Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crisis Point 2013: Arctic Strike

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April 2013 and will see a follow up to last year's successful Crisis Point game when a number of SOTCW members and others played a massive, two day game of Cold War Commander.

Like last year's game, Crisis Point 2013 will take place at Dungworth Green Hall, Dungworth, near Sheffield.  This year the theme is Arctic Strike - the fighting in Northern Norway.  Here's the player briefing from Richard Phillips:

Players Briefing.
A Warsaw Pact assault on Norway based on The Third World War - The Untold Story by General Sir John Hackett.
Note: Originally it was planned to use Arctic Strike by Michael A Palmer as the basis for the scenario but due to the difficulty in players obtaining a copy we have decided to base the scenario on Chapter 12 - The Scandanavian Campaign from The Third World War - The Untold Story by General Sir John Hackett. The scenarios in both books are very similar and by using Hackett players will find it a lot easier to obtain a copy if they would like to do some background reading as copies are readily available from charity shops, second hand book shops etc. I picked up a hardback copy for 99p from a local charity shop. 
August 1985.
In Central Europe the Soviet advance continues. Significant gains have been made along the Dutch/West German border region with Russian armour crushing NATO west of the Maas along the A73. Further gains had had been made around Venlo with NATO supply lines cut. Dogged resistance by US troops around Duisberg continues to delay the advance across the Lippe.
The attention turns to the north as Warsaw Pact forces begin their assault on Fortress Norway in an attempt to secure the Northern Flank. The loss of Jutland on the first day of hostilities, and the consequential loss of Schleswig- Holstein shortly after was due to the combination of an intense chemical attack on Jutland and a coup de main by assault forces concealed in Soviet, East German and some ostensibly neutral merchant ships on passage through the Kattegat. These had made almost unopposed landings in Aarhus, Aalborg and Frederikshavn on Jutland.
Zealand had fallen after hard fighting between the reinforced Danish defence and a seaborne assault mounted from the western Baltic ports. Unexpectedly, Bornholm, its radar and radio resources smashed by air attack, had been left to its own devices until, almost at leisure, a Polish airborne division had fallen upon it.  
Many of the Allied aircraft in the BALTAP (Baltic Approaches) Tactical Air Force escaped to the Federal Republic of Germany or to Norway. A daring naval operation, covered by air, was mounted Commander, South Norway, to rescue some of the Danish and British troops from Zealand. Though four of the nine warships and transports were lost, the remainder returned intact to unload in the Oslo fiord. The aircraft and troops from BALTAP were absorbed as reinforcements to South Norway, or moved to reinforce the north.
Commander, North Norway, had been fighting an intense battle from the outset of the war when, as expected, almost all his early warning radars were destroyed and his airfields, ports and principal defence areas were raided frequently and heavily by aircraft based on the Kola Peninsula. The Soviet MRD which crossed the frontier at Kirkenes on 4 August made a more rapid advance than expected through extensive use of heliborne infantry and engineers supported by swarms of ground-attack aircraft, and by heavy and medium artillery firing at maximum ranges with a frequency and weight of shell that bewildered the light forces of Norwegian infantry. As they advanced, a Soviet airborne division captured Andoya and Evenes. A considerable amphibious force, judged to be carrying Soviet specialised naval assault infantry and a MRD, were observed on passage from Murmansk. A further four Soviet divisions were seen by Allied air reconnaissance to be crossing Finland towards southern Finnmark and eastern Troms counties. Tromso airfield was devastated. Only Bardufoss, so inaccessible among the surrounding mountains to the south of Tromso and well defended by air defence missiles since 1984, survived as an air base.
Somewhere across the seas the carriers of SACLANT's (Supreme Aliied Commander Atlantic's) Strike Fleet were active and mobile and must, surely, be moving sooner or later to relieve north Norway. 
An early decision was made to maintain Bardufoss as a base for reconnaissance to the east and a forward operating location for air defence fighters. The British Harriers, dislodged from Tromso, were kept in the north, flying from stretches of straight road and maintained from villages in the shadow of adjacent mountains. CINC-NORTH's Regional Air Commander directed American F-111's from England to attack Soviet air bases developing at Andoya and Evenes.
Evenes airfield was recaptured on 6 August by a Norwegian brigade and their comrades in the Allied Command Europe (ACE) Mobile Force, though about one-third of the Soviet parachutists escaped to the lines their compatriots had set up to cover Andoya. This was good news for Commander, North Norway, and CINC-NORTH, but each knew that bad news was on the doorstep. The first of the Soviet divisions crossing Finland was rapidly approaching the Norwegian frontier on the Finnish Wedge, with another immediately behind and the Soviet amphibious force had turned shoreward towards Bodo and had smashed a passage through the minefields to a landing near the airfield. Another Soviet MRD was deploying into Troms complemented by an Air Assault Brigade.
However there is a glimmer of hope for Norway, to the east SACLANT's Strike Fleet with USMC has moved through the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap. The Chief of the Norwegian Defence Staff has unconfirmed reports that the Finns are moving to assist NATO forces preparing to meet the Soviet forces advancing towards Lyngen Fiord through the Finnish Wedge and reports from Sweden have indicated that in an emergency meeting of the Council of State it has given the order to fight in association with NATO against a common enemy, and already Swedish armour has advanced up the E10 and crossed the border into Norway and are now moving into the area around Bjerkvik. 
Crisis Point 2013 - Arctic Strike will be fought over two days in Dungworth near Sheffield at the fantastic newly built Village Hall. Using the excellent Cold War Commander rules we plan to fight this scenario out to a conclusion using 4 large tables representing the main areas of conflict.