AARs

Stuff concerning Koz's Hedgerow Obsessive Disorder. ;)

AAR Sunken Hopes

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:28 pm

Wow. What a fun scenario.

JD took the US and I used a German setup I had made while messing around with VASL. The basics of the map is that it is divided by two sunken roads into three sections: The west section, along the map edge, a central section in a stream valley with a shallow stream and open ground, and a east section with a bocage maze. Victory conditions were to control two buildings on the east third, or to exit 3 squad equivalents past a hex row on the west side.

Due to the small number of squads the Germans have vs the US, they have a depleted 81mm mortar module and 6 points to buy fortifications. I goofed up on my fort setup as I only purchased 5 points of forts. I purchased an observation tower, which I placed my OBA radio and a 7-0 leader in, 2 minefields, which I used to mine the crossroads of the 2 sunken roads and a choke point in the sunken roads on the east, and then two breaches which I used to open up a lateral lane to switch flanks, and to set up a path for an HMG field of fire on the victory row on the west side. I set my troops up forward to make him slow down for every major field. I didn't think I could stop him cold, but I could slow him down enough to win a time victory. Therefore I scoped out fire lane and fall back locations.

JD started in La Mare. His first turn was slowed down as he had to cross several bocage lines but it became clear he was focusing his entire effort on the Left. A nasty 24 PF kill stack broke a ?467/LMG that was protecting the east Sunken road. I shifted a ?9-2/467/HMG squad fromt he extreme east flank to the east sunken road to cover the central section, and left the crossroads uncovered to lure JD into a mine field and HIP trap I had set up in the region.

To my glee JD marched the 24 FP kill stack into the mines. THe mines broke one squad and pin another. Most importantly the 9-2 and an MMG/HMG were both out of action for 2 turns trying to extracate themselves. To do this JD shifted a tank to roll a trail break through the AP mines. La Mare's village terrain ate up most of his MP thought and he ended the turn in the Mines with the infantry. On the west, I was trying to get my OBA rolling. I drew a red on the my DFP his turn, and failed radio contact on my PFP. But on turn 2 DFP I got contact and made an accurate SR placement. I converted to Harassing fire, and suddenly, the entire approach on the west board side was an artillery fountain. Things are good.

JD spent the next 2 turns frustrated. My die rolling for the artillery was blessedly a series of 8-11s, so he didn't suffer casualties, but he was now forced to shift into the West sunken lane, which was covered by fire and mined, or the central stream, which was also covered, but IN the stream, one could advance at 3 MF a hex. Having familiarity with the map, I was able to set up MGs to cover nearly every fire lane or open ground hex. I was wondering if his personal morale check was going to pass or not.

Then I made the mistake of the game. JD suckered me with a large stack moving concealed. Wanting to strip concealment, I placed my observation tower on board. Up to this point, the observer had been directing my OBA HIP. Once I was on the board, JD moved a huge kill stack in LOS and snaked eyes the observer to oblivion. At the end of the turn, the OBA went bye bye, and the whole west side was opened up, defended by one 8-1/247/LMG, 2 dummy stacks and 2 81mm mortars who now could not see as their observer was feeding crows in the observation tower. Both JDs Tanks were soon on the way as well as a couple platoons of infantry.

While on the subject of tanks, I am very annoyed. I had three shots at range one with my LATWs. One shrek at the HIP trap at the crossroads I alluded to earlier, and 2 fausts. I missed with all of them. And worse was to come.

JD's tanks rolled down the west sunken road, blithely crunching trail breaks through my Minefields. He drove up to the ?8-1/247/LMG stack, I believe thinking it was a dummy. I rolled for a PF. Success! Roll to hit. A 12! The 247 blows up. Fortunately he could not get the tank out of the Sunken lane so he parked it and machine gunned the remaining ?8-1, stripping concealment, but not killing him. THis ripped a gaping hole in my line, and a stack of half squads and a 8-1 leader, advanced through the trail breaks and into the victory area. The leader and a crew and half squad moved to CC on the 8-1, and a half squad advanced beyond to spread out in the victory region. Unfortunately for JD, his CC roll was a 12, so the 8-1 withdrew to the 467/MMG adjacent.

My 9-2/HMG/467 stack had moved in position to shoot down the breach cleared fire lane. It shredded the close combat group. The 8-1/MMG/467 rolled boxcars and malfed their attack against the half squad that had moved adjacent. Fortunately my 467/LMG broke him allowing me to shift the squad/broken MMG back and put fire on the sunken row exit into the victory area.

