AAR - Centurions Reverse! - 216

Major Issues

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I had been writing up my foolproof, risk-free method for making big, big money in the stock market. It’s so easy!!! I’ll give all the details in my next post. I took a break long enough to play JRV in a game of Centurions Reverse! He wanted to be the Chinese. We don’t play as often as we used to, but we always used to have enjoyable, friendly games. I sensed that things might be different when he vowed to “Clog the road with the skulls of our enemies!!!”

Despite the name, the British are really the attackers in this one. They start with a small force on a board 81 hill. The rest of the British come tearing down the road. There are a lot of Chinese on both sides of the road in the way. They have terrible range, no heavy weapons, but do have a bunch of MGs and DCs. The British have to exit a substantial number of EVPs off the board edge.

The British player needs to go deep into the Vehicle Notes for this one. The Carrier Cs can have Riders, but the Oxford Carrier cannot. The British have a lot of Walking Wounded that aren’t going to be able to exit unless they remain as Riders. The Centurions have gyros, but limited HE. The mortar carrier is allowed to setup abandoned by SSR. The HT depiction on the scenario card is incorrect, as it should not have ROF, since it is unarmed.

I started out by blasting away with all of my forces on Hill 744. Both Centurions hit, got rate, but had terrible results rolls that did nothing. Both ran out of HE on their second shots. This was a trend for my troops on Hill 744. I had so many bad results rolls with these guys that JR started to call it ‘Hill 10’, as that was what I usually rolled.

My main force came tearing down the road CE, with most of the Brens and their riders headed for the board 83 hill.

8230

One Centurion was stunned by a MG shot. One Bren had his riders shot off.

C1, JR breaks both of his MMGs. He starts to maneuver his troops around. A lot of them were in open ground. Most of those with any positive TEM got it from height advantage. My return fire was mostly useless. I think after 1 turn, one squad had striped.

B2, another useless PF. My HE-less Centurions got 2 CHs, but with AP, it’s only on the 4 column, and I had no results. Sad, really. It just seems like if you get a CH you should have the satisfaction of seeing legs and arms flying through the air.

Most of my vehicles are piled up in midboard, to the right of the rice paddies. The Bren with no riders tried to run the gauntlet, but had the crew broken by a DC thrown by a HIP HS.

C2, I actually get a lot of results on the Chinese. JR could not pass PTCs the whole game, but I also killed some squads, and a sniper nailed one of his leaders. I lose a Bren to MG fire, but the crew survives.

8233

The other Bren becomes a flaming wreck in CC.

B3, my Centurions come off Hill 744 to deal with two squads sneaking behind. My MGs put a hurt on them. I lose a Centurion from a DC dropped from a great height.

8234

The HT is knocked out by his repaired MMG, after he got ROF 3 times. I have this mad rush on board 83. I manage to do two overruns, one a 10-1, one a 11-1. I roll 11s for both of them. But my advancing fire is good, and several Chinese HSs and an 8-0 are lost for failure to rout. At this point, I have taken out all of the MGs on the right hand side of the road. One of his DC HSs is held in Melee.

We do a count, and it looks like I have 69 potential EVPs remaining. I need 65 to win.

JR starts out his turn with a thrown DC from a HIP HS onto the Oxford Carrier. Everybody breaks. I concede, as I have no way to stop him from finishing it off in CC.

This was fun, but I thought that it was pro-Chinese. The British get channeled, the riders are so vulnerable, and most of the vehicles are 0 or 1 armor, and can be killed by MG fire. Currently 3-9 on ROAR. I would give the British the balance, which is to reduce the EVPs needed to 58. I also recommend that the Brens be given the ability to fly.

8235
I am pretty sure that this option is listed somewhere in the Vehicle Notes.

Because both sides are moving each turn, this takes a LONG time to play.

I learned that I had been playing a couple rules wrong forever, thanks to JR. His Giant Brain is such a resource. I am going to arrange to have it cryogenically frozen. Typically, this is done after death, but I figure, "Why wait???" I will need a couple people from the ASL community to help hold him down next week.

 

jrv

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Your interpreter may have mis-translated our initial greeting. We intended to say, "Welcome to the World Clog Dancing Festival, 'Clog Your Head Off in the Passes, 1951.'" Did you get one of the t-shirts? We hold a Morris dancing festival too.

Although Vince says the BCFK are attacking, in fact both sides do a lot of attacking. The BCFK are trying to reach the board edge with 65 EVP, while the CPVA are slashing at their flanks, trying to get within normal range for their inherent FP. And often trying to get within long range. The CPVA and the BCFK fight with asymmetrical styles. The BCFK are trying to fight a modern war; the CPVA are trying to fight a street-brawl. I have played four or five Forgotten War scenarios, and one thread that seems to run through many is the need to thoroughly prepare, especially for the allied side.

