Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR)

 

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR)

Scenario Background

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.  

Google Map : Seoraksan

(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

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR) NK Turn 1

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.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR) NK Turn 2

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.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR) NK Turn 3

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!

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report

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.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR)

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.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 204 Human Bullets After Action Report (AAR)
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!

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR)

Scenario Background

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!

Tactical Considerations

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.  

M4A3

 

M10 Tank Destroyer

 

Brummbär

 

Golden Arrow

​​

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.  

SP247 Golden Arrow Nov28 01

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR) starting position

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR) start of Allied Turn 3

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 .. 

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR) MPh Allied Turn 3

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.

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR) Post AFPh Axis Turn 4

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.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario SP247 Golden Arrow (AAR) last Allied MPh

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.

Advanced Squad Leader scenario DB131 Thorn in the Side (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario DB131 Thorn in the Side (AAR)

Scenario Background

A buddy and I continue to play the excellent series of “Dispatches from the Bunker” scenarios backwards.  After DB132 One Last Victory, we were on DB131 A Thorn in the Side.  This scenario puts us in February 1 1944 Kangaw Burma.  The No 1 Commando “Royal Marines” took a hill (Hill 170) that oversaw a vital road junction in the path of Japanese retreat.  The Japanese found that unacceptable.

The first map is from Combined Operations and the photo of the “salamander badge” of the 1 Commando is from Commando Veterans Archive.

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

So here we have a 4.5 turn scenario in which the Japanese wins at the end of any Player Turn if all British AFV are eliminated/ recalled/ not on level 3 hill hexes.  It’s never good to meet the IJA in close quarters.  I hope to take advantage of distance, higher firepower and all the leader mods.  It would be hard to keep the IJA off my tanks for 5 IJA Movement Phases.  I thought about this and I realized there’s a clue in the Victory Conditions.  I had 3 AFV’s and AFV’s can move.  The Victory Conditions say “If ALL British AFVs .. not in Level 3 hill hexes.”  There are 3 Level 3 hill tops on the map.  I could start on one side, delay the IJA for as long as I could and move the tanks to the other level 3 hexes.  I would be fine as along as 1 of the 3 Shermans stayed on level 3 at any given time!

So that was my plan.

After Action Report

Advanced Squad Leader scenario DB131 Thorn on the Side (AAR)

The IJA moved up to my positions from the south (bottom of the map).  Most of them succeeded in keeping their Concealment but we weren’t shy about opening fire.  We were not going to find out whether we could survive IJA ambushes even though we were Stealthy.  We simply didn’t have the numbers to swap them bodies for bodies.  The time to reduce the IJA was now!  We were mindful about keeping rout paths open but that wouldn’t last as the IJA close in.  We also made sure that we keep HS’s between our main forces and the IJA.  We didn’t want our main force caught in a Banzai or even in a friendly HtH.  The idea here was to block them, to induce MC’s and to waste their time.

Advanced Squad Leader scenario DB131 Thorn in the Side (AAR)

Post Allied MPh, Turn 3 (of 4.5), the British got a line of HS’s blocking off the IJA from their foxholes (FH).  HtH’ing these guys would take one of the 2 Movement phases they had left.  The AFV’s moved to the “3rd” Level 3 hill top to the North.  Some infantry went as well as the last line of defense.  The 2 Level Jungle helped here as you need to see a target to initiate a Tank Hunter Hero or a Banzai.  Our 10-2 ran off successfully but we had issues moving the MMG squad out of their FHs.  The squad broke under IJA fire but a Hero came by to pick up the MMG.  We figured we could do a Minimum Move and pass it to some friendies nearby (but we were wrong, as per A4.134 we need to have at least 1 MF to do a Minimum Move, best we can do was to send a HS back in and hand the toy over during the Rally Phase).  Those guys were also looking to CC the Wounded IJA 8+1 nearby since he couldn’t vol break.

The IJA conceded.

How’s this Scenario Interesting?

It’s interesting when I remembered Guderian insisting that an AFV’s engine is as much a weapon as its guns.  This scenario a delightful “return” to the PTO for me.  It takes discipline to minimize CC contact with the IJA in the Jungle.  More to screen off Banzai attacks, to keep my distance and to shoot to get MC’s.  This is a very tight design: terrific troops on both sides, tight mapboard and a tigher 4.5 turns.  This definitely reminds me why PTO is my first love.

We are on to the next: DB130 Tigers and Flames!

