Table for One: Revolt in the East (SPI/S&T) After-Action Report Part One

Standard

Revolt in the East (SPI/Strategy & Tactics 56, 1976)
Standard Scenario After-Action Report
Part One: Turns One through Six

Overview

The Standard Scenario in SPI’s Revolt in the East lasts for twelve turns, each of a week’s duration. The entire map is in play.

Victory is premised on control of cities in Warsaw Pact nations, as well as those in otherwise neutral countries (Albania, Austria, Yugoslavia) that are invaded during the course of the game. With twenty-one cities in the Warsaw Pact countries, draws are impossible barring neutral invasion; a simple majority wins. Control does not require lines of communication.

Initial Thoughts

For the Warsaw Pact/NATO player, the key seems to be in tying down Soviet units. With incredibly sticky Zones of Control, a single WP or NATO corps can tie down as many Soviet armies as can be moved adjacent to; though the Soviet units will certainly retaliate, since ZoCs cannot be exited, they’ve been held up for a crucial turn. An edge in airpower will also allow NATO forces to punch above their weight. Additionally, keeping cities garrisoned where possible will increase the chances of the Soviets needing to take more than one turn of combat to suppress the city—only Defender Eliminated (DE) results will suppress a city, so a single odds column shift on the CRT can make a huge difference.

For the Soviet player, speed is of the essence. Revolts need to be put down decisively to keep the number of cities in revolt low; the longer NATO intervention, keyed to a die roll linked to cities in revolt, can be delayed, the better the chance of victory. Defeat in detail should be the order of the day. The airborne units need to be reserved for cutting off NATO unit supply lines; throwing them away taking a city should be avoided unless they’re needed to tip an odds column to the next higher level.

(Combat results are EX—Exchange; DE—Defender Eliminated; DR—Defender Retreat; AR—Attacker Retreat. Phases with no significant action omitted.)

Turn 1

Revolt Phase:

Revolt in the East, Turn 1, Poland revolts

Poland revolts. Possessed with the most formidable of the Warsaw Pact armies, and with the most cities to control, Poland represents a difficult challenge right off the bat for the Soviets.

WP/NATO Movement Phase:

NATO units remain immobile until East Germany falls into revolt and intervention has been triggered. So for now, the Poles are on their own. The Polish 4th Army, on the Oder, prepares to attack the adjacent Soviet 5th Army, while all other Polish units move to fortify cities.

WP/NATO Combat Phase:

In a blow for freedom, the Polish 4th Army attacks Soviet 4th Army. [Attack strength of 5 against defense strength of 5 for 1:1 odds. Combat dr=6 for AR.] The Poles retreat towards Wrocław, beaten but unbowed.

Soviet Reinforcement Phase:

Three airborne corps enter play, along with the 6th Army. All arrive within reach of Poland. The Soviets hope to reclaim as many cities as possible before additional countries slide into revolt.

Soviet Movement Phase:

The temptation is to pull units from East Germany to assist in restoring Poland to the Soviet orbit, but the existing forces in the Soviet Union should suffice. Six armies, located north of the Dnepr, swarm into Poland. The newly arrived airborne corps use ground transport to forge their way into Poland, saving their precious air transport for more pressing matters. A few other units sidle into Hungary and Romania, just in case…

Soviet Combat Phase:

The time for diplomacy being over, Soviet units attack all across Poland. Aided by airpower, the 5th Army brings its force to bear against Wrocław [Attack strength of 5 against defense strength of 1 for 5:1 odds, shifted to 6:1 for airpower. Combat dr=5 for EX.] An expensive and shocking loss for the Soviets, who fail to clear the city of revolutionaries at the cost of an entire army.

Near the Czech border, 8th Guards Army hopes for better luck at Krakow. [7 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 7:1 odds. Combat dr=4 for DE.] The city returns to heel.

Wrocław sees the 38th Army attack across the Oder, the Soviets supported by air. [8 attack strength against 2 defense strength for 4:1 odds, shifted to 5:1 for airpower. Combat dr=6 for DR.] The city’s makeshift barricades surprisingly hold. Further upriver, the 4th and 5th Armies renew their acquaintance. [5 attack strength against 5 defense strength for 1:1 odds. Combat dr=1 for EX.] A frank exchange of ideas sees both sides eliminated.

