OA26 - Vogt's Ritterkreutz AAR

CTKnudsen

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For the last few months Neil Andrews has, once a week or so, with patience and good humour, been teaching me all the ways I had previously been playing ASL totally incorrectly. Our latest scenario was OA26. I took the attacking SS, and he the defending Dutch. To win, I had 6.5 turns in which to remove all of his MMC from a 2-hex radius of the hex next to the bridge, while also ensuring that he had no MMC on the east side of the river that could draw LOS to that same hex.

To accomplish this I was given a company of 4-6-8 SS with 3 leaders, some MGs, and 3 Armoured Cars. He had 8 squads, a couple of leaders, a whack of SW, some dummy counters, and an 80mm OBA with an offboard observer. Keep that last one in your mind, it would become important later! As well, any Dutch could start the scenario entrenched if the terrain allowed.

Here is the situation at scenario start, before my setup:
VRK1 start.JPG

Looking at the Dutch setup, I planned my assault. The ACs would Armoured Assault up the middle with 3 squads, looking to clear the long woods running from Z10 to M2. 2 HS, my 9-1, and my MMG and HMG would provide covering fire for this movement from the woodline at J8. The remainder of the force would use the cover of the forest to basically conduct a left flanking attack onto the objective, having used mass and firepower to clear the Dutch out of the forest first.
The plan.JPG

Knowing Neil, I figured he would put enough troops forward to slow me down a bit, but leave the lion's share of his strength (and his SWs) in the objective area. Fine by me, so long as I was able to get through his speed-bumps quickly.

Next - I learn to my dismay how OBA works.
 

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Turns 1 & 2.

I started off by deploying a couple of squads while still offboard, in order to act as scouts moving thru the forest. Largely due to my inability to plan moves properly and my forgetfulness to declare double-time at the beginning of my moves, this didn't actually happen, by and large, although those 4 HS would prove very important later, as shall be seen. Neil is a great and sporting opponent, but there are three basic situations (besides dice) where he will not allow a mulligan. One is declaring CX properly. You forget to say it before moving the counter, you only get 1 extra MF, no exceptions. The others are OBA and firing smoke.

So in the T1 MPh I moved into the woods, Armoured Assaulted my ACs and squads forward up to about the _7 hexrow. Not too sure why I didn't double-time these guys, I guess I got caught up in the whole armoured assault thing - my first time doing an AA! My firebase group moved to J9, narrowly retaining concealment. In the DFPh, Neil called an AR onto J7, hoping to get 2 of my ACs and my firebase in one FFE. In this scenario, the dutch has scarce ammo, but has an automatic black on its first chit draw. His SR ended up in L6. Foolishly, I advanced my firebase into J8, confidently expecting to spend his DFPh assembling MGs.

His T1 he skulks boringly. Oh yes. He also declares his OBA will resolve as an FFE:1, and places his AR in J7 again. Luckily for me the FFE is inaccurate, landing in J8 and missing my ACs. I am coolly nonchalant. 16 FP at -1? My elite landsers will be fine. And lo and behold, he rolls high, just an NMC. Which I promptly break the whole stack on. Whoops. Not a problem, I'll rally just fine.

Turn 2.

I rally nothing. No prep fire, the ACs and squads move forward and away from the FFE. In the AFPh, I manage to break the concealed squad in the house in L3, which routs away into through the long wood and into the large copse by the bridge. In the forest, my troops continue to advance to contact, with my leaders (foolishly) leading the way. It will become apparent to me later that I should have been more cautious here, and left one back a bit to help rally.

What of the DFPh OBA FFE:2, you ask? Nothing much, Neil rolls a 3 and 2KIAs the firebase. Wanting to be helpful, I yahtzee the stack, and he even destroys both the HMG and the MMG. Not a good start. We spend most of the rest of the scenario forgetting to do blaze spread here, but no matter.

His turn two he skulks again. The OBA cancels the FFE:C in favour of placing an SR. He draws black (4B,3R left now), and tries to put a SR down, but misses, the SR landing in J3. I'm not 100% sure where he put the AR on this one, btw. One of the things I learned is the need for VASL logfiles if you want to do an AAR writeup.

Here's a pic of the action at the end of my T2 RtPh.

T2 RtPh.PNG

And another at the beginning of the Dutch Turn 2.

