FrF86 Belgian Tigers - AAR

von Marwitz

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FrF86 Belgian Tigers - AAR

FrF086 Belgian Tigers Scenario Archive.jpg



A quite fast playing scenario set in early war Belgium. The Belgians defend on the far side of a canal with some infantry, 2x MMG and a 75L AA Gun and will receive reinforcements in the form of a radioless tank platoon and later 4 squads plus leader. The Germans have elite troops, some 548 Assault Engineers among them - sorely needed for their smoke exponent. Some of the Germans set up in a small bridgehead on the Belgian side of the canal which includes a 37L ATG. The bulk of the German force must cross the single bridge of the canal and then capture a number of buildings in rather short time.

I played the attacking Germans in this one. The crossing of the canal is somewhat helped by a truck wreck on the Belgian side of the bridge, but for sure it is a tough job getting across. I set up to be able to (hopefully) generate infantry smoke for the bridge hex itself and both road hexes leading onto the bridge. Then, the Germans would rush across - the scenario does not really allow for subtleties in that regard. I set up one killer stack to suppress the Belgians.

The initial Prep Fire was ineffective but the initial smoke placement went fair enough giving me one infantry smoke in each of the three planned hexes out of 5 or 6 attempts. Some units got broken and pinned but three squads plus leader made it across the bridge. From then on, I felt in constant pain with squads getting broken, pinned or CR'ed. Alas, my vital 548 AE's seemed especially hampered and due to various reasons (Berserk, CR, Broken) could mostly not attempt to go for the so vital infantry smoke when most sorely needed. My killer stack (9-1, 3x468, LMG/MMG) just could not suppress the Belgian 8-1, 457+MMG raking the bridge throughout the entire game. This stack was forced to fire instead of moving throughout the entire game because there always were just too many Belgians around to reasonably attempt a crossing of the bridge without infantry smoke.

During the first 3 turns, my Germans lost heavily in infantry (4 squad equivalents, only one of which due to breaking and the rest due to KIA, K/1, and Fate results). This did not bode well for the remainder of the scenario. The Belgian tanks moved in to protect the "instant win" building, turning it into a well defended fortress. I was able to take out one with an ATR. But altogether, I just could not make any progress as too many attempts to improve my position were foiled again and again: 64 enemy IFT rolls caused no less than 41 Morale Checks and 15 Task Checks. Thus I was never able to develop the decisive punch in firepower on the Belgian side of the canal and could not avoid losing too much time with necessary rallying and regrouping. The Belgians lost but 1 squad equivalent in CC, the 8-1 Leader (Turn 5) due to a Sniper, and 1 tank due to ATR.

By Turn 4 I had managed but to capture just a single additional building besides the initial one I had. With 4 more Belgian squads entering, the fate of the Germans was pretty much sealed as they could easily garrison stone buildings I would have to move up against having by now far inferior numbers of infantry.

In German Turn 5, I made a desparate attempt to get my units on the German side of the canal across, but out of 4 Elite squads and a 9-1 only 2 made it. What I had got the 23O10 area got hit by a 3TH followed by a 3IFT DR (and ROF maintained) by the AA Gun on a tricky LOS. The follow up shot also hit and made short work of the units, one of which managed to HoB and create a Hero. But it was too late for them to make a difference. Thus I conceded at the start of German Turn 5.

Situation at the end of the game:

1522947295824.png

Despite getting whacked time and again, and I was somewhat hauted by a feeling of futility, it was a fun scenario to play with an interesting tactical situation. Recommendable.

von Marwitz
 

Vinnie

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My problem with this scenario stems from the best move for the Germans on turn 1 is a very very gamey tactic. I can PM you but don;t want to spoil the scenario for others. I played and enjoyed it. It was only after watching Steve and Indy play it that it occurred to me.
 

ecz

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I studied it in depth as possible choice for last ASO. Really tiny and little scenario, probably not exactly suited for tournament play, but I decide prepare it for this lacking better options. I did not play it in the end, however.

I agree on your considerations. The hard part is migrate the German from one side to the other of the canal. I was ready to bid to play the Belgian, not because favored, but because it's easy for the German make mistakes. So when scenarios are balanced it's better to play the "easy" side.

And now a pair of tactical notes:

The Belgian AA should stay where it can be used longer and where it can take more shots. I would never place it onboard in V7 waiting enemies passing along the W7-U9 row and not emplaced because on a paved road. It's a mistake in any case (IMO :) ) . Never forfeits the HIP chance, although there are not many spots where to place the gun.

I studied the first German move. Of course the first idea (often not the better idea) was try suppressing Prep fire, and then try place as many as possible smokes where you did and run across the bridge. I discarded it.

There is time enough for a more conservative approach. I would use Opp fire with the killer stack to have a better shot when Belgians first fire on the German HSs moving and stripping concealed Belgians .

Finally, I would note the fact the wreck is a truck per SSR. There is always a reason for a so specific SSR. Why a truck wreck and not a burn out generic wreck?
IMO because the Germans have another option on the table for their opening move. Fire enough FP on the wreck to set it in fire. I discarded this option because too dicey, but it's there for someone bold enough...
 
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Vinnie

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table for their opening move. Fire enough FP on the wreck to set it in fire. I discarded this option because too dicey, but it's there for someone bold enough...
That's what the 37 does in the first prep fire phase. 4 needed on the TK roll and you have a rof 3 weapon. You are unlikely to have much in the way of better targets in turn 1 and are not going to be moving it.
 

ecz

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you have higher chances firing 36+ on the IFT, you need 6 or less I believe. Easy but not automatic. I wouln't try it.

about the non-spoiler thing.
I see your point, but I think that a so detaild and well done AAR deserves a full disclosure on all tactis available. I assume that von Marwitz had this in mind. Also it can be useful as basic tactical primer for somone.
 

