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Battle Report: Elessar2590 v. Oriskany

Battle Report: Elessar2590 v. Oriskany

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Project Blog by oriskany Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Lately, I've been running war games every weekend with members of the community via web conference. Players log on and play wargames with each other in real time, regardless of location, and we usually have at least a couple spectators as well. Many times it’s been Darkstar, but we’re also running wargames in Panzer Leader, Arab-Israeli Wars, and now Valor & Victory.

BoW/OTT community members @brucelea, @damon, @davehawes, and @rasmus have taken the plunge, leading battalions across thousands of meters of desert, starfleets in pitched battles across the heavens, or vicious firefights in the jungles of Vietnam, all without leaving the comfort of their home.

Hard-core, old-school command-tactical wargames can now be run (complete with spectators and recordings) in real time, with BOTH PLAYERS moving pieces across THE SAME virtual game board, thus maintaining player agency, speedy and instant results (no play by e-mail), interwoven turn sequences, any questions / feedback instantly received and addressed, and with the game being virtually recorded as it goes, a ready-made battle report can actually be created as we go.

All of this without the players having to install any new software on their computer, on any platform (PC or Mac). All that's needed is to agree on a time, a handful of dice, and a bellyful of courage!

Every weekend can now be a boot camp! All without costing me thousands of dollars in airfare, too!

This Project is Active

Battle Report: Australian 4th RAR/C on a "Bag Job" (capture enemy leader) in East Timor

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A little while ago, Dylan and I had a great game of Sitrep Skirmish for ANZAC Day, recreating the Battle of the Same (pronounced “sam-ay”) in the former Portuguese colony (and Indonesian province) of East Timor.  This was part of Operation Astute, where elements of 4th Royal Australian Regiment / Commando were tasked with bringing in Alfredo Reinado, a rebel officer who’d broken away from the military in East Timor.  Historically, this action took place on 4 March 2007, and Reinado actually escaped.  We’ll see if his luck holds out again on our tabletop.

So here is the briefing.  Most East Timorese government, military (FDTL), and Australian ops are based out of the East Timorese capital of Dili. Extending south into the rugged east-west mountain range and dense jungle, Reinado and his renegade FDTL rebels, combined with gangs, bandits, and marauders (usually remnants of former pro-Indonesian insurgent groups left over from previous wars) sought to evade contact and capture.  Today’s engagement takes place at the jungle settlement of Same on the south slopes of the Timorese mountains.So here is the briefing. Most East Timorese government, military (FDTL), and Australian ops are based out of the East Timorese capital of Dili. Extending south into the rugged east-west mountain range and dense jungle, Reinado and his renegade FDTL rebels, combined with gangs, bandits, and marauders (usually remnants of former pro-Indonesian insurgent groups left over from previous wars) sought to evade contact and capture. Today’s engagement takes place at the jungle settlement of Same on the south slopes of the Timorese mountains.
Here is the map for today’s game.  Ground scale is about 20 feet a hex.  Each piece will be an individual insurgent, gang member, or operator.    Here is the map for today’s game. Ground scale is about 20 feet a hex. Each piece will be an individual insurgent, gang member, or operator.
Here are the forces for today’s game.  Dylan has two Australian fireteams of four men.  Each team has a leader with an M4 assault rifle, a grenadier with am M4/M203, a marksman with an SR-98 sniper rifle, and an a-gunner with an F89A1 Minimi (basically, an M249 SAW).  There’s also a Portuguese- and Tetum-speaking national, a former associate of Reinado’s who can speak with him and more importantly, his rebels.  This will allow Dylan to recruit ambivalent militia to his side, or even convince rebels to stand down without having to shoot them.  The SH-60 Seahawk is how they get to the battle area, basically allowing them to enter from any table edge.  Meanwhile I have a force of Alfredo Reinado and his rebels (note they are trained regulars), along with a swarm of uncommitted, ambivalent gang members.   Here are the forces for today’s game. Dylan has two Australian fireteams of four men. Each team has a leader with an M4 assault rifle, a grenadier with am M4/M203, a marksman with an SR-98 sniper rifle, and an a-gunner with an F89A1 Minimi (basically, an M249 SAW). There’s also a Portuguese- and Tetum-speaking national, a former associate of Reinado’s who can speak with him and more importantly, his rebels. This will allow Dylan to recruit ambivalent militia to his side, or even convince rebels to stand down without having to shoot them. The SH-60 Seahawk is how they get to the battle area, basically allowing them to enter from any table edge. Meanwhile I have a force of Alfredo Reinado and his rebels (note they are trained regulars), along with a swarm of uncommitted, ambivalent gang members.
Right off the bat, Dylan is doing well. Alpha Team under the overall commander (Jameson) enters on the south side of the board, comes up to a gang of insurgents, makes a successful interpreter check with Marilda.  Just that fast (and with the quiet handoff of a stack of $100 bills) these four uncommitted gang members are now with the Australians.    Right off the bat, Dylan is doing well. Alpha Team under the overall commander (Jameson) enters on the south side of the board, comes up to a gang of insurgents, makes a successful interpreter check with Marilda. Just that fast (and with the quiet handoff of a stack of $100 bills) these four uncommitted gang members are now with the Australians.
To the west, the incursion might not go as smoothly.  Bravo Team (Ritchie) is likely to encounter some of Reinado’s core rebels.  They CAN be turned, but there is no interpreter here and even if there were, the roll would be much more difficult.  So Ritchie takes in Bravo team a little more cautiously.To the west, the incursion might not go as smoothly. Bravo Team (Ritchie) is likely to encounter some of Reinado’s core rebels. They CAN be turned, but there is no interpreter here and even if there were, the roll would be much more difficult. So Ritchie takes in Bravo team a little more cautiously.
By Turn 3, Jameson’s Alpha Team coerces a SECOND gang of ambivalent insurgents to join government forces, probably offering immunity from prosecution for past looting or arson (common in this conflict).  With so many new allies, Dylan starts to get bold and moves out into across the central “road” toward Reinado’s safehouse at upper leftBy Turn 3, Jameson’s Alpha Team coerces a SECOND gang of ambivalent insurgents to join government forces, probably offering immunity from prosecution for past looting or arson (common in this conflict). With so many new allies, Dylan starts to get bold and moves out into across the central “road” toward Reinado’s safehouse at upper left
Things finally kick off for real on Turn 4.  A very nice roll on the “Determine Threat” and “Street Events” tables gives Dylan a lucky break … a whole fireteam of my actual former FDTL-regular renegades suddenly loses heart and decides they’re not THAT committed to the cause.  They switch from HOSTILE (red “H”) to AMBIVALENT (yellow “A”), while a second fireteam is approached from three sides by three pro-government militia gangs and Jameson’s Alpha Team of Australian RAR/C.  Clearly my team is finished here, so I decide to at least sell their lives dearly, and with some find AK and FN-FAL work, chop up four enemy militia before I’m pinned down by the other militia teams and then finished off by the Australians.   Things finally kick off for real on Turn 4. A very nice roll on the “Determine Threat” and “Street Events” tables gives Dylan a lucky break … a whole fireteam of my actual former FDTL-regular renegades suddenly loses heart and decides they’re not THAT committed to the cause. They switch from HOSTILE (red “H”) to AMBIVALENT (yellow “A”), while a second fireteam is approached from three sides by three pro-government militia gangs and Jameson’s Alpha Team of Australian RAR/C. Clearly my team is finished here, so I decide to at least sell their lives dearly, and with some find AK and FN-FAL work, chop up four enemy militia before I’m pinned down by the other militia teams and then finished off by the Australians.
FDTL Operative Marilda now straight-up BUYS that wavering fireteam of FDTL renegades, doubtlessly offering amnesty for charges of desertion, mutiny, looting, arson, and theft … if they’ll just turn their guns … and that RPG around at me.  BETRAYAL!  You will pay for that with your lives!  Unlikely, as the whole south end of the table is now wide open and a general rush on Reinado’s safehouse has now begun.  Why do I suddenly feel like Pablo Escobar in his final moments?  FDTL Operative Marilda now straight-up BUYS that wavering fireteam of FDTL renegades, doubtlessly offering amnesty for charges of desertion, mutiny, looting, arson, and theft … if they’ll just turn their guns … and that RPG around at me. BETRAYAL! You will pay for that with your lives! Unlikely, as the whole south end of the table is now wide open and a general rush on Reinado’s safehouse has now begun. Why do I suddenly feel like Pablo Escobar in his final moments?
Turn 06, and it’s time to make a stand.  I had a chance to actually run off the north end of the table with Reinado (thus denying Dylan a chance at TOTAL victory).  But instead I wanted to keep him on the table for just one more turn because only he can turn Ambivalent fireteams again to Hostile.  I manage to do this, turning one whole fireteam back to my cause, which is especially important as it contains an RPD light machine gun and an RPG rocket launcher.  Unfortunately, this also allows the sniper on Bravo Team (Michaels) to put a round in Reinado’ leg, thus “capturing” him for victory conditions.  Reinado’s second-in-command turns that restored fireteam around (Dylan is VERY frightened of that RPG, it could kill everyone in Team Bravo), but the rest of Team Bravo (Ritchie: Team Lead with M4, Farcus: SAW, Dayburn: M4/M203) to kill most of that new fireteam Reinado re-recruited to the cause.  Return fire misses.  More bad news with my other fireteam, they are also wiped out by Jameson and Alpha Team, but here I actually manage to score a win with opportunity fire:  A single 7.62mm round goes through the head of Australian Team Alpha sniper Latham.  He is killed instantly. Turn 06, and it’s time to make a stand. I had a chance to actually run off the north end of the table with Reinado (thus denying Dylan a chance at TOTAL victory). But instead I wanted to keep him on the table for just one more turn because only he can turn Ambivalent fireteams again to Hostile. I manage to do this, turning one whole fireteam back to my cause, which is especially important as it contains an RPD light machine gun and an RPG rocket launcher. Unfortunately, this also allows the sniper on Bravo Team (Michaels) to put a round in Reinado’ leg, thus “capturing” him for victory conditions. Reinado’s second-in-command turns that restored fireteam around (Dylan is VERY frightened of that RPG, it could kill everyone in Team Bravo), but the rest of Team Bravo (Ritchie: Team Lead with M4, Farcus: SAW, Dayburn: M4/M203) to kill most of that new fireteam Reinado re-recruited to the cause. Return fire misses. More bad news with my other fireteam, they are also wiped out by Jameson and Alpha Team, but here I actually manage to score a win with opportunity fire: A single 7.62mm round goes through the head of Australian Team Alpha sniper Latham. He is killed instantly.
On Turn 7, YET AGAIN Dylan nails it on the Threat Tracker and Street Events tables, and my last irregular militia are suddenly back converted to “ambivalent.”  It actually makes a degree of sense, Reinado himself is out of the battle, seven FDTL renegades are now combat ineffective.  Only two remain, and they’re sneaking in the back door of that eastern house to make their last “Billy the Kid” stand while nineteen East Timorese locals and pissed off Australians are sweeping up from the south and west.  If I were an enemy militiaman, I’d be trying to make a deal, too.  The game actually ends NEXT turn, when I decide “to hell with it” and have my last two renegades book it off the north end of the table.  The game goes down as an Australian minor victory.  They were able to table the militia (no red “H”s on the table) and capture Reinado, but also sustained a fatality among their Tier-One Operators.  Congrats and great job Dylan on a fun game!On Turn 7, YET AGAIN Dylan nails it on the Threat Tracker and Street Events tables, and my last irregular militia are suddenly back converted to “ambivalent.” It actually makes a degree of sense, Reinado himself is out of the battle, seven FDTL renegades are now combat ineffective. Only two remain, and they’re sneaking in the back door of that eastern house to make their last “Billy the Kid” stand while nineteen East Timorese locals and pissed off Australians are sweeping up from the south and west. If I were an enemy militiaman, I’d be trying to make a deal, too. The game actually ends NEXT turn, when I decide “to hell with it” and have my last two renegades book it off the north end of the table. The game goes down as an Australian minor victory. They were able to table the militia (no red “H”s on the table) and capture Reinado, but also sustained a fatality among their Tier-One Operators. Congrats and great job Dylan on a fun game!

