This is my first iteration of GFSG. I will be using the basic game rules, the SF and EW rules will not be used in this game. I like the chrome, but want to get a feel for the game first and I am not convinced that the mechanic for these rules works well solo, nor if the chrome is worth the cost.
I tried to put the photos after the turn (or paragraph) wherein the action is described.
I play solo with the idea to do the best for each side and try to avoid getting locked into a particular mindset. That is difficult as tunnel-vision can set in. There are three victory conditions, one of which the GFSG must fulfill to win, otherwise NATO wins. Take the Ruhr, take enough FRG city hexes or have a three hex contiguous bridgehead across the Rhine.
For this game the GFSG will focus on creating a Rhine bridgehead. But, in accordance with Red Army doctrine, we will support success. If our drive in CENTAG opens up a path to the Ruhr, or if other sectors experience success, then that avenue will be pursued.
I have always been able to focus on mission and will do my best to keep GFSG momentum from dissipating. Part of getting to the Rhine will be the annihilation of NATO forces, we will pursue this strategy.
Hammer, meet nail.
Disclaimer: I was stationed with the 3rd Brigade/1st Infantry Division (F) – on the map at hex 2235 – in the late 80’s. I will try to not allow this to cloud my decisions in how that unit plays, but I will probably not succeed.
NATO will attempt to blunt GSFG forces where they are found and reap damage amongst the strongest GSFG formations. Soviet defensive factors leave them vulnerable, but there will be more targets to service than tubes available, as it were. I will attempt to keep the American forward brigades extant so that they can marry up with the REFORGER units when they arrive. This will probably lead to some tough decisions when it comes to taking casualties. I will try to use an active defense as best I can, forty real-life years ago I was pretty good at that in games ranging from 3R to TRW and in between. We will see if the old dog still has bite.
Air Superiority Phase - Automatic air superiority, a roll of 3 grants 4 assets and a heavy bomber strike. All will be used in ground attack roles, no time for finesse here.
The Backfires streak across the border a heavy strike pounding Frankfurt and the US 3rd Armored Division. 3rd Armored takes a one step loss, making it more brittle on the modern battlefield.
Two each Su25 Frogfoot strikes roll in on the 1st US Armor and 12th Panzer division. (Real life and now declassified note: NATO Oplans have 12th Pzr slated to link up with the US 3/1 forward brigade and cover the Hof Gap…) 12th Panzer survives unscathed, 1st Armored absorbs a step loss. Soviet aviation has taken a toll on the American armor, the Frogfoot proves its worth.
(Side note: The sequence of play in the rules calls for the 8th Guards Army to move first and resolve first during the first three turns, then the rest of GSFG forces. I am altering this and allowing the airmobile forces to move at the same time as the 8th Guards, but resolve battle later. This makes sense to me, especially since the airmobile forces will be enveloping the German forces at Kassel. Given the Soviet lack of initiative, I will not apply the shift for concentric attacks in this case. I am also not applying any out-of-supply modifiers on turn 1, as units are either in their home Kasernes or carrying their basic load, all units are in supply on turn 1. )
GFSG Movement and combat – 8th Guards moves/combats, then the balance of forces.
8th Guards throws its full combat power at 12th Panzer, forcing a retreat. The only retreat path is into Kassel, where the tankers cross the lines of the Jaegers and try to refit. Disappointing as we had hoped to bloody or eliminate 12th Panzer. The airborne completes the envelopment and will attempt to dislodge the 2nd Jaegers and destroy 12th Panzer in the process. I do not like the possibility of a “reverse Stalingrad” developing in Kassel and blunting our attack
Airborne units drop west of Kassel and move on the defending Jaegers. A 1-1 (Jaeger shift applied) attack into Kassel stalls. The only saving grace is that the 8th Guards is immune on turns 1-3 from the stricture preventing GSFG units starting in a NATO zone of control from moving that turn.
Other GSFG units cross the border and seize urban hexes, gaining ground by road movment. And so it begins.
Not too bad a start. Concerned about the losses the armor suffered. Also, will try to gain and keep air superiority through the use of deep strikes if I get the chance.
