SP276 Triumphant Return - AAR

von Marwitz

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SP276 Triumphant Return - AAR

SP276 Triumphant Return Scenario Archive.jpg


A short 5 Turn one-board PTO action pitting a mostly first line force of Americans vs a mostly first line Japanese force with two Trenches and two Pillboxes (with Tunnels), these Fortifications having to set up in a more restricted area than the rest of the Japanese. The objective is for the Japanese to win a certain number of VP which can be done by holding a bridge and two crossroads and by exiting units from the board.

What really sets this scenario apart from the usual fare are the remarkable victory- and entry instructions. The Americans must split their force within certain limits and will enter the first part in Turn 1 either on the north left, north right, south left or south right. Whereever this part of their force enters, determines where the rest has to enter in Turn 2 - it will be diagonally across the board, i.e. if the first part enters north left, the second part must enter south right. No less interesting are the conditions for the Japanese: on one hand, they are awarded VP for holding two crossroads and a bridge in the middle section of the map per game turn. But these will not suffice to win - they must also exit units either over the East or West edge.

So the Americans will close in from the sides while at the same time some Japanese have to avoid and get past them. The more units the Japanese try to move offboard the more they will be missed when defending the victory hexes. The terrain makes movement time consuming, the only few fast venues being mainly roads and paths.

Extremely careful consideration needs to be taken to guess how long the Japanese will likely be able to hold on to the VC locations. It is rather likely, that the US will be able to capture the bridge roughly around half throughout the game. If so, this means that a considerable number of Japanese units must additionally be assigned to leave the board. Likely, most of the Japanese units will be located near the center of the board with the US tightening the noose all around. If so, the Japanese assigned to exit need to get running during Turn 3 at the latest. Some others probably right from the start.

The US, despite superior numbers and firepower and having such gadgets as 2 DCs and a FT, are burdened by their morale of 6 for most units. If the Japanese prevent them from advancing ADJACENT concealed but rather force them to non-assault move and thus to lose concealment, the G.I.s are precariously brittle and breaking might cost them time they don't have. On the flipside, the Japanese do not have that much room to keep up this tactic throughout all the game. Eventually, things will become more dangerous for both sides.

The Japanese must very carefully prepare his setup: He has to consider by which path he might be able to move for the exit. If he sets up closer to the exit-edges, these units will become more endangered by the entering US. If he sets up more in the back, he needs more time and the US units might block their way out. By the way the Japanese sets up, he should furthermore attempt to discourage the Americans from using some of the entry options and to prefer others and embed this into his overall plan. At the same time, he will not know if the Americans will enter as he hopes, so the Japanese must also be able to redeploy quickly.

One is *very well* advised to read and understand the victory conditions thoroughly and to keep a close eye to one's timing and on how many VC by which means seem to be realistic to gain. There are some subtleties hidden in there, that matter.

This scenario is not well suited for inexperienced players because some mistakes in this might preordain the outcome early. For more experienced players, this scenario might prove a real gem. My opponent Michael Koch and me rated it 7.5 on a scale from 1 to 9 - it was a very interesting challenge for both sides.

We both agreed, too, that it appears to favor the Americans. While the VC require at least 16VP for the Japanese, my opponent felt that 15VP seem more appropriate and I would recommend either 14VP or 15VP (which time might tell).

So in case this should be used as future tournament fare, one might want to have a look at ROAR and implement a suitable adjustment.

My recommendation for this unusual design.

von Marwitz
 

Brian W

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It was a very difficult scenario to balance. One tricky part that may trip people up is the timing of the Pillbox control. To gain control of the hex, the US has to clear the pillboxes and then enter them.
 

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SP276 Triumphant Return - AAR


A short 5 Turn one-board PTO action ...

My recommendation for this unusual design.

von Marwitz
Don't have this scenario yet so have a pretty basic question: Do the American determine their entry areas prior to or after the Japanese setup? From your description of the scenario, I agree, it certainly looks rather unusual and very interesting. I am curious to know a little more about your engagement; roughly unit placements (fwd defense for a quick exit, big defense of the bridge area, etc. for the Japanese); Attack plans (American); general flow of the game. The more the merrier.:thumbsup:
 

von Marwitz

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Don't have this scenario yet so have a pretty basic question: Do the American determine their entry areas prior to or after the Japanese setup?
After the Japanese setup. So the Americans can react to what they see of the Japanese.

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von Marwitz

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It was a very difficult scenario to balance. One tricky part that may trip people up is the timing of the Pillbox control. To gain control of the hex, the US has to clear the pillboxes and then enter them.
The Pillboxes are definitively harder to get hold of than the Bridge:

It takes longer to gain control, especially if the Japanese manages to have a unit outside of the pillbox to deny them from the US for another turn. But that is hairy with regard to the US firepower and the state the remaining Japanese will likely be in late in the game. Depending on where the Pillboxes set up, the terrain can also help to make the US approach more difficult. Probably, the US will need to get very close to be able to fire at the Pillboxes.

The Bridge is much harder to defend as the Location is much more vulnerable to superior US firepower. As are the fringes of the Jungle at which the US can fire from a distance. Furthermore, the bridge might be closer along the path of US entry than the Pillboxes.

