak. Only nine tanks had targets, and these were in cover. 10 hits 3 bounced and 3 failed firepower rolls left four more T55s burning. Painful.

Turn About is only fair

Things got ugly on my 4th turn. I sent the northern company after his Luchs patrol, and moved my southern company against his wooded hill redoubt. Some of the shots against the woods were 6's and some (from stationary tanks) were 5's. Managed one hit on the remaining platoon of his No.1 (southern) company, and with one tank remaining bailed = bad morale. On the ridge I hunted down the Luchs, using MGs, managing to get a bailed Luchs. A bailed tank for his No. 2 company's 1st platoon survivor led to another morale check here. And the freshly arrived platoon took 3 hits - 2 dead and one bailed. One of the platoons from No.2 company now failed morale, as did the Luchs. He passed two other platoon morale checks. Then he failed No.1 company morale.

Death before Dishonor

BH gamely tried to get a point by shooting at my shaky center company. He planned a shoot and scoot after shooting, and rolled 1,1, and then 2. The Leo remained in the open where it disappeared in a fireball. Meanwhile my northern flank company hunted down the Luchs spah from 2nd Company nailing 1 with MG fire. Game over

Motor Rifles follow up the success to block the road west

HOT Wash. Even though this ended 6-1, BH actually did quite well. I lost 10 tanks (5,3, 2) and BH lost 14. Most of that derived from BH aggressively trying to get shots instead of playing a waiting game. Had his second turn gone better, it might have paid off. As it was...

Since the campaign is ending, I'm not going to try to develop a backstory on the Poles. Maybe next time

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