GRENADIER´16 ASL Tournament, Germany, 02.11.16-06.11.16

von Marwitz

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GRENADIER´16 is on !
18 players are in the house, playing ASL and enjoying some cold ones...
You should mention, that there were numerous additional players engaged in various friendly games and yet more who (for various reasons) could only drop in for a day or two.

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von Marwitz

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Does the hostel have a coke machine that works, otherwise Pitman will have a knippenshin?
No drugs at Grenadier, hehe.

Does the hostel have bathrooms on the same deck as the game room?
Yes.

Does the hostel have food at hand?
You can drop Concealment voluntarily or you can eat til you drop. Food is inhouse and aplenty.

Does the hostel have beer at hand?
It is more the question if you have a beer in hand. Now get this:
We had a beer especially brewed for Grenadier complete with label and crown caps - the Grenabeer.
Any more questions?

Does the hostel have good lighting?
In fact it does.

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CHERDE

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Grats to Chris Mazzei. I tied him in the first match. I hope he teaches me Twilight struggle on Teamspeak3 and VASSAL.

It was again a very good event and I regret in hindsight doing not the tournament gaming in 2014 to 2016.
Next Years Grenadier is announced by Michael Koch himself. IIRC it will be Wednesday Nov 1st to Sunday Nov 5th.
Mark in Your calendars and come in person to attend the beer tasting.
 

Ray Woloszyn

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Next Years Grenadier is announced by Michael Koch himself. IIRC it will be Wednesday Nov 1st to Sunday Nov 5th.
Mark in Your calendars and come in person to attend the beer tasting.
Good to know, thanks! I should be back as we have family gathering in Berlin in October and also want to do some historical travel related to the 500th anniversary of the reformation.
 

M.Koch

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You should mention, that there were numerous additional players engaged in various friendly games and yet more who (for various reasons) could only drop in for a day or two.

von Marwitz
Yes, overall we were 29 People. Plus some cancelations the week before...
 

von Marwitz

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AAR for the ASL for Fun #3 - "The Storming of Tauroggen"
by George Kelln from Lone Canuck.

It was played as a team event by four players (two on the Russian and German side each) at Grenadier 2016.

It can be found for free download here:
http://www.lonecanuckpublishing.ca/The Storming of Tauroggen.htm

Having had not much time to play ASL this year let alone to prepare for a tournament, I decided to play some „friendly“ special thing at Grenadier 2016. As I knew that there would be three other players not taking part in the main tournament, the idea came up for some team-play and the choice fell on Lone Canuck's „The Storming of Tauroggen“ of the ASL for fun series. It features a large and nice map and massive forces on both sides.

The Russians have around 70 squad equivalents (including 14 crews), 10x MMG, 8x HMG, 8x ATR, 4x 50mm MTRs, 4x 82mm MTRs, 4x 45L ATGs, 4x 76*mm INF Guns, 3x GAZ-4M-AA Trucks (16FP), 2x 37mm AA Guns, 10x BA-6 ACs, a Field Phone for a 76mm OBA (HE/SMOKE), 8 Leaders (two of which may be exchanged for Commissars). In addition, the Russians have MOL capability and a pool of 150 Fortification Points to buy all sorts of Fortifications & Dummies from a total available pool of 220 Fortification Points. As the Germans enter from offboard, the Russians will be concealed. ELR is 3, SAN is 2 (but can be raised to 4 by purchase). 48 of the Russian squads are Conscripts, which is probably the only weakness of their OOB beside the scarcity of leaders. Important to note is that a bit less than half the Russian force will enter as reinforcements, while the „larger“ half needs to be distributed among three „sectors“. If guns are among the reinforcements, then they are towed in by Wagons. The reinforcements will enter into their respective „sector“ but these restrictions aside, the Russians may move where they want. There is a certain random element when and where the Russian reinforcements enter, but each sector will get its share. With 10 to 12 turns of play, the Russians have enough time to move their forces where they want them after entry or initial setup.