Video Replay - Bernhard vs. Oriskany Jim

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We had a great game today!  Here is the video replay.  Thanks to everyone who came out to our stream and thanks for Bernhard for the great game!

Remember folks, you can be part of the show by signing up for one of our weekly wargames. Take command, and see if you have what it takes to wear colonel’s eagles or general’s stars on your collar!

Tank Duel at the Bitter Lakes - Live Community Game

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Good afternoon everyone:

Tomorrow we are bringing some fresh blood to the wargame table, with community member and long-time historical wargamer Bernhard. We’ll be running a game of Avalon Hill’s classic The Arab-Israeli Wars with a scenario based on the tank battles near the Great Bitter Lake during the Yom Kippur War of October 1973.

This is one of the few times we see the T-62 in action with the Egyptian Army, as Brigadier General Ahmad Hilmi’s 25th Independent Armored Brigade tries to slice off the Israeli advance toward the canal along the Tasa Corridor. They are cut off in turn by counter-counterattacking elements of the Natke Nir’s 217th Reserve Armored Brigade and Keren’s 500th Armored Brigade along the shores of Great Bitter Lake.

We’ll have close to 150 tanks on the game board tomorrow, so don’t miss it!

Sunday, May 2
6:30PM UK Time, 1:30PM US East Time

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

The map area for today's game.  Note the map is on its side to make for the best fit on a screen, north is to the left.The map area for today's game. Note the map is on its side to make for the best fit on a screen, north is to the left.
The Egyptian forces - the entirety of the 25th Independent Armored Brigade ... a beast of a force with over 100 T-62s (best tank the Egyptians had here) and a full battalion of mechanized infantry.The Egyptian forces - the entirety of the 25th Independent Armored Brigade ... a beast of a force with over 100 T-62s (best tank the Egyptians had here) and a full battalion of mechanized infantry.
The Israelis for this fight.  I've FINALLY found a pretty reliable source for the tank type make up of these different brigades, and a book that shows the order which these different forces entered the battlezone.The Israelis for this fight. I've FINALLY found a pretty reliable source for the tank type make up of these different brigades, and a book that shows the order which these different forces entered the battlezone.

Damon vs. Oriskany: Yom Kippur War 1973

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Good afternoon everyone.  I’d like to present a belated battle report for the game Damon and I had a couple Sundays ago.  The system was Avalon Hill’s The Arab-Israeli Wars, where Damon and I recreated one of the sharp, vicious engagements that took place in the closing days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The game recreates one of the frantic counterattacks launched by the Egyptian 4th Armored Division (3rd Armored Brigade and 113th Mechanized Brigade), part of the Third Field Army that had been cut off in the Israeli-counter-crossing of the Suez Canal in Operation Gazelle.  Now, as General Bren Adan’s 162nd Armored Division crushes its way south to Port Suez (thus completing the encirclement of the Egyptian Third Field Army), Colonel Natke Nir’s 217th Reserve Armored Brigade finds itself struck in the right wing by this desperate and hastily-mounted Egyptian counterattack.

Damon is playing the Israelis, I am playing the Egyptians.

