DB104 The Police Station – AAR – Canadian Valor in Hong Kong!!

Winnipeg Grenadiers in Camp Shamshuipo HK Credits : http://stpaulslestweforget.wikispaces.com/

The IJA landed on Hong Kong island near North Point / Aldrich Bay on Dec 18 1941 and proceeded to move inland through the middle of the hilly island.  The Winnipeg Grenadiers made a particularly heroic stand at the Wong Nai Chung Gap Police Station.

This is a rather interesting scenario in which part of the Canadian and part of the IJA forces started using simultaneous and hidden placement in an area in front of the Police Station.  The scenario began with a round of Close Combat between forces that started in the same location, two of which the IJA could designate “hand to hand”.  The IJA’s goal was to take the Police Station and to make sure that there were less than one squad equivalent of “good order” Canadians within a 4 hex area around the station, all within 5.5 turns.


The game started off quite intriguingly as Carl Nogueira and I discovered where each other’s hidden forces were, where they “co-existed” and what the Close Combat odds were.  I designated two of the melees as “hand to hand” and off we went.  As expected, “HtH” battles both pretty much resulted in mutual annihilation.  The Canadians lost 2 leaders in addition but an 8-1 rise to the fore in the heat of battle!


IJA Turn 1 : The IJA led off with their two offboard field guns putting Willie Pete on two corners of the rather well MG-equipped station.  Unfortunately the flamethrower team got ID’d early and was shot at.  Anxious that they’d never get to use their toy, they promptly went berserk.


IJA Turn 2 : The berserk FT team rigged up their toy and in their blind fury, must had bent a trigger or something.  Flamethrower died without a shot.  The IJAs discovered the Canadian pillbox cross the front of the Police Station.  Fighting outside took quite a toll on both sides.  The IJA hoped to hook around the back (left) of the police station as “Failure to Rout” seems to be the only way to clear the station of Canadians.


IJA Turn 3 : The IJA malf’d one of their two offboard guns and therefore proceeded to setup their mortars so as to provide smoke cover.  To the top of the map, the IJA piled on top of the pillbox while trying to hook around the left.  To the right, the IJA continued to navigate through the open field and hoped to advance though the pillbox laid fire lane.


IJA Turn 4 : The berserk HS charged across the street and into the station!!  The maniacs survived fire that left 12 and 8 residuals, only to die later in Close Combat.  Their buddies took advantage to the situation and walked around the left.  The IJA on the right continued to hit the station in front.  The newly established deathstar had a malf’d HMG, true to IJA weaponry of the period.


IJA Turn 5 : So the Berserker couldn’t stay in the station.  The IJA opened with a DC HS that got shot out of existence when they advanced to the MG nest. On the other side of the station, poor Toshi was volunteered to be the “DC Hero of the Day”.  They sent him to the front door, patted him on the back and stuffed a DC into his arms.

They couldn’t get the berserker either, they said.

Toshi popped out to the middle of the street and was promptly vaporised along with his DC.


Canadian Turn 5 : With 1 Movement Phase left, there was not enough time for the IJA to clear the building (nor the 4 hex radius around it).  The IJA conceded.

Thoughts :

  • Forget about walking around the station.  Turn 2 is probably when I should just walk STRAIGHT UP to the station and get part of the gang into the house.
  • I used WP and smoke from the offboard guns.  I should probably have used my knee more for additional cover.
  • I should have protected my Flamethrower a lot better.

What else would you have done?  Please comment.

BPF30 Melee Near The Coast AAR – the superior mobility of the IJA

The time was 25 August 1937.  This was the second time the IJA attacked Shanghai.  The IJA Shanghai Expeditionary Forced landed troops around Liuhe (浏河), Wusong (吳淞) and Chuanshakou (川沙口) as a diversionary to draw GMT troops away from Shanghai.  This scenario depicts an engagement where the IJA troops pushed rapidly inland to encircle Shanghai.

This was a 7 turn scenario in which the IJA needed to control 10 or more buildings at the end.  The GMT (Chinese) had 13 first liners, 1 MMG and 1 LMG led by an 8-1 and an 8-0.  They were reinforced by 4 elite squads with 2 other leaders on Turn 4.  The IJA started with 13 first liners led by 3 leaders.  They were reinforced by a platoon of elite squads plus another leader on Turn 3.

