ASL 215 Red Devils: Can the US win?

xenovin

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Played this one last weekend as the Communist Chinese and not sure how the US can hold out past Turn 4 never mind win this scenario. The US has six fixed unlimbered 155 SPA guns across two boards, a somewhat strong headquarters unit that has to set up within three hexes of 44M6, and a perimeter Force of 4xHS, 2xHMG, 2xMMG, 4x Foxholes, a 9-1 and 2x HT covering the front of the SPA battery. The board configuration has the mass of Chinese entering over mostly open hills and down through an open “valley of death” fronting the SPA battery with a thin cover of light woods and brush along the extreme northern and southern edges of the board flanks. So the Chinese can either march down through the open center or move through the cover on the flanks (tough choice here). The Chinese also have a small four squad forward recon infiltration force (free of impulse movement) to harass the US perimeter force but I used to CX towards the rear of the SPA guns.

The US are under all kinds of restrictions which you can read in the SSRs but basically the bulk of the forces can’t do anything on Turn 1 except for the small perimeter force. And here in is my question. What can the US do with the perimeter force? You have a HMG, MMG and HT to cover each board, mass them on a single board, or mass them in the center and hope their fire lanes (FL) can halt the Chinese impulse movement waves but the flank hindrances really cuts down the FL. If you set up in the flanks as a direct block, it’s much harder to fire at the Chinese until they are right on top of you!

My initial impression was that the three US SPAs on Board 19 deployed away from the 6x666 US squads in the HQ unit was much easier pickings so I massed the bulk of the Chinese against these guns as their destruction would meet the VC requirements. By Turn 3 I was in position to CC 4 of the SPA guns which had already fired at my units five times (and thus 5 VC points) so we called it. Afterwards we wondered if the three SPAs on Board 19 should try and limber up and drive away but they are not allowed to do anything on Turn 1 so the crew would go TI on Turn 2 converting them over to their limbered side so that on Turn 3 they could move either over by the HQ force for covered wagon circle defense or just drive off the map and give the Chinese the 2 VP per gun. This would be a hard thing to pull off based on our playing so it leaves you with how best do you employ the US perimeter force until the HQ force is freed (through SSR restrictions) to help out. How the US could even still be in the game by Turn 7 is a mystery as not much time to re-occupy abandoned HTs and strip out the HMG/MMG and get them into the fight before the Chinese have their hands in their back pockets looking for smokes.

Has anyone won as the US is this scenario?
 

Justiciar

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I have won 2x in PT and once live at WO the year of FW's release vs the designer as the US...albeit in the last instance on some crazy poor CC DR on his part....but even so that CC was happening mid-late game... I have also lost to Johannsen and Garvin a few months ago as the US when one of my .50 cals went down on a ket FL and then Xed out next rally phase....

The SPA vehicles are not "fixed"...albeit moving comes at a price...and there are some vehicles that are worth moving for that price...there is an operational side to this scenario...

You need to figure out your fire lanes on the main "perimeter" defense elements...you have several...before hand, and that HQ 7-0 is actually a key dude, as he can get to a perimeter MG to help no-cower soon.

I agree it is an uphill challenge for the US...

I have not tried get the 50s off the tracks technique myself...
 

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Did you read this AAR & discussion?:

JR
 
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xenovin

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Yes the AAR and we both smacked around the US by Turn 3. Andy confirmed my impression hard on US and wondered if I was missing some subtle tactics thus point of post. I need to go through Andy’s comments in more detail to see what he was doing to give US a chance. My opponent moved a HMG and the other broke so sounds like this might be US Achilles for winning.

Did you read this AAR & discussion?:

JR
 

jrv

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Yes the AAR and we both smacked around the US by Turn 3. Andy confirmed my impression hard on US and wondered if I was missing some subtle tactics thus point of post. I need to go through Andy’s comments in more detail to see what he was doing to give US a chance. My opponent moved a HMG and the other broke so sounds like this might be US Achilles for winning.
As I recall from the discussion, as long as you recognize that you need to put down the firelanes from the beginning it isn't so much "hard" as it is sensitive to MG breakdowns and disturbance. What were the positions for the American MGs?

