Thursday 28 May 2015

CWC 6mm 1985 Refresher Game

6mm 1985 Cold War Commander : just refreshing our understanding of the rules ahead of the big Hanover game in September.

So another eventful Monday evening down at the Tudor Arms, Slimbridge.

Gordon, Rodger & Mike were the illustrious Communist Brothers - with a force that appeared to consist almost entirely of on table T55s (with a "surprise" aspect to them) and Recon + Command  (CO, 2 x HQs + FAOs + an FAC) and some off-table assets in the shape of MRLs & conventional SP artillery & some air support of some sort (not that it turned up).

The combined NATO force was led by the Belgians (Alan & Shaun) with a combined British BAOR force (commanded by Graham). I acted as unofficial UN observer (as I was needing to get off early ... although as it happened I could have played & still left early!).
The Belgians consisted of a squadron of Leopard 1s + some YPR-765 mtd armoured infantry with upgrades (and assorted 3 x Recon, 1 x FAC + FAO & Command - a CO + 2 HQs). The Brits had spent a lot of points on Challengers (+ a tracked Rapier unit + a Swingfire ATGW asset) & also some APCs with an infantry group in them. But Graham was mostly after some "tank-on-tank" action, and as we'll see, he certainly got that!

The game was set somewhere on the Franco-German border - with the French having unkindly built a small nuclear power facility within sight of the border (not very neighbourly). The terrain consisted of a built up area, a scattering of hills & woods - all connected with a road network with a few high hedges along some of its length. So there were enough high-area terrain pieces to provide cover but also some nice clear open spaces to tempt the unwary.

This was an Encounter scenario game, with both sides using mobile deployment & NATO won the initiative & so moved first. In fact the NATO first set of moves set the tone for the rest of the game, in that it was characterized by Graham & Shaun both throwing a Double 1 initiative dice and rapidly deploying their tanks forces to the left flank & center. Shaun very wisely put his Leopards into cover behind a hill, and screened from the Soviets by a small town (BAU). Graham however took a more forthright approach (trusting in the defensive value of his Chobham armor) & deployed out in the open near a wood. The rest of the Belgians (under their CO - Alan) deployed to the right flank to take advantage of the terrain.
NATO deploys (note the Nuclear Power plant top centre - very futuristic for 1985, but then EDF alway do their best work in France!) The Belgians & British light armour is deployed on the left with Leopards & Challengers to the right 
The Belgian CO looks on as the British APCs, tracked Rapier & Swingfire advance

That Double 1 on Initiative helps the Leopards advance at high speed (the full extent of the move visible from the right-hand lead tank)
The Russians advanced onto the table with a hollow-centre - in two groups of T55's - but as Graham was about to find out, these 'old-dogs' had new tricks up their sleeves!!! On the Soviet right flank Rodger managed to get far enough onto the table to become a target for Challenger initiative shots, which the Soviets weathered reasonably well. Mike however on the left flanks was slow coming onto the table. And despite the fact that Gordon had 'pimped' his Soviet CO to CV9, the glorious United Soviet Socialist Republics move ended far quicker than they had hoped.

