FT SmR2 Fenton’s Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

FT SmR2 Fenton’s Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Victory Conditions

The USMC wins at game end if they control N28, which is right were the Hill 105-S outpost was, together with 2 of the 3 victory locations on the ridge all the way down at the bottom.  The Marines had to plough through a rice paddy and then move through open ground to even have a fight.  The NK sits on Level 5 hills that sees almost anywhere on the map.  The Marines needed to coordinate a few elements to help themselves out: 3 x Turn 1 Prep Fire 81mm attacks, a pre-registered 100mm OBA from Turn 3, a VMF-212 flight that comes either starting Turn 1 or Turn 3, and elements of C company that might show up on Turn 4, 5 or 6 (with each latter turn entering closer down the bottom of the map).  I decided on a WP barrage for my 100mm OBA and made the fatal mistake of pre-registering a Level 2 hex which I wouldn’t see.  So the intended cover for Companies A & B never materialised.  I decided on a VMF-212 starting from Turn 3 because I think at least some Marines would be within 16 hexes of the NK weapons on the ridge.  I picked Group 2 for Company C reinforcements because it had the most bodies.  I expected Company C to had to take the ridge in the 5 MPh’s they had.  Having them come up the flank on Turn 5 should also help Company A & B out as they crossed Level 1 open ground.  

After Action Report (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader ASL AAR SmR02 Fenton's Foe

The 3x 81mm attacks did nothing apart from kicking up dust.  I deployed about half of the Company A & B into fire teams and relied on the other half for smoke and fire support against Hill 105-S.  I chose to start in the rice paddies behind the the Paddy Berm.  In retrospect, I should have started more towards the left.  The rice paddies ate up too much time here. There were two lines on the map.  The top line marked where, when the Marines crossed, the NK’s at Hill 105-S could withdraw.  The bottom (light blue) line marked where, when the Marines crossed, VMF-212 went home.  The quickest Marines waited a Turn before crossing the top line so the NK couldn’t withdraw until the Marines could cross in force.  The NK 82 MTR and their 45LL AT Gun started shooting right away.  The NK’s had apparently picked Group 1 and so there were one MMG out there aside from the .50 cal they were using.  Some of the NK’s from the ridge came forward to interdict us in the open.

FT SmR1 Fenton's Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Turn 4 saw the .50 cal taken off Hill 105-S by a commissar and a crew.  We got on Hill 105-S and out heads shot off by the MTR and the AT Gun.  The MMG joined in as well, complete with a -1 leader.  Our radio guy was wounded.  He ended up sitting behind the berm and wouldn’t recover.  We decided to split off into more fire teams and spread our advances out into a wide front.  

FT SmR1 Fenton's Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

We broke out into Level 1 open ground!  We sent another leader to grab the radio from the wounded guy.  VMF-212 got on board but was woefully ineffective.  Here I made another fatal mistake.  I completely forgot to enter Company C during my MPh.  So they entered in the Advance Phase. We lost a turn on these people, that’s going to cost us.  

FT SmR1 Fenton's Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Company C pushed up the ridge.  Everyone caught a lucky break when both the 82 MTR and the 45LL AT Gun malfunctioned!  A point attack from VMF-212 broke the .50 cal crew as well (but it also made the commissar heroic!).  We continued to spill into open ground after the retreating NK forces.  Hopefully we could keep these folks (esp the .50 cal) from helping out the ridge defenses!

FT SmR1 Fenton's Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Our 2nd radio guy decided to forgo the pre-registered hex.  He was wounded as well but not before he got a spotting round off.  The AT Gun X’d out but the MTR was back in action, swung to the left and shooting at Company C.  There’s a party at the stone factory looking to interdict Company A & B over the last bit of open ground.  VMF-212 went home since Company C crossed the blue line.  NK’s were shifting over to the left.  

FT SmR1 Fenton's Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Our gallant radio guy corrected our 100mm HE onto the MTR before he was killed by a sniper.  USMC fire teams were scrambling up the ridge in two directions.  We put 2 bazooka teams outside the stone factory to bug the interdictors a little.  It didn’t appear at this point that the NK HMG team would be able help their comrades on the ridge.  The fact that the NK never used Flak Alley told us there were minefields out there.  Well, I was out of time, there’s only so much you could be scared of.  

FT SmR1 Fenton's Foe After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

After our final prep fire it appeared that whilst the USMC might be able to get 1 VC hex (left) in CC, we didn’t have the time to get the second (middle).  NK’s showed me afterwards that they had real units defending the approach as well.  Had we two more turns (one from entering Company C on time and one from not starting so many in the rice paddies), we would have a better chance.  We also failed to bring the 81mm MTR hits and the pre-registered 100mm OBA to bear as well.  Planes were great at discouraging movement but I never had much luck with them when I wanted to hit something.  This is an intricate scenario and I enjoyed the opportunity to coordinate different elements.  I am not sure it’s as fun playing the NK’s though.  

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet Scenario Analysis & Setup

The Victory Conditions (“VC”) for the Canadians (Edmonton Regiment, 1st Canadian Infantry Division):

  • Control buildings 10Z6 & 10oDD3, which are the two big 4-hex and 5-hex buildings (factories) on the left half of the map
  • Control 7 or more other stone buildings on board 10 (left half of the map)

The Victory Conditions call for “Control”, hence Mop Up should come in useful and therefore I should avoid No Quarters and take prisoners where possible. Besides, Prisoner Interrogation is in effect, which would be useful considering the AP Minefields and the two Fortified Building Locations in play.

The Canadian right offers more VC buildings and is less open. It also offers more rally terrain for the attackers. The Canadian left is more open, has more ground to cover and has fewer VC buildings. However, it offers a route to the flank and the side of the VC buildings on the right. There’s really only one logical spot for the OBA Observer, which is on the Level 3 Steeple on the right half of the map. I would put a heavier force on the left to hook around the closest factory on the right, as I didn’t have an abundance of time to take the 7 other stone buildings. Besides, we had Italian reinforcements coming in on Turn 4.

Italian AFVs are all Open Tops, which make them fine OBA targets. The 90L Semovente M41M da 90/53 has a frightening TK 20 vs my best armour of 8. However, it’s an SPG with no turret and it’s a circled B⑨ unless the Italians swap one of their SMV L40 47/32 for an ammo vehicle. The Italians also get two 75 ART guns with TK 10 (IFT 12) and s8. I would need to sniff them out with the Stuart Recce’s. Otherwise, the Italian infantry doesn’t have a real numerical advantage, but has an atrocious ELR1.  (“Take them all prisoners!!!”).

The Canadians have three Shermans which are solid as long as they don’t get flank shots. Their infantry has a morale of 8 and plenty of Smoke to tackle the Open Ground. The Stuart Recce’s would mill about, interdict, cut rout paths, chuck vehicle Smoke Grenades, encircle & overrun (AAMG 8 = 16 OVR FP!).

