The Battle of Armir, Imperial Calendar 1927
After years of peace between the twin nations of Prenzer-zur-Arol and Prenzer-zur-Mittelsee and the rapidly-industrialising Meravian Empire, war broke out once again when the vicious Prince Ali Ceyric ordered Musir Said Nedim, commander of one of Meravia’s fledgling tank divisions, to test his men’s resolve against the border fortress of Novis Eger. Nedim rapidly captured ground, advancing across the deserts of Prenzer-zur-Arol’s northern territories, aiming to encircle and beseige Novis Eger. However, General Jackson, commander of the border forces, was able to respond ably; while Nedim’s tanks drove an initial counterattack back, his fighting retreat through the town of Armir was a textbook affair. Thus began the Third Meravian War…
Grand Empire of Meravia, Attack Force of Musir Said Nedim
Commander: Musir Said Nedim (Played by Adam Isherwood)
Order of Battle:
1st Armoured Platoon (Command Section, S. Nedim)
2nd Armoured Platoon (Laila Al-Farsed)
3rd Armoured Platoon (Mehmed Parsa)
4th Armoured Platoon (Taqi Al-Efendi)
23rd Mobile Infantry (Hasan Esrar)
Attached Superheavy Tank (Seyh Celebi)
Prenzeran Alliance North Border Division, Novis Eger Forces
Commander: Alexander Jackson (Played by Raymond Webster
Order of Battle:
17th Armoured Squadron (Command Section, A. Jackson)
1st Section (E. Viognier)
2nd Section (A. Altain)
3rd Section (MC. Alsaid)
Reconnaissance Section of the Above (C. Ducrain)
Tank Destroyer Section (R. Calverd)
Two Batteries of the 11th Artillery Corps
1st Battery (I. Clausel)
2nd Battery (M. Walzer)
Attached Superheavy Tank (V. Calverd)
Following a surprise attack by Meravian forces under the command of Musir Nedim, an armoured column under the command of General Alexander Jackson of the border fortress Novis Eger must break through a rapidly-forming encirclement and prepare to regroup. Nedim knows time is short and he must cut off Jackson’s retreat before the Prenzeran forces can eliminate his advantage of speed and surprise.
Meravian Forces: Context: High Intensity, Action: Patrol, Purpose: Destroy
Prenzeran Forces: Context: Tactical Withdrawal, Action: Withdraw,
The forces’ starting Momentum was 15 points. General Jackson kept his Artillery units in reserve, while Musir Nedim held nothing in reserve.
Turn 1 (15 – 15)
The Meravians’ 15 Momentum generated three Momentum Damage, which was taken on the Armour of their three non-CHQ Heavy Cavalry platoons. There was little action in this turn, with both sides trying to gain an advantageous position – although in the battle’s first exchange the Akten Light Tanks of Carol Ducrain inflicted a point of Movement damage on Al-Farsed’s Heavy Cavalry, while fire from Elizabeth Viognier’s Graf MBTs and Rean Calvard’s Eklips Tank Destroyers put three damage (one Movement, two Firepower) on Al-Efendi’s tank platoon, ultimately destroying them. The only damage sustained by the Prenzerans was Arlan Altain’s Graf platoon taking a solid hit to its Armour from Mehmed Parsa’s tanks.
Come the end of the turn, however, the Meravians still had the upper hand; Jackson’s artillery, kept in reserve to fire from off-table, discovered there were no spotters in the army and had to move on, wasting their activations. And, while the Prenzerans had laid into the enemy armour with great force, they were nowhere near completing their objective; a rapid movement from the Mobile infantry gained the Meravians six momentum damage on the Prenzeran total!
Turn 2 (9 – 12)
Turn 2 saw heavy fire exchanged from both sides, with Seyd Celebi’s rolling fortress destroying the Aktens as they pushed forward, and a rush from the Eklips platoon leading to nothing but its total destruction! However, the Prenzerans’ armour held out; their tanks, including Jackson’s own unit, were still mobile and still able to fight come the end of the turn despite a hail of incoming fire. Meanwhile, the Meravians found their luck had run out – the outflanking tank unit came under sustained fire from the Prenzerans’ deadly Gail-class missile artillery and were destroyed to a man, while the infantry, out in the open, were no match for Victoria Calvard’s Dran-class superheavy tank. The Graf platoons concentrated their fire on a small number of Meravian armoured units, and come the end of the turn only the superheavy tank and Nedim’s own platoon survived!
In this turn much of the Momentum damage was caused by casualties; the Prenzerans scored numerous critical hits on Meravian tanks, destroying almost all of them! Even the Indirect Fire penalty was not enough to stop the missile artillery from effectively wiping out a whole tank unit in two activations.
Turn 3 (6 – 3)
The lack of Meravian forces remaining meant everything came down to the final initiative roll; the Meravian Mobile Fortress was undamaged, and well-positioned to destroy Jackson’s crippled tank platoon – but they would need another kill to win, and Nedim’s unit was heavily damaged itself! The Prenzerans won the roll, and the artillery opened fire on Nedim, scoring two critical hits and ending the game there and then with a Prenzeran victory!
After finishing the game I realised I had got quite a few rules wrong; we had all forgotten to apply the unit’s A stat to the range calculations, and I realise now a unit has to lose all its Armour to be destroyed rather than take damage equal to its Armour (so a 5A Heavy Cavalry died after taking 5 points of damage). However, it was highly enjoyable; the game is easy to teach and the Adventure mission type is incredibly good. Not knowing precisely how many forces you will be allowed to field means you can’t put all your eggs in one expensive basket otherwise Momentum Damage will cripple you, while the variety of mission types adds a simple but effective variation to games. Playing with almost entirely vehicle forces meant a lot of the Mech abilities and infantry/aircraft did not come into play, but did provide a straightforward introductory game. The “superheavy tanks” and tank destroyers were not created using the Superheavy rules, but instead as P3 and P1 Mechs respectively – a simple way of adding new Conventional elements.
A longer piece of fiction detailing the battle may follow!