The right flank Russian T55's boldly advance
The Challengers take the full brunt of the T55 ATGW salvo "OUCH!"
Move 2 saw Graham open up (again) on Rodger's T55's which took a casualty & some suppression (not enough though), but Rodger replied with that tried & trusted old trick of " Oh yes, we are now firing ATGW as our initiative action". Whooomph! Even those Challys cannot take c 18 ATGW dice & survive - scratch 1 MBT ... much to Grahams horror. This sent his armour scurrying in his next move into the cover of the nearby wood ... a rather weary voice (in a strong Belgian accent) was overheard on the Command circuit radio saying something about "how he'd suggested that occupying the wood in the 1st move might not have been a bad idea. But you know these Brits, they always know best - ah ze little grey cells!"
As Graham's command was now split up, his remaining armour - the Rapier AA, & APCs and Swingfire managed a short hop towards some terrain but soon ground to a halt. In the centre - Shaun's Leopards threw another double 1 and moved up onto the ridge line of the hill to further pick on the right flank T55's. More suppression & casualties ensued. The Belgian CO slowly moved his IFVs into a position to deposite his infantry in the terrain.
Assorted Soviet command - that's an HQ, a Recce (left) and an FOA (right) by the looks of it
The 'plucky' Belgian Leopards take up a defensive position covering the town. Who knows what nasty trickziz them Ruskys might have hidden in there?
More ATGW & main gun damage on the Challengers (shakey fly-by recon shot as the Russians had air superiority that move - believe it or not!)
With the NATO move over the Russians regrouped - Rodgers' T55's now opened up again on Graham's Challys with their main guns (causing another fatal casualty & more suppression) ... this was not the tank battle Graham had had in mind, as he was now down to 50% on his most expensive toys! The T55's then changed targets to focus on Shaun's Leopards, but being hull-down they took very little damage from the T55's main guns, even when subsequently they were hit by the Russian off-table MRLs & SP artillery.  The Russian right flank HQ also deposited 3 conscript infantry (probably been riding on the tanks) into the safety of the town and another Russian move was over. But what about the other T55's (& Mike) we hear you ask (& that was what Rodger was screaming into his command radio as well!)?. Well, Mike's T55's were advancing in steady Russian parade-ground formation - in slow burst of movement (hampered by poor command roles, terrain & low Recon dice) up the left-hand flank. So he wasnt much help to Rodger at all.
The left flank T55 squadron moving cautiously forward - very well drilled I thought. Just a shame that the Belgian FAC was nowhere in line of sight
The British light armour makes a dash for the hedges (slightly cramped in - "shuffle-up chaps" - with the Belgian CO watching to their left, with raised eyebrows (& hoping no Russian spotters were near)
Move 3 started with more shooting from the Chally's at Rodgers'T55's & more ATGW from the T'55s, but by now the weight of shot hitting the T55s was telling - with most of his armour brewed or suppressed, what little ATGW the T55's could spit-out did no real damage to the NATO armour.
Add to that the reapeated fire from the Leopards on the hill (Shauns MTB crews had their shooting 'eyes' in alright) and a long-distance Swingfire ATGW attack & Rodger was down to a single T55 (and was calling for a withdrawal). This time Mike moved rapidly forward - well he managed 2 moves in his bound (I think), but by now all the NATO infantry (Brits & Belgians) were dismounted & dug-in in the terrain and the game was conceeded by the Russians.
Leopards on the hill open fire on Rodger's defiant T55's - the gun recoil makes the photo a bit blurred ;-)
The T55's take more damage (ever felt 'picked upon' Rodger?)

The Belgian YPR-765s dismount their infantry & support into a BAU
British Infantry advance to occupy the church on the hill 
The left flank T55's fan-out & continue their cautious advance
Neither side brought in any air assets & Gordons Central Artillery Reserve only fired twice.
But a neat refresher for us all ... and it only goes to show that sometimes all that off-table stuff works & some times it don't! Also just as putting faith in your armour is a fine plan but not against ATGW.
The Anglo-Belgians were very lucky with Command roles - at least 3 (if not 4) double 1's made a huge difference to their effectiveness & allowed them to grab the terrain advantage early on, and deliver some very powerful multiple shooting rounds.

The traditional post game 'recrimination' phase .... just joking! But it shows the cautious T55 advance on the left, the Leoprads on the hill in the centre distance & the Belgian CO + FAC spotter on the hill near the church.
A fun & a neat scenario.
Thanks guys.

PS: if you spot what appears to be very large helicopter in any of the shots - is probably a Belgium Alouette III spotter (FAC) flying up high near the passing Dassault Mirage 5BD BD09 trainer (only delivered to the Royal Belgian Airforce in July'85 - hence the rather blurred photos) as it flew over the battle taking these recon photos (well that is what the Belgian CO told me to say anyway).


  1. Nice one Gents, good to see some of the forces that will be involved in September taking to the table. Can we use the helicopter as NATO's secret weapon?
    Richard P

  2. I hate to rain on the ATGW parade, but those Challies should have had normal saves against the missiles (Chobham!) - I'm surprised they got any with them, let alone the main guns :D

    That's better luck than I normally have without driving over the top of them and shooting them in the bum ;)

  3. Sadly - I think it was more about Graham's extremely poor saving dice rolls than the quality of the Chobham armour.
    But I will ask the boyz wat played, as you might well be correct there toxic.

    1. Well, enough dice have a quality all of their own :as

      Speaking from fighting late model Abrams with six hits and a 2+ save you need more dice than exist. I may be a bit scarred ;)

      Napalm. Napalm, Spetznatz up the bum and chemical weapons away!

  4. Richard - with regards to the helicopter - looking down from above then the chopper looks just right for the 6mm ground forces beneath in - I like to keep things in perspective :)

  5. Hmmm ... the answer to Spetznatz is the 101 Marechausseebataljon (101 Marbat) or Dutch (101) Military Constabulary Battalion - ideal for weeding out traitorous infiltrators.

    But we have our own version of Spetznatz - in the shape of Whiskey Infantry Company. Fighting Fire with Fire.