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The Plan

The plan is simple: I must overrun the airfield before the British relief force gets to the airfield. This is greatly complicated by my reinforcement schedule, as most of my combat power does not arrive until 40+ minutes into the battle.

The Big Picture:


Scheme of Maneuver

QRF Ė The QRF force will arrive in 10 minutes. They will immediately proceed through a gully towards the control tower on the airfield and establish a support by fire position. The gully will provide good defilade all the way to their SBF position and should prevent any interdiction by the British. Once at the SBF, the BMPs will pour direct fire into known and suspected British positions along the airfield perimeter defenses. If the situation allows, the infantry will conduct a dismounted assault against the periphery defenses and attempt to establish a toehold on the airfield for follow on forces to exploit. 

Composition:
-x3 BMP-2s
-x2 rifle squads
-x1 platoon command element





Armor Team Ė The Armor Team will arrive in approximately 40 minutes. They will advance forward and establish a Base of Fire position to put direct fires on the British defenses while providing overwatch for assaulting forces. They have the additional task of reacting to any British relief force that may arrive. If the situation allows, the tanks will assist the assaulting elements in conducting a close assault of the airfield. While this will place the tanks at increased risk from handheld AT weapons, I view this as a necessary risk. It is imperative that the airfield defenses are reduced as quickly as possible. A section of x2 122mm 2S1ís will arrive on station with the Armor Team.

Composition:
x10 T-72 tanks (x3 platoons of x3 tanks, with x1 command tank)
-x2 122mm 2S1 self-propelled howitzers (off-map)



Mech Team Ė The Mech Team will arrive in approximately 40 minutes. This is my primary assault force and main effort. They will advance forward and under cover from the Armor Team, will conduct a deliberate attack against the British defenses. The BMPs will close on the enemy positions, putting down direct fire as they move. Then upon reaching a position close enough to the enemy positions (terrain dictates the specific positioning) the infantry will dismount and conduct a close assault of the trench lines. After clearing the trenches on the perimeter of the airfield, the infantry will continue to execute a dismounted assault of the airfield itself, to include the hangars and any occupied buildings. The BMPs will move behind the infantry and provide direct fire support. A section of x2 122mm 2S1ís will arrive on station with the Mech Team.

Composition:
-x12 BMP-2 IFVs (x3 rifle platoons with x3 BMP-2s, x1 weapons platoon with x2 BMP-2s, x1 command BMP-2)
-x2 company command elements (CO/XO)
-x6 rifle squads
-x3 platoon HQs
-x2 machinegun teams
-x1 weapons platoon HQ
-x1 forward observer
-x2 120mm mortars (off-map)
-x2 122mm 2S1 self-propelled howitzers (off-map)



Fires Plan

The initial fires plan has all 6 82mm mortars firing suppression missions against the British defenses. These missions are low rate of fire, long duration. This will allow me to keep the British positions under fire for an extended period while preserving ammunition. The goal of these fires is not to produce mass casualties, but to keep the British pinned in their trenches, unable to observe or fire on my units.







At T+5 minutes 2 D-30 howitzers will become available. These will be tasked with suppressing the British positions around the control tower. The mission will be the same as the mortars, a low rate of fire at long duration. These fires may allow the QRF to conduct a hasty attack against the positions surrounding the control tower.



At approximately T+40 minutes 4 2S1s will become available. These will be used in support of the main assault. Targets will be determined by the situation as the assault develops.

Composition:
-x6 82mm mortars
Reinforcing:
-x2 122mm D-30 howitzers (T+5)
-x2 120mm mortars (T+40)
-x4 122mm 2S1 self-propelled guns (T+40)


Note: The battalion FO starts the battle on-map and is directing all initial fires.

Blocking Positions

The blocking positions are the resistance nests that remain under my control. These are resistance nests 2, 3, and 4. These positions are fixed defenses with fortifications (trenches and bunkers) manned by the airfield reservists with heavy weapons. Their primary mission is to hold in place and act as an early warning to any British relief attempt. In the case of a British relief force attacking, they will act as the initial screen against such an attempt. As a secondary objective, they will put fires into any observed movement on the British occupied resistance nest 1. These positions are not expected to hold out long against a determined attack. If they can buy time and delay the enemy long enough to allow for the airfield to be reduced, they have done their job.



