Dennis boys trip to Manila #2 (Let's try SF CG3)

Den589

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We got through another turn and yet again I can't roll to end the scenario. So on to a turn 7 we go. Casualties now sit at 15 squads for the Japanese (+3 ldrs) and 10 squads for the American plus a M3 light tank got recalled and will be leaving the game now. I have a single 1/2 squad cowering in the cellar of the Science Building so he should be able to win the scenario unless I somehow inflitrate back into one of the two buildings he took.

On the brighter side, the dice have started to come around a little bit, the melting down of its cousins in front of them scared the current pair into behaving.
 

sdennis

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I took some pics, don't expect it to change much after this.
The riverside is a mess for the Americans. My brother never met a counterattack he didn't like so he's pushing my overwhelmed guys here hard. With the rain stopping the 3 overwatch mortars are going crazy again. They had a bunch of rate and keeping me from reinforcing. I ran a scout car over here to help and he promptly got shocked but did recover. Need to find a hiding spot while he can still stop the Japanese squads from having free reign.
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The middle left is pretty boring, you can see the aforementioned scout car and the detente that is the College and Pharmacy


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Barring infiltration, the science building and apartments are mine. having to stick a body in every hex to "block" the infiltration seems gamey but whatever.
You see some prep counters here but I am still thinking on other preps.

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And my push on the right is basically over.

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sdennis

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So, we got in another turn last night and it was a weird night. Once again Neil fails to get the end of game roll.
There were a lot of 12s and not much movement.
Highlights/lowlights depending on your POV.
  • He killed one of the scout cars after stunning it, first THH kill.
  • He should have killed another one, I messed up the DFF against 2 THHs and the one got in but gacked his roll.
  • Broke lucky scout's MA, repaired it immediately.
  • Said "The only thing that can mess me up is for this HT to fail its startup roll" and promptly rolled 6,6
  • That caused me to need to ESB for one to get my tank in the correct spot, he also rolled a 6,6
  • I kicked him out of the little wooden building between the science building and pharmacy, than he kicked me out.
  • He keeps filtering concealed guys from the hospital into the science building trying to keep me from taking it for the extra mods in refit. He finally got a guy in but he rolled 6,5 in CC with ambush and I obliged by rolling 6,5 as well.
  • In the same turn near the bay where he is having a lot of success against my retreating troops, he also got into CC again with ambush and rolled another 6,5
  • I broke the string of 11s by CRing his squad, but we have 2 fairly important CC still going.
This is the initial scenario that won't end.

We were discussing, should the initial scenario be a fixed length? Too short and the attacker is screwed, too long and the defender is screwed.
If it had ended on 5 (33%) I would have had little to no success. Now that we are entering T7 Neil is losing troops to overwhelming FP.

For the record, the 12s have evened out but I still have the 2 advantage 🆒
 

sdennis

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Oh and we had gusts which rubbled a hex and he fired like 7 smoke shots successfully before we realized the gusts also meant rain and they were all illegal.
Family friendly game, we just rolled back and started prep over again.
 

Den589

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We were discussing, should the initial scenario be a fixed length? Too short and the attacker is screwed, too long and the defender is screwed.
If it had ended on 5 (33%) I would have had little to no success. Now that we are entering T7 Neil is losing troops to overwhelming FP.

For the record, the 12s have evened out but I still have the 2 advantage 🆒
Yeah, we had a lengthy discussion about the length of opening scenarios in CG's. Each opening CG scenario usually has a specific scenario victory condition that is different than all other scenarios in the CG. If the initial day ends early there is usually almost no chance for the attacker to fulfill this victory condition and conversely (like in our game) if the day just keeps going and going it is nearly impossible for the defender to stop this achievement. Defenders are usually pretty weak early and if doing well will eventually gain strength, a 8-9 turn opening scenario kinda puts the defender behind right from the get go.

Was just curious as to others viewpoints on if the initial scenarios of almost all CG's should be a set number of turns? This would give a equitable chance for both sides to win the initial scenario. From our experience which is almost exclusively CG's, the initial scenario is by far the most important in that it either "turns off" or "hooks" the players into continuing. Variable die rolls could lead to people conceding a CG prematurely just because somebody rolled a 1 or a 6 on a CG day end roll, a huge waste of weeks of setup and playing time. The other scenario days a variable die roll type end is fine, since it is usually a victory condition to either cause more casualties or capture so many new locations. This allows an attack in any area the attacker wishes and doesn't force a fight for a specific area where time can greatly assist or hamper an effort.