There was an eastern approach for the IJA (top of the map).  That approach led through jungles paths and onto a hill before a group of target buildings.  There was also a western approach where the IJA had to navigate across a shallow stream and fight their way out of a depression.  I guessed the eastern approach would be guarded heavier as the trek was slightly easier and targets richer.

I deployed with 60% of the IJA troops on the east side and 40% on the west with 2 squads HIP’d.  Hopefully that would cause the GMT to lean a little towards the east.


Chinese Turn 1: Calamity hit the attackers almost immediately.  An observant GMT sniper seek out the highest ranking (10-0) IJA officer amidst a concealed stack and put a round through his head.

Not that it bothered the troops too much, they stayed out of sight a little and continued moving on.


Chinese Turn 2: As the IJA approached the Chinese forces, an IJA HS was indignant that these brothers of the Greater Asia Co-prosperity Sphere shot at them.  They went berserk but their target GMT squad routed away.  A concealed GMT squad then moved in but failed to ambush the fuming mad IJA berserkers.


IJA Turn 3 : The IJA decided to Banzai through the bottleneck on the left flank around the lake.  They almost immediately ran into a dangerous “Banzai” trap – a previously concealed stack of high fire power GMT that killed the led Banzai troops and threaten to suck in more.  Good thing I was able to avoid having an IJA leader sucked into that hex.

IMG_1092IJA Turn 3 still : The IJA on the right flank begin the second Banzai to motor across the shallow stream!


IJA Turn 4 : The turn would see the right flank of the IJA banzai the rest of their troops over the shallow stream.


IJA Turn 4 still: The left flank answered with a Banzai to the center of the board and not directly up the hill itself.  This was where I channelled my inner IJA and looked to infiltrate!


IJA Turn 5 (errata – picture is wrong): The right flank banzai’d over the hill and looked to encircle the GMT defenders.  Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out.  Always an issue banzai’ing in the open.

On the otherhand, the left flank got up (and around) the hill and encircled the defenders there.


Chinese Turn 6 (errata -picture is wrong) : Quick as you might think the IJAs were, I began to run out of time. I shift the IJA troops from the right to the left in preparation for the final push.

But look – the GMT ran a couple of squads and a leader around the IJA right flank and threatened to reclaim the buildings again!


IJA Turn 7 (errata again!) : The IJA did a massive Banzai charge on the left flank into the cluster of target buildings behind the bamboo forest.  GMT troops in the jungle to the west put up a ferocious volume of fire! The IJA couldn’t get into all of those buildings (missed 1, IJA pinned).


The End : At the close of IJA Turn 7 – the IJA got 9 buildings but stood to lose a few more in the counter attack – plus looked to lose 2 to 3 more to the GMT troops reclaiming buildings to the north (left of board).

It was a great game played with Peter-James Palmer in Australia.

Game Designer Carl Nogueira was asked “What do you like about ASL?”

FullSizeRender-1Likes, damn near all of it, but I’ll try to focus:

The way in which the game is layered: The rules are complex, master that, the tactics are complex, master that, the psychology of the game can be challenging too. Even then, there is no one way to win at this game. I know many top players with very different styles, who all have had enjoyed a good deal of success with the game. There are many ways to skin a cat. Everyone can succeed by refining their own approach to the game.

Obviously, because it is fun: If it wasn’t for this, there isn’t a thing I could list that would make it worthwhile. Of course what is fun for one person may not be for others, but there is room for many at the table. I am a competitive cuss, so I love the challenge of competing against my fellow gamers. Others approach it from a beer and pretzels perspective, but everyone who comes to embrace the hobby, ends up having fun with it.

The people: The camaraderie in ASL is unparalleled in wargaming. It is a niche hobby within a niche hobby and you can strike up a conversation with any player from here to Hong Kong, and immediately be speaking the same language. Because the bond between players forms quickly, many of my closest friends over the years are fellow gamers. I do not hesitate if I can extend a helping hand and have not encountered many who won’t the other way around either. There really is a bond. Certainly not on a level of military compatriots or police officers or others who have dangerous occupations, but certainly more than most with merely a common interest linking them. Such has been my experience.

