For those of you following Breakthrough Assault you will have seen that Lee and I have been busy painting up our Leopard armys as part of a ‘Tale of 2 Leopards’. Well today my journey completed with the playing of the 3 linked scenarios at the back of the Leopard book. My opponent for the day was Andy Sturt, a wargaming vet but new to TY. He loved the look of the Germans and opted for them, with me taking on the role of the ‘baddies’ with the Soviet horde.
Game 1: At the Forward Edge of Battle.
A small West German Panzergrenadier Company holds the line on the German border between Bad Bodenteich and Sconingen. 2 objs are set up in the tree line in the middle of the board and they are removed at the start of the German turn 3, at that point the back 2 objs go live (The M113 was acting as an obj btw) and the Germans have to last until turn 8. This will buy time for other forces to fall back to blocking positions.
Deployment: Andy decided to put his 3 x Leopard 2s in ambush with the full Inf pltn shoring up the left flank, Jags in the middle and small inf on the right. We changed out 2 Gepards for 2 Rolands & 2 Redeyes due to me not possessing the Gepard models. Finally 2 x PAHs set up behind the trees ready to strike with HOT missiles. I opted to use my spearhead to get my BMPs forward into the field, with a small T72 pltn right flanking and the bigger one going down the left. The hinds got ready to attack as well.
Turn1: Hans looked out of the woods alerted by the sound of engines approaching. As he lifted the binoculars he saw a Company of BMPs approaching through the fields on the right flank supported by 6 T72s. His scouts had already alerted him to 5 more flanking to the left. A throbbing alerted him to the 2 x Hinds as they popped up from behind a far wood line. Immediately he saw streaks in the sky as the Rolands and his embedded MAPADs opened up. A cloud of flares released but it was too much for 1 Hind which crashed hard into the wood. The other took evasive action, practically landing, and therefore failing to find his target. The BMP2s to the front opened up on 1st Platoon’s Marders stunning the crew and setting fire to the transport as he saw the crew bail out. Luckily the fire suppression kicked in and the crew got back into the fight. It was at this moment that he sprung his companies ambush, and the 3 x Leopard 2s crawled forward onto the road between the forest. Utilising their gyro stablished 120mm cannons they made short work of 3 x T72s, the carnage was added to by the Jaguars, expertly guiding their TOWs missiles straight into their turrets killing another 2. He watched in amazement as the turrets fired off like some sort of volcano. The right flank infantry claims another with their Milan just as the PAHs pop up and start to engage the right flanking company claiming another. With that the main T72 force was blunted but stubbornly refused to fall back. The Marders cannon opened up ripping open a BMP and the RPG team inside it.
Turn 2: Hans started to think that they may just hold this one, but there was still a staggering amount of soviet equipment bearing down, including a massive infantry company. The T72s approaching his left flank and platoon 2 opened fire at the Leopards however their shots went wide as they advanced. The BMPs managed to destroy a Marder as they advanced forward into the open. Soon the infantry would be on them. The dreaded Hind threat was then eliminated by another SAM launch. Sensing that the battle was already turning in his favour, Hans had the Leopards engage the flanking T72s and was rewarded with 3 wrecks and 1 crew bailing out. The Jaguars forced another crew to abandon a T72, little did he know that it was the Battalion Commander. The Marders were less impressive failing to kill any BMPs, the infantry would soon launch their assault. His infantry managed better blowing 2 up with their Milans but he watched with dismay as the survivors effectively dismounted. With the sky clear, the Rolands fell back to the second line of defence, shutting off their Radar until it was needed.
Turn 3: The Soviet Commander didn’t like the situation. He had been told that the West Germans were a bunch of conscripts who wouldn’t fight, and would fall quickly to the might of the Soviet Union. However things were not looking good, for Mother Russia he would push on. The flanking T72s engage the small inf platoon with their main gun and HMGs claiming a Milan team and a hand full of inf. The BMP2 scouts start to loose of their missiles and bail out a Jaguar. However once again the Battalion Commander misses the Leopard 2. The flanking T72s start their assault, with the German Panzerfausts bouncing off the BDD armour. The inf soon falls back deeper into the wood with the tanks in hot pursuit. On the other flank the infantry fire from the hip as they assault forward keeping the heads of their enemy down. However the MG fire is too much and the assault fails, being pushed back. With this the morale of the troops starts to break down and the Soviet Commander falls back. The Germans have held and now have time to prepare for further Soviet breakthroughs.
