Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, from his command Hanomag knows that a fight is coming. The SSU and the Allies have banded together to bring him to account and get him to reveal the secrets of the Axis war machine. He can hear the Pershings of Patton in the distance and the faint buzz of a radioactive disturbance in his earpiece announces the imminent arrival of Winter Child....
Today...will not be a short day...
In the final club meeting of the year, Damian came up with the idea of a 5 on 5 DUST Battlefield mega-battle which many of us quickly signed up to. Showing up on the day, we find both sides short a player, so it turned into a 4 on 4. 4 tables were set up with the remains of a large city and its surrounding hamlet and forests dominating either ends of the 12 x 4 table. The sides were as follows:
Axis: Damian (CiC), Francis, David and Greg
Allies/SSU: Andrew (CiC), Matt, Alex and Peter.
The Axis side, all seasoned DUST campaigners. The Allied/SSU, a rules writer and a few newer guys. We should have this in the bag!
75 points per player to spend as fit and each side would have a character leading the overall force and could issue orders to any unit on their side. Rommel for the Axis (using the soon to be seen Babylon rules) and Patton for the Allies/SSU (using the Red Banner rules).
So, the sides were set and forces had already been determined over the previous week, so we were set. A good mix of infantry and tanks/walkers on each side meant that this should be relatively balanced. The Axis had 2 aircraft while the Allies/SSU had one. I've never played a game where planes were involved before, so was curious to see how they went.
So, with everyone set and ready to go, Damian and Andrew rolled for initiative and we started on our way toward finding who would control Ranuigrad.
No-one really wanted to start exposing their valuable walkers and tanks early, the infantry started moving on to the battlefield but with the ranges still long and terrain intervening no shots rung out just yet.
Once the big guys started coming on though, that was a different story all together. Andrew, having only tanks left brought his first Pershing on and preceded to decimate my unit of Ghosts who had moved toward the centre objective. The favour was soon to be repaid as I brought my JagdLuther on and fired....dealing 4 damage to the hull of Andrew's tank which puts it over halfway damaged. But he wasnt finished yet. During our next activation, Supreme Commander Rommel rolls on and reactivates the 'Luther...who opens up on the limping Pershing, finishing it off.
One big hull down and a couple more to go! Units were now starting to manouever into their positions to get shots of at the enemy with the big guys starting to do a lot of work.
Over on the hamlet flank, David and Damian push their monkeys forward to start flanking and removing command units as well as securing objectives.
The Allies and SSU werent content just sitting back and waiting though. In the broken city, Bazooka Joe and his mates were heading forward tentatively but with purpose. With the support of flame and grenades they started cutting down all that stood between them and their objective....Lara and her Panzers. Sitting high in a ruin, they started raining down shells on anything in their sights and refusing to roll over and die. DR saves just rock!
And then the tide started to turn...
Part 2 of The Battle of Ranuigrad will be told tomorrow....for now the Axis hold the upper hand but how long will they hold?
Tune in tomorrow...same TCOW time, same TCOW station...