Upcoming: BFP Sangshak Project (working title)

https://www.paradata.org.uk/event/sangshak

Gents, I exchanged a few emails with Keith Hathaway, the designer of the upcoming Sangshak Project.  It’s a brilliant new project involving Gurkhas & Indian paratrooper vs elite Japanese at Sangshak (India) during Operation U-GO.  I figured you should hear it directly from him, so here we go :

[From Keith Hathaway]

I designed it from the start of Operation U-GO until just after the battles at Sangshak, Jessami and Kharasom. I have included some actions which V Force fought in front of the main British/Indian Forces. I’ve included the Japanese 31st Division and some of the 15th Japanese Division. I wanted to place the events before the Kohima HASL coming out and the Imphal scenarios. Carl  [Nogueira, Project Developer]  is working with the play test group to refine my initial research and create playable scenarios. There will be roughly 20 scenarios included with a CG or two for Sangshak.

The Scenario’s are in chronological order and  start with the Japanese crossing the Chindwin River and attacking a V Force radio station. It then goes to Point 7378 where C Coy 152 Parachute Battalion make a last stand. Then a  scenario show a relief effort of the trapped Company. Other scenarios show a fighting retreat to Sangshak along with delaying actions helping the Brigade concentrate at Sangshak. There are 5 or 6 scenarios on or around Sangshak itself.

I have written a few CGs around Sangshak and Carl has worked hard on the rules (amazing work on his part). These include shortage of water, food and ammo. Japanese attacks and supply drops. The problem here is getting a good picture of the area. I have the hand drawn terrain maps from the war dairies, modern photos and maps from the books but nothing with enough concrete detail. I have contacted the US archives and a researcher to pull aerial photos from that time. I know the roll of film I need but they are closed due to Covid. Once they are open Sandy White can finish the map of Sangshak.

The action moves on to the 1st Battalion 1st Assam Regiment at Jessami and Kharasom. There are patrolling clashes as the Japanese move toward Kohima. Three scenarios around the two bases but trying not to be repetitive on earlier themes. Their relief force has a fight to save the Jeeps and trucks used in the column. Then the final scenario is a section of the Assam Regiment’s retreat to Kohima for an even more desperate stand.

I’ve researched everything I could find. I have a ton of books and have gotten a few War Diaries along with Division histories and a couple of scraps of information.

I wanted the pack to have the British players feel the on rushing tide of the Japanese advance.

https://www.paradata.org.uk/event/sangshak

Advanced Squad Leader War Stories

Advanced Squad Leader War Stories

We were chatting with Witchbottles on ASL Discord today and he brought up a few outstanding war stories.  

Story#1: Overrunning with a Mk VIB

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I overran with a Mk VI B tank on a Crew Exposed Pz III crew that missed their initial shot, missed their ROF (rate of fire) shot and broke his MA on an Intensive Fire shot as the Mk VI B rolled over a wall and onto the road to OVR the exposed crew, then out the back. Stunned them too!!!

Story #2: A Tank Busting Buda

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My best was in a game of FB14 At the Narrow Passage, when a Buda Volunteer Regiment 7-0 with a DC waltzed out into the street behind a stopped Mk IV, it turned its VCA and fired MGs, NMC, 2.3 DR , pass, it fired its MA, Hit, 1 MC, 2,2 DR, Pass, fired its IF MA, hits, NMC, 2,1, DR, pass, then Mr Buda placed the DC on the tank, and placement DR in the AFPh was optimal and WHOOM!! on a 1,2 DR, up goes said Panzer in flames, while Mr Buda advanced back into the building and said nonchalantly…. ” THAT, gentlemen, is how you blow up a tank….”

Story #3: Stalin’s Nephew

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The other good one was in a Festung Budapest CG III. A Russian 8-0 took a 24 flat shot from a concealed FT, rolled 1,1 DR and battle hardened into a 8-1. He then advanced into CC in the next turn with a BU StuG. Threw a 1,1 DR and bye bye StuG. A HMG took a shot at him in his next turn, he turned Heroic on another 1.1 DR from a 2MC.

Later on as the Hungarian defenses were falling, Stalin’s nephew led a pair of 5-2-7s in as an assault team on the last 9-2 led MG nest…..

What are some of your war stories?  Let us hear them in the Comments!

