Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lippe Crossing - the playtest

A somewhat truncated battle for the River Lippe was fought out today. Preparations were interrupted by work on the games room and by Saturday morning shopping so we were a bit late starting. Also one of our players had managed just one-and-a-half games of Cold War Commander in the past three years so some time was spent on a rules reminder session.

The scenario sees Soviet forces swinging south towards the Ruhr and attempting to force a crossing of the Lippe, which is held at the moment by elements of II (British) Corps. The Soviet force was an under-strength Motor Rifle Regiment (two Motor Rifle Battalions in BTR70s and a Tank Battalion with T-62s) commanded by Colonel Sangarov.

The British had a mechanised infantry battalion (1st Cheshires) reinforced by a squadron of Chieftains from Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Brigadier Connolly was in the tactical command post.

The table was bisected by the river with the Soviets deployed on the northern (right) bank (on the right hand side of the following picture). The countryside is mostly farmland but with a light industrial areas and one village. The river bank is often tree-lined so in some places it was possible for the attackers to get close to the bank without taking fire.

In the River Crossing scenario both sides start with fixed deployment. In this case they alternate deploying commands. Andy spread his battalions along the river and so forced Rob to follow suit. Rob took the decision to deploy his Chieftains in “penny packets” (one troop reinforcing each company). The only fixed crossing point was the railway bridge.

Andy decided to ignore this and send his tanks across the river where it flowed between wooded banks and where a factory unit partly covered his approach march. This being the case he was able to get his MTU-20 AVLB up to the river bank and laying its bridge by game turn 4.

By the time we ran out of time, the Soviet forces had established two shallow bridgeheads thanks to the amphibious BTR-70s and were about to complete the bridge that would allow the tanks to cross.

I'm reasonably pleased with how the game went. The players were happy to call it a draw and I think this was reasonable albeit I think the likely result would have been clearer in another turn or two. The scenario is worth exploring further with a little more time and will form the basis of the SOTCW game at Hammerhead on February 14th.


Andy McMaster said...

Nice report and pics. And nice table.

Cheers for posting


cardophillipo said...

Hi Richard,

I notice in the first picture the bridgelayer with the T55's. What manufacturer is that from is it a T34 Bridgelayer from H&R. I was planning on using a one with a T55 hull?

T'other Richard