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Brian W

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I'm not sure what the final balance was, but the first time I saw it, the Japanese could basically exit for the win on turn 2, with infantry counting full CVP for exit. That got changed out to one half, but FRU or FRD I don't remember, and then we played with the number/ratio of US squads and finally the VP number. IIRC, the last game I played I got 17 VP, but my opponent had missed an opportunity to take the bridge a turn or two earlier. I think taking the bridge early makes it hard on the Japanese because they cannot afford to defend it long, unlike the pillboxes, which will get defended for the entire game sitting on VP hexes. The scenario is very tight. There have been a number of those over the years from SP (The Legrew Maneuver and Easy Come, Easy Go are the ones I can think of off the top of my head), that are a bear to balance.
 

von Marwitz

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I am curious to know a little more about your engagement; roughly unit placements (fwd defense for a quick exit, big defense of the bridge area, etc. for the Japanese); Attack plans (American); general flow of the game. The more the merrier.:thumbsup:

Here you go:

AAR.jpg

I am leaving out HIP units, Fortifications, and Tunnels in the visible Japanese setup.

US Turn 1:
The Americans were entering with their Schwerpunkt from the North right in Turn 1. MTR+HS and one stack with leader East of the stream. Elite troops with FT & DCs and numerous squads, 2 Leaders plus 1 or 2 MMGs from direction U1&T1.
The East-of-Stream force was stopped cold by the Bore Sighted location of the Japanese MTR causing the KIA of one squad and the rest determining that caution is the better part of valor thereafter. West of the Stream the Japanese unit in T3 served as the first speed-bump successfully. All in all the American did not move recklessly. On the Eastern board edge, a US unit moved to FF4.

Japanese Turn 1:
The Japanese U9, T9, S9 force, having deterred entry from the South Right, moved north into the S6, T5 area to seal off the Americans. O3 moved to Q2 to block the access from R1. Q4 moved to R4. T3 retreated to S4. The Japanese generally moved to keep a distance of 2 hexes to the Americans to deny them Assault-Moving (and keeping Concealment) but to force them to move ADJACENT unconcealed (or pay the price in time). The Japanese East-of-the-Stream Units ran towards the Eastern board-edge.

US Turn 2:
The Americans tried to flank the Japanese with 2x 347+DC via R1 but both attempts were foiled by the Japanese in Q2. The other US units tried to deal with S4 and U5 receiving some damage but achieving little. The US "East of Stream" force moved/advanced up to X6/W6. The East edge American moved south from FF4 in the attempt to cut of the southern Japanese units.
The second part of the US forces entered via M10 and N10 moving/advancing to N8/O9/P8.

Japanese Turn 2:
In the East, the US unit could only be at one point at a time, so two Japanese units managed to exit. A further two Japanese units cut back in an attempt to circumvent the US "border guard". In R2, the Japanese beat back the unbroken 347+DC with Prep Fire. In the S4, T4 area, the Japanese fell back once more to keep a distance of 2 hexes to the US. T7 moved to Q7 to block the imminent US thrust from the south. The Japanese in N7, O8 fell back.

US Turn 3:
The Eastern US "border guard" moved to GG7 to cut off the remaining stack of Japanese Units there. The Bridge was taken from units in O4, I *think* that the "East-of-the-Stream" force did not yet cross the bridge as I had concealed Japanese units watching it. The US moved/advanced onto the U5, T5, S6 road in force. The Japanse main line of resistance was roughly runningn form R4 to R6. The second US group moved north to P7, O8, and N7. There, they received a rather severe beating by some surprises sprung and a Japanese squad that had "HoB'ed" to Berserk the player turn before and was merrily using FPF with its morale of 10... Some more Americans were hooking around L8 to M8, effectively sealing the Japanese escape route to the West.

Japanese Turn 3:
Due to having lost the Bridge and it being highly unlikely to be recaptured, I knew that the Japanese units exited in the East so far would not suffice for a win. At the same time I knew that I would need to start the run for more units to exit. A task which seemed almost impossible to pull off. In the N7, N8, O8, O7 area, I decided that I MUST counterattack while a significant part of the US force was currently broken with the intention to prise open the way to the West and to kill of as many Americans as possible to be afterwards hopefully able to reinforce the defenses against the US thrust from the North-East. Unfortunately, I lost every damned CC despite mostly favorable odds for Ambush. Same for a trap that gave me a 83.3% chance to kill the FT-HS with me having a chance of Ambush of 41,7% vs. his of 2,8%. Instead, he Ambushed my Japanese and the damn FT got away while my raiders got killed... Since both N7 and M8 were guarded by US units, I felt that charging down the road was all but hopeless. But as I HAD to exit more units, there was no choice. I was very lucky for a 666 to cower (so only 4 Resid and Final Fired) and the other units turning out to be dummies. I made all MCs, and moved to encircle the 666 while eliminating the Dummies. Alas the 666 in N7 survived all AFPh shots despite Encirclement and susequently killed one of my units in CC Ambushing it and infiltrating to M7 to block the road again (in all the friggin game I lost all but one CC out of 6 or 7). My M8 unit voluntarily broke into two HS (upping the Japanese # of units) and routed to K6 where it was awaited by a 9-0 Japanese leader who had run the gauntlet down the road. He would hopfully instantly rally the brokies and then run offboard to the West. In the North-East I fell back again to Q6, Q7, R6 (victim speed bump), R7. Partly, I redeployed by risky voluntary break into two HS in the hope of Rallying next RPh. On the Eastern border, I once more cut south in an attempt to dodge the US "border guard".

