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

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

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.  

After Action Report

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?

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Scenario Background

The date was 24 June 1941, the place was the west of Dubysa (a stream), Lithuania.  Russian units debuted their new KV-2 the day before and shocked the Germans.  Another attack hit Panzer-Abteilung 65 by surprise and neighbouring units were called in to prevent a penetration.

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

The Russians win at game end by controlling 9 or more building hexes and/or by eliminating 3 or more AFVs than the Germans eliminated.  The first part of the Victory Conditions means I have to take 9 building hexes and hold them til game end.  The second part means if I lose 1 KV-2, I have to kill all the German AFVs.  The Russian forces enter from the right on Turn 1. The Germans have some units onboard but they have 8 squads with 2 minus 1 leaders entering from the top on Turn 2, 4 PzIVDs on Turn 3 from the left.  There are 13 building hexes below the water bodies on Board 17 (lower board).  These I would have to take and hold against the German counter attack.

KV-2The Russians have 8 Movement Phases.  They will have to do 5 hexes per phase for 4 phases to put them in the vicinity of the 2 hex Wooden building on the left half of Board 17.  That leaves them 4 turns to fight.  The KV-2, on the hand, is a real monster.  It is big enough to give a -2 to any TH for size.  It spots an armor factor of 8 all around, 11 if you hit that turret from the front.  Its 152mm gun dishes 30 IFT / TK21 (AP9 & no IF).  On the otherhand, it can only turn it’s turret by paying NT penalties (we played it wrong: we played it as if it’s an NT), goes 9 MP per turn and that’s only if you pass the Mechanical Reliability DR.  The PzIVD offers fantastic mobility [amended, see footnote 1].  It packs a good set of MGs (totalling 8 IFT) but it’s 75* (short barrel) with a TK of only 10 (AP7).  It’s hard to kill a KV-2 with anything less than a swarm but all you need is to kill one and scatter (the remaining Russian tank will have to kill all the PzIVDs to win via that route).  The Germans can also immobilise one first (net +3 and a hull hit), hopefully in some awkward position/location.  Their smoke dischargers (s9) can help the German reinforcements cross all that open ground from the top to the middle of the map!

My KV-2’s have to cover each other’s blind spots, It’s best to stick to congested areas where it’s harder for the nimble PzIVD to get around.  We also need to keep them away from Deliberate Immobilisation shots.  I am tempted to have them keep the PzIVDs from helping the German reinforcements but that will open them up to being swamped and killed.  I decided to have them operate strictly in the village (bottom map, ie Board 17).

After Action Report

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

I had about 4 turns to get in position, so all Russian units rushed in from the right.  We got lucky when we knocked out the Level 1 MMG perched up on that two hex Wooden building in the middle of board #17.  Up in the woods in the middle of the map, we situated our range weapons – our MMG and our MTR.  Their job was to stop/ delay the German reinforcements.  A couple of other squads were there to pick up the 2 buildings nearby.  The KV-2’s quickly reached the stone wall from which we wanted to fight from (good defence against Deliberate Immobilisation).

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The Russians made great progress by the start of Turn 5.  We were closing in on the 2 hex wooden building on the left of Board 17.  We picked up 7 building hexes at this stage.  However the team on our Northern flank’s getting crushed by the 3 PzIVD’s (CH’s in Advancing Fire helped) and the German regulars.  They were cowering in a big broken heap near the pond.  We moved the KV-2 up to the left to help our flank out and to keep the German tanks away from our last building objective.  A 152mm HE shot sent some of the Germans flying back for a bit but that won’t last.  We need to get (and hold) 9 buildings before the German reinforcements come through to the village (Board 17)!

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The Germans got through!  Worse, they came in from behind us with 2 PzIVDs and recaptured one of the buildings.  Our northern flank recovered somewhat but so did the Germans in that 9-1 stack.  We could see them getting ready for another go.  Our KV-2’s decided to relocate but one of them promptly broke down!  Fortunately the crew decided to stayed with the biggest chunk of metal on the field.  The other KV-2 had no choice but to break formation and go right up to the stone wall in full view of the pair of PzIVD’s (right of map).  That would give them something to think about.  Both the main assaulting team and the flank protection team were told that no help was coming.  Our captured buildings were defended by Disrupted units but that would have to do!

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The 9-1 Germans indeed had another go at the second building in the Woods (middle of the map).  Most broke through the Russian fire but one unit survive to recapture another of our buildings!  The Russians were now down to 8.  The PzIVD on the left tried its luck but was the first to brew up by the immobilised KV-2.  Both PzIVDs on the right tried motion & smoke but had no luck with the dice.  One of them did fled but the one remaining was hit and burned as well!  If the Russian hit another PzIVD we might win the game.  The German infantry was coming in from the rear and I couldn’t spare any of the men to keep them away!

