Tuesday, 2 February 2016

A Winter-ish War: Day 1: The SPUR attack in the right-centre sector

At exactly 8.00am, troops from SPUR's Armed Forces began to move forward to attack the Opelandic defences in the right-centre sector.

The Terrain

The Defenders
The defenders (commanded by Colonel Erik Karlstad) comprised:
  • 2 x Regular Infantry Units
  • 1 x Regular Anti-tank Gun Unit

The Attackers
The attackers (commanded by DivCom Davidoff) comprised:
  • 6 x Rifle Units
  • 1 x Mortar Unit
  • 1 x Anti-tank Gun Unit
  • 1 x Light Field Artillery Unit
Turn 1
DivCom Davidoff had a reputation for being careful, and his plan of attack reflected this. He moved his entire force forward en bloc with the intention of probing and testing the Opelandic defences, finding the weak points, and then concentrating his efforts there. He divided his Rifle Units into two forces, one on the left and one on the right, with Anti-tank Gun Unit in support of the former and his Mortar and Light Field Artillery Units supporting the latter.

Turn 2
Whilst using the Mortar and Light Field Artillery Units to engage the right-hand Opelandic strong point, Davidoff ordered his Rifle troops to probe forward. Those on the right soon discovered that their way forward was blocked by a minefield and barbed wire, and began the process of removing both.

On the left it was soon discovered that the forest gave the advancing units some cover from any Oplelandic artillery fire or counter-attacks.

At this point Colonel Karlstad received orders from Marshal Talenheim to send the Anti-tank Gun Unit to support the Opelandic forces defending the left-hand sector of the 'Talenheim Line', as the sound of tank engines had been reported as being heard coming from that direction.

Turn 3
The SPUR Mortar and Light Field Artillery Units continued to bombard the right-hand Opelandic strong point. They repeatedly hit it ... but failed to inflict any casualties on the defenders.

On the right one of the SPUR Rifle Units removed the barbed wire that had hampered its progress, and this enabled it to assault the Opelandic strong point ...

... only to be repulsed after suffering 25% casualties.

On the left the SPUR Rifle Units cautiously advanced ...

... and the leading Rifle Unit began to remove the barbed wire that was in its way.

Turn 4
A further barrage of fire from the SPUR Mortar and Light Field Artillery Units missed the intended target and landed in the nearby minefield. This set off a number of the mines ... and reduced the task of clearing the minefield from five to thee hours!

On the right ...

... and the left ...

... SPUR Rifle Units assaulted the Opelandic defences.

Whereas on the left neither side prevailed, ...

... on the right the ferocity of the attack reduced the Opelandic defenders to 50% of their original strength.

Turn 5
The lack of any artillery support was being felt by the Opelanders, who could not reply when the SPUR Mortar and Light Field Artillery Units continually bombarded their strong points. The latter were finally beginning to have an effect, and the Opelanders in the strong point they were firing at began to suffer casualties.

The two leading SPUR Rifle Units continued to attack the Opleandic strong points ...

... but both were unable to capture their objectives.

DivCom Davidoff was particularly pleased to read a decoded radio transmission from Colonel Karlstad to Marshal Talenheim to the effect that the Colonel's troops were exhausted, but would continue to fight to the last man to defend Opeland.

Turn 6
The SPUR artillery barrage continued ... but had no effect.

The minefield in front of the Opelandic strong point was finally cleared, and this enabled yet another SPUR Rifle Unit to join the assault on it.

Both sides suffered casualties on the right, ...

... but on the left the Opelanders came off worse in the fighting.

Turn 7
The proximity of their own side's troops to the Opelandic strong point ensured that the SPUR Mortar and Light Field Artillery Units fell silent.

In the meantime, the assaults by the SPUR Rifle Units on the Opelandic strong points continued.

On the right, the results of the fighting was indecisive, ...

... but on the left the Opelandic Infantry Unit in the strong point ...

... was wiped out and the SPUR Rifle Unit was able to occupy it!

The 'Talenheim Line' had been breached!

