AARs

Stuff concerning Koz's Hedgerow Obsessive Disorder. ;)

AARs

Postby Koz » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:35 pm

THis is where all AARs for DWAC Pac play tests are posted.
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DWAC Pac Scenario 8 - Point 89

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:12 pm

First off. As always I need to thank Keith and Randy for helping me play-test the DWAC-Pac Scenarios. I know bocage is a funky beast and we have been doing a lot of it. So I do appreciate it immensely.

Since we had an odd man out at the DWAC meet today, we chose to playtest the scenario “Point 89”. The map here is 20 hexes wide, East-West, with a road cutting slightly off-center to the east. It is one of those Wide bocage roads so the road effectively isolates the East-West movement of troops to whomever does not control it. The US enters off-board, from to the north, and has to push through a bocage belt to reach “Point 89” a crossroads at the center of the map. The West approach is more direct, but has some 2-3 hex wide Bocage fields. The right side has 2 hex fields, but there is a narrow bocage road (With all the funky SSR) that will stop the tank movement. The victory conditions are that no Good order German units may have LOS to the 2 hexes of Point 89 at the games end.

Keith and randy split the US forces. Keith took the mortar and .50 cal HMG group and approached from the east-center along the road. Randy got the lions share of the infantry and the tanks. I was allowed to set up to the Z hex row, and did so, except where that would leave me in the open where I dropped back to Y. I had one Squad equivalency HIP so I set a HS/PSK trap in W14 and Z21.

I make a couple bad mistakes in the set up though. I put all my eggs in one basket placing the ATG and the HMG in U17. I also forgot to move the 467/LMG/7-0 group from the fall back position I had plotted in V9 to its starting spot in Y9. I do say this did cause some amusement as I listened to Keith and Randy talking about the probable HIP trap there. Nope. That wide open flank wasn’t too good to be true. =) I did a dummy and it wasn’t a stack. I also threw my 7-0 leaders out into the field. The ones that were supposed to be in the observation towers. This came out good as I needed the Leaders (Will add 2 8-0’s into the OOB) but I feel like a knucklehead for doing that.

My fortifications are Wire in W16, W17, W22, and W23. Mines in X21, W222 W16 and V15. 1 Squad Foxholes in W18 and S17. Observation towers are in U13 with the Mortar in U12, and R21 with the mortar in R18. This is a mistake as the 5 hex doubling would have meant I didn’t have any LOS to the Z17 to Z21 row it was supposed to covering. The foxhole in W18 and all the wire/mines around W22 is to stop a board edge run to hit my main belt from the rear. All the rest are to protect the foxhole in S17 which is my Alamo as I can see Point 89 hex U16 and can hardly be seen from any other non adjacent hex. We later noticed V15 had LOS, but went several turns in LOS before noticing.

So my plan. Delay and bleed, fall back to the German MLR as on the map, then back to protect the sneaky foxhole LOS at S17 and the T16 sunken road at all costs.

US turn1
The US come on strong. They have pretty much avoided the East half of the board. Fortunately this is the side that has most of my Dummy stacks. in Z1 and Y22. So only my HIP trap in Z21 and my HS/LMG in Y21 and the 467/LMG/7-0 in Y19 are out of position. Unfortunately half of my fortification points are also there which will go unused. Keith moves an assembled mortar into DD16, CC16, and BB16 and a suspicious ? over 3 counters that I guess must be a squad/leader/DM-MG combo. These move through the DD15 field and end up in CC16 and stop. Hmmm...That MG may not be dismantled. My Dummies in Z1 decide to “not fire against an area target behind bocage”. I do open up on those mortars in movement with my HMG/9-2, which breaks BB16 but doesn’t get rate. Ut oh. I’m about to eat 3 mortars. Bring up the ATG. ROF 3. It also misses with no rate. Keith’s advancing fire breaks the entire hex with a 4 ROF spree and a 2 ROF spree with the remaining 2 mortars. Mental note. This has happened to me in two play-tests now. Put a RB in W17 and man it like a wall, NOT wire!

Randy moves through Fields DD8 into the AA8 field I have left open in setup. Fortunately he is expecting a HIP trap in Y9 so he advances very cautiously. I take a pot shot with the U13 observation tower directing the adjacent mortar at Z8 and do not get rate (Come on! That is 3 ROF 3 weapons and not a single rate!!!) though I do break a squad and leader. To keep them guessing who is a dummy and who is real I do not fire Z12 and Z13. I do Zap with the Z11 MMG and BB9 and break up the FG with a good roll. In advancing fire Randy fires a 666/MMG in BB10 and another of the same in AA9. I am fortunate and the MMG survives. Randy finished advance with his tanks in Z7 and Z8 (in motion), and infantry along the southern bocage of fields AA8, BB9 and DD10. Keith finishes with the presumed HMG in BB15 another ? stack in the AA16 building, a presumed maneuver ? stack in CC16 (probably with a leader as the broken mortar crew routed there.)and those cursed mortars in BB16 and CC16. He also pushes a ?HS/Baz into Z15 to strip ? and shoot at Z13 if it tries to move in the Y15 field. Good move. I was going to fall back that way and have to go the slower route now.

German 1
Skulk baby skulk. And also make lots of mistakes.

On Keiths side I rally the 9-2, HS and Crew of the ATG and assault move to try and recover my MG. Idiot. Wait till advance. Another ugly series of ROF in both mortars. The 9-2 keeps the half squad alive, but the ATG crew are double broken and go away. >=(. I skulk and shift the Z1 Dummies back and ultimately have them in Z1 and AA18 so I can “threaten” his mortars. Y19 Move advances Y18 to cover the road. Y21 Slides to Y19 to cover the orchard. I pop the Z21 HIP HS/PSk and start him down to X20 since all the armor is on the other side of the board and I seriously need manpower there.

Randys side. I skulk again. Moving the MMG back from Z11 to Y12, Earning an ineffective shot. Z13 assault moves to Y13 as I think Keiths ?666/baz is a possible ?666/MG or leader and I don’t want to risk breaking if I normal move. Z12 holds and withstands defensive fire. V9 skulks. I end up with the 8-1/mmg.467 in X11 the ? half-squad from Z12 in Z11, and then I get greedy and Assault my HS/LMG to Z12 to fire lane Keith’s force. I should have assault moved them to X13 where I could have got the same result but I wanted to help tie up field BB12. Conservation of force is the name of this map and this move came to bite me in the can.


US 2
Rallys go poorly for both sides. Randy is annoyed as he has been trying to recombine the 2 engineer half squads into one to get the smoke exponent all game and missed again. On Keiths side. The mortars stay as they are. AA16 turns out the be a 666/50 cal HMG/9-2 leader hex which fires at Z17 to no effect or rate. Keith pulls the WA counter because if the building and exclaims happily “I always wanted to do that.” Z16 also tries at Z17 to no effect. Dummy stack used to good effect.

Randy’s side goes mad. The MMG stacks in AA9, BB10 and CC11 are marked opportunity fire as half squads then full squads come at my half squad in Z11. I break a HS in Z9 then Z10, but miss FPF at AA11. I make the MC and decide to hold fire till Defensive fire as I have the residual I wanted all over.

In the big X9 field, the tanks come on. The tank in Z7 moves up to Y8 and tries for Bounding fire smoke. No smoke and looses it for the tank. He now crosses the Bocage into X8. He is CE and pays for it with a Stun from the MMG/8-1 in X11 and I put down a fire lane. The next tank rolls over to Y9 and makes his sM roll putting a dispersed smoke in X10. Fortunately I have my FL down and here is where I learned that soft hinderances do not effect the FP of the FL. Cool. Since I wisely held my 666 inherent FP back Randy decides to Not push at Y11 and holds his squads in the AA8 field. V9 decides retaining ? is wise and does not fire. This does allow a HS to get to V7 in advance. Now I really wont fire as I wont be able to grow ? back. Bad move. Randy eventually advances the ? squads from the AA8 field onto his tanks, whose now, non-moving, TEM allow him to keep ?. Nice move. One I had not seen done before.

In defensive fire the HS/LMG in Z12 fire upon Z15 and break the 666/Baz squad there. Z11 Def fire fails to break the US HS in AA11. Randy opportunity fires the world and breaks Z12 and kills the HS in Z11. I had thought to stay in AA11 to cover Z12’s withdrawal under ? with a CC in Z11. (CC not good order, no ? loss.) This was a major reason for advancing as I did last turn. No joy! I do remember to Fire my U12 mortar again this turn (Forgot it last turn) at Z8 but to no result but to strip a ? on a PTC. I just realized looking at the map that that crossed the smoke hex so I would have missed. Again no rate. Going to have to shoot the quartermaster if he doesn’t get my ROF 3 support weapons some ammo.