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

To my surprise the “escaped” PzIVD didn’t go far.  It kept after the Russian flank.  The KV-2 decided to hop the stone wall and go after it.  To be honest, I was wary of having this last KV-2 immobilise as well but the VC was on the line!  Meanwhile the main assault team made for the “Alamo” on the bottom map.  We had 3 squads against 1 German squad and a wounded 10-2 (how hard can that be?).  Well, it was hard.  The Germans broke 2/3 of the assaulting teams.  The good news was that the guys on the North flank crawled back up, encircled and recaptured one of the buildings!  We got 9 and would had to keep it that way for the remaining turn.

BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

I expected a mad dash from the Germans (from the left) for some of the center buildings.  I had a squad of conscript and a rear facing MG in the KV-2 to counter that.  That didn’t materialise.  One of the PzIVD came around the left and took a shot at my immobilised KV-2.  We both forgot that the KV-2 turret could in fact turn, albeit with a NT penalty.  The Northern flank held onto their recaptured building (we got 9), even though the 7-0 who had the MMG to himself jammed it in a live demonstration of what not to do with a Maxim!  The PzIVD on the left gunned its engines in a bid to pull off another escape but was hit and killed.  The Germans conceded.
BoF4 About His Shadowy Sides After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

How’s this scenario interesting?

KV-2Both sides had a chance to attack and to defend.  There’s a lot of force allocation decisions to be made especially for the Russian player.  The Germans couldn’t afford to be distracted by buildings on the fringes, they had to make it to the village on time in order to disrupt the Russian attack.  The KV-2’s were a real challenge.  Nothing short of a nice “dance of death” would do (with the survivors running off to the far corners of the map).  Then if that’s the case, they wouldn’t be helping their reinforcements cross that vast Open Ground on the top half of the map.  Typical of the best scenarios, there are a good number of what-if’s and tradeoffs to be made.  I thought I was on track for an easy win but my opponent obviously proved me wrong.

[Footnote 1] I previously said the PzIVD is a “small” target.  It’s not.  Thanks to Michael Rodgers for pointing it out.  You can read Michael’s blog on https://lowammo.ca/

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

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

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.  

After Action Report

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!

DB058 Vossenack Church After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

DB058 Vossenack Church After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

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.  

RbF I-3 South Park After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

RbF I-3 South Park After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario 

Scenario Background

It’s December 22 1944 in Senonchamps (Belgium), not too far from Bastogne.  According to the scenario’s “Historical Perspective”, this was a lightly defended American artillery park.  

 

(Photo : ASLScenarioArchive.com)

(“The Ardennes, 1944-1945: Hitler’s Winter Offensive”)

Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations

The Americans started the game with 3 HS and 2 crews but a lot of hardware : an MMG, a baz, 2 x M55 (quad .50-cal carriage with 24FP), 2 Stuarts, 1 Sherman and 2 jeeps (with MMGs).  They have 1x M1A1 “Long Tom (155L) and 2 x M1 (155) howitzers.  Getting tagged by a “One-Five-Five” means 30FP.  The good thing is that they start unmanned.  They would remain so until they got LOS to known German units.  7 US squad would show up on Turn 4 as reinforcements along with 2 leaders and more toys.  

“Kampfgruppe Kunkle” showed up with 6×548, 6×447 with 3 leaders.  They got a STuG and a STuH42 (105) backing them up as well.  

EC’s Wet with Heavy Falling Snow.  So the Americans could try torching some of the buildings but it wouldn’t be the easiest with the lack of personnel and the Wet EC.  Heavy Falling Snow means a +1 LV that would get worse with an additional +1 LV from Turn 5.  There’s however, no Ground Snow, so Smoke is in play.  The Stuarts can’t do much to a STuG front but I would have the STuH or a panzerschreck covering the flanks at all times.  The Quad .50-cal with its ROF3 is probably great for DI shots. We need to be careful about the Sherman with its fast turret and TK14.  Bazookas have TK16, we should stay away from those as well.  We would use assault guns as assault guns as much as we could.  I wondered what he planned to do with those jeeps, ie for mobility or (scrounged) firepower?  They wouldn’t be able to cross those bocages though.  

