Thursday, September 22, 2016

AAR: BFP20 Bypassed Lehr

Americans: Ed
Germans: Robert

Robert and I decided to play BFP20 Bypassed Lehr. During Operation Cobra the mobile elements of the Big Red One have bypassed a village occupied by remnants of Panzer Lehr and it is up to the less mobile following units to mop them up. The Germans are mostly 2nd line with some Sturm squads. The Americans are an even mix of 1st Line and Elite.ROAR has the Germans as the favored side so I let Robert have them. The Germans win at game end by controlling at least 4 buildings. There are 15 in play, all Stone. Tough for the Americans. At first I thought I would drive up the middle and spread out from there but decided to pick up the "easy" buildings on the flank, drive the Germans back into a "nut" and then use my firepower to crack the last few needed to win. It was a classic German vs American infantry fight, The Germans popping off 4 to 12 FP attacks while the Americans returned fire with 12 to 30 FP attacks. Robert did a good job of skulking and passing morale checks early on putting me behind schedule. Two of the larger buildings fell on schedule and I even managed to get a squad into the backfield to contest the last multihex building. As time was running out a German HS took out an American squad in melee to hold a flank building and another squad broke an American squad on a 4+2 shot to delay the attack on another flank building. We had to call it quits with a turn and a half remaining and the game too close to call although I give the edge to Robert because of the late setbacks on my flanks. I had to take 4 more buildings - I know I could probably take 3 but it would be tough to take 4. Robert can claim the chair in October by host decree.

Just a reminder, I will be hosting ASL gaming at my place in October on the 3rd Saturday - the 15th - since I will still be at ASLOK on the 8th.

We have 5 already preregistered for the November tournament, including a new attendee who also happens to be the Austin Tournament runner up. Visit the website * <>* for information on the tournament and preregistering. I will post the first half of the scenario list before I leave for ASLOK (the oldies but goodies) and the other half the week after I return (the latest and greatest). The tournament Tshirts are in, see the attached JPEG. You get one with your entry to the tournament. I will have a limited number available for sale after the tournament.

Hope to see you in October and at the tournament in November.


AAR: ASL43 Into The Fray

Germans: Matt
Poles: Ralph

At the last North Texas game day Ralph had been reading up on the Cavalry rules and as he put it, wanted to kill some horses. Matt took him up on the challenge; they played ASL 43 Into the Fray. Matt took the attacking Germans, Ralph the Poles (and the horses). The Germans have to either punch through a line of Polish reservists or wreak wholesale slaughter on the the Poles to win. Most of the Germans attacked on their left flank with a "keep em honest" group moving down the right. The right flank was stopped dead in their tracks. Literally. Most KIA'd with low rolls by Ralph. The other flank pushed on, assisted by reinforcing armor. One tank was immobilized but it was still possible for Matt to exit what he needed. Then the cavalry arrived... The Germans opened up on them and it got ugly as Matt started rolling KIAs too. I missed the details being wrapped up in my own game but apparently he killed enough horses to win.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

AAR: FT77 Suprised Buffalo

Ed Beekman
Italians: Jim Ferrell, Ed Beekman
Americans/Partisans: Zeke
We had three players so we looked for a scenario that could work for three.  We agreed upon FT77 Surprised Buffalo.  It is a December '44 Italy scenario with second line Americans and some Italian Partisans defending a town from a large Italian force wielding German support weapons.  The Americans are strung out in a picket line across the town and on the mountain behind.  The partisans are hiding in the approaches to the village.  The Italians have to cover a board's width of snow covered terrain to either take the majority of the buildings in the town without losing about 40% of their forces OR eliminate 20 CVP of the Allied force without losing an equivalent number of CVP.  Both sides have brittle units with 6 morale but the Italians have a small contingent of elite 7 morale troops.  It is also one of those rare scenarios where both sides have artillery.
Zeke wanted the defending Americans while Jim and myself split the attacking Italians.  Jim took more troops since he was attacking into the village section with more buildings while I received most of the elite troops since I was attacking into the teeth of the mountain behind the town.  We made a dispersed charge and Jim was able to cover the board width in a few turns without much trouble but I had to deal with the American .50 cal HMG, 60mm mortar and Battalion Mortar OBA.  Several squads were eliminated and the precious 9-2 Italian leader was lost to back to back boxcars but a rare Italian Hero emerged from the carnage toting a dismantled German HMG.  The American mortar lost a duel with the Italian 81mm Mortar while the artillery observer and .50 cal HMG team were eventually obliterated by Italian artillery.
Jim started forcing his way into town in what was turning into a tough battle of maneuver. I was also moving into town but the defense was manning a few locations that looked like a challenge to reduce. Unfortunately we had to call the game due to time about halfway through with the issue still in doubt.  We all really enjoyed the scenario, it has fun "toys" on both sides, many unusual aspects and definitely is worth a play.

