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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Assault on Sachsendorf 1985

Modern Wars, Cold War Commander 2, 6mm 

This is written by Sean Lisle – aka “Sean 2”; Every few weeks Angus attends a meeting elsewhere on a usual Thursday game night so Sean 1 and I (Sean 2) explore the Cold War Commander ruleset which, as the title suggests, simulates mechanised warfare in the Cold War period.Sean 1 and Angus possess a substantial number of 6mm tanks, APC’s, artillery and infantry and so tonight, armed with the kind loan of Angus’s soviet armoured brigade, battle-mat and what seems like a large towns worth of buildings, we set up a scenario using larger units than last time supported by infantry and artillery. Sean1’s beloved petrol station and newly painted European style detached house were also placed in position to lend an air of 1985 to the older style German buildings supplied by Angus.As usual I opted for the Soviets knowing full well that Sean 1’s Leopard tanks and superior command net would once again reduce my armoured assault to twisted scrap metal, but undaunted I waited for Sean to place his units in defensive positions in the top half of the table. Sean deployed his tank units in pairs hidden in woods across a wide front with a single Leopard unit hidden in the built-up area around the church. Self-propelled artillery units and an armoured reserve were positioned behind the hill and village to right and left flanks respectively.I deployed second with my T-64 tanks in two long columns on the dirt track leading to the village of Sachsendorf, supported by 3 batteries of 122mm positioned behind a hill and a brigade of armoured personnel carriers bulging with heavily armed soviet troops on the left flank – again protected by a hill from direct fire. As I was the attacking force, I issued orders, and my tank columns began to roll forward.Pushing through Sachsendorf, all was quiet except for the ranting of the Soviet Corps Commander who ,despite all his efforts, could not raise the armoured infantry unit on the communication net. So, the T-64’s rolled forward oblivious of the fact that their infantry support was not actually supporting – just listening to white noise on their radios. Already things were beginning to break down for the Soviets as the artillery batteries also failed to respond to orders.
Sean 1 opted to do nothing and so passed the move back to me. The tanks continued to roll forward until Sean 1 stated that he was using opportune fire to hit my two lead tanks in the left hand column from the tank unit hidden in the church area. My tanks continued to roll forward as they waited for the rush of AP shells from the deadly NATO Leopard tanks. The first shells hit the lead T-64 square on and it instantly exploded throwing the turret into the air. Sean’s command net held up as another salvo of shells smashed into the ground around the second T-64 which fell back in some disorder and heavily damaged. Sean’s Leopard unit in the church now fired up it’s engines and reversed back into cover.
Undaunted the two soviet tank columns deployed into the open ground between the church and the petrol station knowing that they outnumbered the sole Leopard tank in the church area and prepared to rush it in true Soviet style. The command net remained open for them as they surged forward sensing that they had the Leopard in their sights. Sean 1 then advanced his Leopard hoping to go down fighting. He was met with the concentrated fire from the two Soviet columns which instantly brewed the NATO tank in the churchyard.
Just as the Soviet tanks were planning to surge forward to the wooded hill, a salvo of AP shells screamed in from the right flank. Sean 1 had brought two Leopard units forward to fire from the wood. Two Soviet tanks exploded immediately, and another was suppressed and forced back. Caught in the flank things were not looking good for the Soviet armoured column so it was time to call up smoke from the artillery. Fortunately, the radios sparked into action and a dense cloud of smoke covered the Soviet flank. However, the infantry still did not respond to orders and so the assault was beginning to look as if it would collapse in front of the hill to the west of the petrol station.Smoke can be a double-edged sword and as initiative passed to Sean 1, I watched in horror as his Leopards advanced into the smoke. It would clear leaving a very close range one sided firefight unless I was extremely fortunate. I have discovered that it is times like these when only a miracle can save the situation that Lady Luck sometimes steps up and lends a helping hand. And so when I threw a double 1 in the initiative phase, Sean 1 grimaced and stated that I now had two moves to do as I wished.
Bingo! I wheeled the four right hand tanks round, the smoke cleared and I had two Leopard tanks in my sights at short range. The firefight ended with Seans Leopards destroyed, suppressed and stopped in their tracks. However following that success, my tank assault was beginning to bog down as Sean 1 brought his reinforcements to the top of the hill and started pouring fire into my lead tanks. One more soviet tank brewed up and the others were only saved by Sean 1 declaring, rather sportingly I thought, that he wouldn’t be able to see the rest of the column through the fires and smoke from my burning tanks!The time was approaching 9pm and so even though my infantry had now begun to move forward, we agreed that the Soviet assault had been blunted and probably halted by effectively the fire from the NATO tank units! Both of us enjoyed the game and are now beginning to get to grips with the Cold War Commander ruleset. I shall remember to use smoke again in any future attacks across the German border and pray for more double one throws! Thanks to Angus for inviting me to write this guest blog and for the loan of his toys. And of course to Sean 1 for doing the leg work on the rules.  Rematch in four weeks, Sean ?




One Response “Assault on Sachsendorf 1985”

  1. SEAN 2
    6th November 2023 at 8:14 pm

    There are some really interesting mechanics in this game which when you grasp the idea that each tank model represents a platoon rather than a single tank make sense. The idea of throwing two dice before moving is not new, but the idea of decreasing the chance as the units move away from their HQ is good and represents the friction in modern warfare very well. Each time we play we discover something new that adds to the sophistication of the rule set. We are still struggling with identifying tank types though as we are both more familiar with WW2.

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