US Turn 4:
With my south-west front severely battered by the successful US CCs, I was in trouble there. Luckily, there weren't many GO US units left either. Half of them were yet to rally, the "dangerous" Dummy stack was gone. But my Japanese in the area were precariously thin. I managed to rally 3 out of 4 broken HS luckily.
Now, the US would make the push to Q6 and R6. I was somewhat lucky to get down MTR WP to R5 the previous half-turn, but this was gone now. I lost Q6 and the FT managed to move into R6 where I could luckily break it. The US troops in N7, O8 were not strong enough yet to get through to the victory hexes. The Japanese rear guard from P3 had meanwhile fallen back to O5 and P5. The 666 in M7 had managed to break both Japanese HS in J5 but not the 9-0 (Hehe...), so these merrily routed to E5 where there was no chance for the US to catch up with them except if they would not rally twice.

Japanese Turn 4:
I could not afford to lose another VP by not possessing Q6, so I HAD to take it back. It was occupied by an American 8-1 with 666+MMG ADJACENT to my troops. I managed to break the squad, so these crucial Americans had to rout back and I could advance in to retake Q6 and gain the VP for it at the end of this game turn (and as well for P5). On the Eastern border by now I had a hunch that the US "border guard" might indeed be nothing but a phantom. So I took the risk to move right past it in an attempt to exit. If it were real, I would die, but if I did not try, US reinforcements could rush in from the West to make escape impossible. My guess proved to be correct, so I managed to exit two further Japanese units off the East edge. In the West, only one of the HS rallied and moved offboard. The 9-0 stayed behind with the remaining HS for another rally attempt and the prospect of still leaving in Japanese Turn 5 with no chance for the US to prevent it (rally or not).

Doing the math revealed, though, that even if I held on to P5 and Q6 and the 9-0 with its HS exiting would not suffice with regard to VP. The HS would have rallied (we made the roll to see). All in all, the Japanese would have managed 7 units exited for 4 points which is, so I believe, quite a feat and very improbable. They gained 2VP for the bridge. Plus 8 points gained for the non-bridge Victory locations would make 14. [Now thinking about it, I had actually only 13 with our calculation yesterday, so I must have made a mistake somewhere in my AAR...] It was extremely improbable to be able to hold on to both VC locations or to recapture them in Turn 5, and by our count yesterday it was impossible to earn enough VP anyway, so I conceded.

Altogether, the Japanese had good dice in this one for IFT attack against unimpressive US morale checks, my traps went well, and I improbably managed to exit 7 units. The US FT did not manage to get off a single shot, no DC got placed/thrown. What the Japanese sucked at were the Close Combats.


von Marwitz
 
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wrongway149

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. The scenario is very tight. There have been a number of those over the years from SP (The Legrew Maneuver and Easy Come, Easy Go are the ones I can think of off the top of my head), that are a bear to balance.
If it's enough fun and not too much work, the players will come back and try again. I'll call that a 'win' from the design side.
 

Ray Woloszyn

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I believe it is tough for the Japanese to get through the U.S. but to change the VP's to only 15 makes it a totally different game. I am still scratching my head after playing it yesterday. We had a good time and the game is short, thus very suitable a tournament with time restraints or the last round of an ASLOK mini :confused:!
 

davegin

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I found that if the americans don't protect the board edges one their first moves they will lose as the Jap can run off the board. Not a great scenario and definitely too iffy for tournament play.
 

von Marwitz

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I found that if the americans don't protect the board edges one their first moves they will lose as the Jap can run off the board. Not a great scenario and definitely too iffy for tournament play.
Whatever the Japanese do, the US can still cut the Japanese off if they attempt to run off the board with their US reinforcement group IIRC. In other words, the US can react to the Japanese attempt without the latter being able to prevent it. Of course, if the US misses that, then it might become problematic.

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boylermaker

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Can you click the +/- symbols by the Japanese VP Tally to change the label? If so, do you mind sharing the HTML code for that?
 

von Marwitz

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Can you click the +/- symbols by the Japanese VP Tally to change the label? If so, do you mind sharing the HTML code for that?
Yes, you can click the +/- symbols to adjust the count. This is actually an Extension to VASL. You can find it in 'nationality colors" in the VASL Counters window Axis OB/Allied OB tab, "?" sub-tab or in the Draggable Overlays, 'Label' Tab, 'User Label' at the bottom in transparent.

I *think* this is called

OBA_CVP_Aids.mdx

I have been searching for it just now here in the forum (where I think I found it originally) and on vasl.info without success.

Trying to attach it as a file here. As the forum does not accept .mdx files, I just zipped it. Hopefully, this works.




von Marwitz
 

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