Kevin and Derek won the initiative and had us deploy a battalion first, after which we took turns. The field was really, really flat with a small hill village surrounded by barbed wire at the southern end of the table and a village surrounded by a law wall to the north.
|The big-time village. The barbed wire areas were done up years ago for GW's Space Marine/ Epic games.|
|The same hill village with the Albion-ish force moving in - a mechanised/armoured infantry battalion.|
Bear and I split our forces - one armoured and one infantry battalion each, with Bear taking the Cobra gunships and myself taking the helicopter-borne paratroopers. On the other side, Kevin took the two infantry battalion and the Apache gunships while Derek ran the two armoured battalions. Kevin headed for the hill town with both battalions which included some Javelin SAMs and some anti-armour rockets. Derek came at me with his Challenger tanks. Bear deployed his Merkava tanks to the centre with his infantry to the outside. I sent my tanks "up the middle" and my infantry to the small village. For about two turns, we manoeuvred and finally came to grips. Derek used the wadis to good effect as he advanced to engage my troops. I found that the Merkavas could stand up to a lot as he and I exchanged fire.
|Bear's M113 "Zeldas" with the battalion command an M901 track with TOW gun.|
|One of Kevin's battalions - Warrior APCs and some scout and support equipment.|
|Kevin's Apache gunships looking belligerent.|
|Meanwhile, back at the ranch - Kevin's rolling stock moves into the town.|
|Derek's Challenger MBTs hull-down in the wadi.|
|What was left of Bear's infantry battalion after taking fire from the Challengers, over two turns. Zelda goes boom.|
Well, Bear took a lot of casualties, especially from a pop-up attack from the Apaches and his infantry broke under the whithering fire. His armour took some casualties as well. My armour held its own against Derek's tanks. He had to split his fire between our two battalions. His Scorpions really could not handle that volume of fire and brewed up fast. Lighter armour and all that. Bear and I sent two jet sorties against the town held by Kevin, both with napalm. Here the game broke down. The rules make napalm really brutally deadly, which did not seem realistic to some of the guys. It destroyed units in the open and in houses as well as vehicles. Martin had to re-read the rules and discovered that he hadn't adjudicated the air strike correctly, so some damage was taken back, but not all. To his defence, he hadn't read the rules for about 2 years and had only given them a cursory reading recently. At this point, the game went off the rails as Bear brought his Cobras in to attack Derek's tanks, then to strafe the town, and then engage the Apaches air-to-air. Since Cold War Commander uses Warmaster's command set-up, a player can move a unit many times in one turn, until his command rolls fail. This can be aggravating or exhilarating, depending if you're on the receiving end or on the delivering end. In any event, the helicopter gunships did a dog-fight which left both pretty cut up. Kevin brought in his Chinook-borne paras to reinforce the town and provide some more AA cover since they had some man-packed AAGMs.
|One of my Merkavas with a wound (the white washer) and a suppression marker (the blow-up splash,)|
|Kevin's Apaches, betting ready to pop up and sling missiles at Bear's infantry.|
|A Merkava battalion with only two platoons and the HQ left. The blow-ups indicate lost stands.|
|After slashing up Derek's tanks, Bear's Cobras head for the town. The wadis don't effect them.|
|The Cobras engage the Apaches in a deadly duel.|
I don't collect micro-armour so I enjoyed playing the game and handling the little tiny tanks. Martin deserves credit for painting those vehicles and men so well. The rules, however, need something to be desired. I'm thinking that the weaponry of modern warfare is SO varied and complex that it might be tough to game without a computer and an accountant. What certain weapon systems and bomb-loads can do is very subjective and open to interpretation or argument. (Except for tactical nuclear weapons which is best simulated by dribbling a basketball on the table for five minutes.) Maybe it's just not "my cup of tea" as they say. My wife believes gaming beyond 1815 (or maybe 1865) is worthless since it is no longer an "honourable" endeavor. I'm not quite so tied up but I will say the technology makes gaming the modern period tough to do. Maybe I'll try it again. Maybe...
Meanwhile, more photos. (I took all the pictures this time, with my wife's good camera.)
|Israeli Merkavas with some attched troops.|
|Israeli Blackhawk helicopeter, which went unused the entire game. I usually end up dropping the airbourne into harm's way and getting them destroyed.|
|British Chinook helicopters - heavy lifters, carrying two stands of infantry.|
However if one is shot down, you lose two stands of infantry.
|British Apache helicopter gunships|
|The British Challenger MBT - rather nicely detailed in my opinion, especially for a model the size of your thumbnail.|
|British Warrior APCs|
|Just an interesting vista|
|My armoured infantry with M113 Zeldas and a mortar carrier as they search the village.|
|From previous year's Christmas Party.|