I am relocating! Came across something interesting as I clear things out …
DB058 Vossenack Church After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario
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.
(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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FrF5 The Valley of Death After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario
The Soviets launched Little Saturn on Dec 16 1942, looked to destroy the Italian 8th Army and to cut off relieving forces to Stalingrad. This scenario set in the Arbuzovka valley on December 23 1942 depicts Axis efforts to break out of the encirclement. The Germans and the Italians did break the encirclement historically. With 10,000 Axis dead, 5,000 wounded/ frostbitten and 10,000-15,000 taken prisoners, Italian soldiers called it the “Valley of Death”.
Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations
Elements of the Italian Blackshirt Brigade, Pasubio Division set up on the south (left of map) with 16 squads, 3 leaders, 1 HMG 1 MMG and 3 LMG plus 2 (little) mortars. They were supported by 2 StuGIIIG’s. The Axis suffered Ammunition Shortage but that didn’t factor much into our game. The Russian 35th Guards Rifle Division set up to the north (right of map) with 5 458’s 3 447, 2 leaders, 1 LMG 1 mortar and 2 ATRs. I took the balance in this game and so 3 527, a leader, a radio (70mm OBA) and a T-34 M41 showed up on Turn 2. Both sides were to setup on non Hill hexes, so we both had to slog it up the Hills against Ground Snow.
The Italians had 5.5 turns to get more unbroken (didn’t have to be in good order – could be in Melee/Berserk) non-crew infantry CVP north (right) of map than the Russians, provided that the Russians hadn’t destroy both StuGs. I marked the “victory” line beyond which the Italians had to move on the first AAR map below with a blue dotted line.
The Italians outnumber us 2:1, plus they had more long range toys and 2 StuGs. Our Russians had better quality troops but that’s a lot of map to cover, good thing the Hills were quite barren. The Russians would have to rely on their higher morale of their infantry and the higher mobility of their T34 m41. That T34 wouldn’t win any long range shootouts against StuGs. We would try to fend off an amoeba attack and to not get caught in Close Combat.
After Action Report
The StuG’s split off and went to both hills, threatening a pincer action, supported by a platoon each. The platoon to the east (bottom) was of particular interest since it carried an HMG & an MMG. I really couldn’t split off my troops since they were thin as it was. I diverted 2 squads, a leader and an ATR to the west (top) and my T-34 to the left (bottom). The rest of the Russians on the valley floor dutifully withdrew as their flanks were threatened. Heck, the Italians on the hills were already shooting at my skulking Russians! My T-34 got a lucky shot at the “heavy weapons” team. Italians aren’t easy to rally. I expect that to put them out of action for a little while. (The blue dotted line is the goal line.)
I parked my T-34 on the highest point, went Hull Down and congratulated myself for how smart I was. That didn’t last because a StuG went into a position to engage from the west Hills (top) while another StuG went to my left. My TH was 6 (+1 BU +1 small) to the west Hill StuG but his TH was 8 coming back, and my HD wasn’t going to hold because of the StuG to my left. Urgh! I always thought “lone tanks die” and I was on track to prove this out again with my T34. Hopefully the Russian squads rushing up the east Hill would save those treads!
Good thing an ATR shot broke the platoon on the west Hill (perhaps we could meet the StuG alone then) and the heavy weapons guys on the east Hill went for R&R. The Russians in the valley were slowing the Italians down some but they were moving forward still. Our first Spotting Round went wildly off which didn’t help things. I needed a nice Harassing Fire to shut that party down.
The ATR team on the west (top) Hill went straight for the StuG, if it wanted to deal with us it would have to change VCA. An ATR hit would immo on a 5, and if they pass their PAATC, immo the STuG on a 7! But all that talk didn’t distract the west Hill StuG from our T-34.
It’s time. I knew my T34 couldn’t fire while being CE but we threw open the hatch and tried for a vehicular smoke grenade anyway. Nada. Well, there goes nothing. We gunned the engines and sure enough the first shot whizzed by! We pushed forward off the hill and the StuG intensive fired! The shot came real close but that missed as well. We couldn’t believe it! Everyone in the tank screamed “GO GO GO GO!!”. We thought about rounding to the back of the east (bottom) Hill StuG, DM’ing the Italian heavy weapons team and going HD behind the stone wall. Unfortunately we wouldn’t get a first shot off anyway being CE and that StuG would have a chance to spin around and we would need a 5 to kill (they needed a 6 and they had a spare AFV). We decided to make for the area behind Italian lines. If the StuGs wanted to come for us they would have to go the “wrong” direction and abandon their infantry. We stayed in motion behind some buildings, hidden from the west Hill StuG.
