Battle at the Last Chance River: A Tomorrow’s War AAR

Posted: October 18, 2010 in Ambush Alley, Miniature Games, Tomorrow's War
Tags: , , ,

Well, I absolutely had to play a game of Tomorrow’s War featuring some of the work I’ve been doing, plus some of the new figures I strategically acquired via eBay and the AAG Forums. Some of these purchases were of some beautifully painted Old Crow models; both Hammer’s Slammers stuff in 15mm and an OpFor force in 15mm. I also purchased some SAS from Micropanzer. My son Will and I decided to put them on the field.

The scenario is a river defense featuring local French militia stiffened by Slammer units. They are the last chance to stop an ambitious armored and mechanized assault by the New Londoners. The starting forces for the Slammer/militia were:

  • 2 Blowers (TL 3, pretty much statted out from the TW book with the exception of being hover versus grav)(TQ D8/ML D10)
  • 4 Combat Cars (TL3 IFVs…to keep things simple, we treated the three power gunners as one heavier weapon)(D8/D10)
  • 3 Slammer dismounted infantry fire teams of 3 men each, heavy body armor, energy guns (D8/D10)
  • 3 Militia fireteams of four men each, standard body armor, slug throwers (D8/D8)

The infantry were entrenched along the river line with the tanks in direct support. The combat cars were further back as a mobile reserve.

Looking toward the Slammer positions from across the river.

The Slammer positions along the Last Chance River.

The Combat Cars were set up as a mobile reserve behind the MLR.

Initial French militia positions along the river.

The scenario called for the New Londoners to break through the main line of resistance (MLR) and exit off the opposite board edge. Starting forces for the New Londoners were:

  • 9 TL2 Heavy MBTs (d8/d8)
  • 4 TL2 APCs
  • 1 TL2 Command Vehicle
  • Four squads of TL2 Power Armor (PA) infantry; 12 men per squad armed with lasers and heavy lasers. The PA troops started off mounted in the APCs.

All New Londoner forces had to enter from the board edge on turn one. New Londoners automatically had the initiative for the first turn; thereafter was a normal roll. My son Will opted to play the Slammers, so I prepared to face Iridium armor and hot plasma AT fire.

I started by entering in my first MBT to draw fire. It did.

A view from the blower who scored the first New Londoner MBT kill.

It never pays to be on point.

One thing I quickly learned was that heavy energy weapons on tanks are NASTY. While they are slow firing, they cause a wallop, especially when they are a TL ahead of you. I managed to get the rest of my force on the board without too much more mayhem.

The New Londoner armored fist arrives on Turn 1.

During the remainder of his Turn 1, the Slammer commander opted to move up his Combat Cars.

The Slammers move their Combat Cars toward the MLR.

The second turn began with an initiative win by the New Londoners, which was fairly predictable since there were far more NL units on the board than Slammers. First things first: I placed Overwatch markers on several tanks to try to make the Slammers pay for any mayhem they tried to raise.

Overwatch positions and quick dismounts for the New Londoners on Turn 2.

And then the shooting started.

Casualties in the lead MBTs resulted in New Londoner infantry getting out of the APCs quickly.

I couldn’t win a reaction test for anything, so the two Slammer blowers decided to kill another tank and immobilize a third. In return, one of my tanks got lucky and scored a 1/2 mobility hit on one of the blowers. Thank goodness I had put so many tanks on overwatch — eventually even a blind squirrel finds a nut, so despite my bad die rolling, I had scratched a Slammer tank! Will’s Slammers and militia decided to keep their heads down during the remainder of the turn, lest my overwatch units score some easier kills against the infantry and the Combat Cars.

So began Turn 3. Despite my losses, I was able to out-roll Will for initiative and decided that this was the turn everything would change. After declaring a few overwatches, I pushed forward with the armor and APCs.

New Londoners dismount and advance toward the MLR.

Forward the MBTs toward the enemy.

The first thing that happened was reaction fire from the Slammer infantry. A buzz bomb brushed past my lead tank, narrowly missing. Firing second (since I had rolled a one), I was able to put a very effective blast into the Slammer position for three total hits, wiping out the position. Only to lose my tank in turn to one of the Slammer blowers firing in reaction. However, my “one” resulted in a Fog card.

Down goes the Grid for the New Londoners.

The Grid loss wasn’t that big of a deal for me, since the Slammers had out-rolled me every turn on Grid dominance anyway, but talk about bad luck!

A Slammer buzz bomb interrupts the New Londoner movement.

The New Londoner MBT returns fire, destroying the launcher...

...but pays the price, brewing up from the second overwatching blower.

A second Slammer infantry fireteam is hit in the chain of interrupts and overwatches.