First order is relieving the units in Kassel and repositioning to build a defensive line. With halved movement factors and a leftward shift this turn, attacks must be worth it.
Territorials are called out, we expect about half to show up based on the odd/even die determination. Of note the territorials do respond and form in Kassel. NATO tries to build roadblocks in the urban areas on the Rhine near Frankfurt, in cities on the front on the North German Plain and in the outlying cities in the south, there is an effort to supplement cities containing regular army units. Brave soldiers.
Our only attack will be the already brittle 3rd ID (US) supported by 12th Pz and 2nd Jaeger attacking 103rd Guards Airborne in the Kassel ring. Attack is 4-1 (attack factors halved this turn) with a 1L shift for turn 1 for NATO and a 1R shift for enveloping attack. A DR is rolled with the Guards retreating the 3rd AD (US)occupying. (I thought long and hard about this. The Jaegars get a two column shift on defense in towns, so they stay put. I wanted to put the vulnerable 3rd AD (US) in a position where it is most likely to survive an attack. Kassel is becoming a meeting engagement.
Units stream towards the front, we are looking to stabilize a line on the Weser, through Kassel and the Main. Without zones of control effecting movement nor mandating combat, this will be a mobile knife fight. Need to get air superiority next turn, come on zoomies!
Air Superiority Phase – Frontal aviation maintains air superiority, just barely with the help of the turn 2 modifier. The decision here is if we will continue our efforts against Kassel, or disengage and move towards Paderborn. The heavy bombers can only take out one step if successful. Due to the die roll modifiers, any ground strikes against cities are ineffective. Given this, we will direct our strikes against the Belgians and at the bend in the Weser. Our heavy bombers will have a go at the 1st AD(US) in Nurnburg, which must be taken to put our southern pincer in supply, low odds, high payoff as 1st (AD) is down to one step due to casualties on day 1.
Our Backfire bombers experience success against the 1st AD (US) division, eliminating it as a combat force and leaving Nurnburg open to our occupation.
NATO air resistance is fierce, but three air strikes go in, two on the 16th Inf (BE) and the reeling 7th PG (GE) – the Frogfoot’s reduce the Belgians but the Germans, dug in and ready, are nonplussed.
GFSG Movement and combat – 8th Guards moves/combats, then the balance of forces. Move/combat is chosen as we are adjusting our axis of advance to the Paderborn corridor, Kassel will become a charnel house which we cannot take, follow on forces will screen our flanks. Also, since no Soviet air transportable units meet the requirements for air movement (in supply in this case, among others) they will move with the not 8th Guards units.
8th Guards swings north from Kassel, setting up an assault on the Weser defenders. They may move, although adjacent to NATO units, due to the exception for the first three turns to the adjacency movement stricture for GSFG units. The attack goes in at 3:1 and an exchange results. 7th PG (GE) is reduced as is the 39th Gds (SR), the Weser lines shudders but holds.
The rest of the Red Army is on the move. In the south we will seize Nurnburg to increase our supply network. In the center the 8th Inf (DD) will join with the 106th Para (SR) to screen the Fulda Gap and the approaching reinforcements from Halberstadt will screen Kassel and help force the Weser. In the north we will seize Holdsheim to bolster supply to our Weser crossing and push the enemy out of Hamburg.
A Soviet armor and artillery division enter from hex B and had towards Paderborn.
In the south, air supply allows our units full movement and Nurnburg (or what is left of it, full of the hulks of burning Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles from the heavy bombing) is taken, its citizens freed from the yoke of capitalist oppression and provided the Elysium which is communism.
The attack on the reduced 16th Inf (BE) goes it at 2:1 (attackers halved due to river crossing, an exchange results, eliminating the Belgians and forcing another bridgehead over the Weser, combined infantry and tank force occupies.
The 4th Armor (UK) guarding the southern approaches to Hanover are assaulted at 9:1, including the 34th Gd Arty (SR) whose presence is felt immediately (8:1 and column shift for enveloping attack) and are eliminated.
