My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
First play of Thunder Bolt/Apache leader. Great game and my first mission, with mistakes and all turned out to be okay.....admittedly with a bit of luck thrown in
Selected the Yugoslavia Campaign card (since it was the beginner card) I also decided to use the 4 A-10 squadron option (although I figured that Apaches would come in handy given the geography of Yugoslavia, I also figured it would be easier to learn the system for the first time by using only one type of aircraft). I did a die roll (d20) to determine the type of situation that would exist and I ended up with the Show of Force situation which gave me some nice ground troops, a lot of airbase points, and a simple mission (destroy ½ of enemy total steps).
In determining enemy battalions, I drew the following cards: 11A, 12A, 2C, 8A, 1A, 5S, 2S, and 3A.
Battle was now ready to be joined!
The first day of the campaign began the first lesson in the school of hard knocks for me. First, the pre-mission event card took away one of my scouts! I used two others to scout the enemy front line and transit lines and they both succeeded. As I looked over the cards to determine my primary target for the day, I realized my mistake in not picking the mixed option of A-10 and Apaches. After some thought I decided to make the 11A mixed force my primary target and made the 3A (mechanized, 12A (infantry assault) and 8A (Scout force) the secondary targets. I used air points to get some support with aircraft and added two of my A-10s to the secondary assault as well (again, I was experimenting here having never played the game) The result of the secondary assault was promising as the attack completely eliminated the 3A force and reduced both of the other forces. The only bad part cam with some damage to one of the A-10s and “Pirate” getting shaken after the mission.
With the primary assault I sent the “Leader” and “Thor” into battle armed with several mk weapons and both stingers and sidewinders (I like to have my pilots ready for all situations) The attack here went well also with the A-10's slamming the enemy force destroying 4 tanks and a number of SSM vehicles as well as an APC. The only down sides to the mission was the random event which reduced loiter time by two turns and “Thor” having his A-10 hit which it later turned out caused damage which had to be repaired. The mission did succeed somewhat as we reduced the enemy force by ½, but during the recovery period, this force returned to full strength! :0 I made a mistake at the end of the turn by not moving my ground force forward; if I had done so I might have been able to end the campaign on turn 1. At any rate, the first day went well, although I had lost the chance for a complete success.
Day two began with the scouts succeeding in one band of scouting (the front one) while the scout in the transit band was destroyed. Nonetheless, I decided to press on and made the 12A (infantry assault) my primary target and gamble a bit by making 2S, 5S, and 2C units my secondary targets. Here is where my luck kicked in: the secondary strikes were fantastic in their results: 2S, and 5S destroyed and 2C reduced one step! I used three A-10s in the primary assault and used “Leader” “Thor” and “Rebel” as my pilots. The infantry assault force had a lot of infantry in it as well as a command vehicle and 4 APCs. Once again battle was joined.
The A-10's did have some problems this time against the infantry with “Rebel” taking the worst beating by being wounded and rattled. He headed home and later his plane turned out to be okay, but he himself was not and died of his wounds later at the airbase. “Thor” used his cannon rating well and pummeled the command vehicle as well as a few of the APCs. “Leader” had some bad luck by getting hit twice with the lose attack marker. I have become convince that that marker is VERY annoying!!!!! At any rate, arming each of the planes with a rockeye proved to be a good call as they caused considerable damage (even “Rebel” managed to get this weapon off and slam the enemy, although one of the infantry units in the area he attacked that he missed did him in). In the end the infantry assault force was reduced to five operational steps which was very frustrating since if the attack had only claimed one more point the unit would have been destroyed!!! In the end it did not matter and the mission was a huge success even if “Leader” had his plane damaged and “Thor” got so rattled that he was shaken at the end of the mission.
As the end of the turn came on, I decided to advance all of my ground units in an attempt to end the fighting. This tactic succeeded as my mechanized units destroyed the 11A, 1A, and 8A units!!!! In return, the ground forces had the mech unit reduced one step.
Overall, the mission, complete on day two, as a success. However, several things stand out. One, the need to mix the force some more. Two, the need to advance ground troops whenever prudent, and Three the need to use some of my airbase points more aggressively at the start of day one. I did enjoy the game a lot and am looking forward to the next, as well as future, missions.