Turn 8
With night now fast approaching, DivCom Davidoff pushed his left-hand Rifle Units forward to secure the area behind the 'Talenheim Line' ...

... whilst his right-hand Rifle Units continued to assault the remaining Opelandic strong point ...

... and achieved a notable victory!

All the Opelandic Units that had been defending the right-centre section of the 'Talenheim Line' had been destroyed, and as night fell DivCom Davidoff moved his troops forward to occupy that section of the former border.

Like DivCom Litvinoff, DivCom Davidoff was also summoned to Marshall Zirkoff's Headquarters that night ... but anticipated a somewhat different reception.


  1. Wonderful! Thoroughly enjoyable account and I normally take little interest in anything with guns in.
    I am intrigued by the small board and unit representations. I have some 15mm dark figures being painted at the moment and when they get back to me I'll be trying this style of play.

  2. Nobby,

    I am really pleased that you have found this particular battle report of interest, especially as the conflict is not set in a period that is normally of interest to you.

    What I have found about fighting wargames with a small number of figures on a restricted tabletop is the speed with which I can set up, fight, and take down a thoroughly interesting and entertaining wargame. It belies the 'bigger is better' way of thinking ... and allows me to fight more battles than I would otherwise be able to!

    Good luck with your own efforts.

    All the best,


  3. Conrad Kinch,

    Things are becoming desperate. The loss of territory is unacceptable to the people ... but the Opelandic Army cannot afford this level of losses for very long. It has already lost 20% of its Regular Infantry Units, and similar losses in future fighting would seriously reduce its fighting ability.

    All the best,


  4. I look forward to the next report. How will the defence cope against armour I wonder!

  5. David Bradley,

    The SPUR commanders seem to be on a steep learning curve, and I suspect that they will use their armour to exploit any weaknesses in the Opelandic defences.

    All the best,


  6. Can the Opelanders expect any type of foreign assistance? Perhaps a bombing attack on SPUR oilfields in the works?

    A. Jeff Butler

  7. Are you engaging in a little role play? Making sure units act according to the personality assigned to a commander and if so how did you assign them? Or are you using your card drawing system and giving the SPUR commanders fewer actions per turn?
    Your" bigger is not always better" comment mirrors my sentiments about computer aided war games. While it is possible to fight the entire ACW down to the man, it certainly makes for a slog of a game. I wish someone could make a profitable tactical level game on the scale you play here. One of my favorite games was SSI's Wargame Construction Set 2: TANKS. It had an excellent kit that let you make and play battles like this easily. I never got into their Rifles WGCS and Perfect General was a little too abstract.
    Anyway, another fun read!

  8. Brigadier General (A Jeff Butler),

    As events are unfolding so quickly, I suspect that the chance of foreign assistance is highly unlikely at this stage of the war. If the Opelanders can hold out for a month or two - which on current form is probably impossible - it might give other nations enough time to send help and/or assistance ... but Opeland's previous neutral stance means that it has no allies upon whom to call.

    All the best,


  9. Mr. Pavone,

    To be truthful, I wanted to use this mini-campaign as a play-test of the rules, and therefore wanted to try out different tabletop strategies. By splitting the campaign area up into four and then deciding that each SPUR commander would try different styles of attack, I did introduce an element of role-play into the choices made.

    I think that inside every wargamer there is a desire to fight large wargames ... but from a practical point of view this is usually something that they might only be able to manage once or twice a year. If they are members of a wargames club or group, such games do become somewhat easier to stage, but if - like me - one prefers to fight solo wargames, embracing the 'small' can be a way of ensuring that one has a regular 'diet' of wargaming to keep one going.

    In doing what I am doing, I am following in the steps of pioneers like Joseph Morschauser. The articles he wrote about his square gridded wargames indicate that he enjoyed manageable games on a relatively small tabletop. I am sure that there must be small, tactical-level wargames out there; its just a matter of finding them! That said, the forthcoming AIRFIX wargame might fit the bill, which is one reason why I have pre-ordered a copy.

    All the best,



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