Composition:

Resistance Nest 2
-x1 platoon HQ
-x2 rifle squads
-x1 recoilless rifle
-x1 RPG team
-x1 MMG team

Resistance Nest 3
-x1 platoon HQ
-x2 rifle squads
-x1 RPG team
-x1 ATGM team (AT-4A)
-x1 recoilless rifle
-x1 MMG team

Resistance Nest 4
-x2 Company command elements (CO/XO)
-x1 weapons platoon HQ
-x1 platoon HQ
-x2 rifle squads
-x2 HMG teams
-x1 ATGM team (AT-4A)


To reiterate, the only chance I have at success is to capture the airfield before the British relief force is able to break through. Unless the British relief force has no tanks (which I highly doubt) I will be completely outmatched.

The stage is set.




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Tabletop AARs / Re: Squeaker Grogs Unite: A Mice & Mystics AAR
« Last post by Con on Today at 03:20:51 PM »
Con, I'd suggest getting it if you have a chance; it's not easy to find. I first found it via Wil Wheaton's TableTop series on YouTube. Went to Amazon and they wanted $150 for it. Last year I found it for $70 and almost bit, but literally 30 minutes later at another game store I found it for $50. I was very lucky. If you got it you could play it and see if you think they'd enjoy it. There's at least two expansions out there for it right now that I know of, too, so you could always get those too if you think it's a good game.

I think it's $75 on Amazon right now, which is a bit pricey for a game that's older, but that just shows you the demand is still high. I'd also check the site for Plaid Hat Games to see what they're selling it for, if they still are.

Here's a post from BGG on the subject of minimum age to play this: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1337505/minimum-age-play-mice-and-mystics
FYI

I bought mice and mystics several weeks ago and I have been painting the figures on my new work bench

My kids are anxious to begin a game but Ia m enjoying the painting too much to hurry.  Its been very therapeutic.  In fact I have to turf one of my kids out who has taken over my new painting space and is painting some cheap green army men.  He likes the bronze and gold effect paints which means his soldiers look like they staggered out of a bad 70s disco movie but painting figs is painting figs so I am encouraging him to keep at it

Con

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Someone recently used the email button to send me a question about the Shadalar game, but he or she (probably 'he' around here ;) ) didn't sign a name, and the return address is actually to Brant -- but Brant didn't send it (I checked).

This is apparently a forum technicality, where using the email button send the message through the forum's email address.

Consequently, I don't know who sent me the email (and neither does Brant).

I'll try to help, if whoever it was sends me a pmail instead, i.e. a "private mail" using that button. That goes through the forum engine only, and will show up with an alert when I check in (though it may take me a little while to notice. Because I'm dense and narrow-minded.  :nerd: :hide: :dreamer: )
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Gonna need a shit-load of new screen doors in that place.  :bd:
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Delium Again
« Last post by MengJiao on Today at 12:07:16 PM »

I set this up quickly -- more or less out of Nostalgia for the game:

  Looks like I have to try this again again.  I can't get this to work as perhaps Pagondas envisioned it.  The hidden advance just seems to throw the Boeotians into disorder.  The skirmishing and cavalry doesn't bother the Athenian hoplites much and then the Boeotians come over the hill in disorder and the Athenians crush them.  And this time Pagondas even managed to get himself killed.
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Nice to see you back at this one, AR  :bd:
Thanks, mirth. Life has been busy the past few months, and it's about to get busy again.

Next installment:

One of the F-4G pilots had waited too long to release his second missile. His aircraft shot up above the crest of the dramatic volcanic ridge before he could slam his stick over into a diving 180-degree turn to the south. The mistake was fatal, as an SA-10 shredded his aircraft before he could dive back behind cover. The other five jets dipped back below the crest just before nearly a dozen advanced Soviet SAMs streaked overhead, seeking their targets now in vain.