Well, our ATR shot went wide, even when our guys were practically bracing the ATR against the side of the StuG! “We can still go in and kill the thing!” someone yelled. The 7-0 thought about it for a second and remembered how his momma always told him to not be a hero.
Next turn came around and as you expect, the StuG started up. POW!! The ATR team fired again and watched the round arc’d gracefully off to the distance. The StuG overran the Russian team. They survived somehow and rolled around for their CC Reaction Fire. This one’s tough ‘cause the StuG’s moving but they managed to immo the StuG with its gun pointing in a not so useful direction.
The radio guy got Harassing Fire down properly in the valley as well, catching the Italians in the open. The Italians conceded.
How’s this Scenario Interesting?
Classic quality versus quantity? The pair of StuG’s could be tough to deal with. I thought I’d just run that T34 around (and not stopping) and lean on my superior mobility, cut rout paths and stuff. I wouldn’t win shooting matches with either of them. Putting Italians on the hills made it challenging for the Russians as they didn’t have the bodies to spare. StuGs were there to lay smoke I think, without which the Italians couldn’t move safely. The Italians also shouldn’t mass up because of the OBA and so spreading them out might well be the way to go. Some Italians might break but the Russians couldn’t shoot them all. The StuG should do what assault guns were meant to do: shoot smoke rounds from the back and keep the T34 from getting cute. They shoot way better at a distance anyway. I took the balance because it’s largely an Italian win on ROAR but I can see how tough it was for my opponent.
Worldwide Prize #1: Bear Flag Republic and ALEA 35 Magazine (with Italia 44 & The Masters of Horizons). Quarterdeck gives a Shipping Allowance of $30, the winner will pay the difference to Quarterdeck before shipping.
Prize #1 Winner : Cole Mills (USA)
Worldwide Prize #2: From Salerno to Rome (ziplock). Quarterdeck gives a Shipping Allowance of $30, the winner will pay the difference to Quarterdeck before shipping.
Prize #2 Winner : Ray Newbert (USA)
Hong Kong Prize: Bear Flag Republic, shipped FREE
HK Prize Winner : Michael Chan (HK)
A huge thanks to everyone for the overwhelming response! Thanks also to Jack Greene at Quarterdeck International for his generosity. Congratulations to the prize winners. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2021 to everyone, all the very best to you and yours.
@Prize Winners: I will be in touch today by email and will hook you up with Jack Greene for the prizes. If you don’t see an email from me within 6 hours of this post, please let me know.
RbF I-3 South Park After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario
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)
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
After Action Report
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?
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.
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.
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.
Great Games Giveaway 2021: Jack Greene
Since none of us have enough quality games on our shelves, Jack Greene of Quarterdeck International is giving a few great games away to usher in 2021!
Three Great Prizes: Two Worldwide & One to Hong Kong
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2020 Top 10 Posts on HongKongWargamer
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08. About Me
06. Tactical Notes
204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario
I am finally in South Korea!! This is an early Korean war action. On one fine day, June 28 1950, the North Koreans came cruising down Hongch’on Road.
(Steep hills. STEEP.)
The North Koreans had 6 x T-34/85 (some of which might have SD6’s) and 3 x SU-76M (ROF2) with 2 Armor Leaders. They were unfortunately separated from a lot of angry North Koreans (24 squads) spurred on by 5 leaders, one of which a commissar. The South Koreans had a 6 squads + 2 leaders reception committee, plus an unknown composition lying in wait in the Steep Hills. Given the ROF 3 AT Guns, I thought it’s a no-brainer choice. I picked the 3 x AT Gun combo.
Victory Conditions and Tactical Considerations
The North Koreans rolled into the narrow mountain passes (aka Steep Hill) where the South Koreans (HIP’d Fanatic units) prepared an ambush. The North Koreans needed to exit 15 VPs (3 vehicles) in 8.5 turns. I would have to kill all the tanks before the North Korean infantry overrun my blocking force, outnumbered 4 to 1.
