U48 - The Rag Tag Circus

Dave Olie

High King of New Scotland
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
693
Reaction score
50
Location
Yarmouth, NS
Country
llCanada
I posted this to another thread last night, but decided to post it here as well at the request of my opponent.

I got in a ftf game of this last weekend vs. Steve Webber in Halifax. Steve is fairly new to full-on ASL, but he played this exactly right as the Germans and won quite handily. I'm sure I played this back in my GI:AoV days, but remember almost nothing about it. In the new version the Germans are unchanged, except for ASL PF rules. The Americans have been strengthened a fair bit, with upgraded leadership, an additional squad (now all 6-6-6s), and better morale Infantry crews.

The biggest change is in the VCs. In the original, the American had to eliminate all GO German MMCs on board 8. In this version, the American has to eliminate all GO German MMCs on both boards. This makes for a much more dynamic scenario.

This is basically a bug hunt, and Steve sussed out that the more spread-out the bugs are, the harder they are to squash. He had a big stack in 6P9, which turned out to be DC/10-2, FT/MMG/8-3-8, a wicked position for 6-6-6s to try to take on. IMO, SSR 2, which requires the 10-2 and 8-3-8 to stack together is not a penalty, it is the preferred way to play. He had his PaK 40 in 6C10 (right where I would have put it), crewed by a 2nd line hs, and the rest of his forces concealed in buildings along the length of board 8. Cleverly he had his other two leaders on their own, masquerading as MMCs.

I entered in 3 groups, each "supported" by one captured AFV, each group thru one of the board-edge roads. I loaded up the deuce-and-a-half with my kill stack, 9-2 and 2 x MMG/6-6-6, coming in the south, plus the Jeep with Baz/2-2-7 and the StGIII. The Kill stack rolled snakes in my first DFPh from 6D6 against the PaK 40, a CR which eliminated that threat. Unfortunately that was the best I got out of them for the duration. The StG eventually Immobilized in 8D0 on ESB.

In the centre I moved the PzIV to 6Q6, "threatening" P9, but between terrain, captured weapon and Concealment DRMs, these captured vehicles really aren't much use. As we understood the rules, they also have only half their printed MP allowances, so they are slow. And the German has 1945 PFs... In addition, US squads unloaded in 6O6 and N6.

In the north, the PzII, with a Baz/2-2-7 rider, motored to 6Y9 before offloading, with more squads and the 8-0 leader reaching Y7 and Y8. Steve had units in 8AA1 and FF1. On turn 2 I did a bypass freeze on the unit in AA1 with the Lynx, barely dodging a PF on the way, and advanced in with 2 x 6-6-6, winning the CC. In his turn, Steve first showed his grasp of the "break-back" strategy, as he moved his unit in FF1 westward, trying to get to 6GG7. However, he didn't realize that, being April, Grain was not in effect, and my squads in 8AA1 broke and ELRed him in 6GG8. My squads then moved south.

I continued pushing as hard as I could with 6-morale squads, but Steve was wise and he clung to his Concealment, which I think is the best idea for the Germans. I landed a WP round from a Baz into 8O2, and while it revealed the 4-4-7 there, it didn't break him. In the centre, the 10-2 stack retreated to 6P10, but when I moved a 6-6-6 to P9, he was FTed and broken for his trouble. This German stack re-occupied P9, and then beat a forward retreat through the Orchard towards the K8 building. They took some shots on the way, and the 10-2 was broken, but the 8-3-8 passed everything thrown at him, despite carrying the FT. At the end they were safely ensconced in 6K8 with the rallied leader, with nothing that I could do to even come close to them.

On turn 3 I advanced into 8K2 with a concealed 6-6-6 for CC against a malfedLMG/4-6-7. I won the Ambush roll, but still got CRed on the results roll, with no casualties to the German. I reinforced the Melee, and eventually got the kill on turn 5. This slowed me down considerably. On turn 5 I also moved my kill stack from 8C3 to E3 against what turned out to be a 4-3-6 in F3. Steve's DF broke the entire stack, and they routed back to C3. I failed to rally during Steve's RPh, and he wisely advanced his squad to D2 to put me under DM again. When the leader came up short in my RPh, I gave him his well-earned victory.

Steve played this very well. In the end he still had 3 MMC on the board in GO, and I had no real way to even tie them up in Melee; it wasn't even close. Kudos to him. Although the Americans have already got help in the re-design, I think they need a bit more. Going back to the original VCs would help, but would not make the scenario more interesting, quite the contrary. I'm inclined to remove some, or all, of the Captured Weapons penalties from the Americans, to make those AFVs play an important role.

We played this scenario in about 4 hours, including set-up. It's a very fast-playing game, and could be a tourney-fave, if the balance issue can be worked out.
 
Last edited:

Dave Olie

High King of New Scotland
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
693
Reaction score
50
Location
Yarmouth, NS
Country
llCanada
Great AAR dude. Sounds like one I'll have to add to my play list.

