Mission OTO-S1

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I just finished playing OTO-S1 "Breakthrough to Orsha" and I though some of you that haven't tried this mission yet might be interested in a brief summary of how it went. This mission is included in BFP's "Onslaught to Orsha 2" HASL module.

You play as the Soviets and unlike some 'historical' SASL missions you have a mostly fixed OOB (you roll for exactly what type of AFVs you receive for part of your OOB) . One thing that's less than clear is the instruction page indicates you get three armor leaders and you roll on table R3 with a -1 DRM to determine their type, but it doesn't indicate what happens if - as is likely to happen - the result is "no leader". I opted to be generous to myself and continue rolling until 3 leaders had been generated, but you could take a more strict interpretation and decide if you get a "-" result you receive one less leader.

I set up with the plan that my main thrust would be on the north side of the railroad, with just enough south to clear the railroad and pick up an extra VPO or two. The AC# was '4', ENEMY RE#s were 3/4 and FRIENDLY RE#s were 4/5.

The outcome was a 5 to 9 loss for me. I had quite a bit of bad luck, but this was partly offset by the fact I always play with a house rule that any natural '6' result on a S? activation roll, regardless of modifiers, is a failed activation. I actually quit a 1/2 turn short of the full game - it was pretty clear that the Germans weren't going to drive me out of any of the VPOs I'd taken and barring getting quite lucky in game-extension rolls I wasn't going to take enough VPs from the ENEMY to change the outcome. I played OK but made a few mistakes, in particular, playing mostly SASL campaign games has made me more loss-averse than I need to be when playing one-off games like this.

The Stats:
Activated S? = 61 'Dud' S? = 10 Unactivated S? at game end = 35
Dead Germans = 27 SE, 8 ldr, 2x MG cupolas, 1x StuG IIIG, 1x Marder II, 1x Nashorn, many guns
Dead Soviets = 17.5 SE, 4 Ldr (2 armor), 2x PT34, 1x OT-34, 1x T-34, and 1 recalled ISU-122. I also damaged the mineroller on one of the PT-34s and malfed the flamethrower on one of my KV-8s.
Most notable event = my sturmovik getting a direct bomb hit on the Marder II only to be a dud, followed immediately thereafter by the machineguns malfunctioning and recalling the plane.

This is a BIG HASL mission and requires a lot of setup and cleanup, but in between it's a great deal of fun. It's true there're a fair bit of module specific rules you need to absorb as well as some obscure rules (mine clearance, air support, etc.) you need to brush up on, but it's worth it.

If you play, remember that although the mineroller tanks can't overrun, you can still use them to VBAM-freeze ENEMY locations. Also, don't underestimate the MG Cupolas when they pop up (and they will) - your ATRs are useless against them and your tanks will have a harder time than you expect taking them out. (You'd be suprised how many hull hits you generate when you need a turret.) Your AC# is likely to be '4' which means the overwhelming majority of the S? are going to activate after modifiers are applied, and the replacement table A1 is a harsh mistress of the "Madame Olga of the House of Pain BDSM" variety. Also, b/c the terrain is fairly open (by ASL standards) pretty much every gun the ENEMY gets will be a VP for them if it's manned and operating at game end (since it'll be able to fire on the road or RR) so you need to take them out. Finally, remember that to claim the RR or Road clearing VPs you have to pass through each hex with MMC - screaming down the road with a tank does nothing for you. I'm not sure it's realistic to plan to sweep both the road and RR, probably better to choose one and attack accordingly while also grabbing enough VPs to get the win.

I definitely think this mission can be won, but it's going to make you work for it, and you're likely to lose it more often than you win it unless you're a skilled player (well, a lot more skilled than me anyway.)
 
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One other thing I forgot to mention - because of the large size of the mission, after you get a few turns in there will likely be quite a few activated German units. This will make the ENEMY PFP and DFP a bit of a grind to get through. It's nowhere near as bad as playing the defender in, for example, SASL r3 "Hold the Factory" from Journal 1, but it might be more than some players want to deal with.
 

user2day

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I had quite a bit of bad luck, but this was partly offset by the fact I always play with a house rule that any natural '6' result on a S? activation roll, regardless of modifiers, is a failed activation.
S5.1? That looks like part of S5.1
 
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