Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Cold War Commander: Assault at Langenberg!

After a recent weekend of Sharpe Practice shenanigans (reports to come) Andy suggested we tried out Pendraken's new edition of Cold War Commanderwhich I'd recently picked up, and give my Cold War '58 forces a blooding. We chose the Assault scenario from the rulebook and by way of a change had the Americans counter-attacking the Soviets, attempting to seize two important hills (at the top of the picture).

To resist the fascist capitalist aggressors the brave liberators had a platoon of five T-55's... (can you guess which side I was playing?)

And a Heavy Tank Platoon of three T-10M's (we decided to operate on a 1:1 vehicle scale not the 1:3 suggested in the rules as it makes no difference - the extra tanks in the platoons are the HQ vehicles and only issue orders in the game - they could well have been APC's or soft skin vehicle models if I had have had some to hand).

The Americans has a platoon of M103 Heavy Tanks (its HQ unit at the rear as the M103's moved forward).

And two platoons of five M48A3's each (the HQ unit of this platoon is out of shot as the US medium tanks were very keen to advance!). Andy kept his second platoon off table initially to use as Flank Deployment.

The T-10's took up position behind a small copse on the flank the US heavy tanks were advancing down...

Whilst the T-55's took up position on the Soviet left and waited the appearance of the M48's.

This did not take long and the T-55's opened fire on the advancing American medium tanks, their initial volley suppressing one M48.

Andy had split his platoon into two elements and pushed the other two tanks towards the centre.

Spotting an opportunity the T-10's decided to have a pop at these M48's but failed to hit them.

After a couple of failed attempts, which largely negated their value, the Flank Deployment M48 platoon arrived on the table.

The first M48 platoon moved up to engage the T-55's (apart from the suppressed tank which remained behind for this turn).

But it was the Soviet gunners who struck first suppressing two M48's attempting to hide in the small copse...

Another round of 100mm cannon fire subsequently destroyed the two US tanks!

Cold War Commander uses a similar system to Warmaster (and Black Powder) in that you can keep ordering a unit to do something (albeit it is harder to each time) and the gods of war(gaming) were with me as the T-55's accepted a third round of orders to fire at the enemy...

Allowing them to destroy an M48 in the other platoon and suppress another.

With the US advance down their right flank faltering as they came up against the accurate Soviet gunfire...

The M103's began to move forward down the American left...

Again a good run of dice on issuing orders saw the US heavy tanks storm down the table and get in behind the Soviet heavy tank platoon!

Unfortunately for Andy his next order was one too far and the M103's didn't fire into the exposed rear of the T-10's. The Soviet heavies took the opportunity of the American confusion to open fire on the M103's as they emerged through the trees and suppressed all three M103's.

However luck then deserted the Soviets as the T-10's next order failed with the American heavy tanks recovering but again failing to fire at the enemy.

Back on the US right Andy tried to sneak his second platoon of M48's around the flank of the T-55's...

The 100mm cannon barked again...

And another M48 brewed up with a second suppressed.

The gods of war(gaming) then decided to have a laugh at the Soviets expense as a follow up order was blundered (no doubt because I was using a Saracen as a Soviet CO model!)

And the T-55's began pulling back from their position!

Seeing this the survivors of the M48 platoon pushed forward in an attempt to rush the hill but the tankers were wary and only moved forward once claiming static affected their ability to hear the follow up order...

Meanwhile the Soviet right saw the clash of the titans as the heavy tanks began to get to grips with each other. M103 fire first suppressed a T-10...

Before destroying it!

However the return fire of the T-10M's 122m cannon suppressed one M103...

Before destroying it.

This was the end of turn 8 and as the Soviets had defended the objective but not broken the US battlegroup, it was a Minor Victory for them.

As this was our first game of Cold War Commander we had tried to run a fairly basic game and still managed to get confused (CO orders) and miss certain rules (Opportunity Fire? Whoops...). It must be said that the 2nd edition rulebook is not the huge improvement on the first I was hoping for, rather than re-write it in a more coherent fashion Pendraken have just added more text which doesn't always help understanding. Fortunately I'd watched some videos on YouTube which helped with the basics. 

Despite the problems with the rulebook, within it there appears to be a really good game, the battle was fun and I'm sure as we add more things to the game (the Recce rules look like they add something interesting) we'll get much more out of it. Pendraken have missed a trick here not re-writing the rulebook from scratch (keeping the rules as is, just laying out and explaining them better) and I'm sure this will put people off as it is a confusing read, however, as I said, there appears to be a great game hiding within and some perseverance, watching of YouTube and asking questions on the CWC forum should hopefully reveal it

1 comment:

  1. Nice game and lovely terrain/table. I'm thinking of jumping into some Cold War gaming, so I found this very interesting. Thanks for posting it.