AAR - The Meat Grinder - AP41

Major Issues

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Since I am now again employed, and no longer dependent on selling pints of my blood for cash, I thought I would share a job hunting secret. Tell your prospective employer that you have intimate knowledge of the secrets of the Illuminati, which you will reveal to them when the time is right.

I recently got to play a game with Walt Kenney. I have said in past AARs that it is hard to get together with him because he is usually watching/ being abused by/ running away from a horde of barbarian rugrats. We were able to play this time because he recently shipped all of them off to a Swiss boarding school, to be under the watchful eye of Mistress Eva.
10197

Mary Poppins, she ain’t.

Walt had said that he wanted to play a Western Front American/ German scenario, so of course he chose the Soviet/ German “The Meat Grinder.” We may need to check his medication dosage.

10199

Walt had played this a couple times before. I never had.

After a lunch of black bread, just like my Russian grandmother used to make, bahn mi, just like my Vietnamese grandmother used to make, and melon with prosciutto, just like my Italian grandmother used to make, we got down to playing.

June 1941 – Soviets need to defend multihex buildings in a long and skinny town. They have 8 squads to defend 13 buildings, three of which they can’t set up in. Both sides also get CVPs. Soviets start with two fearsome KV-2s,

10200

an AA truck, and a 76 mm AA gun. They get three BT-7s as reinforcements.

The Master Race has 10 squads and 3 PzKw IVs with limited AP, and get 3 PzKw IIIs as reinforcements. Since no Germans start on board, and the scenario is only 5 turns, rapid progress is needed! Whoever has more multihex building points (2 per) and CVPs wins.

Evil Nazis have to cross board 56. Walt did not defend this at all. Granted, anyone there would die a quick and heroic death. But, undefended, it allowed me to charge on and cross it using armored assault with 9 squads, while 2 HSs were assigned the task of running through empty victory buildings to get points.

All of the Soviet vehicles were hanging out on the main N-S road on board 49. But Walt decided to move the AA truck forward, which was a bad move, because it was now alone, and I knew it was the truck and not a Large Scary KV-2. My reinforcing PzKw IIIs charged on, ready to take on the truck (I NEVER said that I like a fair fight...), and the truck was destroyed in AFPh by tank MG fire.

Two giant German stacks made it into positions to take on a Soviet squad in a building on the south- center of the map. Captain Nazi (9-2) soon dealt with them.

10198

Turning their attention northward, 6 squads assaulted the next stone building, which was defended by a squad with a HMG and a 9-1 leader. Despite some breakage, most of my troops made it into position, and Captain Nazi broke the squad. The 9-1 elected to stay with the HMG, rather than rout upstairs and face almost certain capture. But I had one squad who could advance in for CC. No Ambush, but I still couldn’t win at 4:1 odds, and we ended up in Melee.

R2, the BT-7s come on. Two end up on the back side of the south end of the board, one with a 76mm in the north-center of the board. He gets a PzKw III, but another one gets him with a CH. I still can’t win the 4:1 Melee.

Let’s take a break from the action to go over my offensive strategy. Buildings, buildings, buildings. Get as many building points as I can, kill or capture infantry, and ignore the tanks unless they come into LOS and I have to fight. Or run. Limited AP on the PzKw IVs and no tank that has a good chance of taking on the KV-2s made me not want to engage any tank.

PzKw IIIs move adjacent to a 527 to try to convince him to move to a better neighborhood. The KVs slowly spring into action and move to engage them, while my tanks both make successful Motion attempts, which also give them a free VCA change. Because running away like a panicking child is just one of my many offensive options.

I reinforce the CC against the lone Soviet 9-1, and attack at something like 12:1 odds. The Soviet 9-1 ends up looking like an outlaw henchman in a Sam Peckinpah movie.

One of the KVs in the street now has German infantry running toward, not away, from it. While PzKw IVEs may quail at the sight of a KV, your common foot soldier sees it as an opportunity to win a three-day pass. Why bother to shoot 50 mm shells at a KV when you can dismantle it with crowbars and large wrenches, leaving it looking like an abandoned Toyota Camry in East St. Louis??? Base CCV for a squad is 5, Captain Nazi makes it 8, Street Fighting makes it 9. They not only strip it for parts, but set fire to the wreckage. THAT’S how you deal with a KV!!!

A nearby BT now becomes the target for ATR and MG fire. One ATR and 4 MGs, including the captured Soviet HMG, open up on him. I can’t miss. And I get ROF at least once with every MG. I think I got 11 shots off in one fire phase against the hapless BT, with its ‘1’ turret armor.

And did nothing. The tank must have been covered with more sandbags than a New Orleans levee.

On the plus side, I totally screwed up their paint job. Chips like that, you can’t just buff out.

An PzKw III attempt to run away from a KV ends badly, as he needs a 3 TH and gets it. But my crew survives. A PzKw IV that attempts to run behind a BT also gets nailed. But another tank immobilizes the BT.

