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Chandaran 1

Page history last edited by Guy Farrish 9 years, 7 months ago

Chandaran 1


It has been a while since I have persuaded anyone to embark on a journey into the wilds of Afghanistan with Colonel Ulyanov and his merry men so I decided I'd do it myself as it were and so last Sunday - 18 August 2010 - I conducted a solo sweep of the Chandaran valley.


Afghanistan 1983:  Soviet Motor Rifle Battalion sweep of suspected Mujahideen hideout in a village strung out along a valley floor.


Cold War Commander


Soviet Force 






9 bases conscript infantry – 1 Battalion


Hind D x2




152mm artillery



The battalion was on foot, having conducted a sweep of an adjoining valley yesterday, and had sent its BMPs round the long way to act as a stop force Bronnegruppa (bet they never get into action).





Mujahideen Force


This was more complicated.


The CWC rules allow a pretty good solo game ‘as is’ but I like to make my enemy less predictable in size and composition: so...


I take a green chit for the CO and one each the minimum number of HQs (1 here) and then take a dummy chit for each as well. Then take a mix of one HQ to five dummy chits (face down) up to the maximum number of HQs you want to face (2 extra here) and shuffle them – then draw three. Place all 7, - 1 CO, 1 HQ, 2 dummy and 3 unknowns, face down on likely terrain spots for the centre of a defensive group.


When the Soviets spot a chit – turn it over – if it is a genuine HQ dice for the command it has, in this case:


1,2 = 3 platoons/bases

3 = 3 platoons/bases + HMG

4, 5 = 6 platoons

6 = 6 platoons + HMG


Obviously you could include mortars recoilless rifles etc but I wanted to keep it simple.



In addition I wanted there to be some possibility of ambush from somewhere other than these chit points so each move there was a chance of an ambush being triggered, not dependent on these chit positions:


Throw 1 d10 – ambush on 9 or 10 (to a max of 2 ambushes) If/when triggered check any chits in likely ambush positions or if none (and if all eligible chits are dummies) number six likely ambush sites near Soviet units and throw the dice – the number that comes up is the site – dice for what is in the ambush (you probably don’t know yet what the Mujahideen have got so  the units can either be extras if all units already positioned or from the nearest HQ when it is revealed).


The Soviet approach view to valley


Are there Mujahideen lurking under those green chits?


The Soviets begin their advance...


And find nothing in the tree line...


Or on the ridge to the North...


But do discover that Chandaran 1 is occupied


Up to now the dice throw had been fine, but lots of blunders started to happen... I diced to see if the Mujahideen managed to use their initiative and use opportunity fire during the Soviet turn - all asleep apparently.

The Soviet commander also panicked at the sudden sighting of so many Mujahideen and failed his command roll. The Zinky boys blanched as they waited for the Mujahideen to open up on them, caught in the open.


Having had an appalling initiative phase ...Oops! The Mujahideen HQ panics and (having rolled double 6) withdraws from the village into the green zone. The Soviet HQ moved everyone up and then failed to shoot anyone so the CO ordered in the HINDs...

but he caught the general malaise and the aiming point (the small d6) (already too close for comfort) moved 120 metres towards the advancing Soviets...




the HINDs are as bad as everyone else and fail to kill anything.


The Soviet Commander moves his troops forward, only to discover there are a lot more Mujahideen than he bargained for...(another green chit reveals another HQ - pretty crowded in there!)


At this point the Soviet political officer begins to have some serious doubts about Col Ulyanov's capabilities.


The Mujahideen CO turned up at this point, accompanied only by... 


A lot of dummies.


Suddenly galvanised into action the Soviet command got its act together and things began to happen...

The stalled Sovs go right flanking round Chandaran 1 and the green zone, actually managing to coordinate some fire and movement, and the CO at last finds the right way to call in HINDs...and the FAO remembers the 152mm battery. The FAC still can't contact the Frogfoot though...typical fly boys.



The Afghans decide discretion is the better part of valour after this sudden display of competence and the Mujahideen vanish into the green zone leaving the Soviets bemused, but relatively happy.


The Soviets advance on the green zone from the north, cut off groups in place - far too late as usual, but it will sound good in the write up for the Frunze Academy (although the bronnegruppa never did show). The only thing Ulyanov has to worry about is: who is that Political Officer calling?????

I found myself a little rusty on playing the rules solo - it helps to have people saying 'You can't do that! You @@@@@!' but even so I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was happy with the way the dice generated decisions could be explained by a little creative thinking (all tactical errors were mine-  the system worked very well).

I had expected ambushes to cause more mayhem (none were generated), and I didn't employ booby traps  -  the rationale being I didn't think the Mujahideen would have time to prepare these in a working village, but I think I was being too kind. I also think some minefields would have slowed down the Soviet advance (not that it went beyond a snail's pace anyway!), and the Frunze academy reports frequently mention them as problems.

Anyway Ulyanov and the fighting 2nd Bn 682nd live to fight another day (political officer aka my son Conaire permitting) .

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