Al2 RPh.JPG

Next: Turn 3, where things continue to go downhill for my plucky landsers.
 
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CTKnudsen

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Turn 3 - No Ritterkreutz for Herr Vogt today.

The situation at the beginning of the turn:

begin t3.JPG

With noone left alive to rally (in the firebase, anyways), the RPh is short. No Prep Fire either, movement is key! In the forest, I decide to strip his concealment by using my HS to bump his stacks in G1 and H1. This proved to be a terrible mistake later on, as shall be seen. On the far left, my concealed half-squads moved up into the woods by the river, revealing a dummy stack.

The armored cars moved up to the roadway in front of the long woods. The 222 and squad go into J1, and Neil declares a AT TH with his MMG in the forest in X10. This is unsuccessful, but Neil takes the opportunity to lay down a fire lane. The 222 returns fire, but without effect. One 221 with squad moves from L4 to K2, the squad surviving the fire lane. The other 221 goes into bypass in L1. On the face of it, this was stupid, but I wanted to strip his concealment and see how CC Reaction Fire worked, even if it meant losing the car. Luckily, he failed to kill the bypassing AC, but the squad I moved up to L2 ended up breaking as a result of the firelane. Bounding Fire was totally unsuccessful, even in bypass.

Here's the action at the start of my Turn 3 DFPh:

Ax 3 DFPh.JPG

Here's where I paid the price for having an unconcealed HS in the forest in F1. Neil had placed his OB Observer in CC1, giving him a perfect line of sight to F1. His OBA correction missed F1, but the SR ended up in H2 - Gulp! Neil's Defensive Fire in the forest is enough to strip some concealment, but not enough to break anybody, luckily. In the RtPh I move my squad back to the L3 house, and he voluntaries his HS in L1 back to the bridge copse.

In my advance phase, I move into CC in G1 and H1, as well as occupying the long woods - his stack in K1 proves to be a dummy.

In CC H1 goes to melee with no casualties, but I manage to kill off the Dutch HS in G1.

In the Dutch T3, his arty declares FFE:1, with the AR placed in J2. It misses, but lands in H2 - misses my AC, but yikes!

Here's how it looked before Neil started rolling for his OBA resolution:
AT3 Pre bomb resolution.JPG

Once again, Neil rolls low in the key hex, the melee in H1. A DR 4 results in a 1KIA! Another yahtzee in RS kills both my 8-1 and the squad, as well as the LMG it is toting! His squad is merely broken. Furthermore, my squad in H3 breaks, and my HS in I3 boxcars his MC. Not looking good, not looking good at all.

Then Neil Preps his MMG and squad in X10 at my adjacent troops in G1. I have an 8-0, 2 squads and a HS in here, with the LMG-toting squad and the leader in the foxhole. Neil rolls a 16 FP attack at +1/+2, and rolls a 4, for a 3MC / 2MC. Sigh. The exposed HS passes the 3MC, but the squad fails. In the foxhole, the squad also passes it's 2MC, but the leader boxcars and dies. I am now out of leaders. To add insult to injury, Neil's sniper breaks my HS in F2, who routs further into the forest and spends the rest of the game broken.

Neil spends the rest of his turn moving troops into and around the copse by the bridge, and feeling sheepish about our luck differential. My DFPh in both the forest and the objective area (from the long woods) is totally ineffective.

With no leaders, and having lost 6 CVP in the last turn alone, I now pass my PMC - sort of. Zenlike, I accept that I am going to lose this one, but I resolve to play it out, and learn as many rules as I can while dying nobly.

Next - The landsers go for broke!
 
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CTKnudsen

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No, sadly, I only am good at yahtzee when I play ASL. Actually I shouldn't complain too hard, I won a scenario once based on my opponent's yahtzee on a sniper activation that killed the leader and broke both squads in the hex. The thing about luck is that it tends to average out. Looking back on it (and my notes), I realize that the massacre in G1 wasn't actually a yahtzee after all - I made three of four MCs here, but did boxcar the leader. VASL log next time, promise!

Turn 4

Here is the situation at the beginning of turn 4:

ax t4.JPG

Note my casualty pile - yikes! If you recall, I had decided to go for broke, and lose heroically whilst learning as much as I could.