After thoughts: A difficult scenario for the Soviets, they face the full force of the Germans, normally in defence you would only be facing half, so they could really rack up some kills. In retrospect I should have loitered the 2 x Hinds and not faced the Rolands until I could do something about them. Also if I had angled the assault differently I could have gone in with 12 stands and therefore only been stopped by 10 hits. That could have made the final assault quite different. Those Leopard 2s can really dish out damage, no save for the T72s and FP 2+ is horrendous. I need to concentrate on them more and put some out of action!
Game 2: Delaying Action
With the Soviets still pushing into Western Germany a local counter attack is organised to delay further Soviet aggression. Due to earlier victories the Leopard 2s have had a chance to spearhead forward ready to secure the cross roads. The Germans would have to secure the petrol station and also the northern road against the soviet advance. Then hold it until the enemy is pushed back.
Deployment: Hans was pleased that the previous battle had gone well. It had given his Leopards time to advance cautiously. He sent his Luchs scouting his right flank eyeing up an abandoned house where he had seen infantry and BMP support forming up. His Leopard 2s pushed towards the Northern Obj ready to swing towards the garage. Scout reports placed 15 T72s behind the far wood line out of sight of his tanks. That wouldn’t last for long!
Turn 1: The Leopard 2s advance forward and target the BMP2 scouts which were busy securing the line of departure for the Soviet infantry threating the garage via the woods. 2 quickly brewed up but they stubbornly refused to fall back. The PAHs and Leopards also engage the Shilkas however they are well concealed in the forest, but 2 bail to the weight of fire. The Shilkas try to fire back but the fire control Radar shows them out of range of the PAHs. With a huge rumbling the T72s push forward through the trees. This time their fire is more effective killing 2 and bailing another. Despite the shock the platoon holds the line. The inf fire on the Luchs as they advance with the hail of RPGs, ripping through a Luch. One of the Rolands is also bailed by the remaining BMP2 scout. Realising they must take the initiative the BMP1s dash up the southern flank ready to get around the back of the Leopards.
Turn 2: Hans smiled as he watched the Leopard remount and both platoons make short work of almost a whole company of T72s, killing 6. My goodness these Soviets are stubborn, they refused to fall back. The Rolands back up into the wood with no targets, worried about the BMPs. The PAHs calmly fire but the missiles go wide throwing up earth but not finding metal. The Gremlin MANPAD engages the PAHs but their counter measures defeat the missiles. The other T72s avenge their comrades and claim another 2 Leopards, bailing another. The Commander calls in his Hind support to finish of these stubborn tanks. The pilots duck low avoiding the Roland fire as it gets confused in the ground clutter, their flares beating the redeyes launched from the wood line. The Spiral missiles reach out claiming another Leopard forcing all but the Company Commander to flee! The remaining Luch is immolated by RPG fire but the Cobham armour protects the CiC from the HEAT based RPGs.
Turn 3: Hans felt a chill at the loss of his precious Leopard 2s, he would now struggle to deal with the remaining T72s. The Roland manages to get a firm lock and downs a Hind which spirals into the recently abandoned house by the road. The Marders now advancing into the crop field manage to destroy 2 and bail a further 2 BMPs. The CiC bails another T72 and then ducks back behind the garage out of sight. The Soviet infantry continue to advance with a relentless tide of RPGs, which claim a Marder. The infantry is now holding the cross roads, with only a Leopard 2 and 2 Marders to clear off it. The Hails join the fight and launch a barrage into the wood line claiming a Milan and squad of infantry. The Hind survives another SAM launch but fails to get its shot off.
Turn 4: The Rolands continue to strike at the Hinds, a partial hit damages the remaining heli but the beast keeps flying! The PAHs fair better dodging the Shilka fire and kill 2 x T72s bearing down on the CiC. This is added to by the CiC blowing a hole in the side of another. No-one climbed out of that one much to Hans’s satisfaction. However the CiCs luck was up and the T72s finally got though his armour, just as the others assaulted the infantry in the wood breaking them into a rout. With that the Marders fall back, the company has been shattered and the cross roads lost. The counter attack has failed.
After thoughts: 7 Leopard 2s is a scary sight, especially combined with sprearhead. They went through a whole company in 1 round of shooting. Thank goodness the Hinds survived the AA and popped a couple. The infantry were real stars, the RPGs make short work of light armour and are a massive threat. Had the Leopard 2s not been destroyed the infantry would have mobbed it and pushed if off the obj. Keeping the T72s out of sight on turn 1 really made the difference. Its important to remember in TY that the current MBTs have no penalty for moving unlike FOW.
