Sunday, April 04, 2010

AAR: WO1 French Toast and Bacon

Steven Miller

Germans: Steven Miller
Americans: Tom Gillis

What happens when you lose 75% of your infantry and 83% of your armor? Why, of course, you win! Tom and I played one of the scenarios in the new Winter Offensive pack. It is early in the Ardennes Offensive and the Germans have to control a bridge. There are not a lot of turns but the Germans do get three panthers, three MK-IV's and four squads to only one of the worst armor TD the Americans have in their armory, two AT guns and six half squads with three bazookas. The scenario has some special rules I have not seen before. The American TD has to pass an ever-worsening TC to stay on the board, the Americans get an off-board 105 ART that shoots as direct fire and it has an ability to fire a special charge that allows a CH on a roll of 2 or a 3.

I will not attempt to be as detailed as Nick in his legendary AAR's but I will provide a brief summary. After turn one I was in serious trouble. I was the Germans and realizing there were only a few turns to get to and hold the bridge I made an armor charge. I lost one panther to sheer arrogance. (never, never underestimate a bazooka's effectivness on the side of a panther) I lost two MK-IV's to the accursed TD and APCR. The infantry, what little I had, was now conducting an armored assault without much armor. Pausing only long enough for a panther to vaporize his TD, I continued my dash to the bridge. With some poorly timed bad luck on Tom's part (hidden AT gun malfunctioning at the worst time) and some well timed luck on my part (safely racing two tanks right next to and past an AT gun) I managed to double-time a half squad, which at this time represented 50% of my remaining infantry and my last surviving tank to the bridge. The victory conditions state that the Ger mans win immediately if they control the bridge. So, at the end of the half-squads movement the scenario instantly ended and I won. Tom actually outnumbered me at that point. I'm sure many of you have had those scenarios where you satisfied the victory conditions but you don't feel quite right saying you won.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

AAR: J118 Elephants Unleashed

Jay Harms

Russians: Jay Harms
Germans: Doyle Motes

Played J118 Elephants unleashed from the latest annual. Played this one against Doyle at Marks get together last Saturday. I had the Russians and Doyle had the Germans. It is a fun little scenario that has toys for both sides. VCs are the Germans need to exit either 22 points off the board or take 6 of 7 building hexes. I set up with my speed bump force centered around the buildings and Doyle elected to go for the exit VC option early. This put my forces a bit out of place, but with 5 T34s and 2 SU152s entering on turn 1 and 2 respectively, I felt I could contain an end run. That was my first mistake……

Turn 1 I move my T34s into position, and tried for an ESB on one T34 that could just reach where I wanted in its first movement phase…. Rolled an 11 and so without a shot fired, I have one T34 immobilized in the village, not a bad spot, but still not good. (This was mistake #2) Another T34 tried for going HD in LOS of one of Doyles supporting PZIII tanks… no dice. The other 3 tanks are spread out to keep my options open as the German tanks continue to move slowly towards the exit. With a red MF of 8 for the 3 elephants, it was slow going…and I thought I had a decent initial defense...

German turn 2 and Doyle takes a shot at my T34 with a 75* gun after spinning the turret… it goes something like this…”I may as well take this shot to accuire you, I can’t hurt you unless I get a critical since my TK is 10 and your armor is 11…..(dice roll around in the dice cup…) … Critical hit! Scratch one T34…. This kill set the tone for the next 2 turns…. And at this point my defense started unraveling. Over the next 2 turns I lost two more tanks to critical hits, and only managed to deliberate immobilize one of the elephants. Doyle played an excellent game and protected his smaller tanks with the all but invulnerable elephants, while whittling away my tanks. Each turn he moved a bit closer to the exit, with the elephants covering the other tanks, and his infantry covering the Elephants. In the end I conceded as I had nothing left to stop his slow march to the exit. Good game Doyle! Looking back, with a good German opponent, I think the scenario is hard on the Russians given the Elephants have little to fear. Doyle played the attack masterfully and I botched several key decisions (split my tanks, ESB mistake, bad initial setup) which took a close game and made it into a “Jay gets slapped around” game….