VotG CGIV Kipper-Marsholio

JOKippe

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It's our first time to play this module, so we tried a couple of VotG scenarios and CGI just to get a feel for the map, units, and rules. Now we're ready for the monster CGIV. By random selection, I take the German side. I wish Comrade Marsholio good luck, as I've read plenty about difficult task the Russians have in this one; he's up for it though, having successfully defended the Rail Station in CGI.

My initial forces are a wide mix of strengths, from heavily depleted to reinforced. I managed to roll absolutely no armor leaders, but much better luck with the infantry and winding up with 2 10-3s. My purchases were:
-Rifle Co. (lightly depl.)
-2x B-1 Bombardments
-S2 Stuka II
-2x Stross. Plt. (1 full and 1 depleted)

I learned in CGI to buy the Stukas and bombardments when given the chance, as one never knows what the weather will be in the future...I was crippled at one point in CGI because of several consecutive days of overcast. I was also frustrated in CGI by my Germans' inability to fully capture the Rail Station. It was a combination of bad luck and bad tactics on my part, and I'm determined to take out the Rail Station on the first day of this CGIV...it would be easy enough to isolate it, but there's no way I want it to be a thorn in my side for the next few days. So, my #1 goal on Day 1 is to capture that cursed station and be done with it. Goal #2 is to capture a chunk of the northern open area to give my tanks room to operate...but that might depend of how my reinforcement dr goes in that sector. Goal #3 is to penetrate as far east as possible in his weakest southern and northern areas, and isolate whatever Russians are caught in the middle. I'm not much worried about what's going on near the southern edge, since I'm not going to count on the DR reinforcement roll as being successfull until maybe near the end of the scenario...I'll just try to hold my western edge as far south as possible and see what happens in that sector.

TURN ONE
View attachment 42130
(situation after the German half of Turn 1)
I've concentrated most of my forces near the Rail Station. Most of my reinforcements I'll bring in on Turn 2, after I have a better feel for what he's got out there. I scatter my bombardments around the the station and south of it--the bombardments kill a couple of Russians units, break a few, but are otherwise disappointments. I push east to the station with minimal losses, taking out the defenders in the D row, including a fort. building. I did lose a 10-3 to a sniper, and his MGs in F35 and G47 caused a few casualties, including an 8-3-8 and broke my leader carrying my OBA radio. Otherwise, my half of the turn went well.
View attachment 42131
(situation at the end of Turn 2)
I've managed to get to the Rail Station with acceptable losses. An Iron Cross for Squad A of the Assault Engineers (now a HS) in E40...they must have taken out a whole platoon of Commies by themselves (including starting a fire in the stoutly-defended E42) despite drawing plenty of bullets themselves. My stukas have been disappointing...Marsholio has moved a couple of T-34s into C35-36, but after 3 stuka attacks and a tossed demo charge, they are still sitting there and forcing me to toss smoke into the road to cover my crossings. My own armor is holding back, not wishing to get tangled up in the mess of railroad cars, but I'm going to start moving them north to support my northern reinforcements. There's a group of Russians collecting around the F23 area, and I'll start reducing those units before moving north...I don't want to push too far east in the northern half because of his line of reserved units back there...I'd rather try to isolate them if I can. I lost my other 10-3 leader to a boobytrap...about 1/3 of my losses have been due to snipers and the boobytraps.
Casualties after 2 turns:
German: 4 leaders (including 2 10-3s), 6 quads (including 2 8-3-8s)
Russian: 2 leaders, 13 squads (including 2 6-2-8 NKVD)

Turn 3 should be continued on the weekend. At some point, Marsholio will join in on this AAR and describe his own purchases, but at this point, I still have no idea what his reserve units might be composed of.

QUESTION: I can't find my AA (anti-aircraft) markers. Were they on the flip-side of a different marker, and, if so, what? I've used them before, but can't find them now. I'm not sure which tray I would have put them in.
 

Tom Morin

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"QUESTION: I can't find my AA (anti-aircraft) markers. Were they on the flip-side of a different marker, and, if so, what? I've used them before, but can't find them now. I'm not sure which tray I would have put them in."

They are on the flip-side of the gunflash markers.

Lost 2x 10-3s already, wow! I would be whining up a storm if that happened to me. Good for you taking it in stride.

Good luck and have fun.

Regards,

Tom
 

JOKippe

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Ahh, the back of the gunflash marker, I didn't think to look there, thanks! Marsholio has a couple of those 37L AA guns in AA mode east of the rail station guarding some nearby T-34s, which makes it more iffy for me to try dive-bombing back there.

I wasn't happy to lose the two 10-3s, but I accepted it. I generally do most of my whining after a slew of bad rolls, but the loss of the 10-3s was just isolated misfortune. The attack is otherwise going well, and I have a 10-2 and several 9-1s to keep it going.

