Friday, 28 February 2014

Gyros Teller - Battlegroup Modern - Background

I had a request a few days ago about the orbat's of the forces involved in our display game, and its also an opportunity to give some information on how the Battle Group rules were tweaked to fit in with the scenario we had arranged.
However, when I write that we did work on the adaptation, the vast majority of the research and work was undertaken by Nick T. I had a minor role and input with the rules, but the core of the display game came from Nick's experience in Germany in the mid 80's. Nato exercise -  Crossed Swords 1985.

Firstly, I need to explain what and where Gyros Teller is. It is in fact, not a small town in the North German Plain, in the BAOR deployment operating area, but a well known and liked Greek Kebab and chips dish, fondly remembered by all who served in BAOR. As a keen fan of the Kebab, my eyes are starting to mist over just thinking about it.
The Belgian forces were 4 Leopard IA6's and 2 Scorpions. Regular forces which I believe would have been 3rd Lancers. The German forces were 3 M48G's and a platoon of infantry in 4 M113's, supported by a Gepard. German reservists.

Whilst on exercise Crossed Swords in 1985, with the Belgians and British,  a Battalion force of German Reservist M48's were driven through the British deployment area. They were not part of the exercise, but are included in the Nato setup accordingly.

The British forces are formed around the 1 Royal Scots battlegroup, as part of 33 [UK] Armoured Brigade. The 1 Royal Scots battlegroup comprised the following
1 and 2 troops of Scots DG, of 3 Chieftains, a reserve troop of 2 Chieftains, with a Squadron Commander in a Chieftain. Supporting the Chieftains was a Chieftain ARV. A Recce troop of 2 Scorpions and 2 Scimitars was attached to the 1 Royal Scots battlegroup.

The infantry company were 1 Royal Scots operating in FV432's, with a company HQ and 3 platoons and a weapons platoon. A Milan compact turret and a Wombat, 2 FV432's with mortars, 2 Troops of 2 Strikers equiped with Milan, a Samaritan and 2 Scorpions were in support. The infantry had 2 Blowpipe launchers.

The battlegroup had a tactical HQ, POL lorries, an observer in a Ferret and a Centurion AVRE. A troop of 2 mobile Rapier launchers gave air defence cover. Artillery support was a battery of 2 Abbot SPG's. Air support consisted of a Army Gazelle observer, and 2 Army Lynx's with anti tank missiles. Liason with the Belgians and Germans was represented by helicopters, allowing contact and control with them. No liason officers at the HQ would mean no control of the Belgians and Germans.

Rear area security was a Territorial Army platoon defending the bridge area. They were from 6th Airmobile Brigade, equipped with 4 LWB Landrovers and a troop of 2 Fox's from Royal Yeomanry.

If ground attack was rolled for, 2 RAF Harriers were available, with 2 German F104 Starfighters providing air superiority.

Pulling everything together as follows


One Plt 4 x Leopard
Recce One Plt (-) 2 x CVR(T)
A/Tk 2 x 90mm Kannone (Under construction for GT 3)
1 x Allouete Liaison


One Plt - M-48G
One Plt -  M113
Flight 2 x BO105 Liaison & A/TK
2 x Starfighter
1 x Gepard


HQ 33 (UK) Armd Bde
Bde HQ and TAC
2 x Harrier
One Lynx Flt (1 x Gazelle, 2 x Lynx)
Arty - One x Abbot Tp
Recce Tp - 4 x CVR(T) Scorpion
2 x Striker

1 Royal Scots:

1 x Chieftain Sqn - 10 x Chieftain & ARV
1 Coy - Mech Inf Coy - 3 x Plt - 10 x 432
Bn HQ Sultan, Samaritan
2 x Mortar 432
2 x Atk - Milan MCT, 2 x 432 Milan carrier
2 x CVR(T) Scimtar
1 x AVRE, 1 x CET
2 x Tracked
2 x Spartan - Blowpipe SAM
2 x Ferret 
1 x 432 Arty OP
6 (Airmobile) Bde
1/2 Tp Royal Yeomanry - 2 x Fox
1 Plt Inf - 4 x Landrover, 1 x SF GPMG, 1 x Milan

The Soviets were a Motorised Rifle Regiment battalion, supported by its parents Tank Regiment battalion. Modelwise this presented a problem in so far as this was a substantial amount of vehicles, 90+ , so some recycling of models would be required.