The game itself is varied and handles moving from theatre to theatre VERY well: If you play many operational games, the difference between playing in the desert or the hills of Italy is pretty superficial. Here, moving from the Winter War, to the desert to the jungle to the steppes is absolutely worlds apart and FEELS like it is worlds apart. Put simply, ASL is the ultimate triumph of design for effect and there are literally thousands of scenarios and well north of one hundred CG’s. If you can’t find something to play, then you would quite rightly be likened to a little kid sitting in his room surrounded by toys screaming “I’m Bored!!!”

Finally, to succeed at this game you have to be very detail oriented and know how to plan on the fly when the best laid plans go up in smoke. Very challenging indeed!

The accessibility of the hobby in terms of helping new guys: With everything from questions, advice on everything from purchases to game tactics.

What I don’t like:

Some of the rules can be gamey, but then, it IS a game. Also, there is always the magic of the SSR to fix that which truly galls you.

– Carl Nogueira, May 6 2015

Link to the Original Text on GameSquad

Things I’m noticing the ‘experienced’ players doing more than me…

On March 14 2015, Ken Knott aka “esprcorn” started a genius of a thread on Gamesquad : “Things I’m noticing the ‘experience’ players doing more than me …”.  The response was overwhelming.

I went through 11 pages of posts, extracted what was said (newbies and grognards allke), applied some basic categorisation and present them to you for your reading enjoyment.  These snippets are simply TOO good be left in Forum Purgatory.


  • During APh, advance ADJACENT to the enemy in different Locations, including Open Ground, to force tough choices. (Swiftandsure)
  • Prep should ALWAYS be used to launch Smoke before the MPh (witchbottles)
  • Use the “amoeba assault” with low quality troops / low ML troops. (witchbottles)


  • The rule of thumb is if you have positive DRM, combine the FP; if you have zero or negative DRM, divide it. (von Marwitz)
  • I think a lot depends on WHY you are shooting, rather than the DRM itself. (witchbottles)
  • It is wise to go through all the shots you plan on making and decide on an order. (Tater)
  • Firing the units with the most important targets first .. lessen the risk of an untimely enemy Sniper negating that attack. (klasmalmstrom)
  • ALWAYS FPF if the unit is a : fanatic; b : Japanese squad; c : a squad in a beach location during Seaborne assault (witchbottles)
  • Not enough Op Fire counters placed (aneil1234)
  • Use Firelanes a LOT (aneil1234)
  • Spraying Fire is another underrated form of fire .. the real art is the use of Spraying Fire during DFF. (BattleSchool)
  • A more frequent use of Snapshots (Bill Cirillo)
  • Fire discipline (RevJJ)
  • Always look for ways to use Firelanes and Residual FP on defence.  Never First Fire on the adjacent Half Squad, First Fire on the bigger stack moving later and then Final Fire on the adjacent HS. (Hubbs5)
  •  You can opportunity fire units with SCW or potentially with SCW in a building. You then wait to fire, presumably on an AFV taeget, but maybe not, until the advancing fire phase. You take no back blast penalty AND you avoid the normal +2 for firing SCW from the ground floor of a building to avoid the bb penalty. (Carl Nogueira)