Having a lot of fun with the module. I didn't think anything could top Red Barricades, but I think VotG has more going for it and is even better. Great job!
 

chuck smith

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Totally agree, I like RB but VotG gives you alot more leeway in attacking and defending. Do the Germans try to go north and take out Pavlos house and drive to the Voga right off the bat? Do the Germans drive up the middle and try to split the Russian defense? Or do they try to take the Train station and cause as much casualties to the Russian as possible while attacking into the Russian southern defense, which is probably the strongest in the south.

As for the Russians, do they adhere to Choikov's motto, "Time is Blood" and try to do a defense that meets the Germans at the beach? IE up front. Or try to defend to retreat back? Do the Russians try to defend the south indepth and try to exact a heavy cost on the Germans in doing so? Lots of options indeed. In our campaign, we played until the 21st of September with the Germans throwing in the towel due to to much losses. Night attacks are the recipe to possible victory for the Russians, it lowers the German ELR ant night and can further lower their ELR due to the number of Night Attacks taken. This is also not Red Barricades where the Germans need to attack on a consistent basis, I think if the Germans do that, they are asking for more trouble then they bargained for.

All in all this is a great CG and one I will alway play again and a again.

Chuck

Ahh, the back of the gunflash marker, I didn't think to look there, thanks! Marsholio has a couple of those 37L AA guns in AA mode east of the rail station guarding some nearby T-34s, which makes it more iffy for me to try dive-bombing back there.

I wasn't happy to lose the two 10-3s, but I accepted it. I generally do most of my whining after a slew of bad rolls, but the loss of the 10-3s was just isolated misfortune. The attack is otherwise going well, and I have a 10-2 and several 9-1s to keep it going.

Having a lot of fun with the module. I didn't think anything could top Red Barricades, but I think VotG has more going for it and is even better. Great job!
 

JOKippe

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It took us a full evening to get through Turn 5. Of course, after we've killed about 12 bottles of malt beverage, we often get sidetracked, talking politics and Marsholio accusing me of putting a Slayer CD in the player (actually, it was a Lard CD). We also took a break and watched Solomon Kane. But, amongst all of that, we did get a good deal of the first scenario in.
View attachment 42241
My obsession with capturing the Rail Station is driving the plot of this action-packed film. Without regard to my losses, I kept pushing my units into the station, until there's not a Russian left alive in it. The building in F35 is still defended by a couple of communist squads (is it true that there was errata stating that F35 is actually a tower, or was that just a rumor I read somewhere?) but they shouldn't be a problem. The big problem is that Marsholio knows that I obsessed with the station, and he's eager to take it back. He's received his southern reinforcements, they're moving up, and I doubt he's going to setup a defensive perimeter with them. I expect them to come at the station, and I also expect a night scenario coming that features a Russian counterattack aimed at the station. The bloodbath for the Rail Station has just begun.
View attachment 42243
Meanwhile, trouble is brewing around the other rail building up at F22, as I knew it would. It's been a rally point for his units in the area, and several NKVD are there. He repulsed my first attacks at the structure, and I'm having to reorganize around it now. I've sent part of my northern reinforcements to help out, but I'm a bit wary of the place now. I'm going to try drop to drop my OBA onto it and see how that goes before I make another hard push.

Otherwise, my northern plan is going ok, as he's not very strong up there. I'm picking off his units and grabbing buildings here and there, but being careful to activate as few of his reserve units as possible. He did cause me a problem when he penetrated several squads to B15-16, and my small counterattack left him with one squad standing at B15. It's fighting like a madman, breaking and killing my squads sent to encircle him. Then, I got stupid and sent a StuGB up the road. It bogged in the debris of C16, and he got a sideshot on it with an ATR...a CAPTURED ATR!!! Yep, he took out my StuG with my own German ATR.

My stukas have been totally ineffective. Five turns, and they haven't done anything to a single one of his tanks yet. Somehow, I've mastered the art of near-misses and rolling high with every single bomb.

But, I also won $40 on side bets regarding rule disagreements. I won 2 look-ups in a row, which pays for 2 weeks worth of ale!

GERMAN CASUALTIES (TURN 5):
-2 StugB (1 crew KIA)
-6 Leaders (incl. two 10-3s)
-22 Squads (incl. two 8-3-8s)

RUSSIAN CASUALTIES:
-5 Leaders
-28.5 Squads (incl. five 6-2-8 NKVDs)
-1 hero, 1 crew

A very bloody battle so far, and no end of the carnage is in sight.
 
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Marsholio

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I got back into the rail station! HA HA! Post some pictures dagnabbit, or I'll take over the photographic arm of the propaganda wing...

