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Old 03-08-2019, 07:31 PM
therantingsavant therantingsavant is offline
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Default Return to Kalisz by Train



https://therantingsavant.blogspot.co...to-kalisz.html

Just throwing this out there for comment and feedback - it's a follow up to a few posts about rail travel through Poland based on looking at Wikimapia and examining likely routes and possible encounter ideas...

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Old 03-08-2019, 09:33 PM
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Regarding bridges, I think it's worth noting several major armies have fought across the area several times in the prior few years. It's quite possible the bridges not marked on the original game maps were destroyed at one of those earlier times, or as you've mentioned in the blog, simply too light to handle AFVs and heavier softskins.
The construction of the lake began in 1986, after T2K 1st ed was printed, so it's no surprise it wasn't included in the game. The dam includes a 4.89 MW power generation plant, so it's conceivable it was the target of a conventional airstrike or similar destructive action earlier in the war and not rebuilt. We know from the timeline that in September 1997 "NATO forces in Poland increase the rate of their withdrawal, practising a scorched earth policy as they fell back."
This is an easy, and logical way of explaining it's absence in the game, along with most of the unlisted bridges.
https://translate.google.com/transla...zbiornik_wodny)
https://youtu.be/04OEHRkXZf4
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:28 AM
therantingsavant therantingsavant is offline
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That's a good point yes - it has been fought over a few times and destroying even minor bridges seems likely as a tactic - although many of the APCs are amphibious potentially if they are holed and not repaired they are also restricted to crossing at bridges...



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Old 03-09-2019, 05:23 AM
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Amphibious they may be, but they're very vulnerable without tank support, and they still need decent entry and exit points from the water.
At best they'd be useful to secure a bridgehead (along with infantry) of a few hundred metres or so (covered by tanks on the far shore) while engineers organised a proper crossing for the non-amphibious vehicles.
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Old 03-09-2019, 05:48 AM
therantingsavant therantingsavant is offline
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All true - amphibious vehicles are more useful for a small party than a larger troop where all the men can't travel in the APCs


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Old 03-09-2019, 07:56 PM
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In regards to crossing points, at least in Poland, they anticipated the loss of bridges and took some preparation to counter the loss. There are a small number of locations along some of the major rivers where ferry points were created although I don't know if these were for civilian "every day" use or were made for anticipatory military use.
In other places concrete ramps where installed and in some cases pontoons where left in situ implying that some level of pre-placing bridging equipment was made. In other places, parts of the river bank had been prepared but only to the extent of cutting ramps into the embankment. I should also point out that there were very few of these sites, not every town with a riverine bridge had a pontoon/ferry crossing point.

I'm not saying these pontoons would still be in place during the war or left undamaged but the concrete/earthen ramps or ferry points may have survived in some useful capacity (unless of course, they were sabotaged to prevent enemy use as the various armies fought back and forth across Poland).

I must state that while I saw a few of these crossing points myself in 2010, I only saw places in central and eastern Poland and I have no idea how widespread the practice was. I also don't know if the pontoon sites were under the authority of the Polish government or military or the Soviet military and people I asked didn't know for sure, they thought it was Polish military but couldn't be certain.
I do not know if that situation exists closer to the German border where it could be argued that you don't want prepared sites that could assist the enemy in crossing your rivers.

A good example of the pontoon sites and the first one I "discovered"
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Zj...6!4d18.1672789
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:36 PM
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A lot of those would likely have fallen victim to the NATO scorched earth actions during the 97 withdrawal. Anything they could do to slow the Pact advance would be a good idea, and the fording/ferry points could be significantly damaged with a few dozen kilos of explosive. Given the Soviets were dropping tactical nukes on them, it's also quite possible NATO engineers may have done what they did to Czestochowa and used nuclear demolition charges on some of the more important locations (possibly waiting until lead elements of the Pact armies arrived).
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:46 PM
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I'm inclined to think that most (if not all) of them would have been bombed by either side to prevent their use by the enemy but I'm thinking that if, as the GM, you're feeling a little kindly towards the Players, you could let them discover one that hasn't been rendered totally inoperable, just to make life a little easier for their PCs

As a side note, I saw a number of places along various rivers where the banks were shallow enough to drive directly into the water but I think the riverbed is far too soft to support vehicles - I sank to my ankles in some places within a few steps from the bank. It seemed that most of the rivers had soil beds and not stone, rock etc. etc.
As a gaming and/or flavour element, you could have vehicles (of either side), abandoned just into the water due to having sunk into the wet sand/mud. This could (and again, if you're feeling kindly towards the Players), give the PCs some needed salvage or if they don't have vehicles maybe they can attempt to recover them. Depending on how tough you want to make it for them, the vehicles could have been destroyed in place or stripped of most parts and so on but maybe the original owners (and subsequent looters) missed a box of ammo or some ration packs, a spare tyre etc. etc.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:16 PM
therantingsavant therantingsavant is offline
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Great ideas thanks - the scenario of a bogged "amphibious" vehicle as an encounter at a muddy riverbank appeals to me and makes sense given the breakdown of many units support vehicles with the fuel shortage.

Yes they would be stripped of most useful parts (assuming enough carrying capacity of the remaining group but maybe less so for small single vehicle deserter it marauder groups like the size of the players) but they could also be booby trapped and/or be a focal point for marauder ambush.


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Old 03-11-2019, 03:01 AM
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Did that one. I had a silted up M113 as a resource the players lusted after for its nice, straight compressed aluminium armour. As you said, everything else was no good although I did let the team mechanic strip the engine for good parts. We had two actual mechanics as players so our maintenance rules were pretty complicated and good parts gave you bonuses to rolls.

The problem the players had was, as therantingsavant said, it was on a muddy sand bar about twenty metres off the riverbank. They had to retrieve it from the river somehow without a boat but the area was known to have OPFOR sneaking about with SVDs looking to be offensive.

In the end they planned a brilliant operation involving patrols and an engineer op to get cables out to it, rock the wreck back and forwards to break it free from the mud, and then attach floats to the wreck to get it to shore. As a reward I let them mount the M113 armour as stand off armour on their light vehicles for RPG protection which was their biggest threat in that campaign.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:37 PM
therantingsavant therantingsavant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
Did that one. I had a silted up M113 as a resource the players lusted after...

Sounds like a great set piece challenge actually - something to throw into any riverine encounter tables I develop


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