J188 Grab And Go - AAR

von Marwitz

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J188 Grab And Go - AAR

15847


I selected this scenario because I thought it would be just a big all-infantry slugfest with not much to think about and with mistakes made being able to compensated due to the number of units involved on both sides. With hindsight I have to admit that I underestimated this scenario. Both the Russians and the Germans need to make careful considerations when to sit tight, when to fall back, and how audacious to be on the attack. The SSR providing a lot of extra value to the two half-tracks - provided they evacuate the onboard 81mm MTR and the HMG and the possibility to gain extra EVP in case the capture multi-hex buildings by the end of Turn 4 add a lot to ponder about. Furthermore, the Germans move last. In short, this scenario has many tactical challenges and it was a whole lot of fun to play. Among the best I played in 2020. Both my opponent gave it an 8 out of 9 on ROAR, the current ROAR Excitement Rating after 36 reports is 7.22 and on the ASL Scenario Archive even 7.58 after 12 votes. On top of that, ROAR currently (as of 28. December 2020) balanced at 19 Russian wins vs. 19 German wins. So we might have a little gem here...

Basically, who has more EVP wins. Each multi-hex building held by the Russians at the end of Turn 4 counts 3 EVP in their favor. This is counterbalanced by the EVP provisions for the two German half-tracks which enter on German Turn 5. The MTR half-track enters with all armament removed and is worth 1 EVP in that state. If the MTR crew reenters it, it is worth the 'normal' EVP value, and if the MTR is 'restored' and the crew is exiting with it, the value rises to 7 VP. We pondered this and came to the conclusion, that in order to 'restore' the MTR, it is not enough for the 228 to load into the half-track, but that it must re-enter it, which takes it an entire Turn. The sMG half-track has its MA installed and is worth 1 EVP in that state. If the OB-given HMG is restored, it is worth 9 EVP. In this case, we came to the conclusion that a HS can just load into the half-track to 'restore' it, as it is allowed to remove it per the vehicle note by unloading. In both cases, however, the weapon needs to be dismantled to be 'restored' as this would be the state in which it would otherwise be retrieved if taken from the vehicle. So the German half-tracks are extremely valuable if you manage to move in, restore the weapons/crew, and evacuate them.


Situation at the Start of Russian Turn 1 - Game Start:

15850

As always, I first analyzed the setup of my opponent trying to figure out the deployment of his forces. With the many units in this scenario, such an analysis is almost never entirely precise. Obviously, the German Schwerpunkt would lie in the West (left) and center, with a screen on the East (right).

Often, it is good to strike where the enemy is not, so I was tempted to go for an Eastern Russian Schwerpunkt, storming through the Orchards around 17G5 to flood the Germans in the Woods south of those, then continue an unreleting rampage south, screened by the Woods in the area for a mass exit on the Eastern flank. What made me dismiss the idea was the fact that no buildings to capture and hold until the end of Turn 4 were in that area and I was not sure, how many MGs might be stationed in the 17P4 bulding - or maybe even as far back as the seemingly 'innocent' hex in 17W2. If shot up, there was hardly any Rally terrain around in the East, which could have posed a problem as well. Instead, I decided to look as strong as possible with as little as possible on the right, putting two of the six allowed pre game-start Halfsquads there, two SW, and to try to deploy yet more. Moving as to stay concealed during the first Russian MPh should keep the Germans guessing about my true strength there for his first Turn.

So the question remained whether to put the Russian Schwerpunkt into the center or to the left. The center had the benefit of providing the shortest route to capture some buildings until Turn 4 and to the general exit area. I could be pretty sure that the units in 17R5 and 17S6 would be Dummies or HS speed-bumps because when the Russian hordes came on, they would be difficult to pull out there, and the Germans would likely not risk full squads for the purpose. The 17P4 building, though, proved more difficult to figure out: It sure looked very strong and likely had strong flanking support from 17W2 and qP9. On the other hand, my opponent might have elected for 17P4 just to appear strong. In the first case, a Russian Schwerpunkt would be held up and lose time in the center and the flanking strongpoints would be difficult to neutralize. In the second case, I might take the building even without the main Russian Schwerpunkt in the center. If 17P4 could be captured quickly, it would also allow me to move forward in a timely manner and to tie whatever might be lurking in 17W2 to prevent an early Russian storming of the village center.

