Friday, 5 February 2016

A Winter-ish War: Day 3: The SPUR attack in the left-hand sector

During the second night of the war, the Opelandic government realised that the situation was very grave. Marshal Talenheim spelt it out in no uncertain words that the main defence line was breached, and that it was only a matter of time before SPUR's troops would reach Viputa. He advised that approaches be made to SPUR via diplomatic channels with a request for an immediate armistice. In the meantime, he would order what remained of Opeland's Regular Army to withdraw from the defences of Viputa.

This caused uproar in the Cabinet meeting, and several members called upon the Marshal to resign ... but he refused, stating that he had always been of the opinion that Viputa was going to be impossible to defend against SPUR's Armed Forces. Their overwhelming superiority in numbers and equipment made such a result inevitable, and he saw no reason to needlessly sacrifice Opelandic lives trying to achieve the impossible.

It was finally agreed that the defences protecting Viputa would be manned by Units drawn from the Reserve, and that the request for an armistice would be pursued with alacrity. It was also agreed that the handing over of Viputa to SPUR was preferable to the prospect of trying to fight a protracted war that Opeland would inevitably lose.

The Terrain

The Defenders
The defenders (commanded by Colonel Rolf Andersson) comprised:
  • 3 x Reserve Infantry Units
  • 1 x Reserve Anti-tank Gun Unit
  • 1 x Reserve Light Field Artillery Unit

The Attackers
The attackers (commanded by Admiral Loganoff) comprised:
  • 8 x Naval Infantry Units
  • 1 x Naval Anti-tank Gun Unit
  • 1 x Naval Light Field Artillery Unit
  • Units of the SPUR Northern Fleet
Turn 1
As day dawned, the defenders of Viputa could hear the sound of aircraft engines getting louder and louder, and this presaged the arrival of an attack by two SPUR Air Force Light Bomber Units, escorted by two Fighter Units.

The bombers ignored the Opelandic defences, and dropped their loads on the town of Viputa, setting many buildings on fire.

Meanwhile, out of sight of land, a SPUR Naval task force consisting of the newly-renamed Armoured Artillery Ship (AKA Battleship) Krasny Viputa (Red Viputa) and two landing barges was sailing towards the coast of Opeland.

Turn 2
The SPUR Naval Light Field Artillery Unit and the Opelandic Reserve Light Artillery Unit both fired at each other ...

... and both inflicted casualties on the other.

The SPUR Naval Infantry Units edged forward so as to threaten but not actually attack the Opelandic defences.

At sea the SPUR task force turned towards Viputa and Krasny Viputa's smoke became visible to the inhabitants of the town.

Turn 3
The artillery exchange between the SPUR Naval Light Field Artillery Unit and the Opelandic Reserve Light Artillery Unit continued ...

... but neither side's fire was on target.

In Viputa the fire spread unchecked, and the whole town seemed to be engulfed in smoke.

At sea, the SPUR task force sailed closer and closer to Viputa ...

Turn 4
The artillery duel between the SPUR Naval Light Field Artillery Unit and the Opelandic Reserve Light Artillery Unit continued ineffectively, but out at sea the Krasny Viputa was now clearly visible, as were the two landing barges. The latter had detached themselves from Krasny Viputa, and could be seen to be approaching the coast.

Turn 5
The guns of the Krasny Viputa opened fire on the Opelandic defences ...

... with devastating effect!

The SPUR Naval Light Field Artillery and Naval Anti-tank Gun Units also fired at the Opelandic strong point closest to the coast ...

... and wiped out its occupants!

The Opelandic Reserve Light Artillery Unit switched targets and fired at one of the oncoming SPUR Naval Infantry Units ...

... but failed to inflict any casualties on it.

By this time the resolve of the Opelandic Reserve troops was beginning to waver, and already some Units were considering falling back. Colonel Andersson managed to keep those Units in the front line for the moment, but reported to Marshal Talenheim that the situation was dire, and that retreat was becoming inevitable. In reply Marshal Talenheim asked him to hold on for as long as possible, but that if it became obvious that the SPUR forces were going to prevail, to retreat in order to preserve the lives of his men.

Turn 6
Krasny Viputa fired on the Opelandic defences for a second time ...

... and wiped out the Opelandic Reserve Anti-tank Gun Unit ...

.. and inflicted casualties on the Opelandic Reserve Infantry Unit occupying the remaining strong point.