7th Guards attempt to march into Lodz. [7 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 7:1 odds. Combat dr=1 for DE.] Another city swiftly suppressed. But in neighboring Warsaw, two airborne corps and the 3rd Shock Army face stiffer opposition. Even aided by airpower, the Soviets cannot expect to simply waltz in. [11 attack strength against 5 defense strength for 2:1 odds, shifted to 3:1 by airpower. Combat dr=1 for DE.] The Polish 3rd Army gives way, and Warsaw falls before the Soviet advance.

Revolt in the East, Turn 1, Soviet assaults in Poland

The Polish defenders in Gdansk brace themselves against the weight of three Soviet armies. They have nowhere to run. [21 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 5:1 odds. Combat dr=6 for DR.] Their retreat cut, the Polish 1st Army must surrender, but Gdansk itself still remains independent.

[City Count: WP/NATO 3, Soviet 18]

Turn 2

Revolt Phase:

Three cities stand in revolt, and Bulgaria joins its Polish brother in opposing Soviet rule. With the bulk of Soviet forces tied up in Poland, Bulgaria might have a chance to organize a defense before the Soviets can muster a response.

Revolt in the East, Turn 2, Situation in Bulgaria

WP/NATO Movement Phase:

The Bulgarians move swiftly to cover their three cities. Meanwhile, the Polish 4th Army marches into Wrocław to fortify it against the expected onslaught.

Soviet Reinforcement Phase:

Another air force corps and two armies arrive near the Romanian border, whence they will need to cross into Bulgaria.

Soviet Movement Phase:

The forces around Gdansk shift their attention to Stettin, while those involved in the suppression of Lodz and Warsaw move towards Gdansk and Wrocław. The airborne corps occupy the suppressed Polish cities, allowing the more heavily armed units to take the remaining cities in revolt.

Further south, Soviet forces mass near Varna; Sofia and Plovdiv remain secure in their rough terrain redoubts for the time being.

Revolt in the East, Turn 2, Assault on Varna

Soviet Combat Phase:

Three Soviet armies, aided by airpower, assault the Black Sea port of Varna. [19 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 4:1 odds, shifted to 5:1 by airpower. Combat dr=1 for DE.] The operation goes off without a hitch, but Sofia will likely present a stiffer challenge.

Gdansk meets the might of the 7th Guards Army, the city hoping to repeat its stout defense from last turn. [7 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 7:1 odds. Combat dr=5 for DE.] The Baltic jewel falls to the Soviets. Wrocław, too, sees another assault, but the two Soviet armies have a battle on their hands on the banks of the Oder. [14 combat strength against 6 defense strength for 2:1 odds, shifted to 3:1 by airpower. Combat dr=6 for DR.] Surrounded, the Polish 4th Army must surrender, but Wrocław stands for another turn.

In Stettin, the sole remaining unit of the Polish Army stands against three Soviet armies backed by copious air support. Can they hold out long enough to rally other countries to the revolution? [21 attack strength against 5 defense strength for 4:1 odds, shifted to 5:1 by airpower. Combat dr=4 for EX.] They go down fighting, taking the Soviet 30th Army with them and allowing Stettin at least another week of freedom.

[City Count: WP/NATO 4, Soviet 17]

Turn 3

Revolt Phase:

Four cities now oppose Soviet rule, enough to open the floodgates! The remaining Warsaw Pact countries declare independence. The Soviets have it all do to now, but at least NATO has not yet intervened.

Revolt in the East, Turn 3, East Germany in Revolt

WP/NATO Movement Phase:

The newly independent Warsaw Pact forces rush to secure their home cities, though in Hungary and Romania, they find Soviet forces in the way. The Hungarians and East Germans decide to spread to the far corners of their country, hoping that the Soviets will attack them, holed up in defensive terrain, rather than invest Budapest and Berlin.