Thus, the Russian Schwerpunkt would be on the right (West). I figured that not all German units there would be full squads and might even include a Dummy. That said, I might be able to push them back by hitting hard and aggressively. The drawback was, that the distance to cover was somewhat longer. The advantage was that this approach provided better cover and the Germans would have only Woods TEM and not Building TEM to protect them with the added benefit of the 17W2 building lying in the path of advance.

In any case, my Russians would have to expose themselves to plenty of shots with negative modifiers. So I planned to take full advantage of the ability to deploy provided by SSR to improve manouvering-options and to spread out the risk. After all, the Russians had hordes of Infantry, they all had Morale 8, and Russians have never been shy about feeding bodies into the thick of fire...

The red arrows roughly denote my plans for the first Russian MPh and Advances.


Situation at the End of Russian Turn 1:

15851

My Russians managed to deploy further 3 out of 4 squads, so I began the assault with no less than 12 Russian Halfsquads. What followed was the delicate game of bold moves to put tough decisions on the opponent on whether to fire or not, at the same time keeping in mind which potential defensive fire might spread out Residual FP in which Locations and to keep 'open' paths for the 'important' units.

In the center, the two pickets in 17R5 and 17S6 proved to be a HS and a Dummy, which were cleared as was to be expected. The 17P4 building as well as both of its flanking positions held their fire, though, and did not open up on the assortment of Russian 'volunteer' HS presented to them. So I was still left at a guess about the German dispositions in the center.

In the East (right), no Germans fired, which was to be expected as I avoided to present them an inviting opportunity to do so. I felt quite satisfied to get the first Russian HS into the 17I5 Orchard - a feeling most certainly shared by its men after having crossed what seemed to be the 'looming road of doom' now at their backs.

In the West, all I found was full German squads, so it seemed that Schwerpunkt had hit Schwerpunkt. A Russian squad and HS were broken, another Russian squad and HS pinned, and a HS, which was about to present a DC to the German Stack of 9-1, 468+LMG, 468 in 17BB6 and thus could not be ignored, met an untimely yet very probable demise in the act of placing the DC. In turn, the Germans in 17BB6 lost one squad-equivalent with the LMG ending up upossessed in unison with the Russian DC in the road next to it. The Russians had braved many -2, -1, and 0 shots and were stopped or slowed accordingly in places, overall due to the number of manouvering units enough reached postions so close to the Germans that for the latter staying put for dishing out deadly fire would also present the great danger to be shred to pieces in the even more powerful return-fire if things went wrong.


Situation at the End of German Turn 1:

15852

In their Turn 1, the Germans did open up in the center from qP9 on 17O6, which was almost the sole target presenting itself. It turned out to be the 9-2 with MMG and HMG, manned by a HS each, the fire of which my HS survived unscathed but very much shaken, its men downing big gulps of vodka from their canteens held in quivering hands... Furthermore, German units were falling back from 17Q4 to 17P2 and 17W4 to 17W3. Although I was a bit surprised to find the 9-2 and both the MMG and HMG in qP9, it made it all the more clear to me that the German center was rather thin and the seemingly 'strong' 17P4 building merely manned mostly by puppets. I welcomed this insight, because my Russian center would how have a comparably easy task to capture the 17P4 building early and also have good chances to tie down the dangerous German 9-2 with his MGs in the center to prevent an early rush into the village because not many other German units seemed to be around.

On the Eastern flank (right), the Germans elected to fall back, which I welcomed as well, because now my Russians on that flank could move forward fast, maybe even under Concealment in case I could eliminate 17P4 before, as to still keep the Germans guessing about my strength on that flank.

On the Western flank (right), the Germans fell back as well, which was probably the right thing to do in the face of two powerful Russian FireGroups and numerous ADJACENT Russian units.


To be continuted in a subsequent post...

von Marwitz
 
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von Marwitz

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Situation at the End of Russian Turn 2:

15853

During my Russian Turn 2, my intention was to hotly pursue the Germans which had fallen back in their previous Turn.