Here is the broad view of the battle’s location.  Note it is on the west bank of the Suez Canal, the waterway which more or less formed the start line for the 1973 Yom Kippur War here in the Sinai. Here is the broad view of the battle’s location. Note it is on the west bank of the Suez Canal, the waterway which more or less formed the start line for the 1973 Yom Kippur War here in the Sinai.
After suffering stunning setbacks and appalling losses in the face of the initial Egyptian onslaught across the Suez Canal, the Israelis have regained their balance and mounted Operation Gazelle (alternatively Operation Abirey-Halev, “Stouthearted Men”), a counter-crossing back across the Suez Canal.  The Israeli objective is to turn south and take Port Suez, which will slice off the whole Third Army in vast pocket.After suffering stunning setbacks and appalling losses in the face of the initial Egyptian onslaught across the Suez Canal, the Israelis have regained their balance and mounted Operation Gazelle (alternatively Operation Abirey-Halev, “Stouthearted Men”), a counter-crossing back across the Suez Canal. The Israeli objective is to turn south and take Port Suez, which will slice off the whole Third Army in vast pocket.
The Egyptians, of course, CANNOT let this happen.  Units not in the imminent pocket are hastily mobilized and hurled against the Israeli spearhead.  One of the most powerful of these was made up of the bulk of 3rd Armored Brigade and 113th Mechanized Brigade, 4th Egyptian Armored Division, which struck the side of Adan’s 162nd Division on 19 October 1973.  This game will create Colonel Natke Nir’s 217th Brigade (reinforced with elements of 890th Para Battalion / 35th Brigade) part in stopping the Egyptian counterattack.  The Egyptians, of course, CANNOT let this happen. Units not in the imminent pocket are hastily mobilized and hurled against the Israeli spearhead. One of the most powerful of these was made up of the bulk of 3rd Armored Brigade and 113th Mechanized Brigade, 4th Egyptian Armored Division, which struck the side of Adan’s 162nd Division on 19 October 1973. This game will create Colonel Natke Nir’s 217th Brigade (reinforced with elements of 890th Para Battalion / 35th Brigade) part in stopping the Egyptian counterattack.
Here are the forces both sides will have in the game.  For reference, each counter is a unit (platoon or half-company) of five tanks, a platoon of 40-50 men, or a battery of 3-6 guns.  Note I also have three batteries of SA-2 “Guideline” surface-to-air missiles.  These were critical targets for the Israelis on the West Bank of the canal, as their vaunted air force couldn’t operate safely until their ground units took out some of these firing sites.  That’s right, the ground forces had to “soften things up” for the air force, instead of the other way around.  So I’ve got about two battalions of about 60 tanks, a battalion of mechanized infantry in BTR-60 troop carriers, and some support assets like combat engineers, Czech 107mm recoilless rifles, and of course a few of the dreaded AT-3 “Sagger” antitank guided missiles.  Damon has a battalion-sized task force of Nir’s Brigade in the superlative “Sh’ot” Centurion upgrade, a battalion of elite paratroopers I WW2-era M3 halftracks and a few odds and ends like recon jeeps with 106mm recoilless rifles.  I should also note he has four A-4 Skyhawks on standby.  For their strike packages Damon has selected two with American-supplied Rockeye cluster bombs for antitank work, two with Walleye TV-guided bombs for installations.  Here are the forces both sides will have in the game. For reference, each counter is a unit (platoon or half-company) of five tanks, a platoon of 40-50 men, or a battery of 3-6 guns. Note I also have three batteries of SA-2 “Guideline” surface-to-air missiles. These were critical targets for the Israelis on the West Bank of the canal, as their vaunted air force couldn’t operate safely until their ground units took out some of these firing sites. That’s right, the ground forces had to “soften things up” for the air force, instead of the other way around. So I’ve got about two battalions of about 60 tanks, a battalion of mechanized infantry in BTR-60 troop carriers, and some support assets like combat engineers, Czech 107mm recoilless rifles, and of course a few of the dreaded AT-3 “Sagger” antitank guided missiles. Damon has a battalion-sized task force of Nir’s Brigade in the superlative “Sh’ot” Centurion upgrade, a battalion of elite paratroopers I WW2-era M3 halftracks and a few odds and ends like recon jeeps with 106mm recoilless rifles. I should also note he has four A-4 Skyhawks on standby. For their strike packages Damon has selected two with American-supplied Rockeye cluster bombs for antitank work, two with Walleye TV-guided bombs for installations.
The map before the battle.  Note my SA-2s are already set up.  They are as much objectives as much as combat units.  Damon is coming on from the roads to the northeast, I am coming on from the west and southwest.  We each get a point for any objective hexes we take and hold at the end of ten turns.  I also get a point for each SA-2 site still operational at the end of the game, Damon gets one for each SA-2 site eliminated.  Each hex is 250 meters, or about eight feet on a 15mm table. A turn is 6-10 minutes.The map before the battle. Note my SA-2s are already set up. They are as much objectives as much as combat units. Damon is coming on from the roads to the northeast, I am coming on from the west and southwest. We each get a point for any objective hexes we take and hold at the end of ten turns. I also get a point for each SA-2 site still operational at the end of the game, Damon gets one for each SA-2 site eliminated. Each hex is 250 meters, or about eight feet on a 15mm table. A turn is 6-10 minutes.
Turns 01 and 02 are now complete.  Already Damon has a bit of an upper hand, having seized three of the five objective hexes:  (1) the crossroad by the rail line, (2) the Test Road exit to the far east, (3) and the Port Suez Exit to the southeast.  I lunged at him in the north with my two battalions of armor, I’ve taken a 20-tank salvo at him in those palm groves but missed with a “6” (worst roll in Arab-Israeli Wars).  I’ve started to flank him, however, while in the south my mech battalion has rolled up in their BTR-60s and is now unloaded en masse for an attack against that Port Suez road objective.   Turns 01 and 02 are now complete. Already Damon has a bit of an upper hand, having seized three of the five objective hexes: (1) the crossroad by the rail line, (2) the Test Road exit to the far east, (3) and the Port Suez Exit to the southeast. I lunged at him in the north with my two battalions of armor, I’ve taken a 20-tank salvo at him in those palm groves but missed with a “6” (worst roll in Arab-Israeli Wars). I’ve started to flank him, however, while in the south my mech battalion has rolled up in their BTR-60s and is now unloaded en masse for an attack against that Port Suez road objective.
Things jump off in the north on Turn 03.  Damon’s counter-fire to my opening salvo is pretty devastating, he’s disordered five of my tanks and killed ten more at a range of 1500 meters.  But forty MORE tanks have already swept around behind him, and now threaten that rail line objective hex.  Note Damon’s use of displace fire tactics, firing and them using split-move-and-fire rule to displace his armor 250 meters to the northwest.  It’s correct to lunge like this, but he lunges the wrong way, and thus allows himself to be flanked.  If he’d moved east one hex instead of northwest, he could have contested that flanking maneuver with point-blank opportunity fire and cost me at least 15 more T-55 main battle tanks.Things jump off in the north on Turn 03. Damon’s counter-fire to my opening salvo is pretty devastating, he’s disordered five of my tanks and killed ten more at a range of 1500 meters. But forty MORE tanks have already swept around behind him, and now threaten that rail line objective hex. Note Damon’s use of displace fire tactics, firing and them using split-move-and-fire rule to displace his armor 250 meters to the northwest. It’s correct to lunge like this, but he lunges the wrong way, and thus allows himself to be flanked. If he’d moved east one hex instead of northwest, he could have contested that flanking maneuver with point-blank opportunity fire and cost me at least 15 more T-55 main battle tanks.
In the south, after three turns of preparation and staging, I finally launch a massive infantry assault out of the palm groves along the “Sweetwater Canal” (a fresh water irrigation canal that ran along the Suez Canal).  I’ve already done quite a bit of damage with massed fire from twenty-five BTR-60s.  My assault is also partially protected (ironically) by an Israeli smoke screen (SSC = smoke shell concentration).  My RPG-armed infantry even get close enough to some of Damon’s dreaded Sho’t Centurion tanks, and a platoon of these beasts is now on fire.  For one glorious moment, the southern objective hex is in my grasp as well.  In the south, after three turns of preparation and staging, I finally launch a massive infantry assault out of the palm groves along the “Sweetwater Canal” (a fresh water irrigation canal that ran along the Suez Canal). I’ve already done quite a bit of damage with massed fire from twenty-five BTR-60s. My assault is also partially protected (ironically) by an Israeli smoke screen (SSC = smoke shell concentration). My RPG-armed infantry even get close enough to some of Damon’s dreaded Sho’t Centurion tanks, and a platoon of these beasts is now on fire. For one glorious moment, the southern objective hex is in my grasp as well.
In the north, the battle is (by contrast) oddly quiet.  This is because I’ve maneuvered in such a way that Damon really can’t do much about my presence.  I blow up his 120mm mortar carriers, I try to fire when he side-steps with those 15 Sho’ts to get an angle on my T-55s … but AGAIN I miss.  But now with 45 T-55s on the objective, Damon’s gonna have a helluva time shifting me out of here.  And I have 80 infantry (two platoons) with RPGs creeping on his tanks from the southwest.   In the north, the battle is (by contrast) oddly quiet. This is because I’ve maneuvered in such a way that Damon really can’t do much about my presence. I blow up his 120mm mortar carriers, I try to fire when he side-steps with those 15 Sho’ts to get an angle on my T-55s … but AGAIN I miss. But now with 45 T-55s on the objective, Damon’s gonna have a helluva time shifting me out of here. And I have 80 infantry (two platoons) with RPGs creeping on his tanks from the southwest.
Damon is losing the game, and realizes he’s out of time.  He’s shot the ever-living hell out of my infantry battalion that’s taken the Port Suez Road objective, and now masses his remaining paratroopers, their halftracks, 10 Sho’t Centurions (two counters) and even the battalion commander’s M-113 sections in a do-or-die counterassault on the Port Suez Road.  It works, my entire contingent of the 113th Mechanzied Brigade is more or less shattered in a horrific slaughter.  Damon and I really tore each other apart down here, we count up later that no less than twenty-one PLATOONS have been destroyed here.  That’s twenty-one Bolt Action “ARMIES” shot up to the point of combat ineffectiveness.  That about 130 dead and somewhere around 400 wounded to one degree or another, along with 30 armored vehicles destroyed.   But he retakes the hex.  Damon also bits the bullet and calls in his air strikes directly against my SAMs (never having taken any of them out on the ground).  He dodges a bullet here, I don’t shoot down any A-4 Skyhawks, only forcing one to abort.  The other three strikes go in, and two of them hit.  That’s two of my three SA-2 sites blown off the map.  I’ve also sent on five T-55s (one counter) over the canal to try and take a poke at the Test Road objective hex, held by Damon’s recon jeeps and one platoon of paratroopers – but nothing comes of it.Damon is losing the game, and realizes he’s out of time. He’s shot the ever-living hell out of my infantry battalion that’s taken the Port Suez Road objective, and now masses his remaining paratroopers, their halftracks, 10 Sho’t Centurions (two counters) and even the battalion commander’s M-113 sections in a do-or-die counterassault on the Port Suez Road. It works, my entire contingent of the 113th Mechanzied Brigade is more or less shattered in a horrific slaughter. Damon and I really tore each other apart down here, we count up later that no less than twenty-one PLATOONS have been destroyed here. That’s twenty-one Bolt Action “ARMIES” shot up to the point of combat ineffectiveness. That about 130 dead and somewhere around 400 wounded to one degree or another, along with 30 armored vehicles destroyed. But he retakes the hex. Damon also bits the bullet and calls in his air strikes directly against my SAMs (never having taken any of them out on the ground). He dodges a bullet here, I don’t shoot down any A-4 Skyhawks, only forcing one to abort. The other three strikes go in, and two of them hit. That’s two of my three SA-2 sites blown off the map. I’ve also sent on five T-55s (one counter) over the canal to try and take a poke at the Test Road objective hex, held by Damon’s recon jeeps and one platoon of paratroopers – but nothing comes of it.
In the end, this game goes down as a hard-fought draw.  I own three objective hexes and still have one SAM battery operational = four victory points.  Damon has two objective hexes (Test Road and Port Suez Road) and has destroyed two of my SAM batteries = four victory points as well.  WELL DONE DAMON!  Not many players can fight me to a draw in Arab-Israeli Wars!  In the end, this game goes down as a hard-fought draw. I own three objective hexes and still have one SAM battery operational = four victory points. Damon has two objective hexes (Test Road and Port Suez Road) and has destroyed two of my SAM batteries = four victory points as well. WELL DONE DAMON! Not many players can fight me to a draw in Arab-Israeli Wars!