The Germans have a completely motorized, mechanized and armored force. It counts 31.5 squad equivalents (including 4 Crews and 6 squads of 8-3-8 Assault Engineers/Sappers. The force is borne by 18x SPW 251/1 and 11 Opel Blitz Trucks. SWs are 2x HMG, 6x LMG, 5x ATR, 5x 50mm MTR, 4x FT, and 8x DC. There are 9 Leaders (one of them a 9-2) and 3 ALs. Furthermore 2x 81mm MTR, 2x 37L ATG towed in by Kfz 1, 1x SPW 251 sMG, 8x Pz IIIG, 2x Pz IVD, 4x Pz IIF, 4x PSW 231(8R). Finally, the Germans receive a 1/3 chance for 1 to 3 Stukas with Bombs per turn that remain on board for 1 turn and a module of 105mm Batallion OBA (HE/SMOKE). Half of this force enters on turn 1, one quarter in turn 3 and the rest in turn 5. ELR is 4, SAN is 2. Opposed to the Russians, the Germans can enter anywhere along the southern board edge and are not bound to sectors.

The objective for the Germans is to „amass greater or equal to 4 VP of Bridges“ arcoss a deep stream at game end. Of these, two were wooden bridges (one at each flank) worth 1VP, a RR-Bridge worth 1VP and three stone bridges in the town worth 2VP. The VC are a bit ambiguous on how these VP can be „amassed. We convened that this means to Control the Bridges. We banned intentional destruction of the bridges (DCs, Stukas, ...) by either side though allowed collapsing of the wooden bridges by overweight.

Looking at the German options, it appears that mounting a Schwerpunkt attack along one of the flanks is necessary as to avoid at least 1/3 of the Russian force for some time and stampede everything in its way. The problem with this is, that the wooden bridges at the flanks are only worth 1VP. This makes it basically pointless to attack (or defend) them at all, because the Germans would have to divide their force and yet have to enter the town for a stone bridge anyway. Dividing the German force would, of course, play into the Russian hands.

In the VP value as given might lie one of the fundamental (and easy) opportunities of improvement of the scenario: We unanimously advise to raise the VP value of the railroad bridge from 1 to 2VP. An alternative would be to have the German capture a number of bridges instead of a number of bridge-VP. That way, the Russian would be forced to hold a flank instead of forfeiting the defence of the wooden bridges in the first place, set up the „flank-sectors“ as close to the central „city-sector“ as possible and then move excess forces from the flanks into the favorable TEM of the city as soon as possible to form one giant massive blob of Russian defenders that the Germans will never have a chance to root out. In our game, the Russians were so kind not to follow this tactic but to spread out a bit in the flank sectors, too, adding a about three turns of time to redeploy to meet the German Schwerpunkt.

For the above mentioned reason of Bridge-VP value, the Germans decided to attack through the center. This does have some serious disadvantages as some wooded areas channel an attack through the middle for a motorized/mechanized/armored force. And of course the Russians will realize this and cover the bottlenecks with nasty surprises from the Fortification purchases and his weaponry. Furthermore, the Russian forces set up on the flanks will convene to the center-sector more quickly to counter the Germans. On the positive side, the distance to be covered is shorter, the Germans can receive better TEM quicker, and – most importantly, there is no point in attacking the 1VP wooden bridges (AND holding them in the face of Russian reinforcements, which would draw from the German force).

The basic battle plan was as follows: One German player would attack west of the X20-X30 paved road, the other one east of it. The Germans would push through the U20 to Y22 gap mostly ignoring the FF21-JJ19 gap where a gully (partly with brush) further impedes progress and the unpaved road offers too tempting opportunities to hide some AT mines, etc. After reaching the T21-W19-X20-BB18 road, the Germans would continue the push to conquer the W15-W19-W20-BB18-BB14-AA13 city block, through which the attack would continue and the reinforcements would follow up. To secure this city block, the Germans would secure the flanks by conquering the T15-T20-V19-V16 area on the west and the CC14-CC17-DD18-DD14 in the east. The next phase of attack would conquer the T13-T14-W15-AA13-AA11-Z11-Riverline city block while extending flank protection to the S12-R14-T15 area in the west and the BB12-BB13-CC12-CC11 city block in the west. The final phase would conquer the T12 and Y10 stone bridges for 4VP and to establish a defensive bridge-head north of the river in the S10-X8-riverline area. There the Germans would build an „Igel“ to hopefully hold on until game end.

