#36: TuomoFest II

Stewart

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But it still seems like to much armor.
On both sides to make it a balanced game.
When only one central objective is needed, it didn't leave much to the imagination.
Delay then pile everything on the VC.
All the while the Germans are on a time schedule.

Secure one of 2 forest bases would've made it a bit more interesting.
 

Stewart

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If the Russians protect the bottom flank, the Germans have the advantage with range.
 

Sparafucil3

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If the Russians protect the bottom flank, the Germans have the advantage with range.
If the Germans aren't moving they are losing. I am happy to rotate targets in front of you if you want to sit and fight like this. -- jim
 

The Purist

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EDIT:I noted above that Tom mentioned a TK# of 14 for the Lee tanks. Historically, the US M3 Medium (Lee), British Lee(a) and Grant(a) all used the same M2 75mm gun that should use a G TK# 13. While it is true that later M3s and Grants in 1943+ were given the same gun that was mounted in the Sherman (M3 75mm) we don't have counters for those in the game (ie: M3a3, M3a5 and Grant II) like we do for the plethora of M4 Mediums. This scenario also takes place in 1942 so the M3 gun is even less likely. This could be fixed by an SSR but I'm not sure this has been done in any scenario to date.

Note also Chapter H uses British counters for Lend-Lease kit in FtF play in Russia so,.... TK s/b 13.

It is a small difference between TK 13 and TK 14 but that may help adjust the scenario a bit.

Another item that might help the Germans would be changing the Pz IIIG to Pz IIIH. Historically (pardon) the earlier Pz III models like E, F and G were upgraded with additional bolt on armour and a 50mm gun (E & F). The G is unlikely to have been retained in its original state by Sep 42. Note here to that Chapter H covers this in German Vehicle Note 12 and 13.

Still a tough row to hoe for the German tanks but they do have RoF 2, SD7, crew smoke and APCR (in BoF 16).
 
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BattleSchool

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Yes, the Germans have 8 tanks and the Russians only 6, but the multiple Guns on the Lees mean they have 9 Guns and get to shoot first from reasonable defensive terrain.
Which makes the German balance provision a decent swing in the Axis favour.

One possible explanation for the ROAR stats is that the scenario requires strong play by the Attacker. I'd expect to see games between similarly skilled players to favour the Soviets more often than not. This is the case with a number of (good) FrF scenarios that can be unforgiving for the offence. That said, I have not played FrF56.
 

Del

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Which makes the German balance provision a decent swing in the Axis favour.

One possible explanation for the ROAR stats is that the scenario requires strong play by the Attacker.
Played this yesterday with a similarly skilled player using the German balance (remove a Stuart). I played very aggressively and by the end of Russian turn 5 the writing was on the wall for the Russians, with only 2 Russian AFVs left, both immobilized by Deliberate Immob shots well away from the victory area (don’t underestimate the ATR here, as the Lee’s make an attractive DI target). With two turns, two mobile Panzers and a third mired in the Stone building in front of the VC area and only three Russian MMCs to face half the German army my opponent gave up. The Balance really swung it towards the Germans and made for a very entertaining game.
 

Sparafucil3

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Played this yesterday with a similarly skilled player using the German balance (remove a Stuart). I played very aggressively and by the end of Russian turn 5 the writing was on the wall for the Russians, with only 2 Russian AFVs left, both immobilized by Deliberate Immob shots well away from the victory area (don’t underestimate the ATR here, as the Lee’s make an attractive DI target). With two turns, two mobile Panzers and a third mired in the Stone building in front of the VC area and only three Russian MMCs to face half the German army my opponent gave up. The Balance really swung it towards the Germans and made for a very entertaining game.
I am in the midst of playing this myself. I think the balance is too much IMO. I think it is a little pro-Russian but not decisively so. -- jim
 

The Purist

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I'm in a PbEM game as the Russian (Ger T2) with Eagle4ty and will soon begin a second game (VASL) as the German. Figured it would be easier to comment once having played the scenario.

So far as the Russians I'm learning the Germans can put a helluva lot of pressure on the defence. The Russians need to be on their toes and consider every move or shot carefully.
 
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Sparafucil3

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So far as the Russians I'm learning the Germans can put a helluva lot of pressure on the defence. The Russians need to be on their toes and consider every move or shot carefully.
IMO, the Russians have to have a solid setup and be able to execute a solid fighting withdrawal. I think the game is more forgiving on them as the Germans have to make it happen. As the Germans, I am of the opinion the armor has to do the heavy lifting. If the armor is waiting around for the Infantry to catch up, it's wasting it's time. I have some more thoughts and I have been gathering information on my plans and play, my opponent is doing the same. In addition, I think Tuomo^2 are also making comments. When my game is through I am going to pull it all together, allow the group to edit their comments to make sure no one is harshly dealt with, and then perhaps post it on someone's blog. I have also been keeping a VASL log file so I will see if I can make them available too. -- jim
 

The Purist

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Agreed. The German tanks are the main source of the pressure and I suspect that with Turn 3 this will come down to a tank battle. The good news is that with PbEM it will be easy to construct an AAR (with Eagle/Tom) to show what happened.
 
