03 January 2016

Probing the Defenses - Sabre Squadron AAR

Happy New Year, readers! Ziggy and I put together a game of Sabre Squadron on Saturday evening. I've been sad that my 6mm moderns sat idle in their storage except for just a few hours during 2015 so I thought they should get same play.

I put together a basic Hasty Attack scenario, a follow-on to our last mid-1980's WW3 clash on the Baltic coast. The Marines have maintained their beach head and the Soviets are probing the lines, looking for gaps and trying to reduce the defenders.

The Soviets would have three tank platoons and a BMP platoon. The USMC had four infantry platoons with attached TOW HMMWVs and a platoon of M60's. The Soviets may be a little ill-equipped for the task ahead, but this was a learning game.

A fuzzy picture of the layout. Lots of woods, but more would have been nice. My Soviets are advancing in from the table edge. Two of the USMC platoons begin deployed on the table. The other three platoons are deployed after my first bound since they're hidden in defensive positions.

My forces enter the battlefield. The T-62s moved at Transit speed, trying to get in behind the clumps of cover ahead of them.

The M60s waste no time and in a matter of moments, three of the T-62s are brewed up.

One of the T-72s hangs back and takes a pot-shot at one of the American tanks but misses the mark. The T-62s in the center drive into the woods.

The rest of the T-72s and BMPs more forward and right. The lead T-72 smashes a TOW vehicle which had fired earlier but missed. The T-72s trail smoke behind them, covering the BMPs from cross-table M60 fire.

My lead T-72 is knocked out by another TOW launcher. Grrr.

And casualties continue to mount for the Soviets as another TOW vehicle reveals itself, killing a T-62 and a Patton fires back at the "goalie" T-72 I'd left behind.

My last tank in the middle flees.

Another T-62 is taken out by a TOW. I had pulled that platoon out from behind the woods to get some shots at the Americans. I thought they were pretty safe with their positioning. I completely missed the missile vehicle in the back that claimed this tank.

FINALLY something positive. A T-72 takes out an M60.

And a BMP knocks out another Hummvee. The USMC platoon in the back begins to relocate. Their side of the battlefield has been resolved for all intents and purposes.

Needing to make some progress, I push the mechanized infantry forward and assault the Marine positions. Miraculously, I only lost one stand of infantry during the initial assault. I could havce done for better prep-fire on the American positions but I didn't have the time or resources for that at this point of the game.

A turn on and I renew the assault with the other two BMPs and better prep-fire. 

I kill a stand and didn't lose one in the process! Shocking.

But back on the other side, the Marine tankers had finally caught up with my T-62s which had been skulking. I had very purposefully been leaving those tanks there to draw Ziggy's tanks away from the assault on the far side. The plan worked rather well, all things considered.

The filthy American tanks got into good positions to finish off the T-62s and T-72s in one quick round of shooting and that was it for my company. Game over, Marines win.

I know it looks like a really one-sided beat-down, but it still a fun evening of toy-soldiers. As I said, we're learning the system and although I could have used twice as many units or a lot more cover, the game served its purpose. With the weapons we were using, hits instantly translated into kills. Only infantry had any sort of resilience to fire. Next time we'll be sure to clutter up the table more and we'll work in artillery and either helos or fixed-wing aircraft.

The system piqued Zig's interest and although Modern Spearhead is a top-shelf system, Sabre Squadron is easier to set up for and follows a more traditional game play system. I think this will be a good rule-set to bring out for a group game.

1 comment:

  1. Ski,
    That's one of the strengths of Sabre Squadron I think - it's very easy to set up pick up games. the game handles smaller company actions or larger battalion/regimental actions equally well.
    Great write up! Looking forward to seeing more. I think I"ll have to break out my Sabre Squadron for some more modern-day fun this month.