Friday, June 03, 2016

AAR: LSSAH21 The Brickyard

Ed Beekman

Ed: Germans
Zeke: Russians

I played Zeke in LSSAH21 The Brickyard.  Zeke took the Russians since ROAR has it 2:1 pro-Russians and deservedly so.  The Germans have to take a 3 hex stone building while staying under a 31 CVP cap.  The Russians have a 2:1 infantry advantage which is significant even though they are 1st Line Russian Rifle squads to 5-4-8 SS squads who are mostly deployed in small halftracks.  I also had an smg halftrack and three Mk 4 panzers but they would be countered by 3 T34s on turn 2. 

My plan was to try and encircle the victory building to weaken the Russian numerical advantage with morale and fire modifiers.  Not gonna happen.  The left flank bounced a dummy stack while the right flank thought they had a LOS free approach to the brickyard.  NOPE, there was a HIP Russian squad that Pinned all three half squads although it broke on the FPF.  My smg HT was recalled by the Russian sniper before it could do anything.  The Russian AT gun nailed two half tracks when it revealed itself and a Russian ATR accounted for another.  Just over one turn down and I was already half way to my CVP cap.  When the Russian tanks came on in the required platoon movement, the middle tank immobilized when they rolled into position to fire on one of my tanks.  I had the advantage in the resulting gun duel and destroyed the lead T34  while maintaining rate but didn't get to use it.  The immobilized T34 responded with an APCR critical hit to burn the Mark 4.  The Russian infantry accounted for another halftrack and then the ATG, manned by a squad, intensive fired to hit and kill another Mark 4 throwing me over the CVP cap.  Congratulations to Zeke on his successful defense of the brickyard.

I am writing to relax.  I am hyper having just pulled out a colonoscopy win in the last turn of my VASL league game.  After being smacked around like a red haired stepchild for most of the game (my opponent averaged a 4 on his first 5 or 6 IFT shots).  I can't complain about those rolls though, I had several useful low rolls late in the game including snakes on a mortar hit versus a concealed HS in the jungle that would have sealed my fate and another snakes with a captured FT into a melee in a VC location that killed everybody.  That's why we love this game.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

AAR: WO12 Heart of Wilderness

Ralph recaptured the Chair from Matt by defeating him in WO12 Heart of Wilderness.  Matt had the defending Germans while Ralph, attacking with the Russians, had to seize a bridge on the east side of the battle field and one of two buildings on the west side.  The terrain is pretty dense, with lots of woods and orchards with a hill, stream and gully thrown in for good measure.  The Germans receive a mix of elite and first line troops, a pair of Guns, a pair of Pillboxes, and trenches.  The Russians attack starts in the east with near parity with the Germans in MMC and the bridge as their apparent target.  On the second turn a nearly equal sized group of Russians attack from the south, who should head toward the village to claim the requisite building.  Finally four BT tanks loaded with Russian SMG squads arrive on turn 4 to reinforce one of the attacks from any one of three directions.
Ralph started "turtling" towards the bridge although a brief loss of presence of mind cost him a squad.  He was cutting off most of the forward defenders, capturing and destroying their equipment.  Matt was able to barely pull out several units but at the cost of one of his guns - before the tanks  even showed up. 
Ralph was attacking a key position on the approaches to the bridge with a large fire group, only to roll an 11 for the lowest possible NE result.  He cobbled together another large fire group and said if I roll another 11 I'm out of here.  Of course he rolled another 11.  We managed to mollify him, get him to sit back down  and continue playing.
As the Russians drew within sight of the bridge an elite Russian squad rolled snakes but instead of going berserk as feared/hoped by the opposing players, it got the daily double - a hero and fanatic squad.  This potent force was able to grind its way forward to seize the bridge with the assistance of several other squads on the penultimate turn.  With units occupying the approaches, this Objective was securely in the Russian's hands.
In the south Matt slowed the Russians with effective use of dummy stacks and a fortuitous melee.  A German HS was tied up with a Russian squad, MMG and leader.  Ralph rolled a 6 to eliminate the HS but Matt responded with snakes, wiping out the entire Russian  stack, generated a leader which meant he only suffered CR due to the odds change but lost his HS by random selection.
The tanks rolled in to cut off the Germans slowing the southern advance and suppress the pillbox covering the approach to town.  Once the infantry formed up to assault the town, the tanks tied up German infantry until they could be relieved by Russian infantry engaging in CC.  The plan was to go for the more southern building but that plan died when it was discovered it was held by an elite German squad and a 10-2 leader.  A platoon of BT tanks continued their tactics but one died in a street fight.  Ralph bum rushed the northern victory building, finding only dummies in his way.  A SMG squad dared CC against the 10-2 building to keep them from counterattacking and managed to get AMBUSH.  Although nobody died, it effectively took Matt's last strong unit out of the battle.  A forlorn hope of retaking the building with the sole remaining unbroken HS died in a hail of vehicular small arms fire in CC.
It is a good scenario although a little hard on the Germans.  Matt was handicapped by lack of experience with fortifications like pillboxes.  This was his first time using them.  In analyzing the game we thought it probably best for the Germans to throw most everything around the bridge, all the trenches, pillboxes, guns and especially the 10-2 leader.  Leave enough troops and dummies in town to misdirect the Russians to over commit there.  Congratulations to both players on a well played game.
Ed Beekman
AAR: ASL 22 Kurhaus Clash 

