FrF67 Collecchio

We have Brazilians in Northern Italy, April 26 1945.  They are to capture 5 out of the 8 buildings on the map in 6.5 turns.  The map has the buildings split up, 4 to each side.  The Germans have 3 Italian AB41.  The Brazilians have these really nice M8 Greyhounds as well as 3 Shermans, one sporting a 105mm howitzer.

 Shermans

Your pretty common M4A1.

M4 with a 105mm Howitzer!!  This thing has S7, WP9 & sM8!  Should be able keep them smoked for a little while.

M8 Greyhound

Fine, it’s OT and not the most well suited in an urban environment.  However, this sweet little car has Cannister shot (C7) aside from FP8 from its CMG & AAMG.  Its 36 MPs & urban pave roads yells “go anywhere shoot anything”.

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M8 Greyhound from the Tank Encyclopedia http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/US/M8_Greyhound.php

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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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Six guys in a Steeple against the World!! (DB132 One Last Victory)

This is a particularly interesting scenario.  As the SS, having Assault Fire should tip you off to the fact that they should move as fast as possible in spite of heavy American firepower. At one point I had broken SS all over the board but we recovered and got to the last turn barely “on time” for the jump off!

The last turn was classic ASL: keep in mind I needed to get 2 of the 3 key buildings.

A Hero placed a DC in of the VC buildings.  That thing blew up with a original KIA and rubbled the building!  (YEAAAHHH)  The Americans had a 9-X Leader and a couple of squads on the Ground floor. It was bad.

I got my FT HS within 2 hexes of another one of the VC buildings, while under Concealment no less!  This HS X’d out the FT on the first shot!  These guys hadn’t done a thing all game and X’d out the FT on the only shot they got!!

The rest of the SS’s Advanced Fire was ineffective apart from pinning a couple of squads.

I had to win one of two CC’s to win the game.  In the first one,  the SS ambushed the Americans but boxcarred the roll.  Okay, I need to win one of one CCs .. then I realized I had a problem.

I had 2 SS squads at the bottom of the church where a pinned HS and an 8-0 got holed up in the Steeple.  Normally, this would have been the easiest CC to do.

But it’s a Steeple.

My 2 SS squad had to take a +3 overstacking penalty going in, so it’s a 3:1 or 8 +3, needing to roll a 5 (or really a 4).

I rolled an 8.

Notes:

  • Read the VC carefully: the German player needs at least 12 building which includes 1 of 3 buildings around hex D2 (in the back) and 2 of 3 stone buildings around hex J4.
  • Part of the German OB are reinforcements that will show up between Turn 1 to Turn 3.  They are good for keeping the Americans in place and also to grab a building around hex D2 in the back.
  • Keep in mind that the Germans have Winter Camouflage amidst Ground Snow .. ie if needed, they can Advance into Open Ground without losing Concealment (against ridiculous US firepower).
  • We completely forgot about SSR#5 Interrogation
  • That Steeple (J4) is useful in that it keeps an oversized contingent of SS from piling in.  The SS best focus on the other 2 stone buildings around hex J4.

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Next in the countdown: DB131 A Thorn in the Side!

J168 Katyusha’s Embrace

This 1943 scenario offers the Russians a 200mm Rocket OBA with a preregistered hex.  The 200 mm is a massive but a one shot deal and it wanders by half a dr.  You can’t aim nor correct the thing (it’s automatically inaccurate)!  I started the scenario off being less than thrilled about the usefulness of it.

Since Rocket OBA uses a Harassing Fire’s Blast Area, I figured this thing will touch a 5/6 hex area (the rules don’t say whether the error’s rounded up or down.)  The GameSquad crowd pointed out there are certain merits to holding off on it so that the Germans will avoid crowding.  I put my PreReg hex on 63Q10.

The Russians (I) pushed through the middle – first by largely Assault Moving on board to avoid damage from the various machineguns trained in my direction. Then the Russians executed a Human Wave to rush into the woods ahead.  I’d love to say it’s a brilliant move but reality is that I benefited hugely from my opponent’s horrible die rolls.

Oh yes, the Russians get points for taking the multi-hex buildings and by rushing units into the circled area on the right of the map.  The Russians win when they stack up 8 points.

This one’s an interesting scenario.  I read the VC wrong though, or really, I didn’t really understood the VC.  The VC called for 8VPs and the Russians can achieve it in one of two ways:

  1. Get all the buidings in the middle of the board, rubble or not, they total to 8VPs;
  2. Move 8 units into the circle, AFV or squads.

The defender has to get the right balance between defending against the two – defend the buildings and risk getting surrounded or backup to the rear and risk losing the buildings.

Thoughts?

Baptism of Fire – Introduction to Tank Play via S21 Clash at Borisovka

German Tiger I of the 501st heavy tank battali...

German Tiger I of the 501st heavy tank battalion in Tunisia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in trouble!

I just found myself regular face-to-face (“FtF”) games with the good people of the Hong Kong Society of Wargamers who, when they are not playing miniatures, meet regularly to play Advanced Squad Leader games.

I thought I would just drop by, watch and learn how ASL rules come alive in FtF play.  It’s my first meeting with these folks (names withheld since I didn’t ask for their permission) and I was determined not to be too much of a disruption.  I mean these are very experienced players who carry all the ASL tables in their heads, surely they don’t have time for newbies …

They would have none of that.

Before I knew it I was taking part in a scenario “S21 Clash at Borisovka“.  This scenario depicts a situation on March 14 1945, in Borisovka, where the German Grossdeutschland Division had penetrated deep into Russian lines and elements of the 3rd Guard Tanks Corps was sent to stop them.  It’s a tank on tank scenario where the Russians has 10 T-34s and the Germans has 4 Mark IVs and 2 Tigers.  I haven’t yet read Chapter D but soon after they took the time to explain gameplay to me, I was running a T-34 from behind the woods, speeding through open ground and ramming up against the side of a row of Mark IVs on our flanks and took two of them out!

The Tigers were much harder to deal with.  We were trying to run T-34s around them and even got some rammed up their sides but to no avail.  We though things were going downhill for the Russians when one of the Tiger’s gun malfunctioned!

You should have heard the screams!

At the end the Russians won, befitting the engagement’s historical ending.  If you saw the level of engagement (Advanced Squad Leader is a VERY interactive game), it’s not hard to understand how some folks devote a lifetime to playing it.

To my fellow newbies : It’s true – the best way to learn Advanced Squad Leader is to have seriously experienced players to play with you.  You’ll be amazed how quickly everything fall into place!

(If the above sounds fantastic, you should know that I was learning more than playing .. a couple of grognards did all the moves!!)

Kwan01

How about coming home everyday to 30 mins of PBeM game over VASL?

Whether you are a fellow newbie who would like to learn together or an experienced ASLer who don’t mind helping me up the curve. I play to enjoy and to learn. Please message me at jackson-dot-kwan-at-gmail-dot-com!!