AAR - Red Factories

MajorDad

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In memory of my brother, who loved playing Stalingrad scenarios, my regular OpFor Andy Hershey and I decided to play all of the new Red Factory scenarios over the long weekend. (I took Friday off to make it a very long weekend with Presidents Day). We skipped RO5 “Men of Steel” due to its size, and the attacking to defender ratio of 1 to 1 giving us some doubts on its balance.

RO1 Blood on the Tracks
Before we even started, it looked like the Germans were going to have a real hard time so we gave the balance to the Germans plus a 7-0 leader to man the radio. I had the Russians and turned the J32/J33 building into a fortress. This position dominated the map with HMG fire lane from trenches behind the building covering my entire front. While Andy's Stuka's delayed my reinforcements and hurt my skirmish line falling back to my MLR, he was unable to reduce my fortress and only got a small toe hold into one of the factories. Big Russian win. The German player is going to need some SERIOUS luck from the dice gods to win this one against a competent Russian player.

RO2 Second Step
It was my time to attack so I had the Germans and Andy defended with the Russians. My Rocket OBA was ineffective and I had the pleasure of making very little head way against a strong Russian defense. Having only captured one of the three required buildings at the beginning of turn 4, but the second would fall by game end, I called it. This one looks like it is a tall order again for the Germans to win. Another Russian win.

RO3 Defenders of Stalingrad
Back to the defense with me being the Germans. With ROAR showing the Russians with 6 wins and the Germans 0, we decided t give the Germans the balance. Reducing the Russian leaders to three really handicapped the Russian attack from the south, it also prevented a two commissar trade. My Germans were able to slowly fall back and run the clock out. The first German win on ROAR but having used the balance. It will be interesting to see how this one trends with and without the German balance.

RO4 Martinofen
Being a Marine combat engineer officer, Andy was kind enough to allow me to be the Germans since they had a company of pioneers to attack with. I was able to gain a toe hold in building S22 by turn 2 but could not get to hex roll O to release the rest of my forces per SSR5 until turn 5. This put me behind the time and distance curve and I conceded on turn 6. Although a fun scenario for the Germans, the Russian player has few options.

RO6 The Playing Field
Back to the defense for me with being the Germans. I lightly held building S38 placing most of my troops and all of my fortifications in and around building O36. Andy's OBA was right on target breaking a key squad and leader in O36 allowing him to gain a foothold. This and one of his half squads on his left that would not break causing me to lose 2 squads and a leader for failure to rout gave a the Russians a win. Even with this win it is very hard on the Germans with the OBA being critical. Loose the OBA and the Germans will need all of the luck and the Russian player to do some foolish things
.
RO7 Stone Age Caves
I had the displeasure of being the Russians on the attack. With the German perimeter surrounded by wire and mines and the one avenue of attack being bore sighted I conceded by turn three. If the Russian player is suppose to storm the wire he is short men. Also his force is split up which takes at least one turn to try and consolidate or piecemeal his attack. Also my mortar ran out of smoke on the second shot which did not help any.

So after playing all of the new Stalingrad scenarios form “Red Factories” we discovered that all of them favor (sometimes very heavily) the defender. If I had to play them again I would take the balance if I was the attacker. Doubt that will balance it up on some of them though. So feeling a little disappointed with the RO scenarios we decided to try out some of the refreshed RB scenarios that came with the module.

RB4 To the Rescue
Andy had played this years ago with me having never had the chance. I took the defending Russians with Andy trying to rescue his cutoff Germans. A truly unique scenario with every roll of the dice being tense. By turn 4 it was obvious the Germans were not going to be able to rescue the required number of troops and Andy went off to the POW cage.

DB122 Prescription For The Kommissar
We decided to take a swing at a third party scenario about Stalingrad. With me not being able to pass morale checks with 8 morale troops I finally failed my personal morale check by the end of turn 3. The scenario looks and has the feel of being a lot of fun. I truly want to take another go at it down the road. The Germans have a fight on their hands but they have the troops and toys to do it. I just wish I could have given the scenario a better playing.

RB11 Oh Joy
With time for one last game we went back to RB. Keeping with alternating between attacking and defending I took the defending Germans. A tight scenario on a small section of the map. The scenario started out slow but had a tense and hard fought ending. The trenches are critical for both sides. The game goes to the end turn with the Russians pulling out a win. A great ending game for a great weekend of ASL.

Conclusion
I can safely say we got our fill of fighting in Stalingrad. Nine scenarios truly allowed us to immerse ourselves in the battle. I know my brother Derek had fun looking down on all of ASL action on the Stalingrad maps. It would have been his idea of a perfect ASL weekend. I look forward to hearing how others fair with the new RO scenarios.

S/F
Keith
 
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Rockford

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Nice write up. Totally agree about Blood On the Tracks. Played it today with the Russians. I set up most of the mines and wire in the row E road and contested the initial crossing. The Germans did some damage here and there, but never really caught up. Seems pretty tough for them.
 

