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Firestorm: Red Thunder

The Team Yankee Global Campaign

Death from Above

Warsaw Pact
VS United States

"While ensuring the safety of positions now held by your task force per prior orders, take the American's forward positions on the run and exploit to the map coordinates specified." Col. V. Brusilov contemplated the fact that the distances between the two points on the map implied that he would run out of fuel on the way if any was wasted on maneuver and shrugged. It all came down to how many Americans were between his command's lead elements and how quickly the rest of his command came up.

The "positions now held" could safely be left to the two infantry companies available. The Americans he faced were infantry, presently dug in on the far side of a German town, backed by ITOW vehicles and with not too much beyond that. Unfortunately Brusilov was depending on two tank companies and a Carnation battery backed by the Infantry's BMP-2 transports for offensive punch. Some tricky maneuvering by his BRDM scouts allowed them to guide a company of T-64 tanks into position on Brusilov's left while the lead T-72 company from the armored battalion set up in the center. Both had lines of fire on the American infantry from a carefully calculated distance.

As the battle opened, Brusilov's tanks started hitting the American positions from just beyond Dragon range, while the Carnation battery completed it's set up. The Americans were not drawn by the shooting and they started moving their transport assets to better cover.

Seeing that the Americans were playing a waiting game and not getting any results from the initial round of fire Brusilov ordered the light units to advance. This put the Americans in a dilemma since the Soviets would certainly hunt down and eliminate all the tracked units on the board if left unchecked. Even the BRDM's heavy machines were a risk to M-113s. And the BMP-2s would join in with gusto then turn on the infantry. The Americans opened on the advancing units exchanging an M-113 for 2 BRDMs. Another exchange of fire and an American M-113 transport unit fled. However the dug in infantry remained safe in their holes despite the attentions of the tanks and artillery. An ITV platoon even managed to panic one of the precious T-64 tanks; the crew bailed out after a hit and disappeared from sight. Brusilov realized this was an opportunity to rid himself of his KGB minder and sent him off to encourage the crew to return to their duties. As the tank remained motionless he apparently failed to locate them but his absence was much appreciated by the headquarters staff.

With the arrival of an additional T-72 company the pressure mounted on the American right. The remaining T-64s eliminated the visible ITV threat although another platoon was lurking. Unfortunately an Abrams platoon arrived nearly simultaneously and the pressure mounted the Soviet right as well. The T-72 company in range of the Americans disappeared in a single volley.

Soviet reinforcements continued to arrive, including the third T-72 company. Diverting the T-64 company which might be able to kill the American tanks with their Songster missiles and adding a Spandrel platoon from the arriving units to hold off the American tanks, Brusilov called for an overrun attempt. The Abrams were at least slowed by the necessity of eliminating the units bouncing rounds of their armor. Meanwhile the Americans reinforcements continued to arrive, including an AA platoon which savaged the light units. A BMP-2 unit disappeared but the AA guns were eliminated in return.

With his final T-72 company in action, the tank battalion commander ordered an assault. The lead company's two remaining tanks charged forward as the Americans were pinned in their holes by covering fire. The tanks shrugged off last ditch LAW fire and pushed onto the object as American infantry broke back. Then the intact ITOW and Dragon launchers fired, eliminating the threat. The following T-72 company closed in. Meanwhile the American Abrams tanks edged forward trying the eliminate the remaining missile launchers covering the Soviet right. There wasn't much left on the Soviet side but the remaining Spandrel launcher and several BMP-2s launched missiles.

The Americans then pulled off a trick that Brusilov never imagined seeing outside a meticulously rehearsed firepower demonstration for visiting dignitaries. Just as the shout "helicopters to the rear" came from his radio operator, four A-10 attack aircraft swept across the battlefield in perfect synchronization. Every one of the aircraft were pointed towards his remaining T-72 company which was moments away from running down the fleeing Americans, avenging their comrades and winning the battle. Every dedicated AA asset currently on the battlefield and the T-72 AA machine guns opened up. Two Shilka mounts raked the helicopters as did the tank machine guns while the missile units split their fire. Their shooting was superb and all four helicopters were downed and the final rounds even knocked one of the armored jets out of the sky. The remaining three bore in on the targets and eliminated all three tanks with missiles and GAU-30 fire. Only the tank battalion commander's T-72 was left.

With his offensive capability eliminated, Brusilov looked at the infantry battalion commander. The man looked back expressionlessly, shrugged and focused his field glasses beyond the slowly advancing American tanks to a newly arrived American artillery battery. The tank battalion commander's tank sat motionless in ambush position with the commander's profile showing as he leaned against the hatch cover. The Carnation battery swiveled toward the new target. Brusilov decided to take up smoking again.

[The selected mission was Dust Up. Game ended as a draw due to time constraints. The Soviet player no longer had a viable attack force but retained a death grip on the American's objectives with an intact infantry battalion. The American player had no interest in a death or glory charge with his Abrams tank force, which was the only possibility he had for an outright win in the short term. Overall, the Soviet player couldn't get the dice to cooperate for kills although he managed to bail and pin the Americans time after time. The Abrams attack presented an dilemma in that sense that the Soviet player could either finish the assault or try to reposition and flank the incoming tanks. In the event, he probably put too much faith in his T-64s and Spandrels which managed a couple of bails on the Abrams but could neither flank or kill the US tanks.]

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