The Germans have two ways to win: 

* Win immediately if they capture/destroy all 3 of the guns
* Win at Game End if they hold onto the 4 VC buildings

StuH 42 from 242 StuG Abt

After Action Report

Advanced Squad Leader scenario RbF I-3 South Park

I decided to NOT engage the Artillery pieces until we absolutely had to.  The alternative was to “race” down the hill and across the open field with bocages in the way and in the face of heavy US firepower.  The first problem was one of the Quads.  It ripped squads off our OB through +1 Heavy Falling Snow and smoke we laid down.  We finally got to rush it and kill it in CC.  The STuG got out on the flank to keep the 17MP Stuart from squirrelling around our left.  I made sure it’s covered by the STuH from behind.  The Americans decided to abandon their jeeps and ripped off the MMGs.  I wanted to kill one of the Jeeps but the Stuart was a priority.  The other Stuart went around the back into my axis of attack.  The Sherman moved into.  My right’s got panzerschrecks lined up but they didn’t have to know that, did they?  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario RbF I-3 South Park

I had one more turn before proper Americans show up so I was racing those units down the street.  Their Stuart got a little too close and so I stopped the STuH in front of it and shot it with a HEAT round.  The Sherman decided to back off and got immobilised by an ESB roll.  However it’s right next to the last VC building so it was a good place to be!  I fought the urge to make my STuG “more useful” but kept to the discipline of covering the STuH.  Oh, my 9-1 went heroic.  Not sure if it’s a good thing ‘cause hero’s don’t break, they wound and they die.  The units with the US “Baz 44” and the “MMG” right of center were in fact, German.  The other Quad realised it’s going to be out of the game and the gun crew tried desperately to drag it along.  I got to keep this Quad out of play.

Contrary to what you see in the picture, the guns hadn’t yet seen us, and were not crewed yet.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario RbF I-3 South Park

We sneaked up on the immobilised Sherman with a shreck but it took us 2 phases to shoot it pointblank.  Some pretty ominous ginormous American stack moved up to our last VC building though.  The mods were +5 but we took no comfort in light of the 36FP.  The STuH pumped rounds into the stack but was ineffective.  The big US stack broke our occupant of the last VC building and put us into a position of having to win it back.  Meanwhile squads rushed the middle One Five Five.  Miraculously, it broke the 2 squads but left an 8-0, the heroic 9-1 and a captured bazooka in front of the howitzer.  The STuG went wide, decided that shooting in the +2 LV environment was no longer ideal, prepped itself for a final Overrun of the leftmost (top of the map) gun.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario RbF I-3 South Park

The heroic 9-1 led the final attack with a +6 shot that connected with the One Five Five.  The IFT effects shot vaporised the crew and the random destruction roll vaporised the gun as well.  Two more to go!  The STuH opt’d for a HEAT shot against the Americans inside the last VC building.  That shot connected as well but it only succeed in breaking the leader and pinning the squad!  We would have to do it the bloody way.  The Americans couldn’t crew the leftmost gun (top of map)!  Feeling luck on its side, the STuG proceeded to overrun the left gun not once but twice!  Unfortunately It only succeeded in breaking its main gun.  Folks did managed to rush up to the 2 remaining guns without a scratch.  Things looked as if they might work out in close combat.  

But it was not to be.  We had a 2:1 attack on one of the Guns but boxcar’d the roll.  All eyes then turned to the last VC building.  3 squads and a concealed leader ambushed the pinned US squad.  Unfortunately we rolled a 5,6 which couldn’t evict the occupants.  The Germans lost.

How’s this Scenario Interesting?

This is a very tight scenario that offers a number of tactical choices.  If I play it again, I might well try a run down the left and go for the 3 guns through the bocage.  The other Quad will be just as tough to content with and I can’t leave it on my flank.  The Germans had a tight schedule to meet.  The two sides had very different forces to play with, which makes it very interesting also.  I really have to give it to my opponent though for hanging tough through it all.  Once reason why the Germans lost is that it couldn’t push past the last VC building before the American reinforcements entered on Turn 4.  

I really like this scenario.  
Advanced Squad Leader scenario RbF I-3 South Park After Action Report (AAR)

AP143 Late for Chow After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

AP143 Late for Chow After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario 

Scenario Background

On August 29 1944, the “Pathfinders” of the 8th Infantry Division, the first infantry division to have broke through into the Brest area, was counterattacked by elements of the Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 7 near Kergroas!

(Images: Fallschirmjägers, 8th Infantry division, 8th Infantry insignia (“Golden Arrow”/“Pathfinder”), 28th Regiment insignia)

Tactical Considerations

A dozen German 5-4-8’s with 4 leaders enter the map from the bottom (south) and they were to either exit through the top (north) and/or occupy 4 designated buildings with at least 8 VP’s in 6.5 turns.  They would be met with 8 US squads deployed in 2 groups on the bottom map.  3 other squads with a 9-1 (and a 6+1) would enter through the top in Turn 3.  The Americans have higher firepower, a longer range and a lower morale.  The Germans have lower firepower, shorter range and much better morale, plus their ELR is slightly higher.  The wide open space where the Germans entered would no doubt give the Americans the advantage.  The American in most cases could blast away with 6 FP and get 2 FP coming back, plus they had 2 MMGs and a M2 mortar in play.  The strategy for the Germans seemed to be to run through the gauntlet with their higher morale and shoot back when they could (if in range, they shoot at 4 FP regardless of they were running or standing still).  To be caught in a firefight here would be a bad idea.  Once they got through to the bocage, their difference in range would even out but yet they had to keep moving before the Americans could solidify their defences.  It’s best, of course, to cross as few bocage hexsides as possible.  