Oh As a sidebar. I had eleven SAN activations this game, many this turn, all of which came up cold. Keith and Randy had about 3 which came up cold also. Not a single sniper effect in the whole game. Took us till turn 4 to notice I hadn’t put the German sniper counter on the board.

Back to the current turn. AA11 interdicts my route. Z15 is broken so I can jump over the Bocage and route in the Y15 field. This will leave them open to the Kill stack in AA16 next turn if they declare WA again. 9-2 .50 cal directed is going to kill that HS. So I decide to risk interdiction through Y13. Dead Half squad and LMG in the open to be recovered. There goes my entire center. Both those squads were supposed to man the W15-W17 area and cover the Y13 and Y15 fields. Crap! I hope Keith doesn’t notice. Fortunately I move next.

Movement and advance end with Keith in the same locations as T1 and Randy up to the ?squads/tanks in X8, Y9, and the fields AA10 and BB12.

German 2
I rally the 9-2 and HS in T17, generating a HOB field promotion so Mr 9-2 is now Most respected mister 10-2. In prep fire I shift the U12 mortar to Gain Acquisition on Z11. No rate. I thought my R21 tower has LOS to AA16 but forget the Blind hex rule and shoot at shadows (Fortunately I didn’t break the gun.) It is right about this time I realize I didn’t have the 7-0’s on my towers and apologized profusely. No more Prep as I am hurting for squads and need to skulk. X10 cant skulk because ZZ10 can see X12, so I assault move him to W12. Fortunately the US’s own smoke makes the fire ineffective from the other side of the field. Z11 and AA12 get a shot off though and miss, breaking the AA12 MG. Whew. V9 skulks and after a bit of agonizing I decide I need him back in V9 again to help stem the tide of tanks and infantry threatening to cross the X9 field. On Keith’s side all skulk and Germans end up with ?? in AA18 and BB17 to “threaten the mortars” and a 7-0/467/lmg in Z17 to pick off that mortar in BB16. Back at the Alamo, the 10-2 and HS have Assaulted to U18 and now advance into U17 to try and recover the HMG.

US3
Disaster on both sides. On Keiths side, mortar prep fire is glorious! No hits and no rates against the 9-2 and HS who have recovered the HMG in U17. I forgot about his rallying squads in CC16 and he CX’s that mortar HS broken on turn 1 and runs over the ?? in BB17. In Z17 I risk a Def fire shot at BB16 and do break a mortar HS. I also get to zap the remaining Mortar crew in CC17 with the HMG. The Op fire 9-2/666/.50cal HMG makes me pay rolling a 2KIA on Z17 in advance fire. Another LMG in the field for recovery around the corpses of a 7-0 and 467. All I have on this side is a ?HS/PSK in Y18 and a ?? in AA18 because in movement last turn I forgot to mention I had run my HS/LMG to W17(crest). Advances see him to Z16, AA17, BB17. Fortunately he decides to not advance on AA18 for CC.

At the end of advance I drop WA in W17 and the unit falls out of crest saving me a MP next turn.

On Randy’s side things aren’t much better. The X10 dispersed smoke goes away and The tank in Y9 replaces it with a WP round in W11 in prep fire. V7 is a HS/DC who CX’s and moves at me in to V8. I cant afford a DC on me so I fire and make a mistake. I wanted to keep my MG available to Fire lane so I shot my inherent as First fire. This breaks the HS/DC. I had thought that I still had my PF as a secondary SW if I needed it. No. PFs can only be fired as a squad’s first fire. Had I shoot the LMG, I would have had my PF available as the squad was not marked first fire. Because of this mistake I am overrun by the Sherman from X8. The squad is broken but the leader lives. Briefly. Movement has the W12 firing a MMG FL through the WP, but The mob from the AA8 and Z10 fields storm across the fields, and advancing fire obliterates the broken squad and leader in V9. They surrender in rout but are eliminated when Randy invokes no quarter. Fortunately I break the HS in from Z11 in Hex Y12 with the 666 inherent FP from W12. I finish off Def fire phase by DMing both of my mortars for movement next turn. I also voluntarily break the 8-1/467/MMG in W12 as they are going to be surrounded and I cant afford to loose them. They route back to U16, where hopefully the 8-1 will come back and allow a rally behind my fortifications. What a disaster! I loose 2 squads equivalent and the line is shattered on both sides. Randy’s line now runs along the South and East bocage of fields, V9, X9 and Hex Z11.

German 3
Scramble time. Mr 8-1/467/MMG refuse to rally but lose DM. No Prep fire. In the movement phase. I make a mistake when V17 moves V16, to W16. I forgot W16 has wires and mines in it. Didn’t notice this till 2 turns later. HIP fortifications can be a bitch some times. No prob with the wire as you are allowed to move through them when not on the board. Not too certain of the mines though. Keith either missed the LOS his mortars had (He had recovered both in rally phase after having advanced upon them.) or was worried about AA18. Having finally recovered the HMG I assault move out of U17 to T17 so as not to be mortared to oblivion again and the 10-2 leader continues to S19 to be able to advance to R18 to meet up with the mortar crew in R19 who are struggling to move the beast on their own. Keith laughs at a 10-2 being delegated to portage duty but he is getting the Mortar closer to S17 where it will actually be useful. The US Mortars Def fire to gain acquisitions.

I Assault move my ?? in AA18 to Z18. Area fire and hinderance makes the HS in BB17’s fire ineffective. He ultimately finishes his Advance in Y18. I end up with my HS/PSk feeling lonely in W18 Crest. The Mortar crew takes their DM tube, Moves over the Bocage to T12, T13, then CE’s going over to 14 in Advance. W16 advances to W15 with its LMG.

US4
The floodgates are wide open. Only one US prep fire where the kill stack in AA16 breaks the HS/LMG in W15. All the squads are moved. Randy gets his tanks to U7 and U10 on the road. The uphill moves, and the danger of the still unaccounted for half-squad with a PSK,combine to make Randy play conservative with his tanks while the infantry catch up. They end up in the road at U7 and U10, the infantry draped over them in the same locations at advance. I do pull off a Coup, when the HIP/PSK squad pops up in W14. I had been hoping Randy would charge his tank over V11/V12 to try to cut off W15’s route path. But he didn’t. With both of his tanks moves complete, and with me about to have my hex entered, I was pleased to bag an 8-1/667/DC, adjacent and moving in the open in X13. 4-2 yielded a high morale check which they failed. Keith had already moved a world of hurt to X14 and X15. I managed to Break X14 in defensive fire, which opened a bizarre Route path to allow W15 to escape. Fortunately Randy had not enough MP to occupy V11 or W12. His own brokies manage to make it to a leader in W10.

Advance has the US on a line from U7 to U10 to X11 to X15 to Y16 and to BB17. Keith advances a HS into W15, searching for mines and keeping ? as I had not shot at or ?-stripped his squads moving through field Y15 while hoping for Randy’s tanks. Keith declines to enter the newly revealed wire in W16 suspecting mines. Mines? Would I use mines? ;)

German 4
I managed a first for me. In the Rally phase the broken 8-1 leader refused to rally. But my self rally attempt with the 467/MMG produced a snake-eyes and leader creation. The HOB Battle hardened the 467 and the leader creation got me an 8-1!!! This I desperately needed. I can construct another line. No prep fire. Movement is bloody as I try to extricate my HS/PSK from W14 and draw a snake-eyes in first fire. The rest is happy for me. The Mortar in S14 assembled in Prep Fire. The new 467/MMG/8-1 move to T14, Y18 makes it to W18(crest), W18(crest) moves to V17 in the sunken road and the dmMTR/Crew/10-2 make it into the foxhole in S17. The 10-2 advances into T17 going CX but manning the gun. All grow ?.

US5
The US has 4 movement phases to clear me from Point 89 LOS, so he consolidates and presses forward. Units flood the V13 field from both Keith’ and Randy’s side. A HS discovers the mines in V15, breaking. Keith pushes a kill stack there in Advance, half of whom break, but the remainder DM the yellow-legged 8-1 and the HS/LMG with him in U16. He also gets caught in a sneaky LOS from the HMG in T7 which shoots around the corner to KIA a squad caught in an 6-3 shot (HMG/HS/10-2 -2FFMAM, -2 leader, +1 CX) while trying to menace T14.

Randys squads move to assault through the T12 field. Having learned my lesson with the Overrun, I fire the MG this time and Firelane that field. Randy decides to pile outside the field on the road U11 to U13. When the Squad that got hosed by the HMG failed to draw my Squads fire in T14 Randy decided to let the Squads clear the PF threat and held his Armor advance back to U13. He did start to gain Acquisitions onto U17 again though to keep me away from the ATG and that vital defensive hex.

