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