Sure enough the Germans ran into obstacles in their bottleneck in the form of AP-mines in Z22 and AA21, S18, and T18. Especially in the first two turns, the Germans are yet guessing what the concealed and hidden Russian assets in their way might be. The problem is, that basically any Dummy could be a MOL-toting unit putting a quick end to any tank or loaded OT halftrack in a wink. The German halftracks are vulnerable to a plethora of Russian weaponry: MOL, MGs, ATGs, AA Guns, INF Guns, ATRs, MTRs, and what not. Yet if the Germans don't move quickly, then the huge „blob“ of Russians will be in place and the Germans will be going nowhere any longer. We found that the Germans suffer from a lack of Infantry, while the Russian hordes can fall back with unconcealed units and advance concealed ones to the front-line. Rinse & repeat. To mount some firepower against that, the Germans need the halftracks in the dense terrain of the city, where they are very vulnerable. We contemplated abandoning them with Crews+LMG, but then the halftracks can shift faster and maybe drop some vehicular smoke grenades. In any case, losses will result among the halftracks and it will become increasingly difficult to keep the momentum with IFP.

My personal advice for adjusting the scenario would be to take away the MOL-capability from the Russians, though one of the Russian players does not see the need to do so but would rather lower the Russian ELR from 3 to 2. Unanimously all four players agreed that the German infantry is too scarce. At the very minimum, an additional platoon of German infantry, likely more, is in order. The Germans generally must avoid any CC because they cannot risk losing scarce good quality infantry vs. their low quality abundant Russian counterpart. A further difficulty of the scarce German infantry is that it can hardly afford to assign anyone to guard prisoners (which would be very likely and abundant with the high percentage of concripts among the Russian infantry). As a consequence, the Germans likley cannot help to declare no quarter, which in turn will forestall Russian surrender. Bad thing because even Russian brokies can form a „wall of bodies“ (though it is possible to move through Locations with disrupted enemy units).

German Turn 1:

01 German T1.JPG

At the end of German turn 1, the eastern force had reached the area of Y22, Z23, AA23, AA24. Yet there was no possibility to spread out. Some German forces „feigned“ into the direction of F22 and the F22-JJ19 gap. The western German force reached the T24, U23, V23, W23 area. The Germans decided that unloading the majority of the infantry of the halftracks was necessary in the face of the Russian defences around the W19-X20 crossroads. No Stukas arrived.

(to be continued)
 

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von Marwitz

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AAR for the ASL for Fun #3 - "The Storming of Tauroggen" (Part 2)

Russian T1:

View attachment 418

Russian turn 1 saw the arrival of the first Russian reinforcements. The Russians on the flank yet sat tight. Basically, the Russian skulked and avoided shooting to keep the Germans guessing about their disposition.

German T2:

View attachment 420

German turn 2 saw the arrival of 2 Stukas. The western German force discovered AP-mines in Z22 and A21. Z22 proved to be a special impediment to the German progress, as Y22 and Y21 were not yet safe to pass. Luckily the Germans had their Assault Engineer-Sappers at hand for an „automatic“ clearance of a TB throgh Z22 from Z23 to Z21 at the end of the CC phase. Yet with AA21 mined and only one TB in place, the mines in Z22 caused a considerable delay. Still the eastern German force was concentrated and could not yet spread out. The western German force had reached S20, T20, T22 and V21 with infantry. With empty halftracks, the western German player charged forward to the edge of the large grainfield in the L17, M16, N17 area. I had a bad feeling about this because the open area looked like the obvious killing ground for AFV to be avoided like the plague. And sure enough, there were AA-Guns and 82mm MTRs in J14, K13, M11, and O10 and yet another place. Improbably, the halftracks were to lead charmed lives there, though.

Russian T2:

View attachment 421

The Russian turn 2 saw the timely arrival of more reinforcements. The Russians began to shift their forces from the flanks to the center-sector. Basically, they continued to skulk and keep the Germans guessing as in the previous turn. The two German Stukas had no effect (besides the automatic PIN). The exposed German AFVs on the western flank continued to lead a charmed life while two Russian 82mm MTRs had been malfed by their inept Russian crews.

German T3:

View attachment 422

No Stukas in German turn 3. German reinforcements arrived. As the eastern German commander, I proposed to have all of them attack the FF21-JJ19 gap as the western flank proved to be infested by guns. The idea behind this was to avoid unnecessary casualties and coverage of long distances at no real point in the west and instead push to the JJ14 factory compound with part of the force to block the Russian forces flooding back from the eastern sector into the city in direction of the KK10, KK11, KK12 area and that same JJ14 factory compound. The other part of the forces were to turn west in the GG20 area for a go at securing the German eastern flank. The eastern German commander still wanted to move forces through the large grain area in the west despite the presence of guns. So in the end each player got half of the turn 3 reinforcements to pursue his ends.

