A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cold War: SAS Raid Behind Soviet Lines 1983


I recently put together a scenario for central Europe representing a commando style raid by British SAS on a rear area Soviet maintenance and communications park located near (long time readers will have guessed it).... Brezlen mit Senf!.  I had painted the SAS some time ago for use in the Falklands, see Falklands Special Forces.  The game was played in 20mm using Seek Out, Close With, and Destroy from Iron Ivan Games.  All of the Soviet infantry and almost all of the SAS are RH Models, with a few Combat SAS mixed in.  The vehicles are from a variety of sources.

The SAS objective was to eliminate the maintenance cadre and destroy their equipment (represented by the two trucks) ad they worked on a trio of (currently non-operational) T-80s, and eliminate the communications staff and their equipment (represented by a truck outside of the light factory they were currently using for their com center).  Afterwards, they would have to exit at least 4 models off of their board edge.  The SAS could swing the balance of victory somewhat by also destroying the T-80s and various Soviet security forces.

The Soviets had 6 single sentries deployed in the area, plus a 4 man PK MMG team, all of them with reduced accuracy and CC scores.  The targeted cadres were likewise at reduced combat values, and importantly, there was no effective central command.

During the course of the game, additional Soviet units would arrive ... these were rolled for randomly, and arrived in random locations, making it difficult for the Soviets to coordinate.  However, it als meant that as the game went on, the SAS would have a tougher time.  These additional Soviets would all be regular infantry and vehicle crews.

The SAS attacked with 3 full 4 man teams, a 2 man sniper team, and a 4 man command team.  They were armed with typical weapons (MAG, Bren, M16, M203, Sterling, SLR, and M72 LAW).

The game was assumed to begin with the SAS already having eliminated the initial screen of sentries.  Game play began with the SAS taking shots at on table sentries, and began to down them.  However, despite the poor light conditions and their own reduced accuracy, the sentries managed to return the favor and shot some of the SAS.  Also the Soviet response forces began to arrive, the first being a BRDM-2 recon vehicle.
The SAS had eliminated most of the sentries before heavier forces arrived.

As BTRs carrying squads of infantry arrived, and a T-62 MBT showed up, the central SAS teams shot down the maintenance staff and destroyed their equipment.  However, the SAS left flank team, holding the road position missed an opportunity against the BRDM-2 with their LAW... they managed to hit, but only immobilized it.  The entire team was cut down by combined sentry and rifle squad fire.

The security PK MMG team finally arrived in a position to take part in the battle but where quickly taken out of action.  The T-62 began to pour fire into the SAS right flank team, who missed with a LAW.  Another SAS team managed to destroy the communications truck with a 40mm M203 dual-purpose round, but were themselves cut down in the fields.  The SAS right flank team finally lost their uneven duel with the T-62 as a 115mm HE round and DsHK fire silenced them.

With three BTRs and 3 full squads of infantry on the table, as well as the T-62, the SAS realized that they could not possibly reach the communications center (though the truck had been destroyed).  The security forces were all down, but it was time to leave.  The sniper team moved off easily enough as they had remained in position well in the rear. However for the remaining models of the SAS command team....

... it was too late.  A BTR raced towards the SAS board edge, effectively cutting them off from their retreat (they had no remaining AT weapons).  Their only choices were to surrender or die where they stood.

This was a fun scenario, as it was quite frustrating for the Soviets at first (and equally fun for the SAS)... but as time went on, it became easier for the Soviets (and harder for the SAS).

In the end, the SAS had achieved one primary goal (the complete destruction of the maintenance cadre and their equipment) but only half of the other primary goal (the destruction of the communications staff).  This would have been enough to earn them a marginal to slight SAS victory, BUT, having failed to exit 4 models back off the table by games end, this became a marginal to slight Soviet victory.

We had fun gaming this, but, looking at the distances, I will plan on making the communications team slightly closer for the SAS... or delay the arrival of the Soviet reinforcements.  It probably was 12" too far for them to reach with the current scenario.  Still.... they did quite well, and have nothing to be ashamed of.  They certainly were better on the table, passing all but one morale test during the game, while the Soviets failed about a third of theirs.

I'll let you know when we try it again.  Thanks for reading!