The Squad in the L3 building rallies, and prep fire from the survivors in G1 breaks the Dutch MMG squad in X10 - yay! In the movement phase the lagging infantry in the forest moves up, and I decide to attack with the two half-squads that were in the woods close to the river. These charge into W10, looking to cut off rout paths for the broken Dutch squad in X10. This is enough to provoke Neil to reveal the 9-1, squad and HMG in the building in W9, and fire IFP at my half squads. 4 FP at even manages to kill one of the HS (another boxcars!), but the other passes its MC! My Armoured Cars then decide that it's high time to take the battle to the enemy, and speed into the objective area, guns blazing! One of the 221s moves around the long woods and into AA10. As it halts, Neil reveals a squad with an ATR in the foxhole in AA9, but it misses in First Fire. The AC fires back, but also to no effect. The other 221 then attempts to get into the bridge area, but is bounced back into I1 for failure to bypass the long copse in Z10. It fires at the HMG in W9, but no result. I then decide to move my 222 adjacent to W9, and Neil declares a Final Fire TK shot with his HMG - and malfs it! Woohoo! Seeing an opportunity, my 3 squads in the long woods area move into Z10, K1, and L1, hoping to take the battle to the enemy.

In the DFPh, Neil attempts to correct his FFE:2 to I1, hoping to catch 2 of my ACs and a squad in the barrage. Luckily for me, he misses, and the FFE:2 lands in I2, where it can only affect my 221. It rattles the crew a bit, but they pass their MC. His other defensive fire is ineffective, but my advancing fire is not, revealing and pinning his squad in BB9. In the RtPh, my HS in G1 graciously accepts the surrender of the MMG squad in X10. In the APh, I move into X10, and the troops in the long woods move into the copse, and one of them plunges into CC in the foxholes in Z9. But the SS-männer get confused, roll a 12, and the Dutch HS occupying the foxholes withdraws to AA9.

The situation at the beginning of Dutch Turn 4:

begin all t4.JPG

In the RPh, Neil doesn't manage to rally anybody, but his repair attempt on the HMG eliminates it! Woo! Without leaders, I take no rally action besides manning the Dutch MMG in G1. In Neil's PFPh he flips his FFE:C to a FFE:1 in location - hex I2. There are 3 Black and 3 Red chits left now. Neil proceeds to snakes the resolution roll against my hapless 221 in I1, which results in a CH and a 6KIA, making a burning wreck. Ouch. Then the Dutch AT hits and UKs the remaining 221 in AA9. Prep fire from the W9 building at the adjacent squad in Z9 is luckily ineffective. In the MPh, he retreats in the copse so he can gain concealment, but that's about it.

My DFPh is totally ineffective. In his APh, Neil advances half his concealed stack into CC10. No CC this turn, for a change, but I am grimly hanging on and still am not out of it yet!

Next - the battle heats up!
 
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CTKnudsen

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Turn 5 - Landsers resurgent!

Ok, first off, I will apologize, there are no pics of Turn 5. The action got so intense that I just plain forgot to take pics!

In the RPh, I self-rallied the broken squad in G6, who had been broken by artillery fire way back in Turn 3. The UK 222 AC, however, does not recover, and the uk counter flips. Neil doesn't take any rally activity, as he doesn't want to reveal his concealed leader in order to take a chance at rallying his DM half-squad. I prep fire from the H1 MG nest and the squads in Z9 and Z10, but it is ineffective.

In the MPh, the freshly rallied squad in G6 rushes to get back into the battle, declaring double-time and making it around the FFE and into the long woods at L1 by the end of the turn. In the copse, my squad in BB10 assault moves into CC10, revealing the Dutch squad there - risky, but it's go for broke time! In a similar vein, I assault move a HS into the brush in X9, and then follow it up with another from the forest in G1. Neil fires twice, but fails to have any effect! Encouraged, I rush my guard HS from G1 forward to Z10, and Neil declines to FPF. There are now 2 squads and 2 HS adjacent to the building in Y9, all in good order. I then start up my 222 AC and move it into Z9, hoping to give cover to my squads moving towards the Y9/Z9/AA9 area, as well as allowing PB fire at the Dutch squad with the ATR in AA9. My bounding fire does nothing, but Neil fires the ATR point-blank, and stuns the AC! Truly one step forward, and one back in this one.

In the DFPh, Neil takes a risk and cancels his FFE:2, as it is useless where it is, and he doesn't want to risk dropping a correction onto his own troops around the bridge. Even better, all of his defensive fire is ineffective! My advancing fire is not much better, but that's ok too.