JR
 

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One of the hardest thing to content with / manage as the US, is how to deal with the CPVA Recon element since they move normally, these are the guys that will threaten to move "around" the US FL positions, then attack them before the main CPVA body moves and thus help mess with FLs actually going down...
 

xenovin

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At work so I don’t have data but stacked HMGs in the middle by the road, a MMG in cover on each flank and on HT in the back of each board so they could move towards threat (I’m guessing). Not optimal based on play thus my discussion above. A FL through light woods still adds +2 so you run into the issue of having the Chinese in your lap without making them pay but if you set up outside the flank cover they are less affective placing a FL through them. Perhaps massing all the MGs on Bd 19 will cover the rather defenseless SPA and send the Reds to the other board and into the HQ squads might work better. I still think the US are in a tough pickle.

As I recall from the discussion, as long as you recognize that you need to put down the firelanes from the beginning it isn't so much "hard" as it is sensitive to MG breakdowns and disturbance. What were the positions for the American MGs?

JR
 

jrv

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At work so I don’t have data but stacked HMGs in the middle by the road, a MMG in cover on each flank and on HT in the back of each board so they could move towards threat (I’m guessing). Not optimal based on play thus my discussion above. A FL through light woods still adds +2 so you run into the issue of having the Chinese in your lap without making them pay but if you set up outside the flank cover they are less affective placing a FL through them. Perhaps massing all the MGs on Bd 19 will cover the rather defenseless SPA and send the Reds to the other board and into the HQ squads might work better. I still think the US are in a tough pickle.
I have not played this so I can't be definitive. My impression was that Andy's suggested setup was with MGs as far back as you get them on the sides putting down firelanes toward the center. This picture indicates the general idea, but I have not counted out ranges for the various MGs, etc. [And I don't mean to indicate that the SPA is putting down a firelane.] The other thread has more details on particular positions. There are some hexes that give LOS to the board edges too (e.g. Z5, G6), so if the CPVA try to scuttle up the board edge the Americans can put down firelanes that way too. The firelanes won't necessarily prevent movement but they should make it more costly and/or more time-consuming. The halftracks of the perimeter group can be positioned to support the MGs, keeping the recon elements at bay for a starter.

9627

JR
 

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Yes the farthest right US FL is correct, and a foxhole for it (the 7-0 when freed up goes in here to prevent cower). The left side FL, while that is a position option, will get overwhelmed by the recon element in short order... I had the other .50 in 19T8 with 9-1...FL to 2DD10 or 19DD0. (You can't save all the SPA, and the far left one is one of those...I would limber and run ASAP...)

Had MMG in 19 Y8..FLs.15FF7, 19Y1, 19DD0. The other in 44G9 with FL to G1, also had M3A1 here, this is a temporary spot for both only...the MMG displaces to I10...M3A1 as it sees fit.
 

xenovin

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Andy, nice FL and terrain analysis. I can see that giving the US a fighting chance with the overlapping FLs. But at the end of the day I don’t see much variation in how both sides can play this so seems like a one trick pony type scenario. YMMV. Thanks for the comments!
 

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I glad the FL EX might prove useful.
I not so sure about only one trick. Something I never tried, is to limber up and move back/away 2 of the SPA on the left and plan for that in the MG placement (and with 2 SPA now just moving away and hiding to get out of harms way). A tighter perimeter could be beneficial to the US in the covering fire from MMC and the other HT would be more effective, what happens now is like each SPA gets its own cover force and this can be overwhelmed.
I am not 100% in a design-must-have-multiple-zillion-set up/play mode-camp, and much more in the design should be evocative of the battle in question (not there must be umpteen ways to fight it). I think Ken's design conveys the essence well.
(I do think the CPVA have more options, you can do two attacks, one mass attack, you can go student body right or left or a draw up the middle and fan out...you can have 2 small recon elements or one large one... I agree the US better grasp interlocking fire lanes or they are toast...)
Take care see you at the BBB if all goes well.
 

xenovin

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While there will be some slight variation, the US deployment is basically locked and the Chinese have to attack through the flanks (strong on one or evened out), as suicide up the middle, and their MGs go on the hill to pot shot the US HMGs or try and Stun the SPA as they only get a +1. Of course the Reds MGs blow up pretty quickly so CC will be their usual game depending on how many make it through the FL! I played it but don’t see me going back to this KW scenario but would play the other CPVA scenarios again. And I will see you at the BBB!
 

Justiciar

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I have seen 2x an attack right up the middle...into that orchard zone and then break left / right...
 

xenovin

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I have seen 2x an attack right up the middle...into that orchard zone and then break left / right...
Now that’s how I can see the US winning this one lol
 
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