At long last, the German advance developed in turn 3. The eastern German force passed the Z22 trailbreak through the mines in large numbers. Russian defenders in CC20, DD20, BB19, Y18, and AA17 could be overwhelmed. In the FF21-J19 gap area, the Germans reached CC18, DD19, EE19 and GG19 with ACs and Pz IIs. A Russian Trench in JJ19 quite effectively blocked the JJ18 bridge for most German vehicles an with it the plan to get to the JJ14 factory compound in time. EE19 was AP-mined, CC18 had a 1-Factor AT-Minefield, which luckily did not harm the German AFVs. However a TB was only established through the AP-Mines in EE19. From the CC18 to GG19 area, the Germans could put significant FP on Russians trying to reinforce the CC14-CC17 houses along the GG14-DD16 buildings. Roadblocks were discovered in BB15, W15, and Q13. Taking out the Russians in AA17 justifies special mention: It held a hidden 45L ATG which still remained HIP with three German AFV nicely lined up from CC18 to EE19. It opened up to kill a valuable PzIIIG stopping ADJACENT in AA18 with the intention to blast the CC15-CC17 buildings. With that ATG in perfect position to wreak terrible further havoc, it HAD to go this turn. Getting Assault Engineers with FT to do the job did not work because they were just that one hex too far away. The X20-BB18 road was still under fire, Y18 and CC17 and BB19 still held by Russians. By using some of the many halftracks for risky „freezes“ of conscripts and the ATG in AA17, with some pains I could bring up German infantry to AA18 and Z18 (the latter being broken by fire from the buildings in the north) and doomed to FTR. Trying to save the valuable Germans squad from that fate, I tried to kill a Russian conscript squad in Y18, which – needless to say – survived a ridiculous amount of firepower as a broken disrupted, encircled conscript HS and cost me one Flamethrower rolling 11 on its first&last ineffective roll... At least, the 45L ATG went down in CC.

In the west, the somewhat audacious German commander charged the Russian guns and buildings with halftracks [gulp!] and tanks unbelievably dealing out considerable damage without being ripped to shreds. German Assault Engineers got trapped in AP-Minefields in S18 and T18 each. The front there now ran along roughly S16-T16-U16-V17 with some dare-death vehicles very close to the Russian guns further in the west.

Russian T3:

View attachment 423

Russian turn 3 saw yet more reinforcements. At long last, the western German force received some punishment for their cockyness with some vehicles going up in flames. The loss of two leader on that flank made life more difficult for the Germans, too. Yet, the U15 building could not fend off the German attackers and its Russian defenders got pasted. In the east, Russian hordes continued to flood back towards the central sector without anything the Germans could do about it. As a small consolation, they abandoned their never used Field Phone in 1st Level of VV13.

So after turn 3, the Germans were roughly ½ to 2/3 behind our planned schedule. However, this was only the case do to some rather daring and costly moves. The western protective flank was basically established (with S18 and T18 missing and mined) and T15, U15, V16 not yet conquered but under severe pressure. In the center, the Xx6, Z15, and AA15 buildings were yet all in Russian hands but the Germans had quite a lot firepower in place to pour into them. In the eastern security-flank sector, the Russians had been driven out of CC16, CC17, and DD18 (or broken). The path of reinforcements from the east along the row of buildings from DD16 to GG14 was under fire. However, behind the Russian lines, the reinforcements were arriving at the front and the „blob“ was beginning to form.

German T4:

View attachment 424

No Stukas in German turn 4. On the western flank, the German vehicles suffered more losses but the U15 building and WA over the W16 roadblock had been gained. The western commander despatched on leader to the eastern commander to make up for the losses of 2 leaders.

In the center, a German Pz IIIG was terminally punished for missing 3 consecutive good shots vs. one of the Russian ACs by return fire. Damn! The X16 building was taken, however losing a halftrack to MOL in the process. On the eastern security-flank, the Germans reached CC15 and put a tank with WA behind the roadblock along the BB15/BB16 hexside. A Commissar with ATG and Conscripts were broken in DD16 and DD15. Stupidly, a fully loaded halftrack set to take the building had its crew suffer a 12 (so Stun & Recall & BU & End of movement) on a MC. To finish off the turn, the Germans blew up some Russians with a DC (11 on the effects, though...) and failed to ambush & kill off some more with good odds. This was about the high tide.