  • If you are wondering if you should pull back, pull back (it even may be too late) (Swiftandsure)
  • Thinking about order of movement is very important. By moving units in the “right” order you can force your opponent to have to make really difficult choices with Defensive First Fire. (jrv)
  • First moves should be those designed to draw fire where you wish to draw fire. The immediate moves should be those which are designed to restrict enemy fire opportunity, and the last moves those designed to displace enemy positions. (witchbottles)
  • Move to cover your units in “bounding overwatch” .. accept that losses to front line units will occur. You win or lose by influencing those categories a combined arms commander has full control over : the terrain to attack (or defend), the force development at the point of attack, the provision and location or reserve units brought into support the attack (or defense). “Action”, not inaction. Reinforce success (as the attacker) or weak points (as the defender). (witchbottles)
  • Try to avoid encirclement and leave rout paths. Wherever you are planning to go in, make sure you can come back in a hurry. (Carln0130)
  • Use a Banzai / Human Wave to cut off forward enemy units and force them to die or to surrender rather than rout. (witchbottles)
  • New players have to learn to move quicker .. they don’t get anywhere NEAR where they have to be to win. (aneil1234)
    Just because you are defending, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be moving. Skulk ‘em guys if nothing else (aneil1234)
  • Use of Encirclement and moving units in a way that result in elimination for Failure To Rout. (Paul _RS)
  • If you are not moving, you are dying. (Mr. Incredible)
  • They are not afraid of Open Ground. New players have ‘hug the building’ syndrome, so in urban fights they never get across the street because they are so worried about staying in +TEM. When you have a superior position and can back it up and with superior FP, advance your MMC into the street adjacent to defending units. Many times if forces the defender to abandon that position and retreat to the next set of buildings behind the next road because the position is now too hot to stay and/or skulk back into. (RobZagnut)
  • Move more than shoot (Jazz)
  • Moving more often and more aggressive than me (ecz)


  • Smoke smoke WP and smoke some more (aneil1234)
  • Not smoking may be a health hazard (Mr. Incredible)
  • SMOKE, SMOKE, smoke, WP and more smoke (Jazz)
  • Using a lot of Smoke, trying smoke also with squads having “1” exponent (ecz)
  • I ALWAYS say at the beginning of the PREP fire phase…onboard smoke, off board artillery…even if I don’t have it JUST to remind myself… (Mark De Vries)


  • One should take care not to move vehicles into hexes where a defender can make a To Hit DR with his MGs and more easily lay down a Fire Lane that could impede infantry movement later. (klasmalmstrom)
  • Use a fully tracked AFVs to generate “instant” fortified building location breaches. (witchbottles)
  • Always rush armour from outside CA, then go CE when point blank from behind to win Gun Duels (Westy)
  • Setup AFVs behind walls with TCA towards the enemy and VCA pointing towards a quick getaway without reversing. (Mr. P)
  • Motion attempt (Jazz)
  • Moving AFVs while BU most of the time, going CE only if absolutely necessary (ecz)
  • Using MGs (usually) to position AFV armoured facing for free after the use of the MA in another direction. (esprcorn)
  • Here’s a creative use to a captured AFV : line up your Russian squads to “auto-deploy” as crew.  You can create enough HSs for a more “economical” Human Wave!  (Simon Lai)


  • Don’t attack in CC to retain concealment, then move away or TPBF in Prep Fire. (Westy)
  • Using lots of dummies is not dumb. (Mr. Incredible)
  • Using OB designated dummy counters as 5/8” dummies (esprcorn)


  • HIP Guns .. Russ Bunten .. stated (HIP Guns) should be placed first and then your defence created around it. (RobZagnut)
  • HIPs .. you should only be surprised by its appearance once. Then it gets death by fire and/or manoeuvre. Then you learn to cover the likely spots with overwatch units while moving along.. a great way to do this is with light AFVs that are not critical to achieving the VCs. Park them in motion bypass of likely spots – which the HIP GUNs appear as you announce the end of that AFV’s MPh. Then knockout said Gun with follow on units. (RobZagnut)
  • HIP Ignorance – Not knowing potential HIP sites before and during play is not good. (RobZagnut)
  • Face the HIP – take the inevitable loss it will bring, and use those overwatch forces you positioned for that eventuality to then eliminate the HIP position or at least neutralize it with fire. (witchbottles)


  • HIP Guns .. Russ Bunten .. stated (HIP Guns) should be placed first and then your defence created around it. (RobZagnut)


  • Have minefields and wire covered by fire (Swiftandsure)
  • Have units in trenches and/or pillboxes in mutually supporting positions (Swiftandsure)
  • Place minefields in one hex buildings (Swiftandsure)


  • Use your OBA SR to indefinitely hover over enemy positions to make him shift around (Swiftandsure)
  • Odds against that are so high that allowing OBA to determine your play is what is the most damaging. (Tater)