Def. fire I broke the HS in T13 and assembled the Mortar in S17. Never got a chance to spot for the Mortar because observation is equivalent to a support weapon use and I needed my PF’s. In route, Hex U16 routed back to T16. The turn ended with the US Advancing to control all of fields T12, V14, And the road north of the wire at W17. No squads were east of the road.

At this time Randy had to go home and Keith took over the US solo.

German 5
Yellowlegs (8-1) refused to rally again but the HS/LMG with him did on a 3. At this time we realized there was LOS from S18 to V5 and I blasted at V15 with my only ROF of the game, breaking the lot and putting them out of LOS. My movement was summarized by the phrase “RUN AWAY”!! Although in a more controlled matter this time. The crew abandoned the mortar drawing the fire of T13 as they ran. I suspect Keith thought I was going to keep the stack in T14 because he was unable to zap me in SFF when they left with their MG next. Both Hexes ended up Crest in R16. I briefly considered reoccupying U17 but there were -2 Acq counters for two mortars and one tank there. I did advance into crest in Hex T16.On the U17/T17 side getting a sneaky LOS down the road which Keith missed.

US 6
Yellowlegs refused to rally again, although at least this time he was all by himself. The US begin to march. Keith preps the German Mortar which was captured in S14, and promptly breaks it (-2 non qualified, -2 captured). No more Prep Fire as Keith announces “It’s a Game of Maneuver.” The sneaky LOS from T16 crest gets one mortar but I cower and that ends his fire. The Kill stack from V15 takes a risk and advances into V16, surviving the mines and the PB fire of the HS in the V17 sunken road. He obliterates it with a KIA in Adv. Fire. Squads advance into X17 in front of the Crest Dummy stack in W18. It is found to be false in CC. Finally squads advance from T13, U14, and U15 to R15, S16 and T15. Fire lanes from R16 and PBF from S17 Break R16 and S16, but T15 breaks T16 in Advance Fire.

Routes send the US back towards T13, the HS in T16 routes back to R17 along with the 8-1 who is DM again in T16 Sunken road. Advance has the US gaining ground from S14 to S16, to W18. Including the 9-2/666/.50 cal HMG Kill stack which is now in U17.

German 6
Rally phase. you guessed it. Yellow-legs didn’t rally again. Granted he is DM but even the three or four times he wasn’t he still didn’t rally. I really needed that idiot! Well not just HIM but the HS stacked with him needing a rally. Fortunately the self rally leader creation saved my butt there.

As my goal is to protect Hex S17, I only prep R16 (Crest) to break S16. T17 assault moves to T18 to be out of LOS of U17. S17 stays put under ?. I thought of skulking out but if I do he will be CX which will bode ill in the next CC Phase. I have left Keith only one shot for Defensive fire and that is S15 @ R16 who misses. Or did I? Keith gets even with me for sneaky LOS from his kill stack in U17 tagging the crest R16. Fortunately only for a pin.

US7
Of course no German Rally. The US Preps the Kill stack to break R16 and then waltzes a mob out of LOS, to the West side of the sunken road and hammers R16 and S16 in advancing fire, breaking R16 and killing the Crew in S17. Before this indignity he starts up his Tanks. One barrels down the road, crosses the Hedgerow at U16/U17, stops in U17, and to add insult to injury gets a sM into U18. He then normal moves W18 into V18 to draw my fire. I firelane and get an obscenely low roll that sends the US squad scurrying back in rout. Keith thinks he has suckered me for an overrun and tries to Cross the second sherman at T16 /T17 to overrun me in T18. But he as forgot the elevation change from the sunken road and needs to ESB to get out. He does, Passed the bog, passes the ESB roll and then flubs the WP attempt. He does remain in motion though. More troops go crest in W19 & W20. I shoot back to no effect bit their advancing fire gets a MC, which my real troops both pass but the 2 ? that have been running around playing shell game with the 10-2 all game finally get zapped. This is annoying off a crap shot as they were needed in the final turn push.

Route has R16 off to Q19. Yellowlegs and co are then DMed as the US advances into the sunken road, now with squads in every hex except T16. For the first time Keith has cleared all Germans from LOS to Point 89.

And here the game ended. The Germans might have been able to get into LOS during Germ7, but with the US having another Maneuver turn in US8 and all the firepower still to bear, I am certain they would have pushed them back out or swamped them in CC. With hot dice its a possibility but I think the Germans lost this one cleanly.

Post Mortem.
What a close game. It first glance I say “one turn too long.” But when I look at it I made some glaring setup errors. Leaving the 7-0/467/LMG in V9, rather then Y9 where they were supposed to be, gave Randy a free turn unopposed through one of the largest fields on the board. He made it to Y8- Z8 at the end of turn 1. That should be turn 2.

I set up my fortifications poorly. I had 2 or 3 points wasted easily where they did no good. W17/X16 should be a road block. This takes LOS away from the point 18 areas like a wall and gives the US another area to clear with his mortars. Put an LMG there to make a fire lane on the road and free up the HMG for more aggressive locations such as V16, W14 or V11.

I totally forgot the importance of V7 also. It flanks the V8-V12 orchard and is bypassable freeing the tanks an entire turn.

My towers were set up in bad spots also. U13 was good. U9 would have had me LOS of the AA8 field, including the DD8 and DD13 entry hexes which may have been better but hangs me out if he comes in to the east. R21 was worthless. Move the tower to S18. to clear the WX hexrowspine bocage at 4 hexes, and that gives you LOS to the Z line in the middle of the board. Offset the mortar to R21 for direct fire once the enemy closes to shut down the R21 field, R22 to shut down T23 also Or just leave it in S17 with V15 bore sighted and spot fire the center.

Oh Yes. I forgot to Boresight my MGs and Mortars.

As for tactics. I took one good risk that backfired when I distracted the mortars and HMG kill stack to allow 10-2 to get the HMG. The 2KIA result of the risk, loosing an entire squad, hurt but I did get the HMG which played well at the last turns. Could have used that squad though.

The loss of a squad equivalent and LMG in Z11 and Z12 was dumb. Keith got to cross the Y13 and Y15 fields unopposed as a result. Those were the MLR on the map for a reason and I gave them up.

The PF mistake that got me overrun in V9. combine that with the previous paragraph and the flank folded. The free overrun with lack of PF attack also broke the tanks to my rear. I need to get one of those at least to have a chance of winning.

The anti tank gun. Loosing it first turn...Not a good thing.

Oh. Someone find my sniper and court martial him for dereliction of duty. 11 cold rolls. At least Keith and Randy’s sniper was likewise quiet.

So all said and done, I made enough mistakes to justify keeping that turn 8 there. Better Fortification placement, Tactics and, less setup errors I could easily delay the US another turn. I need to add 2, 8-0 leaders to the German OOB and I think that is it.

No more changes. next play-test anyone? ;)
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Koz
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La Petite Ferme AAR

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:14 pm

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Riposte Reprieve AAR

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:15 pm

Scott and I played this scenario at the impromptu meet yesterday. Thanks to Scott for play testing. Particularly with the issues on Le Carillion.

The scenario is described in the post above. Long and the short is the Germans counterattack a weakened American position in the middle of the board, centered on the Victory locations, then have to hold off an American counterattack that enters from off board. The 5 turn limit requires aggressive play on both sides. Lots of action and hair pulling grumbles as you make very risky decisions.

Once again, we switched out the MG crews in the initial OOB for 1 squad equivalent in HS. I need to do this for all the scenarios. In addition, I need to add an SSR stating that the bocage hex sides on the North boundary of the play area are considered to be breached so no MF/MP to cross and no bog checks are needed when the reinforcements enter.

The game itself. Wow. I had a blast. We started with a horrible 5 phase ROF spree by my HMG that cleared out one half of Scott's defenders, giving me free reign to move up to the VC hedgerows. Then we discovered the rule issue with the bocage and concealment discussed in the rules section, and decided since I was ROFing at 12 FP and should have been ROFing on 6 FP for area fire on ?'s, we had better reset.

We did. And I went on another 5 phase ROF spree with the HMG that left me in the same locations as before, although with one of the half squads surviving broken to retreat. Lots of 3's and 4's. Scott got a semblance of revenge though as I activated hot snipers twice and lost a half squad and an 8-1 leader.

Scott withdrew to the far side of the hedgerow to skulk and get away from PBF for his turn one. We exchanged fire and I managed to drive him off, but took another hot sniper and a warm sniper for my efforts, loosing a half squad and an inopportune pin. Routes left me in firm command of the victory hexes while Scott's reinforcements came on.