Ralph and I had a mini-game day at his place a few weeks back.  He was hoping to play ASL 22 Kurhaus Clash and I accepted  the challenge.  Ralph took the German SS, I got the Americans.  The Germans are counterattacking the Americans in Aachen with the objective to have more good order infantry in the open "park land" board on the American side of the battlefield.  The first problem the Germans have is crossing a wide boulevard (-1 DRM to all fire against units on the road).  The German SS have an 8 (9 broken) morale to the American's 6 (8 broken) but the Americans out number the Germans by about 4:3 on the other hand the Germans can pick the point(s) of attack.  A couple  other interesting features of the scenarios is a 3rd level location in a building in which the Germans can put a HMG in overwatch of a much of the board.  The Americans receive a HIP radio observer who once he has contact does not have to draw for access as long as the SR/FFE is on/next to a known enemy unit.
I set up troop concentrations on each flank with MGs covering as much of the boulevard with potential  fire lanes as possible.  My mortars were in the park with LOS  to as many woods hexes and some upper  level building locations in the German zone.  The OBA observer set up in a stone building in the middle of a lightly wooded area in the middle of the front lines with LOS to the 3rd level location.
Ralph set up to attack on the flanks, a StuG supporting each attack, with his 9-2 with the HMG on the 3rd level.
The first couple  of turns  the Germans simply pounded the Americans and nearly a quarter of my squads not only broke but reduced to 2nd Line.  I mainly skulked away from the German fire power while my OBA  just couldn't get the range right on the 9-2 overwatch position.  A StuG obliterated one of my squads in a stone building with a critical hit.
Things started looking  up for me when my sniper took out the 9-2 (Ralph complained about all the  sniper checks I was getting but I told him to just stop rolling so low), OBA  finally landed an SR on the HMG and I broke a MG squad and leader on the other flank when a MTR rolled snakes on the IFT.  But Ralph moved the HMG  out of LOS which forced me to draw two cards to call down an FFE.  I immediately drew a red card and lost a well placed SR.  I snuck a couple  HS to  upper level  encircle  the  MMG  unit  but the squad self rallied.  I lost the squads but it took a couple turns to mop them up .  Eventually Ralph broke through on that flank and pushed forward in an enveloping motion.   Game changing sniper shots were enjoyed by both, which allowed 8 CVP of Germans to get into the victory area but then kept them from expanding the bridgehead.  The other enveloping arm ran into OBA which decimated those units.  The supporting StuG was immobilized by a BAZ shot  which caused the crew to bail out.  With a turn to go, the Germans still had 8 CVP  in the victory area but no hope of increasing that number.  I only had 4 CVP but had another 8 to 12 CVP that could safely move  there for the  win on my last turn.  
I think  if the Germans load up on just one side and simply punch their way across the  board  using the StuGs for smoke and cover this is winnable scenario for them.

Ed Beekman

Saturday, January 23, 2016

AAR: FT KGS8 The Battle in the Tunnel and Organ Gully

Ed Beekman

Ed Beekman: Russian
Zeke: German

Zeke and I were on the second stage playing a scenario from Kampfgruppe Scherer - The Battle in the Tunnel and Organ Gully.  It is a low intensity scenario; Zeke had the Germans (6 squads) and I the Russians (11 squads).  I had to take the bridge and tunnel locations.  I spent the turns moving into position, planning to breach the tunnel barricade with my DC and then surge through.  My sole elite squad aided by the Commissar moved concealed up to the barricade only to be stunned by Zeke's first DFire.  It was only a 1MC which the commissar passed  but the squad failed by more than its ELR - now I only had leaders who could place  the DC without the non-qualified penalty.  Although I took the bridge, I was never able to clear the tunnel although some conscripts got in through the back door only to be captured in CC.