Stockhausen 1987 - Part II (the battle plan)

Elements of A Troop 1-1 CAV search for the Soviet main line of defense supported by Cobras from A/2-1 AV

Note:  Blogger's latest update has made formatting a monster to deal with.  It randomly changes fonts and italics, and the preview screen often looks radically different from how I format it on the screen.  Adding a picture seems to randomly cause the system to have a meltdown.  My apologies in advance to the mess that is trying to make this legible. 

As mentioned in several previous posts, I have been working on my own set of Brigade sized rules for the Cold War era.  This game was the first try at version 3.0 of the rules using D10s rather than the "fist full of D6" version 2.0.  The best elevator pitch I can give for the rules is

These rules are meant to allow you to play a game using roughly brigade sized formations set in the late Cold War period of the 70’s and 80’s. It is a ruleset for peer or near-peer level engagements between Brigade sized formations in Western Europe or Southwest Asia (1973-1989) that emphasizes the player's role as the brigade commander, rewards combined arms operations, reflects the armies of the time, and can be played to a suitable conclusion in under three hours.

The basic element in the game is a combat platoon of 3-5 models per base organized in Companies of 3-4 stands. HQs are represented for both Battalions and Brigades, with Regimental and Division HQs on the Soviet side as well. Unique elements like Scout sections, Combat Security Outposts, Combined Recon Platoons, Recon and Attack helo team are also reflected. The goal is to put each player in the role of the Brigade commander, directing the overall operation. Decisions like targeting individual platoons or when to debus from infantry carriers are abstracted at this level. (In essence, your subordinates should know the basics of how to fight.) Really good (or very poor) die results are there to reflect those critical events at the platoon level. Things like battalion mortars and short range air defense are reflected as modifiers or additional dice provided by a unit HQ.

Damage is reflected in three tiers for a platoon: Disrupted, Degraded and Dispersed. Another command factor is 'cohesion.' Each headquarters is allotted a number of dice it can use to remove casualties within its command. The idea is to forces players to choose were to reinforce efforts and where to assume risk.

The Battle opens with a barrage of 152mm fire as the scouts emerge from the woods near Blankenau

Similarly, artillery is abstracted into a set of "Tokens' to represent fire missions available each turn. These tokens are assigned for Offensive, Defensive or Counter battery missions. Offensive inflicts hits, defensive degrades attack rolls and Counter Battery can eliminate enemy Tokens for the following turns. Battalion mortars and similar support elements are reflected by modifiers to a given platoon's defense or attack factors.

Most importantly, I want reconnaissance to mean something. Thus the initial turns of the game are a fight for information by both army's recon and counter-recon assets.  Battalion elements cannot be targeted until they are spotted, and order changes cannot be issued until the main body is found.  This remains the most challenging part I want to 'get right' for these rules. 

*US Pink team engages a Soviet combat outpost, and is forced to evade an SA-7

For this scenario, the Soviets would have

GMRR HQ: Cohesion 3, Air Defense 2, Jamming 0

7x BN HQ: Cohesion 2, MTR 2. 

Combat Platoons: 21 Tank (T-64), 21 IFV (BMP), 2xRecon, 3x CSOP, and 2x ATGM

The Americans would have:

BDE HQ: Cohesion 3, AD 2, Jam 1

3x BN HQ: Cohesion  3, MTR 1

Combat Platoons:: 24x Tank (M1), 12x Infantry (M113), 10x Recon (M3), 3x ATGM (M901), 3x Engineers, 2x Breach Teams (AVLB/CEV)

*Note that US Armor battalions at this time were much large than their Soviet Counterparts with 58 tanks versus 31 at full strength.  

Turn one ends with an inconclusive counter-recon effort by both sides. 

The other element I wanted to capture for this game is a forcing mechanism for pre-battle planning. Ideally, I want to be able to run this as 'cooperative game' for the attacking side, with my trying to simply manage the defender along their doctrinal lines. Thus for this game I referenced my old copy of FM 100-2-1 The Soviet Army: Operations and Tactics and tried to mirror the doctrinal template for the defense. Thus I placed settled on a reverse slope defense, with the CSOPs and Recon deployed on the forward slope, the three MRBs defending around the town, and the the MRR's depleted Tank regiment creating the "Combined Arms Reserve (CAR)" Northeast of the village.

*Soviet disposition IVO Stockhausen .  

The overall battle plan would be to defend in place and use the Regimental ATGM company to reinforce the battalion facing the main effort. If US forces reached the main defensive belt and threatened to breach, then the MRR commander would release his CAR to prevent the penetration.  

The US Commander held the initiative for this battle as the attacker. He had an overall concept of where the Soviet's would be deployed and put his recon assets forward to fix their location. The plan was to use a heavily reinforced Armor battalion (TF 2-37 AR w/4 AR and 1 INF company) to breach the lines East of Stockhausen and allow the unit to penetrate into the division rear in Grossenluder. The Infantry Battalion would follow and support, seizing the hills east of Stockhausen and protecting the assault force from a potential counter attack from Grossenluder or Fulda. The remaining Armor Battalion would advance parallel to the main attack element to fix the rest of the MRR and protect from a potential counter attack from the 44th TR west of Schadges.  Like any good commander of the time, the Brigade commander wants to force the Russian to deploy his Reserve and then use his A-10s, Artillery and lead tanks to annihilate it.  

With all of this out of way, the battle report itself comes next. 



  1. Sounds interesting with a technical focus driving what I would consider a ‘professional’ Wargame. When your rules are ready for a live opponent, let me know.

  2. Always interested. Time to appears to be my greatest enemy at this point. I don't think I have seen a game board outside my den in almost two years at this point.


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