JD obviously had something to say about this and his 2nd tank put an end to my nonsense with HE. With the Entrance into the victory area uncovered, he simply moved into the victory area and won the game on the last turn.

Great Game JD!

In retrospect. Aside of the bone head move to loose my Observation tower, I placed my Mortars poorly and they never really got to show themselves as their observer spent all game on the radio. I should have had them on the other side of the board or in the middle where I could fire sans observer. What to do with that 1 Fortification point I forgot. Another mine field would be good but the tanks just tracked through trail breaks. Replacing the second minefield with a road block may be better, but the mines deterred infantry in that hex, while the RB would just make an infantry block. OF course, If I could have killed off one of the tanks in the sunken lane, there would be a road block so I could get both. I am thinking a mine field in the east along a long N-S bocage field may be better. Force the infantry into the Maze.

I am pondering JD's concentrating everything on one side. The Schwerpunkt was overwhelming vs my spread out troops, but it was incredibly vulnerable to OBA. Had I not idioted away my observer, he would have been stopped short with little chance of repositioning. Plus this allowed me to denude my right flank to cover the center and left at the end game. Obviously, I lost, so his way works. But I am thinking what a platoon sent tot he east would have done to keep my forces spread thin.

Anyhow. Looking for rematches or new players next meet! =)
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Re: AARs

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:29 pm

[b]From JD[/b]

Re: Mortars in this terrain.
Mortars are the organic artillery asset for line infantry. Not overwhelming firepower in any sense but they can come into effect rapidly and help blunt an attack or suppress a strong point. They, however, provide misleading benefits in terrain this close as lines of sight are extremely limited so targets are impossible to see or too close to hit.

Their use in situations like this scenario, I'd rather set them up with a couple of good bore-sighted hexes. The benefits of this approach is that LOS works both ways and these weapons do not dominate the battle but would serve to channel or deny an avenue of approach. Being 81s they can also serve to smoke their BS hexes so as to provide their own cover.

If I were to replay this scenario, what would I do differently?
I would keep my spotter and Mortar units in place a little longer. Using them to search for the HIP observer unit would have been a beneficial use when no observable units were visible and the location was the only place for the effective use of the mortars. Instead, I abandoned the weapons and the 1.5 squads they freed added little to my attack.

Engineers, they added little to my plan, but that is mainly my use of them. With such close terrain their smoke was not needed as much as if I had to cross some open terrain. My initial plan was to use them to blow gaps in the bocage for the tanks to break through. My avenue of approach changed, so the need to blow the gap was eliminated. I had thought of using them to blast strong points but the tanks were able to suppress the adjacent Germans, so they contributed to my VC totals instead. Had I chosen the other route they could reduce fortified building locations so I do not feel they are extraneous.

My avenue of approach...I stumbled into a minefield trying to maneuver my support weapons to cut off any attempt to reinforce my chosen flank and stumbled on the true high-speed avenue of approach-the lane. The sunken lane keeps non-adjacent units out of LOS and was ultimately the key to victory since I was able to suppress those units that could interdict my movement. I think my minefield reaction was correct (once detected stop and let the tank clear a path) since Chris did make a cardinal error with battlefield obstacles: it is not an obstacle if no one is covering it with direct fires. Not covering an obstacle lets the attacker reduce it at his leisure and turns it into a hindrance to maneuver. A HIP unit covering the obstacle would have been murderous to the units on the minefield.

I chose my VC due to the fact that getting 3 squads across a line of hexes is easier than trying to exert control over 5 building hexes (which may have been fortified as well). Had I chosen the other VC, I still would have come on like gangbusters because the terrain is very slow and forcing the defender to expose himself in order to react to my attack can even out the exposed attacker/ dug-in defender equation.

I'm hungry and wrapping it up for lunch!

Great game Chris!

I think the design is solid and only some more playtest results would highlight balance issues.
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Re: AARs

Postby Koz » Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:30 pm

JD Sullivan wrote:Re: Mortars in this terrain.
Mortars are the organic artillery asset for line infantry. Not overwhelming firepower in any sense but they can come into effect rapidly and help blunt an attack or suppress a strong point. They, however, provide misleading benefits in terrain this close as lines of sight are extremely limited so targets are impossible to see or too close to hit.