Honza

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It is a shame the scenarios seem unbalanced. Perhaps a learning curve is required?
 

MajorDad

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Perhaps a learning curve is required?
Perhaps a learning curve is required?
I fully admit that my game can always improve. In fact RO4 I felt I could have done better. But after playing hundreds of scenarios and playing against an opponent that had played over a thousand himself and designed numerous scenarios and modules, I believe it is safe to say it was not a "learning curve" that was the problem.
 

Honza

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But some scenarios require several playings until they are understood. This is particularly true of CGs but also some smaller scenarios too. If you are an experienced player you will probably grok a scenario much quicker. Time will tell if multiple playings of the RO scenarios unlocks any secrets.
 

Justiciar

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But some scenarios require several playings until they are understood. This is particularly true of CGs but also some smaller scenarios too. If you are an experienced player you will probably grok a scenario much quicker. Time will tell if multiple playings of the RO scenarios unlocks any secrets.
Honza (speaking only of non-CG scenarios) it may take you several tries to figure out some scenarios...other folks can see how to break a scenario from the get go, no matter how you want to try and solve the tactical problem on one of your 'tries'. In any case you will have the enjoyment of playing ASL in your attempts. For others the secret is plain to see, there is nothing to unlock.
 

Honza

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Honza (speaking only of non-CG scenarios) it may take you several tries to figure out some scenarios...other folks can see how to break a scenario from the get go, no matter how you want to try and solve the tactical problem on one of your 'tries'. In any case you will have the enjoyment of playing ASL in your attempts. For others the secret is plain to see, there is nothing to unlock.
Ahhh...that would be the Jedi ASLers. A rare breed apparently.
 

Fort

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I fully admit that my game can always improve. In fact RO4 I felt I could have done better. But after playing hundreds of scenarios and playing against an opponent that had played over a thousand himself and designed numerous scenarios and modules, I believe it is safe to say it was not a "learning curve" that was the problem.
You'd be surprised at how easy it is to miss something....
 

MajorDad

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You'd be surprised at how easy it is to miss something....
Hi Gary, It is good hearing from you. No I am not surprised on missing something; I do it all of the time.LOL . But I believe that if there is only one obscure (hidden / secret ) thing that HAS to be done in order to win, then the scenario is broken or very unbalanced. I understand that others may totally disagree with me and that is OK. I view ASL as a tactical simulation not a Chinese puzzle. For me the challenge is against my opponent and what they can do with what is provided. Not hidden surprises from the scenario designer themselves. But at the end of it all who really cares. I just like pushing cardboard pieces around a board.

My Best,
Keith
 

Fort

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Hi Gary, It is good hearing from you. No I am not surprised on missing something; I do it all of the time.LOL . But I believe that if there is only one obscure (hidden / secret ) thing that HAS to be done in order to win, then the scenario is broken or very unbalanced. I understand that others may totally disagree with me and that is OK. I view ASL as a tactical simulation not a Chinese puzzle. For me the challenge is against my opponent and what they can do with what is provided. Not hidden surprises from the scenario designer themselves. But at the end of it all who really cares. I just like pushing cardboard pieces around a board.

My Best,
Keith
There are no hidden surprises in the RO scenarios.
I am of the old school of play a scenario many times over to get the best out of it. I don't particularly care for throwaway games. I didn't design any of these scenarios, but I did playtest them and discuss them with playtesters. I believe they are not too far off from balanced while keeping them recognizeable by their designers.
 

MajorDad

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There are no hidden surprises in the RO scenarios.
I am of the old school of play a scenario many times over to get the best out of it. I don't particularly care for throwaway games. I didn't design any of these scenarios, but I did playtest them and discuss them with playtesters. I believe they are not too far off from balanced while keeping them recognizeable by their designers.
Hi Gary,
Well we differ in that I don't replay many scenarios. There are so many out there now that after I have tried the tactical problem I don't want to use any more of my limited time playing it again. Of course there are exceptions like scenarios with variable OBs and such. I tried to use what I have learned and apply it to a new situation. I did not think there were any hidden surprises in the RO scenarios. They looked and were fairly straight forward. I don't believe all of the RO scenarios are all heavily unbalanced. I do believe that most of them favor the defender somewhat though. I also feel RO1 and a couple of others have some issues. I would very much enjoy playing you and have you educate me on how it can be done as the attacker. I would do my best to give you a decent game against a player of your caliber. I hope all is going well.

Keith
 
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I never realized -so a scenario designer designed a game with 1:1 forces and decided to make the biggest bunkers in history ( the factories) and added rules that FURTHER degrades upon the attacker. How about only 1 OBA (loose that loose the game). Then asks him to win on control buildings VC?

Sigh, you are right. MoS has problems....
 
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