New Wargame Expansion Published for Community Download.

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Iraq.  Afghanistan.  The Falklands.  Lebanon.  Somalia.  Vietnam …

Ever wondered what it would be like to play Valor & Victory in these settings?

This document is presented as a modern-warfare rules expansion for the Valor & Victory rules system originally created by Barry W. Doyle for World War II squad-based infantry combat.

This expansion is in no way intended as a replacement or critique of the original Valor & Victory system.

No rule presented here replaces or overwrites any rule presented in the original system.

You must have the original rules to play this expansion.

Valor & Victory Modern Expansion (hereafter referred to as VVME) offers new options for players interested in creating Valor & Victory scenarios set in more modern eras and conflicts after 1945.

While these new modern rules could be used with most editions of Valor & Victory, using the most recent update to the rules (V&V D+1 Standard Game Rules) is recommended.  These VVME rules are most directly designed to “stack on top” of the D+1 Standard rules.

Of course, any and all of these rules are optional.  No VVME scenario would ever use all of them.  Players should feel free to pick and choose when designing your own modern-era scenarios.

And just so everyone knows, I checked with Barry first and made sure I had his blessing before I published these.

New Wargame Expansion Published for Community Download.

Video Replay: Counter-Insurgency Ops Game - Dylan v. Oriskany

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

There is the video replay of yesterday’s live community game of Sitrep Skirmish, where @elessar2590 and @oriskany go head-to-head in a recreation of the Battle of Same (promounced “Sam-ay”) in March 2007.

This was an engagement in East Timor where Australian operators tried to capture Alfredo Reinaldo, a former major in the East Timorese Defense Force turned renegade leader.

As we see in so many modern conflicts, Elessar’s mission is very non-kinetic, more about who he doesn’t shoot than who he does shoot.  Making use of stealth, insurgent diplomacy, bribes, and plea-deals with a local interpreter an FDTL-loyalist, the Australians have keep the incursion as low-profile as possible for as long as possible, getting close to the rebel leader they’re trying to capture before the situation “goes loud.”

As always, these kind of streams may be useful to have on in the background while painting or hobbying.

SpecOps Wargame: Australians in East Timor (Operation Astute - 2007)

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

Join Dylan and I as we try the “Sitrep Skirmish” special operations wargame system in East Timor.

We’ll be pitting operators of the 4th Royal Australian Regiment / Commando against the paramilitary renegade formerly of the Timor Leste Defense Force (FDTL).

This is the kind of non-kinetic operations we see around the world in more recent decades, where certain tactical goals must be achieved without precipitating a full-scale pitched battle.  Our stream is at 5PM Eastern US Time / 10PM UK time.

Come by and see if Dylan can carry out his mission!

Sunday, April 25
10PM UK Time, 5PM US East Time

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

Area of Operations - East Timor 2006/07Area of Operations - East Timor 2006/07
Map: Work in ProgressMap: Work in Progress
The map is finally finished to my satisfactionThe map is finally finished to my satisfaction
Australian Operators.Australian Operators.
Revised Pieces for East Timor soldiers.  Again, these Revised Pieces for East Timor soldiers. Again, these "insurgents" are actually renegade Timorese FDTL Regulars. So they look like regular (if low-grade) soliders, and have "regular" combat values for their weapons. Also, I have updated Australian pieces. From what I can tell, most 4th RAR/C and Royal Asutralian SAS troops in East Timor 2006-7 were weaing "bush" hats.
Some of the initial set up, with the East Timorese FDTL renegades and irregular gang members hanging out in their jungle village before they get attacked by the Australians.Some of the initial set up, with the East Timorese FDTL renegades and irregular gang members hanging out in their jungle village before they get attacked by the Australians.

Video Replay - Damon v. Oriskany on the West Bank of the Suez Canal, Yom Kippur War 1973

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
2 Comments

We had a great stream yesterday, where community member Damon and I sat down for a game of Avalon Hill’s The Arab Israeli Wars.

The scenario took place in the closing days of the Yom Kippur War, where Israeli armor and mechanized infantry (paratroopers in halftracks) had counter-crossed over to the west bank of the Suez Canal behind Egyptian positions, and were driving south to Port Suez to cut off the Egyptian Third Army on the east bank.

