G27 VAAGSO VENTURE

Michael R

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Scenario G27 VAAGSO VENTURE has a sizeable British commando force attacking Germans in Norway in December 1941. The British objective is to destroy the fish oil facilities of Vaagso. The scenario archive lists the designer as "unknown".

I wondered to myself if this scenario pre-dated the ocean and beach overlays, because the scenario does not use them. It uses the board 8 river as an ocean, ignoring the land on one side. The beach hexes are defined by SSR as any water hex adjacent to a land hex. Beach slope is moderate and there is a +1 LV hindrance at all ranges. Ground snow exists. This is a scenario that plays easier with VASL.

Seventeen and one-half German squad equivalents defend the port with the help of some machine guns, light mortars, two pillboxes and a 20mm flak gun. In turn four, the Germans receive a Pz38 to give them some mobile firepower fun.

This scenario depicts a small part of a larger commando operation. British reinforcements appear in turns three and four, consisting of troops from the other successful operations. Most British reinforcements come by landing craft, but four and a half squads can enter on land along the south edge. The Germans must keep some assets for protection of that south flank. The total of British units entering is 26.5 squads with LMG, DC and one medium mortar. The British have MOL, but only for the purpose of starting fires. That is one of their two objectives: every multi-story building on board 8 must have a blaze, and the British must control 30 or more buildings on the whole map. By SSR, the British can place three 5/8" smoke counters during their turn one prep fire, which is a little early in my opinion; Magnus thought so too.

The British have one more asset: Naval OBA of 120mm with a shipboard observer. There are a couple of interesting differences between a normal OBA observer and a shipboard observer. The shipboard observer is at level one; regular observers are often higher. The shipboard observer has -1 to the accuracy dr and halves the extent-of-error. The shipboard observer can always go from AR to FFE, skipping the SR if desired. Countering that, the shipboard observer needs a target. He can’t just plop an SR anywhere. The AR must be placed in or adjacent known (to him) enemy ground unit. The shipboard observer needs an extra chit draw if the are friendly units within six hexes of the AR. You need to be aware that any OBA observer can treat concealed units in non-concealment terrain as known. The German player can use this knowledge to delay the application of this 120mm hammer.

The scenario limits the German setup; only four squad-equivalents can start on board 8. Aside from the south flank protection, I positioned most units to be able to move onto board 8 on their first turn. The NOBA with shipboard observer led me to keep my pillboxes away from the beach, because they would allow immediate functioning of the NOBA (the pillbox units are always considered to be known). I goofed a bit in this respect by putting the light mortar teams on a hill top in foxholes, but Magnus and I did not notice right away. The following image shows our situation after the first British turn.

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During German turn one many units move forward, and sometimes up, to try to attack the British as they land on the beach. Magnus had a bit of bad luck when his 10-2 leader died to German fire on or near the beach. The Naval OBA started shooting on German turn two. One of the LC ran aground, delaying its troops arrival to the next turn. The next image is at the end of British two.

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On British turn three, more troops from the first wave land. Some die, but enough survive to get into two buildings. Magnus brings the two reinforcing LC with four squads in on the same side of the map. The Germans have started losing troops.

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The Germans shift a unit or two towards the south, but most on board 8 stay put to await to see where the turn four LC head. Magnus decides to bring them to the same southern area as the rest. He surprises me, however, by bringing the land reinforcements into the area near the beach where he already has a lot of units. I believe when a scenario gives an entire board edge for reinforcements, there is a good change you will need it. It would not have been easy, to be sure, but if I was the British, I would have tried bringing the ground reinforcements more west. Magnus’ move helped to complete his take-over of the 8B2 building. He also owned the 8F3 building, but his move north awaited the NOBA clearing out some Germans.

The German tank entered on turn four; it took up a position to interdict the British as they tried to move north on board 8. Most of the troops protecting the south flank moved east towards the British. The British started moving north and west. They also started making fire. We erred in thinking that multi-hex buildings needed to be on fire; it was only the multi-story buildings (B23.23) that needed to be on fire. During turn five the German presence on board 8 became quite low. The British set more fires, built the medium mortar and moved more troops north. Turn six saw a major push of British units west onto board 41; the medium mortar smoked the German tank. A lot of British units moved north along the beach. The Germans left token rear guard units in the northern board 8 buildings.