Game 3: Flanking Action
The Soviets have broken through and a further counter attack is taking place into the flank of the Soviets which have started to over extend. Due to the shattering of the Leopard 2s the previous day, replacements were in short supply and Pltn 1 was down a tank. Due to the surprise attack on the Soviet flank all of them start bailed out and pinned down.
Deployment: The Soviet AA sets up in the centre woods ready to reach out and hit the reported PAHs. The BMP1s sprearheaded into the crop fields on the southern flank while their infantry dug in by the stream. The T72s idled on the edge of the forests ready to face the Leopards as they presented themselves. The West Germans spreadhead up the northern flank with the Luchs escorting 3 x Leopard 2s. The woods in the centre right saw the Jaguars and Leopard 1s set up, again escorted in via the Luchs. The Panzergrenadier and 2 Leopard 2s were assigned to a flanking manoeuvre.
Turn 1: Hans realised that the shattering of the Soviet flank could turn the invasion and start a full NATO counter attack in this sector. No pressure then! The northern Leopard 2s advance through the wood. One gets caught in the rut and struggles to get free. However the two made it through surprising the T72s and kill 3 before reversing back into the safety of the trees as the crews scramble for the tanks. The chaos is added to by the TOWs from the Jaguars who brew up another. The Leopard 1s and Luchs concentrate on the BMPs destroying 3. The OP calls in a rain of fire from the lars who drop minelets on the BMPs fixing them in place. The Soviet Commander calls in his 4 Hinds who dodge the 2 Roland’s fire but fail to get a bead on the Leopard 2s in the woods. Most of the vehicles remount as crews scramble to react to the attack. The T72s claim the northern platoon of Luchs who were threatening the Shilkas, while the BMPs blow up 2 x Leopard 1s, who sensing victory hold their ground. The Hails started to bracket the Jaguars’s wood line but go wide. Meanwhile the Shilkas advance to the wood line edge and try to protect the Hinds by engaging the Rolands in DF, however their rounds ping of their front armour.
Turn 2: The PAHs fire on the T72s dodging the Gremlins, however the fail to hit. The Leopards kill another 2 T72s while the second platoon arrives from reserve killing a Shilka. The Jaguars switch fire to the Shilkas threatening the Rolands, bailing 1. Meanwhile 3 more BMPs erupt to the Lars and Leopard 1 fire. The Soviet Commander continues to press hard with his OP ranging the Hails in on the packed wood line claiming a Jaguar. The Shilkas continue sustained fire on the Rolands eventually blowing one up and forcing the other to withdraw. One of the southern Leopards suddenly blows its turret off after a shot from a T72.
Turn 3: The Panzergrenadiers blitz forward from reserve, claiming a BMP with their panzerfausts but their Milans go wide. The Lars switch fire starting to batter the inf. The remaining Luchs and Leopard 1s claim the last BMPs. The fighting to the north is now a swinging melee of tanks and the T72s claim another Leopard, while the Hinds now free from the Rolands, bail another. The commander is rattled but hangs on. The Shilkas turn their attention to the PAHs and down 1 in a hail of bullets. Others from the Pltn target the infantry and shred a section and a milan team. The Soviet Commander is shocked how stubborn these Germans are.
Turn 4: The Leopard 2 remounts and the small platoon claim another 3 T72s with the single remaining one from the reserve platoon bagging another. The area is almost clear! The Hinds see that the Leopards are shedding their tanks and despite the chaos manage to hit and bail 1. The Shilkas switch fire to the Luchs bailing 1. At this point the Germans recce formation is in poor spirits but the Company Commander maintains control, and the Leopard Commander holds on in the North. However with light failing and casualties beyond either sides tolerance the forces back off popping smoke as they pull back. Hans sighs, it looks like this war will be longer than he hoped.
After thoughts: We ran out of time for this last game. It’s a tough call where it would have gone., With the AA gone the Hinds would have eventually claimed the Leopards however the inf would have been forced to contest the northern obj to buy time. The recce force was in poor spirits and would eventually break. While the BMPs died they completely fixed that company easing the pressure on the Shilkas and T72s. Again the Leopard 2s were great and the PAHs proved very survivable. I cant wait to see what the Tornados can do! So a win for both sides and a draw. Thanks to Andy for a great days gaming.