Nothing happens in the Rout Phase - there's noone who needs to rout. In the Advance Phase, I advance the squad from Z9 and the half-squads from X9 into the Y9 house - I need to kill that squad and leader! Similarly, my squad in BB10 advances into CC in CC10. The guarding HS advances into the foxholes in Z9, hoping to at least be available to control hexes if I can eliminate enough of the Dutch.

A small pause for discussion.

One of the very valid criticisms that Neil has of my play is that I tend to CC too much, throwing away my better morale (in this case), and not doing enough to maximize my chances to win ambushes or bring in overwhelming firepower. I agree with his assessment, but I seem to have this emotional idèe fixe that CC is decisive somehow, and that endless melees are ok if they tie up important defenders. In the Z9 house, Neil agrees that CC is a good play - I have 8 FP in the hex to his 5, and if I don't kill these guys now there's no way I will have a chance at winning. At least here if I avoid ambush I will be at 3:2, and if I stay in melee I have another squad (in H1) that I can throw in there in turn 6 if melee lasts that long. In CC10 the logic is much less clear, and I think it was a bad decision to jump into CC here - My odds of winning are the same as his, and if it goes to melee he has troops adjacent that can reinforce before mine can in turn 6. So without further adeiu, how does it work out?

Well, in a blow for my rational assessment of CC, very very well! In Z9 I am ambushed, and Neil kills off my squad at 1:1, leaving my half-squads with a 1:2 shot against his squad and leader. Things are looking dark, the game could be in the balance, and I roll... a 3! This kills his stack, and gains me the hex, and a continued chance at victory. In CC10, we trade poor dice and a melee ensues.

Dutch turn 5 -

Neil fails to self - rally his broken unit in CC9, he still wants to keep concealment for the leader in the hex. In my RPh, my UK 221 comes to life, fully recovered! Woohoo!

Neil's Prep Fire phase is good for me, for once. His artillery finally draws a Red Chit (3B 2R left), which is further superb news. His prep fire from AA9 misses the AC with the ATR, but the squad's IFP breaks my squad in Z9. In the MPh, Neil runs the HS outside the foxhole in AA9 up the bridge to AA7, hoping to deny me control of the AA7-8 hexes, which I need to take in order to win. I fire at him from Z9 as he moves up the bridge, but to no effect.

In my DFPh, I have but one goal, and that is to break his ATR squad in AA9. The 221 fires 18 at +2, and I manage to get it to break! Things are looking up once again! The 221 fires up the bridge at the HS in AA7, but there is no effect. Neil has no AFPh action, but in the RtPh, as the ATTACKER he is forced to rout his broken squad in AA9 first, low crawling it to the brush in BB8. My broken squad in Z9 is now no longer required to rout, but since he can no longer see the HS in AA7 due to the woods in Z8 JUST blocking LOS, Z8 becomes a legal rout destination! Hoping to rally him and claim the hex, I rout them into the woods hex.

In the APh, Neil moves his HS to AA6, and then moves his (concealed) squad from CC9 into the melee in CC10. He now has a 2:1 advantage, but he rolls high. I roll a 5 at 1:1, however, which is enough to reduce one squad to a HS, and continue the melee!

Next - Turn 6 sees the pendulum continue to swing.
 

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Turn 6 - I learn how to OVR.

Luckily I did take a pic at the beginning of Turn 6. First here's a comparison with the beginning of Dutch turn 4, so you can see the results of all the action in the intervening turn and a half.

Dutch Turn 4 RPh - the Pin counters are left from the previous turn, btw, and were removed just after I took the pic.

begin all t4.JPG

Axis Turn 6 RPh:

Ax t6.JPG

So in the Rph I use my MMC self-rally to successfully rally the broken squad in E3. It spends the turn double-timing and ends up in the foxhole at X10. Neal fails to rally his broken MMC, which had routed to the woods in FF8 in turn 5. For a change, I decline to prep fire.

In the MPh, the 222 AC declares an OVR against the broken squad in BB8, and reduces it to a half squad, then continues to hex EE9. I technically did not need to do this, and in fact would have been better off firing at the stack in FF8, but I wanted to see how OVR works. The 221 follows, moving into DD8 and firing its MGs at the concealed stack in CC9, to no effect. Meanwhile, one of the HS in the Z9 house moves onto the bridge, to hex AA7, surviving Neil's defensive fire from the adjacent Dutch HS. The other HS in the house moves through AA10 into BB9, joined by the full squad from L1 and the HS guarding the Dutch prisoners. The squad in X10 then moves onto the bridge into hex AA8.

