So what scenarios have you played Recently?

Discussion in 'Advanced Squad Leader' started by Gunner Scott, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. ecz

    ecz Partisan Captain

    Aug 31, 2003
    Italy
    ITR-2 #1 Debacle at Sung Kiang vs Darryl Lundy for VASLeague.

    I won as attacking Japanese (18 Squads Equivalents, 2 of them Elite, + FT, 2X DC and three ACs) versus his Chinese 16 Squads, 9 of them Elite, 2 76 mm ART guns, and 2 ACs.
    It's a Urban combat, partially on BFP board "B" , where the attackers must control at least 11 multihex buildings on 17 in total, 5 of them are Railroad Station/Factories (ITR special Rule 2.0), in 6,5 turns.

    the Scenario looks balanced (and ROAR confirms this) althought this time Japanese won rather easily since Chineses already had lost 11 VC buildings by turn 6.

    The scenario offers an high replayability and, in my opinion, deserves a positive vote. Both players have many choices and nothing appears obvius.
    12 "?" and 4 fortified locations added in the Chinese OB are a valuable help for the defender.

    The key is the clever use of MGs (for Chinese) and of the ACs (for the Japanese) to lay FLs and make the necessary "freezes" at the right moment, with an eye at the position of the enemy ordnance and MGs (all ACs have "0" AF).
    The only criticism I need to write is about the lack of the classic SSR against the voluntary abandon of AFVs and the control of VC buildings by the dismounted vehicle crews.

    Even it was unnecessary in this game, my AC were in position to allow their crews at the last turn to jump out of their vehicles and control more buildings if needed. In a scenario where there are many buildings as objective, and few MMC available to garrison them, specially in the end game, this half-line SSR should be mandatory.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  2. c600g

    c600g Member

    51
    May 11, 2016
    Oceanside, CA
    OB-3 Brasche Encounter vs Sebastiano Caltabiano

    Played this small and quick scenario a week ago via VASL. I took the German side, with Sebastiano taking the French. Turn 1 saw my forces advance towards the bridge and lay some fire down on both half squads, pinning the nearest and having no affect on the far side HS. During the AFPh, I advanced a few units into CC and eliminated the near side HS. During French Turn 1, I was able to eliminate the second HS when it attempted to flee the onrushing horde.

    This gave me all of turn 2 to move into position and prepare for the French counterattack. Sebastiano brought them in from the NE, which I didn't anticipate. The next couple turns saw his forces converge on mine, running his 2 AC out to challenge my men. I was able to get 2 squads + a leader in CC with one of the AC, and successfully destroyed it. I also positioned a squad + HS on the bridge to keep control as long as possible.

    He moved his AC onto the bridge, hoping to remove the two units and gain control, and thus the victory. In the final turn, he broke the units in that hex, and in the DFPh, I can one last attack on the AC possible - a hero with an ATR in a foxhole adjacent to the bridge hex. Rolled a CH and flamed the AC for the victory.

    Nasty lesson I learned this game: I had a broken 9-1 leader stacked with 2 squads in a foxhole, with his AC in an adjacent hex and nowhere to move him. Leader was eliminated for failure to route, triggering LLMC checks for the 2 remaining squads, which promptly broke and were then also eliminated for failure to route. Le' ouch!
     
  3. c600g

    c600g Member

    51
    May 11, 2016
    Oceanside, CA
    BFP-117 Silent Bayonets vs Sebastiano Caltabiano

    We played my first BFP scenario on Saturday, and chose this close-in knife-fight. My Slovaks set up in an arc in the village, with the Poles moving in on silent feet. Most of my initial force was destroyed by the Polish insurgents, but then the reinforcements came on from the South. I managed to fight my way back into the village (encircling one of his southern building strong points first), and the H-t-H CC seemed to favor my troops. At one point in the game, the Polish forces controlled 8 stone buildings (6 needed to win).

    It came down to the final turn with CC in three different buildings, with the Polish forces needing to win at least one of them. No such luck for Sebastiano, so the Slovaks carried the day.
     
