Bundesheer At War: Part Four

The Bundesheer At War: Part Four
with Ian Birdwell

Read Part One here...
Read Part Two here...
Read Part Three here...

When we last left the stalwart defenders of the Alps, we had a pretty straight forward idea of what the list would look like and how it would all function on the battlefield. While some of the tactics of reserves have changed slightly in the V2 era, the overall inclinations of the force have not. In the post-holiday and post-Version Two of the game, we’ll take a look at how the list performs on the table against the best the Soviet Union has to offer, the T-64.

The new rulebook in hand, I ventured out to put the list to the test in battle against a regular opponent of mine at our local friendly local gaming store. Since I arrived early I set up the terrain to reflect a possible battlefield in some small segment of Upper Austria currently experiencing a counter-attack by the Bundesheer supported by the US Army. With one quarter of the board dominated by a small village square, and more rural sections across the other four quarters other than some minor buildings, the stage was set to get started.

The two below army lists are what faced off from each other in the hopes of controlling Austria:

Austrian M60 Formation (Israeli Magach 6 Company)

  • 1 HQ Element of 2 Magach 6s
  • 3 Platoons of 3 Magach 6s
  • 1 Full Strength Infantry Platoon
  • 1 Platoon of 3 Recce Jeeps
Support
  • 1 Battery of 3 M109s
  • 1 Platoon of 4 TOW Jeeps
  • 1 Platoon of 4 Redeye Teams
  • 1 Platoon of 4 VADS
  • 1 Platoon of 4 AH-1 Vipers

Soviet T-64 Formation

  • 1 T-64 Force Commander
  • 1 Platoon of 3 T-64s
  • 2 Platoons of 4 T-64s
  • 1 Platoon of 2 BRDM 2s
  • 1 Platoon of 2 Shilkas
  • 1 Platoon of 4 Gophers
  • 1 Minimum sized platoon of BMP-2 Infantry
Support
  • 1 Battery of 3 Acacias 
  • 1 BMP-1 OP
  • 1 Platoon of 2 Geckos
  • 1 Recce Platoon of 2 BMP-2s
  • 1 Platoon of 3 Storms
  • 1 Platoon of 2 Hinds

 

The most important part of any WWIII game lays in the selection of stances for the more missions matrix, in this particular game, both my opponent and I chose to Attack. Thus, our roll for mission ended up selecting Counter-Attack, and making the most important roll of the game the determination for who is the Attacker. Thankfully, the Austrians were able to win the roll-off and would take the fight to the Soviet Union! With the full force of the Bundesheer about to hit him, my opponent elected to put his BMP Recce, a T-64 Platoon, the Hinds, and the BMP-2 Infantry into reserve to counter punch into my forces. The Soviets took the field with their single platoon of three T-64s, the battalion commander, a platoon of BRDM-2s, their artillery support, all of their air defense, and a single platoon of T-64s in ambush. The deployment was thus, the Soviets taking advantage of every piece of cover offered to them while protecting themselves for a counter strike against the advancing Austrian forces.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four


Turn 1:
The first turn for Austria was a fairly stationary one, with only the recce and mounted infantry moving towards the objective on their right flank. Otherwise, the majority of the army remained stationary to take advantage of their full rate of fire against the vulnerable Soviet air defenses. Catching the Soviet Air defenses off-guard, the ground forces destroyed a Gecko, a Shilka, and a Gopher alongside the Soviet observer; thereby, enabling the Cobras an opportunity to engage the T-64s lounging behind the hill netting another destroyed vehicle.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

With the USSR caught off guard by the onslaught of good rolls, the battalion commander called for reserves to assist him. When no response was heeded from his forces further afield, he hailed his hidden T-64s to immediately engage the Austrians rampaging across the countryside. Bringing his forces behind the hill to bear against the other chunk of the Austrian M60s, the hope was to exact retribution while utilizing the high front armor to mitigate the Austrian response. As the dice gave to the Austrians what they took from the Soviets, leading to uninspiring results from their bold maneuvers of just two single M60s destroyed and another bailed. With artillery support unable to silence the Austrian M109s, the Soviet position looked precarious heading into the second Austrian turn.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Turn 2:
The second Austrian turn was heralded with minor events in the movement phase with infantry entering the buildings overlooking the objective on the right flank. Austria concluded the shooting phase with an additional Gecko destroyed, the platoon of two maneuvering T-64s reduced to a single bailed tank, and the ambushing T-64s losing one of their number with another bailed. The cost paid for these successes was matched though, with two Cobras perishing for the cause. 