Soviet Reinforcement Phase:

Two more armies arrive, both earmarked for the Hungarian and Romanian border.

Soviet Movement Phase:

Troops along the NATO frontier pull inward to deal with, ah, domestic concerns. If and when NATO comes into play, they’ll be dealt with; more pressing matters await. The need to garrison suppressed cities thins out the units available for combat operations, including the airborne corps, which have found themselves pressed into this guard duty. In Romania and Bulgaria, especially, any losses could see insufficient troops to hold the cities once taken.

Revolt in the East, Turn 3, Attack on the Berlin Garrison

Soviet Combat Phase:

Even though NATO has not yet intervened, the Berlin garrison finds itself inside a city aflame, and the Soviets have no compunctions about clearing the city, regardless of the westerners’ presence. [15 attack strength against 2 defense strength for 7:1 odds. Combat dr=5 for DE.] The loss of the garrison and the fall of Berlin are not sufficient to bring in NATO; worried rebels in the Warsaw Pact wonder what, if anything, will suffice…

Rostock, defended by the East German 2nd Army, attempts to hold against two Soviet armies backed by the VVS. [15 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 3:1 odds, shifted to 4:1 by airpower. Combat dr=5 for DR.] Backed against the Baltic, the East Germans must surrender, but the city still stands. And outside Leipzig, the Soviet 20th and 31st Guards Armies bring their considerable might to bear against the dug-in East German 1st Army. [15 attack strength against 6 defense strength for 2:1 odds. Combat dr=5 for DR.] The East Germans are pushed back into Leipzig.

In Poland, Wrocław and Stettin again face overwhelming sieges. [7 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 7:1 odds in each case. Wrocław Combat dr=3 for DE; Stettin Combat dr=4 for DE.] Both cities fall after long struggles, and Poland, whose revolution started this conflagration, finds itself suppressed.

Prague, with long memories of ’68, came late to this revolution, but it stands alone now against a Soviet army. [7 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 7:1 odds. Combat dr=6 for EX.] The proud citizens of this city on the Vltava hold off—nay, smite!—a full Soviet army. A rousing victory for the revolutionaries.

The two Soviet armies confronting the Czech 1st Army on the Austrian border hope for better results, bringing in airpower to help even the rough terrain they’re fighting in. [11 attack strength against 4 defense strength yields 2:1 odds, shifted to 3:1 by airpower. Combat dr=2 for EX.] A tough fight for the Soviets, but they clear another obstacle to regaining Czech compliance, albeit at a cost.

Revolt in the East, Turn 3, Battle for Hungary

Three Soviet armies launch individual assaults in Hungary. Though they’ve seen the wisdom of bringing overwhelming odds to bear, the Soviets need to whittle down the number of revolting cities, even at a potential cost in units, in order to tamp down the flames of revolution (and keep NATO at bay). The 18th Guards Army finds itself delegated to the assault on Budapest. [8 attack strength agains 2 defense strength for 4:1 odds. Combat dr=2 for DE.] A close run assault sees the Hungarian capital captured.

Debrecen (named Obderlin on the map), on the Romanian border, is the target for the 57th Army. [6 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 6:1 odds. Combat dr=3 for DE.] It, too, falls, but so long as the two Hungarian army units remain at large, the country cannot be considered pacified. The Soviet Hungarian Army has responsibility for attacking one of them, hemmed in against the inviolable Yugoslavian border. [8 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 2:1 odds. Combat dr=4 for DR.] Though an inconclusive combat, the Hungarians find the border closed to them, and they must surrender instead of retreating.

Down in Romania, a pair of Soviet armies strike at Cluj and the defending 1st Army. [14 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 3:1 odds. Combat dr=5 for DR.] The assault proves sufficient to rout the surrounded defenders, but the city proves a more stubborn foe, to be taken at a later date.

The Bulgarian front sees a pair of Soviet armies, supported by airpower, hammer the 2nd Bulgarian Army defending in Plovdiv. [13 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 3:1 odds, shifted to 4:1 by airpower. Combat dr=2 for DE.] Plovdiv becomes the second Bulgarian city to be suppressed, but the need to guard them means the Soviets have but one unit with which to operate down there.