  • Stack as many prisoners as you can….. they are excellent bulletproof devices when your enemy score KIA results on the guard….. (Simon Lai)
  • Speaking of prisoners. The Russian prisoner hot potato trick is a great way to deploy squads from a nationality that normally does not deploy. You just transferred the prisoners around to different units until you are satisfied (Carl Nogueira)
  • Yuh, a single prisoner in the same location with your Death Star can feed and pull back all your berserkers in this location, just in case your 10-3 of the Death Star goes berserk…… (Simon Lai)
  • Always take prisoners when you must capture buildings, for if you invoke No Quarter you cannot Mop Up. (Justiciar)


  • Shoot BEFORE the AFV moves in to cause VBM freeze (leave residual in the entry hex to deter followup infantry). (witchbottles)
  • Deploy lots (Westy)
  • Use Foxholes to create rout paths in Open Ground between buildings (Swiftandsure)
  • SAN – don’t let it stop you doing things (MrP)
  • Give DCs & FTs to -0 or +1 leaders (Swiftandsure)
  • Use and abuse skulking, VBM freeze and all legal recourses without scruples. (Swiftandsure)
  • Expect to lose troops (MrP)
  • Don’t check ROAR or read an AAR on a scenario before you play it. (RobZagnut)
  • Know when to move in deliberate, well-planned, and coordinated sequence and when to “bum rush ‘em”. (G.L.O.A.T.)
  • Use spotted mortar lots (Westy)
  • Use dummies with elevation to deny concealment at setup (Westy)
  • Deploy on attack to scout and to draw fire. Deploy on defense to cover more ground. (aneil1234)
  • Deploy on the first RPh (dspurlock)
  • Reading the Victory Conditions (Jazz)
  • Reading the Vehicle Notes (jrv)
  • Full utilisation and mastery of their OB. Every unit has a job. They know exactly what needs to be used when and what needs to support what. (RevJJ)
  • Timed aggression. They mitigate their risk until it’s time to go for it (RevJJ)
  • LOS mastery – this is huge. (RevJJ)
  • They play their game, not yours. (RevJJ)
  • Setup stacks out of all LOS then gaining concealment with the leader possessing the SW on the bottom of the stack, then followed up with an out-of-LOS Support Weapon transfer in the first RPh – leaving the otherside clueless as to the leader and Support Weapon placements. (witchbottles)
  • Deploy HS on the first RPh in addition to the allowed set up limits, and send them scouting and swamping the defence. (Swiftandsure)
  • If you stack it, you might stack (lose?) it (Mr. Incredible)

.. and this is from Jim “Sparafucil3″ Bishop, Master Yourself

I play Fort a lot. I have had the pleasure of playing Pleva, JR Tracy, Paul Sidhu, Toby Piling, Lars Thuring, Bob Bendis, and many other “top-notch” ASL players. What I notice they do better than anyone is not letting the bad luck get to them. They accept it and move on. It’s like the game starts over again right at that point, as if it never happened. When they are ahead, they are willing to take a few more chances to go for the kill. When they are behind, they tighten up and look for better opportunities. Anyone can read the rules, learn the tactics, study the odds tables, etc to find a way to play more effectively. The true champions are masters of themselves first and foremost. My best ever run at ASLOk (last year, three mini wins and 3rd overall in the GROFAZ), this is what I worked on more than anything else. Master your own emotions and you’ll often find that things eventually break your way and its your opponent who will be tested by his. If he can’t pass that, you have him where you want him. — jim (still a struggle to master myself consistently)

See also ::

PP08 No Simple Victory AAR – the ASL March Madness Partisan Pack

PP08 No Simple Victory is from the ASL March Madness Partisan Pack , produced by the Kansas City Irregular ASL Club for the March 13-15 2009 March Madness tournament.  According to Mark Pitcavage’s Desperation Morale site, only 75 copies were made.  I am lucky to have access to one and let me tell you, the storylines therein FASCINATE me.

An NKVD badge replica

The setting was May 1945 in Kurylowka Poland.  The Soviets had just “liberated” Poland and the Soviet NKVD started to hunt down former members of the “Armia Krajowa”.

A number of anti-communist partisan groups sprung up.  One such group was the National Military Alliance or the “NZW” and one of their biggest battles happened here.  The NZW prevailed, but the NKVD returned the next day and burned the village of Kurylowka to the ground.

