Sometimes you've just got to scratch an itch. Some of you may wish to look away now.....
I've fancied cold war stuff for a while. The lads at the local club play in 6mm and it looks good, but I've never been a fan of small scale stuff and really I don't want to play with brigades, more platoons and companies.
When a mate mentioned he had 15mm modern British and played Team Yankee - Chieftains, Scorpions, Abbots and Lynx helicopters - it was the excuse I needed. Although I'd rather have had the British I picked up some T-72's and some other kit on eBay and from resellers at discounted rates and got painting.
Now I know FoW gets some stick for having lines of tanks and point based games which look like 40k. But that's as much about how you play as the rules themselves. Digging online I found some some info on Soviet TOE and used that to assemble my force.
- T-72 Tank Company- HQ tank and 9 tanks in 3 platoons
- Recce platoon- 2 BMP1
- AA Platoon- 2 Shilka
- Tracked Art- 3 Carnation SPG
- Infantry Support Motor Rifle platoon- 4 BMP2 w Infantry squads
This is well within the scope of the army lists in the books and feels like the lead elements of a Tank regiment pushing forward with recce and other support.
My force acquitted itself fairly well in its first game, considering it was only the second time I've played FOW and first time with TY. I expected to get my tanks shot up at long range and wasn't aggressive enough really but I managed to drive deep into the British position and take out the Lynx's and Scorpion's - the latter with my infantry RPG's. The chieftains suffered 2 or 3 losses from my tanks as they were well concealed by buildings and other terrain and had I been able to deploy a squad of my tanks earlier would have stretched the fewer numbers of British tanks by attacking both flanks simultaneously - but such was the scenario deployment rules (Encounter) and the throw of the dice. Given the British tanks could fire twice to my once whilst moving the losses seemed "right". I've been reading up on Arab Israeli battles in the 60's and 70's as the only real Cold War tank battles and the Soviet trained Syrian troops seem to have had the same issue when attacking, albeit in T55's vs Centurions.
I am impressed by is the quality of the material produced by Battlefront. Nice glossy sourcebooks and plenty of eye catching pictures backed up by info online and a strong range of toys. It's accessible and enticing, (even if at times a good proof read is needed!).
I also like the idea of doing some solo games, on the kitchen table with small forces. So I have bought some West Germans to face my Soviets. Leopard 2's with Heli support for now but I will add some panzergrenadiers in Marder1's or some home defence units with older kit. I also fancy some air support and in the first half of the 80's the Germans used Lockheed Starfighters and Alpha Jets. No cards for these, only the later Tornado. So using the Skyhawk stats from TY I made up cards from scratch using MsVisio. Quite pleased with these and now I've finished assembling my tanks and Heli's I need to decide which fighter to buy and build!
Lastly I need some modern buildings for the area around Hannover and Hamburg and some modern roads. Mdf seems ideal for these but again I like the Battlefront stuff too.
Sometimes it's nice to go a little off piste. Now.....where's that Scorpions LP...