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Stewart

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Played this yesterday with a similarly skilled player using the German balance (remove a Stuart). I played very aggressively and by the end of Russian turn 5 the writing was on the wall for the Russians, with only 2 Russian AFVs left, both immobilized by Deliberate Immob shots well away from the victory area (don’t underestimate the ATR here, as the Lee’s make an attractive DI target). With two turns, two mobile Panzers and a third mired in the Stone building in front of the VC area and only three Russian MMCs to face half the German army my opponent gave up. The Balance really swung it towards the Germans and made for a very entertaining game.
Did the balance swing it? or maybe having the Russian AFV far from the objective?
Tuomo L. never moved them further than a Half a MPh away. Concentrated FP...
You are outnumbered... getting swarmed by AFV's especially if you have one less Stuart is just suicide.
 

Sparafucil3

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Agreed. The German tanks are the main source of the pressure and I suspect that with Turn 3 this will come down to a tank battle. The good news is that with PbEM it will be easy to construct an AAR (with Eagle/Tom) to show what happened.
I think Turn 3 is optimistic as the Germans. If the Russians want a tank battle, then turn 3 is probable. By turn 4 it will definitely be on like Donkey Kong. :) -- jim
 

Sparafucil3

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Did the balance swing it? or maybe having the Russian AFV far from the objective?
Tuomo L. never moved them further than a Half a MPh away. Concentrated FP...
You are outnumbered... getting swarmed by AFV's especially if you have one less Stuart is just suicide.
Tuomo did at least three things magnificently: His AFV's were massed and placed such that he got the first shot; His Infantry was able to get to the VC area pretty much un-scathed; he was super patient, letting Tom bring the game to him as Tom needed to be the aggressor. Meanwhile, the rest of us got the benefit of watching Tom try to crack the nut and recognize some of the challenges.

Sight unseen--without the benefit of having played it or seeing it played--I think this favors the Russians at least in the 55- 45 range, maybe as much as 60 - 40. I think the Germans "take more skill" to play, but that impact is debatable as I generally think the attacker takes more skill to play overall. APCR is too unreliable. On the 50L, the TK# for APCR is 17 making the kill shot against a Lee still somewhat iffy (17 - 8 = 9 to immobilize). On a 50, the TK# for APCR is a 14. You can push the TK# up by getting close but then you remove your TH advantage (American Lend/Lease use Red TH#'s prior to 1944 (A25.32). Given the TK#'s, I think this scenario is subject to the dice, but early war scenarios are like that. The better you play your armor, the better your TK#s are (the difference between a Frontal aspect and a side aspect it big, especially for the Germans).

With all of this said, among equally skilled opponents, I think the Germans are more fragile. If they break an MA on a single 50L MA, they are in trouble. The Lee's have a LOT of options in the dance-of-death. Sure, the Germans have them out-numbered in tanks, but the Russians have more Gun tubes, an ATR that is uncomfortable to face, and an 82mm mortar that can shock/immobilize on an IFT DR4 (DR5 against the PzIIIG's) with a ROF of 3. -- jim
 

Sparafucil3

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Ya know, I'm gonna stop reading right there. Not sure which one of us Jim is talking about, but don't want to know :)
I guess I should have said Fake Tuomo. Sorry for the confusion ;) -- jim

PS: I don't know that I would have done any better than you did against him either.
 

The Purist

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Von Marwitz and I completed our game this evening and while I may have ended up with three or four of the six hexes there was nothing I could do about the other two to three.

We both had some good dice but perhaps von M had better dice when it mattered. The Russian 37LL gunnery was superb killing the German tanks with a painful regularity (an improbable CH was particularly painful) while the Germans seemed bereft of APCR ammunition (one round for a 50L gun). Had von Marwitz not broken all the guns on his last two Lee tanks my one surviving Pz IIIJ could not have opened the defence for the late game German human wave attack against the objective hexes.

Despite the poor shooting I managed a turn 7 infantry wave with 8 squad equivalent against a Russian defence of 3 squads, a 7-0, a Lee with no MA or SA and LMG FL (that wasn't too effective) but the German infantry ended up pinned or broken on a series of PTC/NMC and 1MC Def Fire shots.

The critical point was probably a melee that tied down the German infantry in the centre for turns, preventing them from getting forward a turn earlier (two 1:1 failures followed by two 2:1 -1 DRM before clearing the block).

As Jim notes above the German infantry may have too far to go in just seven turns considering how the set up area can be pushed back to Row D/DD. I still believe the Germans need to upgrade at least some of the Pz IIIGs to H models to have a better chance against the US 37LL guns on the US tanks.

It's a fun scenario but as it is currently configured the Russians have a decided advantage.
 
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