Red Road to Schwerin: A battle report

Me and a friend decided to have a small skirmish game of Force on Force the other day and it was my duty to come up with a scenario. I totally messed up balance, and it got a lot of good NVA soldiers killed. Join me in the short and bloody story of The Red Road to Schwerin. The images in this post are absolute trash shit garbage because I hadn’t set up neither proper lighting nor my proper camera. I apologize.


During operation Noble Monolith, a large scale NATO combined arms exercise in West Germany during the 1980-somethings, a single Pershing II nuclear missile is launched against Leipzig. The Warsaw Pact is caught off guard, and whether the launch was done by accident or design quickly becomes irrelevant, as NATO high command decides the only viable course of action is to double down. They commit all Noble Monolith forces to an assault across the iron curtain. GDR and Soviet forces are routed in the initial battles along the inner german border, and the survivors are now scrambling eastward to regroup and prepare for counter attack.

Tired and shell shocked NVA troops stagger onto the board in their initial deployment zone.

We join a platoon of demoralised NVA motorschützen heading east toward Schwerin on the north german plain. Facing them is a US army ranger squad that has penetrated the frontline and is now waiting in ambush.

Force compositions and objectives

NVA force composition

  • 1 x BMP-1
  • 1 x SPW-60 (BTR-60PB)
  • 3 x Motorschützen fire teams (1 team starts dismounted)

US Army force composition

  • 2 x US Army ranger fire teams (with Carl Gustav and M249)

NVA objectives: Reach and secure either, preferably both, of the road exits on the eastern edge of the board. Each road exit controlled at the end of turn 5 grants 3 victory points.

US Army objectives: Destroy or delay routed NVA units heading East. Each NVA vehicle destroyed or fire team reduced to below half strength grants 1 victory point.


Deployment zones

US Turn 1

The imperialists more or less manage to seal the deal in their first actions. Ranger fire team 1 move from their initial deployment in the north east road exit and take position behind a backyard wall. They then open up with the Carl Gustav on the BMP-1, winning the reaction test. The Swedish steel opens up the infantry fighting vehicle like a can of anchovies. A single survivor manages to stagger out of the burning wreckage. Ranger fire team 2 moves up to secure the crossroad, still out of sight of surviving NVA troops.


A dire start for the NVA.

NVA Turn 1

The survivor from the BMP miraculously rallies and forms up with fire team 3. They make a flanking move to the South in a bid to get the drop on the second ranger team. The other surviving fire team dismount from their SPW-60 and advance on the first ranger team. They open up with everything from KPVTs to RPG-7s but do no damage at all. The rangers not only hold the line, but manage to take down one enemy rifleman with return fire.


US Turn 2

The ranger team watching the crossroads relocate to intercept the flanking motorschützen team in the forest. After a short tactical move into cover behind the stone wall of the local beer stübe, they open up with full force. Three NVA riflemen succumb to the hail of gunfire. This becomes too much for them, and the fire team fails the morale check and is pinned down.


North of the road, ranger fire team 1 knock out the SPW-60 with a second effective Carl Gustav round. They also cause some casaulties on the motorschützen, who inflict one casaulty in return.


NVA Turn 2 and full turn 3

From here on I sadly have no more photos. But the rest of the game was over fairly quickly. The NVA fire team north of the road regrouped to link up with the fire team in the southern forest. The first ranger team moved across the street into the crossroads, but took casaulties while doing so. In the end however, the NVA were finally wiped out after linking up.


Wrap up

In the end, I think the NVA were a bit under powered in the scenario as I alluded to at the start. We played them as the worst troop quality, and the rangers as the second best troop quality. The disparity was too large, and in retrospect the NVA should have been played as regulars, and should probably have had a fire team or BMP-1 extra, since the rangers were for all intents and purposes defending.

It was a fun game in any case, and a quick and dirty way to get back into gaming since a rather long hiatus.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the battle, and thank you for your time.

The rangers had their day.



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