Saturday, 8 June 2013

Aggressive Delay (Part 1)

This scenario covers the next battle in my ongoing WW3 gone hot in 1981 series. The scenario title is taken from the expected posture of 4th Armoured Div, 'aggressive delay' in front of the rest of the BAOR. Lucky 4th AD! 10th GTD is now advancing on a single (reinforced) regimental front and has outrun its divisional artillery so fire support is provided by air strikes and the divisional FROG battalion. BAOR meanwhile has decided to make a major effort to eliminate this threat to the Mittelland-Elbe canal line, concentrating one task force on this sector while leaving the remaining 50km of front to TF Hotel.

Aggressive Delay, June 31st 1981

General Briefing
The rapid Warpac offensive has caught many NATO units still forming up although reinforcements have brought units up to their wartime strengths in many places. On the BAOR front, 10th Guards Tank Division has managed to push its leading regiment deep into the covering force in the marshy region north of Wolfsburg while the main body of 3rd Shock Army pushes up the autobahn to Braunschweig.

British briefing
4th AD is moving forward to engage the enemy spearheads, tasked with 'aggressive delay' to buy time for the rest of BAOR to deploy in their battle positions. Once the MLR is established, 4th AD will withdraw into reserve to reorganise. Ideally 4th AD will hold the enemy on the line of the Mittelland & Elbe-Seiten Canals, however this morning the enemy put in a strong tank attack north of Wolfsburg which risks unhinging the canal line.

It has been determined the enemy armoured spearhead must be halted and destroyed, and to this end the whole of Task Force Golf (4th AD) has been despatched to deal with it. The remainder of the division (TF Hotel) will continue on to Braunschweig. The RAF and Luftwaffe have put in a major effort to provide air cover for the operation and are also striking the rear communications of the enemy tank division.

Intercept and destroy the enemy armoured spearhead and establish a line on the canal.

Forces (D6, regular morale unless indicated otherwise)

Task Force Golf (4th Armoured Div)

TFHQ 1 x Mech HQ, 1 x Armoured engineer company, 1 x Rapier battery

Armoured Battlegroup                     Infantry Battlegroup

1 x GW troop (Swingfire)                   1 x mortar battery, 1 x Milan troop
4 x Chieftan Squadrons                      4 x Mech Infantry Companies (FV432)
1 x close recce troop (Scimitar)          1 x close recce troop (Scimitar)
1 x battery of Abbot in DS                  1 x battery of Abbot in DS

Cross attach tank and infantry companies between BGs and then break these down into two or three combat teams including BG level AT assets and (optionally) the mortars.

German Home Defence platoons or companies in some BUAs (D12, morale poor).

1 x regiment (3 x batteries) of M109 in General Support (one turn delay).

2 x Harriers and 2 x Lynx available for ground support. Close airfield.

Enter from the west edge on or adjacent to roads.

Warpac briefing

10th GTD has succeeded in pushing through the enemy light covering forces north of the Mittelland canal with minimal losses. The terrain is poor, march routes are restricted and coupled with demolitions and increasing numbers of NATO airstrikes the division is only able to put one regiment into its first echelon. The advance is vital as it offers the potential to outflank enemy defensive positions at Braunchsweig and the terrain further west is much more favourable for armoured operations. 62nd GTR has been reinforced and is leading the division forward. Enemy air activity in this sector has increased, and air recce indicates the movement of significant forces on our front. The bridges appear to be intact in this sector.

Push forward rapidly, bypass centres of enemy resistance which can be left to second echelon forces and continue to penetrate the enemy position.

Forestall the occupation of defensive positions, particularly along the Elbe canal and River Aller, and intercept and destroy enemy reserves moving to the front.

Forces (D8, regular morale unless indicated otherwise)

62nd GTR(+), 10th GTD, Cat I

RHQ: 1 x Mech HQ, 1 x recce Co, 2 x Engineer Co, 1 x AA Co
3 x Tank Bn (T64): 2 x tank Co ea
1 x Motor Rifle Bn (2 x BMP Co)
1 x SP Arty Bn (SP 122mm): 2 x SP 122, 1 x Btty HQ 
Div forward detachment: 1 x Tank Bn+ (T64): 2 x Tank Co, 1 x Amd engineer Co

2 x Mi 24 Hind, 2 x Su-17 Fitter at close airfield. Unlimited supply of Su-17s, but no more than two at a time.
1 x Air assault Bn (2 x para, 1 x Mi 8 helicopter), airlanding must be pre-planned

4 x pre-planned HE strikes by FROG (resolve as MLRS)

Enter on or adjacent to the main road leading in from the east in pre-combat formation, but don't need to be in road column. Recce Co can start in GruBendorf.


Villages and towns provide cover (-1 to hit), woods provide concealment. Hills are not an obstacle, provide concealment to stationary units. Cultivated areas are bad going. The canal is impassable to all but amphibious vehicles (obstacle), the river is impassable to wheeled vehicles and an obstacle for other types.


The weather is good.

Umpires notes

Game length - until we get bored. Really it should be four hours (16 turns).

Airpower draw a card for each aircraft turn (if not on table)

Any red = Soviet move to ready, available from readiness.
Any black = RAF move to ready, available from readiness..
Planes need to be made ready before they can strike.
Once a strike is launched, planes return to airfield, need a card to rearm and move to readiness. They need another card to attack. SU-17s always attack when card comes up, others may choose to (auto available) and helos can loiter. Airborne attack is pre-planned.

Heimatschutzen are available at the rate of one company per three BUAs - probably two companies in Gifhorn.

Bridges may be damaged, D6, 1 = passable to dismounted troops, obstacle for light vehicles only, no tanks 2 = passable by light vehicles, obstacle for tanks, 3+ OK. May repair with one engineering action. Fordable river and amphibs at canal cross an obstacle (red card).

Area of Operations

The game table based the area NE of Gifhorn. The cultivated areas represent the polder next to the Elbe canal, passable but bad going.

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