Just got my replacement copy of BAOR (with all the moves I've done over the past 25-odd years, it somehow went south on me) and wow! Got to get into this installment as soon as a copy the rules charts. I notice a couple of interesting changes including the Soviets being able to increase the combat factor of their rocket units in exchange for friction points. Interesting.... :-)

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Comment by Adam Lid on July 2, 2008 at 12:22pm
Well, I solitaired this baby through Game Turn 8 before I called it. Technically, the Soviets had actually "won" by Game Turn 6 according to the game rule criteria.

Overall, it wasn't the slaughterfest I was expecting for the Soviets but it wasn't a party for NATO either. The Belgians performed better than expected in the difficult terrain south of British front, extending to Koln.

The Soviets were ultimately able to use their superior numbers to force crossings at several points along the Weser and to burn the Belgian defending units down through multiple attacks. To destroy or otherwise neutralize a defending batallion, it often took up a full division to do so. The Soviets were also slowing down due to the friction point accummulations building up on their divisions (I liken it to the crud that builds up in plumbing).

The Germans were caught in a salient in the middle but were able to extricate themselves (lots of lucky die rolls) and even mount a couple of counterattacks that pretty much brought the Soviet center to a screeching halt. In the north, the Brits were holding pretty tough, even with depleted numbers due to having to send the 7th Field Force south to bolster the sagging Belgian line. Basically, it was the Western Front, NATO style with nobody going anywhere.

Overall, the Soviets weren't getting to the Rhine quickly and many of their first echelon troops were burned out in the battle. The second echleon was hanging tough but had to be used with caution. Overall, the tempo for the Soviets was severely slowed down and while NATO "lost", they avoided a major disaster helped by the excellent defensive terrain.

Another interesting thing about the game series is that it seems to work better when the situation is fluid but if there's anything resembling a parity of forces (i.e. solidified lines with sufficient reserves), the game slows down immensely.

Soviet airbone was also pretty nasty in that while it didn't accomplish anything major on its own, it did screw up NATO deployment and prevented a more forward deployment of the NATO main forces.

Pretty interesting- it's been awhile since I've visited the Cold War. :smile:
Comment by Adam Lid on June 23, 2008 at 1:45pm
Played some more out to Game Turn 6. Wheew! The Soviet divisions just keep piling on! Defending on extreme rough/wooded terrain west of Hannover, the Brits managed to bring the Soviet main thust to a grinding halt due high friction point levels. The Brits managed a couple of good counterattacks and managed to destroy a couple of over-extended Soviet regiments but otherwise they held fast licking their wounds and reducting friction points.

In the center, a combined Belgian-German counterattack managed to maul several Soviet divisions and stall things, giving the Brits some time to reduce friction points on the newly arriving 5th and 7th Field Forces.

However, by Game Turn 5, things in the south things began to turn grim with the arrival of the second-string 3rd Guards Tank Army. The GTA drove hard to the Weser and even managed to get accross in a few places.

By Game Turn 6, while the Brits are still holding strong in the north, the south is collapsing as the Soveit 3rd GTA ground up the 1st and 16th Belgian Divisions and broke out accross the Weser. The only reserves left are the British 5th and 7th Field Forces and there's simply not enough units to cover the front. In the Center, the Germans, along with a brigade of the 16th Belgian Division are attempting to disengage and pull out of what has now befome a salient.

Things are looking grim and I believe that the Soviets have already won, according to the rules.

More later!
Comment by Adam Lid on June 20, 2008 at 10:38am
Finally set up BAOR and played the Soviet first phase last night. There's some very interesting changes in the basic Central Front series rules, most notably that different sized units have different friction point levels. Regiments, artillery and helicopter units still have 5 fp, batallions have 4 fp, and companies have 3 fp. This isn't good for NATO- it makes their units more fragile.

Also, overrun has been transformed into "mobile combat". Now you can't use it in any terrain other than flat or broken BUT you force the defender to use their mobile factor- this greatly helps the Soviets since their mobile combat factor is larger than the regular attack factor (they use their defense factor) and the mobile factor for NATO is substantially lower than their defense factor, on the average. The only saving grace is that units hit with mobile combat don't have to remain in place and absorb the entire friction point loss- they can retreat.

Also, and this is a bit gamey, if done right the NATO defender can withdraw in directions that place the Soviet advancing forces at a disadvantage, especially since they have to follow up with at least on unit per the Soviet doctrine rules.

It will be interesting to apply the revised general rules to 5th Corps and Hof Gap. In the meantime, it's going to be a real interesting battle for the thin Red line. I landed the Soviet 76th Airborne in the NATO rear east of Hanover in an attempt to seize a number of bridges before NATO can blow them- sort of a Market Garden in reverse. We'll see how it owrks out.

More later! :-)
Comment by Jim Werbaneth on June 18, 2008 at 7:29pm
It's kind of hard to play the pipes while wearing full NBC protection, but it would be pretty cool to try.

BAOR is my favorite title in the series, and I still believe that wargaming needs all the modern British Army titles it can get.
Comment by Adam Lid on June 18, 2008 at 8:14am
Maybe they were "in the rear with the gear"...:-)
Comment by Eric Walters on June 18, 2008 at 7:35am
Could never understand where the pipers were in this game...I kept looking for them. Thought that a few bars of "The Black Watch" would be enough to inflict FPs on Soviet MRRs, but I guess I am alone in that opinion....

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