The Americans had lost another jet, but the missiles targeted on the American aircraft detracted from the weight of fire that the Russians now needed to bring to bear against the HARMs that were tipping downward in their terminal dives towards the Tombstone and Flap Lid radars that directed the Soviet missile batteries. Of the twelve HARMs launched, nine fell to the still-formidable Soviet defenses. One of the survivors malfunctioned somewhere in the chaos of electronic jamming, explosions, and 30mm cannon fire, slamming, into the ground. The remaining two both homed in on a single Soviet SA-10 battery, exploding in quick succession and wrecking the batteries radars. The Soviet Keflavik defenses, though still incredibly strong, were now just that much weaker. Then the CALCMs began to explode.

The AGM-86s, flying low and following the contours of the rugged Icelandic landscape, had remained undetected behind the chaos of the HARM engagement. The Soviet SA-10s and -20s, which were set to conduct autonomous computerized engagement, did not see the incoming missiles until they were almost inside the Keflavik SAM perimeter. Even so, the Soviet defensive systems went to work, with impressive results, given the circumstances. In quick succession seven of the American cruise missiles fell to the surviving Soviet SAM batteries and their accompanying short-ranged SA-22s and -19s.

But it wasnít enough. The nine remaining CALCMs, converging almost simultaneously from the southern quarter of the compass, struck the perimeter of the airfield in quick succession. The missilesí 1,300kg warheads detonated in huge yellow flashed that lit up the night sky and the surrounding subarctic snowscape. Several of the warheads wasted their blasts on the snow and rock of empty spaces around Keflavik, but three exploded close enough to cause damage, particularly to the vulnerable radars. One detonated directly between two SA-20 TELs, shredding the tubular vertical launchers and causing the missiles inside to explode upwards like bottle rockets.

The results were devastating. When the smoke began to clear, only one SA-10 battery was still functional. Aboard the Commando Solo, the 27th TFWís commander noted with satisfaction the silencing of the forest of Soviet radars, as reported by the crew of the RC-135 Rivet Joint that was turning lazy racetrack patterns south of Iceland. He picked up his radio hand mic and ordered, ďSEAD Package Three, looks like the way is clear. Go in and finish them off for us.Ē
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Tabletop AARs / Delium Again
« Last post by MengJiao on Today at 09:47:34 AM »

I set this up quickly -- more or less out of Nostalgia for the game:

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Tabletop AARs / B-17 Flying Fortress Leader - AAR
« Last post by Geezer on Today at 08:06:41 AM »
I cobbled together this AAR while playing my first game of B-17 FFL using the introductory U-boat Campaign.  It was actually a series of posts at the Qt3 forums that I cut and pasted here, so it starts off a bit rambling and then rambles on some more since I'm only doing very minor editing here.   ;)

First week:

OK, got my copy today, set it up, and played one mission of the U-Boat Focus campaign. Before playing I perused the original rules that came with the game and then set them aside. Agree completely with your assessment above. (in response to someone who posted the original rules were poorly written)

However the latest pdf rules version at BGG (Board Game Geek site) is good IMHO. Itís written by Dean Brown who is the designer. While only being about a dozen pages longer they are much denser and much better written. I was able to play through my first mission without any show stoppers and felt like I followed the sequence and did pretty much everything correctly. I probably messed up something minor but I never felt lost. Having section numbers makes it pretty easy to find the details quickly when you are following the sequence of play. Iíll have to print them out as walking from my game table to the computer and back to check things isnít going to cut it.

Now if only my green and rookie B-17 groups had been able to hit the broad side of a U-boat pen at St. Nazaire we might have a chance at winning the war! Two lousy hits which was not even enough to count as light damage. At least my Spitfire escort shot down some Me 109ís. I found the first mission quite fun. My second mission this week is a bombing raid on the aircraft factory at Gotha, Germany. Weíre making that run without the benefit of any escorts. <gulp>

As an aside Iím reading Raiding the Reich by Freeman again too. A good overview of the air war with lots of great pictures as well.

Edit - Forgot to mention that the Fat Man himself is handling the German air response this month. They were on high alert for our first mission but their response is poor for my second mission and there are no squadrons in the target hex so our bombers might get a free ride to and from Gotha. Fingers crossed.

