I have been meaning to get back and try out the FiveCore Brigade Commander (5CBC) rules from Nordic Weasel Games for a while now. This weekend I got the chance to do that, with another trial game (this is my third game).
This time I made sure to play a game of the size recommended in the rules (the forces last time were smaller than recommended). The scenario this time would see a Soviet Tank Regiment face off against a US Mechanised Infantry Battalion and an Armoured Battalion. The year is 1985.
The Soviet TR had:
- 3x Tank battalions of T-80Bs (each 3x companies)
- a battalion of Motor Rifle Infantry (3x companies)
- 2x Mi-24D units
- a battalion of 2S1 122mm SPGs (persistant "Stonk" asset)
- other (one-use) assets were: Communications Jamming, Deception
- an Armoured battalion of M1s (3x companies)
- a Mechanised Infantry battalion in M-113s (capable AT) (4x companies)
- M-901 ATGW Platoon (AT attachment)
- Mortar Platoon (Mortar attachment)
- one-use A-10 Air Strike
- a battalion of M-109A1 155mm SPGs (persistant "Stonk" asset)
- other (one-use) assets were: Tactical Withdrawal, Intel Advantage.
Astute and diligent readers of this blog will notice that the terrain was the same as I used for my last game and AAR (the Team Yankee one). This is a combination of my laziness and the fact that I wanted to see how the different rules played on the same terrain (allowing direct comparison).
So how did the game play out?:
|Mi-24 Hinds go looking for targets.|
|Two M1 companies advance towards the objective. |
(for the 5CBC rules, I am using two of my normal Platoon bases for each company)
|The Soviets advance on the Objective Hill.|
Tasked with taking and holding it against counter-attack is the BMP-2 MR battalion.
|M1s take up fire positions in the fields.|
|The US A-10 Air-strike goes in on the forward Soviet MR Infantry company.|
Direct hit! The Soviet MR Company is destroyed.
|Close up of the A-10 strike.|
|This company is pinned by Guard Fire...|
|... Then cops an Artillery Stonk as well!|
|US covering fire engages the Soviet Tank Battalion in the tree-line (L),|
Forcing a company back to the rear to cower (bottom R).
|T-80s on the R flank are also driven back (bottom R).|
|The Soviet commander sees an opportunity and sends the third (second echelon) |
tank Battalion around to the L, to take the advancing US Mech battalion in the flank.
|The US Mech battalion Assaults the Hill, two companies forward and one back.|
|The US artillery suppresses the defenders again.|
|The lead US Mech Company destroys the first Soviet MR Company position,|
and takes their place on the hill.
|The remaining Soviet MR Company re-orientates to face the attack direction.|
|The Mi-24s move around the R flank, to attack the advancing US troops in the rear.|
|The Mi-24s inflict casualties on the assaulting US Mech Infantry.|
|The remaining Soviet MR Company is flanked by M1s, and pinned by the US artillery...|
|... causing casualties and forcing them back off the hill.|
|The US Mech battalion has captured the hill,|
But in the process, a T-80 company destroys one of the Mech Companies.
|The T-80 company counter-attacks back onto the hill.|
The Mi-24s continue to cause casualties.
An interesting game. I'm getting used to how the 5CBC rules play - they are growing on me, although I still have some difficulties with some of the levels of abstraction.
For example, my main problem at the moment is the “Scurry” special turn, where both sides get to make a move with all of their troops. This allows some unusual and (IMO) unrealistic behaviour, because there is no reaction fire against Scurry moves! So units can move away from imminent contact, or even worse move right up to within assault distance completely un-scathed. Hmmm…
I think that it's only after playing a few games that you see some of the subtleties, tactics and importance of Assets in the rules. For example, the Asset that allows you to convert a Scurry or Firefight to a normal turn gets around the problem I outlined above for an attacker, by not letting their intended victim escape if a Scurry is rolled.
I have decided that anything that generates Kill dice can be brutal in ranged combat. Assault combat is just brutal all round.
One of the things I do like (a lot!) is the speed of play (the game only took about 90 mins). Also the feel of specialist troops supporting the 'main' units, rather than being special game-winning troops in their own right. This aspect feels pretty realistic to me.
The key to the game seems to be the Assets and Attachments, plus the usual Rock/Paper/Scissors interaction between the main troop types. I still think it may be too abstract for me, but I’ll keep giving it a try.