In the East (right), I rushed forward with my small flanking force with the intention to cut off the movement of the Germans in the area towards the central village so that I might conceivably be later able to rush some Russians to grab a multi-hex building from that angle. I had figured out, that the German force in the East would pretty much be of the same strength as my own.

In the center, I secured the 17P4 building but could not prevent a broken HS to escape to 17P2. I was quite sure, that the three "?" counters which had also fallen back to 17P2 were Dummies at this time.

In the West (left), the next round transpired of taunting moves, drawing fire, finding places free of Residual Fire, and pushing forward as fast as possible, in other words to force and make many small difficult decisions. Once more, some Russian units were broken and two HS eliminated, but my attackers once more were in positions that put strong pressure on the Germans. They had a strong blocking position in the woods but once more had to face the unenviable choice before them to stand and fight, possibly facing severe return fire with less options to recover if broken or to forfeit fire for falling back in better order. This choice was not made easier after the German 9-1 had broken. All the while, I attempted to get my Russians into positions, where they could potentially inhibit rout paths and cut off a German retreat, for example by my units in 17BB2, 17W4, 17T2, and 17S4. The latter two also were intended to move towards the pR9 building which I thought might be held merely by a HS or Dummy. Furthermore, these two squads and my Russians on the Eastern flank were likely to convince the German 9-2 with his MGs that he was needed where he was in qP9 and thus deterred from moving elsewhere where he might have posed a more immediate threat for creating misery. Currently, he was in an important position, yet he had no targets to bring his power to bear.


Situation at the End of German Turn 2:

15855

In German Turn 2, my opponent continued his fall-back defence.

In the East (right), apparently his plan was to block my path southwards rather than to reach the central village as I had anticipated. This had a good side and a bad side to it: The good thing was that this would continue to leave the German 9-2 and his MGs pretty much on his own and thus without many options to bring his FP to bear as he would have to 'keep up the watch'. The bad thing was that my Russians in the East would not be strong enough to take on a roughly equal force across Open Ground.

The German center stayed more or less put, except for the 9-2 & friends falling back a bit to shift the threat of his fire.

In the West (left), the Germans once more avoided the Russian pincers reaching out to surround them on both flanks at the cost of giving up more of the Woods without a stand. With a 8-1, 468+LMG retreating back across the road to qX8, a new German line of defence was beginning to materialize in combination with the flanking protection by the 9-2. I saw this with concern as crossing a road against multiple Fire Lanes or 9-2 directed MGs is vicious stuff even with 8 Morale Russians. As I had no time to lose, my plan was to prevent the Germans from falling back across the road as best as I could.


Situation at the End of Russian Turn 3:

15856

German Turn 3 brought interesting developments.

First, in the East (right), I decided to force the Germans to show his hand by comitting a Russian HS (I continuously kept deploying...) to a sacrificial move. The HS decided to gnash its teeth and defy the all too often recounted tale of the 'very dead volunteer HS' by staying alive. Target selection limits after First Fire allowed me to bring my Russians closer towards the village and to draw one German HS into a CC in which I took the risk of the odds being against me due to CX status. Melee ensued, so I hoped that I might have a chance to make a run for the qO7 and/or qP5 buildings - or at least threaten to do so to make the firing choices for the 9-2 & MGs yet more difficult.

In the center the German unit in qR9 proved to be a full squad rather than a Dummy, which would make grabbing that building more difficult. However, once more, I took some risks by advancing a Russian HS+DC next to it to keep on the pressure an put the risk of failing to break it in an attack on the Germans. I moved a HS into 17P3 to push out the broken German HS of 17P2. I kept one 458+ATR back in the 17P4 building to safeguard against a (albeit improbable) German counterthrust.

In the West (left), my 9-2 killer-stack tried to shoot up the Germans in the Woods without success. On the other hand, the Germans could not do much damage to my attacking Russians either. A Russian Sniper broke the German 468 in 17FF3 which had been a pest since the start of the game in that area. Sure enough, I made sure that I would take them Prisoner, providing a ready means to create yet more Russian halfsquads. The broken German 9-1 had recovered and later accompanied a broken German HS+LMG in Routing back south across the Road. I was content with this, as this left three German squads on the 'Russian' side of the Road. In both 17Y3 and 17X2 I dared going into CC with two Russian HS vs. one German full squad each, which gave a slight advantage to the Germans. I hoped, though, that at least my units would not die completely and at least keep the Germans in Melee so as to finally nail them in place and to prevent them from falling back. This cost me one HS in each Location, but both German squads were held in Melee. So losses this Turn were two Russian HS dead vs. one German squad taken Prisoner while I kept up the pressure. Having superior numbers, I was fine with that.