Fighting in Steep Hills
Steep Hills is a new terrain feature to Forgotten Wars. This is some of the best ambush terrain.
- AFVs cannot venture offroad and these roads are one lane only.
- Open Ground Steep Hill hexes are Concealment Terrain.
- Guns with L or LL barrel lengths (all the AFVs in this scenario) cannot fire Main Gun / CMG at a higher elevation target if the LOS crosses any hill terrain in the hex adjacent to the firer that is of a higher elevation (but Guns on Steep Hills can fire down).
Wait, the South Koreans (Ambush team) had Molotovs! (They were Fanatic as well, a point that we completely forgot.)
As you know, Molotovs kill AFVs at 6 or less, -1 for Elevation Advantage +2 for Moving and -1 for Crew Exposed.
However, the SU76’s should be very afraid. Some of the Hill hexes next to the Road were 2 levels higher than the Road. That meant an Open Top AFV could be treated as unarmored! (D5.311). A Korean squad dropping a MOL into an SU76 from an adjacent hex would have an IFP of 8+4 or 12, which is 8 on the “vehicle line”. If those rides don’t burn, there were scores of Human Bullets (remember ATMMs) and DC heros to get the job done.
Here’s the thing: we all knew it’s going to be ugly for the Korean tank column. Should it move forward as per normal and hope to survive the ambush? Or should it do what one of the playtester did, crawl along as slow as possible until the N Korea infantry catch up?
After Action Report
The N Koreans had to do PTCs at the start of the scenario, but it’s more of an inconvenience really. Everything’s very quiet.
The S Korean AT guns appeared and shot the lead tanks! This One Lane Road obviously created issues for the convoy. S Korean infantry then appeared and rained Molotovs down from two levels up and burned the SU76M’s on the other end. On the far left, the N Korean infantry rushed the vastly outnumbered S Korean defenders. The only thing the S Koreas banked on was the open ground between the hordes and themselves. There were 2 dozen dummy counters amongst the S Koreans on the left. Hopefully their protected position would help delay the N Koreans some.
We held off the first infantry onslaught but the N Koreas were getting too close for comfort. On the right flank, we had to back off via the gully. They could follow us into the gully but if they wanted to go faster they would need to get on Open Ground and take our point blank fire. We must hold the flanks! Up on the Steep Hills some Human Bullets started appearing. One of surviving SU76M crews vaporized one of them as soon as he came into view. The other got to a T34 and even remembered an ATMM but failed to do any damage!
A third AT gun appeared and completed the destruction that was the N Korean armor column. It’s just as well ‘cause one of the other AT Guns malf’d. The ambush team tried to dig some foxholes but got wiped out by the MTR (we forgot they were fanatic). Over on the left of the map, the right flank was on the verge of collapsing. They were pretty much just blocking the way with brokies. The left flank was still firing away and leaving Residual on Open Ground.
Over on the left of the map, the right flanked crumbled and the N Koreans were rushing for the right edge of the map! Their MTR kept pounding away at one of our AT Guns but good thing its concealment held for a while. Unfortunately no one brought too many HE rounds and we were just pinging infantry with AT rounds. We had very few warm bodies left to stop the N Koreans. Good thing they didn’t want to spend too much time messing with us.
We focused on putting a line of residual fire across where most of the N Koreans had to cross and it was deadly. The N Koreans conceded when its apparent that they couldn’t squeeze 15 CVP’s of folks through the north.
How’s this Scenario Interesting?
This is certainly a great lesson on how Steep Hills were hostile environments to AFVs. I suspect it’s easy for the N Korea player to fail his Personal Morale Check when it didn’t take much to light the whole armor column up in flames. This is my first game with a new opponent and I am very impressed with how resilient he was and how he kept pushing on til the very end. It wouldn’t be such a great game had it not been him. In case we start thinking that this is an unbalanced scenario, ROAR reads 8:9 North K: South K. I’d love to hear what some of the winning strategies for the N Koreans are!
