Tuesday, April 10, 2012

World at War: The Untold Stories - The Princess and the Dragoon

In the third scenario of Lock 'n Load's World at War:  The Untold Stories, there's a classic match-up consisting of the Canadians versus the East Germans.  This scenario is a tough one for both sides since there are multiple objectives and lots of different forces to contend with.

The NATO forces include the 2nd PPCLI (Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry) and the Royal Dragoons "A" Squadron.  2PPCLI has a couple of tank platoons mixed in with infantry and M113s while the Dragoons consist entirely of Leopard C1 tanks.  About halfway through the scenario, the Canadians get CF-18 close air support, which is pretty cool since I've always loved the CF-18s.

The East Germans get lots of toys to play with.  They have the 51st tank division with lots of T-72s.  The 29th MS is a motorized regiment with some tanks mixed in with infantry and BMP-2 infantry transports.  They also get a BRDM scout car with a Shilka mobile AAA platform.  Last but not least, the 40th Fallschirmjager battalion with motorized infantry and three Mi-24 Hinds for support come in on turn 3.  An Su-22 aircraft is also available for airstrikes after a few turns in.

The East Germans have to 1) take over two cities in the west (Erp and Hoogven) 2) destroy the Canadian HQs and 3) get some tanks from the 51st off the west edge of the map.  The Canadians want to stop them from achieving as many of these objectives as possible.

The game starts and the Dragoons and the 2PPCLI make their way on to the map from the south.  The East Germans enter the board from the east with the T-72s from the 51st.  The designated formation marker is pulled, which allows the E. German player to activate any formation.  He chooses the 51st again and they stream west - straight for the Canadians.  The objective here was to cut the Canadians completely off from getting to the East German objective cities directly north of them.  The Canadians respond by herding the 2PPCLI into the protection of the city of Meine to the west while the Dragoons put up tanks on the hill to the southeast and wait to blast the East Germans.

East German 51st tanks cut in from the east towards the Canadians.

The following turn, the East Germans pull some lucky activations, however, and manage to disrupt the Dragoons tanks.  The Canadians watch helplessly as the East German 29th formation activates twice in a row thanks to the designated formation marker. East German infantry and tanks stream towards Erp and Hoogven to the west as the Canadians are trapped in by the T-72s on their flank.  The Canadians decide to pop smoke and make a run for it.  This doesn't work so well as the smoke fire mission lands off target and the Canadian infantry gets hammered by T-72s from the East German 51st.

Canadians pop smoke and try to maneuver some units, which only invites opportunity fire.


The Germans have gotten a bit cocky and have used the Canadian smoke to their own advantage.  They have positioned their units on the forested hillside directly to the east of the Canadians. The smoke clears and the Canadians start hitting their positions.  The East Germans take some casualties but they still have plenty of power left to harass the Canadian 2PPCLI as it pushes north.


The smoke clears and the East Germans start hitting at the Canadians to the west.

Further up north from the action, the East German 29th has almost reached the city and the 40th FJS has disembarked from the Hinds, which have landed far out of the Canadians' reach.  Truth be told, I wasn't exactly sure what to do with the 40th.  Things were going so well down south with the 51st that they almost seemed superfluous.

40th FJS infantry disembark from helos north of Erp while the 29th makes its way to the city.

One lucky coincidence for the East Germans was having enough BMPs with a line of sight to hit at any Canadians that escaped the cauldron of fire down south.  The BMPs leisurely picked off advance elements of the 2PPCLI, destroying M113s and the Canadian Lynx recon vehicle.  Things were getting dire for the Canucks.  With the 2PPCLI and the Dragoons in complete disarray, the remnants of the 51st East German tank division moved off the hillside and up towards the city of Hoogven.  The 29th and the 40th made their way into Erp while a lone Canadian infantry platoon bravely attempted to take Hoogven without any support.

2PPCLI infantry races the 51st to Hoogven.  40th and 29th pour into Erp.

The 51st activated the next turn and completely wiped out the Canadian infantry platoon as it entered Hoogven.  Hinds from the 40th started opening fire at the 2 PPCLI Canadian headquarters units, repeatedly disrupting them but failing to make the kill.  CF-18 airstrikes came in and harassed the East German 51st tanks and their headquarters but also could not eliminate them.  It was turn 6 and now no one was happy.  The Dragoons, deciding enough was enough, decided to try a last ditch effort at hitting the East German infantry pouring into Hoogven.  They raced up the road, taking opportunity fire from two Hind helicopters.  Despite one of the floating beasts emptying the last of his ammunition and missiles on the Canadians, neither Hind scored any hits.  The 2PPCLI tanks set up to the east on a hillside and also started to fire into Hoogven.  Neither Canadian commander had any infantry reserves to send into the city but they were determined to try something.



The Dragoons charge up the road and start setting up shots at Hoogven.  


The last available Hind activated on the next turn and managed to destroy the Canadian 2PPCLI HQ.  The Germans sent the 40th FJS down south to assault the rest of the Canadian tanks from the Dragoons.  The Canucks fired back but failed to destroy the East Germans on their approach.  A small window of opportunity opened for the Canadian HQ to charge into the south of Hoogven almost unopposed.


German infantry from the 40th FJS charge at the Canadian Dragoons.


But alas, the second turn marker was pulled and turn 8 had ended.  With it, the game was over and each side calculated their scores.  For capturing Erp and Hoogven, the Germans gained 1 VP.  Although they killed the 2PPCLI HQ, they needed to get the Dragoons HQ for a second VP, so that's denied.  The 51st failed to exit four units from the west side of the board as they were indeed eventually cut down by the Canadians.  With 1 VP, the Canadians score a very minor victory.

It was very close and the Germans could have probably gotten that second VP by taking out the Canadian Dragoon HQ if they had used the 40th FJS a little more wisely rather than just using it to reinforce Erp and Hoogven.  The 29th really did very little once it got to the city and they should have poured south in search of a fight.  The Canadians should have probably kept moving north early on rather than try and gingerly send out units to get picked off by the East German 51st, 29th, and (later on) the Hinds from the 40th.  Both sides got fairly reckless on the very last turn, which was fun to play out.  Sometimes those really crazy ideas pay off anyway.


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