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  4. Jude

    Jude Active Member

    218
    Feb 13, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I played this one earlier this year and I was also surprised the rule wasn't in there. I've been playing the same guy since we were kids and never once had either of us done that - until this scenario. I saw that my buddy was thinking about pulling some of his Chinese troops back to prevent me from controlling some buildings in one of the corners so I maneuvered my two remaining ACs back to prevent this. I abandoned one and with the help of a half squad I was able to take at least two buildings. The other AC I placed on overwatch. My friend didn't complain, but it does seem ahistorical to do that (but what do I know? I've never driven an AFV).
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    ecz likes this.
  5. ecz

    ecz Partisan Captain

    Aug 31, 2003
    Italy
    A pity a good scenario has its value decreased for this reason.
    You never know how things work in the scenario design process.

    Sometime the designer adds a SSR but the publisher cancels it, sometime a SSR lacks because if has been "forgotten" and playtesting is not effective enough to notice the problem; sometime it lacks because the designer or the publisher decides from the beginning that it is not really necessary; sometime the designer or the publisher is right sometime it is not.

    The fact is that when a scenario comes with a set of special rules dedicated, how in the case of the said pack, I think that the two famous SSRs "no kindling" and "no voluntary AFV abandon" could be easily be written there, used for all scenarios, with no pain and a lot of gain...

    NOTE: if I had noticed the fact the ACs have such an important role in VC building control BEFORE the selection of the sides, I would have asked my opponent to "house rule out" the voluntary abandon of vehicles.
     
  6. Philippe D.

    Philippe D. Active Member

    747
    Jul 1, 2016
    Bordeaux
    Whenever someone clamors for a specific set of SSRs to be added to all scenarios, I cannot but think, "grudge SSR".

    Also, note that scenarios with too many SSRs tend to not get played as much.
     
  7. Gunner Scott

    Gunner Scott Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I do not like adding in vehicle abandonment is NA in most scenarios because if the players want to peruse those types of tactics, then have it. Most good players will be more then ready for such shenanigans and personally, thats awesome if you take out your own tank to grab a building. Also true, the more SSR's written in a scenario, less it will be played.
     
    von Marwitz likes this.
  8. ecz

    ecz Partisan Captain

    Aug 31, 2003
    Italy
    I understand your point, but in ASL - like in everything- it's a matter of balance between costs and gains. Adding just a few words at the bottom of the first SSR: "Crews may not voluntarily Abandon an AFV", you get a better scenario at no cost and avoid posts and discussions like these!

    If you have time play this scenario as written (it's a good scenario I suggest tipically for tournaments) with a decent opponent ready to use the crew-sleaze, and then re-play it assuming the said SSR instead exists. Then tell me if you notice any difference :D
     
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  9. ecz

    ecz Partisan Captain

    Aug 31, 2003
    Italy
    cannot agree more in general, but I disagree for this specific scenario.

    There are 17 multi hex buildings to control or defend, and just 18 vs 16 squads. Counting the high rate of casualties tipical of any Japanese-Chinese urban fight you can expect there will be only a fistful of MMC around in last two turns. Besides the fact that all five AFVs here have 0 (Zero) AF, no guns, and any ordnance/ SW is capable to kill them rather easily, the best AFVs use ( the only use I dare to say) is look for a safe move in the endgame to grab for free a few undefended buildings with the abandoning crews. While the attacker could probably leave a few HS here and there with "garrison" duty", the Chinese simply does not have enough manpower to garrison everywhere.

    To not mention that, how most good players knows, even the mere threat of a move can have positive effects since the opponent must arrange adequate countermisures
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  10. Jude

    Jude Active Member

    218
    Feb 13, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    That's basically what happened in my game. It was a bloodbath. I didn't plan on using an AC crew to grab any buildings but I really had nothing left. The half squad that helped it out was all that remained from an earlier banzai charge. Both of us were scrambling at the endgame to secure or protect buildings.
     
