Action at Oberickelsheim - Part IV - The Czechoslovakians
The Czechoslovakian force under Pat was large, but not the best quality. It consisted of the entire 15th Motor Rifle Division, plus a tank regiment, the 14th, diverted from the 4th Tank Division, assuming it could make it to the battlefield on time, that is. These were second-echelon forces, so some of the men would have been newly conscripted, meaning one of the regiments, the 68th Motor Rifle, counted as Green in MSH terms, rather than Regular.
Potentially, Pat had a whopping 17 manoeuvre elements at his disposal - 5 regiments each of 3 battalions (the tank battalion in each Rifle Regiment having been broken down into companies and attached to support the infantry battalions), the divisional reconnaissance battalion, plus the Divisional HQ and attached assets itself. Of course getting these onto the table was going to prove a problem. Pat was a newcomer to Spearhead, so didn't quite appreciate what a traffic jam he would get into if he stuck mostly to the roads...
You can see that too many units are trying to use the same roads - although the different colours here indicate units coming on at 2 turn(ish) intervals, the typical unit in road formation actually took 3 turns to get on the board due to it size, leading to traffic jams; and the southernmost road in particular was being used by two separate marching groups, leading to massive delays. Also note how 1/68 Motor Rifle Battalion is also crossing the path of 1/20 Tank Battalion - and when they met one or the other - or both - had to give way... Don't do this at home, kids!
Incidentally, we played this game at what I consider "normal" scale: 1" on the table-top representing 100 meters. So the board was nearly 10 km across, and 7 deep - the right sort of size for a weak Division to contest in earnest when on the attack. I made up a bunch of scenario rules for handling off-table artillery distances rather than use the too simplistic standard rules - most of Pat's artillery was short-ranged, and had to deploy quite close to the battlefield to shoot across it...
Like Aaron, Pat started with one unit already on the table: the 15th Reconnaissance Battalion. Here you can see it in the early morning light, just starting to leave the road net and heading across country. Awesome farm shed by Leven Miniatures, by the way, highly recommended: detailed and cheap! Pat's major objectives were to break American units, and also exit units from as many different exits as possible along the south and west board edges. Securely bridging the river was also a minor objective. Unfortunately, Pat's reconnaissance unit didn't include a bridgelayer (the unit can swim most rivers it meets), so he would have to wait for one to be brought up if wanted to cross the river to the northwest - you can see a pattern forming here!
Gentlemen a great day was had by all by the look of it. Well done Luke for a great game and a superb AAR. Look forward to seeing any more pictures you might have. Inspirational stuff especially as the 2014 Cold War Commander MegaGame will be set in and around the Czech/German border. We are planning a 36'-42' x 6' table covering the area near the Waidhaus Gap. If its ok with you I would like to use some of your background in our briefings.ReplyDelete
Well done Gents. Nothing better than seeing great terrain fought over with large amounts of 6mm vehicles.
That sounds like it will be a day out to remember. Envious... And feel free to take whatever you like from here!ReplyDelete
You will be even more envious when I tell you its over three days. Starts with a Friday evening session then Saturday and Sunday full days. Alot of terrain to sort out between now and then! If I am ever in need of inspiration I will just look at your work.ReplyDelete
Indeed! I'd like to run (umpire) a big game where one player on each side is for example in control of purely off-table stuff. Maybe next time in NZ for a "nationals" (which are held in Easter) I could organize that instead of a typical "competition" that alas, most people seem to prefer over there...ReplyDelete