Flashpoint Campaigns Red Storm A Few Good Tanks

The following after-action report details a mission from the new battle pack “Germany Reforged” that depicts an action between the American TF 2-67 and the Soviet 243rd Motorized Rifle Regiment (BTR) near the town of Grafschaft on the second day of the war May 8, 1989 at 11:00 hours. NATO has the bulk of the American forces fighting to the south in Norderfurt, leaving only elements of the 3rd Armored Division to defend the river crossings over the Hunte and Stielbach rivers.

With the ultimate goal being the encirclement of NATO in Norderfurt, the Warsaw Pact is tasked with assaulting across the two river crossings to secure the bridgehead northwest of Grafschaft. While technically this is a liberal interpretation of the orders to provide for the western defense of the larger bodies movement, the Soviet commander could not resist the opportunity that presented itself that morning.

The scenario is a conversion from the original game Flashpoint Germany. Click here for my NATO AAR from that game for this scenario. In the after-action report below I will be playing as the Warsaw Pact commander.

Game Options

Everything is unchecked except for FSCC control (which allows subordinate AI to utilize indirect fire support during turn resolution) and LOS checks (which allows the human player to evaluate the tactical feasibility of a specific hex).

Friendly Forces

92 Tank, 80 APC, 54 Inf, 6 SP AT, 26 AT, 31 HQ, 20 AD, 16 SPArty, 12 Arty, 29 Utility, 1 WMD.

Enemy Forces

Elements of the 3rd Armored Division have been observed preparing defensive positions in the gap in front of the Stielbach River.

Critical Units

The T-80U [m] Main Battle Tank features a 125mm 2A46 smoothbore cannon as well as the AT-11 Sniper guided anti-tank missile. I will have 92 of these units at 101 Victory Points each for a total of 9,292 points (only 13 of these units are available during the first cycle).

The BTR-80 [g] Wheeled APC features a 14.5mm KPTV and 7.62mm PKT coaxial machine gun. Each unit transports the following infantry components: 9 X Mechanized Rifle, 1 X AT-4 Spigot, 1 X SA-14 Gremlin, and 1 X HQ. I will have 125 of these units at 18 Victory Points each for a total of 1,440 points (only 33 of these units are available during the first cycle).

The 2S3M1 Akatsiya (Self Propelled Artillery) features the 152mm D-20 round and is capable of firing the three primary fire missions (Harassing, Suppression, and Neutralizing), as well as Smoke and FASCAM. I will have 16 of these units (formed in two separate platoons) located off map at 15 Victory Points each for a total of 240 points. While their point total is low compared to other units they are an intrinsic component required for victory.

Pregame Setup Phase One

The Soviet deployment area is located at the top right corner of the map with the units organized by the scenario designer. The area is split north to south by the Hunte River which runs the length of the map, however in this scenario it will not prove of any importance as my Soviet units should cross the bridge in force before being detected by the Americans.

Objectives (Victory Points)

The American TF 2-67 begins the scenario in control of all three objective hexes worth a total of 10,000 points. All locations are west of the initial river crossing, with two forward splitting the K73 roadway and one in the rear just past an additional river crossing over the Stielbach River.

Pregame Setup Phase Two

My strategy for this scenario is simple: crush NATO. This will be accomplished with a straight forward punch towards the rear objective with all available combat forces. I fully intend to utilize WMD when it comes online in a later cycle. If the situation presents itself, I will peel off straggler forces to collect the two forward most objectives. However I firmly believe that if I strike fast and deep down the main road I will win an early battle of attrition over the Americans.

The off map self-propelled artillery platoons are ordered to deploy minelets at hexes 1905 and 2111 (the two forward objective markers).

Combat Action

Cycle 1 (28 minutes): as expected significant losses were incurred with the initial thrust along the K73 roadway running between Olderup and Brockerup. The American tanks are hammering the Soviet lead element; however they will not be able to stand for very long.

Losses: Warsaw Pact 20/31 (Fallen Out/Destroyed), NATO 24

Additional Orders: the off map artillery are ordered to barrage with Suppression Fire at the center NATO armor units blocking the road.

Cycle 2 (30 minutes): the initial attack has faltered as expected with most units being destroyed and the remainder falling back into a Screen or a Refit posture. At 46 minutes into the scenario the first wave of reinforcements arrive in the form of the 1-5/28/27 MRR, a total of 65 T-80U [m] Main Battle Tanks.