(Above: Semovente da 90/53, graphic credits Tank Encyclopedia)

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet After Action Report (AAR)

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet - Advanced Squad Leader AAR

The game opened with our Canadians laying a bit of Smoke on the right and advancing amidst the diagonal set of Woods. An Italian 9-1 led “Death Star” opened up, stunned a Sherman and broke the HS passenger in a Stuart Recce! The force on the left fared better. A Sherman pushed down the left until a Cannone da 75/27 popped up and took a shot. The shot bounced off and the Sherman stopped to the side of the 75 ART. The Stuart Recce saw that, sped past and stopped on the left flank near the Woods. One lucky squad found a minefield. The rest moved without too much drama. Our sniper went to work and stunned a SMV L40 da 47/32 at the back. The 90L took potshots at the Steeple where my OBA Observer was. As a final touch, another of our Shermans was STUNNED when its commander lost his head when another Italian “Death Star” opened up! This one’s going home.

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet - Advanced Squad Leader AAR

We dropped Harassing Fire behind the Italians front line. The 80mm OBA translates to 4FP, but that Shocked the 90L. It also started flames in one of the building hexes. On the right, the infantry routed the gun crew and got right in front of the right VC factory. The Sherman parked itself in bypass to cover the area behind the left VC factory. Canadians on the right walked into the other 75 ART and broke under fire, the Stuart Recce OVR the Gun and it malf’d in FPF. The Stuart on the right went over in support and now we got around to the back of the right VC building on the far side as well. The Italian inside resisted with fierce firepower and they sent their L40 in there for good measure.  The leading Canadian 9-1 was KIA’d and troops broken when they tried to break in!

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet - Advanced Squad Leader AAR

We continued to push amidst strong Italian resistance on the left, but their brokies were stacking up as well. We made an end run around the left VC factory to the row house beyond. Unfortunately, there’s a stack of Concealed defenders in the stone building in the middle of the field that we simply couldn’t get at. On the right, we tried to push back into the VC factory. We slid a PIAT into the right VC factory next to the bogged L40 and toasted it in Advance Fire! Well, it’s good and bad ‘cause now it channelled our lines of attack to the defenders. We were running out of Good Order troops on the right, but we pushed a Stuart Recce deeper to keep the pressure on the retreating Italians in the buildings beyond.

That stunned 90L? It’s UK (‘Unknown’) and would be dead afterwards.

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet - Advanced Squad Leader AAR

It’s Turn 4 (of 6.5) and we still hadn’t got either of the VC factories! The Italian pushed us out again (leaving our PIAT & MMG) of the right VC factory. We put the OBA down to keep the Italians at bay. We had folks pushing beyond into the buildings behind, but good order manpower was wearing thin. On the left, we made slow progress into the left VC factory. An intrepid HS drew the Ammo vehicle while a Sherman rounded the corner and appeared on its left.

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet - Advanced Squad Leader AAR

A lucky WP CH from a hulldowned Sherman finally blew the top off the Concealed stack of defenders in the stone building in the middle of the field! The right VC factory caught fire from the burning L40 and the Italian defenders moved out of the factory. They now threaten the Canadian attackers on the left flank. A Stuart Recce went behind the defenders in the group of buildings on the right just to harass. In reality, the lone Canadian 8-0 leader needed to run back to rally the boys. On the left, the Italian reinforcements got onboard. The Canadians were about to dash across the street from the rowhouse to capture a stack of Italian brokies. An 8-1 leader advanced into the street and took the WP’d brokies prisoners as well (most of them anyway). A Sherman moved forth and killed the Ammo vehicle and popped to the back row to threatening the Italian Renault on its left.

BoF8 Sting of the Italian Hornet - Advanced Squad Leader AAR

It’s Italian Turn 5, and we killed or captured most of the Italian OB. The Hero-led stack of defenders from the right VC factory dashed across to come up behind the Canadians attacking the left VC factory. Unfortunately, the Sherman broke everyone and wounded the Hero. Seeing that their Renault was about to be blown up the lone squad in the left VC factory was about to be dealt with and the Canadians having two Movement Phases left, the Italians conceded.

FT S9 Cowboys and Indians – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S9 Cowboys and Indians – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

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It was 26 Sep 1950.  The Korean Marine Corps (South Koreans) were mopping up pockets of resistance at and around key thoroughfares.  Chesty Puller thought they were best suited “to tell the cowboys from the Indians”.  The North Korean occupation had not been well received by the city’s inhabitants.  So the locals proved to be excellent sources of intelligence amidst neighbourhoods where North Koreans dressed up as civilians.  (Crudely excerpted from the scenario card..)

(Photo Credit: Don O’Brien, View from atop the Hanto Hotel, Seoul Korea, Nov 1945)

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

The North Koreans had 2 squads & 9 half squads of various quality plus 2 LMGs.  They had self rallying ability as per SSR and no leaders were present.  They were to setup, one squad or less per hex, HIP’d largely on the top half of the map pass the horizontal street and suffered Ammo Shortage (so Fire Lanes are out of the question).  The Korean Marines (‘KMC’) win if they could amass more VPs than the North Koreans (‘KPA’).  For both sides, VP = CVP + Exit VP, and the KPA gets 1 VP each for each Good Order concealed or HIP’d units that survives till game end.  Plus the KPA starts with 3 VP.  So unless it looked like a good kill, the KPA would stay put.  A ‘mole hunt’ then you say?  Yes – but this scenario is how a FUN mole hunt can be done.  Now the KMC could enter on the left or the bottom of the map apart from setting up below the horizontal road.  They started with 7 squads + 1 fire team and 3 leaders, 2 LMGs.  Note that “Steep Hills” were in play, so those brown hexes were concealment terrain as well.  All those Orchards were sparse, while they were concealment terrain, Partial Orchards were not.

My top priority was to prevent the KMC from cutting off my lines of retreat up through the top side of the map.  Secondarily it’s to have a screen so civilian/ prisoner interrogation wouldn’t uncover important KPA ghettos.  The KMC could enter from the left but while I didn’t want him sliding into the top behind us, I couldn’t see KMC’s entering onto the Citywide Boulevard (-1) hexes (‘CWB’) with no where to rout.  I think the KMC expected the KPA to stay as far away as possible, which means the top right of the map was likely to be searched first.  Places the KMC might overlook were rooftops and CWB hexes with Orchards, although my opponent is well known for being meticulous and detail oriented, I have never known him to miss things.

I put the 2 elite 248 HS’s over on the right.  Their mission was to ‘confirm’ my opponent’s suspicions, to draw attention and to survive longer than most.  I had a few units on the top left and at the Dense Urban Terrain (DUT) choke point on the top of the map.  Note that DUT worked like Dense Jungle, stacking limit was two and you couldn’t firegroup with units in other DUT hexes.  I had a HS on the first level of one of those stone rowhouses on the left (not that I really think my opponent would miss them) and another one slightly forward (down towards the horizontal road) to see if we could catch any impatient bypassing KMC units coming down the road.