Over the next couple turns, we fought through a 3-5 hex wide orchard and along its flanks (one of the widest bocage fields on the map). Scott put together an 8-1, MMG, 666, MMG, 666 usually ? death star vs my 9-2, HMG, 467, 467 usually concealed death star and set up his mortars. I skulked while he assault/advanced through the orchard to maintain his ?. Since half FP shots vs -4 to -2 hinderances were more likely to activate his rambo sniper, I let him come and maneuvered one of my 81mm mortars into position to cover my right flank , and the second and heavy squad concentration to cover the left.

Turn 3 was the ouch phase for me. Scott had his death star on opportunity fire while he assault/advanced ?'s up through the orchards to assault the VP hex line next turn. Plus his Mortars were starting to acquisition my kill stack. I had to try and soften up the fire bases and had the decision. A 12 +3 shot vs the unconcealed mortars, or a 6 +1 shot vs the ? MMG death star. I had good odds at effecting the mortars, low odds on the MGs but the moment I fired, I loose ? and am facing a 20 +3 from the opportunity fire MMG death star. I choose to try and stop the MMGs and roll a 6,4. This is gonna sting.

Scott rolls and gets a 2 MC on my kill stack. I proceed to boxcar my 9-2's MC, ELR and Wounding down to a w8-0 equivalent. One of the 2 squads survives the morale check, but pins on the LLMC. the other breaks within ELR and routes off with the leader.

With my kill stack down, Scott assaults my right flank, which has a LMG/467. the flanker is in a good hiding position and I have him positioned to make PF shots at any tanks coming around the corner at me.

However my firing at and breaking Scott's assault at me places the flanker under first fire. The adjacent unit is not GO so I thought I could final fire my PFs at the tank. The rules state it is an armed unit that freezes the SFF vs targets beyond range of the closest unit. Brokies are not GO, but they are armed. Scott then fires up the M10 and teaches me this rule lesson. Since I had marked myself first fire and that brokie is adjacent I cant shoot. Scott got around my flank drove to 2 hexes and unloaded. Dice gods didn't cooperate and he only pinned the flanker. Thoughts of a burning tank filled my head in my next fire phase.

That darned tank. I rolled a 6 on one my PF availability rolls, and missed my to hit by one on the one roll I got. It resisted mortar attacks (mortars vs tanks SUCK) and ballocked up my right flanks fire while the left flank had to skulk to deal with the ? infantry assault coming the next turn. DF had Scotts mortars clean out my extreme left flanker opening up a wide expanse of OG behind a hedgerow to charge in concealed.

Turn 4. The assault is on. Scott drives the tank over bocage to freeze my right flank. I 6-pin another PF attempt and the mortar goes on a scary 5 ROF on the tank but fails to get any effect, although I do retain rate. Fortunately he hasn't enough MP to cross the hedgerow and overrun me. He does sit on and freeze my HMG stack and the broken units there who are now DM again.

The left flank deserves an iron cross. one 1st line half squad, a full squad/LMG and a 2nd line squad with an LMG manage to hold off 4, 666 squads advancing ?. A lot of 4 to 6 FP even shots, one 2-2 and a smiling dice god. Scott should have had a sniper field day with my rolls, but he had warm activated my own sniper who pinned his rambo sniper at the most inopportune time. Advancing 6 morale US troops into fire is just obnoxious. You get a MC of any magnitude and wave bye bye. The one squad that endured the first fire, fell to 2 FP even shots in Final fire. Scott nearly conceeded there but his sniper had broken my last guy on the right flank front before taking his pin, thus freeing up his death star squads to charge.

Scott abandoned the MG's and moved a 8-1/666/666 stack to hit the savaged right flank...and forgot about the 81 mm mortar that had not run out of ROF, just MPs expended in its sight by the tank earlier that round. I gacked my to hit during the Movement phase, but intensive fired it in the DF and snake-eyed the kill roll for a 1KIA. Scott yahtzeed both his squads out and conceded.

Thoughts of the game are that it appears to be playable. Extreme dice rolls at the beginning of the game got the Germans to the victory hexes early and allowed him to clear the hexes before US reinforcements came on the board. Had the HMG not ROFed on turn one, the fight to displace 3 666s with an 8-0 leader and HMG could have delayed long enough that the
reinforcements make it down the flank without having to fight a kill stack through the orchards.

Scotts snipers were rather active also and loosing my 8-1 early was not a good thing. Had his squads made it to the victory hedges, getting them back out again would have been horrific.

Complete lack of my ability to get a PF (I know nuh-think! I know nuh-tink!) made that tank a nightmare. Scotts morale rolling also made easy analysis hard to come by.

EDIT: I also forgot to mention scot rolled for rain on turn 4, just in time to remove his WP from the table in time for the main assault. The overcast conditions may have to be removed if this comes up too many times in play test.

But the verdict to me is, play the game again unaltered. I have not had so much fun in this map. The charge in guns blazing, and then have to immediately switch from attacker to defender mindset against a tank and a depleted company was great. Concealed units everywhere and a boatload of point blank shots. Leader directed Death stars, over watching your concealed units that make that tempting shot that drops your ? a real dilemma.

And it went down to the 4th turn. Had the dice been less radical the 5th turn would have been a swirling melee to own the most hexes at games end.

So if anyone manages to fall to the guilt trip I regularly lay down for play testing the bocage map, I suggest this one. ;)

Anything to add Scott?
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Re: AARs

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:15 pm

From Scott G.

Not much to add to what Koz has already said. It was a FUN scenario, but like all small scenarios, both sides are fragile. I would not hesitate to play again -- and in fact would very much like to as I believe there is still much to discover.

Koz -- one other thing you might want to consider is giving the American a couple of "?" counters as part of the starting OOB. This would allow him to conceal his units before the German got to look at the board and add a bit more uncertainty to what the German is shooting at. I'm just trying to come up with something that will at least challenge the German a bit at the start. Otherwise, any Americans that set up in those two visible hexes are almost certain to vanish. Don't jump to make this change -- you need to see a few more outcomes.
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Riposte Reprieve AAR

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:17 pm

From Keith
DWAC Scenario #5 Playtest.

Devon (Germans) and I (Americans) decided to playtest this one and count it as a Copa de Oro 2008 match.

Both sides set up and pretty much got to grow concealment from the get go. The Americans deployed on squad and set one HS and the HMG on the West flank to avoid turn 1 German prep and cover the West Flank approaches toe the victory hexes. Devon opted for the OBA.

Turn 1

The German Prep fire HMG revealed a US 8-0 leader and had no other effect (no ROF tear). The Spotting Round for the German OBA went way off course. A few German units moved forward on the East flank (3 squads?) and a couple moved laterally to be in a position to attack the West flank later in the game.

The US turn saw the US player ask if the US has WP smoke grenades in 44 and then proceed to roll rain. All the US units skulk behind the victory hexes with 2 exceptions. One Squad took up position to protect the East Flank approach behind the Victory hexes, and the HS and HMG moved to be able to put a Firelane down one hex in front of the Victory hexes and protect the West Flank approach. German OBA came down on the skulkers in the middle and MC'd a HS which boxcared and died, in another hex a full squad passed a MC.

Turn 2

The Germans generally advanced with some notable exceptions. The HMG group moved toward the East flank but was not in a position to shoot at many US units. The same with the radio man who lost radio contact. At the end of the turn the Germans were in a position to move into the Eastern 2 VC hexes when the OBA lets up.

The US units skulked with the East flank guarded by a squad and the West by a HS & HMG with another squad and 8-0 leader doing the reverse slope defense on the East center. The German OBA finally lets up in Def fire.

Turn 3

The German HMG stack breaks the East flank defender in Prep, The Germans then rush the 2 Eastern most VC hexes and their reverse slope US defenders, with most Germans (one or two broke) surviving the 6+2, 4+2 firelane resid shots from the West flank US HS & HMG. Also surviving the 12+0 and 6+0 shots from the reverse slope defending squad in the center. Then the West flank Germans (2 squads) rush the HS and HMG that laid the FL, the HS fires its inherent at the adjacent units in final fire and breaks one and pins the other. The German brokies rout out of the Eastern/middle VC hex the West brokie routs away laterally across the front (Devon now realizes a leader should have been sent with the West flankers) the US squad routs to the middle West VC hex with a leader. The Germans advance a stack (8-1, 467 and ?247) in to CC with the remaining unbroken US squad. Even with a -3 mod the Germans don't get the ambush! A 3-2 attack vs. US squad eliminates it, a 1-1 attack by the US 666 vs. the part of the German stack (8-1, 467) gets a CR and the random selection CR's the squad to a HS.

So the Germans control the 2 VC hexes to the East and the US the other 2.

The American turn sees the US reinforcements placed off board. Hvy Rain starts. The US Squad in the VC hex rallies even under DM! The Prep from the US HMG breaks the last West flank German attacker. The MPh sees the M-10 take a position on the east flank with the HMG to bring fire on the VC hex row. The rest of the US reinforcements advance on a broad line and remain concealed.

