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  1. #1

    Design of “Operation Molotov Cocktail” - World at War (TOS)

    This is my take on an Introductory scenario to the original series of World at War, by Lock ‘N Load Publishing. This will be played on the original Mark Walker version of the game, Eisenbach Gap Deluxe. The full play of the scenario can be found here.

    NOTE: The Soviet forces are played with the 1st Tank formation chit/counters representing the 47th Guards Tank Division.

    The year is 1985, and the Soviet Union 47 Guards Tank Division is spearheading a headlong thrust into NATO forces in West Germany. Tensions have been running high between NATO counties and the Warsaw Pact, but Western nations had no serious expectations that the threat was more than saber rattling.

    They were wrong.

    The Soviet Union was poised to strike at the heart of NATO, and this scenario zeroes in on the Eisenbach Gap of West Germany. The scenario will depict the surprise attack, specifically with three companies of T-72 tanks of the 47th Guards leading the charge of the spearhead: It’s goal is the city of Eisenbach, securing possession of acquired rear guard territory as it progresses.

    The Soviets have the 47th Guards Tank Division, comprised of 10x T-72 Platoons; 1-HQ Platoon; 4 X 3(4) HE Fire Missions and 1 Smoke Fire Mission. Soviets come in from off-board, anywhere between Hexes DD1-DD7.

    The Americans have all of Team Yankee, comprised of 2x Abrams tank platoons and HQ platoon (Abrams), along with 1x M-113, 1x ITV platoon, 1x Infantry platoon with Dragon missiles (support weapons). Setup first, within 3 Hexes of T5.

    SSR: Soviets get to activate once at start of scenario, without drawing a chit. This is to account for surprise of the Soviet incursion. Regular play then starts with drawing formation chits immediately after this surprise activation; which depending on if the 47th Guards is pulled on Turn 1 (before End Turn markers are pulled), allows the potential for the 47th Guards Tank Division to activate twice! (47th Guards has only one formation chit in the cup... Team Yankee has two). Soviets enter from off-board, anywhere between Hexes DD1 - DD7.

    Playable area is the entire Eisenbach Gap Deluxe map.


    Soviets must control all playable hexes of Birghoff, Klappebruck, Eisenbach, and
    Bergengiphel before the end of Turn 10 to win. Any other result is an American victory.

    DESIGNER NOTE: This scenario borrows from the first scenario that came with Eisenbach Gap Deluxe (“First Moves”), but adhere’s to Soviet doctrine of forces allocations in Companies.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  2. #2

    Soviet Force Development: Why the 47th Guards Tank Division?

    A Cold War, Soviet Tank Company was Comprised of three Platoons of 3x tanks per platoon. This scenario will have a total of 10x T-72 counters, representing a force of x30 tanks, and an HQ platoon representing 1 tank, for a total of 31 tanks!

    HISTORICAL FACT: Tank platoons prior to the late 1980s consisted of a platoon headquarters squad and three tank squads, each consisting of one T-64, T-72 or T-80 tank for 12 personnel and 4 tanks total; platoons that used the older T-54, T-55 or T-62s added another crewmember for a total of 16. However, tank units operating in Eastern Europe began to standardize their platoons to just two tank squads, for a total of 3 tanks and 9 personnel.
    So, this is the starting force foundation of one side. Before we get to consideration of the NATO forces and elements of surprise, I’ll next cover the composition of the Soviet Forces at play, based on Real-World forces of the mid-1980’s.

    PLACEHOLDER: The NATO forces will be represented by American forces, and though their Abrams are more powerful than the Red’s T-72’s, remember that NATO, in our story, aren’t expecting anything...there will therefore be lesser numbers oof American tanks, but with support units, versus the Soviet’s fast moving Blitzkrieg operations.
    There will be a companion thread in the Campaign Tracker, as results from one scenario will affect future, continuing scenarios, all in story format!

    DESIGNER NOTE: I envision this as a Soviet First Wave, with more forces coming fast behind; while NATO Command has to react and build a plan quickly...I am thinking of a dice roll for initial surprise reaction at the conclusion of this scenario, determining either the allowance an immediate reinforcing in scenario 2, or a 1-scenario handicap of small force count in scenario 2.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  3. #3

    Inspiration behind use of the 47th Guards Tank Division

    Inspiration was gained through an excellent article published in Executive Intelligence Review, on March 5, 1985, which outlined the massive reorganization of the 400,000 strong, Soviet Army in East Germany. I support the conclusions that the primary goal of which, was to boost the effectiveness of the forces in the region, which would theoretically play a decisive offensive spearhead role in a potential surprise attack and breakthrough into West German territory, and to the Rhine and beyond.

    You can study the excellent charts in the article, which wonderfully outline the reorganization of the:
    • 1st Guards Tank Army, Dresden
    • 2nd Guards Tank Army, Furstenberg
    • 3rd Shock Army, Magdeburg
    • 8th Guards Army, Weimar-Nohra
    • 20th Guards Army, Eberswalde

    For purposes of the chosen 47th Guards Tank Division in this scenario, their being stationed in Hillersleben, East Germany, poised 257km (about 3 hours) away from Eisenbach, follows that they would have been in a prime location for just such a surgical strike on the Eisenbach Gap.

    This further supports the premise as, being part of the 3rd Shock Army headquartered in Magdeburg, the 47th Guards constituted the desired reorganization model for offensive strength capability in a surprise strike on NATO to the west; their being an element of this goal of prime-design shock strike troops.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

  4. #4

    NATO, American Force Development: Why Team Yankee?

    Why Team Yankee... well, they’re Team Yankee! To me, it makes perfect sense that they were o the frontlines when Hell broke loose, and they were required to absorb the wrath of the Red Army from out of the morning mist.

    One might question, balance in force comparison. Even with the American Abrams MBT having the edge in firepower and technology, once could argue they are nonetheless outnumbered in the fight. The American ITV missiles may somewhat balance out the Soviet artillery, but it’s still an overall daunting cause for the American forces.

    But remember, this was a surprise attack. Even though NATO Command would have undoubtedly been sniffing something in the wind, war with the Soviet Union was just something thought as being unfathomable. Also remember that both sides were in their separate sides of the Berlin Wall, so to speak — Germany was a divided country — and as noted, major forces were hours away from one another. Even with advanced intel of troop positioning, a slow buildup of Soviet tanks could hardly have been a foretelling of impending war.

    Politics is complicated and convoluted, and I submit that all the worse for the NATO side of the question, with many nations being involved, all with their disparate protocol and doctrine.

    So, yes, the forces may be unbalanced, but I believe in a plausible fashion.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." - George S. Patton.

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