It took us a full evening to get through Turn 5. Of course, after we've killed about 12 bottles of malt beverage, we often get sidetracked, talking politics and Marsholio accusing me of putting a Slayer CD in the player (actually, it was a Lard CD). We also took a break and watched Solomon Kane. But, amongst all of that, we did get a good deal of the first scenario in.
View attachment 42241
My obsession with capturing the Rail Station is driving the plot of this action-packed film. Without regard to my losses, I kept pushing my units into the station, until there's not a Russian left alive in it. The building in F35 is still defended by a couple of communist squads (is it true that there was errata stating that F35 is actually a tower, or was that just a rumor I read somewhere?) but they shouldn't be a problem. The big problem is that Marsholio knows that I obsessed with the station, and he's eager to take it back. He's received his southern reinforcements, they're moving up, and I doubt he's going to setup a defensive perimeter with them. I expect them to come at the station, and I also expect a night scenario coming that features a Russian counterattack aimed at the station. The bloodbath for the Rail Station has just begun.
View attachment 42243
Meanwhile, trouble is brewing around the other rail building up at F22, as I knew it would. It's been a rally point for his units in the area, and several NKVD are there. He repulsed my first attacks at the structure, and I'm having to reorganize around it now. I've sent part of my northern reinforcements to help out, but I'm a bit wary of the place now. I'm going to try drop to drop my OBA onto it and see how that goes before I make another hard push.

Otherwise, my northern plan is going ok, as he's not very strong up there. I'm picking off his units and grabbing buildings here and there, but being careful to activate as few of his reserve units as possible. He did cause me a problem when he penetrated several squads to B15-16, and my small counterattack left him with one squad standing at B15. It's fighting like a madman, breaking and killing my squads sent to encircle him. Then, I got stupid and sent a StuGB up the road. It bogged in the debris of C16, and he got a sideshot on it with an ATR...a CAPTURED ATR!!! Yep, he took out my StuG with my own German ATR.

My stukas have been totally ineffective. Five turns, and they haven't done anything to a single one of his tanks yet. Somehow, I've mastered the art of near-misses and rolling high with every single bomb.

But, I also won $40 on side bets regarding rule disagreements. I won 2 look-ups in a row, which pays for 2 weeks worth of ale!

GERMAN CASUALTIES (TURN 5):
-2 StugB (1 crew KIA)
-6 Leaders (incl. two 10-3s)
-22 Squads (incl. two 8-3-8s)

RUSSIAN CASUALTIES:
-5 Leaders
-28.5 Squads (incl. five 6-2-8 NKVDs)
-1 hero, 1 crew

A very bloody battle so far, and no end of the carnage is in sight.
 

Bob Miller

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Thanks for sharing the AAR and pictures. Nothing has captured the fancy of ASL CG players than the first few days of VotGs CG IV. This posting fuels that fire.

Why is the Russian worrying about AA markers? These are Recycling Stukas. Shoot one down, big deal. A new one may show up next door regardless. Waste of shots. Secondly........ go for easy squad kills with your stukas when able instead of his tanks. Even just one squad in the open is a great target for the 200mm Bomb as it shouold result in a sure kill. Don't even bother firing the MGs and Pin the Russian unit. Drop the Bomb with the -2 modifier as the poor bastard (quoting Patton here) is moving in open ground. Yes terrain does play a role in this CG as my poor showing as the Germans against Chick Smith's Russians recently demonstrated. But this CG is all about kill ratios that need to be in the German favor, big time as well on the first day.
 

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Kill ratios won't be a problem, I got slaughtered on the first day... probably close to 2:1 Russian vs German, we will tally everything up this weekend and set up the next battle. I had 4 AA guns come in the group, and the ones not seeing direct action pop'd their shots for cheap thrills... and chicks dig the AA

Thanks for sharing the AAR and pictures. Nothing has captured the fancy of ASL CG players than the first few days of VotGs CG IV. This posting fuels that fire.

Why is the Russian worrying about AA markers? These are Recycling Stukas. Shoot one down, big deal. A new one may show up next door regardless. Waste of shots. Secondly........ go for easy squad kills with your stukas when able instead of his tanks. Even just one squad in the open is a great target for the 200mm Bomb as it shouold result in a sure kill. Don't even bother firing the MGs and Pin the Russian unit. Drop the Bomb with the -2 modifier as the poor bastard (quoting Patton here) is moving in open ground. Yes terrain does play a role in this CG as my poor showing as the Germans against Chick Smith's Russians recently demonstrated. But this CG is all about kill ratios that need to be in the German favor, big time as well on the first day.
 

JOKippe

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Well, lost a few posts in the infamous Gamesquad hack. So be it. Back this stuff up more than once a week...that's my advice.