[City Count: WP/NATO 10, Soviet 11]

Turn 4

Revolt Phase:

Ten cities in revolt proves to be the magic number, as NATO decides, finally, to intervene, but only in East Germany until such time as all Soviet forces can be ejected from that country.

WP/NATO Reinforcement Phase:

Two French corps, one British corps, and a pair of air force corps enter the fray along the Rhine.

WP/NATO Movement Phase:

With Warsaw Pact forces dwindling, they all opt to stay in their cities and defensive redoubts while NATO forces surge across the border between the two Germanies, concentrating their firepower on individual Soviet units.

Revolt in the East, Turn 4, Initial NATO assaults

WP/NATO Combat Phase:

Seven full corps, supported by three air corps, launch an all-out assault on the 20th Guards to the southwest of Leipzig. [35 attack strength against 8 defense strength for 4:1 odds, shifted to 7:1 by airpower. Combat dr=1 for DE.] A solid thwack, but at this rate, it will take weeks to clear East Germany, leaving the Soviets to operate at will elsewhere. Less caution and more cunning might be required by NATO.

In the Holstein area, the BAOR leads five other NATO corps against the 2nd Guards Army, again supported by copious air power. [30 attack strength against 7 defense strength for 4:1 odds, shifted to 6:1 by airpower. Combat dr=4 for DE.] Another solid victory, but four Soviet armies remain in the DDR, and the forces involved in the pacification of Poland are ready to be released from garrison duty.

Soviet Reinforcement Phase:

An air force corps and another army enter for the Soviets, all headed straight to East Germany.

Soviet Movement Phase:

Things, as they say, have just gotten interesting. Reinforcing East Germany seems paramount, but attention must also be paid to the other countries. If they can be suppressed before NATO is able to break out of East Germany, Soviet numbers should prevail.

Other than an airborne corps holding Warsaw, all the Soviet units in Poland flood to East Germany. And in Bulgaria, the army holding Plovdiv abandons the city to assist in the assault on Sofia; Plovdiv returns to revolt, but it can be mopped up again once the Bulgarian Army is dispatched.

Revolt in the East, Turn 4, Soviet assaults against initial NATO intervention

Soviet Combat Phase:

The Belgian corps, holding the West Bank of the Elbe, is set upon by two potent Soviet armies, hoping to unhinge the southern flank of the NATO forces attacking from Holstein. [16 attack strength against 6 defense strength for 2:1 odds, shifted to 3:1 for airpower. Combat dr=1 for DE.] The attack shatters the Belgians at no loss to the Soviets.

The Soviet forces tasked with taking Rostock swing into action again, with overwhelming odds. [14 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 7:1 max odds. Combat dr=1 for DE]. The city falls, leading the defenders in Leipzig to worry if they will suffer the same fate. [17 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 4:1 odds, shifted to 5:1 by airpower. Combat dr=2 for DE.] The last of the East German armies, and cities, falls, freeing Soviet forces from the need to garrison cities in the DDR other than the capital, Berlin, at this point.

Another assault goes into Prague. [6 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 6:1 odds. Combat dr=1 for DE.] The Soviet Boleslav Army succeeds where the 17th Army failed. But Czechoslovakia remains defiant, with two cities, each defended by local armies, remaining at large.

The Soviet Hungarian Army, aided by an airborne corps and air support, hammers the remnants of the Hungarian Army in a cross-Danube assault. [10 attack strength against 2 defense strength for 5:1 odds, shifted to 6:1 for airpower. Combat dr=6 for EX.] The Hungarians whittle away the airborne, but the main force remains. Hungary has been suppressed.

In Romania, the Soviet 1st Army attacks the now defenseless Cluj. [6 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 6:1 odds. Combat dr=5 for EX.] A fateful battle sees the 1st Army reduced to ineffectiveness. 1st Guards cannot let that loss hamper their own assault on Brason, where they can but hope to dislodge the defenders. [8 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 2:1 odds. Combat dr=1 for EX.] Another costly affair, as the 1st Guards manage to eliminate the 2nd Romanian Army at a steep price. Little Constanta also falls after a brief battle. [6 attack strength against 1 defense strength for 6:1 odds. Combat dr=4 for DE.]