Vinnie

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you have higher chances firing 36+ on the IFT, you need 6 or less I believe. Easy but not automatic. I wouln't try it.

about the non-spoiler thing.
I see your point, but I think that a so detaild and well done AAR deserves a full disclosure on all tactis available. I assume that von Marwitz had this in mind. Also it can be useful as basic tactical primer for somone.
agreeed but your infantry are going to be doing other things while your 37L wil have few, if any, targets.
In my playing my opponent Opp Fired it and stil was looking at shots at concealed units in the Adv Fire Phase.
 

davegin

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Played this vs. Doug, the Missouri Mauler, Kirk in KC at the Madness. I thought it was a great scenario. If the German sets up correctly, he will need minimal luck to get infantry smoke and cover his canal crossing. I managed to get the entire german force, except for a kill stack, across on the first turn under heavy fire by Doug's Belgians. Doug had firepower concentrated on every bridge and adjacent hex, but the smoke allowed me to cross unscathed. Doug is a great player and his defense was as tough as it comes but by getting the Germans across so quickly it became a tight game for building control. I missed my atr shots at his tanks which would have decreased the building control amount but was still able to take seven of the needed six buildings. Doug, however, was able to engage five of the contested buildings in CC on his last move and was able to win two back for the victory. This was my only loss that weekend, but was the most enjoyable scenario I played. I highly recommend and would take either side.
 

lightspeed

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My problem with this scenario stems from the best move for the Germans on turn 1 is a very very gamey tactic. I can PM you but don;t want to spoil the scenario for others. I played and enjoyed it. It was only after watching Steve and Indy play it that it occurred to me.

Steve had his MMG in 23L9, looking right at the bridge. I didn't think smoke in the wreck hex would have done much...
for me, getting to the wreck was the issue.

Turing the wreck into a blaze is a bit of a gamey tactic, to be sure.

What really was gamey was my running a bullet proof half-squad all over hell's half-acre to gain control of buildings.

BTW, I'm looking forward to seeing you, Steve, and Ollie in late June. It'll be time for pints and world cup!

indy
 

Jacometti

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Turing the wreck into a blaze is a bit of a gamey tactic, to be sure.
As designers, we were not concerned by this option.

There are plenty of places from which the Belgians can pour fire on the open ground and bridge hexes. The Assault Engineers place smoke 4 out of 6 times, with the same +2 Hindrance. If a German player wants to use his firepower to shoot at non-Belgians, that is fine with us.

Thanks Mr Ginnard for the great AAR - really happy you enjoyed this. I played this and lost against Chris Chapman at Albany......he played a good game, I certainly did not play my best - but most of all I just could not get the results on his bridge-crossing. My Belgians cowered or always rolled just low enough for PTC or NE on the Residual Firepower shots. So he just poured most of his force over the bridge in one Turn. Then it gets REALLY hard for the Belgians.
 

lightspeed

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As designers, we were not concerned by this option.

Thanks Mr Ginnard for the great AAR - really happy you enjoyed this.
He's not the only one that enjoyed it...I am looking forward to playing it again. In my game, I was the Germans,
and was about to deliver the coup de grace...then the turn 4 reinforcements came. Just in the nick of time.
There was constant tension: the Belgians feel a bit fragile, and are at times hanging on by their fingernails.

I didn't think of firing on the wreck...again, I don't think it would have made much of a difference.

Thanks for the interesting scenario.

indy
 

Cult.44

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Does that over-score line on the AA gun mean it cannot fire HE? That's how I understand it but my memory can be a little faulty at times.
 

jrv

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Does that over-score line on the AA gun mean it cannot fire HE? That's how I understand it but my memory can be a little faulty at times.
Underscore is no HE; overscore is no AP [C2.21]. Unless you have a gun with a really high rate-of-fire (e.g. MG), firing AP at an aircraft would be an expensive waste of time.

JR
 

Cult.44

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Got it, thanks. It would be kind of a dud weapon in that scenario if it could only fire AP.
 

ecz

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As designers, we were not concerned by this option.
why then specify in the SSR it is a truck wreck? This is the only scenario I remember where there is such a specification about onboard wrecks.
I was sure it was an elegant way to offer -between the lines- to the players one more tactical option
 

jrv

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why then specify in the SSR it is a truck wreck? This is the only scenario I remember where there is such a specification about onboard wrecks.
I was sure it was an elegant way to offer -between the lines- to the players one more tactical option
There are other scenarios that specify the identity of the wreck. "The Grist Mill" [208] is one recent one. There is another that was PTO, but I forget its name.

JR
 

Mister T

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As it is possible to "push" (i.e. eliminate) a wreck, it is necessary to know its weight (as there is a weight ratio between the pusher and the pushed item (90%). But as trucks come in many shapes and sizes, it is probably not the reason.
 

ecz

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As it is possible to "push" (i.e. eliminate) a wreck, it is necessary to know its weight (as there is a weight ratio between the pusher and the pushed item (90%). But as trucks come in many shapes and sizes, it is probably not the reason.
this is not the case of Belgian Tigers. In this scenario there is no reason (right or wrong) to push the wreck. I cannot see another reason but to give the German an additional option for smoke (that it is fine).
Hence my question. Why specify in the SSR it is a "truck" wreck if Designers are not concerned of this option???
I'm curious
 

klasmalmstrom

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...Why specify in the SSR it is a "truck" wreck if Designers are not concerned of this option???
I'm curious
Perhaps to make Scrounging NA? A truck usually has no weapons - of course - it might as well had said "place a scrounged wreck".
 
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