Umpire's Briefing

It is early afternoon on 15th July 1984, a few miles west of the Inner German Border (IGB).

The ground is mainly open country, with fields of crops. There are some open trees along the roads leading east , and some small orchards around the village. The green areas are dense forest, and count as Heavy terrain, vehicles must also check for bogging down. British units may deploy as far forward as the track to the east of the village. The Soviets may enter anywhere on east edge.

The British may receive some reinforcements: either a tank troop or one Striker with Swingfire.

If they do, the Soviets will receive support from a Hind D Helicopter.

British Briefing

After several weeks of increasing tensions, during which it became clear that the large exercise the Warpac were holding was really a covert mobilisation, at 05.00 this morning the poo has hit the spinning thing and the Soviet army has crossed the IGB and invaded west Germany.

You are Captain Roger Roughshaft, 2IC of Bravo Company, the Royal Green Jackets, part of 4th Armoured Division, the British Army of the Rhine's (BAOR) covering force. You were deployed from barracks two days ago and your first action earlier this morning didn’t go well:  the enemy bundled you out of the village of Helchteren much quicker than you had hoped. You have managed to extricate most of your force, and are now dug in to defend the village of Stellingbostel

Your job now is to slow the Soviets down again, hopefully hold the village until night fall, and then withdraw your troops to the next position, winning time for the rest of the BAOR to dig in along the river Leine.

You have your two platoons of B Co. and a Milan section. A troop of Chieftains have just turned up to assist in the defence, which makes you feel more confident of holding the Soviets this time.

This is not a suicide job:  do not allow the enemy to pin you down and prevent your withdrawal, or destroy your command. Your job is to make the Soviets deploy, inflict as many casualties as possible and make them fight to get past the village, but live to fight another day (or probably later today).

Your forces:

  • Company HQ
    • Capt Roger Roughshaft  (Level IV)
    • CSM Corky Caldwell (Level III)
    • 1 x 2-man Sniper team (Level I) 
    • 1 x Blowpipe MANPAD
    • 1 x FOO connected to 3 x Medium Mortars
    • 1 x FV432, 1 x Landrover
  •  Milan detachment
    • Corporal (Level I)
    • 2 x Milan ATGM teams
    • 1 x FV432
  • 1 Platoon
    • Lt Hugh Jarce (Level III)
    • Corporal ‘Ginger’ Bush (Level II)
    • 1 x Radio Operator
    • 1 x 2-man SFMG Team
    • 1 x FV432
    • 3 x Rifle Section (8 men each)
    • 3 x FV432
  •  2 Platoon
    • Lt Reg Butler (Level III)
    • Corporal Jack Jones (Level I)
    • 1 x Radio Operator
    • 1 x 2-man SFMG Team
    • 1 x FV432
    • 3 x Rifle Section (8 men each)
    • 3 x FV432
  • Chieftain troop
    • Lt Charlie Wells (Level III)
    • 3 x Chieftain tanks

All British infantry may start the game dug-in.

The table viewed from the East:  the left flank of the Soviet entry point

Soviet Briefing

After years of provocation, our forces have finally been forced into action against the evil NATO armies to prevent them attacking the Eastern European countries signed up to the Warsaw Pact.

This morning we have crossed the IGB in a pre-emptive strike to destroy the armies of NATO and remove the threat to our borders.

You are Captain Alexander Orlov currently in command of the advance guard of 10th Guards Tank Division in 3rd Shock Army. Now we are in the west, your task is to find the enemy and identify where his weak points are to allow the division to rapidly bypass the enemies strong points and penetrate deep into their rear.

Having found a route between the villages of Helchterren and Hechtelyou now need to clear the village of Stellingbostel andexploit to the west and get over the river Leine before the British can fully prepare their defences there.

You cannot afford to get bogged down unless you want to be looking down the wrong end of a pistol in the very near future.  You have had the Colonel shouting down the radio all day demanding speed, and are aware that he has the General chewing him out. Best get moving again as soon as the artillery barrage finishes.