In the DFPh, Neil draws another black chit for his OBA, (2 Black, 2 Red left), and ends up with an SR in the river (DD7) after having placed his AR in AA9. My assault fire from BB8 strips concealment from the Dutch 8-0 in CC9, but fire down the length of the bridge does nothing. In the RtPh, his previously overrun HS in BB8 surrenders to the HS already guarding another prisoner in DD8, and the broken HS in FF8 is eliminated for failure to rout.

My APh sees my guard HS advance into the brush hex the prisoners just vacated. Then the squad and HS in BB9 advance into the adjacent melee. I now have 2.5 squads here, against his 1.5 squads. I choose to divide the attacks into 2 rolls, one with 1.5 of my squads against his HS at 3:1, and one with two squads at 1:1. I choose this because I figure I have another full turn to win the melee and claim the hex, so I want to get that half-squad killed off soonest. Things do not go totally my way this time, however. The 1:1 fight first ends up in mutual destruction, which I am fine with. But then on the 3:1 fight I roll another boxcars in CC! The Dutch HS withdraws to BB10, and all of a sudden things are not looking so rosy.

Dutch Turn 6

No rally activity for either side. In the PFPh, Neil declares he will resolve his SR correction as an FFE:1, and places his AR in AA9 again. With bated breath we wait for his accuracy roll, but he misses, and his FFE:1 scatters 1 hex to BB8. This can only affect 3 hexes containing units; BB8, with my HS and 1.5 squads of prisoners, AA8, with my squad on the bridge, and CC9, where the Dutch 8-0 is hanging out. In BB8, my HS makes its MC, but the POW HS dies, and the POW squad reduces to a POW HS. In CC9, the leader breaks and wounds, and in AA8 my squad breaks!

Neil then prep fires his bridge HS at my adjacent HS - a 4 +1 shot. Neil rolls a three for a 1MC. I yell "Sniper!" and then resolve the MC - Fail! Neal yells jubilantly - "Yes! I win! There's nothing you can do now!" I look at the map, and conclude he's right. My HS on the bridge will have to low crawl into the FFE to survive, and all Neil has to is advance into AA7 to deny me the victory; my chances of getting thru the FFE, breaking the Dutch HS, and controlling AA7 in turn 7 are virtually nonexistent.

"Bugger," I say, "You're right - oh well, I made a pretty good play of it considering I lost all my leaders and my best SW early on. Still, we'll play it out. I believe I had a sniper to resolve?"

I roll a one. I roll a coloured 1, and a white 2, moving my sniper counter from BB9 to BB7. "Looks like you got the wounded leader in CC9!" Neil says. "Not quite!", I smirk. There are two units at 2 hexes range, and both are in +1 TEM terrain. "The HS on the bridge is an equally valid target, and it's my choice!" Neil is briefly flummoxed. He hastily pages thru A14.21, but there is no succor there, and so I move the sniper counter to AA6 and break the HS there, snatching a glimpse of victory from the jaws of certain defeat.

Neil recovers quickly, and moves his last HS from BB10 thru K1 and Z10, flipping those hexes back to Dutch control. There's not too much I can do about it besides firing at it in Z10 from the squad in X10, which does precisely nothing. In the DFPh, I fire at the concealed stack in FF8 with the 222 AC, revealing them to be dummies, which I had been 99% sure of, but still.

Neil fires at my squad in X10 in the AFPh, achieving nothing, and then advances into the foxholes in Z9, DMing the squad in the woods in Z8. The wounded leader in CC9 surrenders to my adjacent guarding HS in BB8, but it's not over yet!

Next - it's over.
 
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Turn 7 - The end goes right down to the wire!

Here's the situation at the beginning of my T7:

t7 ax start.JPG

In the RPh, I try and self-rally the broken squad in the woods at Z8 - I need to get that HS out of Z9! Amazingly, I roll a 5, and the squad comes back! It then preps at Z9, an 8 +2 shot which does bugger all.