Just some musings we had while playing Monday.
 

sdennis

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Well we finally finished the initial scenario of CG III.
I think the Japanese did better than he thought, the squad deaths were like 15 vs. 20, but 15 dead americans is a lot of firepower never coming back.
He's starting to worry about his extended lines with fewer troops, so he's contemplating having to give some land up.
Highlights of the last turn.
  • The American left completely collapsed, he rolled a 1,1 in CC to not only kill a full squad, but leave the hex to DM the only guy that might have rallied to forestall the inevitable.
  • 2.5 or so squads on the left all died to failure to rout as they were overwhelmed by the horde. I moved 3 AFVs over here to try to stem the flood and they didn't
  • He did end up keeping me from winning because the sniper hit the only squad I had able to reinforce the melee in the science building, so he kept firing into the melee until my guys broke, I don't even think his striped!! So he held one hex of the science building.
  • Between fires/collapse etc. the Ermita Apts are completely useless to me. Both stairwells are either collapsed or currently on fire...
  • I think the American weapon limitation rule can be a bit harsh.... I had 13 rolls to make (DC/FT/MGs) and I think I lost half of them? So against the odds here. I understand the concern, I've played RB where the Germans just have oodles of hmg stacks, but I wonder if there should be a limit to your losses? especially since you have to roll EACH and EVERY scenario? I thought weapons were supposed to be the American's advantage?
  • He used infiltration to bring his front line as close to mine as possible to force me to set up one hex farther back than I might have, no real issues here but it can be tedious for the American to plan this out in the end turns.
 

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Having just finished the first half of CG III I was very heartened by your comments, esp. the last two bullet points. Don't get me wrong, we really enjoyed it, but at halftime the US (me) netted a +1 VP advantage, and went into the second half facing an enemy with more of everything (10-20 more squads, at least 2 x HMG, and an endless parade of AT and AA guns and heavy mortars) save vehicles than the US. And that was with nothing too crazy happening in the first half - one idle day, other days of reasonable length, no ridiculous swings of luck. You routinely see people complaining about how hard it is for the Japanese to 'stand up to the US firepower', but given what you noted above we never felt that to be the case. Not only does the US dump a chunk of their weaponry in Manila Bay after every day, knowing that there is a somewhat perverse incentive to use your FT and DC recklessly knowing its a use-it-or-lose-it policy - which drives down the stocks even further. And in terms of pace, the US player essentially loses two turns every day - one near the end of the day to make sure every important hex is covered to prevent infiltration, and essentially the first turn of every scenario is spent reclaiming the front line. All told, we are a bit perplexed as to how one succeeds as the US player in CG 3. Very much looking forward to see how yours turns out!
 

Den589

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Having just finished the first half of CG III I was very heartened by your comments, esp. the last two bullet points. Don't get me wrong, we really enjoyed it, but at halftime the US (me) netted a +1 VP advantage, and went into the second half facing an enemy with more of everything (10-20 more squads, at least 2 x HMG, and an endless parade of AT and AA guns and heavy mortars) save vehicles than the US. And that was with nothing too crazy happening in the first half - one idle day, other days of reasonable length, no ridiculous swings of luck. You routinely see people complaining about how hard it is for the Japanese to 'stand up to the US firepower', but given what you noted above we never felt that to be the case. Not only does the US dump a chunk of their weaponry in Manila Bay after every day, knowing that there is a somewhat perverse incentive to use your FT and DC recklessly knowing its a use-it-or-lose-it policy - which drives down the stocks even further. And in terms of pace, the US player essentially loses two turns every day - one near the end of the day to make sure every important hex is covered to prevent infiltration, and essentially the first turn of every scenario is spent reclaiming the front line. All told, we are a bit perplexed as to how one succeeds as the US player in CG 3. Very much looking forward to see how yours turns out!
Your comments mirror our discussions about CGIII pretty closely, we were wondering if some sort of cap on the American Weapons loss may be in order. Steve lost 2x .50 cals, 2x FT's and 3x DC's. out of 13 rolls. The one hope I think that the Americans do have is if you do the math on the VP locations, they should be able to take a large portion of the Part I VP locations and thereby go into Part II with a huge advantage in VP. The US shouldn't have to do a ton in Part II to win the CG. If you don't mind sharing seawolf72, what was the VP score at the end of Part I in your game?

We did have a question regarding the re-fit phase. Does the -1 on the leader roll for winning the intial CG scenario really last forever (do you apply it every day for eternity)? Seems odd. Also on that same table it says you get a -1 for winning the prior days scenario, there are no parameters for winning days outside of the initial scenario in S&F. So I assume this was a holdover from a prior CG and should be ignored, but the -1 for winning the initial lasting forever question still stands.
 

seawolf72

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Hmmm, that is a good question, I would have only applied it on day 2 🤷‍♂️... In terms of VPs, I took 11 iirc, essentially the front row of vp buildings from the Elena apartments to the Ermita apartments. Good luck out there!
 

