Our usual Cold War rules are Modern Spearhead, but the problem with Mod.Sp is that it takes us a very long time to play it. A standard MS game for us will start about 10am, finish around 5:30pm, involve about 500 failed artillery call-in dice rolls, and will close with us calling the game for one side because there isn't time to game the scenario out. It looks spectacular, but we get a bit bogged down.
The FiveCore rules on the other hand are supposed to be very quick (and solo-friendly), so I got the Company Commander version and Luke picked up the Brigade Commander edition.
This is what happened.
My Americans (bottom of this picture) were tasked with holding the hill in the centre (marked here with a red circle) while Luke's Czechs were instructed to get twenty-five percent of their force off my edge of the table (see the black arrows).
I had three companies of M60A1s, three more of mechanised infantry, and another of M60A3s to come on in turn five. I don't know what Luke had exactly, but there were two or three tank companies and a lot of mechanised infantry.
My plan was to advance to occupy the hill, push into the woods beyond it if possible, and hold the high ground to the east of it. On the other flank I wanted to take the village and push another company of tanks onto the ridge to the west.
|Arrows show the grand plan...|
|Champions of democracy on our left...|
|...and more of them on our right.|
|The village is secured.|
The Czechs closed to assault where they could.
|Soviets close assault but are driven off.|
|Czechs take the objective!|
A series of badly timed 'scurry' (movement only, no shooting or close combat) and 'fire fight' (shooting only, no movement) turn results for the Czechs prevented Luke from being able to make the best of our involuntary withdrawals.
|Our lowest point.|
|The tide turns; we begin to advance.|
|These chaps are fighters, and have some juicy targets ahead...|
|Czechs advance towards the guns.|
With a couple of 'scurry' turns in succession, the Czechs were indeed able to get three units off table and achieve their mission.
|About about to get through!|
Although both sides achieved their objectives we gave the game to the Americans because they had destroyed a higher percentage of the enemy force. The number of kill dice that the Americans could bring to bear gave them a huge advantage; the kill dice being much more dangerous than the shock dice that the poor old Czechs mostly had to rely on.
We need to play this more to get a proper feel for it, but here are some initial impressions.
1) It does play nice and fast. We got through a lot of turns and a lot of action in a very short (by Modern Spearhead standards!) time.
2) There is room for tactics.
3) The system of rolling up scenarios and forces seems to be quite promising.
4) It feels as if there is a lot of luck involved.
5) We're not quite sure about the 'scurry' turns or the 'displacement' rule. We probably need to re-read the rules in case we missed something there.
6) There is a lot of moving forward and then being pushed back by reaction fire. Not sure how realistic this is, so will need to do a bit more reading.
7) It was an enjoyable game and we'll definitely be looking at this again as a way to get our moderns models and figures on the table more often and relatively painlessly.
Thanks to Luke for a great day's gaming, and for bringing down his superb moderns terrain boards and beautifully painted Czech hordes.