Recently, I played in Crisis Point III, a large, weekend-long wargame set in Tcherbevan, capital of the fictional ex-Soviet republic of Andreivia. I had been intending to play Russian naval infantry, but after some last-minute cancellations, I was asked to play Andreivian Turks instead. The Turks are fighting for an independent Andreivian Turkish state, and have a long tradition of enmity with the Andreivian Armenians.
Saturday didn’t go particularly well. As the NATO peacekeeping force approached from the south, the Andreivian Turks became paranoid, and their T-55 destroyed the French armoured car that was leading the NATO force. Perhaps not surprisingly, this drew return fire from the French, and the T-55′s commander, who had opened his hatch to get a better view of the situation, was shot and killed. Seeing their commander dead, the rest of the T-55 crew decided that discretion is the better part of valour, and left the field of battle. The Turkish quarter of Tcherbevan was attacked by Andreivian government troops (supported by NATO) and Andreivian Armenians.
As government Type 61 tanks approached the Turkish quarter, Turkish air support was called in. This duly arrived, in the form of a WWII-era Henschel Hs 126 spotter plane. Since the aircraft is unarmed, a brave Andreivian Turk armed with an RPG-7 sat in the rear seat, ready to rain destruction down on enemy armour. Unfortunately, the Henschel turned out to be an unstable platform, and the gunner missed his target.
The government Type 61s rather foolishly left their infantry behind as they charged into the Turkish quarter. The ever-gracious Turks gave the government a lesson in urban tactics, demonstrating why armour always needs infantry support in built-up areas, as they immobilised one tank and neutralised a second. As the crew of the first tank bailed out, RPG-7 rounds flew at the second tank, but its crew evidently lead a charmed life, and it survived.
Although things hadn’t gone well for the Andreivian Turks, a band of Mujahideen that had travelled to Andreivia to help had fared much better. As the Armenians fought the government, the Mujahideen took over a couple of Armenian buildings without suffering any casualties.
Reinforcements, in the shape of a Gendarmerie squad and a “technical” armed with an AGS-17 grenade launcher, arrived on the second day. NATO, clearly prejudiced against the Turks, brokered a cease-fire between the government and the Armenians, allowing both to concentrate on attacking the Turks. The government Type 61s attacked once again, but this time wisely stood off and fired HE into the buildings, while their infantry attacked. Although the tanks caused some casualties, all the infantry attacks were repulsed.
In the Armenian quarter, a vicious fight over the English church raged between the Mujahideen and the Armenians. Government JS-IIIs lent their considerable firepower to the Armenians, causing several casualties amongst the Mujahideen.
Ultimately, the Andreivian Turks didn’t fare very well. With NATO brokering cease fires that allowed the other factions to attack them without fear of attack from other quarters, they suffered accordingly. None the less, they put up a hard fight, and conceded little territory. No doubt when Turkey hears how the French were so obviously prejudiced against the Turks, they will start asking serious questions in both NATO and the UN.
I may not have done very well, but I had a great time. The game was good fun, with as friendly a bunch of players as you could wish to meet. All extra money, as well as the proceeds from an auction, will go to Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity. We don’t have a final total yet, but initial estimates are around £50-£60. My thanks to Richard Crawley for all his work in setting up and organising the weekend.