I need to move and flip hexes. My HS in CC10 Assault moves into CC9, flipping the hex to my control and then dying in a blaze of FFE. I then do the same with the guard HS in CC8. If it dies and the POWs survive, I can still drive the 221 in there and hope it survives until the end of the turn in place, which would control the hex for me. The HS moves, but breaks - but so does the last POW HS, eliminating it. The wounded POW leader goes into CC with my broken HS, but that's ok, because an SMC can't flip control of a hex - now all I need to flip is Z9, really.

First step is to move both ACs back to the bridge area. The 222 ends up in X10, but it's bounding fire only pins the Dutch HS. Still, that's a start. The 221 moves via bypass in BB10/K1 and BB10/K2 into AA10, and it's fire inflicts another pin result, which is not so helpful. My squad in X10 then assault moves into Y10, and Neil takes the 2 even shot, which pins my squad. I then double-time my squad in CC10 thru BB10, K1, and Z10, flipping the last unoccupied Dutch-controlled hexes. Neil final fires, but I make the resulting MC.

In the DFPh, Neil has one card left to avoid my assault fire and then my 2:1 (+1) CC attack. He corrects his FFE:2 and places the AR in his own hex in Z9. It's a good play - if he's accurate he gets 16 +4 on his own hex, but will attack 2 of my squads at -1, one at even, and potentially get both my ACs. He's not accurate, however, and rolls a 2 for direction of error, placing the FFE:2 in AA9. It's pretty much the best I could have hoped for. As per our SOP, we start resolving in the centre hex, then go up and clockwise. The first roll is against the broken squad in AA8, which reduces to a HS. Next is the armoured car in AA10, and once again Neil rolls a 3, which burns my poor 221 to a crisp. Next is Z9, at (16 +4). Neil rolls a 6, for an NMC - which he fails with an 8. The FFE:2 then 1KIAs the squad in Z8, but it's of little consequence, as his broken half-squad surrenders to the squad in X10 in the RtPh.

My squad in Z10 advances into the FFE:C in Z9, flipping control of the hex. The FFE:C pins my squad, but it's academic. We don't bother figuring out who wins the CC in BB8, as it has no relevance any more. Win to the Germans!

Here's the situation at the bitter end.

end.JPG


This is a great scenario - it went down to literally almost the last roll possible in the final turn, and had a lot of highs and lows for both sides. Both of us had some fantastic good luck and some fantastic bad luck at opportune (and inopportune) times. Neil's artillery was amazing. In 5 chit draws he got 4 black and only 1 red with a starting mix of 6 black and 3 red, and when it landed he got a lot of low rolls, accounting for both AC casualties, 3 squads of eight lost, and 2 of my three leaders. On the other hand, he broke his HMG before it did anything, and had some pretty rotten morale checks at pivotal moments. I got lucky too at critical moments - winning a 1:2 CC against his leader stack in Y9 was pivotal, and the sniper in turn 6 saved the game for me. On the other hand, I also missed some pretty important MCs as well, and had two yahtzees on RS early on that cost me a lot.

All in all, I don't know if Vogt would have gotten his Ritterkreutz here; he was atomized by OBA in turn 1. But in the finest battlefield tradition of the early-war Waffen-SS, the job got done, even though I took two-thirds casualties in men and machines, and my company's leaders were killed to a man. I must admit, I'm pretty proud of pulling this one out of the fire, although I'm not so foolish as to claim I'm any good at this ASL thing yet by any means.

Neil is a fine opponent and a lot of fun to play against, and I look forward to when we can play this scenario again - he has promised me that he will show me some neat tricks and his fiendish SS-criminals will inflict a crushing defeat upon my stalwart Dutchmen, but we shall see...
 

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Turn 5 - Landsers resurgent!

Ok, first off, I will apologize, there are no pics of Turn 5. The action got so intense that I just plain forgot to take pics!

In the RPh, I self-rallied the broken squad in G6, who had been broken by artillery fire way back in Turn 3. The UK 222 AC, however, does not recover, and the uk counter flips. Neil doesn't take any rally activity, as he doesn't want to reveal his concealed leader in order to take a chance at rallying his DM half-squad. I prep fire from the H1 MG nest and the squads in Z9 and Z10, but it is ineffective.