Losses: Warsaw Pact 36/55, NATO 36

Additional Orders: with six orders available this cycle, I direct all newly arrived tanks to Assault the rear objective. The final order is use to place one of the off map artillery platoons into Counter Battery firing mode.

Cycle 3 (25 minutes): the second wave has made it to the general area where the first attack had stalled and then ceased. The AI subordinate commanders have chosen to split the approach to the next river crossing into two prongs. While this is not ideal, I cannot afford to spend the nine orders available this cycle on reestablishing my routing preference due to the massive amount of reinforcements received during the turn.

Losses: Warsaw Pact 40/59, NATO 42

Additional Orders: 

  • 2/4/243 (13 T-80U [m]) to Assault at the 3,000 Victory Point hex 2111
  • 1/2/243 (11 BTR-80 [g]) to Assault at the 3,000 point hex 1905
  • 2/2/243 (11 BTR-80 [g]) to Assault at the 3,000 point hex 2111
  • 3/2/243 (11 BTR-80 [g]) to Assault at the 4,000 point hex 0406
  • 1/AT/2 (1 73mm SPG-9/2 AT-4 Spigot/2 RPG-29) to Assault at hex 2205 (standoff from 1905)
  • 2/AT/2 (1 73mm SPG-9/2 AT-4 Spigot/2 RPG-29) to Assault at hex 2312 (standoff from 2111)
  • 2/AT/243 (3 AT-4 Spigot) to Assault at hex 2508
  • Mtr/2/24 (6 2B9 Vasilek towed mortar) to deploy On Call at hex 3208
  • AA/2/243 (3 SA-14 Gremlin air defense) to Screen at hex 2710

Cycle 4 (25 minutes): at 12:41 the lead elements of my second wave attack broke through the American lines and made it all the way to the A84 main highway running northwest towards the bridge crossing over the Stielbach River and the 4,000 Victory Point objective hex.

NATO has just had its back broken and now it is simply a matter of time before their remaining forces are judged to be combat ineffective, essentially handing me the victory.

Vodka for everyone!!

Losses: Warsaw Pact 43/63, NATO 60

Additional Orders: during the cycle I picked up some additional reinforcements.

  • 1 Chem (220mm CN Rocket) is ordered to deploy a Chemical Strike directly on the main Victory Point objective at hex 0406.
  • 2-AA/243 (4 2S6 Tunguska air defense) to screen at hex 2506.
  • Mtr/1/24 is repositioned to be On Call at hex 2404

Cycle 5 (31 minutes): at 13:00 the Chemical Strike landed at the NATO rear, and although their attack helicopters came on station one minute later it was not enough to stop the bleeding. At 13:01 (2:01 elapsed scenario time) the battle is declared over with a 71% Warsaw Pact Decisive Success outcome.

After-action Reports

The Staff Summary Report tab indicates that the scenario ended with the Soviets securing a 71% Decisive Success outcome with forces at 75% of starting. While this is not the best score I have attained in this scenario, I am comfortable with the result.

The total losses (VP) for both sides were: NATO 3,008 and the Warsaw Pact 4,439, with the Red Army taking 8,000 Victory Point Locations for a total score of 12,439 to 5,008.

The Reported Kills and Claims tab details the results of the battle in spreadsheet format. The Warsaw Pact ended with 255 Active, 48 Fallen Out, and 64 Destroyed units. NATO ended with 41 Active, 10 Fallen Out, and 77 Destroyed units for a total loss of 87 units.

The standout group was 1/4/243 MRR (T-80U [m]) which accounted for a total of 18 kill claims with a loss of nine tanks (four fallen out and five destroyed).

The Staff Summary Report tab for the Americans indicates their abysmal failure at a 29% rating with forces at a devastating 28% of starting. While they held the main objective, it was a futile effort in the end.

Review Final Situation

The Americans could not withstand the blunt force of the Red Hammer. While the Soviets never crossed the bridge over the Stielbach River to reach the final objective, they did manage to bludgeon the NATO forces without mercy. In the end the Americans became combat ineffective and could not continue the fight.

This scenario was played on 3/6/16 on a Windows 10 machine and scheduled to be published on 3/7/16.

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