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  11. Jacometti

    Jacometti Active Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    Designing a good scenario with multiple "tin cans" (or other pretty useless AFV like halftracks) is not easy. If there is a clear incentive for the attacker to "waste" his AFV with this type of silly shenanigans (which bear absolutely no resemblance to the type of warfare the game tries to simulate), that is a real design weakness. You can partly fix that weakness by disallowing Voluntary Abandonment, or adjust the VC.

    For example, while AFV crews are great at capturing empty buildings, they are much less adept at removing enemy MMC from the same buildings. So change VC accordingly.
     
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  12. Gunner Scott

    Gunner Scott Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    The Chinese have more then enough AT weapons to deal with three AF 0 AC's, plus the playing area is not large, so at some point those AC's will need to cross paths with both MG's and guns. If the scenario had multiple AFV's and a larger playing area, then ya, crews would be NA to controlling buildings. But I think the scenario is small enough that if such moves are conducted by your opponent, then hopefully there are reserves in the rear to deal with such occurrences or if units are close by, they can rush over to deal with those crews. The key to good scenario design is to give players as much freedom to choose their tactics as possible. Forcing players to set up a certain way, enter a certain way, or have wall to wall SSR's on restricting player actions is just not good for the fun factor part of the game.
     
  13. Jacometti

    Jacometti Active Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    I do not know the scenario and I understand your points. Completely agree that multiple options and roads to victory are key to good scenario design.

    To me, those options should preferably not extend to completely a-historical and frankly silly gamesmanship, such as game-winning Kindling, using (set) DC to turn multi-hex buildings into single-hex buildings to remove them from the VC, driving AFV into wooden buildings simply to disqualify them for VC purposes, abandoning AFV in the back field for the crew to grab empty buildings, driving around AFV with Malfunctioned MA surrounded by enemy tanks without any attempt to fix the MA out of fear for Recall, etc.

    IMHO those tactics do not make for a better gaming experience, just for more time wasted playing a game against the designer instead of against your opponent. You should be able to win without such shenanigans, if you are half the player you think you are.
     
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  14. Yuri0352

    Yuri0352 Active Member Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2014
    25-30 Hexes
    Well stated.

    You basically just described why I have 'seen the light' and have begun to prefer CG's over the usual 5-6 turn, 'run for the border', last turn suicidal dash style of scenarios which seem to be so prevalent in the last few years.

    Notable exception to the trend being Bounding Fire Products.
     
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  15. Jacometti

    Jacometti Active Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    Well.....let me warn you that CGs have their own brand of ridiculous rules, which pit the players against the designers or in some cases, the designers' stupidity.

    Block Control rules in ABTF are begging to be abused (ever kicked an entire army out of a city block with a hidden HS ?), the use of Foxholes as Strategic Locations linking up Le Port and Benouville in Pegasus Bridge are a game-killing sleeze, while the huge areas (half ??) of the Stoumont Map without a single Strategic Location (but every infantry purchase allowing the designation of a Strategic Location, including a hex with 3 Slope hexsides (call that Strategic !)) is also pretty awful.

    Find good scenarios, of which there are plenty, and even in CG you may want to SSR against game-destroying sleezes that do not create any more fun!
     
  16. volgaG68

    volgaG68 Fighting WWII One DR At A Time

    Jun 15, 2012
    Hays, KS
    I've always been able to 'take it or leave it' when it comes to the rubbled, urban death-trap scenarios, whether in Stalingrad or elsewhere. No more/less fun than any other landscape, though I probably prefer the rolling countryside. Then I started fiddling with this VotG-thingy...

    I started with DB 054 Soldiers Of The 62nd Army, which proved a fortunate choice as it is, IMO, the 'Bread Factory #2' of VotG scenarios. Very basic, straightforward, with a very low HASL-rules overhead; the ideal scenario for someone unsure of whether or not to enter the 'Grad. If the Russians initially launch a Human Wave through the H40-H41 buildings however, it can be all but over fairly quickly.