Anyway, we finished Scenario 1.
View attachment 42822
As mentioned earlier, this initial scenario came down to my obsession to take the Rail Station, and Marsholio's compulsion to stop me from doing so. By Turn 6, I had the station captured, but his late counter-attacks took 2 hexes of it back. The fighting was fierce and bloody, and finally, I had no more units to feed into the grinder, while his own southern reinforcements tipped the scale. CVPs evened out in the last two turns as the initiative swung back towards the Russian player. Engineers paid the price in this protracted battle, including my flamethrower-equipped HS that torched their way from E39 to H33 (they must have killed a platoon and a half of Commies by themselves...but finally their luck ran out in H33, and they were awarded their Iron Crosses after their burial!)
View attachment 42823
In the side-show to the north, my units pretty much had their way. I see now why the wise plan is to attack in the north. But what fun is to do things the easy way?

Final tallies for Scenario One:
German Losses: 29.5 Squad pts, 20 Ldrs pts, 10 AFV pts.
Russian Losses: 38.5 Sq., 5 Ldr, 6 AFV, 1 crew

The Germans captured only 18 Stone Locations, and the result was a Russian Victory.

Ultimately, I wasn't actually going after winning the scenario. My plan was to take out the Rail Station (slightly sucessful), kill Russians (moderately successful), and grab a sizable amount of tough terrain (moderately successful). But after it's all said and done, I don't think that it was a good enough day for the Germans. And I know a Russian Night counter-attack is coming.
 

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Guess what? Night attack!

2nd Scenario, I launched a two pronged attack. I struck from the north and the south while mantaining a bare minimum fighting force to hold the line hoping that the no move counters would keep the germans tied down along the line while I pushed inward. So far I have inflicted many more casualties than expected, made big gains in the north. I also managed to gain some of the rail station locations back due to some lucky rolls. As soon as this Scenario is completed, I will ask Oberst Kipper to post casualty counts and some pics... right now he is just trying to forget what transpired on this night attack.

I avoided gunfire and just used ambush and CC to make most of my gains, the Night Attack Ambush bonus is a big plus for the Russians looking to cause some trouble. Most of his units are now activated, but we are on turn 6 I do believe, so he can't cause too much trouble. Night attacks are the Russians only hope of grinding out the Germans.

Side note, I made a noob mistake and bought one more company than I should have, I kept it out of contact with the enemy in the South as to not screw up the balance too much. For some reason I thought that the 2 company max (add daily modifier) was per scenario, not day. I will let Kipper choose when my max coy is reduced by 1 to make up for my glaring error. That, and I'll keep bringin' the beer for a while.

I brought on map in the north 2 Guards coys, and in the south one rifle coy, which has stayed well behind the lines. I exceeded my daliy purchase, because during the first round I nabbed two of the NKVD coys as reserve.

Overall, the Guards have slaughtered the thin resistance in the North, Kipper (Ahab) was still fixated on defending the rail station (Moby Dick) and left the northern flank lightly defended and spread out. I don't know if much was accomplished for the long term, other than the massive casulaties that he sustained might slow down the adavance some in the next day. I imagine the next day will still be bloody as hell for the Russians...
 

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About to wrap up the night scenario...I hope! I must say that my defense was totally inadequate and shameful.
View attachment 43200
My positions in the Railway Station seemed strong after the setup. Lots of good units and leaders under the No Move counters holding those fortified locations. But Marsholio has a way of funneling Russian-after-Russian into such locations, grinding me down until nothing's left. The night rules really worked against me, between the constant Russian ambushes and my units being permanently DMd by his firepower. After a few turns, my southern flank began crumbling into a rout.
View attachment 43201
In the north, I used even worse judgemnt by defending the area so lightly. I didn't expect any kind of a Russian push up there.
View attachment 43202
Marsholio pushed into the north with a fresh battalion, and another German rout developed featuring my StuGs frantically trying to get away.
View attachment 43203
Much to my surprise, there was no Russian pressure in the center...which was where I expected it. Marsholio concentrated on my flanks, and pretty much outwitted me.
LOWLIGHTS: I purchased a platoon of Engineers to reinforce at a critical moment near the Rail Station. I thought I saw the perfect opportunity when he had an NKVD squad locked in melee with one of my surviving HS. After much thought, I decided to move 2 of the Eng. Squads directly into the HtH melee and wipe out those crazy Russians.
View attachment 43204
Odds were totally in my favor...I needed a 10, and he needed a 4...and of course, he rolled the 4. Not only did I lose the entire stack, but the Engineers were loaded with satchel charges and a FT. And after a few turns, he moved into the empty hex and the huge stack of SW was his. With hindsight, my risk was too great to try such a thing. I should have moved next to the melee and torched them all with my FT.
On the Russian side, Marsholio setup a T-34 in C46...illuminated by the nearby blazes. My StuG in C36 immobilized it and then knocked it out a turn later. Other than that, he didn't make too many mistakes, except for buying at least one company too many (which he will be penalized for in the next scenario!)