PP08 R1 001-proc

Introduction and Setup : The NKVD officers are all Commissars.  The Poles on the other hand have 5 MPs instead of the usual 4.  The NKVD enters from the right and a trench in the middle of the village square is the “Victory Condition” hex.  I was the Partisans and Carl Nogueira the NKVD (Carl’s analysis of the scenario is at the bottom of this post).  I made a number of mistakes in this scenario.  One of which was putting my SSR given Set DC in the VC hex.  Since the NKVD wins immediately upon seizing that hex, blowing them up subsequently really doesn’t help.  I elected to exchange my 2 Fortified Location into 2 tunnels : one leading to the pillbox that oversee the VC hex and another leading from small clump of buildings to the right of the village so that units could rout back.

There are two approaches to the village.  One is to take the long way through the Forest on the bottom of the map.  That burns a lot of time.  The other way is to move through the open ground from the right to the left.  That carries a much higher risk of casualties which the NKVD player has to mindful of.  One of the SSRs states that the NKVD is subjected to BATTLEFIELD INTEGRITY (A16).  There’s a number on the broken side of each counter.  The NKVD starts up with a Battlefield Integrity score of 260.  When the NKVD takes casualties a running total of the number on the back of the counters is taken.  The NKVD is then subjected to an Integrity Check every 10% (or 26 in this case) of the starting score.  Fail it once, and the NKVD has their ELR reduced.  Fail it twice and the NKVD pack up and go home.

I assumed Carl would take a frontal approach through the scant cover the open ground offers (the NKVD had no smoke).  The Partisans had Molotovs though.  I tried to use Molotovs frequently early game (couldn’t be used inside the forest though) in the hope of setting something on fire “accidentally” but I completely forgot to use it late game when it really counted.

PP08 R1 002 - OPs .. R are coming from a different angle!-proc

Turn 1 Russian : The Russians, I mean ALL the Russians headed for the forest!  I started thinking about how I could redeploy to a completely different angle of attack.

PP08 P1 001 - Redeploy Notes-proc

Turn 1 Partisans : The Partisans had to redeploy to a very possible attack through the forest and from the bottom of the village!  My tunnels and my pillbox were rendered useless.  A few units had to come out of HIP to redeploy.  Anyway, it was what it was – a new game.  Good thing our Partisans had 5 MF instead of 4!

PP08 R2 001 - After MPh-proc

Turn 2 Russian : The Partisans in the forest had to do the best they could now.  I didn’t move far enough from the NKVD and therefore got my units surrounded a few times.  The NKVD was of course deadly at close range.  Concealment didn’t offer enough protection.

PP08 P2 002 - Moved LMG out to the right : Definitely using brokie to block-proc

Turn 2 Partisans : The three Partisan squads in the forest were of course completely outnumbered.  I hope to delay the NVKD as much as possible by using brokies to block the way as they rout.  I moved an LMG squad out to the clump of trees to help protect the “heavies” in case the Soviets change their mind and decide to skip long the edge of the forest instead.

PP08 R3 001 - After MPh-proc

Turn 3 Russians : The Russians came in strong.  The Partisans were quickly surrounded and destroyed.  The Russians tested the scene at the edge of the forest.  The Partisan HMG appeared to convince them otherwise.

PP08 P3 - End - more to the forest-proc

Turn 3 Partisans : The NKVD needed to be contained in the forest.  A few more Partisan squads were sent in there to rack up more casualties if they could.  At this point, I was a little reluctant to send even these folks.  The NKVD had an advantage up close while the Partisans were better in open area because of their enhanced mobility and longer range.  Molotovs couldn’t be used in forests either.  Kindling is NA for this scenario but I certainly hoped to set a few structures on fire “accidentally”.

Here’s also where I realised my next stupid move : I got my mortar (ideal against folks trying to come out of the forest, no?) in a trench BEHIND a hedge.  They couldn’t see anything.  The gun crew had to scramble to re-situate the mortar now.  Could they do it in time?

