After a strategic pause to rest and refit, the 10th Guards Tank Division (or what was left of it) had been assigned as part of the southern pincer for the Ruhr offensive. Major Vorishnov's battalion was to lead the breakthrough effort, with his subordinate, Senior Lieutenant Bezarin, leading a detachment of tanks and Motor Rifle troops to outflank the enemy and hit them from behind.
Having received reports of an American HQ element in the nearby town, Vorishnov ordered his forces forward. Wary as always of American airpower, he had his air defense units deploy where they could cover his tanks as they advanced to contact the thin American lines.
Just as the first shots rang out from his tanks, the Americans sprung their trap and Vorishnov realized he'd been had! An American tank platoon sprung from cleverly camouflaged positions to attack his tanks, and it was only due to their rapid un-aimed fire that none of his T-64s died from the point blank shots. This did not stop the Americans from scooting to better covered positions. To add to his despair, American attack helicopters appeared and his air defense officers informed him that they were out of range for their fire. Unless Vorishnov did something soon, his forces would not live long enough for Bezarin's flanking force to save them.
With the American's having played their hand, Vorishnov has his tanks move forward to engage their American counterparts, while his air defense units move forward in an attempt to get range on the American Cobras stalking near the village. With weight of fire, Vorishnov's tankers kill two of the four American tanks. Vorishnov has little time to enjoy this good news as he scans the northern horizon for any sign of Bezarin's absent force.
While the action is heating up on his right flank, the American commander is confident his M1s and Cobras can handle the Soviets. He orders his Dragon launchers and ITV unit to fire on the now visible SA-13s, hoping to knock them out and eliminate the threat to his attack helicopters. A half dozen missiles scream toward their targets, killing one and and giving another some new air conditioning.
Meanwhile, the American tankers, in typical do-or-die fashion, charge forward to engage the Soviets, brewing one up and forcing the crew of another to hunker down. The Cobras also score a kill, but the resolute Soviet SAMs claim one in return. Despite this loss, the lone American attack helicopter remains to help his fellows. Things are not looking good for Vorishnov and he knows it. Where the hell is Bezarin!!
As if summoned by his plea to the heavens, Lieutenant Bezarin arrives behind the American position! Equipped with the new AT-8 missiles as part of the refit, his tank platoon sends missile fire toward the exposed American tanks engaged on the far flank, killing one and forcing the other to retreat rather than be destroyed. Simultaneously, Bezarin's supporting BMPs of the Motor Rifle troops open fire on the lone American helicopter. Obviously surprised at the appearance of Soviet units so close, the American pilot is unable to evade the hail of 30mm fire and goes down.
Though he's lost some of his heavy hitters, the American commander is not out of the fight yet! His own reserves arrive as well, with another Mech Platoon and ITV Platoon appearing behind Vorishnov's advance! While the Yankee APCs are no threat to his tanks, Vorishnov understands they are a threat to his ZSUs and the ITVs will have clear shots on the rear of his tanks after they've set up. Too late, Vorishnov also sees that his ZSU unit has blundered into an American pre-spotted artillery barrage! The combined fire of the artillery and APC MGs is enough to break the spirit of his young air defense officer and see his surviving ZSUs flee the field.
While the battle is not lost, Vorishnov understands that if the Americans can dig their infantry, his tanks and motor rifle troops will be drawn into a slug fest they cannot win. But his hopes are buoyed with the arrival of a pair of Hinds, and their coup de main into the town square! As Bezarin begins to move his tanks and motor rifle troops into the town and Vorishnov begins coordinating his forces to try and stop the American reinforcements, he only hopes the brave assault troops live long enough to make their swift actions worth it.
With his infantry still out of position and his reinforcements still on the move, the American commander orders a fire on my coordinates. Shells rain into the square as his infantry deploy into nearby buildings, but when the smoke and debris clear, only a single BMP is destroyed and a few Soviet dead hang form shattered windows as the Hinds lift off, their mission accomplished. Even the news that his ITVs have destroyed a Soviet tank and forced the lone survivor to retreat does not lift his heart as it dawns on the American commander that by some evil miracle, the Soviets won the race to the town square. His only hope is to weather their fire and hold out for his reinforcements.
As the Hinds fly off to find and engage the American artillery, Bezarin's force throws its full weight into the dug in Americans. Tank shells, 30mm fire, RPGs, everything within range fires at the American APCs and the dug in infantry. For Vorishnov, sadly, his tankers shots miss their marks. It seems that the American reinforcements will make it to the square. The battle remains to be won by either side, with each clinging to the hope that victory will be theirs.
The American commander orders one final effort to knock the Soviets out of the town. With one final artillery strike of Copperhead rounds before the Hinds force them to retreat, two more Soviet tanks explode. While his supporting APCs and infantry do their best to whittle down the odds, the American CO orders his reserves into the fray.
Bezarin watches as the American infantry charge the building his Motor Rifle troops are holding. With grenade, bayonet, and fist, the Americans storm the lower floor. But the fearless motor rifles commander is undaunted by the American audacity and orders a counter charge from the upper floors. For a moment, Bezarin can't see who has won the brutal melee. But then, as the smoke clears, he can see American troops retreating from the building. Though it seems their casualties have been light, the sheer shock of the Soviet counter assault forced them back.
With the threat to his flank dealt with, Bezarin orders all fire put into the American infantry. The American commander watches as the Soviet tanks and BMPs line up and poor fire into the buildings, his troops unable to reply effectively. As he watches his men die around him, the American commander makes a decision. Grabbing a white sheet from a nearby bed, he waits for a pause in the firing and starts waiving it out the window. The war is over for him and his men, but at least they'll live to see the end of it.
Non-Narrative Note: After my friends failed assault, my firing the next run against both units was highly accurate and his saves saw more ones than I can remember. While it would have taken another turn or two to shoot and dig him off the objectives (taking us to turn 6), it was getting late in the evening and my friend saw the righting on the wall and asked for a cease fire. It was good game and we both had a blast. The fact that it came down to an all out do-or-die assault just makes how the game ended that more epic to me.