Run through the open, dive into the bocage and keep the parade running through 6.5 turns to the top!  

After Action Report

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP143 Late for Chow After Action Report

We entered from the bottom and we didn’t stop for the broken or wounded.  We kept an LMG on our left flank to keep the Americans away.  The Americans on our right were out of range and got ahead of us.  They had a total of 8 squads and 8 OB given concealment but we didn’t wait to find out who’s which.  Good thing was that CX’d Americans didn’t shoot very well (apart from that mortar, that mortar’s evil, knocked around my forward leading 9-1 with a CH in the Woods).  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP143 Late for Chow After Action Report

We made it into the bocage!!  My broken HS escaped (bottom right), even my wounded 8-0 hopped along and joined the boys.  The Americans started to swamp in from both sides.  When the American reinforcements join in from the north they would complete the fire sack. We could win a standing firefight in the bocage but we didn’t want to give the game away to my (often atrocious) die rolls.  So we stuck with the strategy and kept flowing through the gaps.  The American reinforcements had our range and firepower (5-4-6), yes, but we didn’t want to let the defence gel up around us.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP143 Late for Chow After Action Report

We leaned right and gather behind one bocage wall and called up our rear guard.  It was time to go and the way not to get hit was to not be there when they got there!  A squad sneaked behind the Americans on the far right so they couldn’t conceal.  Each turn was a frantic rebalance between how much to stick around to keep the bad guys from shooting us in the back versus hauling ass northwards.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP143 Late for Chow After Action Report

We busted through to the right!  The Americans routed back and we scrambled behind the bocage wall as far north as our legs would take us.  It appeared that we got 7 VP’s in personnel up front and they were within range to get off.  A hero took point and kept the Americans from getting Wall Advantage at key points.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP143 Late for Chow After Action Report

The Americans did a fine job solidifying regardless!  They had a couple of leaders who made sure they snatched an MMG away from some brokies and handed it off to a squad for the last turn.  They laid down a beautiful Firelane-from-Hell.  We needed 1 additional VP to get through and we got 2 HS 2 Squads and 1 Leader making the bid.  At the end, I got 1.5 squads KIA’d and the rest broken/pinned.  No one got through!

At the end, the Germans lost by 1 VP.  

How’s this Scenario Interesting?

Close games are often the signature of great scenario designs!  (It’s 15:19 against the Germans on ROAR.)  It’s one of these rarer games where both sides have to constantly trade off between moving and shooting.  Of course they were hardly enough time to Prep so both sides largely took turns lining up hasty defences and hoped to throw enough friction into the other guy’s movement with Defensive First Fire.  The hide and seek in the bocage while constantly on the go is simply fantastic!  I rather enjoyed this scenario.  

Other Links

The 8th in Brittany by Jonathan Gawne

BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario 

Scenario Background

This was July 26 1944 in Marigny, France.  The Americans needed to capture Marigny (apart from St Gilles) so as to enter the exploitation phase of the campaign.  Combat Command B, 3rd Armored Dvision, met the SS Panzer Division 2 “Das Reich” and Infantry Divison 353 outside of Marigny.

US 3rd Armored Division353rd German Infantry Division

Combat Command B 3rd Armored Division & German 353rd Infantry Division.

Memorial Cobra @ Marigny today

This is the Memorial to Operation Cobra that stands in Marigny today (credit : Google Earth)

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

As the Americans, I needed to kill or move 100 VPs  through 3 boards from the top of the map to the bottom.  Halftracks must have a functioning MA (AAMG) or a passenger to count as Exit VP.  The top two boards are Bocage country and it’s real easy to lose time there.  Good thing the Germans were spread thin and I got 4 Culin cutters to help with landscaping.  The fastest way would be to run straight through the village but the Germans had two roadblocks to counter that.

I had two groups of units: The left group with 6 Shermans and 6 halftracks, one of which sports 2 x .30-cal 1 x .50-cal with 12 FP, the other a bazooka (M3A1).  The right group with 3 x M5A1’s, 2 x M8 HMC (SP howitzer) and 8 x halftracks (2 with bazookas).  The right side seemed to have a more open country but they carried less anti-tank assets.  On Turn 6, 2 American FB’s came into play, shortly after 4 x Pz IVH’s & a “Stummel” rushed in bearing flowers & fruit baskets.

My plan was to have the two groups stay apart at least until they reach the bottom map and not let the Germans converge.  I would avoid the road and built up areas in general.  I had the numbers to swarm whoever came our way.  Although with my numbers came traffic control issues.

