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

Friday, January 23, 2015

Persian Gulf Wars: Crossing the Berm, 1991


I managed to put together a Desert Storm scenario.  The action is apocryphal, though in theme, could be a representation of some fighting in Kuwait.  A force of USMC, including M60A1 (ERA), LAV-25, and LAV-AT, were set to cross the berm, engaging dug in Iraqi T-55s and infantry with their Type 63 APCs.  The Iraqis received reinforcements in the form of T-62s and infantry mounted in BMP-1s (no Saggers) arriving from the side via roads.

The Marines would have no air or helo support, and the only artillery would be a pair of 81mm mortars (off-board).  Given the sheer volume of Iraqi assets, this would be a tough scenario for both sides (when in fact, most of the Marine actions in 1991 were fairly one sided).

Here you see the initial Iraqi positions, armor and infantry dug in.... the berms for infantry represent an area of entrenchments.  The berms for the vehicles would give them additional "armor value" for track and hull locations (though not offering any protection to the turret)

Here the Marines are lined up on the far side of the berm (the berm is a bit small, but big enough for our purposes).  The Marine elements could enter anywhere along that berm edge.

The Marines quickly began to cross the berm, however, despite their far superior skill and equipment, began to take fairly serious losses quickly on.  An M60 was ko'd almost immediately from a T-62.  Another was holed by an AT-3 Sagger (infantry team)

A Marine M47 Dragon team scored hits, then was eliminated.  The Iraqis took even heavier losses than the Marines....
The LAVs proved to be more useful during this game than the M60s did.  This was due in part to some bad dice rolling on the part of the M60 crews.  But no jealousy, it was all Gung Ho anyway.  Besides, it was worth it to see the Iraqi players faces when they were told of the TOW-II penetration values after hits.... a look of disbelief and shock.

IN the end, 2 of 3 M60A1s were knocked out, the third heavily damaged.  1 LAV-25 was also knocked out.  An M47 team and an M60 LMG team were eliminated.  For this, the Iraqis lost 2 T-62s and 2 T-55s, with the remaining T-55 damaged and retreating, and another T-62 heavily damaged with a bailed crew.  A Type 63 was heavily damaged, the infantry Sagger team eliminated, and another dozen or so infantry killed.

A bloody, nasty fight.  Though the Iraqis lost more, overall, the Marines paid a high price. 

I think the scenario played out okay, and it was meant to be even enough (the Marines with a slightly better force, as the attackers), so I am okay with the end result.  If I choose to game the 1991 Gulf War again, I will likely game something a bit different.

On a personal note, this was the first time I gamed Desert Storm.  It felt odd to do so, but not so much that I couldn't game it again.  We'll see.  Still plenty of opportunity to use these Marines against late 1980's-early 1990's Iranians in a hypothetical war.  We'll see about that too.

Thanks for reading.