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Landjut 2017: Second Battle of Kropp-Owschlag

Page history last edited by Andrew Taylor 4 years, 2 months ago

On Saturday 3 November Andy C, Ian S, Mike and I met up at Wings Social Club, Broughton - home of the Deeside Defenders club - to fight a follow up battle to the big Grimsby weekend. We decided to reuse a map originally fought over by the Grimsby lads in June:

 

 

Following the narrow NATO victory around Aarhus, Soviet forces have been pushed back to the outlying towns around the city. NATO now plans a series of counter attacks to disrupt further Soviet offensive activity. Reconnaissance aircraft have detected a major WarPac supply depot in the Kropp – Owschlag area. The destruction of this depot would severely reduce local Soviet capacity to continue offensive operations. Meanwhile, Soviet reinforcements are moving up to protect the supply depot and renew the offensive. The race is on to see who will get to the depot first.

 

NATO will be attacking from the right hand side/northern side of the map, using mobile deployment. Somewhere between the left/southern table edge and the centre is a Soviet supply/repair depot – we can use some of our repair, supply and field hospital bases we have prepared for previous big CWC games. A percentage of the Soviet forces are placed in defence of the supply depot. This is an opportunity to use ATGM units, towed AT guns and other kit we don’t normally get a chance to see. There would also be a “sensible” amount of AA units! They may use hasty defences (slit trenches, dug in tanks etc). NATO forces will be tasked with taking/destroying this depot. Soviet reinforcements would deploy from the left hand/southern edge, using mobile deployment. And as this area has previously been fought over, we could use any ruined buildings, craters and burned out tanks that may be available.

 

 

The table before deployment, showing the aftereffects of previous WarPac artillery

 

The ruins of the town of Kropp.

 

The Soviet supply depot.

 

Dug in Polish Marines defend the supply depot.

 

AT guns defend the outskirts of Owschlag.

 

In the first turn, the combined NATO British and West German 17th Panzergrenadier Brigade advanced forwards:

 

 

 

As well as the defending forces already on the table, the WarPac players could bring on reinforcements on the role of a 6 in turn one, 5 or 6 on turn two etc. Ian managed to roll three 6s on turn one and brought on three battalions of reinforcements, 1 of infantry and 2 of tanks:

 

In the second turn, NATO ran into trouble. My West German tank commander failed a command roll and the Marder mounted infantry charged forward, without tank support. Belatedly, I remembered that I was going to use my artillery to launch smoke to cover my attack. Instead, I now had Marders with infantry still onboard facing off against T55s. Meanwhile, the advance of Mike's British ground down as he failed numerous command rolls. In response, Ian and Andy C shot as many Marders as they could, whittling down the West German infantry.

 

 

During the third turn My West German Jaegers advanced into the woods opposite the supply depot. On the left, more West German infantry attempt to assault the dug-in Polish Marines, but are thrown back with heavy losses. The British FAC called in air support, but the air strike deviated and an RAF Jaguar managed to bomb my German infantry, adding to my casualties!

 

Over on the right flank, more Jaguars were called in and - this time - managed to hit some bad guys.

 

During the Soviet third turn, Ian's MTLB mounted infantry moved into the ruins of Kropp.

 

At the start of the fourth turn, the NATO right flank was crumbling, with most of the West German Leopards suppressed.

 

West German infantry managed to advance to the edge of the supply depot, but lacked the numbers to take on the dug-in troops defending the depot.

 

On the left flank, Mike tried to get some momentum back into his advance.

 

In the centre, West German Leopards hurriedly redeployed to try to prop up the right flank.

 

The West Germans managed to get a toe hold on the outskirts of Kropp, but were thrown back by superior Soviet numbers.

 

At the end of the fourth turn, the West Germans had reached their break point and, after I subsequently failed my command roll, the 17th Panzergrenadier Brigade left the table. The NATO attack had been repulsed, leaving the Warsaw Pact troops masters of the battlefield.

 

Final British positions. Mike's Chieftains and Challengers didn't make it far on to the table. But then, with the guns they carry they don't need too.

 

A convincing win for the Soviet side. As a NATO player, I tend to have my forces dug-in and sit back shooting at the oncoming waves of Soviet tanks. Going on the offensive is a very different prospect and this game showed that I am well out of practice. The tank fights were typically short and bloody. We all agreed though that it was a fun and interesting game, played out in a friendly manner. I also learned that at Slimbridge, Ian's troops managed to cross the Kiel canal. This was news to me, as I'm sure he hasn't mentioned it before. But you all know Ian, he doesn't like to talk about these things...

 

I must mention some of the other games happening at the same time. There were three tables playing an ongoing ECW skirmish campaign in 28mm, using The Pikeman's Lament. The players were a friendly bunch and their tables looked great.

 

There was also this:

 

 

Believe it or not, this was actually one big game of 6mm Italian Wars, played out across several tables by a group of very friendly, chatty players. The two sides each had an overall commander and the troops were represented by pieces of coloured card until contact was made.

 

There were some lovely painted troops and terrain

 

And this simply splendid castle! I believe that the outcome was that the Papal States beat the Venetians and lifted the siege of somewhere or other.

 

Thanks for looking

 

Andy T

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