The Soviet advance to Gyros Teller would follow standard operating procedure for such an operation. There would be several thrusts/probes by the MRR towards the canal, parellal to the advance on Gyros Teller town. They would be tasked with securing a crossing of the canal, and would expect to be able to deal with any threat they came up against, either overwhelming the opposing forces or bypassing and isolating them and continuing on by other more sucessful advances.

Nato forces would be aware that rotary wing aircraft were operating in the general area, and these would be available to secure strategic points for the Soviets, in conjunction with their advance. This was part of the Soviet plan for Gyros Teller, though the presence of the 1 Royal Scots battlegroup was not known due to a failure in recconaisance. They had been unable to penetrate the Belgian forces in front of them, or the screen provided by the German reservists, either by recce troops of the MRR or airborne recce.

The Soviet attack would consist of 3 waves, lead by the recce troop. They would be supported by an Anti tank platoon, 2 fully kitted Mi24 Hinds, a mine clearing roller and a bridge layer. Coming on with the first wave would be the MRR battalion commander with support vehicles - counterbattery radar, and 1 SA13 launcher vehicles. Additional AAA came in the form of 2 Shilka's.
The MRR battalion comprised 2 companies of 18 BMP's and the HQ with its support. The BMP's were a mix of BMP1 and BMP2. The battalion HQ and support staff can be seen in the picture above, along with the Airborne liason helicopter.The Regiments recce troop of 2 BRDM's, 2 BMP2 and 2 BMP1, which would lead the attack. The recce troop would be approxiamately 15 km's in front of the main body, searching out the route of advance, identifying resistance hot spots and potential opportunities and problems. This they did, by drawing out the Germans behind the Belgians, who were withdrawing through them.

The supporting Tank battalion had 2 companies of T64 tanks and a battalion HQ with a total of 16 tanks. 6 T72's were used as replacements.

The Airborne assault was by a half company of Paratroopers  supported by a platoon of 2 ASU85's,  4 BMD's and 2 120mm mortars.

Putting it all together as follows

2 x Coys T-64 - 16 x T-64 (+ 6 x T-72 for casualty replacement!)
2 Coys Inf - 18 x BMP
Atk - 3 x 9P148, 1 x BRDM-2, 1 x MT-12 & MTLB
4 x 2S1, 1 x PRP-3, 1 x Big Fred, 1 x ACRV
4 x 120mm Mortar & Gaz-66
AD - 2 x ZSU23/4, 1 x SA-13, 2 x BMP-2
Recce - 2 x BRM-1, 2 x BMP-1, 2 x BMP-2
Independent Tank Bn (Elements of!)
6 x T-80
1 x MT-55

1 x Fulcrum
2 x Hind-E
2 x Hip
1 x Hook
4 x BMD-1
2 x ASU-85
1 x MI-4

How does Battlegroup Kursk fit in with wargaming modern warfare, given that we were attempting a scenario from 1985? It was quite easy really, coming from a background of wargaming WW2. They were - for us - the best fit. The most important factor was the command and control element of BGK, that allows flexibility and the 'fog of war' to influence what you can do on the table.
In such a large game, the Nato forces had to follow a plan of action, which we had played out beforehand, integration of the 3 armies on the table, only possible by the presence of the liason officers at the Nato HQ set up near the bridge. The same was true for the Soviet forces as well, with a clear direction and approach for the 3 successive waves of forces.
What also helped was a comprehensive understanding of the operational procedures of the forces involved and how they would respond to changes to expected situations. Essentially, the Soviets would be 'doctrinaire' and follow procedure, not blindly, but would have set ways of dealing with the situations, whereas the Nato - especially 1 Royal Scots battlegroup, would be far more flexible. The difference due to training and tactical doctrine placing leadership and iniative down to a lower level than the Soviets. These elements are in BGK. There would be less command dice for the Soviets, but they would have the ability to move and fire by company and platoon.They would still be able to move and fire individually, but this would then affect their ability to control their large formations, which would effectively grind to a halt, whilst micromanagement of the battlefield tookover for the senior officers. Again this was a feature of BGK, but one which we tweaked to suit the scenario we were recreating.