Your forces:

  • Company HQ
    • 1 x BMP1 with Captain Alexander Orlov (Level III)
    • 1 x BMP1 with 2 x AGR17 2-man teams
    • 1 x BTR60PU with 1 x FOO for a battery of 2S1 122mm SPguns
    • 1 x ZSU23/4
  •  Tank Platoon 1
    • Sergeant Igor Blimeh (Level II)
    • 4 x T72
  • Tank Platoon 2
    • Lt Yuri Bigboi (Level II)
    • 4 x T72s
  • 1 Platoon
    • Lt. Ivan Irjtuvart (Level II)
    • 3 x Rifle Section (6 men each)
    • 3 x BMP1
  • 2 Platoon
    • Lt Alexei Salmondski (Level II)
    • 3 x Rifle Section (6 men each)
    • 3 x BMP1
  • 3 Platoon
    • Lt Leon Abalakov (Level II)
    • 3 x Rifle Section (6 men each)
    • 3 x BMP1

You have three 12” x 12” pre-game artillery stonks you can place anywhere on the table, and may receive some support from frontal aviation.

The view from the right of the Soviet start line

The Game

But, of course, the Soviets weren’t alone. When the British blinds card came up, Lt Charlie Wells troop of Chieftains spotted the right flank platoon of T72s and opened fire on them:

In a very short time three T72s were burning and the fourth had lost a track and was permanently immobilised. It would spend the rest of the game trading shots with one of the Chieftains, neither managing to get a penetrating hiton the other!

The Soviet right flank seen from a Chieftain's point of view:

The Soviet left flank is shown in the picture below. Just visible in the wood ahead and behind the McDonalds are the two British Milan teams, who have just fired at the T72s and missed.

The Russians were assisted by their Armoured Bonus Move card which came up every turn and is responsible for the BMPs, which have raced up to the Lidl store and dropped off their troops for a bit of retail therapy.

The burning T72 in the right corner is from the second T72 platoon’s brief fight with the Chieftains. The Russian FOO managed to put an aiming point on the section in the orchard, which was the highpoint of his action as his card never came up again.

The Russians were so worried by the Milans that they pulled the tanks into the town.

The succession of Armoured Bonus Move cards also meant that the second BMP platoon now overtook their colleagues and charged up the main road, leaping out of their BMPs and trying to occupy the orchard behind the supermarket and the large building next to it, only to find both already occupied by British infantry who were not impressed at the rude interruption of their cuppa.

Both Russian squads were eventually ejected with heavy casualties (don’t go into close combat without softening up the defence first) and their BMPs rendered hors de combat.

The first platoon occupied the factory by the railway and settled down to exchange shots withthe Brits in the fast food joint. The Russkies in the supermarket also tried assaulting the Brits in the orchard, but were sent packing.

At this point the Russians settled into a bit of a stalemate, trading shots between their T72s and Charlie Wells' Chieftains:  neither getting a decent hit, firing a Sagger from a BMP and missing, and losing another BMP to the third Chieftain which had moved to the corner of the main road.

Their Hind also made an appearance, fired a Sagger and missed:  the Brits fired at it with their blowpipe and also missed.

The British infantry damaged another T72 and a BMP with their Carl Gustavs and LAWs...and we ran out of time .

We decided to call it a victory for the Brits, who had only lost five men and a few Shock points, whereas the Soviets had lostbest part of two platoons of infantry and a platoon of tanks, and clearly weren’t going to be pushing the Brits outof the village without some extra assistance.

So that's how our second game of my cold war version of IABSM ended. I'm using Boris Don't Surf, Mum as  working title in order to differentiate it from Nick Overland's I Ain't Been Nuked, Mum. I need to look at a few things (aerial guns and rockets mainly) but generally it seems to work well.