In the MPh, the freshly rallied squad in G6 rushes to get back into the battle, declaring double-time and making it around the FFE and into the long woods at L1 by the end of the turn. In the copse, my squad in BB10 assault moves into CC10, revealing the Dutch squad there - risky, but it's go for broke time! In a similar vein, I assault move a HS into the brush in X9, and then follow it up with another from the forest in G1. Neil fires twice, but fails to have any effect! Encouraged, I rush my guard HS from G1 forward to Z10, and Neil declines to FPF. There are now 2 squads and 2 HS adjacent to the building in Y9, all in good order. I then start up my 222 AC and move it into Z9, hoping to give cover to my squads moving towards the Y9/Z9/AA9 area, as well as allowing PB fire at the Dutch squad with the ATR in AA9. My bounding fire does nothing, but Neil fires the ATR point-blank, and stuns the AC! Truly one step forward, and one back in this one.

In the DFPh, Neil takes a risk and cancels his FFE:2, as it is useless where it is, and he doesn't want to risk dropping a correction onto his own troops around the bridge. Even better, all of his defensive fire is ineffective! My advancing fire is not much better, but that's ok too.

Nothing happens in the Rout Phase - there's noone who needs to rout. In the Advance Phase, I advance the squad from Z9 and the half-squads from X9 into the Y9 house - I need to kill that squad and leader! Similarly, my squad in BB10 advances into CC in CC10. The guarding HS advances into the foxholes in Z9, hoping to at least be available to control hexes if I can eliminate enough of the Dutch.

A small pause for discussion.

One of the very valid criticisms that Neil has of my play is that I tend to CC too much, throwing away my better morale (in this case), and not doing enough to maximize my chances to win ambushes or bring in overwhelming firepower. I agree with his assessment, but I seem to have this emotional idèe fixe that CC is decisive somehow, and that endless melees are ok if they tie up important defenders. In the Z9 house, Neil agrees that CC is a good play - I have 8 FP in the hex to his 5, and if I don't kill these guys now there's no way I will have a chance at winning. At least here if I avoid ambush I will be at 3:2, and if I stay in melee I have another squad (in H1) that I can throw in there in turn 6 if melee lasts that long. In CC10 the logic is much less clear, and I think it was a bad decision to jump into CC here - My odds of winning are the same as his, and if it goes to melee he has troops adjacent that can reinforce before mine can in turn 6. So without further adeiu, how does it work out?

Well, in a blow for my rational assessment of CC, very very well! In Z9 I am ambushed, and Neil kills off my squad at 1:1, leaving my half-squads with a 1:2 shot against his squad and leader. Things are looking dark, the game could be in the balance, and I roll... a 3! This kills his stack, and gains me the hex, and a continued chance at victory. In CC10, we trade poor dice and a melee ensues.

Dutch turn 5 -

Neil fails to self - rally his broken unit in CC9, he still wants to keep concealment for the leader in the hex. In my RPh, my UK 221 comes to life, fully recovered! Woohoo!

Neil's Prep Fire phase is good for me, for once. His artillery finally draws a Red Chit (3B 2R left), which is further superb news. His prep fire from AA9 misses the AC with the ATR, but the squad's IFP breaks my squad in Z9. In the MPh, Neil runs the HS outside the foxhole in AA9 up the bridge to AA7, hoping to deny me control of the AA7-8 hexes, which I need to take in order to win. I fire at him from Z9 as he moves up the bridge, but to no effect.

In my DFPh, I have but one goal, and that is to break his ATR squad in AA9. The 221 fires 18 at +2, and I manage to get it to break! Things are looking up once again! The 221 fires up the bridge at the HS in AA7, but there is no effect. Neil has no AFPh action, but in the RtPh, as the ATTACKER he is forced to rout his broken squad in AA9 first, low crawling it to the brush in BB8. My broken squad in Z9 is now no longer required to rout, but since he can no longer see the HS in AA7 due to the woods in Z8 JUST blocking LOS, Z8 becomes a legal rout destination! Hoping to rally him and claim the hex, I rout them into the woods hex.

In the APh, Neil moves his HS to AA6, and then moves his (concealed) squad from CC9 into the melee in CC10. He now has a 2:1 advantage, but he rolls high. I roll a 5 at 1:1, however, which is enough to reduce one squad to a HS, and continue the melee!

