4 The Commissar’s House

November 9 1942, Germans at the Barricady noticed a nice red house.   They pulled up some fresh pioneers and told them to go mess with it.

What follows is one of most beautifully crafted, and an oft played ASL scenario (150:147 G:R).

(Typo Russian Turn 3)

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DBP3 Down & Dirty

DBP3 takes us back to Dien Bien Phu again!  The French Legionnaires, the Algerians & 2 Chaffees start with 3 trench networks on the right and need to take 3 more in 7 turns.  Heavy Rain’s in effect and so is Mud.  The going’s slow and the malf numbers are low.

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JR Tracy on : Gun Placement

f2a2eba99832432bb40e3e63422b312e“I think Stewart and Nadir offer sound general advice, which I will repeat in a slightly reworded form just because I love chiming in on this sort of thing.

Gun placement has to be considered in the context of the scenario, first and foremost. Think of your setup holistically, with mutually supporting elements, a plan for every piece, and a piece for every plan.

As Stewart says, know what your opponent needs to do and how much time he has to do it. That guides your general line of defense – up front to disrupt or even stuff an attack under severe time pressure, or deep to influence the endgame of a grinding assault. Also consider whether these are primarily tank killers or anti-infantry pieces. Even light ATGs can do a number on infantry, especially as acquisition stacks up and the crits start to flow.

Location-wise, try to identify obvious choke points, such as a bridge he has to cross. That’s probably the right locale for a gun, but sometimes a spot is so obvious it takes care of itself, as the enemy deliberately avoids it (but beware of the Sicilian Dilemma!). Also, if he starts on board with decent smoke assets, promising up front gun positions will find themselves socked in and possibly with no LOS whatsoever.

Nadir touches on terrain – buildings and woods are nice because a broken crew has rally terrain at hand without having to abandon their ordnance. However, that comes at the cost of doubled CA change DRMs. Also, note some ordnance can’t set up in buildings – the Soviet 76L ART piece probably tops the list of illegally set up guns, since so many people think of it as an ATG.

I find players are a little too afraid of hindrances when they place their ATGs. A wide field of fire suffering from +1, +2, or even +3 hindrances is more effective than a limited but pristine arc. Take this into account when considering the gun’s vulnerability, too. If a position is substantially more survivable but suffers from an added hindrance as a result, it might be worth embracing.

I am not a big fan of aggressive ambush locations, such as an isolated orchard hex on an extreme flank. You might get devastating flank shots but you also might not even see an enemy AFV. Some monster scenarios provide enough materiel to support such shenanigans but small and mid-range cards typically demand a coordinated effort. Gambit placements will leave you short-handed on the main axis of attack more often than not.

Finally, an out-of-place gun remains an asset as long as it’s hidden – the enemy will obsess over where and when it will appear. However, that fear and anxiety might not be doing you as much good as actual 50mm APCR rounds, so don’t forget manhandling. As Nadir points out, you can hustle a gun into position relatively easily if the terrain allows, and adding a squad to help out will guarantee you move a lighter piece a couple hexes a turn.

Good luck, and have fun!”

(A gentleman asked for advice on Gun Placement in ASL.  Mr JR Tracy gave it a brilliant writeup which I think bears repeating.  So I asked him for his permission.)

FrF2 Maczek Fire Brigade

This is September 4 1939, Poland.  The Poles rushed the Maczek brigade to plug gaps in the defense.  The Germans win this scenario by taking 12 buildings in 5.5 turns.

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Here are some of the AFVs involved by the way (from the wonderful site – Tanks Encyclopedia) :

Polish

Vickers Ejw(b)

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The Ejw(b) is armed with a 47* (TK8) and a FP6 CMG.  AF2/1.

Vickers Edw(b)

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The Edw(b) has twin turrets (6×2*), each with a wz.30 7.92 MG which can be fired independently of each other.  AF 2/1.

TKS

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The TKS is armed with a FP2 BMG and the TKS(L) with a 20L  (TK6).  AF 1/0.

German

Pz IIA

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The Pz IIA was the main battle tank in Poland, spotting a 20L (TK 6 IFE 4) and a FP5 CMG.  AF 1/1.

Pz IB

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The Pz IB has a FP6 CMG that does 2 TK DRs per hit.  AF 1/1.

PSW 222

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The PSW 222 is an OT armored car with 33MP.  It has a 20L (TK 6 IFE 4) and a FP6 CMG.  AF 1/1.

1 Fighting Withdrawal

I finally get to play one of the most oft played ASL classic, the first scenario in Beyond Valor: 1 Fighting Withdrawal.  I see almost 600 games reported on ROAR!

I got the Finns and my new-ish opponent got the Russians and the balance – ie the Russians do NOT suffer from ammo shortage.  The Finns need to exit more VPs than the Russians in 7 turns!

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BFP17 Seize that Crossroad

The designer of this scenario is George Kelln of Lone Canuck fame.  This time the Americans need to rush to secure a crossroad (big red circle) from the Panzer Lehr division in 7.5 turns.

As the 8th Regiment of the US 4th Divison, my considerations are :

  • As ever, I am in a tight race against the clock.  Even though my route might be a too oblivious I am going to try to avoid crossing too many Bocages.
  • Having said that with 2 dug-in Panthers (which turns from a large target to a small HD target) plus 2 HMGs with 2 “minus 1” leaders.   out there I can’t be avoiding so much Bocage that I will be moving in the clear.
  • Most of the Germans have better morale than mine, although I have more leaders (not more “minus’s”) and 50% more manpower.
  • I should put the mortar platoon on the only high ground I have as overwatch to interdict any lateral movements, although they can easily be attacked by the forward positioned Germans.
  • 1 pair of Culin cutters pretty much means I will be digging one path.
  • I don’t know what effect the opening bombardment will have but I need to rush as much as the board I can.  Hopefully we can make contact before the Germans recover.  The tanks won’t be available til Turn 5, so we will be legging it.

Let’s see if all this works out.

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Recently updated AARs, Jan 19 2019

Ongoing

Starting up

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.