Next turn, the immobilized BT fails to kill the PzKw IV, so it IFs and Disables its gun. By SSR, the crew can’t abandon, so my PzKw IV (who forgot to bring AP shells) gleefully fire one HE round after another at it. I can’t kill it, but I do convince the crew to bail and run.

A 527 who decided to try an end around and take back some empty buildings found out that it is a bad idea to let yourself be overrun by a Mark III in a field of Cheerios.

Captain Nazi and his merry men take out the badly dented BT in CC. Looking for their own three-day passes, a wounded 8-0 and squad assault the remaining KV. Since they have large wrenches, but no crowbars, they only immobilize it. Enraged, the crew fires back in their PF, and gets a 2 KIA on them. No more passes will be issued.

Last turn, since my AP-less PzKw IV continues to bounce shells off the immobilized BT, another PzKw IV goes over to give it a shot. Not only did they fail to bring AP, they failed to bring ANY shells, and the gun malfunctions. The Heroic Abandoned Immobilized MA Disabled BT-7 will go on to survive the game, and will win praise from both Timoshenko and Stalin.

10201

No mention has been made of the deadly deadly Soviet 76LL AA gun. That’s because it was set up in the rear, in case tanks came along. With no victory buildings in the rear, I had no pressing reason to go that way, so the crew spent the entire game drinking Jello shots and playing ‘Go Fish’.

Point totals at the end were 32 for the Soviets, 48 for the Germans. We each lost 3 tanks, and the Soviets lost their AA truck. A Soviet HS and crew were taken prisoner.

Walt passed up a lot of low odds shots in favor of keeping concealment. Not sure this is the best strategy. Pinning or breaking some Germans can screw up the whole assault, since there are only 5 turns.


I think a more upfront defense is needed. With three squads out of 8, plus the AA gun east of the main road, that didn’t leave much to defend the main line of buildings west of the road. After taking a couple defended buildings in the center, my assault pretty much bogged down. But I got enough points from undefended buildings to give me a comfortable margin and the win. The next day, I received a note from Walt stating that I had destroyed his frail ego. Mistress Eva would be proud.
 

Ed Donoghue

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Since I am now again employed, and no longer dependent on selling pints of my blood for cash, I thought I would share a job hunting secret. Tell your prospective employer that you have intimate knowledge of the secrets of the Illuminati, which you will reveal to them when the time is right.

I recently got to play a game with Walt Kenney. I have said in past AARs that it is hard to get together with him because he is usually watching/ being abused by/ running away from a horde of barbarian rugrats. We were able to play this time because he recently shipped all of them off to a Swiss boarding school, to be under the watchful eye of Mistress Eva.
View attachment 10197

Mary Poppins, she ain’t.

Walt had said that he wanted to play a Western Front American/ German scenario, so of course he chose the Soviet/ German “The Meat Grinder.” We may need to check his medication dosage.

View attachment 10199

Walt had played this a couple times before. I never had.

After a lunch of black bread, just like my Russian grandmother used to make, bahn mi, just like my Vietnamese grandmother used to make, and melon with prosciutto, just like my Italian grandmother used to make, we got down to playing.

June 1941 – Soviets need to defend multihex buildings in a long and skinny town. They have 8 squads to defend 13 buildings, three of which they can’t set up in. Both sides also get CVPs. Soviets start with two fearsome KV-2s,

View attachment 10200

an AA truck, and a 76 mm AA gun. They get three BT-7s as reinforcements.

The Master Race has 10 squads and 3 PzKw IVs with limited AP, and get 3 PzKw IIIs as reinforcements. Since no Germans start on board, and the scenario is only 5 turns, rapid progress is needed! Whoever has more multihex building points (2 per) and CVPs wins.

Evil Nazis have to cross board 56. Walt did not defend this at all. Granted, anyone there would die a quick and heroic death. But, undefended, it allowed me to charge on and cross it using armored assault with 9 squads, while 2 HSs were assigned the task of running through empty victory buildings to get points.

All of the Soviet vehicles were hanging out on the main N-S road on board 49. But Walt decided to move the AA truck forward, which was a bad move, because it was now alone, and I knew it was the truck and not a Large Scary KV-2. My reinforcing PzKw IIIs charged on, ready to take on the truck (I NEVER said that I like a fair fight...), and the truck was destroyed in AFPh by tank MG fire.

Two giant German stacks made it into positions to take on a Soviet squad in a building on the south- center of the map. Captain Nazi (9-2) soon dealt with them.

View attachment 10198

Turning their attention northward, 6 squads assaulted the next stone building, which was defended by a squad with a HMG and a 9-1 leader. Despite some breakage, most of my troops made it into position, and Captain Nazi broke the squad. The 9-1 elected to stay with the HMG, rather than rout upstairs and face almost certain capture. But I had one squad who could advance in for CC. No Ambush, but I still couldn’t win at 4:1 odds, and we ended up in Melee.