SP247 Golden Arrow After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario
This is got to be one of the shortest scenarios I have ever played! It’s April 2 1945 around Siegen, Germany. The US 8th Infantry Division (“Golden Arrow Divison”) along with some armor were met by paratroopers from the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment. The Americans win if they have more MMCs than the Germans on Level 1 across (map left) the Sieg River in 4.5 turns. The Americans brought a M4A3 with a 105mm howitzer (US Vehicle Note 17) for infantry support and a M10 TD (US Vehicle Note 23) to back the Sherman up. The Germans had a StuPzIV “Brummbär” (German Vehicle Note 37) which sports a 150mm howitzer, practically a DC hurler on tracks!
The Germans started with 5 squads, 2 reinforcing. The Americans ran with 7. Apart from pushing across the river, they best whittle each other’s forces between movement phases. The Germans have better morale and better cover but a shorter range and an ELR of 2. The Americans can win most firefights but their morale is not the best for moving under fire. We would have to rely on a lot of smoke. Good thing the M4A3(105) got a lot of it (WP9 S7 sM8). I planned to use the M4A3(105) to help get rid of the German infantry and the M10 was to keep the Brummbär away. Having said that, the M10 with its open top would try not to let the 150mm roving howitzer have the first shot.
After Action Report
The Germans got their Brummbär nicely holed up in a stone building. German reinforcements could come in from either the left (bottom) or the right (top) on Turn 2. That kept me off the hill on my right because it’ s very hard to rout properly from. I put a little firebase high (9-2) up in a stone building to help me clear the hill on the left.
We managed to clear off the hill top on my left (map bottom), but not without suffering a few broken squads. Some Germans sneaked back on the hill to the right, plus the Brummbär hadn’t moved yet, hmm ..
Later in Allied Turn 3: The German (+reinforcements) were already scrambling onto the hills over on the north shore. One dang HS managed to pull a panzerfaust and burned my Sherman! I meant for it to go hulldown around the building in W5, so much for that now. That left my M10 weaving its way up hill to get a better shot across the stream while avoiding the Brummbär. I had a leader snatch a baz from some brokies and delivered to the chaps at Y7. A HS had also gotten behind the Brummbär. However, a HS’s CCV is 3 (-1 CE target). We wondered as to whether the HS should go for the CC or jump into the river. These fellas were screaming themselves hoarse and throwing beer cans but the Brummbär didn’t seem the least bit bothered. Everyone need to cross the stream in the next 2 turns.
Turn 4 and it was now or never. We figured if we move our TD last we could keep the Brummbär in place while we move everyone closer to the stream. Once in the stream they should be able to scramble up the hill on the north shore (map left) with a move vs Difficult Terrain. TD’s there VBM’d against the building to keep the Germans getting close enough to give us enough firepower and to provide some smoke in the last turn.
Last Movement Phase! There was a CX’d German HS behind my TD. I could back the TD up, go through the “sunken road” in W7 and try a non-hulled down side shot on the Brummbär. I’d be chancing a successful panzerfaust pull from the HS and if the TD bought it, it’s out of the game. I could drive the TD forward in full view of the Brummbär and try to lay Smoke or better yet, threaten to shoot the monster. If the Brummbär shoot back and/or blow me up, that would have protected my infantry. So that’s what I planned to do. First, I advanced a couple of squads into the stream, the Germans shot back but it wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately no one could find any smoke grenades to toss back up to cover the TD. Ah well, the TD crew thought, everything in their lives had evidently brought them to this point. So it rolled forward, turned and moved towards the Brummbär. They hoped to lay some smoke for the 9-2 platoon that’s waiting to move but the smoke pot didn’t work either. The M10 drove straight up to the Brummbär and stopped, open topped vs 150mm howitzer. The Brummbär refused to be distracted, it wanted the 9-2 platoon. The only way the TD could be cover for the 9-2 platoon is to be a wreck and the Brummbär wouldn’t allow that! The TD went for a round of APCR, and the round sailed over the stone wall …
It connected!! The turret hit wrecked the Brummbär. The 9-2 platoon gleefully splashed into the stream, survived the residual and cheered!
The Americans won this round by putting 7 squads on Level 1 vs the German’s 5.
BFP21 Ripe for the Picking After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario
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.
Combat Command B 3rd Armored Division & German 353rd Infantry Division.
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!!