Yet another New Londoner MBT is rendered combat ineffective, this time a gun hit.

More firing took place on the left flank, resulting in infantry casualties for the militia.

A French militia position is hit by NL tank fire.

Will decided that the blowers could hold his left flank on their own and decided his right flank was vulnerable to the New Londoner advance. During his turn he rapid moved his Combat Cars to the rescue.

The Combat Cars rapid move to support the beleagured French militia.

So by the end of Turn 3, the situation looked something like this. On the Slammer left, my armored advance had been stopped cold. I had Power Armor infantry in the farm, but too many New Londoner tanks were burning to push much further. On the Slammer right (my left), the Power Armor infantry, two tanks and two APCs were threatening to cross the river unless the Combat Cars could stop them. So there was still some chance of my forces breaking through the MLR, despite my losses. We decided to move onto Turn 4.

First, casualty checks. Will received pretty average rolls. Most figures were Seriously Wounded or KIA, but he did manage to save two militia  (light wounds). Next came initiative, which I lost because of my losses. Will immediately placed overwatches on a number of units.

One blower tank goes on overwatch to start Turn 4.

Overwatch positions for Turn 4 on the Slammer right flank.

The next action by Will was to move the fully mobile blower. I interrupted with my remaining tanks and all hell broke lose. I lost yet another tank (one that had been previously damaged) and failed to hit the shooter in turn, but Will’s overwatch blower attempted to fire and I got lucky twice. First, one of my tanks beat it on the reaction rolls; and second, I scored a main gun knock out. Essentially that blower was now 1/2 move with no firepower.

 

A Slammer blower advances to the bridge and shoots.

Will also took this opportunity to move his remaining Slammer fireteam over to the positions with downed troopers, so that if there was a Turn 5, he would get a casualty check at the beginning of it. The team also fired its buzz bomb, scoring another(!) MBT kill.

Another NL tank brews up on Turn 4.

One for the armorers to repair after the campaign ends.

On the Slammer right (my left), Will moved up one Combat Car to shoot. Shooting order was determined by a reaction test which he won again (!). The Combat Car knocked out an APC. Good thing it was empty.

Scratch one New Londoner APC.

Return interruptions and overwatches caused the loss of a Combat Car (yea!) and a 1/2 mobility hit on another one of my tanks.

Finally, a clean kill on a Slammer vehicle.

That was it for firing and Will elected to hold positions. Realizing that it was almost over, I opted to move up my Power Armor troops to try to cause some casualties before throwing in the towel. I managed to hit a few more militia, losing one PA trooper in return.

The NL PA Troopers move up to the pond and fire.

Power Armor troopers take out another French militia team.

Despite the accurate PA firepower, I realized that there was no way they will keep up with or take down the Combat Cars and remaining blower. At the end of Turn 4, I decided to end the carnage.

Final NL positions, looking toward the Slammers.

Final positions for Slammers, looking toward NL positions.

At the end of the game, my PA troopers were intact along with three APCs. I only had two effective MBTs out of nine remaining, however. The Slammers were down one Combat Car, with one blower rendered essentially useless. The Slammer infantry had suffered two KIAs and two Serious Wounds. The militia infantry suffered three KIAs and two Serious Wounds. In the final outcome, the New Londoner drive was stopped cold and the Slammers saved the day.

Let me be the first to say that the new vehicle rules are a VAST IMPROVEMENT over the original Force on Force rules. Play was quick and the combat tables made for rapid determination of hit results. The tanks and blowers handled, well, like you’d expect them to from reading David Drake. And despite all the interrupts, overwatches and firing, we were able to get through four turns in about two hours. Both Will and I want to tweak the scenario a little bit, but let me know if anyone has interest in me writing this up formally. We had a blast!

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Comments
  1. scott wadyko says:

    Great AAR brother. I need your snail mail address for some goodies.
    Scotty

  2. Mark Jensen says:

    Hi,

    Great report! Nice terrain and great miniatures.

    I’m wondering if your Gun KO, Engine KO is from the Litko Tank Command Token Set?
    http://www.litkoaero.com/page/LAI/PROD/TGS/TS143

    Cheers
    Mark

  3. John says:

    Hi,
    I’ve looked at the “Tomorrow’s War AAR: 15mm – The New Londoner assault against a town held by Brazilian infantry backed up by Hammer’s Slammers” that’s on the Walworth County Wargamer site but don’t find it here. He says you set up the table for that game and I was wondering if you could tell me the manufacturer of the distressed tarmac roads you used in that game?
    Many thanks, love the site – so inspiring,
    John

    • beastmeister says:

      It is here…Battle of Last Chance River. Most of the roads we use are from JR Miniatures. Yhank you for the kind words!

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