To prevent this, the Egyptians launched a hasty counterattack with the 3rd Armored Brigade and 113th Mechanized Brigade (4th Armored Division) against the right wing of Bren Adan’s 162nd Armored Division as it drove south toward the Port Suez objective.

I won’t spoil how the game turned out, only to say it was deperately, desperately close … and in fact neither of us knew who had actually won until after the game was over and we pointed up the results.

We hope you like it!  Might be a pleasant distraction to put on in the backgrond while painting or building for your hobby.

The full table with both sides' opening moves.The full table with both sides' opening moves.
Oriskany loses his first T-55 platoons, but maneuvers the rest in a way that will leverage Damon's 15 Oriskany loses his first T-55 platoons, but maneuvers the rest in a way that will leverage Damon's 15 "Sho't" Centurions off that norther objective hex by the Suez-Ismailia rail line. Will Damon be able to take it back?
A huge battle kicks off in the south, where Damon has seized an objective hex controlling a key road the divisional commander will need to continue the overall drive down to Port Suez.  This one ... will get messy.A huge battle kicks off in the south, where Damon has seized an objective hex controlling a key road the divisional commander will need to continue the overall drive down to Port Suez. This one ... will get messy.
A key part of Israeli operations on the west bank of the canal was elimination of Egyptian surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites.  These SAM sites had largely checked the Israeli Air Force out of the war, only by eliminating these could the IAF get back to its devastating ground support role.A key part of Israeli operations on the west bank of the canal was elimination of Egyptian surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites. These SAM sites had largely checked the Israeli Air Force out of the war, only by eliminating these could the IAF get back to its devastating ground support role.

Live Wargame Today: Damon v. Oriskany, Avalon Hill's "The Arab-Israeli Wars"

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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Crossing the Suez Canal: Community Wargaming in the 1973 Yom Kippur War

Damon and Oriskany Jim sit down for a game of Avalon HIll’s “The Arab-Israeli Wars.” The scenario is set in one of our favorite historical periods, the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This game specifically will deal with Operation Abirey-Halev (Stouthearted Men), where Israeli tanks and infantry carried out a counter-crossing of the Suez Canal, turning the tide of this war against Egypt in the Sinai.

Sunday, April 18
5PM UK Time, 12 Noon US East Time

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

The general location of today's battle.The general location of today's battle.
Operation Gazelle (or Abirey-Halev Operation Gazelle (or Abirey-Halev "Stouthearted Men"), where the Israelis recovered from initial Egyptian successes in the Yom Kippur War, turning the tide by COUNTER-crossing the Suez Canal back onto the west bank.
One of the last Egyptian offensives of the war, where Egyptian 4th Armored Division (spearheaded by 3rd Armored Brigade) tried to hit the flank of Adan's Division as it pressed toward Port Suez.  Taking this port would seal off the whole Egyptian Third Army on the east bank of the canal, so the Egyptians were desperate not to let that happen.One of the last Egyptian offensives of the war, where Egyptian 4th Armored Division (spearheaded by 3rd Armored Brigade) tried to hit the flank of Adan's Division as it pressed toward Port Suez. Taking this port would seal off the whole Egyptian Third Army on the east bank of the canal, so the Egyptians were desperate not to let that happen.
The actual game map for today's engagement.  Yes, this is on the westbank of the Suez, which is much more lush and cultivated than the arid Sinai deserts we've seen in other recent wargames.The actual game map for today's engagement. Yes, this is on the westbank of the Suez, which is much more lush and cultivated than the arid Sinai deserts we've seen in other recent wargames.

Battle Report: Battle of Novoselivka Druna

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 6
No Comments

Good afternoon, everyone.

So last week my friend Damon and I had an interesting game of Panzer Leader (TCME modern rules, with a few additions of my own thrown in).  My objective with the scenario design was to take an imagined, educated, “wargamer’s guess” at what a full-scale engagement might look like between larger-scale maneuver formations of the Russian Federation Army and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

While honestly not exhaustive, I did invest some relatively robust research into the kinds of units these formations actually have, their interrelationships and technical progression, and actual combat capabilities against each other (as best I could).  I’ll admit my findings clashed badly with presumptions I had erroneously made which earlier attempts at these find of RFA-UAF scenarios.  So I wanted to run and broadcast this game as much as a correction as anything else.

Damon ran the Ukrainians on defense, I played the role of Putin’s invaders.  I started with the more powerful force, but as the attacker I also carried the “burden of victory” and Damon’s task was simply to hold on and inflict as much damage as he could.  However, Damon also had some high-tech gadgets in his force, reflecting some 21st Century additions to the battlespace, like Javelin ATGWs and surveillance drones supplied by the United States and Turkey.

The fuill battle reply is available on video below, but here is a quick summary for those with less time on their hands.

Let’s see what happens!