Situation at the End of German Turn 3:

15857

German Turn 3 brought a collapse of the defence on the 'Russian' side of the road in the West (left).

But let us start with the Eastern flank (right) first. Not many things changed there but the Germans improved their position somewhat. In my next Turn, I would not be able just to run into the village as the CC in qJ8 ended in favor of the Germans. So the enemy would basically block all paths of progress for my Russians. On that flank, I did not have the numbers available to risk a number of HS, because this would have tilted the precarious balance on this side to the Germans.

In the center, the German 9-2 & MGs made red mist out of my Russian HS in the Stone Building of 17P2, which allowed the broken German HS, which I had already marked off, to rout back in there. In the fight for the qR9 building, my DC toting HS was broken in S10, but so was the defending German 468 in R9. The Germans decided to Rout back to the 9-2, which would leave the building empty and ready to be grabbed in my upcoming turn. There was the unnerving detail, though, that by now its approaches were covered by the 8-1 & 468+LMG in qX8. Yet, I was quite confident with regard to my chances of taking the building. The question would more be if I could hold it vs. a conter-attack in German Turn 4.

On the Western flank (left), the Germans were struck a hard blow. I fired into both Melees in 17Y3 and 17X2 at the cost of not moving my 9-2 led killer-stack. The reasoning was that I could better afford to lose halfsquads than the German could lose squads. The gamble paid off splendidly with both German squads being broken while both my Russian HS survived the friendly 'encouraging' fire unscathed. Encouragement it, indeed, seemed to be as both Russian HS eliminated the broken German squads when they attempted to withdraw from Melee. The last remaining Good Order Germans 468+LMG was broken as well and CR'd by Interdictions when getting the hell outta there during the RtPh. This left the German Western flank pretty battered with only the 8-1 & 468+LMG forming the 'backbone' (or more precisely) the only defence over there - albeit supported from the flank by the powerful 9-2 with MGs. Besides that only an unsupported broken DM German HS+LMG and another broken DM German HS with a 9-1+LMG were left. That said, I 'smelled' the yet HIP German 81mm MTR somewhere in that area, because it was suspicious that the remaining Germans concentrated in the area.


To be continued in subsequent post...

von Marwitz
 
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Situation at the End of Russian Turn 4:

15858

So far, the Russian progress had been quite good. However, my force still had to cover quite a distance to the exit area, which, because it formed something of a funnel, would help the decimated Germans in their defence.

In the East (right) I could not dare to rush forward to grab buildings because of the Good Order German HS that had been victorious in Melee was impeding my path, which was a pity. I did manage to break and capture it this turn, though.

In the center, I did manage to gain Control of the qR9 building, however, at the cost of a squad and a HS being broken and forced back in the process. This left my chances of holding the building in the next German half-turn rather slim. I did gobble up the German brokie in 17P2 as a Prisoner, though.

On the Western flank (left), I moved my troops forward as far as I could and found a place for my 9-2 killer-stack to threaten the German 8-1 & 468+LMG in qX8 for the following half-turn. I rounded up another German HS as Prisoners.

Altogether, Russian losses at this time were 8 Russian HS. The German losses amounted to 4.5 squad equivalents dead and another 2.5 squad equivalents captured as Prisoners. That meant 17.5 Russian squad equivalents and all Leaders left of the Russians and 6.5 squad equivalents and all Leaders left of the Germans - plus the still HIP MTR+Crew and the pending half-tracks.

While this sounds like something of a walk-over to this point, that impression is surely misleading.
For the time being, due to the 3 Controlled multi-hex buildings the Russians were ahead 9 EVP. But out of three remaining Russian Movement Phases, the Russians would need two just moving to reach the exit-area.

If things continued as they had up to this point, though, chances were not looking too bad for the Russians.