In the north the 15th Terr (GE) in Hamburg are attacked at 8:1 (10:1 with column shift for city defense) and take a step with them of the 4th Inf (DD) in an exchange result.
A 2:1 in the far north goes in on the 6th PG (GE) division and the attack stalls. One hex of Hamburg remains in NATO hands.
NATO movement - the loss of Nurnburg is concerning, but expected. With 12th Pz (GE) embroiled in Kassel and 3/1st ID (US) still moving, it was not a surprise. We will attempt to pinch off the soviet bridgehead across the Main-Danube Canal. 1st ID – (US) will be tasked to hold Wurzburg. With ground to give in the north we will abandon Hamburg (although see if territorials can be called to cover our move) and counterattack in the Hanover area (Soviet artillery is too powerful and worth the chance taken to destroy it) The Weser fight is developing, but without air superiority we will retrograde and hold terrain. Our forces in Kassel will clear the red parachutists from the surrounding hills.
Territorials answer the call in Hamburg, brave, grim determined men determined to extract a price from those who have turned their city into a smoldering husk. Main force units set up a fall back line in the Bremen area. Territorial call-ups are successful in other northern towns and the Bavarians answer the call and fortify Regensburg.
In the north the 1st and 11th PG (GE) execute an enveloping attack with the 1st AR (UK) against the 34th Gd Arty (SR) and the 9th Inf (DD) at 7:1 (5:1 with a two column enveloping attack shift) The defenders are force to retreat and the hex is occupied, not the result hoped for.
Near Kassel, the 4/4 – ID (US) and the 8th ID (US) execute an enveloping attack on the out of supply (OOS) 31st Gd Abn (SR), eliminating the brave paratroopers. The 103rd Gd Abn (SR) south of Kassel is similarly destroyed.
The attack on the Main-Danube canal bridgehead goes in at 4:1 (2:1 plus two column shift for enveloping attack and forces a retreat. Defenders are forced to retreat, the hex is occupied by both attackers.
Air Superiority Phase – The Bitburg Eagles devastate Soviet Frontal Aviation and NATO reigns supreme in the air. This will tell as the 82nd Airborne arrives this turn also. The heavy bombers go in against the 8th Gds (SR) units in the Weser bridgehead, the Frisbees and Arc-Light raid destroys the 20th Gds Arm (SR), the sky filling with the smoke from burning hulks of T80 tanks.
Six air factors are available for use, five are placed on deep strike assignments assuring that Soviet reinforcements are crippled (reduced one step) and one Soviet attack this turn goes in OOS and next turns Air Superiority (AS) roll has a -1 modifier. The remaining strike goes in against the 20th Gds ID (SR) and is ineffective.
GFSG Movement and combat – 8th Guards moves/combats, then the balance of forces. The depleted 8th Guards attacks t 1st Mech (NL) south of Bielefeld at 4:1 (3:1 plus column shift for envelopement). The Dutchmen stand, extracting an exchange and depleting another unit of the 8th Gds (SR).
In the north most of the Red Army is pinned by the territorials in Hamburg (I ruled that they count as a ground force and the stricture applies, makes sense with the urban fighting) The territorials are eliminated by overwhelming forces, buying 24 hours of time for the Federal Republic.
In the Wolfsburg area 1st AR (UK) and 1st PG (GE) are enveloped and attacked at 5:1 (one shift for envelopment, one for multi-national stack on defense), both Soviet artillery divisions adding their throaty roar to the attack. The NATO divisions retreat in the face of a DR result.
The territorials defending the last unconquered hex of Hanover exact an exchange result, depleting the 207th ID (SR). Hanover falls.
The attack on Paderborn goes in at 2:1 (reduced to 1:1 – I take the rule to mean that column shifts cannot reduce attacks to lower than 1:1, and rule 11.8 stating that low odds attacks result in AS only apply to attacks where the attackers combat factors are less than the defenders, which is not the case here). After all that, an AS results.