Vehicle Notes: the BCFK vehicles have a number of features, minor and major, that need to be studied. A minor one is that the Oxford "Carrier" is not a true D6.8 Carrier. Its Passengers may not firegroup, cannot have Riders and are halved for mounted fire. The Carrier Cs can have up to eight PP of Riders. If you are wondering how you could possibly load all those walking wounded on the vehicles you have, it is because the Carrier Cs can carry Riders. The Centurion pays only two MP when going up a level instead of the normal four MP. That makes the Centurion surprisingly agile in the high hills. A Centurion can climb four levels in one turn, while a Carrier or Cromwell can only climb three. (edit: the Centurion only gets the reduced MP cost for an abrupt elevation change; normal elevation changes cost the normal four MP.) The Centurions are gyro-stabilized, which enhances their FP on the move (see http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/using-gyro-stabilized-cmgs.151511/). Finally if you are playing the BCFK you must be planning to use SMOKE. The Centurions may not have a lot of HE, but they have every different kind of SMOKE: WP6, s8, sD7 and sM8. The Cromwell too has lots of SMOKE (edit: despite having it printed on the back of the counter, the Cromwell does not have WP per the vehicle note), and HE too (but no AP!). Even the Carrier Cs have sD5. And the BCFK have two 51mm MTRs and an 81mm MTR. I was so concerned about BCFK SMOKE that I moved one of my MMGs from where I initially put it to fire on the road (leaving residual to knock walking wounded off and stun the CE vehicles) that I

On the CPVA side learn about placing/throwing demo charges. I managed to stun a Carrier with a thrown DC (position DRM +2 Moving, +2 Thrown, +1 CE, -2 Open Top: result was a specific collateral at thirty FP up two) and kill a Centurion with a placed DC (position DRM +2 Moving, -1 Elevation—it was placed down a double-crest: result rear hull for the kill). The CPVA must try to knock the walking wounded riders off their mounts as soon as possible. Although the CPVA look like they can take casualties forever, they are surprisingly vulnerable. A second-line squad that fails a MC by > its ELR is not striped but replaced by a broken halfsquad. The rules for IPM also make the CPVA cumbersome to employ. I know I missed at least one TC that I should have taken too. And I think we misplayed IPM in residual. At one point I had units marching in place (i.e. not leaving the hex while other units moved), and I think they should have taken the residual despite not spending any MF themselves due to the IPM expenditure.

The terrain is a big factor in this scenario. The obvious route, the narrow road, is overlooked by very steep hills. As part of preparation the BCFK player should look at the map carefully. I think there is at least one goat path that will allow a secondary task group to drive over the hills. The CPVA can adjust to meet it, but it will divert units from holding the road. My suggestion for the secondary task group is a Centurion, the White ht, the Oxford Carrier, and a Carrier C (with a halfsquad rider holding a 51mm MTR, dropped off on a hilltop).

The other big factor in this scenario is timing. The BCFK need to know how many turns they can spend reducing the CPVA forces. For instance the secondary force going over the goat path can probably has two turns it can spend without making forward progress. The forces on the road can spend around three turns blasting away at CPVA units before they have to make the run for the board edge. Unless the CPVA leave a gap, the BCFK should use all of those turns to wear down the CPVA, then SMOKE and mad dash.

Other rules trivia that came up during the game: you can turn down Battle Hardening [A15.3, line # 10]. A Motion vehicle does not hold Infantry in Melee [A11.15]. Height Advantage does not reduce nor apply to Residual FP [A8.26]. A TK DR by MG (or HEAT or HE) does leave Residual FP (http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/residual-on-vtt-th-tk.151545/).

This scenario is growing on me. I played it once as the BCFK player in a "learning-the-CPVA" game that was cut short. Unlike Vince I don't think this is unbalanced. It might even favor the BCFK slightly—I like those Centurions. But it requires a great deal of study and preparation by the BCFK player to get everything in play and in play at the right time. If players sit down to play it without having mulled over the scenario, it probably does favor the CPVA.

JR
 
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Gordon

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Cool AAR gentlemen. Style points from dropping a demo on a Centurion, although you'd think a 2 level drop would make it harder to place successfully (all those videos of people shooting hoops off dams be-damned).
 

Major Issues

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Your interpreter may have mis-translated our initial greeting. We intended to say, "Welcome to the World Clog Dancing Festival, 'Clog Your Head Off in the Passes, 1951.'" Did you get one of the t-shirts? We hold a Morris dancing festival too.