Situation at the End of German Turn 4:

15859

The Germans used their Turn 4 to consolidate.

In the East (right), they moved their forces to present a block for pretty much all of my movement southwards on that flank, breaking a Russian outpost HS to boot.

In the center, the Germans recaptured the R9 Building, wresting away 3 EVP from the Russian tally. However, the German 9-2 Leader was broken and an accomanying 468 broken and ELR'ed by a fine shot from 17P4. The German MMG & HMG, both manned by a HS, sat menacingly in qS9, threatening my further progress across the road to the West. However, they were unsupported and without the 9-2 Leader. It seemed improbable, that they would be able to evacuate the HMG in their half-track. Furthermore, it is not an impossible task to overcome two HS. The 'tricky part' would be getting at them without being ripped to pieces by their MGs...

In the West what Germans there were had recovered and hidden in the cover of the woods.


Situation at the End of Russian Turn 5:

15860

In my German Turn 5, my objective was to take out the German MMG and HMG along with its two HS and to move as many Russians towards the exit area as possible.

To this end, I first attempted to somehow draw the fire of those MGs. Usually, a HS with a DC to deliver does a splendid job for the purpose, so I tried to do exactly that:

From qT10 I CX'ed my HS+DC for a 'hook'-assault: First cross the road in qS10, then enter qR9, and finally place the DC from there onto the MG-menace in qS8. When the HS 'volunteered' for delivery complained that his splendid plan did not take into account the enemy MGs firing at them, the Russian Leader who had just explained it - a former Commissar, so I am informed - began meddling with his pistol having that malignant glance on his face, they did not wait for further elaboration, though. Counting down their last steps they heard the German machine gunners mumble something about maintaining "eiserne Feuerdisziplin", which - understanding only Russian - they couldn't understand. Not insisting on further deliberations by the enemy either, they rushed into the building, placed the DC and threw themselves to the ground plugging fingers in their ears while the fuse sizzled for what felt the longest seconds in their lives... Apparently, the German punks were feelin' lucky today. Next, I scraped together halfsquads from all over the place to reinforce qR9 and even put a squad from 17P4 into qR10, and ran over the 7-0 & a HS from qJ9. Still, the MG crews kept "eiserne Feuerdisziplin" apparently intent to spell death onto my Western flank.

The first Russian squad on the Western flank (left) unleashed the German MG fire. It survived unharmed but two Fire Lanes were down across my planned route of attack, with 4FP and 2FP respectively. This left me no choice but to circumvent them as this would likely cost me less of my precious time rather than to break and recover. When I attempted to cleverly move one of the ubiquitous Russian halfsquads with my 2nd DC into the building in qY8, the German 81mm MTR made its appearance, blowing it to Kingdom Come. Carrying that particular DC seemed to be a bad omen, with two carrying HS KIA'ed. None of the nearby comrades seemed especially keen on recovering it in any case... The appearance of the 81mm MTR went a long way to explaining the actions of the German MG crews, which wanted and succeeded in detouring my Russians from their planned path of attack. Regardless of whether the Germans would attempt to retrieve the MTR or keep it in place, this would make the Russians on the Western flank reaching the exit area more tricky and hazardous.

And now it was time for the greatest and most stupid folly I have managed to contrieve in quite a long time...
A short while ago, I have spent quite some time wrapping my head around the fire options against enemy units moving ADJACENT to a HS which had previously laid down a FL. I correctly remembered that there are none. So without real need but just 'to make sure' and to be ready for CC at evil odds vs. the German MG manning halfsquads, I moved my 9-2, 458+MMG, 458+LMG, 458+ATR ADJACENT to the German MGs in qS10. Having come so close, the Russian 9-2 could hear the MG halfsquads say something about "eiserne Feuerdisziplin" - however this time with a most unnerving snicker... At that time I began to realize, that the German HMG's and MMG's CA was 1) fixed only during the MPh and 2) that since both MGs were only marked with First Fire, the indeed now could make a Final Fire attack at 12 flat vs. my killer stack... Uh-oh...

