Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP20 Bypassed Lehr After Action Report (AAR)
This scenario depicts action that happened on the same day as that of BFP19 Russian Style. Combat Command B’s 18th Infantry Regiment ran into “a nest” of Panzer Lehr soldiers near Mesnil-Durand and proceeded to clear them out.
Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations
The Germans needed to take at least 4 buildings on the bottom map in 6 turns, which meant the Americans needed 12 out of 15 buildings. To do their jobs, the Americans showed up with 20 squads, 4 leaders (a 9-2!) and 5 MMGs. The Germans had 15 squads, 1 HMG 2 MMG, 4 LMG and 5 foxholes. I looked to engage the Germans quickly in the middle with our superior firepower and put some forces around the flanks, especially when we only have 6 turns. If you are setting up for this one, keep an eye out for the “v” shape formed by two straight long lanes that converge to a point at I2 on the bottom map where my opponent put a foxhole with an HMG and an MMG.
After Action Report
On Turn Two the majority of the Americans smashed themselves against the Germans at the big stone building. It’s a fight for Wall Advantage. Smoke Grenades helped us get close but a lot of the troops couldn’t hold their ground against Defensive Final. The flanking team on the left ran into the hole in the wall where a HMG+MMG combo put a fire lane through. There’s no running past this wall, one has to Advance across.
Turn 4 saw the flanking team on the left moved around the HMG+MMG firelane and scrambling in from that side. A pair of squads realized the Germans got Dummies covering the right and was converging in as well. In retrospect they could use more help because they were stopped every step of the way by a retreating MMG team (covered by the “Wall Advantage” counter” apart from the HMG+MMG anchor at the bottom of the “v”. The troops in the middle caught a lucky break when an American HS who jumped into the building Ambushed the defenders and decided to infiltrate to the space behind them! Germans started puling back but but unfortunately the Americans weren’t quick enough to stop the Germans from leaving. The Americans started massing together for a final push down the lower middle of Map 6.
The troops went for a major push down the middle of the map and was repulse in a big way. Brokies scrambled back to the big stone building and was caught (and eliminated) by a counterattacking German squad! The left flanking liberated more buildings but we ended up 9 buildings instead of 12 we needed. We lost 11 squads out of the 20 we started off with and were quite frankly out of bodies to push further.
How’s this Scenario Interesting?
This straight up infantry scenario underlined to me how much I need to spread my forces more when on the attack. We had no one behind the big stone building as the attack developed. The Germans never had to peel their eyes from in front of them until I got a HS who succeeded in infiltrating through the front lines. None of the Germans were torn about whether to stand and fight or to go help somewhere else because the attackers were so focused. The flanking team on the left did well, I should do more of that or perhaps allocate more resources to the flanks next time. The right flank had the right idea but again, not enough bodies.
Fix and flank. Fix and flank ..
We are onto BFP21 Ripe for the Picking next.
Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP19 Russian Style After Action Report (AAR)
It’s July 26th 1944, St. Gilles, France. Combat Command A was tasked with clearing elements of Panzer Lehr divison from the town of St Gilles. This one wasn’t going to be easy, the tough Panzer Lehr veterans had largely recovered from the shock of air bombardment.
Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations
The Americans win by controlling all multi-hex building in the bottom half of the board and exiting 30 VPs of American units off the south (bottom edge) in 7 turns. The Panzer Lehr group had seven second line squads, four Panzer IVJ sporting 75L (TK 17) guns and a STuG, a Roadblock and plenty of Bocage. The Americans had 12 squads, 9 Shermans with TK 14, 3 with TK 17 (German frontal armor’s 8 vs US armor that’s mostly 11). There were also 2 fighter bombers carrying bombs and rockets between Turn 2 and 4. Our armor could take on the Germans apart from the fact that we were big targets. I had no doubts that the quick route down the middle’s blocked and bore-sighted. Let’s see if we couldn’t take an alternate route with our Cullin Hedgerow devices.
We picked a route from the top left of the map. The American troops came in riding their tanks “Russian style” and I realized I forgot one detail : they couldn’t ride through Orchards like so and had to dismount and re-mount. That delay most likely costed me my game. Running down the right in that sense seems more “Orchard” free. I got the cutters to work in pairs. Unfortunately 2 cutters bogged where it’s orchard free.
The fighter bombers came in Turn 4 and discouraged German armor (amongst others) from moving in. One fighter bomber blew up some dummies and the other immobilised a vehicle that was backing out of the Woods. The lead tank that reached the village was surprised by a HIP crew popping out with a panzersheck!! (“AH HA!!”) Good thing it promptly malf’d. Another tank scored a lucky CH on their HMG team, there goes their anti-air. Other tanks moved up in support and we were really missing our Infantry cover. Every one of these Germans must have brought their panzerfausts, right?
Turn 6 saw us trying to bring the sheer numbers of American tanks to play. Some of our tanks got round to the German left flank but a STuG, crouched low in Bocage caused some delay. Our infantry arrived but was blocked building by building on the way to our objectives! What we should do more (better) is to use all the sM’s we got to help our squads get around the German blockage intact. Failing such, we plodded on building by building and quickly ran out of time.
At the end, we couldn’t reach all of our VC buildings. We did try getting some of the tanks off board. We got three off, one got blown up by the STuG right through the smoke and the last one ran out of MPs at the edge of the board, failed its ESB rolled and immobilised.
How’s this Scenario Interesting?
The tradeoffs. I arrived at the fight with most of my assets intact by taking the least defended route but I ran out of time. Taking the right side of the map down might offer a better solution although there are chokepoints I’d to fight through. The key seems to be timing the approach so that we benefit from immobilising effect of our air cover between Turn 2 and Turn 4. I gotta to do better at combined arms as well. Generous application of smoke mortars and smoke rounds would help the American squads get around the German blockage. That would involve moving the AFV’s closer but I did have more than 2:1 advantage from the start and 3:1 advantage as the game developed.
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.