Revolt in the East, Turn 4, Battle of Sofia

The forces assigned to Bulgaria throw all they have at heavily fortified Sofia, including air support. [13 attack strength against 8 defense strength for 1:1 odds, shifted to 2:1 by airpower. Combat dr=2 for EX.] Another Pyrrhic victory for the Soviets sees the 1st Shock Army in shambles but Sofia stripped of defenses. However, now not enough units remain to control all of Bulgaria, assuming that Sofia can ever be defeated.

[City Count: WP/NATO 7, Soviet 14]

Turn 5

WP/NATO Reinforcement Phase:

A single US corps arrives near Frankfurt.

WP/NATO Movement Phase:

With eight Soviet units in East Germany, the NATO units have plenty of targets, and they determine that they must strive to surround them wherever possible; freeing cities remains, at present, a secondary consideration.

In a daring move, the two extant Czech armies leave their cities to engage the Boleslav Army. Though they may not be able to destroy it, they’ll at least tie it down.

Revolt in the East, Turn 5, Czechoslovakian gambit

WP/NATO Combat Phase:

The newly arrived US 4th Corps leads an assault into Leipzig, aided by air power, against the Soviet 3rd Shock Army. [6 attack strength against 7 defense strength for 1:2 odds, shifted to 1:1 by airpower. Combat dr=2 for DR.] The Soviets scurry over the Elbe, with the result that the 31st Guards Army adjacent to Leipzig is now completely surrounded. A multi-national NATO force takes advantage of the situation. [24 attack strength against 14 defense strength for 1:1 odds, shifted to 2:1 by airpower. Combat dr=6 for DR.] Dislodged from their hasty fortifications, the 31st can but surrender, their retreat paths cut.

Near the Polish border, a lone Soviet airborne corps serves as target practice for the US 5th Corps and the French 1st Corps. [9 attack strength against 2 defense strength for 4:1 odds, shifted to 5:1 by airpower. Combat dr=5 for EX.] The French suffer heavy losses, but the Soviet airborne corps is no more.

The Dutch corps joins with the UK 1st Corps plus additional NATO troops in assaulting a heavy Soviet position on the Elbe. [18 attack strength against 16 defense strength for 1:1 odds, shifted to 2:1 by airpower. Combat dr=4 for DR.] A successful combat sees the Soviets dislodged. Meanwhile, the BAOR attempt to slug its way into Rostock. [12 attack strength against 7 defense strength for 1:1 odds, shifted to 2:1 by airpower. Combat dr=1 for EX.] The accompanying West German 3rd Corps is rendered ineffective, but the Soviets guarding the city are routed as well.

Soviet Reinforcement Phase:

Two more fresh divisions arrive. Though they’re dearly needed in East Germany, they move instead to the Romania border. If the Soviets can finish business in the southernmost Warsaw Pact countries, they should be able to divert almost all their forces to the heavy NATO presence in the north.

Soviet Movement Phase:

Most Soviet forces find themselves locked in maintaining a front line against marauding NATO forces, limiting their mobility. An army heads to the east of Rostock to meet up with another unit there, hoping to surprise the now-alone BAOR. Additional forces from the Hungarian occupation stream into Romania and Czechoslovakia. In East Germany, the Soviets must begin to be mindful of supply issues should NATO manage to encircle the few remaining armies.

Revolt in the East, Turn 5, Disposition of forces in East Germany

Soviet Combat Phase:

The assault on the BAOR goes off as scheduled. [12 attack strength against 5 defense strength for 2:1 odds, shifted to 3:1 by airpower. Combat dr=5 for DR.] Back towards the Rhine goes the BAOR. The two massive Soviet armies lately pushed off the Elbe strike at the adjacent West German 1st Corps. [16 attack strength against 8 defense strength for 2:1 odds, shifted to 3:1 by airpower. Combat dr=2 for EX.] Not an ideal exchange for the Soviets, who nevertheless remove one of NATO’s most formidable units (albeit only for a few weeks until it can reconstitute its losses.).