PP08 R4 001 - After MPh - HMG RF took out 2 HS Partisan holding out-proc

Turn 4 Russian : This was an epic turn.  The NKVD studiously picked a spot to come out of the woods that avoided the HMG.  So an LMG unconcealed to plug the gap.  Did it ever!  That residual where the path open up from the forest saw a good number of casualties.  A few came forth nonetheless, led by a 9-0 Commissar, and rushed the mortar crew.  One of the partisan squads was met by a number of NKVD and was presented with a DC pack as well ..

PP08 R4 002 - Partisan strong after 1 DC + tons of AdF-proc

Turn 4 Russian still : Our partisan squad survived all Advance Fire AND a DC blast!!  NKVD fixed bayonets and looked to move in ..

PP08 R4 004 - Forest CC ambush infiltrates right CC partisan withdraws-proc

Turn 4 Russian Close Combat : The NKVD squads moved in and even managed to ambush our partisan squad!  Fortunately they rolled infiltration for our brave partisan squad.  While the partisans were pinned and couldn’t move, the NKVD squads thought better of it and moved off.

On the far side of the open ground, the Russians wrestled with a partisan squad sent to mess with them.  The partisans got the ambush here and decided to move off to the Russian rear.

PP08 P4 001 - After MPh - getting out of the forest - HMG moves right Notes-proc

Turn 4 Partisan : Our brave partisan squad moved off to another position where the NKVD might decide to emerge.  The other partisan decided to back off to get some distance between them and the short range Russian bear.  On the other hand, the HMG crew grabbed their toy and ran off to the woods to get a better angle at the emerging NKVD.

The mortar crew couldn’t get away with their toy unfortunately, they were broken by fire from pursing NKVD.

PP08 R5 - 001 - After MPh - Heroic defense BPV up to 39-proc

Turn 5 Russian : At this point the NKVD had already breezed right through their first Battle Integrity check.  Two partisan squads fought hard at the edge of the forest the best they could.

Russians on the far right decided to rush the HMG in the woods as well.  Thank goodness to mutually supporting positions they would all eventually be broken.

PP08 P5 - 001 - End MPh-proc

Turn 5 Partisans : The partisans sent another squad to the far right to go after the broken NKVD squads.  Who knows?  May be they will force another Battle Integrity check!

Partisans were trying hard to back off into the clearing before the roads lead into the village – but it was hard.

PP08 R6 - 001 - After MPh BPV59-proc

Turn 6 Russian : The Russians tried the captured Polish mortar, hoping to get smoke for the final attack.  Fortunately it melted in their hands rather patriotically

The Poles kept backing off and putting residual on open ground.  I was also starting to think that I should bring the partisan squads on the far right back into the village for the final fight.

PP08 P6 - 001 - End - Reposition Guns-proc

Turn 6 Partisan : I saw the left side of the village as being particularly vulnerable.  I moved a few more squads up from the back to cover that.  The HMG and 2 LMGs were moved to the open so they could take advantage of their range.  The Russians would have to decide whether to divert squads to them or let them be.

PP08 R7 - 001 - After MPh - BPV 88 MMG revealed-proc

Turn 7 Russians : The BPV was now at 88.  The Russian passed the last 3 Battle Integrity Check without breaking a sweat.  The next one’s going to be 16 BPV off – which meant 3 or 4 squads, depending on what they were.

Fire lanes were deployed where possible to wear the NKVD down – but they kept coming.  When they got adjacent, the Partisans knew they wouldn’t last much longer.  An MMG deployed on the left opened up as well.  Unfortunately it broke down almost immediately.

PP08 P7 - 001 - after DFph - Firing Squads-proc

Turn 7 Partisans : We ran out of room to back off now.  The front row of NKVDs got too close and the Partisans got blown away, firing squad style.

Getting folks in their final position ..

PP08 R8 - 001 - Start-proc

Turn 8 Russian : So this is just a shot of the start of the final turn.  There’s still an MMG that remained “HIP” on the (hopefully) more vulnerable looking side.

PP08 R8 - 001 - After MPh-proc

Turn 8 Russian, after the Movement Phase : Carnage!  The Russian kept running squads though the gauntlet, even tried to place a DC on the squad in the target hex.  After they got a few in for the ensuring Close Combat phase, they ran the rest of the NKVD away from village to avoid more casualties!

