Thursday, 18 September 2014

Red v Blue - Modern Spearhead rules and micro armour

A brief account of a command post exercise........

Me and a secret wargaming friend ran another walkthrough of these rules. This time we added helicopters, aircraft and artillery.

The reader must bear in mind that we are just starting out in this scale, and with the rules. I have no 6mm trees or terrain, therefore, the pics will not be pretty.....

Some of the models are also in a state of disrepair - I picked up a hodgepodge of second hand stuff some years ago, and they require basing and some need a little tidying up.

This was a field training exercise, designed to put Brigade staff (me and my mate) through their paces and familiarise them with the concept of modern warfare. I took command of the red forces, which were simulating Russian units, my secret wargaming friend took charge of blue, and had a British battlegroup to command.

In summary, red force was made up of three T72 tank battalions, a Motor Rifle battalion in BMP's, supported by a 122mm self propelled artillery battery, a Hind attack Helicopter and an SU25 Frogfoot.

Red Force were attacking, Blue Force defending.

Blue Force consisted of a British armoured battalion with Challenger tanks, and an armoured infantry battalion in Warriors supported by a company Spartan Milan equipped vehicles. The battlegroup also had a recon company, Two batteries of MRLS, an Apache attack helicopter, and an F16 attack aircraft.

I attached my air defence company to the leading tank battalion.

My original plan was simple, one tank battalion, and the Motor Rifle battalion would surge ahead, contact, and pin the enemy. I would keep the two remaining tank battalions as reserve, and commit them once I knew the enemy dispositions.

What could go wrong.......

A Blue Force Forward Observer. Although the picture says otherwise, he is in some woods.......use your bloody imagination will you!

To my surprise, Blue force committed a sizeable chunk of the battlegroup to my left flank. Due to my plan, this would result in my tank battalion making contact with the enemy armour. Note the improved rapier battery closest to the camera.

An aerial shot of the advancing blue force flanking units.

My tank battalion advances to contact

The Blue force units on the far hill are also in trees and cannot be seen or spotted....so wipe them from your memory.

Soon my Motor Rifle battalion, and recon company are engaged by the Blue a Force units hiding on the wooded hill, suffering losses.

The FO (Forward Observer) calls down MRLS battery fire on the advancing Red Force tank battalion, causing quite a few units to suffer suppression.

Meanwhile Blue Force tank units engage and destroy some Red armour....

The arrival of Blue Force air support adds to the carnage. My plan was a disaster....

The battalion was decimated and ceased to be a fighting unit after a moral failure.

I had no choice but to commit my reserves - but where......

All I managed to do was suppress one enemy armour platoon for the loss of approaching 30 Red Force armoured vehicles.

I have a lot to learn. Part two of the battle will take place next week.

The table at the end of Day One of the Command Post Exercise.....

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Modern Micro Armour

Last night, me and a secret wargaming friend played our first walk through game of Modern Spearhead.......

I think we were both mightily impressed by both the simplicity, and the excellent game mechanics. We each had a battalion under our command and walked through the rules a step at a time.

I was very impressed with how quickly we picked them up, and they just seemed to feel right on several levels.

The rules also seem to reduce the 'gamey' elements that some players may be tempted to use when they have their 'grandstand view' of the battlefield.

I like them.

We do not have very many pictures of the battle, because we were using unfinished models, and as yet I do not have a single piece of 1:300th terrain........

This was my battalion racing along and acting on their 'attack orders'

They had just crossed the path of a company of M1A1's.

You will note that all the damage is caused on the one side. This was because this was the side closest to the American Armour (armor) as our cousins tend to spell it.

You take control of the senior officer commanding the forces on the table, the rules ensure your company, and platoon commanders choose the targets in line with some basic principles.

Therefore, the player has little or no control of target selection - which allows a more realistic turn of fire - and prevents the gamey targeting that can some times happen " I will ignore the threat nearest to me, and target your Tiger sat on the hill with my whole battalion - pass me the dice please, chummy "

I look forward to another game, introducing more advanced concepts......

In the meantime - anybody interested in a complimentary game of modern naval warfare?