(Photo credit: Time-Life, Street Fighting in Seoul by Hank Walker, 9 Sep 1950)

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S9 Cowboys and Indians After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

South Korean Turn 3: We had a rather big KMC force hitting the right of the map.  The 2 248’s put out some shots on the road, one was demolished by Turn 3.  The other had a choice of going up next to that massive 8-1 stack or down to the bottom side of the street to mess with the KMC further.  If a unit could survive til the end of the game concealed or HIP’d, they score 1 VP for the team, so they would have to come after it.  Unfortunately the remaining 248 didn’t last long after this but the duo did burn up some time.  The SK rolled civilian interrogation though and a HIP unit on the 1st floor on the left got ratted out (and killed).  So there goes my hope of the SK’s passing him by or it being able to ambush the Korean Marines somehow.  We wondered if the SK’s on the left will wheel counter clockwise and sweep up to the top of the map!  I also started to realize that having conscripts as screeners posed a liability.  They could be easily captured and interrogated!

FT S9 Cowboys and Indians After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

South Korean Turn 4.  We had three Movement Phases left.  The main body of Korean Marines on the left started to wander past our HIP’d crowd apart from one squad with an LMG.  We took that shot at point blank with a HS (and a -1 CWB TEM) but bullets rolled off the Korea Marines.  We decided to back off into the DUT and get reconcealed instead of pressing on, hoping that the SK squad would come in pursuit instead of walking into the other HIP’d units.  Meanwhile on the right, the Korean Marines swept through the hexes in the area.  That single hex two story house on the far right did look tempting but I didn’t want to be (immediately) encircled in it.

FT S9 Cowboys and Indians After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Using conscripts as screeners was indeed a liability.  One of the captured HS gave into a copy of Doom Battalions v3 and ratted out another HIP’d unit! A HS and a 527 were surrounded.  The 527 was encircled and CC’d but it look out the KMC 8-1.  The other HS who got CC’d rolled infiltration and left off the map (I forgot whether it went with a new leader)!  Over on the left, our sniper took out the guards earlier and a KPA HS was freed for a sweet moment!!  It could try for the board edge but SK units would get to it first.  It decided to go upstairs and it drew some units off the encircled lot.

FT S9 Cowboys and Indians After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Prisoners were recaptured and the scores were even going into the last (NK) player turn.  The NK 527 had to die!  The Korean Marines stood around and discussed it a bit and decided to ride on the higher Marine morale level and shoot into the Melee.  All the fun triggered the NK sniper again who nailed another Marine unit but worse, the shooting laid an MC on the Melee stack.  The NK 527 pinned but all the Korean Marines in the melee broke.  The NK’s won, glory to the dice (the surviving but unconcealed NK 527 was not credited with VP’s but it’s incumbent on the SK to break the prevailing VP tie)!

(Photo credit: Time-Life, Street Fighting in Seoul, Hank Walker, 9 Sep 1950)

How’s this scenario interesting?

Normally you wouldn’t imagine bug hunt scenarios to be fun.  However, this one’s small and quick enough to not be tedious for the South Koreans and to be nail-bitingly exciting at some points for the North Koreans.  The North Korean player had to keep a pokerface while the Korean Marines swept through the streets.  However it’s not a huge challenge while on VASL as long as you can keep your voice level.  There are definitely multiple ways to play this.  I wonder if any NK players decided to not play possum but actively looked to kill SK units?  I wonder how that worked out.  The use of interrogation kept life interesting and it reflected the historical situation quite well.  The beauty of the Dense Urban Terrain (‘DUT’) rule came to the fore here.  I wondered if more designers will do the same in the PTO with a mix of Dense & Light Jungle?  This is an interesting scenario offering a good bit of fun in the evening, give it a try!

(Photo credit: Time-Life, Street Fighting in Seoul, Hank Walker, 9 Sep 1950)

BFP24 Death Ride of the Das Reich – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BFP24 Death Ride of the Das Reich – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

This scenario is set on 30 July 1944 southwest of Notre-Dame-de-Cenilly, France.  The SS Panzer Division 2 (“Das Reich”) started to realise it’s in danger of being encircled.  They therefore looked to withdraw remaining units southwards towards Brehal.  The stretched out 2nd Armoured Division (“Hell on Wheels”) caught wind of it and moved to foil the German plan as their vehicles appeared before dawn.

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

This scenario has a real interesting setup.  The three boards represents three venues through which Germans tried to escape the American dragnet.  They operate separately from each other like three separate but concurrent games.  The Germans had to divvy his forces up into three groups.  Each group would enter their designated board using Convoy movement.  The Americans had to divide his forces into four groups, one being a reinforcement that enters on Turn 4.  Again, the three boards represents three separate venues that doesn’t affect or crossover to each other, so once forces were committed to a board, they were committed to that board.  The Germans can win via one of two ways: by exiting >= 44 VP (ex prisoners) off the east (right) edge of any one board or by exiting >=110 VP off the east (right) edge of all three boards.  Proper force allocation is very important for both players.  There are parameters to curb either player from heavily slanting his forces on one or more boards, but we also know he who defends everything defends nothing!  It’s also important to know that those bocages you see are Light Bocages.  Light Bocages, as defined by the BFP Beyond the Beachhead rules, are 1/2 level obstacles, don’t create any blind hex and allow LOS along hex spine.  It costs vehicles 1/4 of their MP allotment (instead of 1/2) to cross and Bogs with no additional DRM’s apart from the usual.

The top board has the second most restrictive terrain.  The German convoy enters via a restrictive channel for a third of the board and the terrain opens up before leading into bocage country again for the last half of the board.  The temptation is to start shooting at the Germans as they come out of the first third of the board but the openness will allow their guns to gang up against our tiny blocking force.  I decided to duck further into the bocage with a HIP’d baz team, a Sherman and an MMG.  Hopefully the choices for the Germans are either to come through to us one at a time down the channel or risk bogging and underbelly shots crossing the bocages to flank us.  Forces were deployed along the road and a HIP’d baz team is on the bottom of the map since I suspected the Germans would be tempted to flank us along there.

The middle board is the most open.  The Germans start by coming down a channel for a third of the board, then it’s the village for the second third before closing off into bocage country on the last third.  I put the roadblock where the bocage opens up into the second third.  That’s covered by a Sherman and the 9-2 HMG team in the church steeple.  The M1 57mm AT Gun (TK15, ROF3, HE4 & APDS4 w/ TK18) sits behind a ring of bocage on the left (map bottom) of the Germans’ axis of advance, closing off that half.  Once the fighting happen, I would bring a M2 mortar to the back to provide some defence depth.

The bottom board is the most restrictive.  On one hand, not breaking up the German convoy make it slow(er) going for them, on the other hand, I can’t cede too much ground.  I put the second roadblock shortly past the first half of the board, covered by a Sherman, an MMG behind it and a HIP’d baz team on the side of the road covering the small opening past the crossroads.