To the south, the Boleslav Army pushes back against the two Czech armies blocking it against the East German border. [6 attack strength against 6 defense strength for 1:1 odds. Combat dr=2 for DR.] Given some breathing room, the Soviets deign to pursue, preferring to have freedom of movement. And the Soviet Hungarian Army continues its marauding ways, attacking Brno. [8 attack strength against 1 defense strength for max 7:1 odds. Combat dr=1 for DE.] Another city falls to the Soviet Hungarians.

Towards Romania, Soviet forces invest both Cluj and Brason. [8 attack strength against 1 defense strength for max 7:1 odds in Cluj; 10 attack strength against 1 defense strength for max 7:1 odds in Brason. Cluj Combat dr=5 for DE; Brason Combat dr=1 for DE.] Both cities fall, Romanian defiance reduced to the 3rd Army defending Bucharest.

The 28th Army tries again at Sofia, assisted by air support once more. [7 attack strength against 2 defense strength for 3:1 odds, shifted to 4:1 by airpower. Combat dr=4 for EX.] The city in the shadow of Mount Vitosha claims another Soviet army.

[City Count: WP/NATO 6, Soviet 15]

Turn 6

WP/NATO Reinforcement Phase:

Losses from the initial NATO offensive have been made good, and three corps return to duty.

WP/NATO Movement Phase:

With Soviet forces in East Germany mostly concentrated around Rostock and Berlin, the opportunity has arisen for encirclements, to cut supply paths and avenues of retreat. There’s not much room to maneuver, but the noose closes tight around the remaining Soviet armies.

Revolt in the East, Turn 6, Encirclement at Leipzig

WP/NATO Combat Phase:

On the Baltic coast, the BAOR once again leads the charge against a pair of Soviet armies trapped without supply against the sea. [12 attack strength against 6 defense strength for 2:1 odds, shifted to 3:1 by airpower. Combat dr=3 for EX.] All the forces involved take catastrophic losses, but the Soviet armies are eliminated.

In Berlin, American and West German troops storm the Soviet 5th Guards Army defending, the vaunted wall merely disrupting the Soviets’ ability to deal with an assault from east and west. [20 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 5:1 odds, shifted to 7:1 by airpower. Combat dr=6 for EX.] Another expensive battle for NATO, but the East German capital is free once more. More affrays in the vicinity of Berlin see the 11th Guards Army assaulted by a joint Belgian and West German army. [13 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 3:1 odds, shifted to 5:1 by airpower. Combat dr=1 for DE.]

With the 11th Guards decimated, only 3rd Shock still stands in East Germany, and it faces a determined foe in the West German 2nd Corps, assisted by a multi-national supporting cast. [19 attack strength against 7 defense strength for 2:1 odds. Combat dr=6 for DR.] Routed, out of supply, and encircled, 3rd Shock surrenders both their unit colors and the country of East Germany to NATO.

Revolt in the East, Turn 6, Liberation of East Germany

Soviet Reinforcement Phase:

A single army enters for the Soviets, who decide to mop up Bulgarian and Romanian resistance before turning north to face the bulk of NATO forces. Units from Greece and Turkey must also be screened, lest they liberate Bulgarian cities.

Soviet Movement Phase:

Soviet airpower, lately in East Germany, begins staging southward, while the meager forces available to the Soviets swarm around Bucharest.

Soviet Combat Phase:

The sole combat takes place in Bucharest, with the 18th Guards and 30th Armies, backed by two corps of ground support aircraft, crashing the walls of the ancient city. [14 attack strength against 4 defense strength for 3:1 odds, shifted to 5:1 by airpower. Combat dr=1 for DE.] The force proves sufficient, and Romania is fully suppressed.

Revolt in the East, Turn 6, Romania occupied

[City Count: WP/NATO 6, Soviet 15]

(Continued in Revolt in the East AAR Part Two.)

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