Turn 4

The Germans have about 1.5 to 2.5 squads able to get in position to hold off the up coming US assault on the two German held East VC hexes and also face a US squad, HS, and HMG, and M-10 TD holding the other two VC's When the Germans lose radio contact it looks like the are not going to get OBA down in time to stem the US turn 4 rush. The Germans pull back to the 2 Eastern most VC hexes with the HMG guarding the East flank The US Mtrs gain Acq on the German positions guarding the VC hexes and East flank.

The US Prep pins some Germans. The US reinforcing troops all move forward, the US East flankers are broken by the German HMG, the rest of the US forces are able to get adjacent to, or in a flanking position to take the remaining German VC hexes. With US advancing fire breaking some Germans in the VC hexes the game is essentially over.

This was a US victory, fairly lopsided.

From that I would not conclude the scenario is unbalanced.

It was a game between a new player (10 or so games of ASL) vs. an experienced player (100+ games of ASL). The new player was also using OBA for the first time. The new player also made some mistakes (no leader with West Flanking force, some major assets were out of position for a turn or so, HMG & OBA observer). And when it came down to it the German player didn’t get good luck when he needed it. Lost radio contact twice, no ROF tears, blew 2 out of 2 MC’s on the West Flank attack. The Hvy rain also made it easier to move 6 morale US squads up vs the Germans.

The US player made some minor mistakes, did not spread out enough to avoid OBA, moved a stack into a good German shot (breaking everyone) late in the game and the US player generally got some good rolls when needed.

Some recommendations:

1. For simplicity’s sake drop the funky OBA/Onboard Mtrs in the German OB and just make it a choice between OBA with either:

a. A normal radio
b. An off board observer on the south edge at level 3 or 4

2. For Balance:
a. Perhaps give the starting German OB a 447 or 2
b. Remove the crews from the US OB


I’m sure Devon can chime in with suggestions.

All in all a fun little scenario with attack and defend options for both players with agressive play required.
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AAR Riposte Reprieve

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:20 pm

We had two playtest games of DWAC Pac 5 "Riposte! Reprieve!" I took down detailed notes of the first game which I will type in later.

For those not familiar with the scenario, Riposte Reprieve starts with the US holding a bocage/orchard in the middle of the map that is 1 hex by 4 hexes long. Each of these hexes counts as 1 VP at the end of the game based on who last posessed them. The US starts with 3 x 666, 1 LMG, and an 8-0 leader. Not a lot. The reason is the German Riposte. The Germans have 6 x 467, a HMG, 3 LMG, and a 9-2, 8-1, and 8-0 leader. plus a choice of OBA and a 7-0/radio, or 2 81MM Mtr, crews, and the 7-0 plus an observation tower. On turn 3 of the 5 turm game, the US gets the Reprieve, 6 x 666, 2 MMG, 2 60mm Mtrs, a M-10 and an 8-1, and 2 x 8-0.

The game plays with the Germans pushing the US off the victory strip, then having to hold out vs the counterattack. With only 5 turns, each side has to really push it to be able to impact the victory zone, the Germans trying to reach the victory orchard before US reinforcements, then the US trying to bring the superior force to bear in only 3 short turns.

These are the 3rd and 4th playtests.

Game 1: JD: US, Randy: Germans.
The first game was rather short. There were some mistakes made and the die rolls were hot at bad moments. In the playtest I had with Scott G., he mentioned that in such a small scenario, hot dice can kill it in one turn. This turned out to be true unfortunately.

On German turn 1, we made a LOS mistake and he landed a SMOKE from his 81MM mortar in Hex U14 (Spotted from the tower in U15) onto CC12. CC12 is a blind hex. We remembered this later in the game and decided to let the smoke run its course. The germans Assaulted aggressively in through the AA14 orchard During movement and behind the smoke to BB11. In DFph, The German HMG in DD12 went on a 3 ROF spree Vs BB13, (Every one of which cowered) opening with snakes vs an 8-0 and 247. The 247, broke and ELR to a 227 and the 8-0 passed, but generated a sniper that was NA. The third Attack of the ROF spree broke the remaining Germans in BB13 but generated a generated a warm sniper that pinned the germans in DD12. AdvFire was unsuccessful and the advance ended the German, lines on BB13 CC14 and the AA11/Z12.

US turn 1 Has JD shifting east to west to meet the US threat. His DD12 HMG and 666 fire at BB11 for no effect. Shifting leads to disaster when the German 9-2/467/HMG in AA11 snake-eyes DD10 and bags an Assault Moving 666 with a 1KIA. The 467 and 2 LMGs at Z12 boxcar their roll breaking one LMG. JD finishes with a stack in DD12.

Comments at the end of turn 1: "Randy. The ELR or 2 here is brutal. But rolling snakes is pretty good!

I also noted at this time the smoke was wrong and that Randy forgot to Defensive fire his 81mm Mtr was DD12 which was unconcealed with Acquisition. On turn 1 he also forgot to mark a kill stack opportunity fire so he had to fire it half FP in AdvFire.

German turn 2 began with Randy Breaking an 81mm Mtr. He remembered to Opportunity fire Z12. Movement starts assault moves from CC14 to DD13. JD boxcars that roll with a 666 and fortunately does not use his HMG. CC14 sends a 467/lmg through DD14 to EE14 out of Subsequent first fire range and then makes the gamble of the game. The 467/HMG/9-2 in BB11, Assault move to CC11. DD10 First fires an 11 on a 12-1 shot which generates a PTC. All the assaulters PIn. Subsequent fire...(3 MP spent going over the bocage) Disaster. Roles a 3. 1KIA. Random KIA's the 9-2 and the LLTC CR's the 467. HMG dropped alongside the body of the dead 9-2. OUCH! TO add insult to injury the Op fired stack in Z12 ballocks their roll. DD13 does advance into DD12 starting CC with the 666/HMG there. No ambush and no results so they are locked into Melee.

US turn 2 starts by rolling rain (Overcast conditions). The smoke in CC12 is now gone. No Prep, No Move. Def fire. The U14 mortar goes on a 4 ROF spree. On the third ROF, he hits and rolls a 3 Kill. This 2 MCs the 666 in in DD11 who breaks. The US Sniper is generated though and he comes up hot on the 8-1/467/BrokenLMG/467/LMG in Z12. The remaining Kill stack. Randy Rolls a Yachtzee on the 8-1/467 with the LMG. LLMC Breaks the remaining good order 467 and CR's the broken 467. The rate ends. No Advance fire, and no advance after route. The Close combat in DD12 goes and the Germans loose to the US squad. At this point, its a concession since the German squads remaining were all Broken ELR'd squads and the US platoon had not arrived yet.

Post game comments.

Randy noted that the ELR really hurt him this game, which it did. He had something like 5 breaks that ELR'd which made rallying early impossible. Especially with 2 of his 4 leaders out of action and both of those with the negative modifiers.

JD made a very good suggestion where he recommended the starting squads be reduced to 2nd line squads to lessen their power in CC and to chop the 12 FP point blank shots to 8 FP, which is more survivable. This we did for game 2. We kept the ELR in place though...
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AAR Riposte Reprieve

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:20 pm

Game 2: Koz: US, Randy: Germans.

Things were the same for game 2. Except we replaced the onboard US 3 x 666 squads with 3 x 546. As per our discussion with the previous game, this makes the Point blank shots less monstrous and allows a greater chance to the Germans in CC.

I set up an 8-0/236 in DD9, 546 in DD10, 236 in DD11, and 546/HMG in DD12. I considered the HMG 546 in DD11, but I wanted more Firepower against the CC13/DD13 approach to DD12. I stand by my decision but I ended up giving Randy a free HMG. DD11 was a half squad to absorb Prep fire, DD10 was a full squad to cover the BB10 field and to shift to DD11 if the HS bit the dust there. DD9 was to cover the BB10 and BB8 fields and served as a rally point with the 8-0. My plan was to fall back to the East side of the victory strip in the fields surrounding DD9 to keep the Germans from hex CC8. reinforcements would then come down the big FF9 field to push.

German Turn 1:
Randy starts the game with a Boxcars, breaking his Mortar, the second one is ineffective. He made it to the same line as game one, heavily advancing through AA14 to a line on CC14, BB13, Z12 and A11 again. This time he had opportunity fire stacks in Both Z11 and Z12 so I held my fire to keep ?. This was good as I was only pinned when he AdvFired on DD12.

US Turn One: I skulked. No targets that were not under ?. As you can expect the turn went really fast and uneventful. Of note however, Rain commenced. +1 LOS hinderance for every 5 hexes distance.