Edit - Spoke too soon. Forgot there is a hex with two German squadrons along the path. The event card raised their alert from Poor to Average but that has no effect in this case.

Our raid on Gotha dodged a couple of bullets and managed a limited result. As the 91st and 97th Bomber Groups crossed the coast they started reporting bandits. None actually appeared (pulled two No Bandit chits!) so Iím chalking it up to the fact that one unit is green and the other is recruit level. The 97th lined up on the aircraft factory first and weathered the flak with no losses. They got four hits on the target plus set it on fire with incendiaries. Following them was the 91st who took 3 losses to flak. They managed one additional hit which brought the damage to Light. Unfortunately the Germans put out the fires before they could cause enough damage to increase the overall result. The return trip to England was equally uneventful so that ends the first week of the campaign.

Edit - Light damage to Gotha and no damage to St. Nazaire. We will need to improve significantly on that in the coming weeks.

As mentioned above it was possible I slipped up on a couple of things, and I did. Commander Wray, 91st Bomber Group, was AWOL for the mission. Probably drunk in a pub in London. Iíd court martial him, but it was a major malfunction in the chain of command and not his fault. I did not see the very fine print on the card indicating he is the default commander and therefore he can be used without spending any SO (strategic options) points. His evasion skill might have saved some aircraft that were hit by flak, but it also gives a negative die roll modifier to the bomb run die roll and that might have meant less damage at Gotha. I also did not see the very fine print of the 301st BG card saying they get a +1 die roll modifier when bombing U-boat pens. That might have made a difference at St. Nazaire.

Aircraft losses for the first week were 15 Spitfires and 15 B-17ís (10 strength points total). For week two Iím going to spend 5 of my 18 SO points to bring all units back to full strength (1 SO = 2 SPís replaced). With this short campaign itís not practical to rest them to replenish for free.

Week Two:

Weíre changing plans for week two. Iím going to run one mission with all groups against the U-boat pen at Lorient, France. The pens give double victory points in this campaign so weíll focus on them. That means the damage at Gotha will be repaired this week, but itís just not worth the effort to split forces and hit it again. Stay tunedÖ :)

Edit - I also just noticed the pens are hardened targets which negates one point of damage from every bomb hit. Ouch. We need some bunker busters! All the things I missed above were clear in the revised manual, I just missed them.

As mentioned above we were targeting the U-boat pen at Lorient, France for the second week of August. The Fat Man (Goering) must have started in early on the schnapps the day of our raid because the Luftwaffe response was Poor. That meant unless an event card changed things we would not have to deal with any Luftwaffe squadrons for the raid because none were stationed directly in our flight path.

Cmdr. Wrayís 91st BG was first over the target. The flak was not a factor and his group managed two hits on the target. It would have been double that if it werenít a hardened target. Next up was the 97th BG who took 3 aircraft losses to flak but still managed two more bomb hits. The 92nd BG was third in line and took 9 aircraft losses to flak. That might have affected their bombing run as they scored no hits. Last was Cmdr. Raperís 301st BG who took no flak losses and scored three hits, due to the commanders air to ground skill. Final result was 7 hits which was light damage to the target. The return flight was uneventful.

Weíre going to hit the same target again next week because you only get victory points for destroyed targets, and to make sure no damage is repaired if we switched targets. The repair is not automatic but weíre going to hit it again to make sure nothing is repaired.

Week Three:

At the end of the second mission I noticed that Cmdr. Wrayís 91st BG had enough XP to get promoted from Recruit to Green. Every little bit helps.

Week three saw a return to the pens at Lorient, France. The Luftwaffe was again unable to muster anything other than a Poor response. Goering should feel the noose tightening around his neck already. The random event card was a huge boost, called Combined Bomber Operations that caused 4 hits to the target. Kudos to the RAF for joining in! With the Light damage already recorded that put us at 8 hits for medium damage. The newly promoted 91st had the lead again over the target and got through the flak with only 3 aircraft damaged. They managed to get 2 hits on the target which raised the damage into the heavy range. Next up was the 97th BG and they suffered 6 aircraft hits from flak, and got one more hit on the target. The 92nd BG suffered 3 flak losses but got two more hits. That put us one hit away from destroying the target. Last up was Cmdr. Raper and his 301st BG. They slipped through the flak without damage and put 2 more hits on the pens, destroying them!