Well, it was a 9-2 Leader after all, and it raised the morale of the accomanying platoon to 10, right? And with an average DR of 7, this would generate a 1MC which, so the chances were, the 9-2 and the three Elite squads might pass, right? And this is - of course - ASL, so you know that if a story begins this way, total doom is spelled out with absolute certainity, right? That said, it might come as a total surprise to you, that the Final Fire attack of the MGs cowered. They rolled Snakes... Nooooooooo!!!

A 1KIA it was on my killer-stack, formerly bound to speed southwards towards the exit area. Instead, due to my colossal blunder, by Random selection one of the squads (thank gawd not the 9-2) sped skywards and the rest was broken. Despite the 9-2 surviving, this was a severe blow because it took out much punch out of my force and if everyone would not recover at the double, they might not be able to affect the game in Russian favor.

Into the silence, all movement and time seemingly suspended for the moment, rang out a terrifying BOOOM. The DC had detonated with a DR of 1,2 - and even with the +2 Building DRM and +1 CX penalty, this was enough for a K/4, sending one German HS after the Russian squad it had just killed and broke/ELR'ed the other, which was soon after captured as a Prisoner. The dreaded German MG position had been eradicated - though at tremendous and unneccessary cost.


Situation at the End of German Turn 5:

15871

In German Turn 5, both German halftracks would make their appearance with the mission to evacuate the German HMG and 81mm MTR. In case of the German HMG, this was out of the question, so at least the sMG halftrack's worth would not be raised to 9 EVP for sure. The 81mm MTR for potential 7 EVP was a different story, though.

The German Infantry took up positions in part to be able to reach the exit area, in part to cover the evacuation of the 81mm MTR and in part to prevent the Russians going south (pun unintended...) from getting anywhere fast. To this end, my opponent cleverly placed the sMG halftrack, which still had its MA HMG in an exit hex, forcing my Western Russians to move right into its potentially devastating fire.

In the meantime, my broken 9-2 had immediately rallied, but again his Location along with the brokies there were struck by disaster. A '1' Sniper was activated and found their hex. Determining that he 9-2 after his previous stupid actions might do more damage to the Russians if kept alive, the Sniper instead - after RS and a subsequent Sniper Activation - Casualty Reduced and re-DM'ed both broken Russian squads...


To be continued in subsequent post...

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Situation at the End of Russian Turn 6:

15872

With only two Russian Movement Phases left, in general, Russian Turn 6 was no time for subtleties. I had two objectives:
First, to prevent the MTR halftrack from 'restoring' the MTR and to exit. Second, to get as many Russians towards the exit area as fast as possible.

In the East (right), my Russians took advantage of the opportunity that only a single German HS was guarding the area. My Russians - as so many times - braved -2 shots and luckily got away with it.

In the center, while there was no room for general subtlety, there was a high need for it in detail. Once more, careful considerations went into which Russian 'volunteer' HS to move first, where to draw fire, where to leave paths free of RFP. One HS caught a 2KIA, three more broke, but the rest of the Russian hordes closed in, bringing forward as many MGs as possible to deal with the German halftracks. My Russians managed to get rid of the sole full 468+LMG - No Quarter this time and to wound the 8-1. Then CC and Melee it was for him. More importantly, I managed to get into CC and Melee the German Crew, which had dismantled its 81mm MTR by now but had not yet managed to re-enter the halftrack. Being held in Melee, it would not be able in time to do so to allow it to leave the board, which was a great success as it meant the halftrack's EVP value would not exceed 1 EVP if it escaped.

To threaten the sMG halftrack in the exit hex, I moved ADJACENT a HS with plenty of German Prisoners in the hope that I might take it out in CC my last turn, draw fire from it, well, just anything...

So far Russian losses amounted to 14 HS and 1 Squad, i.e. 8 squad-equivalents total.
German losses were at 9 HS, 3 Squads and 1.5 squad-equivalent taken Prisoner, i.e. 9 squad-equivalents.

At this point, the Russians had 6 EVP to their tally due to the two multi-hex buildings. The Germans had the theoretical chance to exit some 13 or 14 EVP, while they were moving last and my Russians had but a single MPh left. Nothing was decided yet.


Situation at the End of German Turn 6:

15874

In their 6th Turn, the Germans moved into positions that would allow them to put under fire all Locations in which my Russians had a chance to exit in their last upcoming half-turn and which would allow the surviving Germans in their final Turn to follow up. Some significant events occurred.