German turn 2: Rain and spotted fire deterred the 81MM mortar fire from the Nose, despite scary ROF. The Z11 & AA11 Kill stacks are Opportunity fire again. THis time I cant hide under ? as the assault comes at me out of the BB13 orchard. The 546/HMG in DD12 makes a good show of itself in the Movement phase putting down fire in DD13 that breaks a 247, but allowing a path through CC14-DD14 into the S edge of the giant FF11 orchard via EE14. an 8-0/467 comes out of BB13 to CC13 via assault move. I SFF on him to no effect, but take off 2 FPP shots, one which breaks the 467, the other breaks me to no effect. I don't have to worry about routing though as the Kill stacks finish off the broken squad in the AdFPh with two failed MC's while broken. Assaults leave the Germans on a line from EE13-DD13. AA11-BB11, and the 8-0 in DD12 to try and recover the HMG. Plus he grabs DD12, one of the 4 victory hexes DD12-DD9) to German control.

US turn 2 starts with Randy Eliminating the broken 81mm MTR in the Rally phase, but recovering the HMG in DD12. I prep fired the DD11 half squad at DD12 to hopeful make the leader pay for the brazen attempt to get the HMG. 4 straight up I thought would be good odds but the dice failed me. I skulked everyone else and the prepped fire half squad fell under a rain of fire in the DFPh. THe turn ended with the full 546 in DD10, the HS 236 in DD9 and the 8-0 in EE10

German turn 3, wind change DR 10. Heavy rain. Base +1 Hinderance, plus +1 LOS hinderance for every 5 hexes. German Opportunity fire breaks the 546 in DD10 (ELR to green 536) after he shrugs off prep and holds up advancing through the BB10 field. This forces a skulk in Movement though. But the end result after advance is the Germans holding the victory hexes in DD12, DD11, and DD10. CC11 has the 9-2/467/HMG kill stack. Randy has fallen out of character, however, as the broken 536 survives to rout to EE10. With the heavy rain, Randy has dismantled the 81MM mortar and is running CX down he road with the 7-0 leader to end in U10. The remaining 228 crew is in W12 on the way to the front line.

US turn 3. EE10 Rallys!!! Reinforcements arrive! 2 platoons of 666 (3x) with 2 MMGs, 2 dm 60mm MTRs, a hand full of leaders, and a M10 GMC. With 4 orchard hindrances, +2 bocage DRM, +1 Heavy rain Hinderance and my stacks concealed, I move two full stacks and leaders CX, for 8 MP and make a 8-0/2 x666/ 2x dm 60mm MTR+crews) to HH13, and a Kill stack consisting of 3 x 666/2 x MMG/ 8-1 leader to HH10, and a final 8-0/666 to II10. The M10 rolls up to II2 (CA HH11/HH12) and stops. I assault move DD9 to DD8, and assault Move EE10 to SS10 after he survives a Point blank shot in DF. Close combat!!! 536 vs 2 x 467 and an LMG. I fail my CC roll, but the Germans don't. The turn ends with the US Kill stack in GG10 and the Mortar flanking force in GG14.

German turn 4. Now on the defensive, the Germans wisely skulk. With a tank and a 24 FP Kill stack around its a good idea. Things end up exactly where they were the end of US3 The US does assemble its 60mm Mortars in GG14. The german 81 MM Mtr has made it to X8.

US turn 4, Time to start the final assault. The Kill stack in GG10 is marked opportunity fire hoping to get the ? stack in DD11 to unconceal. No prep fire. GG14 seperately assault moves 2 ?666 squads into FF13 to draw fire to no joy (+1 or 2 Orchards +1 Heavy rain and 1/2 FP concealed). The GG14 Mortars do get some fire as they move along the bocage. FF14 is ignored but EE15 draws fire from CC13 who manages to roll a pin. The second Mortar makes it to DD15 but is broken by HMG fire from DD12. The tank fires up in II12, crosses bocage at HH13 with a Bog roll of 10 (Thank god it was an NGP M-10, not a HGP Sherman), and end up stopped in DD15 with CA at CC15/DD14. A full squad goes to DD8, and the 8-0 leader from EE9 moves to provide cowering protection. A second 666, goes to EE9. The remaining 8-0s go to GG9 and FF15 for rally locations. There is no Defensive fire

In advance fire the opportunity fire kill stack in GG10 fires on DD10 with intentions to break the 467 with a 20+4 attack. I roll...a three! ROF and a 2MC. This should put the skedaddle into that 467. Randy rolls a 4 and passes. @#*^. The follow up 8+4 with the MMG ROF is NA. So we are on to Route. FF15 gets the broken Mortar crew from DD15 who abandons their mortar for portage reasons. The Sherman takes two low odd shots (1 ROF) to gain -2 acquisition on DD12. Assault Phase has the Kill stack moving to FF9. THe FF13 squads move to EE14 to be out of LOS and ready for the final turn push on DD12.

German turn 5. The mortar crew from the elim 81mm Mtr arrives in CC13 and is transferred a LMG in the rally phase. In Prep fire, it fires on EE14 and the 2x ?666 but boxcars the LMG (Randy: "You run all the way up here just to break the MG I give you!") DD12 has a Sherman with -1 Acquisition on it so it joins the rest of the group and skulks. The EE15 mortar men need practice and cant hit CC13, the 2 squads in EE14 need their concealment and do not return fire.

On the Eastern flank though the 81mm Mortar manhandles into Y9. We may have misplayed (Mtr no fire in AdFP) as it took a shot at the 8-0 and 666 in DD8. Despite hinderance and bocage Randy rolled and obscenely low number to hit DD8. The Squad and leader shrugged off the MC, but generated a sniper in the process. the hot sniper homed in on the location and I Yahtzeed the random selection killing the leader and breaking the squad. Rout sends the 666 back to GG9 to rally with the leader. German advances returns him to the front line.

US turn 5. WInd change. A 3rd 10! Heavy rain is back down to Light rain. Randy Eliminates a LMG in repair attempts. Whew! Time for the last turn Push. Randy has 3 of the 4 Victory locations. I need to take one to draw and two to win!

Prep fire. EE15 goes on a 4 ROF spree vs CC13. On the 3rd Shot, snake-eyes! Critical hit! 16 FP-1. ROlls get a 2 MC. And the 228 crew passes it! UGH! The sherman in CC15 fires at DD12 and despite only +2 bocage and -2 Acquisition I cant hit it and dont get rate. Ut oh...GOnna have to do this the hard way. At least my mortar crew in FF15 rallied in the Rally phase.

On the east side the Kill stack in FF9 gets a shot at DD10 who is not concealed. the 20+3 gets a MC which he passes!!! Crap! Kept rate though. 8+3 Roll a 3. 2 MC Both of the 467's in the hex break and take their LMG with them. EE9 Assault Moves into EE10 and takes fire from the 9-2/467/HMG in CC11. No effect and no rate! OK DD10 is mine in Advance. That is 2 Victory locations each. I need to get DD12.

The rallied crew from FF15 starts up to troll for fire. Crossing into DD14 he gets it from CC13 and breaks. (2 (-2)). EE14 Assault moves to DD13 and looses concealment. CC13 fires again to no effect. The hurt comes down from DD12, a 467 with the captured US HMG. They take a 20-2 shot and a 4MC. "Well this will need snake-eyes to pass" I comment, and then roll just that. HOB battle hardens. Randy is undeterred, takes a SFF shot off his ROF, and then rolls a 4 on a 12(-2). 1KIA. I can see it now. The squad. "We are indestructible WAAAGH!" Stands up to beat chests and is mowed down by a second burst!

EE14 assault moves to EE13 now, and as EE13 is orchard (concealment terrain) he keeps his ?. The squad is half FP so we are looking at an 8 FP x2 Point blank, x1/2 SFF, x1/2 concealed. 4 FP straight up. Randy rolls boxcars and wrecks the captured HMG. The 8-0 from FF15 moves up to EE13 to join the assault. No more movement. No Def fire. DD12 survives Advancing fire from EE13 (Hard debate whether to keep ? to try for ambush). Advance Phase! EE10 Advances to DD10 claiming the victory location. A draw is assured. US two locations. Germans 2 locations. EE13 advances into DD12. CLOSE COMBAT! GAME DECIDED ON THE LAST ROLL OF THE GAME!!! Roll for ambush and no joy.

Close combat. Germans: 1 467 and a 8-1 leader. US: 1 666 and a 8-0 leader. I have to clear the hex so I go for one big CC. odds are 7:5. Adjust to 1:1 each of us. Both need a five and I roll...

An 8.

Randy fails his CC, the hex is locked in Melee. US 2 victory locations. Germans 2 victory locations! The game is a DRAW!