It's been a depressing fight for the Germans...not only were my plans poorly executed in this Night scenarion, but I also had a long string of BAD rolls. On one turn, I started off by rolling three 11s and a 10. I hoping the scenario ends soon and all of those DMd units survive to fight again. It's not looking good for the Germans, but Day 2 is another day...and I have a very cunning plan regarding the Railway Station...
 

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Well, the 14N scenario ended on turn 6. The photos in the previous post pretty much represent how the map looked at scenario's end, since the photos were taken after the DF phase of my turn 6. I did wind up with a StuG isolated in B6 (after it had a complicated mission that involved lots of smoke and overrunning a broken unit in that hex), but it'll be okay. Marsholio easily won the scenario, capturing 24 Stone Locations; the Germans lost 66.5 CVP and the Russians 32 CVP. Overall, my losses weren't as bad as it seemed (less than the 14D scenario, in which I lost 90 CVP!). But it was the ratio that really hurt in the night scenario, with my losses double those of Marsholio's.

14N Purchases:
German: 1 Pioneer Platoon, 1 Flak Platoon (not much, I know...and I saved 3 points to use on the 15th. I probably should've bought a Rifle Co and the Pioneer Pl.)
Russian: 2 Rifle Cos., 1 Guards Co. (yep, he bought one too many. The "extra" one didn't do much fighting though, and it will count as a purchase on 15D.)

Total Losses, 14D/14N
German: 51 squads, 35 leaders/points, 3 StuGs, 3 crew.
Russian: 52.5 squads, 7 leaders/points, 2 T34s, 2 crew.
Total CVP: Germans lost 156.5, Russians lost 126.

Sadly, for the Germans, I have lost every single Pioneer squad...3 platoons and all dead. Strossetruppe platoons didn't fare much better...out of the 6 platoons I had, only 3 squads are left.
But the worst part is my leader losses. Out of all of my 10-3s, 10-2s, 9-2s, etc., only a 9-2 and a 9-1 survived...and they are both wounded!!! That leaves me with only 4 8-1s and an 8-0 to start 15D with...amazing! I've never seen so many leader losses in a CG before. A combination of bad luck and bad tactics on my part!

The map is cleared and I'm making my purchases for 15D now. Despite the beatdown my units underwent in the previous scenario, I am entirely optimistic about the new day coming. Did I mention that I have a very cunning plan shaping up? :)
 
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My campaign had a worse day for leaders. My esteemed German opponent lost 17 leaders in one day (of which 9 were 9-2 or better) along with over half of his infantry.

Germans - use Artillery and fight from range. There is no need to rush into any terrain and CC potential where the Russians have the advantage. Just beat on him over and over - rebreaking broken units over shooting some useless single unbroken squads.

The typical punishment details should be a stack of ~ 16-20 FP with a -1 leader to break concealment (and hopefully break some units) then pound them with 24 FP (or better) stacks lead by -2 leaders. Do it twice a turn on any "stacks" of Russians and they will run out of troops.

Germans should never lose 51 squads in the first day or two of VOTG unless they have wiped the entire Russian forcepool off the map.
 

JOKippe

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After the disasterous night of 14 Sept., the Germans write off their losses and write up a new game plan. Actually, my 15 Sept. plan is a continuation of the my original plan, which features a northern attack on this second day. However, I've more or less scrubbed the idea of holding on to the railstation for now...there's too many Russian units on the board create another meatgrinder there.
View attachment 43469
I purchased 2 Infantry companies (one FS and the other LD) to use in the northern attack. I roll terrible for the leaders, receiving only 8-1s and 8-0s (to go along with all of the 8-1s and 8-0s I retained from the previous day. I also bought Stukas and 2 aerial bombardments. I plan to push directly from the western edge into the sector with both companies, staggered a bit over turns 1-3. Three StuGs will join in on turn 2, once I have the area secure from AT guns and such. The rest of the map, I'll attempt to hold ground with dummies, scattered pockets of infantry firepower in good defensive positions, and StuGs/Flaktracks here and there.

My aerial bombardments accomplish little, taking out a few Russian dummies. I move a company onto the map on the NW edge as I attack/move with my positioned northern line. Marsholio hasn't defended very strongly in the north sector, but he does have a flak gun and 2 AT guns positioned to hammer my isolated and trapped StuG. The attack goes well (although the StuG is lost after a few shots at it) and my units close-combat any survivors in his line. This mostly goes well for me, and although I lose a few units here and there, my goal is to totally clear the sector ASAP all the way to the huge plaza, and possibly start rolling his north-south defensive line.
Marsholio remains curiously inactive during his turn, holding his ground at all points. My two Stukas have few targets in the north, so I have them attack his T-34s in the south, immobilizing two of them.
I move my other company onto the map during Turn 2, along with 3 Stugs. By the end of the turn, his lines are broken and his ordnance is captured. He manages to escape 2 1/2 squads off the map edge. During Turn 3, he realizes that the situation in the north is hopeless, and begins to pull back the few surviving units. By the end of my half of Turn 4, I'm in position for a nice landgrab.
View attachment 43470
At the cost of 6 squads and a leader (and the isolated StuG), I managed to kill 10 Russian squads, 2 leaders, 2 crews, and capture 3 guns. The question is how much land I can grab now before the scenario ends.
On the rest of the map, we are both mostly inactive and dubbed it the "Sitzkrieg". I suspect he is preserving his forces for another night attack. He did take a railstation hex, that I was holding with a HS, and I'm dropping 100mm OBA in the area just for fun.
View attachment 43471
Turn 4 should continue this weekend...I'm hoping the scenario goes all 8 turns!
 