So first off, here is a map of Ukraine for context.  To the far east, we see the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts (roughly, districts), the epicenter of the current conflict and rising tensions.  I have broadly marked where this IMAGINED Russian invasion is taking place.  Please note this imagines an open, conventional forces mass-army invasion, not the covert Russian incursions which have been made through separatist-controlled border crossing points since 2014.  The site I chose for the battle was just north of Adviika, which saw heavy fighting in 2014-15 phase of this war, and another major incident (bordering on full-scale battle) in January 2017.  In the case of a Russian “above-board” invasion, I would venture a guess Adviika would again be center stage, given its southward access routes toward Donetsk International Airport, just north of Donetsk itself.  This is still a massive separatist stronghold, and I would imagine Russian planners may want to link a northern artery to Donetsk as a means of dividing the oblast and perhaps cutting off UAF forces further east.    So first off, here is a map of Ukraine for context. To the far east, we see the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts (roughly, districts), the epicenter of the current conflict and rising tensions. I have broadly marked where this IMAGINED Russian invasion is taking place. Please note this imagines an open, conventional forces mass-army invasion, not the covert Russian incursions which have been made through separatist-controlled border crossing points since 2014. The site I chose for the battle was just north of Adviika, which saw heavy fighting in 2014-15 phase of this war, and another major incident (bordering on full-scale battle) in January 2017. In the case of a Russian “above-board” invasion, I would venture a guess Adviika would again be center stage, given its southward access routes toward Donetsk International Airport, just north of Donetsk itself. This is still a massive separatist stronghold, and I would imagine Russian planners may want to link a northern artery to Donetsk as a means of dividing the oblast and perhaps cutting off UAF forces further east.
Here is the battle map, with 200-meter hexes, based on satellite imagery, showing a few square kilometers of the countryside immediately north of Adviika.  The scenario will imagine the advanced guard (reinforced battalion with brigade support assets) of 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade / 1st Guards Tank Army moving onto the norther edge of the board.  This is a real unit recently transferred near the Ukrainian border.  If (God forbid) this war actually kicks off, we may be hearing from these guys in particular.  Opposing them are elements of the actual Ukrainian Armed Forces unit charged with defending this area, the 93rd UAF Mechanized Brigade (CDO East).  The Ukrainians currently hold all five objective hexes.  The Russians have to take at least three. Here is the battle map, with 200-meter hexes, based on satellite imagery, showing a few square kilometers of the countryside immediately north of Adviika. The scenario will imagine the advanced guard (reinforced battalion with brigade support assets) of 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade / 1st Guards Tank Army moving onto the norther edge of the board. This is a real unit recently transferred near the Ukrainian border. If (God forbid) this war actually kicks off, we may be hearing from these guys in particular. Opposing them are elements of the actual Ukrainian Armed Forces unit charged with defending this area, the 93rd UAF Mechanized Brigade (CDO East). The Ukrainians currently hold all five objective hexes. The Russians have to take at least three.
Things start off well for the Damon’s Ukrainians.  My Russian column of T-90A main battle tanks rolls down that two-lane highway (three counters = 15 tanks), confident that the trees will protect them from the Ukrainian Mi-24V Hind-E gunships lurking beyond.  Well, normally that would be true.  But note Damon has high-altitude drones in Hex 1411.  At high-altitude, they see OVER those trees, spot my tanks as soon as they enter, and with special rules for thermal imaging and laser range-finding, they succeed in their roll and track the T-90As through the trees.  This is picked up by the UAF HQ unit (out of shot), who downloads the target acquisition telemetry to the Hinds.  This allows the Hinds to engage the T-90As as soon as they emerge from cover, rather than the “1/4 of target unit’s movement rate in continuous LOS” normally required for Panzer Leader opportunity fire.  In game terms, the drones spot, the “pass” that spot to the Hinds via the HQ unit, and the Hinds can bushwhack the T-90s as soon as they break cover.  One unit of T-90As is lost.  A second is lost as I roll up to the crossroads highway rest stop to spot Ukrainian BTR-80As and UAF infantry.  The BTRs 30mm chain gun disrupts one of my Hinds (who shot at Damon’s Hinds but missed) while the infantry close-assaulted and destroyed a SECOND unit of T-90As.  Putin is not pleased.    Things start off well for the Damon’s Ukrainians. My Russian column of T-90A main battle tanks rolls down that two-lane highway (three counters = 15 tanks), confident that the trees will protect them from the Ukrainian Mi-24V Hind-E gunships lurking beyond. Well, normally that would be true. But note Damon has high-altitude drones in Hex 1411. At high-altitude, they see OVER those trees, spot my tanks as soon as they enter, and with special rules for thermal imaging and laser range-finding, they succeed in their roll and track the T-90As through the trees. This is picked up by the UAF HQ unit (out of shot), who downloads the target acquisition telemetry to the Hinds. This allows the Hinds to engage the T-90As as soon as they emerge from cover, rather than the “1/4 of target unit’s movement rate in continuous LOS” normally required for Panzer Leader opportunity fire. In game terms, the drones spot, the “pass” that spot to the Hinds via the HQ unit, and the Hinds can bushwhack the T-90s as soon as they break cover. One unit of T-90As is lost. A second is lost as I roll up to the crossroads highway rest stop to spot Ukrainian BTR-80As and UAF infantry. The BTRs 30mm chain gun disrupts one of my Hinds (who shot at Damon’s Hinds but missed) while the infantry close-assaulted and destroyed a SECOND unit of T-90As. Putin is not pleased.
To the east, things are going better for my Russians.  Here, my column of T-72B3 upgrades comes down that wooded country track, running into concealed UAF antitank section with AT-4s, RPGs, etc.  Okay, my lead unit of T-72B3s took the hit and was disordered, but quickly recovered.  Meanwhile, a company of motorized rifles dismounted from BMP-3s behind the tanks.  On my next turn, the other ten T-72B3s (again, five tanks per counter) blew the AT section off the map and this battalion-minus juggernaut plowed south, past the woodland crossroads, using the gully to screen in approach.To the east, things are going better for my Russians. Here, my column of T-72B3 upgrades comes down that wooded country track, running into concealed UAF antitank section with AT-4s, RPGs, etc. Okay, my lead unit of T-72B3s took the hit and was disordered, but quickly recovered. Meanwhile, a company of motorized rifles dismounted from BMP-3s behind the tanks. On my next turn, the other ten T-72B3s (again, five tanks per counter) blew the AT section off the map and this battalion-minus juggernaut plowed south, past the woodland crossroads, using the gully to screen in approach.
Those American-supplied Javelins make their presence felt.  Given their extremely broad field of fire (good job on deploying these, Damon) and their incredible range and hitting power, they cause me to basically avoid the whole western third of the table.  Avoid them as I may, I still get clipped as I maneuver BTR-82s with motorized infantry into the western wing of that highway overpass rest stop.  Yes, I have that objective hex (yellow target icon) flanked, but it cost me.  Good news, I have that Javelin position spotted now, and two batteries of BM-21 “Grad” rocket trucks with nothing to do …Those American-supplied Javelins make their presence felt. Given their extremely broad field of fire (good job on deploying these, Damon) and their incredible range and hitting power, they cause me to basically avoid the whole western third of the table. Avoid them as I may, I still get clipped as I maneuver BTR-82s with motorized infantry into the western wing of that highway overpass rest stop. Yes, I have that objective hex (yellow target icon) flanked, but it cost me. Good news, I have that Javelin position spotted now, and two batteries of BM-21 “Grad” rocket trucks with nothing to do …
By the end of Turn 3, the battle has well and truly kicked off.  To the east, that T-72B3 / BMP-3 task forces has thundered up out of that wooded gully and smashed headlong into the town of Novaselivka Druna, assisted by insurgents and mobs of the “Vostok Battalion” separatists.  The Vostok Separatists take hideous losses, as do my BMP-3 motorized infantry.  But concentrated tank and autocannon fire soon pin down two platoons of UAF mechanized infantry, then followed up by a “close assault” street battle of my thoroughly-disposable Vostok Separatists.  They succeed in mopping up Damon’s infantry and HQ unit, which means the laptops controlling the drones are lost.  Gotta admit, I breathe a sigh of relief on that one, given their “spot under cover on a 1-4 roll” rule, NOTHING was hidden from Damon’s missiles with those surveillance drones in the air.  Damon scrambles to reinforce his crumbling right at Novoselivka Druna, including his two flights of Mi-24V Hind-E gunships.  I try to counter with my own two “Krokodil” Mi-24 gunships (no, Russians do NOT call Mi-24s “Hinds” – that is a NATO designation) – but Damon SHOOTS ONE OF THEM DOWN with a hidden section of SA-18 “Grouse” MANPADS missiles.  You can see the crash site in Hex 2311.By the end of Turn 3, the battle has well and truly kicked off. To the east, that T-72B3 / BMP-3 task forces has thundered up out of that wooded gully and smashed headlong into the town of Novaselivka Druna, assisted by insurgents and mobs of the “Vostok Battalion” separatists. The Vostok Separatists take hideous losses, as do my BMP-3 motorized infantry. But concentrated tank and autocannon fire soon pin down two platoons of UAF mechanized infantry, then followed up by a “close assault” street battle of my thoroughly-disposable Vostok Separatists. They succeed in mopping up Damon’s infantry and HQ unit, which means the laptops controlling the drones are lost. Gotta admit, I breathe a sigh of relief on that one, given their “spot under cover on a 1-4 roll” rule, NOTHING was hidden from Damon’s missiles with those surveillance drones in the air. Damon scrambles to reinforce his crumbling right at Novoselivka Druna, including his two flights of Mi-24V Hind-E gunships. I try to counter with my own two “Krokodil” Mi-24 gunships (no, Russians do NOT call Mi-24s “Hinds” – that is a NATO designation) – but Damon SHOOTS ONE OF THEM DOWN with a hidden section of SA-18 “Grouse” MANPADS missiles. You can see the crash site in Hex 2311.
Stinging as Russian losses may be, they’re still steadily winning this battle, especially in the southeast.  Sadly for me, Turn 3 is also where Ukrainian reinforcements arrive in the form of 15 T-80UD main battle tanks.  However, they are brought on directly in my path, in a vain hope of saving the objective hex 3020 (just cleared by my Vostok separatists).  I’m not saying that hex didn’t need saving, but the Ukrainians might have been better served doing so with nearby infantry rather than sending two counters (ten tanks) of T-80UDs directly into point-blank range of fifteen T-72B3s, ten BMP-3s, and a flight of Mi-24V Krokodil gunships (two birds).  Yeah, Ukrainians lose 2/3 of their reinforcements in a single throw, and my Vostok separatists move into the target hex anyway.  However, Ukrainian gunships, AT-5 Spandrel ATGWs (launched from BMP-2s) and American-supplied Javelins also destroy two units of my T-72B3s (if those hapless T-80s had emerged from cover NOW … this whole end of the table might have seen a radically different outcome).  Long story short, the “Battle of Novoselivka Druna” has definitely become one for the record books.  Stinging as Russian losses may be, they’re still steadily winning this battle, especially in the southeast. Sadly for me, Turn 3 is also where Ukrainian reinforcements arrive in the form of 15 T-80UD main battle tanks. However, they are brought on directly in my path, in a vain hope of saving the objective hex 3020 (just cleared by my Vostok separatists). I’m not saying that hex didn’t need saving, but the Ukrainians might have been better served doing so with nearby infantry rather than sending two counters (ten tanks) of T-80UDs directly into point-blank range of fifteen T-72B3s, ten BMP-3s, and a flight of Mi-24V Krokodil gunships (two birds). Yeah, Ukrainians lose 2/3 of their reinforcements in a single throw, and my Vostok separatists move into the target hex anyway. However, Ukrainian gunships, AT-5 Spandrel ATGWs (launched from BMP-2s) and American-supplied Javelins also destroy two units of my T-72B3s (if those hapless T-80s had emerged from cover NOW … this whole end of the table might have seen a radically different outcome). Long story short, the “Battle of Novoselivka Druna” has definitely become one for the record books.
A wider angle of that same moment, showing the launch points of some of those Ukrainian missiles (some from 2800 meters away).  It also shows where my SA-25 “Verba” MANPADS slung up a missile at Damon’s Mi-24V Hind-Es … and missed.  In other news, I’ve taken that highway overpass and surrounding buildings in the center of the table (upper left) giving me three of five objective hexes.  I’ve paid a brutal price getting here, but if I can hold what I’ve got, I win.   A wider angle of that same moment, showing the launch points of some of those Ukrainian missiles (some from 2800 meters away). It also shows where my SA-25 “Verba” MANPADS slung up a missile at Damon’s Mi-24V Hind-Es … and missed. In other news, I’ve taken that highway overpass and surrounding buildings in the center of the table (upper left) giving me three of five objective hexes. I’ve paid a brutal price getting here, but if I can hold what I’ve got, I win.
End of Turn 5, and looks like I have this one about wrapped up.  I can’t even claim credit, Damon had some “brick” dice results and then I threw some good dice (a “6” for him and a “2” for me, which means his autocannon on some Vostock Separatists didn’t go well, and then those same Separatists close-assaulted and destroyed his last units in Novoselivka Druna.  Once that happened, he no longer had my last T-72B3 unit spotted for a second Javelin / Hind / Grad strike.  That was *basically* the last real shot he had to shift me out of those objective hexes.  In fact, I wound up taking one more.  So I now hold four of five … and the Ukrainians have lost any real chance of taking any of them back. End of Turn 5, and looks like I have this one about wrapped up. I can’t even claim credit, Damon had some “brick” dice results and then I threw some good dice (a “6” for him and a “2” for me, which means his autocannon on some Vostock Separatists didn’t go well, and then those same Separatists close-assaulted and destroyed his last units in Novoselivka Druna. Once that happened, he no longer had my last T-72B3 unit spotted for a second Javelin / Hind / Grad strike. That was *basically* the last real shot he had to shift me out of those objective hexes. In fact, I wound up taking one more. So I now hold four of five … and the Ukrainians have lost any real chance of taking any of them back.
One of the last face-offs is where the five remaining Ukrainian T-80UDs and a platoon of mechanized infantry stared down my last unit of T-90As, two platoons of motorized infantry, an ATGW section, and three BTR-82 sections which tried flanking around that tree line, perhaps with an eye toward engaging that SA-18 Grouse MANPADS section or even his two batteries of BM-21 Grad rockets.  But honestly I don’t think either of us had the weight left to shift each other out of these covered positions.  THANKS TO DAMON for the great game!    One of the last face-offs is where the five remaining Ukrainian T-80UDs and a platoon of mechanized infantry stared down my last unit of T-90As, two platoons of motorized infantry, an ATGW section, and three BTR-82 sections which tried flanking around that tree line, perhaps with an eye toward engaging that SA-18 Grouse MANPADS section or even his two batteries of BM-21 Grad rockets. But honestly I don’t think either of us had the weight left to shift each other out of these covered positions. THANKS TO DAMON for the great game!