PP08 R8 - 003 - Adv F - End-proc

 Turn 8 Russians – the end : Then it happened – the Russians fired into the concealed partisan squad in the target hex.  They got a morale check even with the +2 TEM.

Box cars.

The partisan squad reduced and broke.  The Russians were therefore in a position to advance in.

The Russians won.

Here’s the Analysis from Carl Nogueira :

It was a pretty intense game. I looked for opportunities to launch a human wave, to try and close up the ground needed to be crossed faster. However, that was of course not possible in the woods. Once out of the woods, I had a chance to do it, but I was not happy with the preparation of the defense. I had been unable to soften him up/draw off enough shots with the non-human wave crowd. It looked like the boys would be heading into a meat grinder and these guys don’t do meat grinder with the BPV rules. Not to mention the last sentence of A9.222. This makes human waves suicidal if the opponent has the ability to lay down several firelanes. Jackson had that opportunity. Human wave called off. Of course with these clowns, it was more of a sub-human wave anyway.

As Jackson alluded to, I initially went through the forest on the bottom board. It appeared to be lightly defended and it afforded me the ability to shoot back at his forces. Something my short range and lack of long range SW didn’t afford in the open. That combined with the Battlefield Integrity made my NKVD boys “vulnerable” in the open. (I always wanted to use NKVD and integrity in the same sentence. It’s a lot tougher than it looks.) The forest looked lightly defended to boot, so I was hoping to blow through there as fast as possible.

In the even, it took about turns, using my best Tampa style tactics to whip Igor forward. The attempt to put pressure on the Koresh compound and use those forces to be a diversion against the center, failed spectacularly. Fortunately, they graced me by not dying in the process. If there is one lesson that Jackson will take with im from this game, it is entrenched units behind a wall/hedge only see adjacent to the wall/hedge. No farther. His mortar was positioned under a foxhole thusly. As was a flanking squad and the VC hex guard. It didn’t cost him the game, but it did cost some opportunities.

I popped out of the woods and headed up the road, mostly to the right of the road, straight for the VC hex. Jackson’s units are quite fleet of foot by ssr in this, so they easily repositioned and got in front of us. Their mf base of 5 for MMC making that easily possible. After some early success heading up the road, I determined I was a turn behind. As a result I really took some chances. Even running some units into hexes I knew they couldn’t rout out of to try and force the pace. I was soon dissuaded. However, Jackson did decline a surrender which enforced NQ for my boys surrendering. That was more blessing than curse for me as I was able to have more liberal rout routes after that, FTR not withstanding.

I had to change the axis of attack to straddle the road more, as he had too many fire lanes to the right of the road. I was able to ooze out over the road and get enough fire down to open a path through the stone building that guarded the VC buildings left flank, but only on the next to last turn. That meant running through the open to try to get to the last VC hex.

It had looked really grim since Jackson had a 4.35 average DR over 7 key shots to start Russian turn 7. As a result, I had to take two tests for BI. I passed the first but failed the second. If it happened one more time, he gets the win. Fortunately, as is wont to happen, the dice turned back the other way. My boys discovered their meat sacks and my morale check DR improved drastically at just the right time. One 5-2-7 went berserk and tied up a key piece on the approach march. We were able to survive a nice fire lane Jackson laid from a HIP unit leading to the VC hex. Finally, I was able to get a G/O 5-2-7 and two 3-2-8 HS, one of which had a DC, ADJACENT to the VC hex. The 5-2-7 fired at his concealed unit in the trench, a 4+2, to try and strip him of concealment. The thought being it would make the thrown DC that much more effective done in that order. I lucked out with a 3-1 for a NMC. Jackson boxed the NMC and that was the game.

We discussed later and both felt the scenario is rough on the Russians. That said, the ROAR record now has it 3-2, pro-Russian. Still, I think the Russians have the longer road. That low ELR and short range for their force are real handicaps. Combined with needing to keep an eye out for the battlefield integrity makes it tough. As for the Partisans, they have typical partisan issues. The 5 mf rule for the MMC is a real nice touch. One thing the scenario is though is fun. All in all, it was a very enjoyable time and game.

Map of Poland from 1944