JOKippe

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Alas, scenario 15D lasted only 6 turns. In the north, I managed to push up along the mapedge to the big plaza, and captured the buildings next to the multihex building by the Milchhouse. Another turn, and I could've captured everything from P1 to K9.
From the 31 hexrow and south, not much happened. I expected Marsholio to go ahead and recapture the Railstation, as I was defending it with just a few HS. I planted some mines in the area, probably a bit unusual for a German player, and he slowly crept units into the station, until I was left with a single HS in the upper level of F35.

Marsholio did finally begin pushing into my thinly-held lines in the middle, but I made sure he didn't cross the road along the C row. In that sector, I made some stupid mistakes with a couple of my AA HTs that were holding the line. They got caught east of the C road, BU and with the ammo trailers still attached. Both HTs were destroyed by infantry, mostly because I forgot to CE them (blame the talls we were drinking on that one!). I also figured out too late that those AA guns are on swivel mounts and can fire in any direction...I assumed they could only fire to the front facing, much like a StuG's MG...the HTs probably would have survived if I had been paying attention. This area, which I was mostly holding with guns and armor, was also devastated by Russian sniper attacks--I lost an 81mm mortar crew and 2 HTs were recalled because of his snipers...I dunno why, but Marsholio has incredibly good luck with snipers.

I also lost the trapped and isolated StuG in the North sector, but a lot of Russian ordnance stripped concealment to fire at it...which made the capture of those guns much easier.

15D Losses:
GERMANS: 17 Squads, 2 Leaders, 2 HTs, 1 StuG, 2 Crews for 56 CVP
RUSSIANS: 24.5 Squads (including 3 Guards), 4 Leaders (including a 10-0 commissar), 2 Crews, and 3 Guns for 67 CVP

I captured only 19 stone locations, and it was a Russian Victory. But it was a moral victory for the Germans. I inflicted more casualties on the Russians than Marsholio wanted (including the immobilization of his 2 T-34s), and captured a lot of ground in the North sector, setting me up for a push to the Volga. The northern attack seemed to catch him offguard, and as his casualties mounted, he seemed reluctant to fight and lose more units in the other sectors.

15N: I really thought that Marsholio was going to declare another night counterattack...but he didn't.

16D: My ELR dropped to 3, and it was overcast. No Stukas, no aerial bombardments? Hell, I'll let my men rest. I purchased an infantry company and 2 engineer platoons. I bought the infantry company as a reserve unit and saved a point, but I bought the engineers as reinforcements, just in case the wily Marsholio used an Attack chit.

17D: The idle day seems to have paid off. My ELR went back up to 4, and it's a bright, sunny day awaiting my Stukas. I purchased another infantry company, raised my SAN to 5, bought stukas, 2 bombardments, and a module of Rockets with OBO and a pre-reg target.
View attachment 43817
I'm obviously intending to continue the heavy fight in the North sector. Note my numerous kill stacks adjacent to his units. He's planning on holding those buildings, as I don't think he would spend points to fortify buildings for dummies. At least, I don't think he would.

View attachment 43818
I'm also punching in through his thinly-held line in the middle. I'll bypass that potential nightmare at G24 for now, and try to push up to the J road. If I do, he'll have to worry about a huge amount of his units being caught in an isolated pocket.

View attachment 43819
South sector mission: hold the line. Come and get me if you dare!

It looks like this might be the bloodiest day we've ever had. Expect a lot of casualties before this day is over...but especially Russians, I hope! The battle shall continue this weekend.
 