With the emphasis on training and junior officer leadership, having restricted the Soviets, there was no need to modify any factors for the British, or indeed the Belgians and Germans. There were therefore more officers for the Nato forces than the Soviets, thus affecting the action point baseline score before adjustment by the dice. Also, the Nato force would have the ability to reroll a dice per turn, so long as the Brigade HQ was operational. This was available to the Soviets, but only once per game.
Communications were different, with better communications for Nato than Soviet,  but we did not go into jamming. Counterbattery fire was live, with counterbattery radar operating  through the game, the chances of being picked up and tracked to source significant if a second turn of fire was done. It was basically shoot and scoot.

The gun penetration tables, armour values, missiles and ranges were going to be different, but actually were transposed onto the BGK table, with the King Tiger being the baseline set to the Chieftain/T72. The ranges were extended due to improved optics and electronics. A important factor was the Improved Fire Control system that was used by the Brits in the Chieftains. This allowed the Brits to take advantage of the range increase of the guns, and closer to allow better control of targeting. Missiles were used, much more on the Soviet side, but a significant amount by the Brits. They had minimum ranges for engaging, which in game terms were 10 inches minimum. Technology for missiles meant that they would be guided onto target visualy, and there would therefore be an opportunity to suppress the firer in ambush fire, otherwise the missile could be flown onto target.

We used artillery in the game, but limited its effect. The principal reason for this was the fact that we did not have a 200li sack of cotton wool to dump on the table to simulate the effect of the Soviet artillery support that would be available. Part of the rationale behind this, was that what was availble was allocated to the attacking forces before hand and used on an ad hoc basis, not preplanned. Counterbattery as well as air assets would limit the amount of artillery support available due to effects detailed earlier. It could still be called down, but there were risks associated with it, as well as competing demands on it. The recce troop of the Soviets, as well as their Senior officers could generate calls for targeting, and Nato officers as well as recce elements could do the same. However game wise, it was a visual non starter.

How did the game play out with BGK,and the number of models etc involved. Firstly, Nick and myself had/have played a lot of large games using BGK and Kampfgruppe. We were familiar with the rule systems, and scale. Secondly, the tempo of the game was such that we slowed things down to allow conversation and interaction with the people who came to ask about the display and what we were doing. This meant that things/actions/reactions could be a little bit more considered, than trying to scrabble around the table and get everything done. Thirdly, although it was expected that 1 Royal Scots would die heroically retreating back to the canal only to find it held by the Soviet paratroopers, this wasn't the case. They managed to keep standing whilst being able to hold the Soviet assault waves off, forcing them to split their attack, and to commit piecemeal.

Overall, the game worked within the parameters we set it. BGK worked with the tweaks that we used to play it. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the display.

Thanks for your interest.

 There are 2 excellent blogs out there that are worth mentioning, and to be honest , are really on the button with information, pictures and modelling.
 An excellent source for orders of battle and how Soviet forces operate.                    


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Willie and Joe - The real US Army. A tribute to Bill Mauldin

This is a project/post that I have been wanting to write up for a long while. I first came across them when I was looking for an avatar for a bit of self indulgent whimsy. I wanted a little cartoon character to stick on the blog signature, and I ended up with this little cartoon colour drawing. He reminded me of Mauldin's Willie and Joe.
However, I had caught the humour that Bill Mauldin had drawn into his 2 protagonists. I couldn't use any of his drawings as an avatar, but I wanted to get them out into the blog. It was a feeling that I had got from reading the Wipers Times. I got a copy of the full edition when it first came out, not the originals !, but a copy, and the sense of humour was very similar. The TV serial of the Wipers Times gave that humour a twist of colour. Bill Mauldin's characters managed to get into film after WW2, and were very popular, but the film is no longer available, on DVD or any other format.