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The German tank took on the British units occupying the north beach and then parked to make their life difficult. The NOBA demolished the German mortar teams on the hilltop. During British turn seven, a lot of their units cross the board seam in the middle of the playing area. A break-out looked imminent. The German tank continued to mess up the northern British troops during its turn, including back-to-back overruns on the beach, passing multiple bog checks. Enough Germans rallied to give a defensive line. British turn eight sees the British take the remaining buildings on board 8, as well as start to break through the German defence at the hilltop, but not without losses. The German flak gun finally gets into the game. The German tank interferes with the British rallying by keeping units DM, particularly the only leader, in the board 8 north area. Some German units re-occupy one of the north board 8 buildings. On the beginning of the final British turn, Magnus evaluates the situation and decides that he cannot win. He has control of nine buildings, so needs 21 more. He also needs to have blazes in buildings 8J2 and 8M3 by game end. Here is an image at game end.

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The Purist

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Mike,

My first LC scenario.

This was first published in General 30/2 back in 95 and the boards used tells us GH and CdG were out by then. I checked the magazine but there is no designer information to found.

The scenario accompanies the ASL British Commando article by Steven C Swann.

Why no overlay? An unsolved mystery. Perhaps because the 'beach' wasn't really a beach but more just a (rocky?) shoreline. If so, then why not use G13.41?

I wonder how the large pebbles on shorelines found in SE England and places such Dieppe would be represented by a beach in ASL. A bog check in every hex may not even be enough to represent the damage these stones did to the tracks, immobilizing one tank after another before they could cross the sea wall.
 
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JoeArthur

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Scenario G27 VAAGSO VENTURE

View attachment 13899
So - Sam has agreed to play this and I now have a setup question please:) Those beach hexes - do they still have the wall / hedges? I ask as the wall hedge is in both hexes on the mapboard and if you take away half does the other half go?

I ask as that will give the Brits a lot of cover when they land............

Great AAR - thank you for sharing it.
 

Michael R

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We played that the walls and hedges still existed to protect the beach hexes. The way that we used VASL to make the map encouraged that interpretation without even thinking about it; i.e., we never even thought about not have the walls and hedges exist.

No SSR refers to those walls and hedges, however, so I believe that is the correct way to play them.
 

JoeArthur

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We played that the walls and hedges still existed to protect the beach hexes. The way that we used VASL to make the map encouraged that interpretation without even thinking about it; i.e., we never even thought about not have the walls and hedges exist.

No SSR refers to those walls and hedges, however, so I believe that is the correct way to play them.
It's not easy to draw a conclusion because the scenario designer has not used overlays :)

If he had:

G.9C

Once positioned onboard, only the overlay's hexside and vertices - not those covered by it - matter for rule purposes. In addition, treat any extraneous terrain (e.g. a sliver of wall / hedge / building not completely covered by the overlay.......) as Open Ground.

So the walls / hedges would not exist.

Do you think it is worth a rules question?
 

Cpl Uhl

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If I'm playing the Brits, than damn straight it is worth a rules question!

Given that Magnus lost by quite a bit as the Brits with the hedges/walls, I would tend to lobby for including them.
 

JoeArthur

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If I'm playing the Brits, than damn straight it is worth a rules question!

Given that Magnus lost by quite a bit as the Brits with the hedges/walls, I would tend to lobby for including them.
Question asked Sam:

 

bprobst

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It's not easy to draw a conclusion because the scenario designer has not used overlays :)
That's a very peculiar way of looking at things. It's incredibly easy to "draw the conclusion" that since the scenario designer didn't use overlays, he didn't intend rules for overlays to be used.
 

JoeArthur

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Although ascerbic, Bruce's thinking is very clear. No overlays = no effect on hexsides.
Klas agrees as well. Hedges and walls still exist. Is this Bruce's scenario?

Which actually might help me more than you Sam. I have a plan :D
 
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