Marsholio

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The dice were on my side, Mr Kipper just couldn't keep a roll under 7 this go around. I predicted the Northern attack and was very prepared for it, chopped up most of his big push with 2nd level machine gun nests. He did have one amazing critical hit with a StuG he rolled on as a reinforcement that rubbled an upper level machine gun nest, that definately deserved a golf clap. He did give me a bulge in the center of the line, wasn't expecting that move... figured he'd head back to Moby Dick (Rail Station). We just have a few turns left on this day, and then we will post casualties and pictures, and Kipper will whine about the dice :clown:
 

JOKippe

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Man oh man. Not sure what to write here...it was a conservative, well-studied German plan of attack, but somehow, the scenario snowballed into a Soviet victory of epic proportions. After the first couple of turns, I simply couldn't make a dice roll below 7. It didn't matter if I faced an MC2 or just a plain MC...my units couldn't make saving rolls...they broke, suffered casualties, then died completely. At one point, every time Marsholio fired at me, I was reaching into my tray for a halfsquad, even if they were sitting in a fortified stone building. Whine about the dice? Hell yeah, when I can't roll at least a 7, time-after-time. I see a lot of players worrying about "extreme" rolls in their games...I don't care about those, it happens...but I got pretty worked up about a very long series of one-sided crappy rolls that simply defied all odds. "You should've filmed it," Marsholio chuckled more than once. Yep, because no one would believe it, and I might as well have been abducted by aliens and taken to the Bermuda Triangle to see Elvis's new recording studio in Atlantis, because just as many of you might be more likely to believe that story as my bad-dice excuse.
View attachment 44406
I set up massive stacks of firepower in the North. Soviet defense would wilt before this massive firepower, yet my aims were limited. Capture the L8 building, (in which I already had a foothold), and clean out the northern-edge buildings of rows O and P. Basically, I just wanted to open up the approach to the big plaza. It went well into turns 1 and 2...the Russian melted away, I moved units forward...then my dice went cold. He brought in reinforcements from surrounding buildings, and I went from killing Soviets at a 2-1 ratio to him killing me at a 4-1 rate. His long-range MGs began taking-out my supporting units, and by turn 4, the entire sector was full of dead Germans. Meanwhile, his snipers were picking off my CE StuGs. His KV-1 in the rubble of Q7 took out some more of my armor, and I also lost a Stug to a lucky OBA roll to the west as well. The only good thing that happened in the sector was when a long shot by a StuG rubbled a MG nest in the upper level of I-15, and oddly-enough, one of my HS managed to hold onto the building at 0-1. In the attached photo, the blue line is the deepest penetration by the Germans (Turn 2), and the red lines are the Soviet counterattacks that moved into my shattered forces by turn 4.
Even more perplexing was my failure in the "F-14" area. It was actually my main push, and I thought I had overcommitted units for the task. Most of my engineer units were there to drive south...but, little-by-little, the engineers and their supporting units died from random Soviet firepower of various strengths, until there was almost nothing left for me to use, and his units waltzed across, taking back even more ground that had been bought with German blood.
View attachment 44407
Meanwhile, in the middle of the map, I had surprising success with a minimum of troops. I kept pushing east, just to see how far I could get. I got across the J-row road, into the stone buildings east of the road. I didn't have many troops to back-up the advance, and it almost turned into another Pickett's Charge as Marsholio began surrounding the bulge...but fortunately the scenario ended after Turn 5.

The scenario-end roll was the luckiest roll of the whole scenario for me.

17D losses:
German: 30 squads (including 4.5 assault engineers), 5 leaders, 1 crew, 2 StuG Gs, 1 StuG B (88CVP)
Soviet: 12.5 squads, 5 leaders, 2 crews (36CVP)

Another Soviet victory. I lost 50% of my forces.

Regardless, I'm feeling optomistic about holding out through the inevitable Soviet counter-attack that will come, and making him pay for these German losses. I have a cunning plan for the 18th!
 

JOKippe

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Day 17 was a total disaster for the Germans. After my forces took heavy losses in the fighting in the north in the previous scenario, Marsholio declared a Soviet Counterattack. In this second scenario of the 17th, the Soviets effectively pushed me back off the map in the north and destroyed 75% of the German forces. It was too much of an ordeal for me to keep detailed notes about this thrashing, so I'll just sum up the score of the 2nd scenario:

17D(Soviet Counterattack) losses:
German: 32.5 squads, 10 leaders, 1 StuG G, 3 Flaktracks (99CVP)
Soviet: 11.5 squads, 2 leaders, 2 crews, 1 gun (33CVP)

One note of interest is that I lost every single leader I had on the map, including a few taken out by snipers and boobytraps. On the other hand, the Soviets fired so much that I had 5 heroes on the map at one point (3 survived)!

18 Oct
After that embarrassing ass-whooping, I definitely had to change plans and utilize the element of surprise. I had to have a way to destroy a lot of Soviets without losing a lot of Germans. Concentration of my forces was a crucial, so I basically pulled every German off the map, and my plan was to have a surprise attack along the SW corner of the map (which I had lost long ago.) Clearing a path for this offensive would be a 150mm creeping barrage. It was expensive (10 purchase points), but it seemed the pefect thing to do in my situation. I also purchased an infantry company (with a lucky snake-eyes roll on the leader table!) and an engineer platoon.