Russian T4:

View attachment 425

Russian turn 4 saw some good success in their defence in the western area along with the repair of the two 82mm MTRs. On the eastern German security-flank the German gains of the previous half-turn were basically neutralized by another PzIIIG being eliminated behind the roadblock by turret hit, a 9-1 + 8-3-8, and a 2-4-7+HMG being broken.


We concluded the game at this point because it was obvious that the Germans would have no chance to get near their objectives. The Russians were yet to receive more than 20 squads of reinforcements.

As a conclusion it can be said that the map is very nice and is fun to play on. The VC and the OoB's do need some tweaking though. Our proposals for consideration would be:
  • Either raising the VP value for the RR-Bridge from 1 to 2 or to have the Germans capture a certain number of bridges instead of bridge-VP. Some clarification or rewording on „amassing“ brigde-VP would be helpful, too. This could bring the flanks into play which will now be basically ignored and thus add more variety to the play.
  • The German halftracks, while fast, are vulnerable to a plethora of Russian weapons and are difficult to use within the town. Maybe it is worth to consider taking away the Russian MOL-capability, because this can turn any dummy into a potential lethal threat to any German vehicle.
  • The Germans appear to be short on infantry. Eventually a fight will ensue in town where the halftracks are difficult to use or are lost very easily. The Germans need more infantry for the city fight. They can't afford to take prisoners on one hand but they don't really want to declare No Quarter either. Currently, there seems to be no reasonable choice but to do so anyway. The Germans cannot afford to go into CC either because scarce quality infantry in general cannot be risk against low quality conscript hordes. The Russians can afford infantry losses while the German can't. One player proposed to lower the Russian ELR from 3 to 2. With the current state of affairs, the Germans will eventually face a „wall of bodies“ which they cannot overcome.
  • Possibly it might be an approach to regulate the arrival of the reinforcements a bit more. In our game the Russians got their stuff early compounding the German troubles. If they had arrived „late“ it might have made a difference for some time, however I believe the Russian would still be hard to overcome with the current OoB. Tweaking the OoB and „regulating“ the flow of reinforcements a bit more might work against the „good luck“ or „bad luck“ factor.
  • P.S. One of the players just proposed this: Combine Platoons 4 and 5 from German Divisional support and add a new Platoon consisting of 6x 2-4-8, 1x 9-1, 2x MMG, 4x Motorcycle, 2x Motorcycle/Sidecar.
The map and game was fun to play, though. Thanks go out from the players to George Kelln for freely providing ASL for fun!

von Marwitz
 

M.Koch

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FANTASTIC AAR, Herr von Marwitz...
Biaritz memories come to mind...;)
 

CHERDE

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On the website www.aslgermany.de the date for next years Grenadier Tounament is set to 01.11.2017 - 05.11.2017, that is the first five days in November.

I am sure the Bader Brothers will bring another generation from their well-received Grenabier, which is crafted by themselves. Do some experiments Matthias and Markus! We will drink everything.

I hope my last round opponent from Berlin will have recovered his health then. Armin had a fresh knee injury some weeks before Grenadier 2016.

Folks come in 2017 and enjoy!
 

Ray Woloszyn

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I hope my last round opponent from Berlin will have recovered his health then. Armin had a fresh knee injury some weeks before Grenadier 2016.

Folks come in 2017 and enjoy!
I hope Armin was not trying to stop some American G.I. in a runaway tank when he got injured :) In all probability injured at some exotic vacation spot.
 

von Marwitz

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Today I finished VASL files (v6.3.3) for all scenarios featuring in the Mini-Tournaments of Grenadier 2017 - see the link for a list:

https://www.aslgermany.de/mini-scenarios-ssr/

The Mini-Tournament balances are not included in the setup files, so that they retain a more general usefulness. Screenshots are available at the 'ASL Scenario Archive':

http://www.aslscenarioarchive.com/index.php

Whenever there is a thread for Grenadier 2017, I will make a post here on GameSquad of more detail and will furthermore cover all scenarios of the main-tournament after its list is 'officially' announced.

von Marwitz
 
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