Sunday, July 17, 2011

AAR: Shooting Gallery (STONNE(2ND)9)

Scott Bell

French: Art Douglas
Germans: Scott Bell

Art Douglas and I played an interesting scenario this weekend, called "Shooting Gallery." It is scenario #9 from the Critical Hit pack titled "Grossdeutschland at...... Stonne 1940." (2nd edition).

The map is outstanding. It encompasses the fight for the town of Stonne, which is on a hill. The terrain is unlike anything I have seen on any other board. There is lots of barbed wire that channels the attacker. It is difficult terrain.

The battle for Stonne (historically) was bitter. The French represented themselves well, and the town of Stonne changed hands 17 times over 3 days. The Grossdeutschland Regiment lost approximately 51% of its total losses for the French Campaign in just 2 days of fighting in Stonne. Germans have referred to it as the "Verdun of 1940."

Art got the better of me in this scenario, and gave me a "schooling" on the effectiveness of the 25LL French AT gun vs. the German Panzer IV D. The potency of the gun (for this time period), combined with the relative thinness of the German armor, makes the German tanks quite vulnerable. The rate of "3" for the French gun is daunting. I continually faced TK shots of 4 or 5, and with rate like that, it was only a matter of time. Art had a very smart defensive gameplan, and executed it exceptionally well.

I was very interested to discover, when researching the battle, that our game held true to history with regards to this gun. I read some individual accounts that record this matchup (French 25LL gun vs. German Panzer IV D) exclusively. Our game seemed to mirror what occurred historically. Very interesting!

Art and I agreed that we are going to be playing additional scenarios from this pack. It was fun, and I learned a few lessons that I will be taking forward into my next engagement against the French at Stonne!

I like this pack from Critical Hit.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Initial Thoughts on the Map Pack

Brian Roundhill

Just got my Starter Kit style map bundle in the mail, and I already have several thoughts. Let's take a trip.

I do like the crisper art for the buildings. Not sure about some of the shading of the buildings, but it is not bad. Board 1 just pops at me.

Ooo, 3-d looking shellholes. Real nice.

Board 5 feels sterile. I think I prefer the old style woods. Board 7 is completely different - water and marsh have new graphics. It is going to take some time to adjust to it, but I think I like the new marsh. Not sure yet about the water.

Yowza, graveyards are very different. A little too busy for my taste, but very distinctive. And the rogue boards match the rest of the boards. Board 13 especially is much easier to look at.

Desert boards - hammada and scrub are now recognizably separate. Cha-ching!

And those are my thoughts. I think MMP has done a great job of bringing the maps into the new times, and it will be fun to play some of those old favorites with a new look.

-- Brian Roundhill