PHASE THREE: HOLD THE LINE
NATO troops decide to take me head-on at close range. Bad move. A recon HMMW unit attacks the easternmost bridgehead and is swiftly destroyed by T-80s. Enemy Abrams strike at the central bridgehead and while eliminating 2 BDRM-2, 1 T-80 and 2 Spandrel BDRMs, they are all destroyed in the shootout. A BTR-60 that accompanies the recon battalion HQ is destroyed too.
Overall, for now, the battle is going heavily in my favor, and the first reinforcements arrive: a full tank battalion, that i decide to rush forward and split up among the bridgeheads. Later, the mechanized infantry battalion arrives too.
NATO tanks roll forward once more, but it's a massacre: my dug-in T-80s start shelling them and destroy 2 of them as soon as they reach clear ground; others are destroyed at various ranges (1500 to 500m) by the deadly Spandrels. I didn't expect them to be THAT effective!
Artillery arrives too, and since i (maybe) just located an HQ, i order them to fire at will at its presumed location. When the barrage goes down, i see 2 HQ exploding, and after that NATO command cycles jumps from 13 to 21m, so i probably killed their main HQ.
NATO assaults go on, but i manage to hold the ground and inflict more casualities than the losses I take. My SP-SAM unit is hit by mortar fire and lose a vehicle, then gets destroyed by Bradleys at long range. My tunguskas, on the other hand, have encountered obstacles and aren't in position yet. I hope enemy helicopters don't arrive too soon.
An elusive Bradley unit (or two) dances around the outskirts of Bad Neustadt, plinking at my forces downtown. Others charge down the main road and, togather with mortar fire, decimate my BDRM-2 Spandrel. I decide to withdraw my BDRMs and let the T-80 deal with the assaults until my reinforcements arrive.
Half an hour later, my carefully positioned Tunguska finally arrive in position... and get blown up by an Abrams platoon on the other side of the river. My AA is gone. At least, i find another HQ and shell it, destroying 2 APCs. My MiG-23s arrive and destroy a Bradley. Enemy artillery takes out a T-80.
Overall, i'm holding the line. The enemy is elusive, but to take the bridgeheads he has to get up close and personal with my dug-in T-80s and it's not pretty for them.
PHASE FOUR: BREAKOUT
At 6:50, NATO hits the 70% losses threshold and i'm able to claim a decisive victory with all the VP reassigned to me. Given that my reinforcements has just arrived (claiming 4 Abrams in a decisive encounter at the easternmost bridgehead) i'm not inclined to let NATO get away. I want to break out of the bridgeheads and annihilate the rest of the NATO units that keep firing on my units from out of town (Bradleys firing at me through 1000m of urban hexes...).
I order all units on the front to slowly advance and occupy the outskirts of the town in order to engage the unknown NATO units that fires at us from outside Bad Neustadt. A company of T-80U is ordered to drive west and occupy the westernmost VP just behind the bridge.
The engagements are brutal: NATO mech infantry fights for the outskirts but is driven off despite an Abrams platoon supports them from the clear grounds north of the town. The flanking move of the T-80U company takes a full mech company by surprise and wipes out one of its mechanized platoons on Bradleys. The same T-80Us advance and engage the Abrams, taking them by surprise and destroying them with gun-launched ATGMs.
The subsequent offensive, however, is met with a barrage of TOW ATGMs from other NATO units in the northwest. I have then to withdraw my tanks to avoid further losses and reorganize them. Mech infantry is ordered to take up position to cover the retreat, and artillery is instructed to strike the presumed enemy positions.
With only an hour or so of time remaining, and no further sightings of enemy units, i decide to make a sortie to mop up any NATO unit still in the area. A couple towns surrounding Bad Neustadt are taken, and just as battle time runs off i had found and engaged some enemy stragglers.