AAR - Beasts At Baruth - DB140

Major Issues

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It’s fall, and school has started up again. Instead of traditional schooling, we decided it would be best if the children were to learn a trade, in an environment where they could maintain social distancing.
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Breasts At Baruth wuz the second scenario Xenovin and I played at his house in our ‘F... Covid’ gathering. I had chosen the first scenario. Inexplicably, he allowed me to pick the second scenario also. When, oh when, will he learn???????

Xenovin is a good guy to play. True, he does have a hedonistic lifestyle that would make Jeffrey Epstein blush. And some would question the morality of him selling arms to Rhodesian rebels. But, all in all, I look on him as a brother.

‘course, I hate my brother...

Beasts is different from any scenario you’ve ever played. Late war. Germans are in town with all of these awesome tanks, including some captured Shermans and an experimental AA SP. But, and this is a huge but (I like big buts and I cannot lie...) most of them start the scenario loaded onto railroad cars. (For the record, I also start most scenarios loaded. And end even more so. Don’t judge.)

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I wanted to be the Doomed Germans. By SSR, there is a crew for each loaded, abandoned tank. They have to make a DR to use crowbars and wrenches the size of Himmler’s ego to get each massive chunk of iron off the train car. Once off, they then have to move into the hex. Then, on their following turn, they can reenter it. This number of turns required is what we would call ‘a major inconvenience.’ I would have luuved to be able to reman the tanks while they are still on the flatcars, blow up a few SUs, then drive off the flatcar, flying thru the air in slow motion, Dukes Of Hazzard-style, do a 180 in the dust, then blast a T-34 into little pieces. It would have made for a much, much better AAR. I don’t know what those Bunker guyz were thinking.

As the Doomed, but Heroic German, you can pick two of the tanks to start unloaded. Ignoring the monsters, I went for the dependable Panthers. I got two others off by random selection. Should you be thinking that I may have cheated on these secret pre-game rolls, I got a PzKw III and the PzA AA SP gun.

What is where on the train is randomly determined. I thought my rolls were really good on this. The lead tank was a PzKw IV. Since the Soviets can set up in LOS of this hex, I considered this tank to be doomed. Doomed, Doomed, DOOMED!!! I didn't even put a crew in the hex, preferring to have them help unload a vehicle that was not a charred cinder.

Most of the empty flatcars were toward the back of the line. The last flatcar held the King Tiger. Which I thought was a cool thing, as it would be harder for the Soviets to get to it.

Protecting the train, and the town, is a very mixed bag of infantry, from 658s to 447s. Two roadblocks and a HIP squad round out the defense.

Setting up in LOS are a dozen Soviet squads with kewl toys like a FT and a .50 cal. 8(!) SP guns provide support. On turn 1, five squads and five T-34/M43s come in. In what can only be the scenario designer’s idea of a cruel joke, the reinforcing T-34/M43s have the best darn armor leader in the Soviet Union, a 10-2. A flanking force of another five squads and five T34/85s enter on turn 4. With no armor leader. Oh, cruel fate...

Tough one to setup for the Germans. VC are CVPs plus points for control of multi-hex stone buildings for each side. There aren’t a lot of Germans, the flanking force can totally screw them up, and the Soviets can make big firegroups in their own stone buildings. The Soviets can also send troops to flank the town from the other side, though the terrain is more open. A couple MGs, the PzA and a HD Panther helped cover that area.

Besides the crew of the doomed PzKwIV, all three 467s were also told to take off their shirts and help push tanks.

Two HIP 237s with PSKs finished out my meager defense. One was upstairs near the train, the other was in an orchard where I thought the flankers might come.

Turn 1 saw my speed bump defenders, two 237s and a 447, get attacked. One HS crumbled easily, but the other two broke some rushin’ squads (gettit???), and the 447 was able to PF a T-34 with riders that got too close.

The HD Panther has a long shot at a ISU-122. Unfortunately, I get a hull hit, and only immobilize it.

I was able to unload 4 tanks during G1. The King Tiger was not one of them, as the crew was not able to figure out where the parking brake was.

Turn 2, the speed bumps are finished off, though I make Xenovin waste time chasing them around upstairs. A pile of guys hauling around the unwieldy and heavy .50 cal are broken in the street, and gratefully drop it to run away like mice from a bright light. I foolishly move the other Panther behind a roadblock to take out the ISU-122. Instead, it nails the Panther. Sometimes, the best strategy is to do nothing. In both ASL, and in Life.

My other unloaded Panther gets two more hits on the immobilized ISU-122 during the turn. Both are hull hits. Both effects rolls are 11s. Polish slave workers sabotaging shells are blamed.

My leader-led 658s with MGs have been causing all kinds of grief, despite orchard hindrances. Xenovin decides he will deal with one of these hexes (8-1, 548, MMG, 658) in the most unkind manner. First, a T-34 freezes them with VBM. German attempts to fling a grenade down the hatch are unsuccessful. Then, with my troops frozen, the FT moves adjacent to fry them in Advancing Fire.