Smelling blood, the southern pincer sends the 8th IN (DD) to attack Wurzburg from the north and the 51st AD (SR) and 16th GD (SR) to attack the defending 3/1 – ID (US) from the south. With a two column shift for urban terrain and the penalty for DDR units attacking alone, they go in at 3:1. A DR result is converted to a one step loss for each side, the 1st ID (fwd) being eliminated defending Wurzburg, the Soviets taking a loss and occupying.
Not a bad day, some NATO forces eliminated, but not breakthrough.
NATO movement – I hated losing the 3/1st ID (fwd) because I was with that unit in the 1980’s. We always said we had a life expectancy of about 72 hrs when the balloon went up and that was spot on. At least we did our job in delaying the Red Army. As for this turn, we will use air superiority to wreak havoc. We will take Holdsheim and Halberstadt knocking out supply to the soviet units attacking Paderborn.
Territorials are successfully called out in Hamm and Munster, one remaining to show up.
With air superiority NATO strikes back along the entire front. In the south the 3 ID (US), 10th PZ (GE) and 3rd CH (FR) envelop the 8th IN (DD) north of Wurzburg at 9:1 ( shift left for multi national) eliminating the East German unit and avenging the 3/1st IN (fwd)
East of Kassel the 102 Gd Para is attacked at 7:1 (poor multinational coordination leading to a three column leftward shift on the CRT), an exchange resulting with the 8th ID (US) taking the loss.
The Germans and Brits reoccupy the suburbs of Hamburg, pinning the Soviet forces there for next turn.
A large battle of annihilation develops around Wolfsburg. The 82nd Abn (US) arrives and bases out of the Bremen area, projecting their attack into the Wolfsburg battle. Canadian, German and French ground and airmobile forces encircle and attack the 34th Gd Arty (SR) and 9th IN (SR) at 10:1 ( shift 1L for multinational and 2R on CRT for envelop). A DE results and two GSFG divisions are destroyed.
The 3rd Gd Arty (SR) is attacked enveloped by a multinational force, 5th ID (NL) and 2nd Jaeger (GE) at 8:1 (2 column shift for multinational, 2 column shift the other way for envelopment. An exchange results in the artillery and Dutch losing a step.
Took some risks, crippled soviet supply in the center, the air roll will be critical in the coming turn.
Air Superiority Phase – NATO maintains air superiority, but with only three strikes, all of which are sent on deep strike missions, the ground pounders will have to fight it out without direct support. A roll of 6 makes the extra factors moot, Soviets again come in crippled and with an OOS attack (which as NATO I forgot to designate last turn, left some chips on the table there.)
GFSG Movement and combat - Most of my forces are pinned and the 8th Gds Army (what is left of it) returns to mere mortal status. We withdraw from Nurnburg, that front is going nowhere, using road movement to redeploy north (we were separated from the French by a river and therefore not pinned.) We will stand in Wurzburg, counterattacking in Halberstadt and across the board where pinned and able to gain favorable odds.
9th AD (SR) attacks Bremerhaven, the DR converting to a 1+1 exchange, with the city falling but the territorials extracting a toll. Those docks will not be useful for months.
A 1:1 attack on 1st AD (UK) results in an AS in Hamburg, a 1:1 out of Hamburg against the 6th PG (GE) forces a retreat.
In the battles of the Midland Canal, the following action occurs. The Belgian Parachutists east of Wolfsburg are attacked at 5:1 and forced to retreat. The 1st PG (GE) is attacked at 1:1 and an AS results. 4th IN (NL) is attacked at 5:1 (4:1 plus shift for envelopment) , a DR resulting.
The 16th Para (UK) is attacked enveloped by the 7th and 4th Gds AR (SR) and the 11th IN (DD) at 5:1 and is forced to retreat.
Bielefeld is attacked at 2:1 after column shifts for city defense and enveloping attack a DR result converted to a 1+1 exchange. The territorials absorb the loss for NATO, the 6th Gd AD (SR) for the GSFG.
All of our airmobile units are adjacent to enemy forces, so they fight as straight leg infantry this turn. The 82nd remains available and will project their combat power.
A 10:1 on the surrounded soviets east of Wolfsburg, including the 82nd AB(US) adding their factors results in the defenders being eliminated.