-----

Well it seems that JD's idea of the second line squads was a good one. Randy also played a good game not making the mistakes he did in the first one. ELR hurt, but hurt equally in the game. This makes 2 games that came down to the last turn. I think this one is ready to go out to general play-testing.
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AAR La Mare

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:23 pm

Played with Randy at the meet. Good Game.

I noticed quickly that it was nearly impossible for the US to take all the required ground in 6 turns. I increased the turns to 8.

I also adjusted the cost of AP mines to give 2 factors per FP spent rather than one per FP spent. I plan to do this to all scenarios with FPP.

AAR
Randy played as the Germans, I played as the US. Looking at the initial set up, Randy places his troops on or south of row W, ceding the AA1, AA2, and AA3 fields. The 88 is clearly at W6 and the town is filled up with infantry. So I am expecting heavy fortifications between AA and W.

I set up on row DD. One HW platoon (9-2 leader, 2 x 666 and 2 x 346 with DM MMG and DM .50HMG) in DD1, a tank in EE1, mortars on DD2 and EE2 to take on the 88. And 2 platoons with the 2 Baz44 and 4 DC's in DD3 and DD4 to assault the 88. The 2nd M44 is in DD5 to support this. There is an 8-1 and 7-0 leader with this group. I just noticed the 8-1 should have been an 8-0.

Turn 1 US: I deploy some squads for scouts in rally phase.
Prep fire my mortars at the 88 but the +2 concealed and +2 Bocage mean nothing but acquisitions (although I did have a 5 ROF spree on one) I go into movement and Discover an AP minefield in Y6 and evaporate a HS/Baz44 discovering the 88's BS hex in CC3 (-4 FFNAM,FFMO and BS on a 16 table. Yikes) I roll up the tank to Z5, adjacent to the AP field to start a TB once the 88 is eliminated. The platoons end up on the AA row at movements end. No DF, No APh, no Route, Advance to the Z row, including a 2 squad bait shot for the 88 in Z4 to make him have to loose concealment and be exposed to the mortars.

Turn 1 German: W2 and W4 skulk from the US units across the Orchard at Z1-Z3. The 88 fires at Z4 but rolls a 12 dud on the kill roll. Defensive fire from the 2 666 in Z4 breaks the 88 crew who routes to U5. The skulkers advance back into W row again concealed. The US Assemble the MMG and .50 HMG in Z2 during the DFP.

Turn 2 US:
The MG Kill stack (2x 346, MMG, .50 HMG with 9-2) Goes opportunity fire in Z2. In Movement, Z1 and Z3 advance into the field and discover a mine belt running from Y2 to Y3. I suspect more mines in Y1 and Y4 so I shift the attack down the road Y5, discovering 3 AT mine factors but a way around. The tank in Z5 TBs the Ap minefield in Y6 and exits to X6 and stops. The HS in y6 advances tot he tank and is killed by a 9-2 directed HMG and squad in Lvl1 U5. The 2nd tank moves to Z3. The Assault platoons Slide to X5, Y5. Defensive fire has German W2 and W4 firing on the units in the mine field, breaking Y2 but Y3 passes their MC. Advancing fire from Z3 and Y5 wounds a german leader in W4 who routes to Y3 on the way to U4. The MG kill stack went on a 5 ROF which pinned W4 4 times and pins the squad but not the leader in W2. The Sherman in X6 breaks both is BMG and CMG firing upon U5. My routes go to Rally points in AA3 and Y5. His move back to the U3 graveyard and U4 building. Advances leave me on a line from X3 to X7.

German turn 2:
Rallys go poorly for both of us. W2 prep fires vs Z3 and misses. A PSK in Lvl0 U5, fire on the M4 in X6, hits, and rolls another dud on the kill. (I hereby declared dice bitching to be in effect for the germans and shuddered at the prospect of the bell curve evening out in late game.)
The squad in X4 is broken but X5 remains OK. Other units skulk. My DfP begins with a catastrophe as I attempt to Wp U5 from the M4 in X6 and break the gun. The MG kill stack in Z2 breaks the squad in W2 who routs away but the leader remains on the MMG. Routs are as the previous turn.

Us Turn 3:
Rally phase repairs one MG but X's my Main armament recalling the M5 in X6. Prep fires break W4 and finally wound the leader in W2 who routes. I moved X3 to W1 to cut off the route path from W4, but brain farted and continued to V3 where I was broken by fire from U4. The world became ugly for W4 as I tried to eliminate it to save my own broken unit in V3, but I wasn't able to kill it. The rest of the turn was concentrating in the W5, W4, X5 area for a push at the church next turn. The M4 in Z5 TB's the mines in Y4 to allow the Z line infantry a breach route to shift forward. Rote phase sees my 666 eliminates in V3 and W4 routes to the graveyard. (@#^$%)

German turn 3:
Rally phase is good for all involved. The mortars in Y2 fire upon W4, breaking 2 squads but not having any ROF. U4 fires at V4 to no effect. Everyone else is out of LOS. Return fire is sniper bait so I abstain. Routes go to my new rally point in X5. T4 and U5 units shift up to lvl1 relinquishing WA so I cant shoot at them next turn PfP.

US Turn 4:
I am running out of turns to clear the town (and Randy has to leave so this is the last turn) So I have to aggressive to get into the church. I DM my MG kill stack in X2 to shift up the following turn. The M4 has no targets and I don't want to try and VB freeze with Panzerfausts everywhere, so I shift him from X4 to W5. W4 succeeds in infantry smoke in V4 and advances in to break. W5 advances 2 squads with DC's into V4 which both break. I had to move rather than assault to have enough MPS to get the Dc into the building through the bocage, which offset the smoke DRMs. I did get the Leader/HMG stack in U5 Lvl 1 to shoot its wad at V4 though which allowed me to take a gamble and run a 7-0 and 2 666, 2 DC from X5 to W6 to V5. The 88 crew in U5 Lvl 1 got me with a roll of 3 (-2) which turned the streets red and ended the game. As Randy had fired a 3 on the previous fire event, the bell curve I was fearing with those 2 duds came back with a vengeance. Recalling that M4, who was tasked to smoke U5 or HE it to oblivion, really hurt the assault. But those rolls at the end would have ruined me none the less.

Setting up my tank in EE1 actually cost me this game. The one more field of advancement would have had him in W5 on turn 4, so I could have smoke Mortared or WP/S'd T4 V4 or V5 which would have made my assault a lot easier. And certainly would have got rid of the FFNAM and FFMO in Y5. An overrun onto the broken unit on W4 would have saved me my 666 having to move as well. Of course the aggressive move into v5 would have been held off a turn had Randy not had to go, advancing into W5 instead. Of course I was a little fixated on the DC's. In retrospect. Assault moving an 18 FP Kill stack (12 FP in AfP) to V4 would have been a wiser idea, allowing me to assault into U4, U5 in Advance. And following the X5 units into V4 from W4 rather than greasing them in the street.

Overall a great game. As I was only in turn 4 (despite VERY aggressive play) and had all the town to clear, its certainly not a 6 turn game, hence bumping the turn limit up to 8. Considering the US difficulties, I am considering my accidental 8-1 to become a permanent part of the game, but as Randy mentioned, he was scraping the bottom of the barrel as it was to hold off the US squads, so I will keep him at 8-0 for now.
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Koz
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AAR La Mare

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:24 pm

Keith was gracious enough to help me with another play test this weekend at the meet. In addition, Roger, a new member on his first visit, sat in and ended up pushing pieces on one half of the attack to get his brain back in ASL mode after a long hiatus. As I had already set up a defense in anticipation of grabbing a play-test, I took the defender. The scenario was La Mare, and this was its 4th play-test I believe.

Since the last game there have been 2 changes in the scenario card. ATM mines have been reduced in cost from 1 FP = 1ATM factor, to 1 FP = 2 ATM factors. In addition, the turn length has been increased from 6 turns to 8 turns.

The German squads are outnumbered 2:1 in the game. They have an 88 to make life hard on the americans, lots of mortars and MG's, and 12 FP to purchase fortifications. Attrition and conservation of force appear to be the name of the game for the Germans. I set up heavily to defend the 88, and to delay/atrite along the MLR at my minefield. 2 DIP half squads (One HIP) were set forward to force prep fires, delay a turn, and if lucky do some damage. I bluffed forward on the right and put the HMG in U5(L1) to stop an end run and a PSK HIP trap in U5(L0) in case he tried to VBM freeze me.

My goal was to skulk and retain ? as much as possible, and to resist temptation to stand and slug it out until the late game. With 8 turns the US forces can take a couple beatings and recover to push again once rallied. With only 5 squad equivalents, the Germans cant afford casualties. Delay! Delay! Delay! Fall back to T4, S4 as my Alamo, or R5, S6 to deathtrap S5 as a last resort.