The event card for the return leg was, appropriately enough, ďThe Germans want RevengeĒ. That required a re-roll of the response level with a +3 modifier. Since the campaign card calls for a -2 modifier I only gave them a +1 modifier. Turns out Goering was entertaining his mistress with strict orders not to be disturbed i.e. I rolled a 2+1 = 3 which only raised the response to Average and still required Luftwaffe squadrons to be in the flight path to respond. Without the -2 modifier the response would have been High and 3 squadrons would have scrambled.

The good news is that destruction of the pens gave us 6 VPís. The bad news is that still leaves us with a Dismal rating for the campaign with only one week left. Iím going to consider going after a softer target for the last week given that itís unlikely we can destroy another pen with only one raid. Destruction of any target will raise our performance to at least Poor. Stay tunedÖ

As an aside, I incorrectly used SO points to replace losses after week one. That only happens at the end of the month, not each week. I misunderstood the rule but saw a thread at BGG that clarified it.

Edit - The 92nd BG got promoted from Green to Average as a result of the XP from week 3.

Final Week:

Week four is upon us and itís my last chance to save my career as Deputy Director of Operations for the Eight Air Force! We need to take out a 4 VP target this turn or Iíll be on latrine duty for the rest of the war.

This fact narrowed my choice of targets to three. The aircraft factory in Gotha that we had damaged before, but which was fully repaired by now, or one of two airfields at Bergen or Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Gotha was deemed too far this time as it meant the fighters could not escort for the whole mission. More on that later. We picked Bergen as it required one less bomb hit to destroy, although the flak was slightly better there.
We armed our bombers and added Commander Wilson to the 97th BG because he had the skill to negate any frontal attacks against his BG, a known favorite tactic of Goeringís.

Speaking of Goering, after his meeting with Hitler the Luftwaffe was ordered to All Out alert status for the rest of the month. Not a good start. To make matters even worse, the event card indicated our Spitfires were unable to rendezvous with our bombers and so the mission was going forward unescorted. Ugh.

As soon as we crossed into the channel we were jumped by two Luftwaffe squadrons, one Fw-190 and one Bf-109. Both had the frontal attack tactic! From bad to worse! Both bandits went after the 92nd BG and they hit 9 aircraft causing the formation to disperse. That has a negative effect on their air to ground capability. In retaliation the 92nd destroyed both bandits for a small measure of revenge.

We arrived over the target where we expected to find 3 more Luftwaffe squadrons. Two chits pulled were No Bandits and the third was a Bf-110. It made three runs at the 91st BG and Comdr. Wray used his evasion skill to avoid all the attacks without a loss. The 91st then began itís bomb running suffering three losses from flak but scoring 5 direct hits on the airfield! Next in line was the 97th BG. They took damage to 3 bombers but scored another 4 hits on the airfield. It was now heavily damaged and only 3 more hits were needed to destroy it. The 92nd BG was already shaken due to previous losses and they got hammered by the flak with 9 aircraft damaged or shot down. At that point they became Unfit which meant they failed to complete their bomb run. That left it all up to the 301st BG and Cmdr. Raper with my career in the balance. :) The flak was light and scored no hits. The BG came over the target unmolested and scored 4 hits destroying the field!

We earned 4 VPís for the mission and 10 for the campaign which was just enough for an Adequate result. No doubt a promotion is in the works for meÖ

This is a fun introductory campaign and certainly makes me eager to play a more detailed one that incorporates more of the features and optional rules of the game. I hope a few of you got some entertainment out of reading this rambling AAR.
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Nice to see you back at this one, AR  :bd:
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Digital Gaming AARs / Re: Combat Mission D/AAR Battle of Arbe-Qimam Airfield
« Last post by Sir Slash on Yesterday at 09:32:17 PM »
OK, I'm following you Cpt.Miller. Just let me get my Flak Jacket on first.  O0
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