What follows is perhaps the greatest FT shot known to ASL. The FT fries the Germans. All of them. And their MMG. And the Soviet T-34. So while it totally sucked that I lost a key position and several of my best units, I actually came out ahead on CVPs. I encouraged Xenovin to continue this trend of torching his own units.

Most of the Soviet AFVs are holding back, due to Panther fear. Some move to where they can start plinking at the infantry with the loaded tanks. This paid off, when one got a 2 KIA on a hex with a crew and a 467.

Meanwhile, the King Tiger crew, finding out that their instruction manual is in Urdu, continues to not unload their tank.

The Soviet FT squad, feeling great remorse over torching their own tank, flings the FT away, while sobbing in great Old Testament-style anguish. This causes the German ELR to increase to 7.

The flanking force comes in, and a HIP 237 with a PSK gets a hit and kill on a T-34/85 with a squad loaded on it, or a loaded squad on it. Whatever. A large target SU parks next to the other HIP PSK, who is at level 1 in a building. The HS fires and rolls an 11, which means that they have accidently dropped the PSK out of the window onto the SU, where it went ‘klunk.’ Morons.

They do redeem themselves by KIAing a charging Soviet squad the next turn.

My Panther continues to hit the immobilized ISU, and continues to roll 11s on the TK roll. My treacherous dice mysteriously disappear down Xenovin’s toilet.

The King Tiger crew goes on strike (Local 926), so the tank remains on the flatcar.

The King Tiger crew, still holding their placards high, gets blasted into bits before ever figuring out how to push the King Tiger off the train car. While I will miss the offensive abilities of the King Tiger, I am glad that the totally useless crew got the fate that they so, so richly deserved. It would have been unfair if, after turn after turn after turn of total incompetence, they ended up surviving the war and becoming vice presidents of Deutschbank, or the booking managers for Kraftwerk.

The American-made, former Soviet-owned, current German-owned Shermans get blasted. I would have thought that all the layers of paint would have provided more protection against incoming shells.

The PzKw III is wrecked, as soon as Xenovin discovers that it is a PzKw III and not a truly useful tank.

On the other hand, an attempt to take out a Panther from behind ends badly, thanks to an Intensive Fire shot.

The ISU-122 is finally destroyed by my Panther with the apparently faulty ammo. Or the crew just left due to the ringing in their ears from so very many hits.

Xenovin has 8 AFVs left, but a poorly positioned SU-76 will almost certainly get grenades thrown into it the upcoming turn, and the life span of a T-34 parked next to a Panther should be no longer than my first Prep Fire shot. With two turns left, Xenovin concedes. I am way up on CVPs, as I got lots of points for his AFVs. He will be able to take a bunch of buildings, as I have almost no infantry left. But he has lost a lot of infantry too, which surprised me, being as we were fighting in an urban environment. Also, he has made most of the easy kills, and most of what I have left have 75LL, 88LL, or 128L guns.

This scenario is a hoot. It was the most fun I have had with my clothes on in quite some time. The randomness of the vehicle placement, the choices the Germans can make as to what tanks start unloaded, the different routes the Soviets can take to attack, and all the fun toys that both sides get give this a lot of replay value.

Pic from when we called the game is below. We used boats to represent the rail cars.

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Next post – Proof that using the IIFT will protect you against Covid!!!
 

Cpl Uhl

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In what can only be the scenario designer’s idea of a cruel joke, the reinforcing T-34/M43s have the best darn armor leader in the Soviet Union, a 10-2.
This must be the Soviet analogue of Sgt. Steiner. Master craftsman, yet disciplinary issues relegate him to a T-34/M43 late in the war in the hope that he will die. May he achieve great things!!
 

von Marwitz

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First, a T-34 freezes them with VBM. German attempts to fling a grenade down the hatch are unsuccessful. Then, with my troops frozen, the FT moves adjacent to fry them in Advancing Fire.

What follows is perhaps the greatest FT shot known to ASL. The FT fries the Germans. All of them. And their MMG. And the Soviet T-34. So while it totally sucked that I lost a key position and several of my best units, I actually came out ahead on CVPs. I encouraged Xenovin to continue this trend of torching his own units.
Hm, how's that? :unsure:

Even though the T-34 froze your guys it is not yet the CC-Phase when the FT struck. That said, the Germans are not yet in Melee with the T-34. And that said means the FT would not have affected the T-34 at all.

Am I missing something?

von Marwitz
 
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=FC=Gorgon

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Figured this was a Tom Morin design and just confirmed it. This one just made my short list. :) Thanks for the AAR.
 

Honza

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Steven Pleva

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This scenario gets two thumbs up from this reptile. I created a tournament modification to the random German AFV draws. It is designed to give the Germans one good AFV and one lesser AFV in their two initial draws. In addition, one could bid a number of labor counters the Germans would start the scenario with...
Steve
 
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