First, the German sMG ht indeed opened fire on the ADJACENT HS with many German Prisoners. In my opinion, there would have been more promising targets, but maybe my opponent wanted some of the Prisoners to survive and then attack my broken Guard in CC to Escape and Rearm, maybe he wanted to avoid the decrease in ROF for turning. Anyhow, a spree of 14@+1 Point Blank ROF shots followed by almost as many fine MCs still left my Russian HS and even a Prisoner HS in Good Order, before in disgust, the ht turned to fire elsewhere but not having an effect for that last shot. I have surely been lucky here.

Second, later that same sMG ht, which was hit by a number of MG TH rolls and IFT attacks was stunned. This was of great significance as it would be BU and thus not able to use the most powerful weapon left to the Germans to prevent the Exit of Russian units.

Third, the MTR halftrack w/o MTR backed up to place itself into the way of my exit path. My opponent could have done this a little better blocking another exit hex in qW1 which would have left my Russians in that area with merely qX0.

Fourth, when pulling back his 9-2 & 248 HS to block some exit hexes on the board edge from qT3 to qS3 my opponent overlooked what turned out to be a clear LOS from qJ6 to qS6. For the Leader-directed long range shot of 2 @-3 I rolled Snakes to kill'em all, depriving him of some potential exit points and keeping one possibilty for my Russians open to CX to and to Advance offboard, provided, I'd survive enemy fire...

Furthermore, a wounded 8-1 Leader and the 228 MTR Crew went down vs. the Russians in Melee and finally, the Germans exited one 8-0 Leader.

The EVP Tally was now at 6 EVP for the Russians and 1 EVP for the Germans.
The Germans had a potential 8 EVP left to exit the board, so to prevent any chance for a German win, I needed to get off 4 EVP or reduce the potential German points accordingly.


During MPh of Russian Turn 7 - Game End:

15875

In my last Russian Turn 7, conveniently one HS rallied, which - with Leader escort, would provide mit with an extra chance to reach the board-edge or to draw fire. I deployed what I could to spread out the risk some more.

I went straight to Movement, starting with a 7-0 & HS, CX'ing from qU6 and running all the way to qU1 via qV1, with the intention of Advance offboard. The German HS, painfully aware that it was the sole unit which could prevent a Russian exit through qX0 and qW1 held its fire, but the 9-1 wielding a LMG singlehandedly Pinned the Russians in qU1 - no exit for them. Next, I CX'ed a 458+LMG from qT5 making its way to qS1 with the intention to Advance off. Here, the killed 9-2 & HS had left a gap which would otherwise not have been there. The lone 9-1 could not effect the 458+LMG, so this would bring the Russians 2 EVP, upping their Total to 8 EVP.

At this point, my opponent conceded, because a German victory had become impossible. The two Russian Leader-led stacks in qX5 and qX6 both had enough MP to exit via qW1 or qX0. The first stack of them I would have moved next through qW1, forcing the Defensive First Fire of the lone 247 there. In the likely event that not all five 8 Morale units had died, the next stack from qX6 could have CX'ed with enough EVP through qX0 to make a German victory impossible even if no other exits or CCs had been successful in reducing the German EVP potential or upping the Russian tally.


Review:

Despite being almost 'Infantry only', this was an entirely fun scenario. IMHO it deserves the high Excitement Ratings so far awarded in ROAR and the ASL Scenario Archive. I think due to the comparably high number of units involved, it is somewhat resilient against some catastrophic roll breaking it - after all, still winning a scenario after suffering a 1KIA on one's killer-stack seems usually to be rarity.

Deployment for the Russians for sure plays a key-role in this one. The Russians will have to expose themselves to many dangerous shots and Deployment will spread out the risk as well as improve one's maneuvering options. Still, the Russians will constantly be challenged by how much risk they feel they can take. On the opposing side, the Germans have to find a careful balance of when to stand to delay and when to fall back. The end game has demonstrated, that the Germans can - even with only a few units left - make the exit of Russian units quite a challenge. And this is despite my Russian attack seemed to run rather smoothly most of the time. If the Germans had managed to 'restore' the sMG or MTR half-track, the game could well have ended with a German win.

