Generalmajor Jacob Nagten studied the impending battlefield. The Amis had moved south, and were leading this attack. Decent country for tanks, so of course the were using an infantry-tipped assault. Two formations, one north and one south of the autobahn. Nagten judged each to be roughly a company task force. The damn KGB insisted it would be a brigade size attack. His electronic intelligence people concurred, yet this wasn't even a battalion. Could this be all that was left, or all they had fueled, or just a diversion? 15th Motorisierte Schutzen had a battalion here, at about 75 percent strength. He judged the enemy was outnumbered in every category, and yet were attacking. It made no sense. A line from history came to mind..."They came on in the same old style and we sent them off in the same old style." Some American. Maybe Lee, or Winfield Scott. No matter.
"My orders were followed?"
"Jawol, Herr General. The missiles for the air defense vehicles have been removed, other than the rounds actually in their tubes. The Amis were hitting these vehicles preferentially, and Nagten was losing more missiles as combat losses than he was shooting. Solution - keep the missiles out of the vehicles until need to load the tubes.
SETUP - We played Bridgehead, the result of Battle Plan Attack vs. Defend. I used mines to protect my southern flank and used a spearhead by my BMP-1 recon zug to extend my northern flank. I deployed my BMP-2 company in ambush, and laid out my two VA BTR60 companies in a long, vee-shaped line, with the Spigots on the second floor of buildings. My other units were an SA-9 and an SA-13 platoon for flak, a Spandrel and a Sturm platoon for AT-support, a Recon BMP-1 unit and the Hinds in loiter.
Fitzi deployed two rifle platoons, at this point representing what's left of two companies, in line to the south, a third to north of center road, with Abrams and VADs astride the center road, and the M109s to the north of the road behind some trees. ITVs were placed in the northern woods to protect the M109s and support the northern infantry platoon
Turn 1 - Fitzi tried to use night to help his cause, and naturally enough rolled dusk. No immediate help. Then he rolled to the attack, tucking his VADs behind a building. This move protected them but also pulled them away from the northern table edge. 32" is not quite 36" you see.
He then began hunting my flak units. I had ineffectively placed some, and he killed one SA13 and the other fled. Then he killed an SA-9. A couple Dragon shots from the hill in the center killed BTR-60s.
My retaliation was the Hinds plus Spigots. The Spigots tossed rounds at the M113s in view, and killed one bailed one on the northern flank. The southern Spigot killed two more in a different platoon. Two of my Sturms fired on Abrams, missing. Then the Krokidils swarmed in, cleverly placed to shoot one Abrams and the three M109s. The VADs couldn't reach, and the .50 cal fire proved ineffective, one hit not rolling a 5+. I bailed an Abrams, and killed an M109.
AGL fire supported by BTR60 MGs chewed up the southern infantry platoon (3 dead stands) and pinned both other platoons.
Fitzi's turn 2 continued as before. The Abrams couldn't get at my other SA-9s, so he scattered shots to BTRs and managed to nick off one of my STURMs. His infantry, now perched in buildings and firing at full ROF, pinned my northern rifle company but not the other.
The other part of Fitzi's second turn was sending the Cobras after the Hinds. This was a rare enough event that I got the rate of fire wrong for both sets of helicopters. Should have been 3 vs 3 but we actually fired 1 vs 1. The helicopters missed each other, but my Grails and SA-9s managed to bring down one Cobra.
I unpinned my infantry unit, shifted my BTRs and BMP1s to get closer to his ITVs and away from the line of fire from his Abrams. I debated popping the ambush, but knew in my bones that it would just become a target for his overdue A10s. So I skipped it.
My first shooting dealt with the Cobras. I started with the Grails that didn't fire in his turn, and nailed one. Then I fired the Sturms; 1 had a perfect shot to the Cobras while the other could see an Abrams. Got the Cobra and bailed the Abrams. The three Spandrels finished the job. All three Cobras joined their buddy as flaming wrecks. Then my northern Spigots trashed his M113s, keeping them from shooting, and they failed morale after watching the Hinds deal death.
This freed up the Hinds to destroy the M109s and bring some fire down on the Abrams. Two missile hits on the flanking Abrams, both of which are now bailed. Two bails. Two hits on M109s. Two bails. Conversation about Gulag-produced ammo. Fitzi, however, made me feel better by failing both morale checks for the bailed Abrams.
My southern flank saw three Spigots knock out one M113 and bail the other in the already damaged platoon. Morale test; platoon disappears.
Fitzi's A10s showed up and went after the flak. His infantry, supported by the two surviving Abrams, pinned both my units, but that prevented him from assaulting as it took full rate of fire shots to get the pins. But that took the Grails out of the equation. My six shots from SA-9s did nothing, and the A10s wrecked both the SA-9s and the Sturms.
End of the game - I dropped my five BMPs in ambush in concealed postions 8.1-9 inches from his Abrams and their infantry swarmed through the positions of my southern BTR infantry company. Spandrel missiles flashed into the surviving Abrams scoring 4 hits, and Fitzi rolled two 3's for armor save and I matched him, two bailed Abrams. Then he failed morale. My Spigots killed two more M113s. The Hinds killed the remaining M109s.
We now took stock. Other than A10s, Fitzi had no real offensive firepower. Without offensive firepower, the AGLs would remain unpinned, and by themselves can stop infantry assaults. Fitzi resigned to face my other friend, and hopefully their report will be up, too. PACT Victory 4-3
The mistake about ROF for helicopters vs helicopters was annoying, but proportionate. Fitzi's ITVs never took a shot at my helicopters, choosing to shoot my folks in buildings instead. When I asked why, he said he was worried about giving up GTG which led to a discussion about the ITV rule. Ultimately Fitzi lost because he didn't press a simultaneous infantry and tank attack up the middle. He kept waiting for me to begin the turn pinned, and with two 3+ units and the commander between them, this doesn't happen often. Sometimes you have to take a chance, and by-and-large, that particular chance needs to be taken early.
Nightfall prevented an effective pursuit, so Nagten had to be content with watching Abrams and M113 vehicles burn in the darkness. He got into his command vehicle to return to his main HQ, and was surprised to find the relief column had actually arrived. He wasn't sure what to make of it, as the column consisted of his division's 10th Ersatz Regiment, and was preceded by the tanks of the Ausbuildings Detachment - 2 aging T10s, 5 SU152 assault guns, and 10 T34/85s. What am I going to do with them, he wondered. Then he remembered no big antitank missiles had flown. Maybe they are running out of missiles