After Action Report

Advanced Squad Leader BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR)

We were off to the races here.  The left group shot through an area where they thought they would be safe from a PaK.  The pair of Culin cutters worked in tandem.  A marauding halftrack dropped off its passengers by the roadside, skidded off to the middle of the map and spotted the first roadblock!  On the lower left, dismounted infantry took on a lone defender while its ride continued on and cut off all chances of escape.  The right group got itself tangled up in a perfect jam in the Woods while its cutters worked frantically to make a hole.  Vehicles stayed behind the bocage as they heard rumours of the other PaK covering the area.

In a surprising turn of events, all Pak related uncertainties were resolved when both PaKs popped out of HIP with their crews tugging them down south towards the bottom map!

Advanced Squad Leader BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR)

We were at the midpoint of the game.  Two halftracks in the left group caught up with the PaK in the Orchards on the bottom board!  They used their small size and speed to distract and to overrun the Gun!  We knew the Germans would show in Turn 4 and some of our elements were too far forward but the opportunity was too good to pass up.  A Sherman ran forward to help but sure enough, it was killed by a pair of PzIV’s coming in.  Tanks always operate in pairs.  My tanks get killed every time I violate that doctrine.  I thought about using that Sherman to overrun the Gun itself to take it off the board but I didn’t.  Had I done it, I wouldn’t have to fight SS troopers for the gun in the next couple of turns – another mistake.

The right group broke through to the middle map and was held up by the threat of PFs inside bocage country.  Their lack of anti-tank assets was a problem and we were hugging the last set of bocages before the Germans show on the other side of those hedgerows.

Germans in the meantime were in full retreat from the town.  The bocage protected road down the middle provided the perfect passage.  An HMG was last seen moving along.  I got to go stop that nonsense.

An M5A1 light tank and other vehicles of the 4th Armored Division An M5A1 light tank and other vehicles of the 4th Armored Division, VII. Corps, pass through the wrecked streets of the town of Coutances, north-western France; 1944. Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR)

With the PzIV’s in position on the left, I didn’t want scoot all my Shermans out on the same side, plus I gotta give the dismounted troops (bottom left) some help.  We needed to get and/ or destroy that PaK gun! The SS dismounted as well.  It’s going to get busy.  I exited one of my halftracks for the points and another went off to the side.  On the right, my guys pushed through the house and were getting into the Woods while the AFVs were getting away from the PzIV’s and threatening to come off the middle instead. At least we dealt with the German 9-1 team that was blocking the way.  We also had a pair of Shermans migrating from the left side to help with the anti-tank deficit.  The Germans got the remaining PaK inside that house in the middle though.

M8 HMC, 3rd Armored Division near Marigny, France (July 28 1944) A company of M8 75mm HMCs (not a battery) from the 3rd Armored Division takes up firing positions near Marigny, France on July 28.   Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR)

It’s Turn 7 and the Thunderbolts were in!!  The Germans had very smartly hid their people in the Orchard on the left and in the Woods & Grain fields on the right.  The M8 self propelled howitzer was vulnerable to the SS firepower but proved itself useful by getting a WP round off into the woods.  To the left, troops in the Woods made an attempt on the PaK but failed.  They did manage to rout off the SS though!  They then moved in to mess with the PzIV’s.  A pair of Shermans whipped back to the middle while other AFV’s made for the gap in the woods.  One got hit and bursted in flames, probably a good thing for the rest.  Towards the middle, the Americans managed to break the HMG team that was toting it along and another squad raced to pick up the toy before the Germans did.  A mounted halftrack raced in, tried to get a squad close to that AT gun but was shot by the German SP gun via a LOS beautifully threaded between a couple of houses. I shouldn’t have stopped there!!  Another squad stayed up in the middle board to limit the number of Germans who could join the party down south.  To the right, an M8 raced into take a shot at the PzIV in the Woods but was stunned by the enemy infantry instead.  Meanwhile a number of vehicle slipped off the side.   Two more turns and a lot of our vehicles were in range to get off the board.  The fighter bombers were definitely slowing down the German OODA loop!

P-47 Thunderbolt firing rockets P-47 Thunderbolt firing rockets! Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR)

We were close to the 100 VP mark but time’s running out.  The squads on the left had both went fanatic at this stage with their repeated attempt to close with the PzIV’s.  A M5A1 sped over, toughed out a shot that went wide, spun to the back of the self propelled 75 and fired.  It promptly malfunctioned and it was M5A1’s turn to be scared!!  The commander kicked the driver to start up again.  Good thing the 3 US squads nearby stunned the German open top.  A halftrack went for the PaK gun in the middle, went right up to the house and dismounted.  The PaK had to turn but lit up the vehicle!  The troops were okay, now covered by the vehicular blaze.  The Shermans decided it’s safer to run through the middle of the map now, away from the PzIV’s under the orchard.  When the FBs lit up the second PzIV on the right, the Germans decided to concede.  There’s nothing left to stop the Americans from driving off the board now.