South of Paderborn German, French and American units make an enveloping attack at 7:1 after shifts the result is an EX with each French division absorbing a loss and each Soviet division the same.
The 106th Gd AB (SR) is finally brought to an end on the hills above Kassel.
Air Superiority Phase – NATO retains air superiority and the bombs drop on Luneberg Heath and one step loss eliminates the Cr AR (SR) which never gets to fire its tubes in anger, the smoking heaps testament to NATO air power. Soviet frontal aviation is effective in limiting NATO air to two factors, both factors execute a deep strike, yielding just an OOS result.
GFSG Movement and combat - Our units in front of Paderborn remain pinned (and out of supply, NATO missed this last turn.) We will attempt Bliefeld again and our armies in the north advance to the Weser.
The territorials in Bremen are attacked at 9:1 after shifts and again extract a cost in blood with an EX result.
Battle of the Midland Canal: A 4:1 enveloping attack on the surrounded 4th IN (NL) in hex 3010 becomes a 2:1 as the attackers are designated OOS by NATO , but a DR result eliminates the reeling Dutch unit. A 3:1 attack on the 1st AD (UK) results in an AS, units remaining in place. A 3:1 on the 2nd Jaeger (GE) forces a retreat. A 3:1 on the 1st Air Landing (GE) forces a retreat, pinning most of the NATO airmobile units in the battle.
A 2:1 after shifts assault on Bliefeld bogs down, resulting in an AS.
A 9:1 attack on the 16th AB (UK) in an EX, the paras selling their lives dearly north of Halberstadt.
A 2:1 against the Weser bridgehead bogs down with the 6th PG (GE) remaining engaged with the 9th ADA (SR).
A 3:1 on the 2nd AD (SR) and 2nd Gd Arty (SR) by 3rd AD (GE) and 1st AD (UK) bogs down with units remaining engaged.
A 3:1 after all adjustments on the 39th GD (SR) in the hills above Bielefeld stalls with 2 UK divisions and one Dutch division remaining engaged.
A 7:1 after adjustments on the 102nd Gd Abn and 31st AD (SR) by a combined US, US, FRG force forces an exchange, eliminating the Airborne unit and reducing the armor, NATO losses are dispersed among the remaining undamaged FRG and US divisions.
A 8:1 attack on the stalled 9th GA (SR) and 102nd ID (SR) south of Paderborn by a mixed multinational forces an exchange, destroying both GSFG divisions with 5th Panzer and 12th Panzer (GE) absorbing the NATO casualties.
The Battle of Midland Canal rages on for another day, a sharp stick in the Soviet side. The 82nd and 101st fly in support of the 2nd Jaeger attack on 5th AD and 3rd Gd Arty (SR) resulting in a 4:1, a DR resulting. A multinational mostly airmobile force attacks 1st AD and Kv Arty (SR) surrounded at 3711 adjusted to 6:1, a DR eliminates the soviet force.
Air Superiority- NATO continues to maintain air superiority, the heavy bombers attack hex 3513, causing two step losses destroying the 3rd Gd Arty and reducing the 5th AD (SR). 7 air factors are available, six perform deep strikes, guaranteeing crippled GFSG reinforcements and one OOS attack selection for NATO. The A10’s roll in on the 9th AD (SR) in hex 2706, but do no damage.
GFSG combat and combat- with so many units pinned, soviet forces select two combat phases this turn.
3rd Panzer (GE) is forced to retreat in Luneberg Heath in two consecutive attacks.
The Battle of Midland Canal: 12th and 18th GA (SR) force the 101 ID (NL) to retreat across the Weser. The 23rd AD (SR) forces the 4/2 ID (US) to retreat across the Weser, secondary attack on the 6ID (UK) results in an EX with the Brits being eliminated and eliminating the 23rd AD (SR). Attacks by the 5th AR (SR) on the 2nd Jaeger (GE) both stall.
A 5:1 adjusted attack on the territorials defending the northern part of Bremen results in an exchange, again the old soldiers selling their lives and home dearly, causing a step loss to the 1st ID (DD).