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP137 Fear Naught (AAR)

This is 26 June 1944 St. Manvieu-Norrey (west of Caen), France.  Kurt Meyer’s “Hitlerjugend”  met up with the 6th Royal Scotts Fusiliers advancing behind a Creeping Barrage in the rain.  The Scots need to take the multi hex buildings and kill the Panthers.  The Germans need to have MMCs surviving within a big magic circle at the end of Turn 6.5 and blow the Scots’ CVP cap of 39.  .  

https://erenow.net/ww/operation-epsom-viii-british-corps-vs-1st-ss-panzerkorps/3.phphttps://erenow.net/ww/operation-epsom-viii-british-corps-vs-1st-ss-panzerkorps/3.phphttps://erenow.net/ww/operation-epsom-viii-british-corps-vs-1st-ss-panzerkorps/3.php

As the Scots, we get two Creeping Barrages, which I did NOT manage well.  While I credit the left barrage for killing a Panther in the first turn, it crept way too slow, to the extent that it blocked our troops and hence protected the Germans!  The right one worked out okay.  You can plan for Creeping Barrages to go “forward” 2 hexes only in your player turn or on both your player turn and your opponent’s turn (Defensive Fire Phase).  An attacker should really count out where he needs to go and how quickly the Creeping Barrage would allow him to get there. A slow barrage gives defenders a good pounding (or encourage them to leave).  A fast barrage might run away from you and hop through the defending lines.  I needed the left barrage to take out the little enclave on the German left, so I made it go slow.  What I should have done is to plan for a lifting of the barrage post enclave so that my troops could hit the village.

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AAR AP137 Fear NaughtAdvanced Squad Leader scenario AP137 Fear Naught

The Churchills are great smoke machines.  Unfortunately that thing is slow and I need to be careful about not getting it in places where it could get caught by a fast moving Panther!  It can’t do anything to a Panther frontally (apart from DI shots) yet the Panther can flick a toothpick at a Churchill and it will go “Boom!”.  I lost one of the Churchills that way.  Good thing another Churchill fired off its Smoke Mortar quickly and went into motion!  That barrage on the left was totally in my way on Turn 5, my folks had to walk around it.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP137 Fear Naught (AAR)

The unexpected happened!  Instead of walking away from the Panther, my infantry rushed it and the Panther malf’d it’s MA!  So one of Churchills spun back around and slid right next to the Panther in bypass.  It had to do an ESB for the extra 1 MP to stop the Churchill for the shot but since it’s a chance to bag the second Panther, we took it anyway.  The Churchill rolled and immobilized.  We then moved other assets in place around the Panther.  The Panther wasn’t able to repair it’s Gun but what followed was shots after shots from 2 Churchills, a Piat and a couple of CC attempts.  The Panther just won’t go down (DI or otherwise)!  Plus on top of it, my Piat malf’d and my Churchill’s MA malf’d!  Everything else went rapidly downhill towards the end of Turn 5.  We were absolutely blocked by our own Creeping Barrage on the left and everyone’s either malf’d or broken or straight up vaporized on the right.  The Germans must have rolled about 6 snakes.  It’s tragic!  

(A specific account on our attempt on the second Panther)

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In the last German turn the Panzer fixed its gun!!  It took out the immobilized Churchill sitting next to it and a shreck took out the other Churchill that was angling for a side shot.  The Germans just hit the Scots’ CVP cap!

I obviously mismanaged my Creeping Barrage but I will definitely do it better next time.  Apart from that this is quite the scenario!  There were tons of action and while I am really “hampered” by the slow Churchills, it’s a ton of fun!  

Next in Action Pack 14?  AP138 Red Horse Recon

U22 Road to Kozani Pass

This scenario takes place in Greece, 13 April 1941.  The British HQ section met up with numerically superior numbers and had to fight a delaying action while reinforcements came in.  The Germans win in 13 turns if they control 4 or more of the 5 multi-hex buildings on the mapboard to the upper right.

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OQF 2-Pounder

brAT40LbrAT40LlOQF, as you know, stands for “Ordnance – Quick Firing”, and that it does.  It’s a ROF 3 40L AT Gun in ASL.  According to “Allied Artillery of World War Two” by Ian V. Hogg, this Vickers designed gun rests on 3 arm platform – 1 being the tow leg with 2 others that fold up.  Once it’s unlimbered, the wheels swung up off the ground.  “Screw jacks at the end of the three platform legs could then be operated to level the equipment.”.  This allows a quick traverse through 360-degrees.  I once had a pair of these sitting in the middle of a long straight road in a PTO playtest.  They went into a terrifying rate tear that decimated an IJA tank column!

 

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J43 3rd RTR in the Rain

Oi .. we are playing in the rain this time.  Heavy rain that adds +1 LV every 6 hex.  That’s also why all our VASL screens looks .. well, rainy.

The 9 squads of Queen’s Victoria Rifles are rushing in to grab 6 buildings out of 8 from 5 squads of Germans.  There are of course 5 AFVs helping the Brits out against the 3 German ones, well, 3 German AFVs AND an AT gun.

London’s National Army Museum

 

40 Fort McGregor

I am finally doing DTO!!  Unfortunately for me, my first DTO scenario is also a Night scenario, something that I am not very well versed with.  Then again hey : I have a GREAT opponent, so the best time is definitely now.

This scenario is an ASL classic.  The Germans win by scoring 20 CVPs more than the Brits and by controlling the both Hillock summit.  There’s a bombardment before the German turn but it really didn’t do much!

NVR’s 3, the Germans crept in…

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My opponent conceded. Onto the next one!