Recently updated AARs, Jun 3 2018

Note : I keep about 10 to 12 scenarios & CGs running at the same time.  While I play 4 of them in weekly live VASL sessions, the rest of them are PBeM.  About half of my games are CGs (some playtest CGs) and the rest scenarios.  I update my AARs as the games roll along and so this is a notice to my readers of AAR updates and completions.
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CH18 Raging Furnace

This week we started with an old design, CH18.  The Germans have to take 2 out of 3 hilltops and earn more CVPs than the Russians.  Aside from the standard CVPs, the Germans get points for clearing out the six hexes around the hilltops.  Likewise, the Russians get (a lot more) points if they can stay around the tops.

This scenario has a very interesting simultaneous setup with a die roll deciding who’d go first.  As my opponent quipped, going last might not be a bad thing as you can simply advance onto the hilltops.  The nature of this arrangement means opposing forces might “materialise” right in front of you at game start!  There’s an SSR that gives the defender in the first Prep Fire phase the ability to Gun Duel and shoot back.

The German entry edges are the top and the left.  However, since the Russians can only setup in the red circles.  Germans can attack from the right if they like, if they are comfortable with Russian reinforcements coming in behind them from the right and the bottom of the screen.

I am very mindful of a few things when I did my Russian setup.

  • I can’t win shootouts between the Russians and the Germans AFVs.
  • I can put my AFVs in trenches and thereby HD’ing them even to same level shots but that will condemn us to doing frontal shootouts (and the lost of all mobility) when the Russians really need to get in side shots to kill the German AFVs.
  • The high ground the Germans have on the top left will be used to sweep the hill tops, especially with the Tiger + Armour Leader
  • I can use my 76L artillery gun (s8!) and a combination of the Russian .50cal, the 10-2 (aka Jedi Master), the ATR and the Hero to setup a pretty good firebase on the bottom right of the screen to contest the hill tops a little.  That’ll be -3 out to 12 hexes and -2 out to 16 hexes.

img_3122Ladies & gents – don’t be like me.  I misread the SSRs to this scenario and thought that German reinforcements can only come in from the top and to the left.  No – the German reinforcements come in from the top and the RIGHT and the Russian reinforcements come in from the bottom and the left.

Let me elaborate further.  This scenario has a rather creative SSR which allows you to purchase half your lost CVPs as reinforcements.  The restriction is that you can only purchase half the # of each unit type in your OB.

While my 76L Artillery (hill top on the bottom right) finally fixed itself and did a number on a German deathstar, my deployment was oriented towards attackers coming in from the left and not the right.  *Horror*

The Germans sent a STuG up Y9.  Since it’s bypassing the woods, it’s considered on the upper level.  Non Turreted as it is, its TH after all the modifiers was comparable to mine, even though all I had to do is to turn my slow turret.  I fired and missed, APCR and all.  He fired and connected.

The Germans then sent a STuG up “behind” us on the right, looking to take out the KV1 with the 9-2 Armor Leader.   Fortunately its’ within reach of the Hero & his ATR on the hill on the bottom right.  He directed the pinned HMG to stun the STuG crew.  The KV1 then swung his turret around and Shocked him.

Unfortunately, the Germans got rid of that Shock immediately after.  The KV1 now faced a choice : whether to run or to shoot the STuG again.  If I run, it’s quite likely that I will be shot.   If I stay and shoot, my TK is 13(+1) vs his AF of 8.  I have a 3 CVP 9-2 armor leader in this thing.

I shot, connected and killed the STuG, much to our relief ..

img_3130img_3147

One more German move to go and all three hill tops are still under Russian control, Germans resigned.

Recently updated AARs, May 1 2018

Note : I keep about 10 to 12 scenarios & CGs running at the same time.  While I play 4 of them in weekly live VASL sessions, the rest of them are PBeM.  About half of my games are CGs (some playtest CGs) and the rest scenarios.  I update my AARs as the games roll along and so this is a notice to my readers of AAR updates and completions.

Product Review : Broken Ground Design Vehicle Counters

IMG_4491H35 ScanAlan Findlay at Broken Ground Design, followed his sample sheets of German, Polish, Partisan and Axis Minors counters with a sheet of French vehicles last week.  In case you are not aware, Mr Findlay is looking to release an big suite of redesigned Advanced Squad Leader counters which includes “standard” nationalities as well as “new” nationalities.

I took a careful look at the Vehicle counters this weekend.  In the process I placed a few of my Avalon Hill French counters side by side for comparison.

Let me show you a few photos first:

 

 

My first impression is that the vehicle graphics are too small.  When I put the Broken Ground vehicles next to the old Avalon Hill counters, the graphics are indeed smaller.  The smaller graphics is unfortunately combined with a camouflage pattern that completely, well, camouflaged the outlines of these vehicles.

My next thought is then, can I tell which vehicles are Open-Topped ?

You can see for yourself from the upper set of photos where I compared the Avalon Hill counter for the Open-Topped AM Dodge against the Broken Ground one.  You can still tell that the AM Dodge is Open-Topped from the Broken Ground counter but it’s not as easy.

I wonder if it will help if the vehicles are made bigger, the camouflage tuned to a lighter saturation and shading added to bring out the vehicle contours.  Then again, I would be asking Mr Findlay to conform to a different style and would probably be asking too much.  A way to better communicate “Open-Topped” will help though.  Perhaps we can make the Movement Points a light blue (it’s on a white background anyway) like certain SS vehicle counters.

IMG_4515D Back

Flipping over the counters, I like the fact that Mr Findlay decided to use a bold font on the back to improve readability.

The improvements to readability are even more pronounced on the front.  Mr. Findlay decided to put a black outline around the white symbol that is the background for the Movement Points.  Now it’s much easier to tell whether a vehicle is Fully Tracked [D1.13], Half-Tracked [D1.1.4], Armored Car [D1.12] or Truck [D1.15].

OutlinesMr Findlay has also made it much easier to tell, by accentuating the difference and adding black outlines, the difference between Fast Turret [D1.31], Slow Turret [D1.32], Restricted Slow Traverse [D1.321] and a One Man Turret [D1.322].

Both of these improvements will certainly speed up play.

These vehicle counters and the infantry counters that I have previously reviewed are both very well made.  I would even suggest that the printer did a better job with these vehicle counters than it did with the sample batch of infantry counters – evidence that previously mentioned issues are addressed.IMG_4517

Pros

  • A much more readable set of symbology and text on the counters
  • Quality components
  • An affordable way to gain access to full sets of counters

Possible improvements

  • Make it easier to discern Open-Topped vehicles
  • Tone down the camouflage so we can see the vehicles.

(All Photos are Copyrighted to the Hong Kong Wargamer.  Do not use without permission.)

Broken Ground Design

Enlight7