The cartoons appeared in 'The Stars and Stripes', and attracted attention throughout the US forces in Europe, to the extent that General Patton wanted Mauldin sent back to the US and the cartoons withdrawn. He made fun of Pattons obsession with uniform and dress code, and his fining of soldiers who were found to be in breach.

The popularity of them, and their piquant reportage ensured that they and their creator remained. Mauldin served as a reporter in Italy for Stars and Stripes, and the cartoons draw on his observations and experience.


Anyway, I could 'blog' on, putting in more and more cartoons. This is just a sample of some of the drawings. The complete collection, in a box set of 2 volumes is available from Fantagraphics Books, via Amazon . A definate must get.

A photo of Mauldin, taken when he was serving in Italy.

Friday, 7 February 2014

PAW 2014 - Wargames show at Plymouth

Having turned up with my camera, it was only fair to take some photo's of the other games out on at the show. The standard of the games was very good, and a lot of people worked very hard to get their games on the table. As fate would have it,I took photo's of the 2 games that won best in show - display and participation, we were pipped at the post with Gyros Teller. Whether getting a 'shout' or not, our aim was not for a prize, but to have a really good time, and to entertain the visitors to the show with a good representation of a Cold War wargame. I think we did a fair job.

A Japanese skirmish with mythical beasts and lots of swinging katana's

Another Japanese game, again nicely set up and painted.

WW2 skirmish game, with air landed troops

Winner of the best participation game - a steam punk skirmish using the new Osprey rules. Very nice game.

December, 1941, a day that will go down  in infamy, yes, its a refight of Pearl Harbour. This though had a difference. The ships were all handmade, exact copies of the originals, in the docks and berths they were historically. Beautiful models and layout.

Lace Wars style game, unfortunately the pretty metal men distracted me from finding out more, but again, nicely done.

Winner of best display game  at the show, preparing to hold back the hordes.

I didn't get any info on this, but was drawn to the painted games cloth used for the base.

I couldn't resist it, one of Gyros teller.

One of the people we met - myself and Nick, was John, from the Devon Wargames group. He has some more pics and notes on his blog -


Monday, 3 February 2014

Gyros Teller Part II - Battlegroup Red Storm Rising - PAW 2014

A game report using Battlegroup Kursk rules adapted to play 1980's modern, when men who wore moustaches, wore real moustaches!