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Bundesheer At War: Part Four
Soviet retribution was swift and merciless, Soviet reinforcements arrived from the village to engage the Austrians more preoccupied with the forces arrayed to their front. With a failure to remount even with the commanders efforts, the Soviet commander baulked at the cowardice of the Western sympathizer nearest him in his center. The T-64s on the Soviet right flank moved to shoot through the sidearmor of the M60s engaging them, yielding one destroyed vehicle and one bailed for their efforts. The newly arrived T-64s engaged another advancing Austrian platoon of M60s and silenced their efforts to push towards the objective, leaving just 6 of the initial 13 vehicles remaining. Unfortunately, the Acacias failed in their efforts to bombard yet again and the remaining Soviet air defenses failed to shoot down any other Cobras, after the remaining Shilka fled the field; however, the BRDMs did bag a single recce jeep with their machine-gun fire
Bundesheer At War: Part Four Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Turn 3:
The Austrian third turn began with a great deal of hope, as the remaining M60 engaging the T-64s on the right flank remounted, passed his last stand check, and then moved to engage his opponents from their vulnerable flank- yielding another destroyed T-64. Fortunately the Austrian artillery, called in by the erstwhile infantry commander, was able to bail two of the three remaining gophers. The two M60s in the center finished the dirty work on the remainder of the platoon of three T-64s in the center in order to secure the advance of their fellows. Meanwhile on the right flank the infantry remained gone to ground, urging their transports forward to silence the fire of the BRDM-2s. By the end of the turn, though big risks had been pulled off successfully Austria still seemed no closer to a final victory against the Soviets and was vulnerable in several key areas.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Picking up on the vulnerabilities in the Austrian lines, the Soviets brought forth their air support to engage the Austrian tanks and rallied their gophers to engage the Austrian aircraft. Not all was rosy actions against the thrust of the capitalists though, as the remaining T-64 on the Soviet right flank fled. Thus, the Soviet commander himself engaged the M60 on that flank, destroying it. The remounted gophers were able to eliminate another Cobra, leaving only one Austrian craft in the skies. The T-64s in the village coupled with the Hinds were able to destroy the two M60s in the centre, paying for it with one of the Hinds. With that the Soviets ended their turn, blunting the Austrian advance and buying themselves time for their counter-attack.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Turn 4:
Turn four began the great struggle between the forces to gain enough ground to hold onto the objectives or to eliminate the enemy formation. Austria tried a desperate play to eliminate or at least tie up the T-64s by maneuvering several RPG-7 teams (modeled as Carl Gustav Teams) to the flanks or some T-64s and then assaulting which led to no losses for either side. The VADS, out of the game for so long, moved to support the infantry to address any light vehicles which may emerge as the game continued while the remaining three Austrian tanks remained gone to ground. A quick blitz from the TOW jeeps made for a quick end to the Soviet commander. The remaining Cobra exacted revenge on the gophers responsible for the deaths of so many of his compatriots. Meanwhile the Recce moved desperately towards the Soviet objective hoping to secure it by turn six.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Turn Five:
The possibility of the Storms arriving soon forced the Austrian M60’s hand, with them advancing up the field to exact revenge on the Acacias. With them only moving up half the field they remained vulnerable to the remaining T-64s. Thus, the game was afoot...

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Bundesheer At War: Part Four
The Soviet fifth turn was one defined ultimately by disappointment, with only one M60 destroyed by the T-64s. Though more Austrian infantrymen were maimed by the firepower of the advancing BMPs, the overall thrust of these forces was bullied back by the threat of the VADS. Meanwhile the Soviet BRDMs, having moved up the field the previous turn to assist in contesting the objective, unleashed a storm of lead on the TOW jeeps.

Turn 6:
Advancing rapidly up the field, the Austrian command section turned to eliminate the remaining BRDMs with the support of the TOW Jeeps. With the failure of the Austrian artillery to support either the tanks or the infantry, the infantry were left to defend themselves against the advancing Soviets, support the advancing tanks, and defend the VADS. While the VADS showed they needed little assistance, eliminating all but two of the advancing Soviet infantry in the buildings on their own, the advance of the Austrian tanks still required a great deal of support. To this end the infantry unleashed every anti-tank weapon they could on the T-64s, eliminating only one with a lucky dragon shot.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

Bundesheer At War: Part Four
The Soviet turn began and ended with the Duel of the Century, four tanks entering the thunder-hill and the number to leave remaining to be seen. The decimation of the Soviet formation, with just the T-64s and Gophers left, meant risky plays would be needed. Unfortunately, the results of the Soviet shooting were mixed as only one shot landed true, brewing up the Austrian XO and leaving the Austrian CO as the last man standing.

Turn 7:
This turn was relatively uneventful, with the Austrian CO retreating behind the forest as he awaited the results of the Cobra’s shooting on the final platoon of T-64s. Fortunately, the remaining Cobra shot true and eliminated one of the two T-64s pursuing the Austrian CO. With the problem of the light vehicles advancing on the objective in the town in hand through the judicious firepower of the VADS and infantry eliminating the Storms on the turn they arrived, victory seemed precariously within reach.

Yet, victory still remained possible for the Soviets too. Lady luck remained elusive though, as no shot landed true on the Austrian CO.

Turn 7:
This turn was relatively uneventful, with the Austrian CO retreating behind the forest as he awaited the results of the Cobra’s shooting on the final platoon of T-64s. Fortunately, the remaining Cobra shot true and eliminated one of the two T-64s pursuing the Austrian CO. With the problem of the light vehicles advancing on the objective in the town in hand through the judicious firepower of the VADS and infantry eliminating the Storms on the turn they arrived, victory seemed precariously within reach. 

Yet, victory still remained possible for the Soviets too. Lady luck remained elusive though, as no shot landed true on the Austrian CO.

Bundesheer At War: Part Four

 Turn 8:
Austrian turn eight saw the remaining Cobra finish off the last remaining gopher and the M60 CO blitz forward into the side arc of the remaining T-64, finishing him and the hopes of a potential Soviet victory as their formation crumbled away.

The remains of the battle were bloody, but the list performed admirably against the best the USSR was able to throw at it, remaining an underdog to the end! Admittedly, I rolled incredibly well throughout the game with hot dice leading to the destruction of many a Soviet team, most notably nearly the whole of the Soviet infantry platoon while gone to ground by VADS while they were in bullet-proof cover because I passed five of six possible firepower checks. However, the list performed better than expected due to the high skill and motivation ratings of all of the teams, meaning each team in the force was well worth double their Soviet opponents despite the technological edge of the Soviet troops. I hope you all have enjoyed this exploration of the Bundesheer in World War III: Team Yankee and that it has piqued your interest in other, smaller nations with good stories to tell in the setting offered by battlefront.