A 2:1 enveloping attack on Blielfeld stalls as does the follow on 1:1.
A 1:1 attack out of Wurzburg dislodges the adjacent 4th ID (FR).
Forgot to designate an OOS attack, again.
Time to cut bait. Airborne forces redeploy to attack the Weser bridgehead, we concede the Midland Canal, although leave forces in Braunschweig to continue to harass, those Jaegers are tough to dislodge.
On Luneburg Heath 3rd PZ (GE) stalls against their Soviet foes, remaining engaged.
1st AD (SR) is attacked by a joint airborne ground force at 9:1 and are eliminated.
A 3:1 attack on 5th AD (SR) is poorly coordinated between Canadian and German units and only forces a retreat.
An 8:1 attack on the almost surrounded 57th Guards by the 101st and 82nd ABN (US) and a force from five nations is badly coordinated , but manages to eliminate the defenders south of Bielefeld. A 7:1 attack on the OOS 11th GA and 27th Gd ID (SR), forces a retreat, eliminating the divisions, Paderborn is cleared of Soviet presence.
In the hills above Kassel, a surrounded 31st AD (SR) is attacked by a multinational force at 10:1 and manages to go down fighting with an EX, taking the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the just arrived with REFORGER 1st ID (US). Not a good war for the 1st ID (US), although they did some damage.
Air Superiority- Soviet Frontal aviation almost took air superiority, but a -2 ( -1 turn 7 and -1 from last turn) staved it off. The heavy bombers go in at hex 2513 obliterating the 6th GA and 50th GI (SR), three air factors execute a deep strike, crippling reinforcements and subtracting 1 from the next turn AS roll. Not too bad at all.
GSFG movement and combat –
Luneburg Heath, 3rd PZ (GE) remains engaged as the Soviet attack stalls again.
Battle of the Weser: The 1st AD (UK) and4/2 ID (US) are attacked at 3:1 by 14th GI,19th ID, 18th GA and 13th AD (SR), an exchange resulting in the elimination of the US brigade and two Soviet steps.
The remains of the 8th Guards Army, the 20th and 39th GI (SR) attack Bliefeld at 1:1 garnering a DR which becomes a 1+1 exchange, both Soviet units are eliminated, as well as the 1st ID (NL) with the 3rd ID (UK) taking a step loss and holding the city.
A 4:1 attack on the 3rd AD (US) is declared OOS by NATO and goes in at 2:1, an EX eliminating the American unit and causing the 11th ID (DD) a step loss.
A 4:1 attack on Oldenburg results in a DR, converted to a 1+1 exchange, the damn territorials again taking down a step as well as the 7th Bde (UK), both eliminated as well as the 4th ID (DD).
Our center is sundered, it does not look well for GSFG, but we will push on, we have local superiority on the North German Plain.
NATO movement and combat
(Side real world note – the school year began and I am a 6th grade math and social studies teacher, so there was a twelve week gap intervening between this narrative and the last. I passed the table daily, as it is by my back door in our family room. I had forgotten that it was the NATO turn and had been planning a USSR envelopment from the north.) But it is a NATO turn, so we will pin the forces in Oldenburg to secure the flank. I like the idea of a stop line on the Weser and that seems highly achievable. There is a strategic reserve available in the Paderborn area, which is well located. The battle outside the hills of Kassel is about to receive two REFORGER divisions to help stem any further progress there.)
Sitting back on the defensive is too passive for me. In the north we will shore up the Weser line and continue to dispute the Midland Canal. No attacks.
In the south the French take over the defense of Wurzburg, no real action here.
In the center our Paderborn reserves surround the Soviets east of Kassel. A battle of annihilation, with Soviets and GDR forces defending against FRG, US, UK and FR forces. The REFORGER divisions and the 82nd deploy to Paderborn to serve as a strategic reserve. I had to restrain myself from throwing them forward, but we are only halfway through the war.