The bad thing about those 81's is unless you disassemble them, they are nearly impossible to move about, with the 2 MP + COT movement, the 5 PP disassembled makes non leader assisted movement into those sunken lanes through bocage (4 mp) a minimum move. Don't even think of moving them assembled.

JD Sullivan wrote:Their use in situations like this scenario, I'd rather set them up with a couple of good bore-sighted hexes. The benefits of this approach is that LOS works both ways and these weapons do not dominate the battle but would serve to channel or deny an avenue of approach. Being 81s they can also serve to smoke their BS hexes so as to provide their own cover.


I never thought of the smoke aspect. Setting them up HIP in that hex you obliterated with your opening kill stack shot may be a good idea. It would cover that minefield also.

I was thinking of spending that FPP I forgot to spend on a second observation tower for the Mortars. However I wouldn't have anyone to spot. LOS issues are just a bugger here.

JD Sullivan wrote:If I were to replay this scenario, what would I do differently?
I would keep my spotter and Mortar units in place a little longer. Using them to search for the HIP observer unit would have been a beneficial use when no observable units were visible and the location was the only place for the effective use of the mortars. Instead, I abandoned the weapons and the 1.5 squads they freed added little to my attack.

Engineers, they added little to my plan, but that is mainly my use of them. With such close terrain their smoke was not needed as much as if I had to cross some open terrain. My initial plan was to use them to blow gaps in the bocage for the tanks to break through. My avenue of approach changed, so the need to blow the gap was eliminated. I had thought of using them to blast strong points but the tanks were able to suppress the adjacent Germans, so they contributed to my VC totals instead. Had I chosen the other route they could reduce fortified building locations so I do not feel they are extraneous.


The latter was the main use foreseen: the reduction of the potential Fortified buildings. Also, blowing a hole in a bocage, to allow the tank to run through it without spending half its MP (Thus allowing the crossing of two Bocages to VBM freeze or to get around a defender is another thought I am thinking of.

I am still surprised by the softness of bocage to tracked movement. I was thinking horror stories to cross. Half MP is no slouch, but only a 12 bog roll? The necessity of the Demo charges is not as needed as I thought. I still like adding them in though. =)

JD Sullivan wrote:My avenue of approach...I stumbled into a minefield trying to maneuver my support weapons to cut off any attempt to reinforce my chosen flank and stumbled on the true high-speed avenue of approach-the lane. The sunken lane keeps non-adjacent units out of LOS and was ultimately the key to victory since I was able to suppress those units that could interdict my movement. I think my minefield reaction was correct (once detected stop and let the tank clear a path) since Chris did make a cardinal error with battlefield obstacles: it is not an obstacle if no one is covering it with direct fires. Not covering an obstacle lets the attacker reduce it at his leisure and turns it into a hindrance to maneuver. A HIP unit covering the obstacle would have been murderous to the units on the minefield.


I had mostly set those up as speed bumps for the infantry so they couldn't just run down those roads as you alluded. I had not thought of the tanks just trail breaking them (I may make a good map but I am still fairly new to the game.) ;)

I do agree. Had I someone covering that cross road, while the kill stack was stuck in the mines it would have been very ugly. Sounds like a job for the Mortars.

Something I thought of today on the drive back to nowhere. Those sunken roads also act as an in season orchard. Half the LOS we were playing was NA. I had totally forgotten that.

JD Sullivan wrote:I chose my VC due to the fact that getting 3 squads across a line of hexes is easier than trying to exert control over 5 building hexes (which may have been fortified as well). Had I chosen the other VC, I still would have come on like gangbusters because the terrain is very slow and forcing the defender to expose himself in order to react to my attack can even out the exposed attacker/ dug-in defender equation.


I liked your attack. I was rather impressed at your persistence in pushing through that OBA area also. That sunken road gave me fits. I knew you could advance down it. I thought the mines would hold you up a little more though. Need to spend money on Road blocks Or set up HIP traps to make road blocks of your tanks.

JD Sullivan wrote:I'm hungry and wrapping it up for lunch!

Great game Chris!

I think the design is solid and only some more playtest results would highlight balance issues.


Thanks for your comments. I am new at the design aspects, and your tactic comments always can help. Still a novice player here.
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Re: AARs

Postby Koz » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:45 pm

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Re: AARs

Postby Koz » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:41 pm

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Re: AARs

Postby Koz » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:19 pm

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