Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP141 Currie’s Favor After Action Report (AAR)
We now open up to another chapter in Action Pack 14, this time arriving in St. Lambert-Sur-Dives, France, 19 August 1944. The famous Falaise pocket was drawing close and German forces redoubled their efforts to escape. One such exit was around this village by the river Dives. The Canadian 4th Armored Division under Major Currie sped onsite to take care of the issue.
Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations
There’s a little town square in the middle of board 12a. The Canadians win at the end of any turn if they can capture as many building/ rubble hexes as the prevailing Turn Number (after Turn 3). The Canadians attacked at dusk and hence there’s a +1 Low Visibility hindrance for the first 2 turns. The Germans are offered certain SW purchases and we went with a LMG, a MMG and a PSK. They also have a 81 MTR and an 88L AA gun. The Canadians come with a pair of Sherman V’s laden with a lot of smoke and WP plus a trio of Stuarts V’s packing smoke and cannister (C6). There are 5.5 turns and Bocages are in play.
The Canadians can come in from the right and the bottom edge. I don’t have enough forces to spread around and can really only strive to block off the closest routes. As such the “tank” at the top of the map is a dummy. I also have an 81 MTR at the back (left) of the buildings which I completely mismanaged. Somehow I thought it will discourage Canadian armor from coming to the back (left) side those buildings. The thing here though, is that double layer of buildings will cut down on encirclement opportunities. I situated the 88 close to the town center to cover 3 of the road approaches.
After Action Report
Sure enough, the Canadians didn’t go for the top right corner. They approached largely from the right side of the map with a small flanking force from the bottom. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any effective shots to land, partly due to the dice and the rest due to the +1 LV. A Canadian WP broke the 9-1 and a CH sent the PSK team flying as well. The 88 and the accompanying infantry put up a bit more fight but ended up with a Stuart on top of it.
The bottom part of the map fared no better. A squad moved off to cover the 88 and a HS failed its PAATC when it came time to Streetfight a passing Stuart! The Canadians made it right up to the buildings at the end of Turn 2. This was not going to end well.
A German 468 risked Backblast and took out the Stuart sitting on the 88, unfortunately they rolled too low and got K/‘d as well. It’s the price to pay I guess. We need the Canadians to hit their 20 CVP cap. The other Stuart got to the (left) back of our buildings and took out our big mortar. Quite honestly I messed that one up, to think an 81 MTR could pose a plausible threat to AFVs. The “double layered” buildings protected us from getting Encircled but we said goodbye to having DM’s taken off. The Canadians were already in town and we didn’t have the firepower to take them out. Plus we withdrew quicker than we should and that proved to be our undoing.
The Canadian got 4 building hexes around the Town Center at Turn 4 .. and we only had 1 squad (under the -2 Acq) who couldn’t not mount an effective counterattack. The Germans conceded. We failed to control the tempo of the battle.
How is this Scenario Interesting?
The Victory Condition makes this scenario interesting : “Provided the Germans have amassed ≦ 20 CVP, at least as many building/rubble hexes adjacent to the “town square” as the current Turn number.” So the Canadians need to strike a balance between pushing to get to the town square with time to spare vs losing too many units. The Germans also need to balance their desire to kill Canadian units versus contracting & consolidating their strength and always releasing a town square hex “too late”.
The German SW purchases also adds a layer of variability to the scenario. The H/MMGs will make a difference at early stages of the game, although the abundance of Bocages make efficient use of Firelanes problematic. The DCs and the PSK will be useful towards the end.
This is actually a small and manageable scenario for when you don’t have a lot of time. The turn by turn tension makes this an exciting proposition. Another interesting bit is that this is really the first part of the battle. The next scenario: AP142 The Closer describes the subsequent waves of Germans trying to break out of the Falaise Pocket through this village. (We are playing AP142 right now.)
Interesting Stories about this Battle
“Cork in the Bottle – Canadian and Poles at the Falaise Gap” from Legion
“The Canadian Mechanic Who Sealed off the Falaise Pocket & Trapped over 50,000 Germans” from War HIstory Online
I definitely want to play this one!
Chris just said he played it 3 times!! It is definitely a neat little puzzle.
Played this three times last October (2019). Twice as Jerries. Really enjoyed it.
The Germans need a screening force well forward, knowing that part of the force may be eliminated for FTR. Otherwise the Canadians will get to the square too quickly. Although the Canadians can attack just about anywhere, they are weak in Infantry. And given the CVP cap, they can’t be too cavalier with their armour either.
Two thumbs up.
Chris – you are SOO right. The more you delay those Canadians, the harder the VC become for them. Wished I thought of that!! Thanks for the insight.
Another great AAR mate!
MMMMateee!! Thanks for reading and how are you? You and the family doing alright?
All good thanks mate. I’m using the lockdown to get some actual gaming time. My kids are quite old so I don’t have the aggro of home schooling and keeping young kids entertained.
How’s things with you? Family ok?
I hear what you are saying! My “little girl” is at the age where she ignores me most days. Family’s doing alright even though other news is getting interesting. 🙂