Although Vince says the BCFK are attacking, in fact both sides do a lot of attacking. The BCFK are trying to reach the board edge with 65 EVP, while the CPVA are slashing at their flanks, trying to get within normal range for their inherent FP. And often trying to get within long range. The CPVA and the BCFK fight with asymmetrical styles. The BCFK are trying to fight a modern war; the CPVA are trying to fight a street-brawl. I have played four or five Forgotten War scenarios, and one thread that seems to run through many is the need to thoroughly prepare, especially for the allied side.

Vehicle Notes: the BCFK vehicles have a number of features, minor and major, that need to be studied. A minor one is that the Oxford "Carrier" is not a true D6.8 Carrier. Its Passengers may not firegroup, cannot have Riders and are halved for mounted fire. The Carrier Cs can have up to eight PP of Riders. If you are wondering how you could possibly load all those walking wounded on the vehicles you have, it is because the Carrier Cs can carry Riders. The Centurion pays only two MP when going up a level instead of the normal four MP. That makes the Centurion surprisingly agile in the high hills. A Centurion can climb four levels in one turn, while a Carrier or Cromwell can only climb three. The Centurions are gyro-stabilized, which enhances their FP on the move (see http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/using-gyro-stabilized-cmgs.151511/). Finally if you are playing the BCFK you must be planning to use SMOKE. The Centurions may not have a lot of HE, but they have every different kind of SMOKE: WP6, s8, sD7 and sM8. The Cromwell too has lots of SMOKE, and HE too (but no AP!). Even the Carrier Cs have sD5. And the BCFK have two 51mm MTRs and an 81mm MTR. I was so concerned about BCFK SMOKE that I moved one of my MMGs from where I initially put it to fire on the road (leaving residual to knock walking wounded off and stun the CE vehicles) that I

On the CPVA side learn about placing/throwing demo charges. I managed to stun a Carrier with a thrown DC (position DRM +2 Moving, +2 Thrown, +1 CE, -2 Open Top: result was a specific collateral at thirty FP up two) and kill a Centurion with a placed DC (position DRM +2 Moving, -1 Elevation—it was placed down a double-crest: result rear hull for the kill). The CPVA must try to knock the walking wounded riders off their mounts as soon as possible. Although the CPVA look like they can take casualties forever, they are surprisingly vulnerable. A second-line squad that fails a MC by > its ELR is not striped but replaced by a broken halfsquad. The rules for IPM also make the CPVA cumbersome to employ. I know I missed at least one TC that I should have taken too. And I think we misplayed IPM in residual. At one point I had units marching in place (i.e. not leaving the hex while other units moved), and I think they should have taken the residual despite not spending any MF themselves due to the IPM expenditure.

The terrain is a big factor in this scenario. The obvious route, the narrow road, is overlooked by very steep hills. As part of preparation the BCFK player should look at the map carefully. I think there is at least one goat path that will allow a secondary task group to drive over the hills. The CPVA can adjust to meet it, but it will divert units from holding the road. My suggestion for the secondary task group is a Centurion, the White ht, the Oxford Carrier, and a Carrier C (with a halfsquad rider holding a 51mm MTR, dropped off on a hilltop).

The other big factor in this scenario is timing. The BCFK need to know how many turns they can spend reducing the CPVA forces. For instance the secondary force going over the goat path can probably has two turns it can spend without making forward progress. The forces on the road can spend around three turns blasting away at CPVA units before they have to make the run for the board edge. Unless the CPVA leave a gap, the BCFK should use all of those turns to wear down the CPVA, then SMOKE and mad dash.

Other rules trivia that came up during the game: you can turn down Battle Hardening [A15.3, line # 10]. A Motion vehicle does not hold Infantry in Melee [A11.15]. Height Advantage does not reduce nor apply to Residual FP [A8.26]. A TK DR by MG (or HEAT or HE) does leave Residual FP (http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/residual-on-vtt-th-tk.151545/).

This scenario is growing on me. I played it once as the BCFK player in a "learning-the-CPVA" game that was cut short. Unlike Vince I don't think this is unbalanced. It might even favor the BCFK slightly—I like those Centurions. But it requires a great deal of study and preparation by the BCFK player to get everything in play and in play at the right time. If players sit down to play it without having mulled over the scenario, it probably does favor the CPVA.

JR
Errata I didn't mention - the first Chinese group should be set up within 4 hexes of 83T4, not 81T4.

I really didn't see a good place to use Smoke in our game. The Hill 744 troops were blasting away at Chinese in open ground each turn, and the northern force tanks moved all three turns. Because the hills make things slow enough, moving through sD or sM Smoke would have just slowed me down more.

