BCT Game Prep

Now with the Order of battle in hand it is time to draw up some hasty plans.  Above is the West German orders in map form.  I haven't transferred all of my files to my new computer, so please forgive the lack of proper operational graphics.  One of the strengths of Spearhead is the orders system.  Players establish a plan on the map, and then are forced to stick to the plan unless they can pass a command roll to change it based on the developing situation.  This requires a little forethought into the set-up.

The concept of the operation for the Germans is to establish a covering force along the ridge-line overlooking Kleinstadt to force the Soviets to deploy early as well determine the main axis of the attack.  These units will then fall back across the River and establish a reserve for the main battle.  The Mechanized Infantry battalions will establish defensive positions along the West bank of the river, with the Panzer battalion providing a reserve.

Some examples of quick written orders:

Security BN 1:  Establish defense west of Klein River IOT disrupt/delay Soviet vanguard, if Enemy  formation greater than BN strength crosses  PL ROAD withdraw West through crossing point Rechts to Herren.

Security BN 2:  Establish defense Northwest of Kleinstadt IOT disrupt/delay Soviet vanguard, if Enemy  formation greater than BN strength crosses  PL ROAD withdraw West through crossing point Links to Derren.

Light Recon Company I:  Establish screen line west of Keinstadt, Cover Security BN withdrawals, withdraw along MSR and link up with Lt Recon Company II, Defend Machsnichtstadt.

Here is what it looks like
Security Battalions

Main Line

The Soviet Force is a little more straightforward

Tank Regiment 1 (Supporting Effort) attacks to seize OBJ South and then establishes Support By Fire positions along Western Edge of ridge to support river crossing effort.  Mechanized INF Battalion will force river crossing IVO Machtsnichtstadt.

Tank Regiment 2 (Main Effort) attacks to seize OBJ North and then establishes Attack By Fire positions along Western Edge of ridge to support river crossing effort.  Mechanized INF Battalion will force river crossing North of Machtsnichtstadt.

Tank Regiment 3 (Supporting Effort)  Follow and assume mission of TR 2.  Upon penetration of Wasser river, continue westward advance along Northern axis through Derren.

With that out of the way it is time for the pre-game.

First up is the reconnaissance roll.  Still want to find a better mechanic, but here is what I came up with.  The German mission is primarily counter-reconnaissance, as they are seeking to deny knowledge of their disposition.  They have 2 Lt Recon companies as well organic Recon with each BN.  The USSR has organic recon as well as 1 additional company.   I gave the Germans a National bonus for a total of +5 to the Soviet +3.  A contested die-roll saw the USSR win by 2, so they get a general idea of the West German delaying force disposition for a +1 for area fire affects on the pregame bombardment.  Like I said, a work in progress.  

The Soviets threw all three RAGs and the DAG into the preparatory bombardment.  I go with 2-rolls (D10) per stand with an 8-9 to suppress and 0 to kill.  (9-0 to suppress armor)  The results were not quite in line with the general idea of a savage preparatory bombardment.  I am considering beefing it up with a morale roll or a higher chance of suppression.  Overall NATO lost 1 Milan team and had 5 other stands suppressed.

Also, the Soviets have decided to throw a little surprise at the defenders as they really intend on reaching the Rhine within seven days....  It's Slime time!

Three stands of BM21s and 2 FROG 7s were enough to hit both units with non-persistent agents.  I used the D6 system from Modern Spearhead, so it was 3+ to land on target and 4+ kill the stand.  I allowed the clouds to persist for 1 additional turn on a 3+ as well.  German losses were 1 Jaguar, 5 Infantry and 1 BN HQ.  The Security BN in the North essentially ceased to exist.

The Germans were not quiet during this event, the Divisional Artillery dedicated to counter-battery aquired multiple targets and managed to suppress 3 stands of D20s and eliminated a BM21.

Turn 1
Things go from bad to worse for the Germans as the initial onslaught of Soviet armor appear East of the road.
Southern view

Northern View
The German positions were still out of spotting range for the Soviets which mattered little as both BNs failed their morale rolls.  The Northern group simply ceased to exist as a formed entity, while the Southern group made for their carriers.

I diced off for the Air battle (contested dice roll, +2 to Germans for air superiority winner can call for Air assets.)  The Germans won the roll and received 2 Flights of F4Gs with Smart Bombs.  1 Flight went in against the Artillery and another against the South most Tank Regiment

The first sortie managed to evade the Air defense curtain, but the second was hit on the way in and had to abort.  For those interested, the Battlegroup Commander guys came up with a cool "R track" for tracking air mission readiness.  Here is a peak from later in the battle...

And here is the Soviets
Spoiler alert:  It would stay like this for most of the battle....

Anyway, that is Turn 1, 8 more to go....


  1. A fantastic work of preparation, much impressive!

  2. Not a period I game frequently but this looks very interesting. Really appreciate the level of detail you are putting into laying out and explaining your thoughts on game design.

    1. I enjoy the subject matter and the models, but I game very infrequently due to my struggles with rule sets. My goal is to keep it simple, model enough to capture the era, and ensure games are actually enjoyable...


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