Saturday, October 30, 2010

A completed Soviet army at last!

After starting to buy bits of 1/300th scale Soviet armour in about 1979, I've finally completed my collection. Completed, that is, in the sense that I have no more to paint. Trouble is, it's Fiasco in Leeds tomorrow - I might just to have to go and buy some more!

Click on the pics to enlarge.

Here's the whole force:

Six tank battalions, left to right T-80s, T-55s, T-62s, two battalions of T-72s, and a battalion of PT-76s.

ATGWs old and new - BRDM3s on left and "suitcase Saggers" on the right.

The air support, left to right, back to front - Su-24, two Su-25 Frogfoots, Hind-A, two Mi-28 Havocs, two MiG-29s (one in Czech airforce colours), MiG-27, two Hind-Ds, East German MiG-21, Mi-14 Haze(!), and Mi-8 Hip.

The engineers - engineer platoon in truck, TMM truck-launched bridge, MTU-20, GMZ mainelayer, and an unidentified engineer vehicle. The HQ has another GMZ and a TMS-61 decontamination vehicle.

Motor Rifle battalions - left to right two battalions BMP-1, one of BMP-2, two of BTR-70s. Clearly I need to rebase my infantry consistently.

The artillery and the SAMs.

Various bits and bobs:

And finally, a close-up of the CO unit:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

1960s Soviet Motor Rifles

I did a bit of research as to what was appropriate for a late 1960s Soviet force. This Cold War Commander org is based on Ian Shaw’s Leopard lists (available in the files area of the TO&Es Yahoogroup).

Soviet Motor Rifle Regiment, 1961-67


2x Recce PT76, 2x Recce BRDM1

2x ZSU57-2 or ZPU2, Lt Trucks

3 Motor Rifle Battalions


8x Infantry w RPG-2, 6x APC

0-2x 120mm Mortar, Lt Truck

0-1x B11 107mm RCL, APC

1 Tank Battalion


8x Tanks

Regt Howitzer Battery

2x 122mm How, Trucks

Regt Engineer Coy

1x T34 AVLB or MTU1 or MTU20

1x Engineers, BTR152

Regt AT Battery

2x T-12, Trucks or 2x BRDM1 Snapper or 2x BRDM1 Swatter

Regt AA Battery

2x ZPU-2 or 2x ZSU57-2

Divisional Heavy Tank / Assault Gun Battalion


8x Tanks


APCs may be BTR152 or BTR50 or BTR60P or BTR60PA. My current assumption is that all APCs in the regiment should be of the same type.

Tanks within the Regiment may be T-54, T-55 or T-62.

The Divisional Heavy Tank / Assault Gun Battalion is included as a possible attachment (and because it’s fun to have some fancy kit to play with). “Tanks” could be T-10 or T-10M heavies or IT-122 or IT-130 self-propelled guns.

The CO stand should probably be modelled with a BTR-50PU or a BTR-60PU, accompanied by a BRDM-1. HQs may have the command version of the appropriate APC type. ZPU-2 AA guns and/or radio trucks are suitable additions to any command stand.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday afternoon games: 1960s Cold War Commander

The latest of my “Saturday Afternoon Wargames” happened this weekend. We (Rob Connolly, Simon Griffiths, Phil Gray and I) played a 1960s World War 3 scenario using the Cold War Commander rules.

I wanted to try an earlier timeframe to use a few oddball units (IT-130 assault guns, BTR-60P open-topped APCs) that otherwise would have stayed in their box.

The scenario was “Encirclement” from the CWC rule book. It involved a NATO force trying to race the length of the table to avoid being cut off by Warsaw Pact forces. The NATO force consisted of a British mechanised infantry battalion (1/Cheshires) reinforced by a squadron of Chieftain Mk2 tanks (brand new in 1968) and a couple of companies’ worth of West German M48A2 tanks. NATO could also call upon off-table artillery support.
The Warsaw Pact force had two battalions of tanks (one each with T-62 and T-55), a company of IT-130s and a Motor Rifle Company in those open-topped BTRs. Simon and Phil, as the Warsaw Pact commanders, could also pick from a selection of additional units. They went for a battalion (three models) of off-table 122mm howitzers, a battery (two models) of truck-towed 100mm anti-tank guns, and an air-mobile reserve of four infantry platoons to be delivered by Mi-8 helicopters.

The battlefield consisted of a slice across a broad river valley. Across the valley (and hence down the long axis of the table) ran an embanked Autobahn which crossed the stream at the bottom of the valley via a culvert. Secondary roads crossed the stream via small bridges on both sides. Crest lines divided the table roughly into thirds, in the southernmost of which the NATO force began the game deployed.

I had suggested to Rob that he could theoretically, by dint of a series of very lucky die rolls get his entire NATO force down the Autobahn and off the far end of the table before the Soviets had even had a chance to enter the table. Sensibly, he chose to discount this option.

The Warsaw Pact forces were split with the T-55s and the IT-130s coming on from the east (on the right of the NATO forces) and the T-62s, motor rifles and AT guns entering from the left.

Rob started by throwing the German M48s forward on his extreme left while the Chieftains and the Cheshires advanced down the Autobahn.
To the east Phil moved the T-55s forwards behind the further ridgeline. Here they could hold a large wood (see below) from where they could fire into the flank of anyone moving along the Autobahn. He also moved the IT-130s to a position on the ridge.
Simon’s western Warpac force pushed its T-62s forwards to engage the German tanks. The BTR-60s accompanied them and eventually deployed their infantry into a small wood where they would eventually threaten the flanks of the Cheshires battlegroup as it skidded off the Autobahn.
The NATO force moved forward but the advance bogged down, the M48s trading shots with the T-62s and the Chieftains splitting their fire between the T-62s on their left and the IT-130s on their right. A better approach might have been to manoeuvre the Chieftains into a position where they could concentrate their fire on one or the other – the T-62s could probably have been taken out before the T-55s were in a position to intervene.

By the time Rob had to leave to make it back over the Pennines, the Cheshires had dismounted in the face of heavy fire from the Soviet anti-tank guns only to come under wickedly accurate howitzer fire. I took over for a turn and a half and managed to roll a couple of command bonuses with which I managed to take out all but one of the remaining T-62s but the toll on the Cheshires and their transport from AT guns, artillery, and RPG-7s had pushed the NATO force past its breakpoint. After 8 game turns we decided to call it a day and head for our various homes.
I had given Rob the biggest NATO force I could muster using 1968 technology and that meant giving him a force mix that was fairly realistic for the back-story I’d made up but wasn’t ideal for the gamer wanting the best chance to win. The mechanised infantry were more targets than anything useful. I’d partly balanced this by not properly applying the breakpoint reductions for Flexible Doctrine but even so I think Rob would have been pushed to win this game.

It was great fun though and I think I may seek out some more 1960s kit. A Hornet Malkara would make an interesting scratch-building project!

The Land of Counterpane is Back

For a long time The Land of Counterpane was my wargaming website. I stopped maintaining it when I moved house away from an area with cable broadband to one where I had to put up with a painfully slow mobile telephone connection.

I'm still here but I've decided that Blogspot is OK with this connection. I'm going to use this blog as a way of recording my general wargaming activity. I'll also be maintaining the SOTCW Events blog and Andreivian Tales for reports of gaming in my fictional Black Sea republic.

The title, by the way, comes from a poem by early wargamer Robert Louis Stephenson.