I am supposed to play this as the Chinese against Walt. We'll see how that goes.

 

dlazov

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I know its obvious, but place smoke where it blinds them so you can run by their LOS, if that makes sense...
 

jrv

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I really didn't see a good place to use Smoke in our game. The Hill 744 troops were blasting away at Chinese in open ground each turn, and the northern force tanks moved all three turns. Because the hills make things slow enough, moving through sD or sM Smoke would have just slowed me down more.
For early SMOKE I suggest applying it against the MMGs, either directly or on their LOS. That will force the CPVA to re-locate them. For later SMOKE use it to line the escape route. It won't affect a thrown DC but it will affect other fire, and once a DC has been thrown try to put some SMOKE on the residual. Potentially you might even completely blind a hex or two.

JR
 
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jrv

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Another couple things. Although it looks tempting, I decided assaulting the BCFK position on board 81 was not going to be profitable. I sent some troops in that general direction to keep the BCFK units in position (and to steal the abandoned carrier) but I did not make a great effort. I kept a couple units on the hill to bottle up the road as best I could and sent others to pitch into the 81T2 area.

As the BCFK I would consider moving one or both Centurions off the hill to attack toward the escaping force. That takes away cover on that hill, but I think using the bounding fire gyro-stabilized CMG will help clear the clog on the road from the other direction.

Also if the CPVA units can get elevation advantage, they treat fire into open-topped AFV as if against an unarmored vehicle. There are lots of places where they can get elevation advantage over hexes.

JR
 

jrv

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One more thing. If the CPVA manage to kill a Carrier C without flaming it, they should scrounge it. The Carrier has a Baz50. Even a Centurion is afraid of a Baz50.

JR
 

Ganjulama

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One more thing. If the CPVA manage to kill a Carrier C without flaming it, they should scrounge it. The Carrier has a Baz50. Even a Centurion is afraid of a Baz50.

JR
Can the brits voluntarily eliminate the BAZ in their first friendly fire phase? They aren’t much use vs. CPVA.
 

jrv

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Can the brits voluntarily eliminate the BAZ in their first friendly fire phase? They aren’t much use vs. CPVA.
They are of wonderful use. They can attack non-vehicle targets in non-HEAT terrain at one FP, per W.8B. There's no telling how much damage they could do.

As for eliminating them, I am not sure about the mechanism. I would think it could be done in lieu of firing it per A9.73.

JR
 

jrv

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Another another item: the BCFK Carrier Cs can't carry any of the walking wounded as Passengers, but there are two leaders that could potentially load as such rather than being carried as Riders. My understanding of D6.65 is that these Infantry leaders can only direct the Carrier if a Passenger participates in the FG. One configuration would be to have the two leaders in different Carrier Cs, each with a LMG (firing at half FP because they are manned by a lone SMC). This would be most useful if you use the IIFT (as you should). Another configuration would be to have both leaders in one Carrier with a single LMG. One leader would fire the LMG, and the other would either assist so it could be used at full FP or direct the other Passenger leader and the Carrier. In this second configuration the Carrier would have eight FP if both leaders manned the LMG or seven FP with a down one DRM if one leader fired and one directed. This second configration does put a lot of EVP in one basket, but it might be worth the risk.

Another thought on Carriers is that you might want to voluntarily drive them in a Platoon so they can BFF firegroup. A Platoon of two can zip up, BFF for twelve FP at point blank range, then zip away. Or they can move normally but take shots in the AFPh using firegroups.

JR
 

JRKrejsa

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I won this as the Brits. The Cromwell got quite the workout. I would smoke the Chinese MG hexes, and then they would have to move to keep shooting, thus getting shot up in defensive fire. I lost a carrier or two and a half track, but no tanks. The dash for the edge was harrowing, but I tried to move, at least some, each turn. Fun but very asymmetric scenario.
 

jrv

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Some ideas for the CPVA: the CPVA have gopher super-powers; per W7.92 they get a -1 for entrenching. One possibility would be to give up Prep for a turn to dig foxholes, especially on the road. I did not get the chance to do this as Vince pushed forward as quickly as he could. If the British try to use their longer range advantage for a few turns it might be possible to dig a foxhole or two.

With all the abrupt elevation changes it may be possible to approach a tank from above or below so the tank can't fire due to the elevation difference [C2.6].

The CPVA have WP grenades for their AE squads. I didn't use that.

JR
 

jrv

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For some reason I thought that all elevation gain costs were reduced from four MP to two MP for Centurions. In fact only abrupt elevation gains are reduced. That makes using the Centurions much less attractive up on the hills.

JR
 
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