Thursday, 31 October 2013

A small town in Germany - Rapid Fire Modern

With my usual issues regarding actually getting to an actual game, a weeks holiday meant that I would have a game at last without heading off to work afterwards! Nick T was doing a display game at the Yeovilton Show with UK 6th Airmobile defending against a Warsaw Pact incursion into the North German Plain. The 6th Airmobile would be supported by Chieftains, and Lynxs and a Gazelle, the Soviets would have the full range of gear - Hinds Hips and a truly huge beggar that could carry a couple of London Buses.

The game would be a trial of the demonstration game to see how things would pan out rule wise. It would have a small platoon of 6th Airmobile, a HQ and 2 Scorpions. the Soviets would have rolling reinforcements starting with 2 companies of paratroopers - 2 platoons airmobile in Hips Mil8, 1 in BMD's, supported by 2 ASU85's and a Hind - Mil24. If the Soviets or Brits took a hammering reinforcements would appear etc to balance out and continue the game.

The Brits would deploy into the town to defend it against the Soviet attempt to secure the town and road junction. Deployment would be hidden, until spotted by the Soviets, or they moved out to the open/visible. A peculiar feature of Rapid Fire Modern would be the 'overwatch' ability to shoot in your opponents turn. This reflects ambush, readiness or even ineptness on the part of your opponent! Phew, sorry if that sounds a bit personal, what I really mean is the lack of coordination and tactical awareness by opposing troops. It's a very powerful tool to use, though you can only use it if you didn't fire in your turn prior to firing in your opponents turn. In point of fact it truly is a game changer, and if you are not used to this, its a shock.

So, from sitting at the side of the game, to observe, I became one of the Brits - Ian T was the other Brit. Colin was the acceptable face of  the workers paradise. 1 section was put into the treeline at the edge of the village, another section put into the hill/trees at the side of the road leading to the village, to ambush any traffic and support/flank the treeline. 2 81mm mortars were dug in, in the village, supported by the HQ. 2 GPMG's on tripod were split to support the 2 sections, with 2 Blowpipes spread either end of the sections, and 2 Scorpions in ambush/reserve. A Milan team secured the end of the treeline position to engage any vehicles assaulting the treeline.

The Soviets put the Hind on first, running up the table, to sniff out the opposition. All it sniffed out was the blowpipe team on the British right. Click, whirr, whooosh, and the Hind gets clipped and has to retire off the table for 1 turn. The start of the Soviet sense of humour failure. Next turn, the BMD's roll up, heading up the table, but debussing their troops first turn, 4 moves away from the wood alongside the road. Moving on, the Soviets move on up, waiting for the Hind to reappear, with 2 Mil8's full of troops, and the 2 ASU85's.

The Hind reappeared at the back of the table to shoot up the Blowpipe position, with the Hip's dropping off the troops just before it, one of the sections in short range of the GPMG and infantry section. OOuuchh. One of the Soviet sections is wiped out, the other taking the position.The Milan team then shot an ASU85, ripping it to pieces. By flanking the position in the treeline, the Soviets exposed the 2 Scorpions. Thus,bringing up the Hind to flank the treeline, another 2 Hip's turned up to continue the flanking manoevre. The 2 Scorpions turned to fire at the Hind, with one of them getting a critical hit on the Hind, removing it from play.

The BMD's and infantry, then swung across the road away from the wood alongside the road, to go for the treeline position that had been exposed, but exposing them to short range ambush by the Brits. The Brits opened up, wiping out a section and a half. The Soviets then proceeded to rollup the treeline position - the Brits trying to withdraw along the treeline into the village, but losing three quarters of the men. After the flank ambush, the Brits then attempted to withdraw, but losing three quarters of the men to a concentrated attack by the BMD's. This attack was a shining example of what rule systems seem to induce in wargamers as to how troops in the field actually behave/conduct themselves. Although it is possible to say that it is a point in time that is represented, its also equally valid to say that it is totally bonkers and with 20+ years experience in the British Army even more valid. The BMD's drove up to the position of the retreating Brits, swivelled 60' in the road, several yards away, and opened up with machine guns. Not concerned with hitting the troops with their main guns, or moving to contact unseen troops who have A.T.weapons in a wood (OK, its a Carl Gustav), and possibly blocking the road that they wished to secure.

The sweep up the flank of the treeline began to stall, but the reinforcements moved to sweep up the buildings along the back of the treeline, along the road. The Brits managed to bugout, pulling out the mortars, Scorpions and HQ. Only 6 infantry managed to get out, quite heavy casualties for the force involved. However, the Soviets took a pasting,losing 2 platoons, an ASU85, a damaged BMD and Hind helicopter.

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