Fire from the SPUR Naval Light Field Artillery also targeted the Opelandic Reserve Infantry Unit ...

... and caused even more casualties.

Realising that all was lost, Colonel Andersson ordered his remaining Units to retreat.

As they did so the SPUR landing barges arrived, carrying four additional SPUR Naval Infantry Units.

The battle for Viputa was over! SPUR had prevailed!


  1. Hi Bob

    I think there is a typo in your defenders list.

    I am surprised by how thrilling I am finding this battle and I particularly like the political/diplomatic thread that you are weaving into it. Thank you for posting.

    Are hexes essential to this game or would it work with a square grid, normal or offset, as well?

  2. WOW, the naval gunnery support was devastating! But I think Opelandic forces will do better in the forests in land....)

  3. Nobby,

    Thanks for spotting the typo; I have corrected it.

    I have enjoyed fighting this mini-campaign, and expected that the Opelanders would actually do better than they have. It has served as an excellent play-test of my 'Modern' version of Joseph Morschauser's 'Frontier' rules, and I have been tweaking them as I have gone along.

    I have a feeling that too many wargamers fight one-off battles that don't have a back-story or context in which they take place. By adding a political/diplomatic element it explains why a battle has taken place and explains why one side might retreat rather than fight yo the finish.

    The original 'Frontier' rules used a squared grid, and this version could work with either hexes or squares ... and could even be used without either with only a small amount of modification.

    All the best,


  4. Dom M,

    Naval gunfire can be quite devastating. In this case the warship was firing the equivalent of two heavy artillery (the main armament) and two field artillery units (the secondary armament).

    I suspect that the Opelanders will try to sue for peace rather than fight to the finish, in the hope that they can rebuild their Armed Forces before taking on SPUR again. They certainly need to add some heavy artillery, tanks, and aircraft to their weapons inventory.

    All the best,


  5. Lovely to see such a variety of toys in use!

  6. Tim Gow,

    It was great to get some of my Megablitz stuff out of their storage boxes and onto the tabletop.

    All the best,


  7. Jonathan Freitag,

    I am very please to read that you enjoyed it.

    All the best,


  8. Another gripping after action report. What I found impressive was that it involved air, land and sea forces on such a small playing area - who needs 8 x 5 tables!
    Only disappointed that the Opelandic Air Force did n't put in an appearance. Still perhaps at some stage there might be a "Continuation War" sometime in the future with perhaps support from Teutonica?

  9. David Bradley,

    I could have set up all the terrain (except the sea) on an 8' x 3' table, but feel that doing it on four separate tabletops produced a better series of interconnected battles.

    The aircraft appeared on the turn of a playing card ... and unfortunately the card that would have brought the Opelandic Air Force's single aircraft into play was never turned over.

    Will there be a 'Continuation War'? Who knows ... but I suspect that there might be one day!

    All the best,


  10. Timeless stuff Bob, really enjoyed following it all.



  11. Pete.,

    I am very pleased that you enjoyed this series of battle reports.

    All the best,


  12. Just wondering - where can I get the computer version of the hexes?

  13. That's awful Bob. Surely opeland will rise again?

    Love that battleship by the way.

  14. James O'Connell,

    I drew mine using MS Paint. They are saved as a BMP file, and once I have finished a map I save it in JPG format so that I embed it in my blog entries.

    All the best,


  15. Conrad Kinch,

    Opeland may be down ... but she isn't finished quite yet!.

    The model battleship has appeared in several battles, usually with an appropriate new name each time.

    All the best,


  16. Bob,

    The Opelander forces' uniforms seem to have been manufactured in Germany, but I couldn't be sure from the pictures--am I right on this?

    Great series, by the way!

    Best regards as always,


  17. Chris,

    The uniforms worn by the Opelanders certainly do originate in Germany. (I am using some of my German Megablitz collection for both sides, and the Germans are either in German Army mid-war uniforms or - in the case of the Reserves - wearing similar uniforms but painted to represent troops from a Luftwaffe Feld Divisione.)

    I am pleased to read that you have enjoyed this series of battles; I certainly enjoyed fighting them!

    All the best,


  18. Bob you finally convinced me to build a battleship. Another thrilling report.

  19. Brigadier General,

    Every home should have one ... but beware, we don't want to turn you from a General into an Admiral!

    All the best,