Flashpoint Germany Red Hammer

The following after-action report details the second scenario from the British Army of the Rhine mission set. In this scenario I will be playing as the NATO commander during the second day of the war May 8, 1989 at 14:00. The scenario assumes that Rensenbach fell to the Soviets on day one (it did not; I kicked the Red Army’s ass). Here I am leading the British 1st Staffordshire’s (after disengaging from other combat) back towards the town thinking the Red Army has already vacated the area in their rapid advance, when a Warsaw Pact garrison force arrives and engages my Brits.

Each mission offers up an “Aftermath” dialogue at the beginning which details what would have happened in a real life event: in this case the Soviets misjudged the force they were facing and after two assaults were repelled by the Staffy’s, the commander of the 248th Regiment was arrested by the political officer.

Unsurprisingly the third and final attempt to retake Rensenbach from the British failed.

Game Options


I am playing the scenario in full 30 minute (simulated) turns. There are a total of 24 turns however this mission will be done long before that.

Realism Options


NATO units are intended to use stealthy movement by default which enables them to utilize any available local cover and concealment to optimal advantage while moving. WARSAW Pact forces typically put a premium on high speed movement and overall formation cohesion so they would generally not utilize stealthy movement.

The Electronic Warfare Intensity Level slider is largely irrelevant as the scenario designer sets the degree to which jamming takes place: in this scenario the setting is low.

Order of Battle


There are a number of screens relating information regarding the scenario before the game begins, one of them being the OOB for the friendly forces. Here I have three companies of Warrior APC’s, 10 anti-tank vehicles, eight reconnaissance vehicles, and an on map mortar unit.

This is a highly generalized representation of the actual forces however.

Critical Units


The Warrior APC is a first line armored personnel carrier that features a 30mm autocannon, and several infantry dismounted weapons (MG, AT, etc.)

For this scenario I will have 30 Warrior APC’s available.


The FV-107 Scimitar is a medium reconnaissance vehicle that features a 30mm autocannon and a light machinegun.

For this scenario I will have eight Scimitars available.


The FV-432 APC (Milan) is a self-propelled anti-tank vehicle that features the MILAN light AT missile (that in this configuration is a component of dismounted infantry).

For this scenario I will have 10 FV-432’s available.

There are no scheduled reinforcements during the scenario.

Pregame Setup Phase One


This is the pregame setup phase where I can take the default disposition of forces and drag and drop them where I like within the blue bounding box. The game map replicates an area of the western portion of the Federal Republic of Germany measuring 20 km X 15 km, while each grid square represents 500 meters.

Objectives


NATO has Victory Points available in Sector Five (40) and Sector Six (30). The Warsaw Pact has victory points available in Sector Five (30) and Sector Six (20) as well. Yet another same sector slugfest about to get underway in West Germany…

“Occupying a Quadrant” means having a preponderance of force as measured in unit steps in that quadrant. All that is required is that one side has even one step more than the other for it to be considered occupied. “Clearing a Quadrant” means reducing the number of enemy steps in that quadrant to below 10.

Pregame Setup Phase Two


A common theme in my deployments is to place reconnaissance units out front, followed by AT assets, and then have the main line forces form some sort of line or right angle to be augmented by the deployment of FASCAM where available.

This scenario is no different (why give up on a tactic that is winning games for me?) The minefields are deployed vertically with recce units on either side, with a layered defensive configuration of FV-432’s and the Warrior APC’s.

If the Red Army wants it, then they can come get it.

Combat Action


By the end of the first turn contact had been made with the Soviets as several units were detected in and around the minefields that were arrayed during the pregame setup phase.

Losses: NATO (2) Warsaw Pact (4)

Additional orders: the on map mortar unit is placed on call.


During turn two there was some back and forth fire as it appeared that the Warsaw Pact was testing the deployment of my small force.

Losses: NATO (4) Warsaw Pact (6)

Additional orders: none at this time.


Turn three came to a close with the piecemeal approach of the enemy chipping away at my deployment at a very small rate.

Losses: NATO (5) Warsaw Pact (7)

Additional orders: none at this time.


At the end of turn four the intention of the Soviets is becoming better known as a concerted thrust on the right flank of my facing has been muted, and several tank units are spotted on the main road coming towards the center of my alignment.

Losses: NATO (5) Warsaw Pact (14)

Additional orders: none at this time.


A very busy turn five comes to a close as the Warsaw Pact has broken the right flank orientation and has pushed in through the center, taking out a number of NATO units along the way.

Losses: NATO (18) Warsaw Pact (40)

Additional orders: the mortar unit is ordered to barrage with neutralizing fire at the indicated grids.


At the end of the sixth turn I am agitated that a lone Soviet unit of tanks (most likely T-80 MBT’s) moved to within 500 meters of my center formation of Warrior APC’s and took out approximately six of them for the loss of not a single enemy vehicle.

Losses: NATO (29) Warsaw Pact (52)

Additional orders: the units in the northern part of the map are brought down to bring their firepower within line-of-sight of the enemy units that have made it behind the line of FASCAM.


Turn seven ends with the Warsaw Pact push in the center checked for the moment.

Losses: NATO (34) Warsaw Pact (69)

Additional orders: several units are brought forward in an attempt to engage the Soviet units, or at least reveal them in the center.


Little happened during turn eight other than the enemy that was detected falling back away from the objective area for some reason.

Losses: NATO (35) Warsaw Pact (73)

Additional orders: with 24 turns in this scenario, I am afraid this may fall into a stalemate to determine a victor. I do not feel like committing my remaining force on a search and destroy mission. With it being 18:00 on the battlefield, I am willing to wait until darkness before I send out a probe (hoping that superior optics might have an impact on the success of such a foray).


Turn nine was relatively uneventful. The Warsaw Pact force is not assaulting with any cohesive assembly of vehicles that I am able to detect.

Losses: NATO (36) Warsaw Pact (74)

Additional orders: none at this time.


During turn 10 I pick up a few kills here and there and then receive notice that one side has exceeded 80% casualties among their line units, and given that the Victory Point balance meter on the task bar is at 80% in my favor I decide to accept the offer (a risky proposition at such a low number).


The game ends in a Tactical NATO Victory outcome.

A player wins decisively if he nets 180 points or more over the enemy. 105 points or more is a tactical victory, 30 points or more is a marginal victory, and any other result is a draw.

After-action Reports


The Staff Overview and Summary reveals the final score as 146-36, a difference of 110 points. The unit loss during this scenario was not insignificant, with NATO losing 36 units and the Warsaw Pact losing 76.


The Tactical Operations Center Staff Diary details the number of survivors and the effectiveness of each unit.

The standout unit was C Platoon, A Company, 1st Staffordshire (Warrior APC’s) that accounted for 24 total kill claims at a loss of three of its four vehicles. 17 of the enemy vehicles destroyed were mechanized infantry units.

Review Final Situation


The Soviets could only manage one unit inside the objective area, an armor unit consisting of three T-80U MBT’s. The rest were not in position to affect the outcome when their line units fell below 80%.

Post Mortem

The British forces modeled in this game seem about right given what the expectations would be of a NATO force in 1985, and they can effectively hold their own against the Soviets when dug in at good positions that offer a tactical advantage against an advancing enemy.

Not having any off map assets (such as artillery or airstrikes) was a definite change of pace, and as such I could not deploy any additional FASCAM other than what was provided by the scenario designer in the pregame setup phase.

This game was played on 9/4/15 using a Windows 7 machine.

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