Oh, those Roadblocks are only “hasty” Roadblocks, they don’t allow Hull Down’s, can be crossed by a vehicle at half of it’s MP allotment and a Bog Check (+drm) but leaves a Trail Break behind for other AFV’s.  There’s also a +1 LV when you think about your covering your Roadblocks (this action’s at dawn).

Note also that there are no restrictions against Kindling in this scenario.  Some of those grain on the latter bits of the map might be good candidates, particularly in the top board if the Germans decide to do an end run on the right of the road.

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BFP24 Death Ride of the Das Reich After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

We opened with German Turn 3 (of 7.5).  All three convoys had now been broken up.  On the top board, an armoured car arrived at the bend in the road where the Sherman bore-sighted.  The Sherman open fired and missed!  It then tried popping Smoke and turned tail.  Halftracks started unloading people immediately.  A couple of tanks went to our left (bottom) down the Road to see if they could get at our Sherman.  I imagined they might be tempted to cross the bocage after I take my Sherman out further to the back.  An M2 mortar team hopped over a bocage on the back.

We shot 1 halftrack at the Roadblock on the middle board.  Again, Germans infantry started unloading from their halftracks.  An armoured car went to our left (bottom) to check out that side of the board (like they are paid to).  Our AT Gun torched it at the intersection.  German tanks jump the bocages and went to our right to get at Sherman parked in a stone building.  Our M2 mortar team sprinted backwards as planned.

In the bottom, our Sherman shot the leading armoured car and the HIP’d baz team popped up and shot an halftrack from the side.  What I should have done though was to wait for the German armour to jump the bocage in an attempt to flank the Sherman.  My intention was to increase the MP cost for German traffic as quickly as possible but that didn’t make a material impact on the game. 01 notre dame de cenilly 1944 1

BFP24 Death Ride of the Das Reich After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Download  1On the top board, our Sherman backed off into the sunken road, escaping the 2 German AFV’s sitting behind the bocage.  Unfortunately, they decided against coming over to chase after our lone Sherman!  The sheer weight of the incoming halftracks/ armoured cars got our infantry on the hill to start thinking about heading back.  They did have a few open top vehicles in the proximity so we tried to light up a few more.

In the middle board, we were still fighting in the first half of the board.  The 9-2 HMG team fired on and stunned another AFV (subsequently recalled) before moving off the church steeple!  The German infantry had yet to close in.  Our Sherman backed off into a bypass along a Stone Wall and sped backwards.  Our gun crew on the left (bottom) broke out a few MRE’s waiting for the next German to arrive.

On the bottom map three AFVs got busy trying to snuff out our baz team.  They survived the first barrage and took a second shot at one of them in hex!  Unfortunately they missed and were all sent to a better place.  On the far side, an M2 mortar team persuaded the Germans to not run any other halftracks down the road.  The Sherman drew back to the next firing position but the MMG team (erroneously) stayed on.  (Note to self: folks can’t outrun AFVs on foot.)

BFP24 Death Ride of the Das Reich After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Allied Turn 4, and this was where I had to decide on which board to reinforce with 2 Shermans (w/ hedgerow cutters) and infantry.  Normal practice dictates that we reinforce successes but here we need to plug holes.  In this case I sent my reinforcements to the top board since it had yet to claim any enemy kills.  I immediately regretted the decision when I pulled back my Sherman on the bottom board and immediately bogged on at the bocage!  BOGGED!  German AFV surfed up and down those bocages all game and my Sherman bogged on its second attempt!  Having said that, it would help if I pick the bocage crossing location with the awareness that I might bog there.

My infantry was broken and was on the run as well.  Repent!  The end’s near!

However on the top board, folks are backing off nicely to the right. The Germans decided to have their halftracks double back and mill about around my HIP’d baz team so as to not give me a cheap kill.  One even bypassed the Woods the baz team was hiding in but since the halftrack didn’t end its turn in its hex it didn’t have to reveal.

In the middle board, the Sherman worked well with the 9-2 HMG team in keeping the Germans on the right (top).  The 2 concealed squads (one’s a dummy) kept my HMG shielded off. I had to think that the “missing” baz team (in the top board) kept my opponent wary.

BFP24 Death Ride of the Das Reich After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

On the top board, the long HIP’d baz team threw off their invisibility cloak (“taaaddaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”) in slow motion and fired pointblank at one of the halftracks so as to minimise the returning fire group!!  Unfortunately the shot went wide and the team was snuffed out in the return fire.  The 3 Shermans now on board open fired together with the M2 mortar.  None connected but we thought that might give them something to think about.

On the middle board, the Germans were determined to stick to the right (and away from the AT Gun).  Our Sherman backed off to its final firing position but our screen for the 9-2 HMG started to crack.

However on the bottom board, our bogged Sherman got burned and the Germans were in a position to exit >=44 VPs off.  This was game.

How’s this scenario interesting?

I lost this scenario badly.  Considering that I lost it after Axis Turn 5 (out of 7.5).  My Turn 4 reinforcement was definitely misplaced.  However, this should be an interesting read not because of my sub par tactics but because of the unique mechanism this design introduce and the interesting considerations extending from it.  I don’t tend to play scenarios over (except when playtesting) but this is definitely one that invites repeated attempts.  The mental sparing starts at force allocation and it definitely tests the defender’s ability to harmonise his assets with the terrain.  It tests the attacker’s ability to respond to ambushes and to turn the tables.  The multitudes of paths one could take to get off these boards exercise one’s risk management skills.

I imagine this scenario can be played as a 3×3 team game with asset allocation negotiated between teammates.  Has anyone tried that?

BFP23 Prelim to Death Night – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BFP23 Prelim to Death Night – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

The 2nd Armor Divison “Hell on Wheels” broke through to the Germans’ rear in Operation Cobra and put the German 84th Corps in a pocket.  The Germans
started to disengage and to withdraw.  The 17th SS Panzergrenadier “Götz von Berlichingen” was one such unit that ran into an American blocking position held by the 41st Armored Infantry Regiment at St Martin de Cilly at around 0430 on 29th July 1944.

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

Stabswache de Euros Waffen SS NormandyThe Germans need to get at at least 12VP at Game End to win.  VPs are earned by occupying buildings on the right half of the map.  Each VP corresponds to the # of ground hex locations a building occupies, the exception being the long wooden rowhouse which is only 3VP and not 5.  This being early in the morning, there’s a +1LV for the entire game.  The bocages are Light Bocages, meaning they are half height obstacles, don’t throw a blind hex behind and are not as onerous to cross.  A particular evil element to note are the few Up-Slope hexes in the German setup area that allows them to look beyond the Light Bocages.

The Germans set up with 15 squads, 4 leaders (3 with -1) and a Hummel sporting 150mm HE but with a B10.

The American set up with 10 squads, 2 HS, 4 leaders (2 with -1), a pair of HMG and a pair of bazookas.  They can also set a squad up HIP, which I didn’t do and kept my opponent looking til mid game.

