Kicking Up Dust by Steve Blease

Issue: 26
System: Iron Cow
Publisher: Wessex Games

Kicking Up Dust
by Steve Blease

Major Henri Marchelle lowered the vis-aid from his eyes and smiled despite the bitter wind that chapped his face. Standing tall in the turret of his Monsabert grav tank he could see ahead the road was clear and his objective undefended. For once fortune had favoured the forces of the European Federation and the damn Northerners had been caught cold. Ahead lay the only remaining bridge across the River Moder that could carry the substantial weight of the Aoun class cybertanks that the Eurofed command believed could finally turn this war their way.

Marchelle took a deep breath and issued the order, "Advance!". Glancing around he could see his platoon's tanks begin to edge forward, their camouflaged hulls battered and worn from months of campaigning, At last he thought...

With a deafening crash the ground erupted in a geyser of dirt and vegetation. "Incoming!!" Marchelle dropped hurriedly into his tank and snapped the hatch close over his head. "Report!", he barked.

"ONESS artillery sir. Estimate one battery..."

Marchelle slammed his fist against his viewfinder. The enemy had not been caught cold at all. Merde!

The Race for the Neubourg Bridge - 8th March 2103 AD

This scenario is designed as a simple encounter scenario between two advancing forces, with the added twist of a mutual objective. Although the battle has been written for players of Iron Cow, it will translate with minimal fuss to other systems such as Dirtside II, OHMU or even with a bit of thought Space Marine (with a change of protagonists...).

The European War had been underway for nearly two years by 2103, with neither the European Federation or the Organisation of North European Sovereign States managing to break the deadlock that has been the pattern of most of the war, since the days of the heady armoured thrusts by both sides in the first months of the war.

However, the ONESS offensive during the Winter of 2102 in the Ardennes has left their line dangerously stretched at some points and the Eurofed command believe that they have found just such a place north of Strasbourg. A quick attack at Neubourg and a strike through the Haguenau Forest would leave the Eurofed military on the eastern bank of the Rhine staring at the virtually unprotected German Republic.

In reserve, the Eurofed military have one last unit of Aoun class cybertanks. massive war machines that could slice through the remaining ONESS forces like a knife through butter. However unlike most of the military equipment used by both sides, these are not grav vehicles, but tracked due to their huge weight. This means to be able to cross the Molder and attack the ONESS troops in the Haguenau region, a suitable bridge needs to be captured and the only one left standing is near the town of Neubourg.

The Eurofed Military knew that if their plans were to stand any chance of success then the bridge needed to captured, captured intact and captured quickly...

Eurofed Forces:

A quick armoured thrust was decided upon as the best option and the 1 Bde 2e REI, Eurofed Legion under the command of Major Henri Marchelle has been detailed with carrying out the task.

The Brigade TO&E is as follows:

Brigade HQ Unit (x1):
Two Monsabert Medium Grav Main Battle Tanks
Two Juin Anti-Aircraft Tanks
Four Tassigny HQ Armoured Personnel Carriers
Scout Platoon (x1):
One Command Fiocca Light Grav Tank
One section of three Fiocca Light Grav Tanks
One section of three Billotte Armoured Reconnaissance Cars each carrying a squad of infantry
Tank Platoon (x2):
Two Command Monsabert Grav MBTs
Three sections each of three Monsabert Grav MBTs
Infantry Platoon (x1):
Two Command Metaxas Armoured Personnel Carriers
Three sections each of three Metaxas APC's each carrying a squad of infantry
One section of three Fiocca Light Grav Tanks
Artillery Battery (x1):
One Command Tassigny APC
Three Weygand Multiple Launch Rocket System GEV's

Initiative: +5
Morale: +5

ONESS Forces:

Luckily for the Organisation of North European States, their Military Intelligence efforts managed to discover the Eurofed plan, although only forty-eight hours before the proposed attack. ONESS Command seeing the potential of the disaster that was about to befall them has had to draw up a scratch force from British and Dutch units recently withdrawn from the line for recuperation.

