Logistics is the ball-and-chain of armored warfare. – Generaloberst Heinz Guderian
Today I learned that while the Operations in Regiments – the new MicroProse/Bird’s Eye Games wargame that centers on a Cold War-turned-hot scenario in which the Warsaw Pact invades West Germany in 1989 – tell a cohesive narrative about World War III in Central Europe from the regimental/battalion level, it does so from the perspectives of the various armies in the conflict, not just the stereotypical American or Soviet default participants.
In Operations, you are commanding a single Regiment.
Operations are split into a number of Phases, each representing several hours of real time.
Operations happen over several Stages, each representing a set of objectives in a given
You’re tasked with taking or holding key objectives while adhering to the set time limits. – from the provisional online manual for Regiments,page 2.
Yesterday I mentioned that Dissonance placed me in command of a regiment in East Germany’s Landstreitkräfte der Nationalen Volksarmee – LaSK – the 16th Panzer Regiment. My mission was to crush a rebellion fomented by another unit in the National People’s Army before it could gather support from East Germans who were tired of the Communist regime in East Berlin. Although it was not an easy assignment by any means, I managed to win the scenario without suffering crippling casualties.
Unfortunately, at the closing stages of the final Phase in Dissonance, the plot took a sinister turn as the rebels launched a chemical weapons attack on the forces loyal to East Berlin and Moscow. Not only was this a “mass casualty” event, but it also focused the attention of NATO on the new crisis, increasing tensions in the region and pushing East and West closer to open hostilities.
In Reaction, we see the crisis unfold from the West German perspective, since this time around I am in command of an armored task force in the Bundeswehr sent to investigate the incident across the Inner German Border and fight off any East German forces that will likely react to my incursion.
Since I get overwhelmed by complex wargames which move along at a fast pace and involve giving orders to various units of different types – mechanized infantry, main battle tanks, self-propelled artillery, reconnaissance platoons, and even anti-air “flak” vehicles, I only play Operations piecemeal, i.e., one Phase every 24 hours. That way I can focus entirely on Phase 1 and try to take enemy-held Objective Zones and inflict as much damage on the Red force as possible while keeping my own losses as low as possible.
Unlike in Dissonance, where my East German 16th Panzer Regiment not only had Tactical Aids (TacAids) at its disposal but also had considerable support from other East German units, my Bundeswehr raiding party is small and operating on its own in enemy territory. Yes, I have TacAids in Reaction, but no Allied forces are close enough to occupy captured Objective Zones, and although Phase I ended with my unit in control of at least four enemy zones, my casualties have been high, and I can’t expect reinforcements.
Still, I captured one of the key objectives in my mission orders, gave the East Germans a bloody nose by repulsing several counterattacks, and even shot down a Russian-made Mi-8TV Hip armed helicopter.
That having been said, I am not optimistic about Phase 2 of Reaction, since I lost many vehicles, including an entire platoon of Luchs recce vehicles, as well as soldiers and vehicle crewmen.
Still, tomorrow will be a new day!
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