The Germans have great leadership, great morale, the +1LV and the Hummel going for them.  The Americans would need to break off and head back to the village safely.   The lack of rout locations by the bocage concerned me.  I thought about largely giving up the bocage and setting up the majority of my OB in the village.  Considering the Germans should have to fight the clock as well, that seemed too much to give.  So I lined the bocage with units, put the two HMGs on the flanks in the village and the two MMGs high up in overwatch.  They had grain hindrances and better morale, but we had grain hindrances plus bocage.  We hoped to kill their timetable by breaking a few or encouraging most to Assault Move/ Advance concealed.

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BFP23 Prelim to Death Night After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

SS units were building a firebase on the up-slope on our right (top of map) but we drove them back with some lucky shots.  We thought of chasing after those brokies but the SS still had enough firepower to take an issue with that.  Our center was getting knocked back though, those chaps routed into the woods.  The right started to fold towards the center as well so as to get some cover when they fall back.

On our left we were able to knock back a stack of SS troopers as well.  They came through the line of orchard so as to get some cover from our MMG overwatch.  Our MMG went after the Hummel but to no avail.  As a matter of fact, I had our sniper parked right next to the Hummel but I think he’s on leave this whole game.

BFP23 Prelim to Death Night After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Our MMG overwatch on the right (top) kept knocking the SS brokies back, that allowed the rest time to scamper back into the village behind the woods.  We moved the HMG team up top get ready for when the SS eventually bust through those trees.

On the left (bottom), their Hummel landed a smoke round in front of our building.  While we held onto the bocage Wall Advantage, the squads filed into the building back into the village.  The Hummel (on up-slope) could see everything beyond the bocage, so there weren’t a wide choice of escape routs.  The SS has 4 MPh’s to go, we wondered if we withdrew into the village too quickly!

BFP23 Prelim to Death Night After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The SS spent Turn 4 regrouping and were successful enough to look menacing on my right flank.  We kept the HMG towards the middle but put our MMG out to the flank to prevent any SS men running around doing house grabs.  We envisioned two firelanes covering our right.  What’s tougher to cover would be our center, especially where the “Y” shaped wall was.   Having said that, we sent 2 HS to the left flank because the SS were already in the front building.  In retrospect, it’s probably not the smartest move.  However having done the VC count, I knew my left had more points up for grabs than my right.

On the left, we moved the MMG and HMG in from the side.  There’s still the possibility of a crazy SS run around the flank there but we would need the firepower to blow the SS away from our houses.

The Hummel moved up, threatening our right.  My opponent’s probably still wondering where my “HIP’d bazooka HS” was.

BFP23 Prelim to Death Night After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Axis Turn 5 was tiring!!  They opened with a big 20+4 shot to my HMG team but thankfully it didn’t work out.  The Hummel laid smoke on my right (top) and three stacks of SS men kept streaming out from behind the woods like crazy shoppers on Black Friday!  We put down residual/ firelanes the best we could.  As predicted, a big stack of SS men broke into our center and threatened to jump a couple of buildings in HtH.  Good thing our luck held, and we broke/ pinned that 9-2 stack in Defensive Final.

On our left, the SS pushed against our green wall and killed a squad in HtH.  Good thing they still had a stack of “unralliable” brokies out behind the bocage!

BFP23 Prelim to Death Night After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Last US turn and most of us decided to stand and shoot, which got us good results on both flanks.  We did move a 6ML squad off to the right because they wouldn’t be able to stand up to pointblank fire anyway.  It could shore up our right if anyone breaks.

The SS conceded before we advanced back into some of the “lost” buildings hexes.

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How’s this Scenario Interesting?

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I honestly had the best of the dice in this whole scenario.  The Americans had high firepower but 8ML SS squads with a +1LV shouldn’t have broke as much as they did.

This was a tight little scenario where neither side could play it safe.  The SS needed to bust through the bocage quickly and the Americans needed to run away fast enough to get back into the village in force.  Had the American line at the bocage collapse one turn earlier, we would be in town doing CQB with the SS, were they would get equivalent cover and we would suffer for our lower morale.

The Hummel threatened to collapse buildings and it did put the fear of God in us.  However, I think my opponent used it smartly – primarily for Smoke.  Too bad I couldn’t come close to put it under any threat!

BoF2 The Polish Requiem – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BoF2 The Polish Requiem – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

By Alex79 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10843864

(Drawn Map By Alex79 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10843864)

It’s 14 September 1939.  Guderian’s Panzers broke through the defensive lines at Wizna and Mlawa.  The Blitzkrieg headed towards Brzesc-Litewski, the lost of the latter would mean the encirclement of the Polish forces in Warsaw.  The Poles fielded some old FT-17’s to stop the tide.

Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations

The Polish 82nd Regiment fielded 4 squads onboard with an MMG and a 8-1 (plus 5 Concealment counters).  They were supported by four FT17’s from the 113rd Light Tank Company, two with CMG’s, the other two with 37mm guns.  They would have to hold the line before they were joined by four other FT17’s, 7 squads & a 8-0, an MMG and a pair of DCs.

The Germans had to run 8 squads, 2 9-1s, a 7-0 down the length of the board in 6 turns.  They were supported by 7 tanks, two of which had to arrive in the magic (VC) circle with everything intact along with 3 squad equivalents .  Turned out that was a bit of a challenge.

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Advanced Squad Leader scenario BoF2 The Polish Requiem After Action Report AAR

The German AFVs sped forth using their sD to lay smoke for the infantry where they could!  They also looked to provoke the 37* wielding FT17C’s to shoot so they could tell which was which.  The moving German AFVs made pretty bad targets in that the 1MT (1 man turret) Poles needed at least a +4 to score a hit.  The troops then flooded forth ‘cause it was either losing by the squad or losing by the clock.  An AFV shot a FT17M and ATR shot another.  A Bounding Fire shot from behind killed a FT17C.  The other one’s peeling off.  The German lucked out in the Polish turn when one of their 75*s PzIVC scored a hit on the unconcealed MMG in the Board 4 double hex wooden building and they eventually encircled and overwhelmed the tenants there.

Polish reinforcements arrived.  A stack got rather unlucky and was shot and broken by a low power shot (it’s always the low power shots that kill).  A pair of FT17C’s appeared ominously BEHIND us.

Plus you know what?  I already X’d one Gun and malf’d another one at this stage.  That’s five left and I needed two.

Advanced Squad Leader BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR)

The Poles blocked up my left flank!  The pair of reinforcing FT17C scored a critical hit on one of my AFVs while a second German tank got recalled – four left.  A PzIIA and the ATR HS went after a FT17C.  That thing failed its non-platoon movement roll and had to stop!  Down at the bottom of the map, a PzIB tried to speed away after FTR’ing the stack of broken Polish reinforcements.  The Polish 8-0 had a DC and looked to exact revenge but yet failed his PAATC and was pinned and separated from the rest of his troops.  (Note: I played this wrong because SMCs are exempted from PAATC’s.  This would have been interesting in that it might have taken me down to three functioning AFVs.  My apologies to my opponent.)