Video Replay: Damon vs. Oriskany

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
3 Comments

The replay video is up for our community wargame is now up, with 90% of the “background discussion” removed – just to get to the game faster!

@damon (elements UAF 93rd Mechanized Brigade, CDO East)
vs.
@oriskany (Advance Guard, 27th Motor Rifle Brigade, 1st Guards Tank Army)

Hypothetical assault vs. defense scenario, full-scale Russian invasion of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.

Conflict: Ukraine - Tomorrow's War?

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

Join us as we take a look at a possible scenario for open conflict between the ground forces of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.  The system used is Panzer Leader (TCME Edition Rules), with updated research for orders of battle, available equipment, and troop types on both sides.

Scheduled players: Oriskany and Damon
RFA vs. UAF – Hypothetical Future
Battalion Level

Sunday, April 11
5PM UK Time, 12 Noon US East Time

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

 

Conflict: Ukraine - Tomorrow's War?
Overall map, showing the countryside just north of the industrial town of Adviika in Donetsk Oblast.  This was the site of major battles in both 2014 and 2017, so it stands to reason this site may see action again.  It controls the northern approaches to the region's capital city, and its infamous airport which has also seen two savage battles in the course of this war. Overall map, showing the countryside just north of the industrial town of Adviika in Donetsk Oblast. This was the site of major battles in both 2014 and 2017, so it stands to reason this site may see action again. It controls the northern approaches to the region's capital city, and its infamous airport which has also seen two savage battles in the course of this war.
Elements of the Ukrainian Mechanized Brigade (reinforced) that is actually charged with defending tis area.  Note the drones, to be used in surveillance and calling in artillery and rocket strikes.Elements of the Ukrainian Mechanized Brigade (reinforced) that is actually charged with defending tis area. Note the drones, to be used in surveillance and calling in artillery and rocket strikes.
The Russians, and some of their local separatist allies.  Yes, they are vastly stronger than the Ukrainians.  But the Ukrainians are on defense, they only have to hold at least three of five specificed objective hexes at the end of the game. In short, if they survive, they win.The Russians, and some of their local separatist allies. Yes, they are vastly stronger than the Ukrainians. But the Ukrainians are on defense, they only have to hold at least three of five specificed objective hexes at the end of the game. In short, if they survive, they win.

Recommended Reading List for Historical Wargamers

Tutoring 8
Skill 7
Idea 8
2 Comments

Hello everyone! In this video, we discuss a beginning list of just a few great military history books or military novels that draw a direct line of sight to the wargaming table.

Depending on what periods and conflicts you like to recreate, I hope you find at least one book in this list that might add a little context, background, or inspiration to your game!

Of course, this list is far from comprehensive.  What military historical books would you add to enhance, inform, facilitate, and inspire your historical wargames?

Oh, and yes. There will be a quiz! :slight_smile:

Video Replay - Ukrain War (Battalion-Level Meeting Engagement)

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
No Comments

Here is the video replay of Wednesday’s battalion-level meeting engagement – part of a theoretical “hot war” between Ukrainian UAF and Russian Federation Army.  In this scenaario, Russian divisions actually invade Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts of the eastern Ukraine, intent of re-annexing these ethnically Russian regions back into the Russian Federation.

Does the Ukrainian Armed Forces finally find a backbone?  Are they finally supported by their corrupt government in Kiev?

Find out!

What-If Scenario: Full Scale Warfare, UAF vs. RSA in East Ukraine

Tutoring 4
Skill 4
Idea 4
No Comments

Civil war in the Eastern Ukraine has been alternating between states of threatening simmer and outfight conflagration for at least six years now.

Russian involvement in supporting separatist factions in Donetsk and Luhansk is undeniable, but what if the situation finally came down to a full-scale, contested invasion?

Using TCME Edition Panzer Leader, we take a look at an imaginary battalion-level meeting engagement between the famed Ukrainian 95th UAF Brigade, and the 4th Guards Tank Division (veterans of the Second Chechen War).

Check us out and see how things unfold!