Advanced Squad Leader scenario FrF3 The Swedish Voluntary Corps After Action Report (AAR)

Advanced Squad Leader scenario FrF3 The Swedish Voluntary Corps After Action Report (AAR)

Scenario Background

It’s March 2 1940, Märkäjärvi, Finland.  Russians discovered a Swedish base camp and decided to move in to shut them down.  It’s minus 47C (-52.6F)!!

Victory Conditions & Tactical Challenges

The situation’s not pretty from the start, the Swede OB was cool but not Finnish-self-rallying cool.  The Russians came in two directions with 24 (6 on ski’s) squads and 2 leaders.  The Swedes had 9 squads and 3 leaders and all of them on ski’s.  Extreme Winter, Winter Camoflage and Deep Snow’s in effect (did I mention it’s cold?).  The Russians have to force all Good Order Swedes out of a 7 hex magic circle drawn in the Woods within 5.5 turns.  

After Action Report

Advanced Squad Leader scenario FrF3 The Swedish Voluntary Corps (AAR)

By Turn 2, the Swedes were already suffering heavy losses (KIA’d a 8-0 too) plus morale’s breaking all over, level 8 or not.  They had the same range as the Russians, which didn’t allow them to take good advantage of the Open Ground that he Russians had to cross.  Russians were taking on an orderly pattern of moving and doing big firegroups.  What we were most wary of were Human Waves that would propel the Russian quickly over that Open Ground (snow).  We tried to keep LMG’s in firelane positions and put Half Squads out to catch Human Wav’ing Russians forward.  However at the rate at which we took casualties, I would be amazed if we could hang on (as the Swedes) to the magic circle for 5.5 turns!  

IMG 4277

Somehow we kept the Russian hordes in the open for a little while longer.  We were still careful about  keeping HS’s between our main forces and the Russians to fend off potential Human Waves but none materialised.  Timing is everything, if we duck into the Woods too early it would give the Russians free passage across the snow.  

IMG 4301

We fought hard to not let the Russians flank us.  Unfortunately two berserkers popped up and punched holes in our lines.  At the end of the turn we would see one melee and most Swedes melting into the Woods.  We ran out of Open Ground already!  Okay, 2 more Russian moves to go.  

Advanced Squad Leader scenario FrF3 The Swedish Voluntary Corps After Action Report (AAR)

We deployed to cover more ground and some of our troops rallied.  In our last MPh, a HS drew fire by placing a Demo Charge on a 2 x 447 stack.  It got shot to bits, a Hero ran in, picked up the DC and tried to place it again, he too got blown away by Subsequent Fire, The good news was that the Residual wasn’t placed in our “escape” hex.  A leader picked up the DC, backed up through the escape rout and casually chucked it at the 2 x 447 in Advance Fire Phase.  That package of love didn’t do anything to anyone.  Well, we did try!  On the otherhand a Hero on the right sneaked up to a Russian brokie.  He ambushed the brokie, killed it and positioned himself to interdict the incoming Russian MMG team.  The rest of the Swedes formed up into a hedgehog inside the magic circle.  The Russians conceded.  

How is this Scenario Interesting?

This is classic quantity vs quality.  I count myself lucky to not have seen a Russian Human Wave over the snow.  That would have likely given the Russians a lot more time to work the Swedes over in the Woods.  I mean, these guys had more squads than I had bullets!  Close Combat in the Woods with 9 squads vs 24 is not a welcomed prospect either.  As I mentioned earlier, timing is everything with this scenario.  The Swedes had to hold their ground until towards the end even though Russian firegroups (and Berserkers) were breaking the Swedish lines all over.  Then again, the ROAR records on this scenario is 11:4 in favor of the Swedes, perhaps I am being a bit of a drama queen here.  

The game’s fantastic, my opponents divine

caleb-jones-Nj0mCM6nikI-unsplash

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

In 2019 I completed 25 games :

  • Playtest 7
  • Win 7
  • Lost 11
  • PBeM 6
  • Live VASL 19
  • Carrying 9 games to 2020
  • Played 13 opponents (incl games carrying over to 2020 & games dropped/on hold)
  • 50% of my games are played with of my 2 opponents

I want to play more scenarios from Dispatches from the Bunker & Friendly Fire, which I achieved.  I want to try Carl Nogueira & David Lamb’s Dien Bien Phu, I did 2.  I want to try scenarios from Time on Target, I did 1.

In 2020 I’d like to continue playing through :

  • Dispatches from the Bunker
  • Friendly Fire
  • LFT14 Italians
  • Action Pack 14
  • Complete a play thru of BFP Operation Cobra
  • Get started with the Forgotten War (Korea)

I’d also like to eat right & to sleep tight so as to stay healthy for as long as possible so that I can play as much of my scenarios as possible. I wish the same of my opponents.