At the weekend Nick T and myself put on a display game at the Plymouth Area Wargames show, held at the YMCA, Honicknowle Lane, Plymouth. Its a regular show, that starts the year off to a very good start. I've been going for a number of years, playing in the DBM competitions. However badly I've played, the atmosphere that the competitors, organisers, traders and visitors to the show generate make it a really good show. South Somerset Wargames group was invited to put on at first one game, and later two games. The first was a Napoleonic excursion, and the second was to be a Modern game. As things progressed last year, we were not able to put the Napoleonic game on, and were able to extend the Modern game to take advantage of the space we had for both. Then there was two. Just two of us to put the game on, with 20 ft of table. No problem. The solution was Gyros Teller Part I, a display game put on at Yeovilton 2013. Nick went to work fleshing out Part II, a Soviet Motorised Rifle Regiment assault on a small town in Germany. Nato defenders would be a Belgian contingent making a fighting withdrawl through a German screen, whilst a Brit battlegroup formed a MLR around the town, allowing the Belgians to refuel/rearm and counterattack. There would be an airborne assault on the canal bridge to the towns rear. We would use a modified Battlegroup Kursk ruleset to provide the core to gaming the encounter, slightly tweaking some modifiers, and with specs for the vehicles and weapons involved.
 3/4 view of the table facing Nato prior to deployment.
 Belgians about to withdraw through the Germans defending the autobahn, and providing a stopline to any Soviet recce elements. The Belgians had 4 Leopards and 2 Scorpions. The Germans had 3 M48's and a platoon of infantry in 3 M113's
1st Royal Scots Battlegroup about to move up to form the MLR, if the Germans can hold off the Soviets.
View down the table from the canal end.
Belgians on their way back for fuel, ammo, blond beer, chips and mayo, courtesy of 33 Armoured Brigade.
Light armour elements of Scots DG heading up to recce forthcoming Soviet advance. 2 Milan units following the 2 Scimitars . This house is at the middle of what will be the MLR either side of the road into Gyros Teller.
Scots DG on the move. B troop providing the armour, with 'yellow handbags' safely stowed. The Chieftains will go hull down along the track to the woods, the infantry to provide ambush along the forward edge of the wood. The MLR would stop the advance, the wood would be the key to flanking the MLR. As soon as the advance stopped, the pressure would be on the infantry to hold as long as possible for the Belgians to be brought up to counterattack. A troop leading another platoon up through the middle of town to take position.
In shot is the Brigade HQ camoed up to the factory warehouse. Vehicles parked under camo sheets to provide covered area, and space around for liason vehicles and helicopters. The RE unit has parked its tracked vehicle to the side, whilst the POL elements are just in shot at the top of picture next to the bridge/railway line.
The Belgian Leopards racing down the road back into town, flying past a Gepard on local AA defence for the screen set up by the Reserve Panzer Battalion. In shot to the top of picture are the M113's of the infantry platoon supporting the M48's. They have a Milan team deployed out that's not visible. Shell holes from a previous bombardment.
The MLR is beginning to form up. B troop moving up, and A troop about to leave road to deploy. Milan unit visible at edge of Gyros Teller about to move out.
The Scots DG Squadron HQ and a platoon of infantry move up in vehicles. 2 mortars deployed back, with medics and Wombat moving up to centre of town.
A troop moving out to deploy into the MLR, and form a gunline with B troop the other side of the road. The Belgians are retiring down the road.
The German screen is engaging the Soviet regimental recce troop, hoping to hold long enough for Scots DG to deploy. Already the Soviets have started to take casualties, but in doing so have revealed Nato forces on the autobahn.
Scots DG moving up, as the Belgians head for their well earned 'yellow handbags' and fuel and ammo from the POL site at the canal bridge. B troop are in position, but A troop will need to move forward more. Basis for defence was to draw Soviets in onto A troop, B troop supporting, whilst the infantry and Milan/Swingfire ambush/attack the flank of the attack. A troop need to deploy forward to allow room to fire and move back if the Soviet advance cannot be slowed.
Having driven off the recce screen, the Germans are about to find themselves in a target rich environment. The last of the Belgian Scorpions head off - job done
The infantry of the Scot battlegroup have established themselves in the treeline securing the flank of the Scots DG gunline being established in the valley below. The troops are digging in preparing the ambush, however its also a pretty obvious place to deal with for any advance into Gyros Teller.
The remains of the Soviet recce troop, the survivors of which have headed back to the regiment, reporting in details of the Nato deploymynet on the autobahn. As far as they know, its just a few elements of a reserve German formation, the Belgian forces the Soviets were chasing have run off leaving them in the lurch. However, the Brit Gazelle moving up with Scot DG has also observed the whole action reporting on the recce probe and the large concentration seen in the distance, but not visible on table.
The Gazelle has called up 2 Lynx's to help degrade the initial assault on the Germans and slow down the general assault. They are flying over the German Gepard providing local AA cover. The Soviet main force is now on table and starting to engage the Germans.
Wider shot of the table showing Scot DG in position and the right hand M48 out of action. The German Milan team shoots up a BMP, as do the rest of the surviving tanks, but the amount of Saggers in the air is starting to take its toll. The Gazelle if hovering around reporting back composition and direction of Soviet forces. A Brit Blowpipe team has moved up with the Chieftains to help with air defence against Soviet helicopters when the arrive.