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Advanced Squad Leader BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR)

It was Polish Turn 4 and the Germans only had 2 MPh’s left to make it to the magic circle!  From the looks of it we could BARELY make it especially with that bloody grain field there.  I needed to do something about the 3 MGs (two FT17Ms and an MMG) on the bottom left.  To that end, a PzIIA ran to the end zone to spook them a bit and the ATR team went up the hill.  That ATR’s also there to cover the pair of AFVs that went up the other side of the hill to face off the FT17C(37*) closing the range behind us.  The rest of the troops hurried across the board as fast as they could.

Advanced Squad Leader BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR)

The pair of FT17C burned another one of my PzIVs on the hill – three left.  The PzIIA in the end zone shot one of the FT17Ms and the ATR team shot the other, but wait, there’s more – the Polish MMG malf’d itself out.  You really can’t do anything wrong when the stars line up!  The other AFVs tried to laid down smoke but none of the sD’s worked.  Nonetheless, it’s time to rush it or lose it.  We made it to the other edge of the grain field, CX’d but otherwise intact.  The Poles conceded.

How’s this scenario interesting?

BoF2 A Polish Requiem has long been a classic.  It’s a whirling dervish of a battle!!  Polish AFVs were slow but those 37* kills on a 7, pretty respectable considering most German AF’s 1.  The German forces might seem overwhelming but these guys were tied to a timetable.  If the player on the Polish side keeps his PMC (read: Personal Morale Check) he might win this scenario yet.  The German AFVs might X themselves out or folks might get delayed just enough.  Had the Polish MMG at the end zone not X’d out it would have been harder for the Germans.  Scoring 37 (Poles) vs 27 on ROAR, I recommend this scenario unreservedly.

FT S4 Dilemma at Ma Po Boulevard – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S4 Dilemma at Ma Po Boulevard – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

It’s September 26 1950, Captain Stanford’s Marine’s fought to clear Ma Po Boulevard.  Upon meeting a North Korean roadblock at a junction, he had to decide on whether to run straight up and clear the way to Deoksu Palace or to take the right fork and clear that road instead.  

“M26 number B32 in action on a street in Seoul.” Mike’s Research

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

We have three North Korean (Fanatic) Roadblocks in 3 specified locations.  The main one is located at the fork of the road, where a 45LL AT Gun gets matched up with 2 medium machine guns and a Pillbox with an ultra wide CA.  The North Korean player gets a choice between a second 45LL AT Gun or a 76L ART.  There are 15 NK squad equivalents of various descriptions, managed by 2 commissars and 2 other leaders.  They have an ATR, 6 Minefield factors and 2 Fortified Locations.  

Against this the Marines have a forward team of 3 squad equivalents (one being an Assault Engineer with a Smoke Factor of 5).  This is followed by 10+ squads, a M26A1 Pershing, a M4A3 Tank Dozer and a POA-CWS-H5 Flamethrower tank that I was last playing with in Okinawa scenarios!

The Americans have 7.5 turns to take one Roadblock and exit 12 VP (4 squads) or take two Roadblocks and exit 9 VP (3 squads) or take three Roadblocks.  The North Koreans can stop the game when they kill or immobilise two out of three AFVs.  To do that, the NKs have the aforementioned guns, as well as an ATR and 6 Suicide Heros (read: THH) that can setup HIP somewhere or bust out of a squad when the mood strikes.  The confining terrain in this scenario definitely doesn’t make it tank country. The NK’s can also stop an USMC victory by taking out 19 CVP, which in this case is 6 squads + 1 fire team.  

Having said all that, the BBQ tank doesn’t have to stop moving.  The tankdozer has a blade that adds a +2 on a Hull Hit.  The Pershing is impervious to most shots on the battlefield but can still be DI’d.  

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S4 Dilemma at Ma Po Boulevard After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenarioFrom the left of the map, F Company immediately started to setup their MMG and got their fire teams to probe NK concealments.  The E Company came up from behind and a bit more than half went for the right of the map.  The AFVs rolled down the road but the higher level Burning Wreck that’s there on setup made it a little hazardous to roll up in front of a ROF3 AT gun.  Plus it’s impossible to be on the boulevard without being in DI’able range.  I thought the right of the map would be a more straightforward travel but it’s confining nature made it easier for the NK defenders and didn’t facilitate armour support.  By Turn 4 it’s evident that the NK’s were very effective there.  A large number of broken fireteams routed towards the rear.  The BBQ tank and the tank dozer lend their support on the left and found they could safely sneak shots into the boulevard.  The left side met some initial set backs but were able make better progress.  The AFV’s were making Bounding Fire shots where possible but they couldn’t bring it up close in most cases because of the chance of meeting Suicide Heros in Street Fighting.  The strategy was to try to flank the NK’s down both sides while putting AFV fire to defenders down along the boulevard.

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FT S3 Last Stand on An-San – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S3 Last Stand on An-San – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

This is 26 September 1950.  Lt Col. Taplett’s (gent in the pic below) 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines fought southeastwards down the slopes of An-San/ Hill 296 towards the city (see the red circle on the map below, credit “Battle of the Barricades” by Col Alexander).  The North Korean 78th Independent Infantry Regiment and the 25th Infantry lead by Colonel Pak Han Lin put up a stout defence.

Battle of the Barricades Colonel Joseph H Alexander

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

The KPA (North Koreans) started on Level 3 or above.  The Marines entered from the left of the map at or above Level 2.  In about 6 turns, the Marines should fight their way to Level 1, the KPA should fight to stay on Level 3 or above.  The KPA started with 2×447, 4×426 (conscripts), an LMG and a 8+1 Commissar.  The KPA counterattack force, comprising of 2.5×458, 2×527, 2×447, 3xLMG and 2 leaders enter from the right side of the map on Turn 3.  The Marines started strong with 4×768 3×248, 2xMMG, 1xBaz and 2 leaders.  They had a reserve platoon coming from the left on Level 5 on Turn 3 as well.  All units counted “Exit Point” style (“Good Order”) toward the Victory Condition, prisoners excluded. USMC wins on ties.

So the KPA had 31 VP vs USMC 22 VP in their OB’s.  The USMC would need to reduce the KPA force.  Soon it would mean tough decisions between putting your squads on your level to score vs going to your opponent’s level to prevent them from scoring.  The KPA had the last turn so we would have a chance to “Advance” back on Level 3.

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The KPA was weak.  They were also forced to spread out in their setup.  The USMC could go anywhere and shoot anything.  The KPA had their Concealments easily blown, broke up by Assault Fire and Captured in CC.  Very quickly they pushed the KPA off Level 3 and took more than a few prisoners.  The area on the bottom of the map offered more cover for the counterattack, so naturally the USMC focused their forces there.