My initial barrage target was B43. I was a bit unlucky when it drifted to A41, which delayed most of my reinforcements for a turn. But as the barrage crept to the east, it broke about 60% of his units scattered about the rubble and debris. When the barrage reached the D hexrow, with a solid line of Soviet units in the fortified buildings and rubble, it was even more effective as it caught several broken units fleeing. Meanwhile my units have entered in force, destroying the outnumbered survivors left in the wake of the barrage. Marsholio began rushing northern units through the A and B hexrows, but that path was soon cut off by blazes in A39 and B39 (I originally had an engineer with a flamethrower in A40 to roast his advancing units, but the FT malfed in its first use!) Marsholio entered 2 KV1s on the southern edge and parked them in E50 and F48, and this is where my assault engineers really came in handy. I charged the tanks with a few infantry HS and the engineers and luck was on my side...both engineers survived the rush, became fanatics, and destroyed the KVs in CC.
View attachment 45522
It's now the beginning of turn 6, and it looks like I finally came up with a cunning plan that actually succeeded. If the scenario goes all 8 turns, I'm fine with that, I'll just keep moving my units to the east along with the creeping barrage and increase my perimeter. So far, I've killed 12.5 Soviets squads, 2 leaders, 2 crews, 1 gun, and 2 KV1s. My losses so far are 7.5 squads (I lost 1.5 due to boobytraps.)
Of course, I don't have to perform a Vulcan mind-meld on Marsholio to know that after this scenario finishes, a Soviet Counterattack will be coming and that it will take another one of my cunning plans to survive it...
 

JOKippe

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18 Oct
The scenario finished well for my Germans, having gained a nice piece of the SW corner and killing a lot of Soviets. My losses were acceptable, and I didn't have a leader casualty until the last turn. The scenario went all 8 turns, enabling me to send more units east and capturing the tall building in L47.
Losses
German: 9 Squads and a 9-1 Leader (20 CVP).
Russian: 18 Squads, 3 Leaders, 4 Crews, 1 Gun, and 2 KV1s (67 CVP).

I captured over 20 stone locations and the result was a German victory...my first victory of the campaign!

DAY 18, Soviet Counterattack
Marsholio is eager for a bit of communist payback after the butt-whooping my surprise attack delivered to his stunned units. I have no doubt that he will counterattack...and, of course, he does. I'm determined to hold onto the SW hexes I have just regained, but with limited purchase points and a horde of angry reds on the horizon, my only choice is to setup a tenacious defense with my meager forces. I purchase 1 Infantry Comp., which leaves me 2 points for fortifications. I purchase a Set DC for the L47 building...there's no way I can hold it, so I'll make him pay for retaking it...I HIP a 3-3-8 HS in the upper level of I48 with the plunger, and after a few Soviets move into the building, I'm hoping I can make it look like that bridge in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I set up small stacks of units in the D44-E45-F44 line, leaving a northern buffer for his units to move into and receive lots of withering DF. I place a flamethrower in D44 for to add a little more spice to this dangerous bowl of Kipper chili con carne that's been cooking on my stove for over a week..

For sure, a stack of Soviet units moves into D43 on Turn 1...I use infantry FP to strip the concealment off his hapless units, then I toast them with the flamethrower...he manages to route a few survivors back to his lines. He has huge killer stacks of units in the upper levels of I45 and K45, but I'm lucky...it's a windy day and the blazes in F46-H46 are covering his awesome positions with dispersed smoke, limiting their usefulness. Units in D44 and E43 are dueling it out across no-man's land, and that's where I've taken the loss of a HS. He's also pouring a bit of firepower into my units at F44, and I had a couple of units broken there. Meanwhile, a Soviet concealed unit has taken the bait at L47, and another stack is ready to move into it as well...I'm about to find out if that Set DC was worth 15 points!
Marsholio has an AT Gun over in Q50 that's been taking shots at my StG in I50, but I'm not too worried about it since it's a 45L firing through several orchard hexes. I think I'll turn that tank a bit and start shooting at his fortress at K45, and hope for a lucky shot of my own. My MG in H49 and StG in H50 will keep an eye on the southern mapedge in case he has crazy ideas about moving reinforcements onto the map down there.
My full-strength Infantry company is moving onto the map by platoons, reinforcing a few key positions as the situation unfolds.
View attachment 45780
After 2 turns, I have lost a HS, compared to the Soviet losses of 2.5 squads. I'm still not sure what Marsholio has in mind for the rest of the scenario--he surely has some kind of a plan that's not yet apparent after his early probes. For now, as long as the wind keeps the smoke on his lines, I'm in good shape.
 
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Jeff Leslie

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Nice AAR, guys - very entertaining to me, especially the part about the Slayer CD and the bad luck with dice - glad it isn't just me that has bad dice. I've been to Elvis' recording studio a couple times thanks to my alien buddies, and last time I was there I got to meet Marilyn Monroe.

I've been away from the forum (and ASL) for 7-8 years and am now just returning to it, and your AAR is making me hungry for some VotG.
 
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