Closeup of the centre M48, with the deployed infantry's M113's behind the treeline of the autobahn. Things are starting to get hot for the Germans.
View down the table towards the treeline. The German infantry have got out thanks to the remaining M48, which is now heading into the Gyros Teller. They have been told to form up next to the canal at the rear beside a wood, and await orders. Belgian and German liason officers in helicopters have arrived at Brigade HQ to coordinate any further action, initially a Belgian counterstrike with the support of Scots DG if and when the Soviet advance is disrupted.
The Soviet advance up to their staging area for their advance into Gyros Teller and seizure of the canal bridge. A burning German M48 at the bottom.
The Brit Lynx's are having an effect, but ...
Closeup of the retiring M48, with the Gepard about to withdraw as well.
Closeup of the Soviet advance past the farm to the autobahn. The Soviets will establish their MRR battalion HQ around the farm, with counter battery radar, SA13 anti air and comms.
View from the other side of the table. With the SA13 battery on table, the Soviets are able to chase off the Lynx's, shooting down one of them. The Gazelle and the remaining Lynx withdrew to the town away from the SA13.
Soviets nearly fully deployed, with a company of T80's to come on still. HQ elements can be seen heading for the farm to establish a command post for the forthcoming operation.
Lead elements in the treeline, reporting back on the clear approach to Gyros Teller. Scots DG are hulldown under cover waiting for the attack, all helicopters have been withdrawn away to the rear.
A Sukhoi flys in to take a recce of the town, quickly attracting the atention of the Blowpipe team placed forward. Taking evasive manoevre, the pilot isn't able to make any worthwhile recce of the town. It will fly off to circle and come in later when there is an identifiable target.
View down the length of the table showing 2 Hinds hovering above the MRR looking for oportunities. It also shows the choke point formed by the wood on the left and the rough ground on the right that will form the Nato MLR.Also the importance of the wood to the Nato position on the left.
Wih the attack about to commence, an infantry platoon has been ordered up to secure the end of the wood against a possible assault along that flank through the wood.
The Belgians having been fueled up and loaded are ready to be committed. Support from the infantry in the edge end of the woods can be given to them should it be required in the defence or assault.
The assault begins, with the move through the treeline forward into the open.
The Chieftains open fire - A troop have only 2 Chieftains able to fire, and get only 1 hit. B troop have all 3 Chieftains able to fire getting 2 kills, with the Striker battery getting 1 and the Milan team in the woods getting 1. Game on.
A view down the table to the treeline. The flames of a Chieftain from B troop can be seen above the house on the right, as well as saggers in flight heading in.
 View from A troop, with the forward Chieftian appearing exposed, but lying down in hulldown position. It was decided before the game that unless speciifed otherwise, the Chieftains would be using the folds of the ground as per standard operating procedure for the Brits. As it happened, the hulldown factor was not used in calculating the to-hit value for the dice. The gentle rise to the left of the picture would have an important effect on the Soviet advance. Shielding the Scots DG from fire, and forcing the Soviets into piecemeal attacks and movement.
 With all the saggers flying around, it began to look quite serious for the Brits, however as the Soviets advanced over the rise, they took a pounding themselves from the mobile Milan backing up A troop, as well as A troop themselves. A lot of hits took place but with the 120mm rifles and Milan, a hit was generally a kill, whereas the Soviets needed to roll above average to get a Nato kill. The Chieftains were quite tough beasts. Mobility kills were a greater problem than actual penetration kills.
A sagger flies past an A troop Chieftain. That was close!
' Sir, are they picking on us, Sir?' A second sagger comes flying in, and just misses. both hits were penetration and mobility kill failures. It was time to get out of the position though.
Whilst fun and games were going on, business was as usual with A troop. The Soviet attack against them was about to flounder, not enough armour and its support could be pushed through, becuse it wasn't there anymore.
Showing the readjustment of A troops position, and also the support of the 2 Milan units that really helped them defend their position.B troop in the background have lost a second Chieftain, after 2 sucessive mobility kills, a sagger came through and got the kill. The amount of fire into B troop brought the reserve troop of 2 Chieftains and Squadron commander up through the town to support B troop. The 2 Chieftains from the reserve are visble coming out of the town into the MLR 
There had been reports of Soviet rotary  aircraft in the general area, but with things happening on the edge of  town, when I went for 2 cups of tea for us, I came back to find out that they were true. Soviet paratroops had landed a platoon with 4 BMD's, 2 ASU85's and 2 120mortars the otherside of the canal, and were moving to seize the bridge. This was now the time for the TA unit guarding the bridge to get in some serious action.
The other side of the canal, with the POL unit vulnerable, as well as the RE Centurion, the brigade HQ is having kittens and sends the German Reserve unit to engage the paratroopers, as well as 2 Scimitars to reinforce the TA unit. Meanwhile, the Sukhoi is commited to a bombrun onto the TA unit and the bridge. The Soviet commander has ordered up his Bridging unit and engineers with the third wave. He is not fully aware of all the difficulties his forces are encountering. 
 The reserve troop take up positions to support B troop. The Swingfire battery has withdrawn fromthe edge of the wood out behind theMLR to redeploy into it if the line collapses. The infantry that were in the edge of the wood are withdrawing back to Brigade HQ for orders. The Light tanks from Scots DG set up at the crossroads in the woods in ambush.

