Monday, August 13, 2007

AAR: TEF1-2 The Last Waltz

Nick Drinkwater

SS: Chris Buehler [ELR 5, SAN 3]
Russian: Nick Drinkwater [ELR 4, SAN 4]


We're off to Vienna in April 1945 for this one, in to the ruins of
one-half of Board 20. SSR means that the walled compound containing the
small outhouse next to the "factory" (I think you know the one I
mean) has been replaced by an additional "factory" overlay –
note these are megabuildings 1 and 2, and NOT factories in this
scenario. In addition, several other bits of soft terrain have been
eschewed for their replacement by huge stone buildings overlays, and all
wooden buildings are replaced by Stone Rubble – that is a huge
amount of rubble and really restricts access and escape routes as all
those small alleys between buildings for VBM are sealed off by piles of
broken stone.

In this scenario, the last desperate remnants of the 2nd SS Panzer
Division have to prevent the Russians from exiting 24 CVP from the north
edge of the board AND prevent their control of the two mega-central
buildings. They must also try and prevent too many excessive VP being
inflicted on them, as each one the Russian scores means the Russian exit
requirements drop by one. The SS receive a standard late war force of
6.5 548s, a solitary Mk IVH and the ability to use sewer movement and
hide a half-squad with a Shrek from the get-go. Chris set up mainly in
the east and central area with stacks of concealed units dispersed in
the rubble and then left a screen of two "?" stacks in the west
to try and block off that side.

The Plan

Looking at this, I saw there was an opportunity to send a flanking
platoon (7-0, 2 x 458s, a Sherman) to hook around the far west edge,
though I suspected the HIP hs trap was lurking out there somewhere too
– I would try and flush him out by the infantry moving fast and
furiously through most of the likely spots. In the middle, the rest of
the force would push through the east central area – I had two 628s
with a FT and a couple of DCs to escort 5 more 458s, a couple of LMGs
and a 9-1 and 8-0, together with two more Shermans and their fantastic
ability to place smoke in all manner of ways.

AAR - getting in position

Turn 1 was cagey as I slowly got everyone in to position to rush forward
protected by smoke to start probing for dummies and real units. Chris
clearly had his MMG and 9-1 leader in an overwatch position from the
eastern of the central mega-buildings and the defense was designed to
slowly collapse back on that – I needed to ensure there were no
cheap losses to that bad boy by injudicious moves through the open

Where did I leave that match?

Turn 2 started poorly for me – the flamethrower pulls out a 10 on
shot one to burn out a stack of dummies on its one and only shot. I am
able to get one smoke down in the street and that helps me start to pour
across the road and threaten Chris' front line. Chris has done
nicely with his use of dummies as what I think are merely empty
"?" hexes both turn out to be real units and I am bounced back
– unfortunately for Chris he rolls high on their attacks and my
tasty engineers break both on assault fire. One of the SS squads escapes
to fight again, but the other gets whacked in a spate of shovels and
grenades as they get wiped for FTR. At the same time, in true Tom Gillis
style, I push one of the now smokeless Shermans aggressively straight up
the middle into the teeth of the defense where at worst he will provide
a burning wreck cover access point into Mega-building 1. Brilliantly,
this bold piece of capitalist motorized steel then proceeds to whack the
MkIVH on a "3" bounding fire shot – ouch for Chris and his
resultant burning wreck is really going to help me get into the first of
the factories. Love it when that happens!

On the west side, Chris unluckily makes the wrong decision on a tough
call defensive fire attack and drops concealment to try and take out one
of my "?"s. My adjacent 458 stays concealed after the fluffed
attack and then proceeds to ambush and destroy the 548 in Hand-to-hand
(allowed by SSR) – tasty! That is two of Chris squads dead out of
the six. Instant karma is restored however, as I park a Sherman adjacent
to the hidden 238 hs which of course puts a big, superfast shell through
his exhaust pipe. Ouch, but I now know where the HIP is the hard way I


Turn 4 is the critical one – I bum-rush everyone into Mega-building
1 against the 9-1 and a couple of 548s in there. Again, Chris rolls high
when he needs to low roll and breaks his MMG and hence misses both a
16+1 and 8+1 series and they end up with a Russian DC fizzing in their
laps for their troubles. He is able to break another 458 squad with FPF
when I get careless and move adjacent in the open, but their days are
numbered, and they clearly know it, don't they?

The other 548 in Mega-building 1 also fluffs all its defensive fire and
I am able to maneuver the Shermans and other units around to encircle
people. We're all waiting for the DC to go "BANG" which it
duly does – a K3 is the result, which wounds and breaks the leader
but of course generates a Fanatic squad + hero of the survivors. Hmmm. I
leave these guys alone as they've just got a lot tougher, but
proceed to wipe out in Hand-to-hand the other squad as Chris rolls high
yet again and fails to touch me.

Take no prisoners

On the western side, I have now marched my two flankers into
Mega-building 2 and have again pinned and then successfully ambushed and
wiped out the last defender there. By Turn 5, all Chris has left is the
238 and Shrek, a broken 548 on the back line and the heroic fanatics in
Mega-building 1. Despite me gacking three 20+3 shots in a row, these
guys get wiped out to a man in a huge Hand to Hand and I again come
through unscathed. I have also managed to stack up enough bodies in
Mega-building 2 in Turn 6 to prevent any shenanigans from the 238. My
only scary moment came when the broken 548 self-rallied and shrugged off
a 8-2 shot on a suicide charge…another lucky die roll or two and
they may have been back in Mega-Building 1 and it could have been
interesting, but they couldn't survive a 4-2 and that was that.


Very solid, convincing win for the Russians, ably assisted by the huge
motion bounding fire shot to destroy the MkIV and Chris' propensity
to dice himself wickedly on a flurry of key rolls in Turns 4-6. Thanks
Chris – it was a lot of fun! Nice evening-sized scenario that is
just big enough not to be flawed by bad dice. We were done in about 4

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