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The original KPA defenders were no longer coherent as a force.  The way to Level 1 was wide open for the USMC on the top and the KPA  had only scattered remnants on the bottom.  However, the Marines weren’t on Level 1 on the bottom of the map yet.  I decided to send the stronger of my Turn 3 reinforcements to the top of the map and the weaker (and more short ranged) to the bottom of the map, just to keep the Marines off Level 1.  The boulevard’s gotta be where the Marines would make their stand with an additional -1, so we needed to cross before the Marines assemble in place.  So hopped along the river edge we did, to a point by the boulevard where there were orchard cover.  The KPA forces at the bottom of the map arrived in time to catch the defenders sent reeling by the USMC.  That (bottom, vertical) road’s where we would make our stand.

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

At the top of the map, we made it across the boulevard okay when the lone American squad cowered.  We decided to split into two groups and go around the USMC forces, to places where we could Advance up to Level 3.  We simply couldn’t do close range firefights with the Marines on Level 1.  The USMC would have to decide whether they would get off Level 1 where they needed to be to score in order to fight us.  At the bottom of the map we got in a few lucky shots that set some Marines back.  That probably got them more worried about the KPA making a rush for Level 3 rather than them trying to make Level 1.  Nonetheless, we would keep the line at the street.

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

At the top of the map, the USMC decided to keep their forces and hence their gains on Level 1.  No one’s coming after our eventual Advance onto Level 3.  We made a critical PREP at the middle of the map and broke one of the defending Fire Teams in the Woods.  That would allow at least 2 of our MMC’s to Advance up.  At the bottom of the map, our line of KPA conscripts held and so my opponent conceded.

How’s this scenario interesting?

This scenario represents an interesting problem for both sides and it really highlights the terrain in Seoul.  This is a multi-level fight amongst the Dense Urban Terrain.  If a unit’s CX’d, it won’t Advance up a level, so you have to time it right.  A KPA conscript unit has especially limited mobility in this terrain and you don’t want to be CX’d when you are Lax as a conscript (+2 Ambush).  I think USMC Fire Teams would be very useful here.  Fire Teams could block more venues up the hill and it’s not easy to break Morale 8 units in +2 TEM.  Plus each Squad, when broken into Fire Teams is worth 3 VP when it’s worth only 2 VP as a unit.  If every USMC squad’s deployed, the USMC OB is worth 28 VP (vs 22 VP undeployed) against the KPA’s 31.  Both players have to find the balance between pushing through and scoring points versus fighting the opponent on a different level to stop him from scoring.  While the KPA player has to fight uphill, there are more of them that can swamp up to Level 3.  This is a tight little puzzle of a scenario!

(Credits: Wikipedia)

RbF I-4 Used and Abused – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

RbF I-4 Used and Abused – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

This is the Mokmer Airstrip (today’s Frans Kaisiepo International Airport) on the island of Biak, 15 June 1944.  The IJN had 3 airfields built and captured by the US 41st Divison.  The IJA decided to recapture them, aided by the remaining 4 IJA tanks on the island.

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(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/US_landings.jpg)

Google Earth: Biak

UntitledImage

(Credit: Google Earth)

(“Soldiers of the 41st Infantry Division, after emerging from the jungle, overcoming Japanese resistance, advance on an open field on the South Pacific island of Biak, off the New Guinea coast; May-August 1944.” Credit: https://www.ww2incolor.com/)

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

The IJA broke out of the Dense Jungle with 12 squads and 4 leaders, which included a 10-1 and a 9-1.  They had 4 LMGs and 2 MTR that could pump WP out to 6 hexes.  There were also the 4 x Ha-Go’s described in the Historical Perspective.  The Americans had 11 squads: 3×667, 7×666 & 1×546.  They had 3 leaders, which includes a 9-1 and a 8-1, plus 1xHMG, 2xMMG, 4xBaz44 and a 60 MTR.  The IJA win at the end of any Game Turn if they have 7 CVPs or more than the Americans (unbroken) on/adjacent to any runway hex, and they had 7.5 turns to do it.

The IJA didn’t really have an advantage in manpower (so no unnecessary CC), and the Americans outranged and outgunned them.  They did have an advantage in leadership and morale, plus they could get to where they wanted to get to if they want it bad enough.  The 4 AFVs were key for preventing the Americans from backing off into the airfield.  These bazookas had a range of 4 but the Ha-Gos were small.  So TH on a moving Ha-Go is 6 @ 1 hex, 5 @2, 4 @3, 1 @4, ie they were effective at 2 hexes at best unless they catch you stopping.  The 2 knee mortars had WP and these Ha-Gos had vehicular smoke grenades, apart from being able to provide Armor Assault or vehicular hindrances if needed be.

The IJA setup on row 3 while their tanks come in from offboard.  Americans setup near the bottom edge of the top map, however in doing so, would have to retrograde across plenty of Open Ground, first to the tree line on Board 14 (bottom) and then across the airfield (where you get an additional -1 to incoming fire).  We needed to back up before the IJA tanks got behind us!

I took on Brian William’s US setup in his AAR from Jan 2000.  The idea here was to defend the left and the center where it’s closest to the airfield.  We would try to hold the line for as long as possible before backing off onto the airfield.  Having the IJA AFV hooking behind us would definitely be an issue.  Hopefully our bazooka’s would deter some of that.   The HMG (plus 9-1) and the 60 MTR were in the trees located in the center of the board.  One MMG was in the middle with the 8-1 and the other MMG guarded the left side.

After Action Report

RbF I-4 Used and Abused After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The IJA wasted no time moving in.  Too fast perhaps, they already made me felt like I’d made a mistake and gave them too much ground upfront.  On the left, they prodded my lone squad (which promptly broke and ran) and was well on their way hooking around to the airfield.  In the middle, an IJA tank ran into the dense jungle in a bid to freeze my MMG.  We killed it in CC.  Slightly to the left of it, another IJA tank did the same with another MMG team and was unfortunately bogged in the jungle which only made it easier to kill.  Its partner AFV pivoted and stopped right in front of a HS bearing a Baz but they wouldn’t be able to hit a thing this whole game.  A couple of squads came through the middle with their knee mortars.  They weren’t able to do much damage to the HMG-Mortar team but they laid down smoke for their comrades to the right.  On the right, a body of IJAs came through the dense jungle unmolested.  That gully in middle of the field would be an ideal jump off point.

RbF I-4 Used and Abused After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

In the middle, the concealed units that sat behind the MMG team were in fact, a Baz team!  They slid up under the wreck, shot the other AFV and immobilised it.  Given where it was, we figured an immobilisation was as good as a kill.  The remaining IJA tank (that stopped in front of the Baz team) started up!  The Baz team immediately fired but missed again.  The other Baz team fired but couldn’t connect either!  That Ha-Go waltzed all the way down to the HMG team (with 2×666 and a 9-1, no less!).  The HMG fired and got snakes!!  Pity you can’t CH with a 50 cal.  However, the TK’s 7 (AF1) at that range and the last AFV was put down as well.  The hoard of IJA on the right decided not to wait and did 2 Banzai’s (over OG!).  Meanwhile on the far left, the IJA platoon continue to make their way down south.  The Americans were fortunate enough to keep a team in front of them.  We couldn’t win most standing gunfights though, we had to always try to get the first shot in.

