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)
(“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
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.