Showing posts from 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Assault on Ben Suc

So I got down to playing LnLP's Forgotten Heroes during the past week and out came the great scenario, "Assault at Ben Suc".  The background here is the US Army and South Vietnamese troops were conducting search and destroy missions in the Iron Triangle as part of Operation Cedar Falls in January of 1967.

This was a huge ground operation that used up a huge number of resources in an attempt to trap and hopefully eliminate Viet Cong resistance in the south in one fell swoop.  A key part of this plan was to conduct an air assault into the village of Ben Suc, which was thought to be an important VC base of operations.  As it turned out, the Viet Cong were largely able to evade the US and South Vietnamese forces, who found a tunnel network and a large number of supplies in the village but no enemy.  The American commanders at the time ordered Ben Suc destroyed and the subsequent relocation of the villagers became yet another controversial event in a very controversial confl…

Band of Heroes - Carentan

From 10-14 June, 1944,  the US 101st Airborne Division fought against the German 6th Parachute Regiment in the small rural town of Carentan in Normandy, France.  For the Americans, winning the battle meant consolidating the Normandy landing beach heads.  On the other hand, the Germans needed the town to mount counterattacks on the nearby Allied landing force.

The battle is represented in Lock 'n Load Publishing's WW2 squad-based game, Band of Heroes.  Here's how my playthrough went.

The American objective is to head east into the town and take as many buildings as possible away from German control while the German objective is to stop them.  The scenario lasts 7 turns. The U.S. player gets 9 Fate Points that can be used to alter dice rolls in their favor.  It's a tough scenario for both sides with lots of tight close-in fighting through narrow streets and buildings cramped with the enemy.  I tend to lose a lot with the Americans when I play this scenario.  Usually, I…

Red Army by Ralph Peters - a short review

Have some pity for Ralph Peters, whose lovely novel about World War III in Central Europe was published in 1989 by Atria Books, just in time to see the end of the Cold War and the radical political transformation of Europe.  Red Army is a work of fiction that focuses on the men behind the Soviet military machine and the ordeals and triumphs they would encounter in an invasion of West Germany.  In a sort of mirror-image of Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising, the novel is told from the perspective of Soviet army troops all the way from a terrified infantryman to the charismatic General Malinsky, commander in charge of the First Western Front, as they push their way across West Germany in the ultimate showdown of modern arms.

To his credit, Peters meticulously avoids providing details about weapons systems, hardware, or fighting vehicles.  This lets him keep away from getting bogged down in arguments about the range of a specific missile or the capabilities of a certain tank, another ma…

2nd Fleet - Scenario 2: Sink the Boomers!

"Sink the Boomers!"  is one of the introductory scenarios from Victory Games' second release in the Fleet series games, 2nd Fleet.  While the first release, 6th Fleet, focused on naval warfare in the Mediterranean, this time around the action takes place in the North Atlantic near the GIUK (Greenland, Iceland, UK) gap where, presumably, NATO would duke it out with the Soviets in any Cold-War-Turned-Hot conflict that brewed up in Central Europe.

In "Sink The Boomers", the unthinkable has happened at some point in the 1980s and the Warsaw Pact is pouring tanks and men across the border into West Germany.  Reagan has threatened a limited nuclear strike on the Russians and to show them he's serious, has ordered the destruction of Soviet ballistic nuclear submarines ("boomers") operating in the Barents Sea.  Unfortunately, the Americans have only two SN attack submarines on hand, the La Jolla (LAJLA) and the Newport News (NPNWS) for this task. The Sovi…

World at War - Counterattack - Scenario 3

"Just Passing Through" is the name of the third scenario for Counterattack, an expansion set in the World at War universe.  This scenario features two formations of Americans (the A/1-8 mechanized infantry and Echo tank company) trying to sweep into the Soviet salient as it advances into France during the early summer of 1985.  Played on the Blood & Bridges map, the Americans face off against the 62nd Motorized Rifle regiment in an effort to take the cities of Uberdorf and Dattenburg.  
Once both of these cities are secured, the West Germans enter the map and try to take the city to the far north, Werthoven.  At the same time this occurs, the Soviets get the 13th Guards Tank division (full of lots of T-80s) to try and take back any lost ground.  For this reason, timing and conservation of forces is a vital issue, especially for NATO.  If the Americans take Dattenberg too late, they probably won't get Werthoven.  If the US takes too many casualties while taking both …

World at War - Counterattack - Scenario 2

These days, in between bouts of 7th Fleet and Nations at War, I've been having fun playing the World at War expansion, Counterattack.  After playing through its first scenario, "Dial 411 for Information", the second scenario, called "One Thing At a Time",  was quickly set up on my table over the weekend.

The background here is that NATO is desperately trying to stall the Soviet advance into France in early June of '85.  In order to stem the tide, the Americans send in a special group of Sheridan tanks behind the front lines to hit at reinforcements coming through Dattenberg.  The Soviets will score VPs by both exiting units off the west side of the map and taking out the Sheridans.

The order of battle is quite interesting as the Americans only get four platoons to work with from the 3-73 formation.  These are nowhere near as powerful as Abrams tanks, with neither their armor toughness nor their range capabilities (Sheridans have a 1-5 armor rating and rang…

World at War - Counterattack - Scenario 1

Dial 411 For Information is the name of the first scenario for LnLP's World at War expansion titled "Counterattack".  The Counterattack expansion is a single book loaded with scenarios that form two campaigns that revolve around the efforts of two groups of NATO soldiers in the middle of World War III.  I won't give too much of the background story away here for those who are interested in purchasing it.

In this scenario, Task Force Eagle is given the overwhelming job of rescuing a group of prisoners with valuable information.  They are sent up against an entire Soviet Motorized Regiment, which is spread out through three cities on the western edge of the Blood and Bridges map.  This task is complicated by the fact that TF Eagle has no idea in which of the three cities the POWs are located (you have to roll a die to determine their location so I'm not giving any spoilers away here with this report) and they only get 8 turns to snatch the prisoners and get the hec…