US halftrack in urban warfare

“US halftrack in urban warfare” Italy, late 1944

How’s this Scenario Interesting?

This was a lot of hardware for me to manage through bocage country!  The Americans needed to blaze through the bocage and their speed helped them to not get penned up by the Germans.  The US armoured infantry reminded me of the new Terminator.  Halftracks could drop off its squad, “split into two” per se and motor the vehicular “half” behind the defenders.  Heck, my halftrack surprised the gun crew of the remaining PaK (holed up in the building nicely situation in the middle of the bottom map) by dropping off a squad at their door.  Their ride got blown up but they killed the gun crew in CC.  That’s so much more effective than having to shoot it out.

Terminator Dark Fate

Once I got my vehicles down on the bottom map, it’s important to be patient and to use my superior MPs to run around to where the Germans were not.  My tanks whipped around a couple times before exiting.  I could have left more infantry mounted but halftracks were poor sanctuaries when the action got going.  Fighter Bombers were a huge help in suppressing enemy’s ability to react even if they miss all their spotting attempts.  Once I was through the bocage it was tracks and shells flying all over in the bottom map.  This is an action packed scenario!!

Other Links

US Army in World War II, ETO, Breakout and Pursuit, M Blumenson

D-Day Overlord – D-Day and Battle of NormandyMarigny (Manche)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP132 Night of Nights After Action Report (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader Scenario AP132 Night of Nights After Action Report (AAR)

Scenario Background

It’s D-Day, the Deuce (502nd PIR) and the Currahees (506th PIR) did a night jump into Sainte-Marie-du-Mont!!   The reception on the ground were laid out by the Infanterie Divison 352.  The 502nd PIR and the 506th PIR were of course, part of the 101st Airborne Division (“The Screaming Eagles”).  The 352nd, according to Wikipedia, was formed in occupied France in early November 1943.  They were expected to be transferred to the Eastern front but received orders for the defence of the Atlantic Wall instead.

506th PIR Easy Company 

(“Easy Company”, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, WWII in Color)

Sainte-Marie-du-Mont

502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment506th Parachute Infantry RegimentInfanterie-Division 352

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

The historical background to the scenario mentioned that “the Americans quickly reformed into small units and set out in the inky summer darkness …”.  It wasn’t kidding, it was dark.  Night Visibility Range dropped to zero shortly after the game started.  That means you can’t shoot at anything that’s not illuminated.  That means you can walk right into a concealed enemy unit and chance triple pointblank fire if that’s your thing.  Convoys run slow at night anyway, but now they can’t go BU.  More on that later.  

The paras got quite a bit to do in their 8 turns.  They had to achieve at least 3 of the following:

  • Control 4 designated buildings, one of which is a church, assumed to be “Église-Notre-Dame de Sainte-Marie-du-Mont”.  
  • Capture/ Eliminate all AA Guns.
  • Exit 12 Exit VP off the North edge (stage right).
  • No German trucks have exited.

After Action Report

Advanced Squad Leader Scenario AP132 Night of Nights After Action Report (AAR)

The American drop scattered far and wide.  They went offboard to the left and to the bottom.  On top of it they needed to run around recovering support weapons.  As the Germans my setup was entirely upfront, aimed to spot a paratrooper early and lose our “No Moves”.  Anyone slightly to the back (stage right) were dummies.  I sited all my AA guns so that they could see the skies to the left as well.  My thinking was if they see the para’s floating down, they could get rid of their “No Move” counters and didn’t have to shoot and reveal their position (SSR3).  That was not to be, para’s, while under the parachute are not “known” units.  Only “known” units can help remove “No Move” counters from spectators.  We did shoot a few paras as they landed in the grain field.  The folks who dropped offboard down at the bottom were particularly troubling.  I had 2 AA guns situated there.  As they walked back onto the board they could certainly surround us on both sides.  I had only a leader, a squad and a stack of dummies behind the pair of AA guns!  

Advanced Squad Leader Scenario AP132 Night of Nights After Action Report (AAR)

The German convoy decided to run through the gauntlet on Turn 2!  See, having them enter on Turn 3 has certain merits, since that would keep the paras engaged for another turn, far away from the village and the right edge of the map.  On the other hand, they would also give them another turn to block off the road.  We decided on Turn 2 and rolled the dice.  