German Set Up
Y6 2fATM, 6fAPM 2
X5 Wire 1
X4 6fAPM 1
X3 6fAPM 1
X2 6fAPM 1
T4 Fortified 2
S4 Fortified 2
V2 Wire 1
T3 Wire 1

AA2 247?
Z2 (HIP) 247 PSK

W2 247, LMG, 7-0
W3 467, MMG
W5 467, LMG
U3 8-0

W6 88L AA Flak 18, 228
X6 ??

U5 L1 9-2, HMG, 467
U5 L0 (HIP) 247 PSK

T7 Tower, 7-0
U8 81mm MTR, 228
T6 81mm MTR, 228

US 1
Keith and Roger set up heavily on the German Left, 2 platoons in the DD1,EE1 area, one platoon in La Petite Ferme, and the mortars in the road to slug it out with the 88 in W6. The attack opened on the right as Roger advanced a half squad scout forward and discovered the minefield in Y6. My ?? in W6 managed to dissuade further assaults and the turn ended with an impressive US fire line from Y6 to BB4. The mortars were about worthless against the 88. Roger's first roll of the game was boxcars, breaking one Mortar. The second missed and did not get rate. I got a critical hit on my second ROF shot vs the remaining mortar crew via tower spotted 81MM mortar fire from the Nose, breaking them so they scurried back to La Petite Ferme to rally. The disabled mortar was abandoned next turn and the remaining good order mortar sat in the open road.

On the left, Keith started the movement with an infantry assault . the AA2, 247 half squad dropped ? for a PF check and muffed the roll. Keith rolled over the bocage to VBM freeze him, breaking the HS with point blank MG fire. Unfortunately he also popped the HIP PZK trap in Z2. Keith has the honor of my first LATW kill recipient. I usually cant hit the broad side of a barn from the inside of it with those things. One hex with only a -2 mod for moving is hard to miss, although I tried. Hit with exactly the too hit number. Of course. Hits with a PZK or PF make the kill roll academic in all situations except a frontal hit vs a king tiger or equivalent. Burn baby burn! The PSK half squad then proceeded to blast FPF at every squad that moved thereafter. Fortunately for the US, I was cowering all my shots leaving no residual. Advancing fire showed the PZK half-squads demise as I was K/# by a FG and tank encirclement. AA2 surrendered during route. My speed bumps were gone but I call getting one of those tanks a good exchange. Keith's advance made it up to the Z line hedgerow and an impressive Kill stack threatened in Z1.

German 1
I skulked the Germans on the W row MLR and slipped my ?? from X6 back towards the U5 Building. Everything was ? so prep fires were not worth it. Keith had no targets so he did no Fires, except to assemble the MGs in the Z1 Kill stack and a pot shot with the remaining M1 in Z3 to acquire W2. The burning sherman spread to flame AA2.

US 2
Dice were not kind to the US as the M1 could not find its WP7 or S5 in Prep fire. Keith opened up with a blast from his kill stack and the Z line front squads and the tank, stripping ? from my MMG stack but the Germans passed morale. An ugly session of "Shoot or don't shoot" began as Keith advanced half squads with DC's out into the Y3 field. The Right flank platoon also threatened W5 and the 88 from the road. My MMG stack ineffectively returned fire vs the Kill stack, but I let the assault come into the Y3 field and held my fire to keep ? to resist the advancing fire OUCH that was coming. Plus I knew he was going to advance into my mines and I would hopefully have brokies to attrit next turn so I wanted to survive.

The right flank threw 2 HS into the wire to distract the 88, and then discovered the right end of my mine belt in X4. My defensive fire vs X4 from W5 was ineffective. Advance fire was soaked up with passing morale checks. Keith advanced the assault troops and discovered the rest of the X line mine belt, but he also found the Gap at X1. The german sniper was very active with a hot and warm roll that spread DMs in the rally area. The end of the turn had the americans on a strong line in the X, Y, and Z rows to the left of the road, and rallies going on in AA3. The flame in AA2 went to a full on burn.

German 2
Wind change brought on rain. Prep fire saw the 88 blasting at the half squads in its wire and I rolled another critical hit yielding a K/2 result. One HS gone and the other (already broken) failed its MC. I took a risk and revealed the The 467, LMG in W5 , breaking the 666 in Y4. I skulked the MMG squad from W3, Displaced the W2 group towards their ultimate direction in T1. Keith has moved his rallied crew to attempt to repossess his mortar in EE2, and a mortar duel began between in and the spotted fire from the tower in T7 and the U8, 81mm Mtr. Defensive fire against W5 was ineffective (I had very hot moral dice the whole game) and Keith used his Kill stack to prune trees in U8 searching for the HIP Observation tower. Advance phase had me abandon the Y3 field, shifting W5 to W6, Holding my MMG in V3 and the LMG in T1. I advanced my U5 HMG down to L0 and claimed WA.

US 3
No prep fire as the US needed to move. Disaster struck as the remaining M1 bogs trying to cross the Z3/Y3 bocage hex side. Keith announces "Do not ever do this" as he takes a risk and moves his kill stack in a stack from Y1 to V1. This allows me to set up a fire lane from W6 to W1 which does not roll enough to effect the stack. The V3 MMG/467 has better luck, though, and manages to get ROF and ugly roll that breaks the kill stack. This does draw a US sniper, but to add insult to injury it is cold. The Z line half squads with the DC's have an ugly time advancing into the W3 field, having to pass a Mine attack, then a fire lane, then DFF from V3. Keith does get a couple into the wire at V2 to threaten me, and at the end of the turn has the majority of the US forces in the X1 field rallying the Kill stack brokies and preparing to exploit the Gap in the mines. Roger spends the turn shifting his squads to the gap and rallying broken squads in AA3. He also gets a couple squads to V1 to recover the dropped .50 HMG. The German 88 has not fired this turn due to the no CA change/fire in the same turn bocage rule, but its CA now faces W5/X5.

German 3
No Prep fire. The MMG in V3 assault moves into U4 and does not claim WA remaining out of sight to V2. U3 assault moves to T3 and takes an ineffectual shot from V2. There is no LOS to W6 and the tower can not see anything so the Mortars and 88 are silent. The only fire comes with my assault moving the HMG from U5 (L0) to V5. The V1 HMG/666 fires, and strips concealment but the 9-2 directed MC passes. Return fire is ineffective so the round was bloodless.

GAME ENDS DUE TO TIME

Post game discussion has it a very hard road for the US, which will be greatly dependent on the rally rolls. The W row is covered by the W6 88 and 467/lmg, the V row now has the V5 9-2/467/HMG, and the U row is covered by the U4(L0) 467/MMG and the T1 7-0/247/LMG. The US still has 5 turns to break the line and take the town. The rains arrival to kill the smoke chances is unfortunate though. It is still doable, but a lot depends on the die rolls and a bad round requiring more rallies would put the game out of reach.

Dice: Keith says the US rolled average. I would say the Germans rolled a bit low on the bell curve, particularly with my rallies, but it did come out average. The morgue showed my two DIP half squads as the Germans, and 3 crews / half squads for the US and I think he had 3 ELR replacements. Of course the M1 sitting in there was a real killer. The other one bogged on the bocage really hurt as well.

Tactics: I have to say that I think this is one of the best games I have ever played as a player. I managed to stick to my plan and the defensive belt did its job as advertised. the dice certainly helped, but "Delay! Delay! Delay" worked and I conserved my forces for the end game.

Keith mentioned that the US fell into every trap I had laid. The PF trap bagging the M1 on the first turn, the dummy stack in X6 delayed the right flank, and the minefields all took their toll. Keith and Roger adapted well to the setbacks and still had their infantry force intact, (though broken) but the killer was the loss of the tanks. Loosing armor assault capability, smoke, the ability to trail-break the wire and mines for the infantry, and the simple suppressive capability that's immune to my return fire at ranges >2 (3 with PSK but near 0% chance to hit) really hurt. As the Germans, those things scare me. Had Keith lead with the infantry to expose my HIP trap, things could have been a lot more different.

I am seeing the game develop into an interesting dilemma as the US. How much do you set up to take out the 88 vs the assault through the Bocage. I personally tend to concentrate on the 88, for its removal opens the road for advancement (Allowing one to flank the mines in the Y field) and most importantly, reduces Hex W6, the most powerful defensive hex in the opening game.

In all the play tests so far, there has never been an end game. All have ended at turn 3 or 4 right as the US is penetrating the ubiquitous minefield and starting to enter the town. I am curious to see how it develops. Clearly the victory conditions require the building control so the advance will be through there, but the benefit of concealment growth in bocage, vs the buildings, makes an assault from the T1 hill mass an attractive option. Particularly if the V3 field is well defended.

That's it. I am really liking this scenario. Anyone else for play-tests? (Nag nag!)
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Koz
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