    That whet my appetite for DB 055 Sturmgeschutz Forward! While still keeping to the simple nature of DB 054, it added a few new Stalingrad wrinkles that were quite fun. A couple of fun scenarios and I was ready to move onto something else; maybe early war or bocage.

    Well, I hadn't played a Night action in a while, so figured I might as well re-hone my nocturnal skills on the VotG map. VotG 4 The Last Fifteen scratched my Night itch and was loads of fun as well. Okay, fun is fun, but time to move on to something different. I looked over some of the other VotG scenarios just to see what lay ahead in the future, after I had played some other stuff. Without thinking, I started pulling the OOBs for VotG 16 Murderous Fire. Another great scenario! After that, VotG 9 Eviction Notice hit the table. Okay, these really are great scenarios, but let's get back to the hills, streams, and orchards!

    Deciding what to set up for this weekend, I worked all my binders over good and culled a few options. My next 'mistake' was glancing in my HASL binder to see if there was perhaps an OVHS scenario that might catch my eye. Before I knew it, I was analyzing the paper prospects of VotG 14 Pavlov's House .....and the OOBs were pulled.

    Please, someone help me! I'm no Honza or Holst, a serious 'Grad-head, all I wanted was a little different brand of fun. Now the hook has sunk in. Yes, the merits of the VotG scenarios have been sung before, but a variety of players have had a variety of reasons as to why. My reasons? The VotG map for one, much more of a lighter daybreak look to it than the greyish, dreariness of the original RB map.

    Two, and most importantly, is the obvious dual-dimension of every scenario I've played from it. There is no 'Attacker needs to capture this, Defender must prevent it'. It is more like 'Attacker needs to capture this, Defender must prevent it, provided the Attacker still Controls all of the buildings he originally started with'. No smashing a brick wall attack while the defender simply gets to shuffle a unit or two around between Defensive Firing. Where everything can be thrown into the grinder without regard to later consequence. The attacker must achieve his attack goals while not losing any of the precious gains he began with. Throw it all at one spot and the defender will launch a small counterattack. You'll get your VC buildings alright, but lose the scenario by giving up a Location in your assembly area. So simple, yet so utterly genius! This design-print truly captures the feel of Stalingrad CGs on a micro-scale. You can use everyone to rush the banks of the Volga, but don't protect your flanks and you will be setting yourself up for a world of hurt. RB really didn't capture this in its scenarios, IMO, and perhaps that is why I could take it or leave it. There have been a number of published scenarios in other environments that have used this template, but to have an entire HASL's worth of individual scenarios like this is solid gold.

    Every time I finish one, for lack of better phrasing, it just feels like there is somehow some unfinished business there. Will I play through all of the scenarios before turning back to the norm, or will I burn out on it before then? Who knows, but it is definitely one of the best bangs for the buck I've purchased yet.
     
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  17. Philippe D.

    Philippe D. Active Member

    747
    Jul 1, 2016
    Bordeaux
    Played DB136 The Block on the Trail to Hell from the latest Dispatches from the Bunker. This was my opponent's first PTO game (and I'm no expert myself), so we spent quite some time discussing PTO rules and checking the rulebook.

    I was the Japanese, and had difficulty finding a setup that seemed satisfying to me. I wanted to use the Bamboo to somehow make things difficult for my opponent, so I placed a HIP HS in there, with the DC and a leader, hoping for a DC Hero opportunity; the tunnel exit was also in the Bamboo, in the victory area. The Pillbox and Trenches were on the eastern side of the Palm Tree clearing in the center of the victory area, hoping to punish Marines trying to follow close to the road. In the end the DC was completely wasted, since I kept the bearer HIP to the end of turn 5.

    My opponent started very cautiously, and virtually nothing happened on turn 1. Things accelerated on turn 2, when some Marines tried to flank me on the south side and took some bullets. I made a mistake and revealed my Pillbox way too soon; I managed to break some Marines, but could not cause any permanent damage and revealed my positions really early.

    On the southern side of the trail (the one not bordered by Bamboo), a large part of the Marines quickly progressed. I tried some CC, but only managed to take out a Marine squad and leader in exchange for one of my squads - not the best of moves when you have about 8 squads to the opponent's 12. My opponent used his FT several times on minor targets, rolling 9 several times, so little effect but no malfunction.