I put the armoured car and the halftracks up front.  If the paras wanted to block the road off, they would have to hit slightly tougher targets.  There’s an Ammo truck in the convoy.  If it burns it would explode like a Goliath – 36FP in its hex and 16FP in all surrounding hexes.  I thought about putting it upfront but that would give the para’s a level of comfort afterwards.  I put it in the back so that the explosion would only harm one other vehicle.  

Having said all that my convoy got ripped apart almost immediately.  There probably wouldn’t be any “high speed blowing through roadblock” scenarios anytime soon.  Trucks had no problems dying in the gunfire.  At the bottom of the map, my worst fears were realised.  The para’s came and start getting into Close Combat.  In the middle of the map, the Americans pushed menacingly close to one of my AA guns.   There were a lot of skirting around star shell illuminations.  Here’s the struggle: I didn’t want to try for too many star shells as such acts give away where my dummies were.  

Advanced Squad Leader Scenario AP132 Night of Nights After Action Report (AAR)

We just passed the half way point.  You can tell even by the star shells that the fighting was pushing near to Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.  My last half track was stunned (had to be “CE” to drive during NVR 0) and kiled by a well placed DC afterwards.  Funny enough my Ammo truck was disabled and its driver ran off.  The American’s CC’d and captured another one of my last trucks hoping it to be the Ammo truck (‘cause nothing else exploded), and drove off.  The Americans broke the AA gun crew in the middle of the map.  However, the scattered state of the paratroopers gave a quick chance for us to push them back further!  Unfortunately my concealed Germans couldn’t ambush them in the dark.  Towards the bottom, the Germans killed some para’s around the pair of AAs and broke the other.  They were safe for the time being.   I was very aware of the fact that my victory buildings were all defended by dummies (no offence…).  The timing of when my defenders should peel off the front line is the million dollar question, isn’t it?

Advanced Squad Leader Scenario AP132 Night of Nights After Action Report (AAR)

The para’s on the left were now running full tilt down road towards the middle of the map!  My little counterattack in the middle did push them back a bit but failed to draw any blood.  We dragged the gun back a hex towards the building but we couldn’t put it to use again, nor could the Americans capture it, yet.  The Americans were on us towards the bottom of the field.  It was time to peel back and take over key building defense from the dummies!  Towards the top of the map the AA gun crew got shot away but refused to run off too far.  The Americans didn’t have enough good order folks (it is harder to rally at night) to take that gun just yet.  

Advanced Squad Leader Scenario AP132 Night of Nights After Action Report (AAR)

Second last movement phase for the Americans!  I broke the pair of AA guns down a the bottom but the Americans still needed to capture them (note to self: stop firing at stupid targets).  A hero made a rush for it in the zero NVR darkness (to suppress further fire from the gun crew) but he was blown away in the triple point blank fire.  Another squad made contact through the gully but it ended up being held in Melee.  At the top of the map the gun crew rallied!!  It jumped back on top of the AA gun.  If it fail to man the guns again it would be left hanging in the open amidst the American firepower.  As it is always the case in these critical moments, it failed to grab the gun and take on the emplacement.  The upside is that “US firepower” weren’t forthcoming either.  

Towards the middle, the Germans packed into the VC buildings in a bid to delay an American take over.  See that “DM” AA Gun next to the green arrow at H10?  This is the one with 20FP and in the last turn it finally saw an American 9-1 and a 747 with MMG in tow walking into its bore-sighted hex.  YES!!  Then nothing happened.  The group passed their MC checks without spilling their beers.  The gun crew then broke out of frustration.  Another 9-1 took a HS in an attempt to flank the AA gun but was shot by some sneaky Germans in the dark, from the direction of Église Notre-Dame de Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.  

The paras conceded after CCPh.  

How’s this Scenario Interesting?

This scenario isn’t easy for the paratroopers.  However, as a story it’s FANTASTIC.  You see the scatter of a paradrop.  You see the Americans getting organised at night.  You see German convoys getting ambushed and killed in the dark by paratroopers who appeared out of no where.  You see groups of paratroopers coalescing around the village, its scatter posing an element of threat to the defenders.  Fighting in the dark obviously offers its own challenge as well.  Star shells give a beautiful variability to the scenario in every new turn.  I love the Night rules.  I really do.  I revel in the elegance of it.  

Plus of course, if there’s one thing you MUST do on VASL, it’s Night.  

Additional Thoughts re: the Convoy

Chris’s comments reminded me of a discussion I had with my opponent afterwards. The guys who ambushed the convoy did so brilliantly but they could barely made it to the battle area at the end. Perhaps the thing to do here is to pick up and start moving to the village after landing. The convoy’s “on rails”: it’s going to move down the road to the paratroopers anyway. That way the paras don’t end up spending too much time with it. If any of you are going to do this instead, please let me know if this is the better way to go!

Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP20 Bypassed Lehr After Action Report (AAR)

 

Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP20 Bypassed Lehr After Action Report (AAR)

Scenario Background

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.  