The game’s fantastic, my opponents divine. It’s a real privilege to be in touch with all of these gents regularly through the year. I love the weekly chats and I love getting emails that are not newsletters, alerts or bills.

I should also mention the designers I work with, I learn sooooo much from them. Good Lord, are they knowledgeable!

I wish you and yours the absolute best.

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 3 The Czerniakow Bridgehead (AAR)

It’s September 22nd 1944, Warsaw.  The 1st Polish Army, fighting under Russian command and the Polish Home Army (the famous “Kampinos Battle Group“) defended the Czerniakow Bridgehead withdrawal against Kaminiski’s White Russians, fighting under German colors across the Vistula.

The “Germans” need to take more CVPs than the “Russians” and have enough on Board 8 to exert 20 unmodified FP at the end of 10 turns.

Thoughts

  • This is a good German management team, 7 leaders totaling -5 Leader mods.
  • The Poles have numerical superiority : 27 squads vs German’s 15 (balanced off by half the team having bad ELR). We have a force that will happily swap bodies in CC.
  • The 1st Polish Army need to recover quickly post “bombardment” and re-situate to interdict where the Germans decide to cross in force.
  • The Poles don’t have the firepower to engage the Germans inside buildings and have to seek shooting opportunities in Open Ground.

ASL AAR After Action Report

The Poles had been able to delay the Germans at the crossing enough to for the Kampinos battlegroup to resituate.  Once the Germans bring their machine guns into the buildings acrossing the river it will be much tougher for the Poles with their lower firepower and shorter range.  I would have to figure out how to take maximum advantage of our stealthiness, MOLs and sewer movement (ie, fight up close).

Advanced Squad Leader scenario 3 The Czerniakow Bridgehead

The Germans made an approach to the bridge on the left as well.  As a result I need to retain forces to the left of the board.  I have a squad, an LMG plus a -1 leader HIP’d at the G/F of the building where you see Defensive Fire going to the DM’d German stack (red dotted line).  Unfortunately they will never get to leash hell on the bulk of the German forces since we decided to end the game here.

4 The Commissar’s House

November 9 1942, Germans at the Barricady noticed a nice red house.   They pulled up some fresh pioneers and told them to go mess with it.

What follows is one of most beautifully crafted, and an oft played ASL scenario (150:147 G:R).

(Typo Russian Turn 3)

img_3900

FrF2 Maczek Fire Brigade

This is September 4 1939, Poland.  The Poles rushed the Maczek brigade to plug gaps in the defense.  The Germans win this scenario by taking 12 buildings in 5.5 turns.

img_3870

Here are some of the AFVs involved by the way (from the wonderful site – Tanks Encyclopedia) :

Polish

Vickers Ejw(b)

vickers-mark_e_polish_jw

The Ejw(b) is armed with a 47* (TK8) and a FP6 CMG.  AF2/1.

Vickers Edw(b)

vickers-mark_e_polish_dw

The Edw(b) has twin turrets (6×2*), each with a wz.30 7.92 MG which can be fired independently of each other.  AF 2/1.

TKS

tks

The TKS is armed with a FP2 BMG and the TKS(L) with a 20L  (TK6).  AF 1/0.

German

Pz IIA

panzer_ii_ausfb

The Pz IIA was the main battle tank in Poland, spotting a 20L (TK 6 IFE 4) and a FP5 CMG.  AF 1/1.

Pz IB

pzkpfw-1_ausfb_france40

The Pz IB has a FP6 CMG that does 2 TK DRs per hit.  AF 1/1.

PSW 222

sd-kfz-222_poland1939

The PSW 222 is an OT armored car with 33MP.  It has a 20L (TK 6 IFE 4) and a FP6 CMG.  AF 1/1.

1 Fighting Withdrawal

I finally get to play one of the most oft played ASL classic, the first scenario in Beyond Valor: 1 Fighting Withdrawal.  I see almost 600 games reported on ROAR!

I got the Finns and my new-ish opponent got the Russians and the balance – ie the Russians do NOT suffer from ammo shortage.  The Finns need to exit more VPs than the Russians in 7 turns!

20190110 - bl lee - 1 fighting withdrawal - 015img_3851

 

FrF45 Totensonntag

This is one of the more popular Friendly Fire scenarios.  It’s Poland, September 1939 and the Poles launched an offensive against a German flank.  The Poles win if 6 or more German squads equivalents are eliminated or captured.  Each wooden building containing => 1 Polish squad equivalent equates to a German squad eliminated.

IMG_3651