    By turn 3 or 4 my forces had really taken heavy losses, much heavier than the Marines who had some broken squads but little permanent damage (they also had a Hero and a Fanatic 6-6-8, a fearsome combination). At some point the US FT was next to my Pillbox (not in CA), with one of my squads and the mortar on top of the Pillbox. I Prep Fired with the mortar... got a CH... random selection selected the FT-bearing HS... roll for effect... 1,1! The FT wasn't malfunctioned by the hit, but it was somehow lost in the jungle and was never recovered, despite a lot of efforts by both sides.

    In the last two US turns, the whole US OB converged on the last remaining Japanese, around the Pillbox and Trenches. We both suffered some heavy losses, in CC (my Japanese were very unlucky with their Ambushes) or by direct fire.

    At the end of Japanese turn 5, when the last remaining HIP units are revealed, I had exactly 4 remaining MMCs, all in the victory area, two of them in Bamboo, and forming a contiguous chain of hexes. The Marines absolutely had to break or lock each of them in Melee for the win; breaking them was hard, since there were two Crews among them (one striped), and some were concealed. One of my units was broken by the US Sniper; in the end about two Marines squad assaulted each of the Japanese hexes in CC. At this point we both realized I only needed a single Ambush to win, since that would allow one of my MMCs to Withdraw back to the trail for the win. I failed to Ambush for the first two, very favorable rolls (like, CX Marines in Bamboo vs Stealthy Japanese with 9-1 leader)... but won the Ambush on the last roll, giving me the win.

    Overall, the game was very enjoyable. We both made a lot of mistakes, and probably missed a lot of rules points - and the game went to the very last die roll.
     
  18. JRKrejsa

    JRKrejsa Active Member

    Sep 21, 2005
    USA
    The Veluwe LC BWN-2 I got the M36 a/c for the Dutch reinforcements. My opponent got the assault engineers. The SS attack came down the board 5 road, avoiding 1 mg bunker altogether, and flanking another. My Dutch held their own for a few turns, but the SS were too much, and flowed off the exit area in the last 2 turns. Good scenario.
     
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  19. Roy

    Roy Living in Brownbackistan

    Oct 1, 2003
    Wichita
    It would seem to me that a demolished city hosting a fight to the death in the middle of Russia would be grey and dreary......
    ;):rolleyes:
     
  20. Jude

    Jude Active Member

    218
    Feb 13, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    Played an excellent scenario, TAC70 Breakwater. Very unusual in that there are boards surrounding all edges of a center board. The Germans defend the center with a relief force entering one of the edges. The Russians attack on all sides from five directions. The scenario was touch and go throughout, but by the end of turn 8 (of 10) I was able to throw back the Russians from two VC buildings. My friend didn't think he would be able to reorganize in enough time for another push and conceded.

    Nothing stood out as particularly well done by me or poorly by my opponent. It was just a hard fought battle. A few other things stood out though. One group of Russians suddenly go TI on their half of turn 1. I thought this seemed strange but received some help (thanks JR and Philippe!) who both agreed this was correct. Extreme winter really hit my Germans hard in this one and many weapons went down. Some recovered, but three MMGs Xed out. One Russian group sets up west of the river. I know B21.6 says all water obstacles freeze in sub zero weather, but I guess I'm used to this actually being pointed out in the SSRs. Since there was nothing about the river, we assumed the islands were still there. Finally, the thing that probably caused the Russians to lose was SSR4. Once I was able to invoke that rule (Russians ML down one, most Germans ML up one) the Russians started breaking pretty rapidly. I'd recommend putting fanatic counters on the Germans whose morale went up to avoid confusion (one group does not receive this benefit). Overall, though, a very nice (if long) scenario. Luckily my Broncos game was on a weather delay. I've never said this about a scenario before, but I'd highly recommended this one for both sides.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017 at 1:42 AM
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