In our game, by chance we had pitted Schwerpunkt vs. Schwerpunkt in the West (left), intermediate strength vs. intermediate strength in the center, and weak strength in the East (left). It might be interesting to observe what happens if the opposed forced do not match or if the Russian attackers concentrate on a single area. Probably, this scenario has quite some replay value.

It receives my recommendation. Have a go at it!

von Marwitz
 
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Eagle4ty

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Situation at the End of Russian Turn 4:

View attachment 15858

....

Into the silence, all movement and time seemingly suspended for the moment, rang out a terrifying BOOOM. The DC had detonated with a DR of 1,2 - and even with the +2 Building DRM and +1 CX penalty, this was enough for a K/4, sending one German HS after the Russian squad it had just killed and broke/ELR'ed the other, which was soon after captured as a Prisoner. The dreaded German MG position had been eradicated - though at tremendous and unneccessary cost.


Situation at the End of German Turn 5:

View attachment 15871

...

von Marwitz
Did you forget to roll for Rubble Creation in qY8? being a wooden building a S-dr of 1-5 would have rubbled the location KIA'ing all units there (I don't think the CX applies to the original IFT DR for rubble creation).
 

hayman

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Great AAR, shows what the Russians can do with the ability to deploy; something they usually can’t call upon. Nice write up.
 

von Marwitz

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Did you forget to roll for Rubble Creation in qY8? being a wooden building a S-dr of 1-5 would have rubbled the location KIA'ing all units there (I don't think the CX applies to the original IFT DR for rubble creation).
Good point!

We have overlooked that.
Indeed, probably we had the FINAL IFT DR in our minds, in which case no KIA would have occured:
The result was a final 6 for a K/4 (DR 3, +2 Wooden Building, +1 CX). the original IFT DR of 3 cross indexes for a 3KIA.

In the end, it did not make much of a difference as I subsequently destroyed the functional captured German HMG as it was too heavy to lug around and if gone could not be recovered by the Germans. German Prisoners did not count for EVP purposes. By SSR, all buildings only had a Ground Level, so theoretical 'Falling Rubble' was no threat to my Russians in the ADJACENT Location.

von Marwitz
 
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von Marwitz

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So, design-wise it is similar to 'Late for Chow'.

If both were are the same 'pick-list' for a tourney round--- which would you choose?
Hmm. Good question.

If you are asking me for the fun, having played both, then IMHO J188 'Grab And Go' was the clear winner.

If you are asking me for technical tournament-suitability, then AP143 'Late For Chow' is probably better.

Here are my thoughts behind it:

'Grab And Go' was awesome fun. Lots of shooting and drama. I think it offers more tactical approaches than 'Late for Chow'.

The Bocage Terrain of the latter means that it is a lot about channeling or holding up movement with the help of Bocage for the defender or about using Bocage to avoid the defender in the first place. Some roads will be very hazardous to cross, you might not even see some units because you cannot reach them quick enough, or you might just run past or overrun a defending outpost which cannot be reinforced quickly enough. You might say, it is somewhat of a 'skulking/delaying withdrawal' action.

Whereas in 'Grab And Go' you will inevitably see some serious shooting - countless -2 shots at Russians that they simply have to brave. This is exciting stuff. I find, there is more 'action' in 'Grab And Go' and as the attacking Russians you might actually manage to cut off some of the retreating Germans. This one is more of a 'fighting/delaying withdrawal' action.

The issue with 'Grab And Go' for tournament play is that it is a damn big scenario: 21.5 attacking Russian squads vs. 12.5 German squads defending (and a few other units). 'Late For Chow' is 12 attacking German squads vs. 12 defending US squads, some of which might not even see each other. I am a rather deliberate player and I am pretty sure that I would have probably had trouble finishing 'Grab and Go' at a tournament unless I could play until late. Maybe this is less of an issue for players with a 'fast' style.

Then, some players don't like Bocage or are not that familiar with Bocage rules. This should not prevent a tournament director from featuring Bocage scenarios. In any case, you don't have that issue with 'Grab And Go'.


Hope this helps,
von Marwitz
 
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