Battle of the Kassel pocket-
3ID (US), 8ID (US), 10W (GE), 7W (GE), 1F (FR) and 8F (FR) with 6AB(US) attack 4GA(SR) and 11E (DD) at 8:1 odds, reduced to 7:1 because of abysmal coordination (a lot of casualties on the allied side has left a dearth of multilingual experienced officers), a 1 causes a DR. With nowhere to retreat the Warsaw Pact units are eliminated and the hex occupied by the victorious French divisions.
The northern half of the pocket is attacked at 6:1 by the 2AR (UK), 3F (FR), and 3A(GE) and 12A (GE), coordination is poor negating a column shift and the attack goes in at 5:1, a roll of 2 (DR) eliminates the remaining invaders, 3ID(US) occupies the hex.
At this point I am going to end the game. The correlation of forces is highly in NATO’s favor. I cannot conceive of a strategy where the Soviets can even approach their goals. Even with a lucky roll, Soviet Air Superiority would only delay the inevitable.
As a former US Army officer who served in West Germany this is not the war I had imagined at the time. It is certainly not the war we trained to fight. However, I think Mr. Bomba offers greater insight in hindsight with this game. His assumptions concerning Warsaw Pact participation and the fluid nature of such a war are probably more likely than we realized at the time. This is the type of war we could have fought, I could easily imagine our Brads and Abrams running free and our mobility and active leadership allowing us a greater freedom of action and lethality than we had imagined at the time. That being said, I wonder if Ty has an OOB for this game reflective of a mobilization type scenario. I would like to give that a go, unlikely as it may have been. I think there would be more stress on NATO with more decisions to make concerning where to defend and where to counterattack. I never felt really under pressure as the NATO player and felt frustrated as the GSFG player. Perhaps using the soviet forces already present and placing them forward rather than as reinforcements would meet this goal. I also would negate some of the rather severe penalties the Soviets suffer from NATO deep strike missions.
The air superiority rule and the supply rules force difficult decisions, as they should. I misread the bomber rule at the beginning of the game and should have gone in with everything against Kassel. Cratering the defenders and taking the city would have opened up so many more options, especially with my elite forces. Kassel must be taken to expand supply of the GSFG spearheads, without it you go nowhere in the center. I should have combined this with an all out assault on Frankfurt by airborne units, aimed at putting the Americans on the board out of supply and crippling reinforcements. I may adapt this strategy in my next go round. The NGP does not appeal to me as an axis of advance, rivers to cross, cities to take, the gridlock that Hamburg can become all lead nowhere and I would expect to be greatly attrited prior to reaching the Ruhr.
I may tweak the air superiority rules to allow the soviets to try to keep air superiority by allocating points. I found this to be a real show-stopper. As the NATO player I allocated the maximum points to deep strike missions and kept air superiority, crippling reinforcements, influencing attacks and limiting soviet options. I think a soviet deep strike option (house rule) might be the ability to influence the die roll on follow on turns, as well as delaying or reducing REFORGER arrivals (airliners with troops would not be sent into the war zone, and may have had to deplane further rearward). I hope Ty is alright with this, based on what I have read he seems open to players changing rules and trying new things.
I also felt that pinning Warsaw Pact units starting a movement phase within a NATO zoc was crippling to the soviet player. In a game with a higher WP unit count (see my mobilization musings above), this strategy would be more costly and less effective, given the flanks which tended to hang in the air. Permissible here, no units to take advantage, not so much with Czech and Polish forces in the area.
All in all a fun game. I was disappointed that I had to sacrifice my old unit, but such are the tragedies of war.
Danger Forward - No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great. Duty First!
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
An outstanding article that creates a compelling narrative.
pete belli wrote:
An outstanding article that creates a compelling narrative.
I really enjoyed your AAR, and the pix, and found myself searching the various online stores for availability and price. Please keep the AARs coming!
I quite liked this game. I thought the recent Red Tide West was kind of a step backwards.
I really enjoyed this review. I have got this as I subscribe to the magazine. I will certainly be giving this one a go.
Back in the day I really enjoyed all NATO V Warsaw Pact games from SPI's NATO (1973?) up to Next War. I think my favourite was Fulda Gap - fast moving and playable.