Another week, another Monday night of playtesting my NUTS! modern modifications. Chris said he wanted to play with lots of tanks and I like to think that I’m an accommodating host so I knocked up a quick scenario.
The year is 1989: the fall of the Berlin wall has launched the USSR into a state of great upheaval, conscious of their position in Europe being threatened hawkish elements in the politburo launch a limited offensive as a show of force. As a Soviet armoured probe rolls into West German a mixed group of Brits and West Germans push forward to meet them.
Chris and Evan played the Soviets with 1BRDM2 and 3 T80s (Chris’ command), and 1 BMP with rifle squad and 3 T72s (Evan’s forces). Brian was the British commander with a Scimitar and 2 Challenger Is, I took the West Germans with a Marder and infantry squad as well as 2 Leopard 2A4s.
The game was pretty useful as far as playtesting is concerned, it did show up a slight over sight in not making the Challenger I’s 120mm gun more powerful than the frontal armour of the Soviet tanks, this was corrected as soon as it came up in the game. Given how well the Challenger I performed in Gulf war 1 I think I was justified in this.
Otherwise the game proved several things I suspected. Firstly my 6 foot by 4 foot board isn’t big enough for this number of tanks, too crowded by far and consequently the game turned into a bit of a shooting gallery. Secondly modern tanks in NUTS! work far better as an adjunct to the infantry rather than the main focus of the game. Thirdly small numbers of better trained troops will hold off a numerically superior enemy; I had rated the Brits highest followed by the West Germans then the Soviets last. The Brits could have probably won by themselves with out the German’s help at all… Which leads me on to my last point…
The later one sets a Cold War game the harder it is for the Soviets to win, the discrepancy in the quality of kit shows too much. 1989 is the worst case scenario by far and we didn’t even have M1Abrams on the table which are better again than the Challenger Is. If the game had been set 10 years earlier things would have been very different; the difference in guns, armour and general performance between the T64 compared to Chieftains and Leopard 1s is much less than what I had set up for this game. Definitely something I want to explore further.