Den589

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We started the 2nd scenario Monday night. Got through one full turn. The Americans bring on some M5 tanks, some loaded halftracks and at least two companies. No OBA yet, so maybe three companies coming on based on the CPP he got (we are trying a new thing; sharing a single roll for CPP, for balance purposes; He got 18 CPP and I got 16 due to the historical modifier.)

The American stacked up heavily on the east side of the map and is pushing heavily in the 4G to 4T hexrows. Steve will be along some time to show photos. I brought on the majority of my reinforcements on this side as well, including the first Japanese vehicles, the Scout Cars that I've already ripped the American style .50 cal's out of to hopefully help stem the tide on the eastern front. Steve brought only 3-4 squads and a single Mortar halftrack onto the western shore side of the battlefield. So we may continue to try and push on this side like we did at the end of the 1st scenario.

Turn 1 continues to go horribly dice wise for the poor Japanese. I get the artillery into a good spot, try to convert and the accuracy roll causes it to go into the ONLY SINGLE SOLITARY hex that I couldn't see an adjacent KEU and it reverts to an SR, Every single other dice combination and it would have gone off and he was so heavy with troops in the area that it would have had at least some effect, regardless of where it errored. He quickly deduced where the observer was ( in the steeple @ 4E64.2) and every unit that can see this hex opens up, eventually killing him with a critical hit from a mortar. No FFE came down so I will retain the OBA for yet another day.

Casualties were light, Americans lost a 81* Mortar (malf-promptly disabled) and a half squad. The Japanese lost a 8-0 and a full 2nd line squad. So it stands at 3-3 CVP so far.
 

sdennis

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I had already surmised the most likely spot for the observer based on the initial AR placement and the fact he tried to correct it to the same hex in his turn. Seemed like the most logical spot. The drift and failure to convert just confirmed it :)
 

sdennis

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OK delays aside, here is our situation at the end of turn 1, scenario 2 of CG3, only the smoke has been adjusted for T2, nothing else done yet, I needed to decide on reinforcements, etc. before rolls were made.

In the West the Americans are creeping on board and the Japanse crossed the street to keep mild pressure on. Might have to bring more guys over here to at least keep the lines stable. Of course the HT only got one round of WP.

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In the center we are prepping to go into the pharmacy with a bunch of reinforcements coming up the road, including 3 M5A1s. Couple of WP to sniff out HIP and protect the road on T1. He did find a sneaky LOS from his rear rooftop mortars to my lead M5, the infantry are content to reverse slope behind their mines.
My next big stack ran up to the rubble in the lower right, while everyone else waits on the tanks to bulldoze into the building. Need to pick the right time.

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And most of the action so far is in the East. The big building continues to burn and I got a bit of WP over here to cover the rush across the street. Neil kept commenting on how brash I was being but it was only moderately brash IMHO. You can see the lonely 227 that lost his 81mm Mortar, meaning I now have a HT with nothing to do but be brash and bold. Slow push on the far right, his mtr hit a HS with a WP who promptly CRed himself (after creating a 8-1 earlier). The decision is to continue pushing into his reinforcements or hang a left like we've always been planning. Found/killed 3 THH so far.
You can see most of Neil's reinforcements have run to this side, including the captured scout cars who all promptly gave up their .50 cals to the fight.

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We got another turn in on Monday. The Americans have gotten a wedge into the 4D73 block, but at the cost of one of the M3 halftracks that died to a T-H-H in 4F71. A 9-2 led 24FP stack also appeared for the Americans in the Science Building. The Japanese response was to essentially abandon the front line of the 4D73 block including pushing the gun in 4B71 down the road and bringing up a Scout Car to hopefully tow it out of the area. The Japanese popped up another 20L gun in 4E65 that took a series of shots at the side of a tank and at the M3 that died to the T-H-H, but was very ineffective. Japanese also revealed a purchase from today of the 12.7mm AA guns, with one of the them appearing in 3Q72. A 36FP 10-2 led stack appears in the 1st level of 3N72 but promptly broke all three MMG's in the stack, although 2 immediately repaired.

Casualties stand at 12 CVP for the Japanese, all infantry with 5.5 S/E's and an 8-0 leader dead. For the Americans there have been 16 CVP, 5 from the halftrack, 2 from a 81*MTR and the rest infantry; 4 S/E's and a 8-0 leader dead.

Steve continues to push hard on the eastern side of the city; with a slight turn towards the cemetery and the side of the General Hospital. Steve posts photos, eventually.
 

sdennis

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So these are pics from the middle of American Prep T3, I've done my smoke and some preps, might add more when we reconvene.