View across the table with the inbound Sukhoi, and the 2 tracked Rapiers that it is flying over, as well as a Gepard. the TA unit is well dug in expecting a determined assault.
A view from the Sukhoi  as it heads in, taking ineffective fire from the 1st Rapier, a complete miss from the Gepard, and the first shot from the Rapier at the bridge.
The MLR has been reestablished with the reserve troop. In the background is the BM21 rocket strike that fell just short of the treeline of the woods. Also a forewarning of what would be the fate of the infantry and Swingfire that was positioned at its edge. Luck was definately smiling on the Nato forces.
With the third line forming up for the - effectively - final assault, the forward observers  for the Brit artillery had been busy, their first call had overshot, but with their second call they managed to get a battery of Abbot's onto the Anti Tank platoon of the MRR. The smoke in the top of the picture shows the devastation this caused, but also evident in the picture is the access and advantage seizing the wood could give the Soviets. The Anti tank platoon would have been the unit to send through the wood and secure it.
As a result of the second call for artillery on the Soviet formation, the battery got picked up by the counter battery radar set up with the forward command in the farmhouse. Tough call for the Nato forces, but the Abbot's got stonked by the rocket battery. However, a swap of the Abbots for the BRDM Anti tank platoon would be a short term no brainer however badly handled by the Brigade commander - me.
  The right flank of the Soviet advance shows how little the Soviets have managed to move.
With the final Rapier missile fired, before the bomb run, the Sukhoi is fatally hit, forcing it down to crash off table. The 2 Scimitars sent to reinforce the TA unit are heading the bridge to engage the paratroopers. However the TA Fox's have been busy, firing into the advancing Soviets.
 The paratroopers have been hit in the flank by the Germans - the M48 and the Milan team from the infantry. The paratroopers have hit back, destroying the M48 with a sagger from one of the BMDs, and are advancing onto the TA psoition.
View from the bridge, from the turret of one of the Fox's.
The 2 Hinds have turned up to interfere with Nato reaction to the heliborne landing. in the distance are the advancing Germans heading towards the canal bank. However, with the amount of AA in the area, even the Hinds will not be tempted to hang around, and prepare to leave the area, reporting the very hard time that the paratroopers appear to be having.
With the heliborne landing safely controlled, and the threat to the rear area neutalised, the Belgians are ordered up to the MLR, to position themselves for a counterattack. Light tanks are sent up through the wood to push forward and recce the Soviet forces at the treeline, and any other information tht can be found.
It's over. Soviet battalion command has to report through to the MRR commander that the attack has met superior forces, and is duly told to reposition his advance. He sends his T80's and the bridgelayer down the autobahn to bypass Gyros Teller and resume the attack. What remains of the first 2 lines forms aflank defence for the movement.
The heliborne assault has completely failed now. Terrific firing by the Ferrets and fire from the TA infantry has stopped the attack dead in its tracks, as well as help by the German reservists.
Another shot of the Nato side of the canal area and the rear echelon - retiring POL units, the Brigade HQ, the Germans in the distance, and the 2 Hinds and damaged Sukhoi.
That was the end of the display game. A really big thankyou to Nick T for the invite to participate, the members of PAW - Plymouth Wargames club who put on the show every year, and made the invite, and to everyone who came along to the table and hopefully enjoyed our display, and the conversations and positive comments we received.
Time to get my 'yellow handbag' out and start relaxing.