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

Here's the map, centered on the small town of Kamyanka in the Luhansk Oblast, east Ukraine.Here's the map, centered on the small town of Kamyanka in the Luhansk Oblast, east Ukraine.
Lead elements of the 95th UAF Brigade.  This scenario gives the UAF a lot of credit, usually these better tanks (especially the T-84 Oblat) are sold off to foreign arms buyers rather than sent to their own soldiers actually in combat.Lead elements of the 95th UAF Brigade. This scenario gives the UAF a lot of credit, usually these better tanks (especially the T-84 Oblat) are sold off to foreign arms buyers rather than sent to their own soldiers actually in combat.
Lead operational maneuver group of the 4th Guards Tank Division - note the Tunguska air defense platform and the Mi-28 Havoc gunship.Lead operational maneuver group of the 4th Guards Tank Division - note the Tunguska air defense platform and the Mi-28 Havoc gunship.
Meanwhile in the streets of Kamyanka, separatist rebels are already locking horns with local volunteer battalions (militia).  These are the kinds of units that are fighting 90% of the current Ukraine War since mid 2014.Meanwhile in the streets of Kamyanka, separatist rebels are already locking horns with local volunteer battalions (militia). These are the kinds of units that are fighting 90% of the current Ukraine War since mid 2014.

Finishing up 15mm West German PAH Attack Helicopter by Battlefront

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
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In this video we finish the PAH / B0-105 Bundeswehr attack helicopter with a gloss on the canopy, pin wash, and some detail work on the missile tubes and rotor hub assembly.

15mm Build and Painting Videos, West German PAH Attack Helicopter by Battlefront

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Skill 7
Idea 7
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Here are two videos where we do an on-camera build and an on-camera paint for the 15mm West German Bundeswehr PAH / Bo-105 attack helicopter by Battlefront, also used in Gale Force Nine’s “Tanks” modern armor skirmish game.

This was originally sent to me by community member Rasmus – now lets see if I can get this new addition to match the birds already in my Bundeswehr fleet!

Hobby Build Stream: West German PAH Attack Helicopters by Battlefront (15mm)

Tutoring 6
Skill 5
Idea 6
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Hello, all – join us tomorrow at 3PM East US time, 8PM UK time, for a quick hobby video … where I will build the West German 15mm PAH antitank helicopter produced by Battlefront, and sent to me by community member Rasmus!

So tune in and see if I manage to build this model and keep all ten of my fingers!

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

Here's the sprue we'll be working on today.  :D  Hope to see some of you there!Here's the sprue we'll be working on today. :D Hope to see some of you there!

Highlights of Gulf War / Desert Storm 30th Anniversary Coverage - Wargaming

Tutoring 9
Skill 9
Idea 9
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As we finally pass the end of February and the official end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, I thought I would take a quick look back at some of the recent highlights of the recent wargaming, video coverage, and discussions that have been offered … all condensed in one or two project system posts.

More than a few of us in this community were actually around for this conflict, and yes … there are a handful of us on OTT that were actually in this war to one varying degree or another.  It was for this reason above all that I wanted to make sure this coverage was done objectively, and try and cover all the nations that were involved.

Most of all, I wanted to try and show (in some small way) how historical wargaming really can be done with an eye toward respect, objectivity, and maybe even learning a little about how the world we live in was actually created.  The Persian Gulf War was the first wide-scale use of what we would soon call “the Internet” and definitely the field large “field use” of GPS.  So the very fact that we’re on this internet website, perhaps on a GPS-synced smartphone, shows how this war effects our everyday life.

WARGAMES:  Now, some of the great wargames we’ve had, usually with OTT community members, where we’ve tried in our own small way to bring the fire and fury of the the Persian Gulf War to the tabletop as best we can, overcoming oceans and pandemics to keep our hobby alive.

1. Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars v. 52nd Iraqi Armored Division – Panzer Leader / Tactical Combat Middle East by Toshasch Miniatures.

2. USAF F-15C v. IQAF MiG-29As at H3 Airfield – AirWar C21 by Wessex Games.

3. Scud Hunters, British 22nd SAS Rgt v. Iraqi 224 Brigade – Sitrep Skirmish system – British SAS fight to destroy a Scud missile before it launches at Israel.

4. USMC v. Iraqi 5th Mechanized Division at al-Khafji – Battlegroup (modified) by IronFist Publishing / Plastic Soldier Company.

5. USMC v. Iraqi 5th Mechanized Division at al-Jaber (Part 1) – Battlegroup (modified) by IronFist Publishing / Plastic Soldier Company.

6.USMC v. Iraqi 5th Mechanized Division at al-Jaber (Part 2) – Battlegroup (modified) by IronFist Publishing / Plastic Soldier Company.

7. Brigade-Level Game – 1st US Marine Division v. Iraqi 5th Mechanized / 3rd Armored at al-Jaber / al-Burquan Oilfields – Panzer Leader / Tactical Combat Middle East by Toshasch Miniatures.

8. Battle of 73 Easting, 2nd Armored Cavalry vs. Tawalkana Republican Guards –  “Battle Carry Sabot” modern tank skirmish system by Sitrep Podcast.

9. Marines at Kuwait International Airport (Part 1) –  Battlegroup (modified) by IronFist Publishing / Plastic Soldier Company.

10.Marines at Kuwait International Airport (Part 2)–  Battlegroup (modified) by IronFist Publishing / Plastic Soldier Company.

11. Battle of Medina Ridge, Task Force 1-35, 1st Armored Division vs. al-Medina Armored Republican Guards –  “Battle Carry Sabot” modern tank skirmish system by Sitrep Podcast.

Highlights of Gulf War / Desert Storm 30th Anniversary - Ops Center Episodes

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
No Comments

As we finally pass the end of February and the official end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, I thought I would take a quick look back at some of the recent highlights of the recent wargaming, video coverage, and discussions that have been offered … all condensed in one or two project system posts.

More than a few of us in this community were actually around for this conflict, and yes … there are a handful of us on OTT that were actually in this war to one varying degree or another.  It was for this reason above all that I wanted to make sure this coverage was done objectively, and try and cover all the nations that were involved.

Most of all, I wanted to try and show (in some small way) how historical wargaming really can be done with an eye toward respect, objectivity, and maybe even learning a little about how the world we live in was actually created.  The Persian Gulf War was the first wide-scale use of what we would soon call “the Internet” and definitely the field large “field use” of GPS.  So the very fact that we’re on this internet website, perhaps on a GPS-synced smartphone, shows how this war effects our everyday life.

First, the four OPS CENTER EPISODES presented on the Gulf War, discussing major aspects of the background, armies, equipment, tactics, and course of the Persian Gulf War, and how these can be reflected on the wargaming tabletop.

1. Background and Desert Shield – A look at the regional background of the Persian Gulf War, including the rise of Saddam Hussein, the Iran-Iaq War of 1980-88, and how the economic hardship this war brought to Iraq caused Hussein to gamble on the invasion of his the oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait.  We look at possible wargames in the invasion of Kuwait, and how the US-led Coalition, unprecendented since World War II, built the force to liberate Kuwait.

2. Desert Storm: The Air War – The Gulf War breaks wide open first in the skies with one of the most devaststing air campaigns in history.  Cruise missiles, stealth “fighters”, SAS and Delta force commandos, American F-15s and British Tornados, all were just some of the forces in play.  We also look at Schewartzkopf’s “Jedi Knights” – and their implementation of two new technologies … “GPS” and this  little thing the world would soon call “the Internet.”

3. Desert Storm: Opening the Ground War – Even after five weeks of aerial armegeddon, the Iraqi Army refuses to budge from occupied Kuwait.  We look at the preliminary ground actions, including Iraq’s invasion of Saudi Arabia at al-Khafji, the artillery duels that ranged across the imminent battlefield, preliminary actions at Wadi al Batin, and finally the eruption of the full-scale ground war  – “Desert Sabre” – on 24 Februrary 1991

4. Desert Storm: Conclusion – As Desert Sabre gets fully underway, we look at some of the biggest battles that took place, how and why they unfolded the way they did, and the best games that bring them to the tabletop.  Of course there aren’t a lot of Desert Storm-specific titles out there, but there are lots of games many of us already own that can be used to bring these battles to your hobby. We also pause for a look at the after effects of Desert Storm, and acknowledge how this “clean, good war” was really nothing of the sort.

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