Next - Turn 6 sees the pendulum continue to swing.
Too bad you missed the effect of the Stunned PSW 221. If he had been Stunned in you Turn he would have had to BU and be placed under Stun. In Neil's RPh he would have been flipped to +1 Stun, but still would have been BU & as an OT veh, unable to fire. Only until your next MPh would he have been able to un-button & fire [EXC: if somehow he could have gained Motion in Neil's turn]. But for a single rules gack, a very interesting AAR.
 

CTKnudsen

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Good catch, Eagle, you are 100% correct about the stunned PSW 222. And thinking about it, we did play it by the rules, so it did spend the Dutch Turn 5 stunned and BU, and did not fire at the adjacent ATR squad. Neil's pretty tight with the rules, and I remember reviewing D5.34 when it happened, as I am very inexperienced with AFV.

That's the problem with writing an AAR from screen captures, weeks-old memory, and with no VASL log, one has to reconstruct the action, which is very open to mistakes in the details. And for turn 5 I had no pics, so there was a lot of guessing going on there. Mea Culpa, from here on in I will log everything. So a revised reconstruction exercise, then.

The ATR squad must have been broken in the DFPh from either the MMCs in the Y9 building, or the PSW 221 in the adjacent hex. Looking at the map, it was likely the 2 HS in Z9, as they couldn't really have fired at the Dutch HS moving on the bridge because of the intervening woods hex in Z8. Only AA6 was a valid target, and I seem to recall that Neil advanced into that particular hex. The 2 HS would have been a 4 +3 shot, so I would have needed a 3 to get the NMC. Conversely, it would have made more sense to fire the 221 at the ATR guys, which would have been a 10 +2 shot, needing only a 6 to get the NMC. Another possibility is fire from the captured MMG in X10, a 8 +3 shot also requiring a 5 or less. Which one I did depends on how badly I wanted to give up the 221 shot at the adjacent hex to fire at the moving HS on the bridge, and I suspect that I thought the HS was not nearly as big a deal as the full squad with the ATR was - after all, with the ATR squad out of the way I could move MMCs up the bridge to chase the Dutch HS and flip control of AA7, AA8, and AA9, which I had to do anyway to meet the scenario VC. So my money is on the PSW 221. Either way, I got lucky with one of several potential low rolls, which Neil compounded by failing the MC.

Any way you cut it, a great scenario for a great game.
 
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Eagle4ty

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Good catch, Eagle, you are 100% correct about the stunned PSW 222. And thinking about it, we did play it by the rules, so it did spend the Dutch Turn 5 stunned and BU, and did not fire at the adjacent ATR squad. Neil's pretty tight with the rules, and I remember reviewing D5.34 when it happened, as I am very inexperienced with AFV.

That's the problem with writing an AAR from screen captures, weeks-old memory, and with no VASL log, one has to reconstruct the action, which is very open to mistakes in the details. And for turn 5 I had no pics, so there was a lot of guessing going on there. Mea Culpa, from here on in I will log everything. So a revised reconstruction exercise, then.

The ATR squad must have been broken in the DFPh from either the MMCs in the Y9 building, or the PSW 221 in the adjacent hex. Looking at the map, it was likely the 2 HS in Z9, as they couldn't really have fired at the Dutch HS moving on the bridge because of the intervening woods hex in Z8. Only AA6 was a valid target, and I seem to recall that Neil advanced into that particular hex. The 2 HS would have been a 4 +3 shot, so I would have needed a 3 to get the NMC. Conversely, it would have made more sense to fire the 221 at the ATR guys, which would have been a 10 +2 shot, needing only a 6 to get the NMC. Another possibility is fire from the captured MMG in X10, a 8 +3 shot also requiring a 5 or less. Which one I did depends on how badly I wanted to give up the 221 shot at the adjacent hex to fire at the moving HS on the bridge, and I suspect that I thought the HS was not nearly as big a deal as the full squad with the ATR was - after all, with the ATR squad out of the way I could move MMCs up the bridge to chase the Dutch HS and flip control of AA7, AA8, and AA9, which I had to do anyway to meet the scenario VC. So my money is on the PSW 221. Either way, I got lucky with one of several potential low rolls, which Neil compounded by failing the MC.

Any way you cut it, a great scenario for a great game.
Yup, played it many a moon ago & lost it until the last CCPh when my oppo. rolled a 12 on CC & allowed me (a HS vs 2x Squads) to Infiltrate - which is actually exfiltrate - for a last min. victory. Still one of my more memorable & enjoyable games.
 
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