J208 Panzerpioniere

Tuomo

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Larry Rolhfing and I finished this one last night. It jumped off the page and said Play Me! because the map looks interesting, there's nice combined-arms forces on both sides, there's a very cool SSR allowing the Americans to designate two Bocage hexsides as being Breached, and it's a Lionel Colin design.

Here's the situation at the end of German turn 1, with the non-Dummies on the US side unconcealed for clarity.
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As the US defender, I decided to abandon the Meat Chopper, pulling out its .50cal and giving it to the 9-1's squad who started in 54O1 (with the HT crew receiving their BAZ in return). The 54O1-72S1 Bocage received a Breach in order to allow the .50 to be advanced easily to O1 without incurring CX; in retrospect, it should spend most of its time in R0 anyway, so that Breach could be better used somewhere else (see below). The other one was in 54H1-H0, where it enabled the tank in H3 to reposition easily. LOVE that SSR - kudos to Lionel for that; it adds so much challenge and creativity to the defense.

The other HT in 72Q2 was also abandoned and scrounged, giving its MMG to the 666 who started in that hex, with the crew receiving the 60mm MTR in return - the US seems a bit light on MMC here, so those two extra vehicle crews (and their SW) seemed worth the VP you essentially give up when you Abandon their HTs. Didn't mind having the HT hindrance to LOS down that road, either.

Beyond that, the only other point of interest is the BAZ squad in 72R4, who, if the Germans had made a concerted play for the Stream, planned on CX'ing into R5 and up into Crest status on turn 1, advancing to R6. Because that's so much smarter than simply walking over the bridge. This Overly-Complicated Defensive Plan Brought To You By: MY BRAIN.

The Germans have all the tools they need to get the job done here, so Larry kept it simple. I was pleased to see him attack on the side where I had put my tanks, but here's where I botched the game, really. The German tanks basically pulled up behind Bocage and I fired my tanks at them. Simple enough, but I didn't choose my targets well, I didn't roll well, and I shouldn't have chosen 72J0 as a place to set up in the first place. Upshot of all that was, by German turn 2, both US tanks on the left side were KIA (having bagged only one PzIV in return), and the one in 54R1 had a malf'd MA (courtesy of my damnable predilection to Intensive Fire).

With that, there really wasn't much else to say. Down two tanks and with a third sans MA, the US packed in the defense behind the Bocage lines near 72Q2, and it was just a matter of time. Sure, there was some slight funneling of the attack through the 54U2-S1 corridor that enabled the US to concentrate firepower, but Larry was beginning to spread out through the R4-Q4 Bocage on board 54, developing his left hook, and could easily have sent some squads down through the 72I1-I4-M4 corridor if he felt like it. Game over by the end of US 3, with the Germans having barely broken a sweat.

So, shrug. One of those games where you feel like you just missed the boat on how to play it. Larry opined that the US needs to make sure his armor is fighting from behind Bocage, since the German armor surely will be, at least in the beginning, as we saw in the picture above. Good point, but I don't see where that happens on the map, other than in the packed-in Alamo area, and conducting an armored withdrawal to that area was beyond my comprehension; I didn't think the scenario should come down to just packing in the defense behind the Bocage and saying Come And Get Us - there had to be a better way. Probably so, but not one that I was able to grasp :) (This is probably where that misplaced Breach in 72S1 would have come in handy, probably in 72P2 to enable the M4 who started in J0 to get behind some Bocage after kicking into Motion on his turn 1.)

At any rate. Always a pleasure to play Larry, and I learned that Bocage is NOT a "hard target" for BAZ shots (B9.5, the EXC). Go Figure. Kind of a dumb rule, really - Bocage is physically a Wall PLUS some Hedge on top, so why negate the "hard target" aspect of the Wall? (Larry points out that BFP's Beyond The Bocage pack negates this rule, so cool, good on them).
 
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Larry

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ROAR has 7 German wins and 16 American wins. The ASA has 19 German wins and 12 American wins. The ELO information is not complete for the ASA. Based on ROAR, Tom offered the balance, which I accepted.

One AAR has a MkIV on the bridge to win. The VC is simple control but not for the bridge. The bridge must be controlled by a non-crew MMC for the 3 points. I think that the bridge requires a squad or HS to control the bridge. That is a more difficult task.

I suspect that this scenario should be played with double balance. The VC reduced to 10 and the Americans exchange an M4 for the M4A1(76)W and give him the gyro.
 

MajorDomo

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Played and enjoyed it twice.

I think the Germans need the balance.

The bridge is nigh near impossible to take.
 

Tuomo

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The bridge is nigh near impossible to take.
Really? It doesn't seem that hard. Seems like the Germans can easily spare 2 squads for an end-run, especially if they're HT-borne. Hell, I was worried about a full-on armored spearhead going through the stream from the US left. With so much of the defense looking in the other direction, it would seem to be hitting the vulnerable underbelly, as it were. Doesn't even need to move all that quickly.
 

MajorDomo

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Really? It doesn't seem that hard. Seems like the Germans can easily spare 2 squads for an end-run, especially if they're HT-borne. Hell, I was worried about a full-on armored spearhead going through the stream from the US left. With so much of the defense looking in the other direction, it would seem to be hitting the vulnerable underbelly, as it were. Doesn't even need to move all that quickly.
Attached is my defense for my second playing in the ersatz VASL league.

An end run by two German HTs would certainly start my Amis on the way towards the German 29 CVP limit.

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