R2, the BT-7s come on. Two end up on the back side of the south end of the board, one with a 76mm in the north-center of the board. He gets a PzKw III, but another one gets him with a CH. I still can’t win the 4:1 Melee.

Let’s take a break from the action to go over my offensive strategy. Buildings, buildings, buildings. Get as many building points as I can, kill or capture infantry, and ignore the tanks unless they come into LOS and I have to fight. Or run. Limited AP on the PzKw IVs and no tank that has a good chance of taking on the KV-2s made me not want to engage any tank.

PzKw IIIs move adjacent to a 527 to try to convince him to move to a better neighborhood. The KVs slowly spring into action and move to engage them, while my tanks both make successful Motion attempts, which also give them a free VCA change. Because running away like a panicking child is just one of my many offensive options.

I reinforce the CC against the lone Soviet 9-1, and attack at something like 12:1 odds. The Soviet 9-1 ends up looking like an outlaw henchman in a Sam Peckinpah movie.

One of the KVs in the street now has German infantry running toward, not away, from it. While PzKw IVEs may quail at the sight of a KV, your common foot soldier sees it as an opportunity to win a three-day pass. Why bother to shoot 50 mm shells at a KV when you can dismantle it with crowbars and large wrenches, leaving it looking like an abandoned Toyota Camry in East St. Louis??? Base CCV for a squad is 5, Captain Nazi makes it 8, Street Fighting makes it 9. They not only strip it for parts, but set fire to the wreckage. THAT’S how you deal with a KV!!!

A nearby BT now becomes the target for ATR and MG fire. One ATR and 4 MGs, including the captured Soviet HMG, open up on him. I can’t miss. And I get ROF at least once with every MG. I think I got 11 shots off in one fire phase against the hapless BT, with its ‘1’ turret armor.

And did nothing. The tank must have been covered with more sandbags than a New Orleans levee.

On the plus side, I totally screwed up their paint job. Chips like that, you can’t just buff out.

An PzKw III attempt to run away from a KV ends badly, as he needs a 3 TH and gets it. But my crew survives. A PzKw IV that attempts to run behind a BT also gets nailed. But another tank immobilizes the BT.

Next turn, the immobilized BT fails to kill the PzKw IV, so it IFs and Disables its gun. By SSR, the crew can’t abandon, so my PzKw IV (who forgot to bring AP shells) gleefully fire one HE round after another at it. I can’t kill it, but I do convince the crew to bail and run.

A 527 who decided to try an end around and take back some empty buildings found out that it is a bad idea to let yourself be overrun by a Mark III in a field of Cheerios.

Captain Nazi and his merry men take out the badly dented BT in CC. Looking for their own three-day passes, a wounded 8-0 and squad assault the remaining KV. Since they have large wrenches, but no crowbars, they only immobilize it. Enraged, the crew fires back in their PF, and gets a 2 KIA on them. No more passes will be issued.

Last turn, since my AP-less PzKw IV continues to bounce shells off the immobilized BT, another PzKw IV goes over to give it a shot. Not only did they fail to bring AP, they failed to bring ANY shells, and the gun malfunctions. The Heroic Abandoned Immobilized MA Disabled BT-7 will go on to survive the game, and will win praise from both Timoshenko and Stalin.

View attachment 10201

No mention has been made of the deadly deadly Soviet 76LL AA gun. That’s because it was set up in the rear, in case tanks came along. With no victory buildings in the rear, I had no pressing reason to go that way, so the crew spent the entire game drinking Jello shots and playing ‘Go Fish’.

Point totals at the end were 32 for the Soviets, 48 for the Germans. We each lost 3 tanks, and the Soviets lost their AA truck. A Soviet HS and crew were taken prisoner.

Walt passed up a lot of low odds shots in favor of keeping concealment. Not sure this is the best strategy. Pinning or breaking some Germans can screw up the whole assault, since there are only 5 turns.


I think a more upfront defense is needed. With three squads out of 8, plus the AA gun east of the main road, that didn’t leave much to defend the main line of buildings west of the road. After taking a couple defended buildings in the center, my assault pretty much bogged down. But I got enough points from undefended buildings to give me a comfortable margin and the win. The next day, I received a note from Walt stating that I had destroyed his frail ego. Mistress Eva would be proud.
I played this as the Russians and did much better than Walt. I defended up front with some inf. & 1 KV, the Russian left with the AA gun and the truck, and the other KV on the right. Both flanks had some inf support & the dice were friendly. Fun game
 

Eagle4ty

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Also played this one as the Russian and won twice. I believe I put the 76 Gun in the crossroads at 56Q1 in the center that became a PITA for the Krauts and had also deployed a combat outpost position forward on the board to mess with the infantry advance to contact. In one playing the most fun I had was watching my opponent bust through buildings with AFVs multiple times with multiple AFVs, IIRC he never lost or bogged a single one to that! Overall I think it was a good scenario and quite balanced.
 
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