Let's start in the west, the 120L had a sneaky boresight down the road but missed my M5 tha was driving by. I am slowly feeding guys into this board edge block trying to create a wedge. I have some more guys entering this turn. Going much slower than I did last scenario, I have 2 mtrs and 1 MTR HT, slowly driving them back.
He had a HIP squad in the second rubble that he revealed and I jumped on him with 2 667s, CRed him in my turn and killed him in his. WP is being used liberally to reveal and hide behind. The overwatch MTRs he has is broken again so progress here is easier. He advanced a bit but now is withdrawing slowly.

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The center is building to a point where something has to happen soon I think.
I've got 2 M5s and probably an entire company or more waiting for some leadership to decide if they are going into the building or not!
Part of me wonders if the pharmacy is dummies or not... You can also make out my 9-2 3x.50 that Neil mentioned and his 10-2 killstack. Need to get a tank over here to make him move. Right in the center rubble is the 12 IFE AA gun he mentioned as well. My tank is plinking away but it's a bad shot really, I either need to move up or move off. The shellhole hex behind my WP is his boresighted hex. I was planning on using that hex to enter the pharmacy with a tank/infantry combo.
I'm still not sure if it's time to try to enter or not or if it's even necessary today. It was a stretch goal for me but he's boresighted almost every hext between the pharmacy and science building so even getting close from this direction is difficult.
I also ran one of the M5s over to the left to help with the West but I'm not sure it's needed given how that's progressing.

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And most of the excitement/interest is in the East. My plan is coming together, push North and than turn left to threaten the cemetary and hospital tomorrow.
FT tank ran other to the far right and decimated a 347, I'm out of WP over here except for the 81mm MTR. The burning ht was able to deliver his troops BEFORE dying! So I have 6 or so squads into that block counting the guys under the tank in the street. I did end up losing a 747 in CC to keep the pressure on, at least he took out a 447 too. Not a fair trade but it got me in the door.
With a simple move from my 9-2 the 9-1 big stack of his will have to move. You can see the new 20L (4) at the top and my bogged, recalled M5 in the rubble in the center. Two FTs over here are hard to maneuver right now without offering good shots. The concealed stack in the front Japanese lines is a little scary, might only be 448/lmg x 2 but might be more...
He has a lot of mtrs over here so the woods are not very attractive jumping off points.
My ht at the bottom is about to load up some reinforcements and hopefully dump them somewhere nice next turn.
He already leaked that my captured baz is about to blow up my prep fired tank on the right. Lost track of the green counter hiding under the yellow one when I prepped that tank.
I also missed an obvious LOS over here that got a 8-0 killed.
I am not unhappy with this front and you can see he pushed nearly ALL of his reinforcements over here.
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Honza

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How would you rate the CG? Super fun, average fun or boring?
 

sdennis

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we are playing slowly just due to our nature and counter density so I haven't made up my mind yet.
I think it's better than CG 2, but we also need to get to the phase ii part and see how that plays I think.
If I HAD to make a call right now I would recommend it.

Attacking the Japanese in an urban environment is interesting.
 

Den589

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We are into Japanese Turn 4 now. No photos this time, but casualties are below.

Japanese Casualties are as follow: 1x 8-0, 1x 81*MTR and 9.5 squad equivalents. For a total of 22 CVP. Most of the Japanese casualties in the last turn have actually been in CC. The FP advantage in CC has totally offset the inherent Japanese advantages in CC.

American Casualties are as follow: 1x 8-0, 1x 81 MTR, 1x M3 halftrack, 2x M5 tanks and 6.5 squad equivalents. For a total of 33 CVP. Steve finally crashed two M5 tanks into the Medical Pharmacy School to try to get trailbreaks through the minefields, one bogged in 3S76 and another died to a tank hunter hero in 3P77. The 3P77 did create a way through the minefields into the building in 3P78 before dying though so that is problematic. He got a couple squads into the building through minefields that quickly ran upstairs, the 6FP mines are not doing their job very well. A tank hunter hero swarm went after a different M5 in 3N78 killing it. A second swarm attempted to do the same to an immobilized M3 in 4O69, but this swarm failed. Steve's casualties were light in the last playing session until the last rally phase where he 12'd two half squads to death. Steve also has one of the 81MTR halftracks (albiet with no MTR onboard) and yet another M5 under recall from snipers/MA disabled. The only M5 alive is the one bogged in the Pharmacy School, that we hopefully will be able to deal with in a moment via another T-H-H swarm. So alot of AFV's going away for the Americans.
 

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Thanks for posting the AAR. Its an interesting read.

Peace

Roger
 

sdennis

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Thanks Roger for the feedback. I always wonder if I should spend my time on these. Going to ASLOK gave me some nice feedback from Doug, etc. too. So we will continue.
We did not play this past weekend and maybe not next weekend either (due to the likelihood of being hung over on Sunday after the UM-MSU game late Saturday)
 
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