Scott
Thanks, Scott. I have to say that German Conscript squads have been my nemesis lately.

Also just to add that one reason this scenario plays so quickly is that everything is at Level 0, so there are few complicated LOS. It's like playing ASLSK in that respect.
 

clavain

Waiting for Godot
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Messages
605
Reaction score
74
Location
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Country
llCanada
Also just to add that one reason this scenario plays so quickly is that everything is at Level 0, so there are few complicated LOS. It's like playing ASLSK in that respect.
Although as we noted in discussing things afterwards, some of the LOS are _very_ different between the old boards 6 and 8 and the new SK-style boards - particularly the buildings, quite a few of which seem radically different (I was a disinterested onlooker as Steve and Dave were playing at my place while I was packing stuff up for a hobby show display). Not sure if the LOS changes would have had any effect overall on this particular scenario but they might in others.

I also still have some pictures on my phone of the mid and end-game, I'll try to upload them here if I ever get them off the phone.
 

Doug Kirk

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2003
Messages
1,848
Reaction score
363
Location
Columbia, MO
Country
llUnited States
A lot of the balance issues depend on how long those captured weapons keep firing. And of course the German 10-3 leader and 8-3-8 squad are very tough to take out. I won as the German. I thought it to be slightly pro German, but not bad. It will be interesting to hear others opinions. I have it tentatively on the St Louis tourney list, it could be replaced.
 

Dave Olie

High King of New Scotland
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
693
Reaction score
50
Location
Yarmouth, NS
Country
llCanada
A lot of the balance issues depend on how long those captured weapons keep firing. And of course the German 10-3 leader and 8-3-8 squad are very tough to take out. I won as the German. I thought it to be slightly pro German, but not bad. It will be interesting to hear others opinions. I have it tentatively on the St Louis tourney list, it could be replaced.
What I found with the captured AFVs is that the German can render them ineffective by maintaining his concealment, which is his best choice for other reasons as well.

Take the PzIV vs. a concealed German unit in a wooden building (which is what you will typically see). Assuming he's not HD, the American can fire bow and co-ax MGs at 4FP +2 DRM. This can yield an NMC on a DR of 4, but will X-out either one or both MGs on a DR of 10+. So you have 1/6 chance of a MC result, and a 1/6 chance of X-ing out 1 (or 2) MGs. If you try a MA shot using ITT, you have base 8 TH, +2 captured, +2 concealed, +2 TEM, so a 1/36 chance To Hit, and a 1/6 chance of X-ing out the MA. You can't build up ITT acquisition as long as the German stays concealed, and if you try point-blank fire you are PF bait. (A PF shot would at least strip concealment, and could cause backblast casualties, and smoke cover from the burning wreck, so this might not be a bad way to go.) If you try ATT, you have base 7 TH, with +4 DRM, so you still have twice as much chance of X-ing out the MA as getting the hit. If you do hit, it's 6 FP, +2 DRM, so a 27% chance of an NMC or better. You can at least build up the ATT acquisition, but only if the German decides to stay put, which he likely won't. And if you do X-out the MA, that tank is Recalled and won't even be a potential factor in the rest of the game.

The StuGIII has almost no MGs, and its MA faces the same long odds as that of the PzIV, so it's even more hopeless. The PzIIL, with its IFE, has an inconvenient 11 FP, rounding down to 8 FP if using the IFT (as we were), so it fares as well as the MGs on the PzIV. Finally there is the issue of all these only having half their printed MPs available. If an opportunity does arise (like a chance to overrun, or to block a rout path), they don't likely have the horses to take advantage of it.

I'm not saying these AFV are useless; after all, I wrote the article on What To Do If You Have a Tin Can. The PzIV and the StuG have SMOKE available, and that could be useful. If the German player plays this wrong, especially if he throws away his concealment, the captured vehicles could bite him in the a**. But if the German plays it right, as Steve did, he can effectively make these vehicles impotent.

One other thing: the big German leader is a 10-2, not a 10-3. Small mercies.
 

Dave Olie

High King of New Scotland
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
693
Reaction score
50
Location
Yarmouth, NS
Country
llCanada
A lot of the balance issues depend on how long those captured weapons keep firing. And of course the German 10-3 leader and 8-3-8 squad are very tough to take out. I won as the German. I thought it to be slightly pro German, but not bad. It will be interesting to hear others opinions. I have it tentatively on the St Louis tourney list, it could be replaced.
As for your tourney, I think giving the American the balance (an extra game turn) would be helpful. The scenario plays pretty fast. Alternatively, or in addition, exempting the American from TH Case H +2 DRM (while maintaining the B# -2 and Red TH#s) would help a lot. Realistically, you have to think those GIs would have got pretty familiar with those guns before taking them into combat.
 
Top