Under the command of Colonel Peter Vanderhjonk, the 201st Composite Brigade is under orders to prevent the Eurofed Army from taking the bridge by holding it long enough for engineer units to blow it.

To blow the bridge at least two squads of engineers must be static on the bridge to enable them to place demolition charges. This will take them a minimum of two moves. However should they be under fire this time doubles. During the period they are placing the charges, the engineer squads cannot themselves fire. Once the charges have been successfully placed, they will be successfully detonated in the Order phase upon receipt of an order (simulating the electronic signal to detonate). Any order counter can be used and the order can be blocked by ECM.

To nullify the charges it will take two squads of Eurofed infantry two turns (four if under fire) to disable them. They must remain static during this time and cannot fire their weapons.

The bridge can also be destroyed by artillery fire and should any part of the bridge be targeted (whether accidentally or intentionally) then roll one D6 for individual guns or one D10 for battery fire and this is the number of shells that could hit the bridge in that salvo. Roll the appropriate percentage hit chance and if successful the bridge takes one hit point of damage. The bridge can take eight successful hits before collapsing.

The Brigade TO&E is as follows:

Brigade HQ Unit (x1):
One Apollo Grav MBT
Two Poema Light Grav Tanks
One Luipaard AA Tank
Three Lynx HQ APCs
Engineer Platoon (x1):
One Command Lynx APC
One section of four Panter Engineer Tanks
One section of four Lynx APCs each carrying a squad of engineers
Tank Platoon (x1):
Two Command Apollo Grav MBTs
Two sections of four Apollo Grav MBT's
One section of three Poema Light Grav Tanks
Infantry Platoon (x1):
One Command Artemis APC
One Luipaard AA Tank
Three sections of four Artemis APCs each carrying a squad of infantry
VTOL Section (x1):
One section of three Hestia VTOLs
Artillery Battery (x1):
One Command Artemis APC
Four Prometheus Self Propelled Guns

Initiative: +4
Morale: +4 (except Infantry & Engineer Platoons +3)

Arrival of Units:

To simulate the mad dash by both sides to the bridge, neither force starts on the board(!). Prior to the start of the game each player should secretly roll a D6 for each unit and note the result. The score represents the number of the turn on which the unit arrives. Each unit should also be given a starting order which they will continue to follow unit the Brigade HQ arrives and is able to assess the situation and issue fresh ones.

Iron Cow Stats:

TypeSpeed (mm)Ranges (mm) %/PenetrationDefence FactorAA Factor
Monsabert Grav MBT24080/1860/1650/1435/1220/1010/810883
Fiocca Light Tank32080/1460/1240/1025/85/6-8863
Juin AA Tank24080/1270/1045/830/615/45/210886
Tassigny APC26080/1260/1040/820/6--8663
Metaxas APC32080/1060/840/620/4--6643
Billotte Recce Car36080/1260/1040/820/6--644-
Weygand MLRS24015/1640/1660/1660/1645/1640/1610883
Infantry Squad10070/845/630/410/2--1114
Apollo Grav MBT26080/1660/1445/1230/1015/85/6121082
Poema Light Tank34080/1260/1040/825/65/4-10863
Luipaard AA Tank22080/1265/1040/825/610/4-121086
Panter Engineer Tank18080/3670/2450/1225/6--161210-
Lynx APC24080/865/640/425/2--6643
Artemis APC30080/1065/845/625/410/2-8642
Hestia VTOL50080/1860/1640/1220/8--664-
Prometheus SPG22015/1640/1660/1660/1645/1640/16121082
Infantry Squad12070/845/630/410/2--1112
Engineer Squad10060/835/620/45/2--111-

Ed Note: Iron Cow is a 6mm (Epic) SF Armour rules system produced by Wessex Games and was reviewed in Ragnarok 19. A revised edition, Iron Cow 2103AD, was reviewed in Ragnaraok 39. For further details regarding price and availability, send an SSAE to Wessex Games, 4 Old Acre Road, Whitchurch, Bristol, BS14 0HN.