RbF I-4 Used and Abused After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

We were able to decimate enough IJA troops to be able to pull a big withdrawal on the right.  We ran to the end of the airfield and hoped to advance across the runway (add’l -1 to incoming fire).  The IJA tried another Banzai on the far right but some pretty heavy firepower got in the way (and killed the IJA 9-1).  The IJA pulled another Banzai through the kunai on the left towards our MMG as well.  We had a flanker harassing that Banzai but it got hit by the IJA sniper halfway through.

Jungleers on Biak by Keith Rocco COMMENT

(“Jungleers on Biak by Keith Rocco”, https://www.militaryimages.net/)

RbF I-4 Used and Abused After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

IJA Turn 6 – they had lost a good number of troops to the Banzai’s already.  The broken MMG HS from our first position finally managed to self rally!  So even though the IJA tried to run some troops up from the back, they didn’t get too far.  They did a final Banzai attack to get to the edge of the airfield, and lost their 10-1 in the process.  This was when they decided to call it quits and started pulling out RbFI-5 (ATF1) Paper Line ..

(“1944 Biak- Japanese Prisoners being fed” https://www.ww2incolor.com/)

How’s this Scenario Interesting?

I think movement across Open Ground was key for both IJA and US troops.  The IJA had 4 tanks to help hook around and to interdict American movement (their 4 LMGs would have extended the 4 hex IJA range nicely).  Plus their cover / smoke grenades should have provided protection for IJA troops in the face of heavy US firepower.  The Americans couldn’t win standing firefights and as I mentioned before, we had to always get the first shot in.  We would have a very hard time with our low morale if we had to retreat through opposing fire.  We lucked out early on when the first couple of Banzai’s didn’t leave the IJA with enough troops to see beyond the tree line, thus allowing US escapes.  Once we settled into the buildings around the airfield it’s all open ground for the IJA, those AFVs would have been helpful.

I really like Brian William’s setup.  The bazooka teams in particular were looking over the narrowest places (and/ or where those AFVs had to turn).  I couldn’t have done something as good as that.  I might have made the mistake of setting up a little to forward, increase the difficulty of my retreat and enabling Banzai’s through those jungles.

DB058 Vossenack Church – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

DB058 Vossenack Church – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

It’s 6 November 1944, some of the Panzer Grenadiers counterattacked after a major bombardment and tried to wrestle the Vossenack Church from elements of the US 28th Division.

Yes, it’s the Vossenack Church in BFP Objective Schmidt, or really, St. Josef Church.

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(The church after the war © Rureifel Tourismus e.V.)

Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations

The Germans win at Game End by controlling the church, which is the building partially outlined in my map.  I had the 2 hexes outlined because they are treated as Factory Locations.  Of the 2 hexes outlined, the left hex has a Level 2 Steeple Location.  All hexes have Cellars. Hand-to-Hand CC may be declared in any location of the church which is scary for the Americans considering that the Germans has more than 2:1 on them in terms of bodies.  The Germans also get Winter Camo, which allows them to advance concealed.  The Germans get to setup on 3 sides of the Americans but the Americans are given control of 2 key buildings (Rear & Right) in the defense of the church.

I guess the Americans “can” kindle some of the jump off buildings but the EC is not conducive to that train of thought.  Not only that, it will be horrible if it starts snowing!

After Action Report

DB058 Vossenack Church

The Americans came under heavy attack immediately.  Folks with 8 morale are hard to content with.  The Germans on the top right advanced towards the back of the church but was largely stopped by the mortar designed to sneak shots off down that venue (top of the map).  However, my “Right” building was advanced on from both sides.  Good thing the Germans on the bottom right decided to break off and went to the left off the board instead.  On the top left, the .50 cal and the 9-1 of the HQ group kept their side of the church clean, for the moment.  The Panzer Grenadiers attempted to pushed directly towards the church’s graveyard.

DB058 Vossenack Church

The Germans got a foothold in the graveyard without breaking much of a sweat!  The Right building pushed off approaching Germans while keeping the MMG trained straight down the road to protect the front of the church.  Meanwhile the defenders tried to skulk as much as they could and kept up the volume of fire as the Germans approached.  Meanwhile the 8-1 thought it would be a good idea to hop up to the steeple with a bazooka (why, I have no clue, it’s not like he could fire the dang thing from up there without suffering backblast .. and as it turned out, there’s no cure for stupidity: the “factory floor” hexes are made for firing bazookas!). Towards the back, the Americans shot the German 8-0 on the top right but the Germans sniper took out the US 7-0 on the top left as well.  In the front, the Germans continued to pile across the road.  The Germans got a nice rally point setup in the trees behind 2 buildings which kept recycling rallied troops back towards the church. I gotta do something about that.

DB058 Vossenack Church

Sure enough our 8-1 leader in the Steeple got blown away by the evil Nazi death star!  That leaves NO leaders in the church to rally anyone.  At the same time, they were getting shot in the back as the Germans approach from the top right.  Over on the top left the MTR and the .50 of the HQ group took out the flankers.  Things got urgent as Germans broke into the church and continued to recycle rallied troops into the fray from their rally point! We were happy that the Germans were largely off our right and the rear though.

DB058 Vossenack Church

This was the last American turn.  The chaps chucked out a few smoke grenades which got the .50 cal team across the street and towards the left of the building.  We couldn’t afford to let the Germans keep streaming in!  Our mortar squad made it across the street nicely but was shot in Defensive Final.  There was no chance of getting folks from the Right building into the church so the choir boys were on their own.  Good thing that the intruding, shrek-yielding German HS was broken and designated back into the graveyard.  We got a HS with some German prisoners and some brokies in the cellar.  Leaders or not, there’s no chance of anyone getting rallied now.

DB058 Vossenack Church

The Germans made a final push into the church!!  The .50 cal was straight up scary.  The MMG in the Right building tried to setup a firelane but it cowered out of existence!  Good thing there were enough squads in the Right building to put down some residual.  The dice were BRUTAL!!  The only survivor to make it into the church (cellar) was an German 8-0.  A couple of squads were blown out of orbit at the rear of the church.  The Germans conceded.

How’s this Scenario Interesting?

This is a very nice and tight 4.5 turn scenario that plunges both players into action right off the gates. The American had to figure out a way to reinforce the church and to not loose too many bodies as they were outnumbered 2:1.  The Germans had to deal with a tight timetable and some merciless firepower.  They could use their winter camo to advance across the street concealed but they risk loosing on time if they do too much else.  Hand-to-Hand combat in the church promises a pretty decisive ending.  This is a great scenario well worth considering for inclusion to any tournaments.