Le Mesnil-Durand, France

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 

Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP20 Bypassed Lehr After Action Report (AAR)

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.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP20 Bypassed Lehr After Action Report (AAR)

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.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario BFP20 Bypassed Lehr After Action Report (AAR)

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 AP141 Currie’s Favor After Action Report (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP141 Currie’s Favor After Action Report (AAR)

Scenario Background

We now open up to another chapter in Action Pack 14, this time arriving in St. Lambert-Sur-Dives, France, 19 August 1944.  The famous Falaise pocket was drawing close and German forces redoubled their efforts to escape.  One such exit was around this village by the river Dives.  The Canadian 4th Armored Division under Major Currie sped onsite to take care of the issue.  

Credit : War History Online
DK Completel Atlas of the World - Northern France
Excerpt: DK The Complete Atlas of the World 3e

Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations

There’s a little town square in the middle of board 12a.  The Canadians win at the end of any turn if they can capture as many building/ rubble hexes as the prevailing Turn Number (after Turn 3).  The Canadians attacked at dusk and hence there’s a +1 Low Visibility hindrance for the first 2 turns.  The Germans are offered certain SW purchases and we went with a LMG, a MMG and a PSK.  They also have a 81 MTR and an 88L AA gun.  The Canadians come with a pair of Sherman V’s laden with a lot of smoke and WP plus a trio of Stuarts V’s packing smoke and cannister (C6).  There are 5.5 turns and Bocages are in play.  

The Canadians can come in from the right and the bottom edge.  I don’t have enough forces to spread around and can really only strive to block off the closest routes.  As such the “tank” at the top of the map is a dummy.  I also have an 81 MTR at the back (left) of the buildings which I completely mismanaged.  Somehow I thought it will discourage Canadian armor from coming to the back (left) side those buildings.  The thing here though, is that double layer of buildings will cut down on encirclement opportunities.  I situated the 88 close to the town center to cover 3 of the road approaches.  

After Action Report

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP141 Currie's Favor After Action Report 01

Sure enough, the Canadians didn’t go for the top right corner.  They approached largely from the right side of the map with a small flanking force from the bottom.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get any effective shots to land, partly due to the dice and the rest due to the +1 LV.  A Canadian WP broke the 9-1 and a CH sent the PSK team flying as well.  The 88 and the accompanying infantry put up a bit more fight but ended up with a Stuart on top of it.  

The bottom part of the map fared no better.  A squad moved off to cover the 88 and a HS failed its PAATC when it came time to Streetfight a passing Stuart!  The Canadians made it right up to the buildings at the end of Turn 2.  This was not going to end well.Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP141 Currie's Favor After Action Report 02

A German 468 risked Backblast and took out the Stuart sitting on the 88, unfortunately they rolled too low and got K/‘d as well.  It’s the price to pay I guess.  We need the Canadians to hit their 20 CVP cap.  The other Stuart got to the (left) back of our buildings and took out our big mortar.  Quite honestly I messed that one up, to think an 81 MTR could pose a plausible threat to AFVs.  The “double layered” buildings protected us from getting Encircled but we said goodbye to having DM’s taken off.  The Canadians were already in town and we didn’t have the firepower to take them out.  Plus we withdrew quicker than we should and that proved to be our undoing.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario AP141 Currie's Favor After Action Report 03

The Canadian got 4 building hexes around the Town Center at Turn 4 .. and we only had 1 squad (under the -2 Acq) who couldn’t not mount an effective counterattack.  The Germans conceded.  We failed to control the tempo of the battle.  

How is this Scenario Interesting?

The Victory Condition makes this scenario interesting : “Provided the Germans have amassed ≦ 20 CVP, at least as many building/rubble hexes adjacent to the “town square” as the current Turn number.”  So the Canadians need to strike a balance between pushing to get to the town square with time to spare vs losing too many units.  The Germans also need to balance their desire to kill Canadian units versus contracting & consolidating their strength and always releasing a town square hex “too late”.  

The German SW purchases also adds a layer of variability to the scenario.  The H/MMGs will make a difference at early stages of the game, although the abundance of Bocages make efficient use of Firelanes problematic.  The DCs and the PSK will be useful towards the end.  

This is actually a small and manageable scenario for when you don’t have a lot of time.  The turn by turn tension makes this an exciting proposition.  Another interesting bit is that this is really the first part of the battle.  The next scenario: AP142 The Closer describes the subsequent waves of Germans trying to break out of the Falaise Pocket through this village.  (We are playing AP142 right now.)

Interesting Stories about this Battle

“Cork in the Bottle – Canadian and Poles at the Falaise Gap” from Legion

“The Canadian Mechanic Who Sealed off the Falaise Pocket & Trapped over 50,000 Germans” from War HIstory Online