Battle of Three River Crossings

Battle of Three River Crossings
with Jacob Markson

Seven players gathered together for a WWIII: Team Yankee Total War game. The scenario was to represent Pact forces encircling NATO forces. NATO was attempting to keep the pocket open to move as many assets out of the closing noose. The battlefield was in the shape of a cross with roughly 8’ in each direction. Key features were an industrial zone, small village, and of course a town with a river which had three bridges. 

There were eight forces of roughly 70 points each with Pact and NATO forces split as evenly as we could. Pact had two East German Battalions, one Soviet Battalion, and one Czechoslovak Battalion. NATO was represented by two British companies, one West German, and one United States company. We used the Fog of War mission cards for created a changing battlefield (and because they are fun to use) with several objectives at the crossing and other key points that would be worth points at the end.

The final score was 53 to 29, due to points awarded to units and formations destroyed, in NATOs favor. An East German commander with a score to settle had pulled resources from across the front to hammer the Americans. Though the Americans died almost to the man, the amount of resources and tanks they had cost the Pact advance was crippling. Pact’s vanguard force left without its reserves and support fell to the West German relieving force while British forces managed to secure a foothold at the bridges and were preparing to cutoff and encircle the remaining Pact forces.

This was a super enjoyable game with a new player in attendance (we spotted him an army for the day). We are a group of gamers that enjoy getting together almost every Friday to play games and prepare for monthly tournaments. 

 Battle of Three River Crossings Battle of Three River Crossings 

The Story:
After several days of intense fighting, in the middle of the night, Pact forces had driven a wedge into an opening in the NATO lines. They had secured a major river crossing which had the ability to handle main battle tanks. If Pact forces acted quickly, they would be able to prevent NATO from breaking the encirclement. NATO lines were currently engaged in a fighting withdrawal and attempting to get friendly armor assets, wounded, and civilians across the river. Wounded and battled almost every NATO platoon on the wrong side of the river was in tough shape, platoons were often at half strength or less.

Under the cover of darkness, the East German commander on the American front ordered every available battery to fire at the center of the enemy lines. This barrage though spectacular, suffered from poor planning, incorrect information, and other issues. The pre-planned coordinates were not relayed causing many rounds to burst too early in the air or impact the ground with little to no effect. Without support, the remaining Pact commanders marshalled their forces onward into the British and West German lines. British RAF was on station and would fly sorties all day hammering the Soviet lines. West German infantry were prepared for the vanguard forces and began firing ATGM after ATGM. Under increasing pressure, the East German vanguard lost its momentum, after all of its reserves were diverted to the British and American fronts. British armor exchanged round after round with the reserve line of Czechoslovak armour. In the end, neither side was able to obtain a strategic victory. British and West German forces had secured half of the central town with the remaining East Germans holding the other half of the town. Pact wasn’t able to close the pocket and keep their momentum, but NATO wasn’t able to achieve a full breakout.

Turn 1
Pact forces advanced to try and secure better fighting positions. Pact forces had not expected the NATO forces to be advancing due to the darkness and were caught unprepared. Viewing them through their night vision equipment the British commander was able to signal and coordinate local RAF elements to strike at the Soviet armor coming towards him. Though not as destructive as the British commander had hoped, the effect of the Soviet morale was evident.

 Battle of Three River Crossings Battle of Three River Crossings 

Turn 2
Pact air power suffered from technical issues and were unable to identify friend from foe. This was the only relief the Americans would get, as through the darkness they could hear the rumble of enemy armour. The opening volley of Pact artillery was impressive. Rockets and howitzer rounds crashed all around the American positions. Every gun had been brought to bear against the American mechanized infantry. With surprisingly few causalities the Americans would hold their fire in order to not give their positions away to the enemy air. The British held air superiority and under the cover of darkness continued to bomb groups of T-55s and Soviet infantry. 

 Battle of Three River Crossings Battle of Three River Crossings 

Turn 3
Not wanting to give their position way the East German T-55s crept through the farm fields holding fire. Bursts from the VADs knocked out 2 of the Frogfoots that have been circling like vultures over the Americans. The Americans had a clear view of the tanks thanks to there superior optics and opened up with tank rounds and Dragon ATGMs. Forward elements of the Czechoslovak forces struggled against a platoon of Leo I tanks that had taken up position in a small field. The vanguard East Germans fell like wheat to the scythe against there West German counter parts.

 Battle of Three River Crossings  Battle of Three River Crossings

Turn 4
The sun finally rises giving away the American positions to East German and Soviet air. The continued bombardment of the American position is starting to take its toll, the main gun rounds for the T-55s and T-72s didn’t help either. In one fell swoop most of the support assets on the American front were destroyed. This was at the cost of 2 Hinds and a platoon of T-72Ms. Sortie after sortie the RAF pounded the Czechoslovaks with, Leopard Is picking off stragglers. British mechanized infantry began to secure the first bridge and target Soviet support elements. The vanguard East German forces found their position getting overrun by newly arrived Leopard Is.

 Battle of Three River Crossings  Battle of Three River Crossings

Turn 5 & 6
On the American front Pact air power knocked out both armored elements. As the East German commander pressed the advantage, several tanks including the commander himself was disabled or destroyed by LAWs and American grit (one could say he fought the law, and the law won). The American mechanized and fought almost to the man. The only element that remained was a group of air assault infantry that was holding a small grove of trees. British forces were busy securing the bridge and cleaning up the remaining Soviet and Czechoslovak armor. Air power had laid waste to dozens of tanks. Tight on the heels of the withdrawal East German vanguard were the liberating West Germans as they took control of one of the two central town entrances. 

Battle of Three River Crossings

Battle of Three River Crossings

Conclusion
This was an awesome game, and everyone seemed to have a good time. For the newer player it was an eye opener compared to playing games in WWII. The dice rolls were crazy at times and things flowed pretty smoothly. The store we were playing at even kicked in a few goodies for us, which was a really cool surprise! I look forward to our next few events. Currently we are trying to see if we have enough to do a ‘Nam mega-battle which should be an amazing game once we iron out the details.