Lessons Learned

April 2010 Meet

Re: Lessons Learned

Postby Keith Collins » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:12 am

Well after further review....

...I think I found the answer to the definition of an MG question, it's in the Ordinance listing notes. The unit in question (12.7 mm double barrel) is described as a machine gun and is listed as 12.7 mm for game purposes even though it is actually 13.2 mm.

So, IMO no critical hit should have been awarded.

...DR you are right, ? should not be lost merely by having a siting TC suceed. That is a special case that only happens with ? units moving in the open.
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Re: Lessons Learned

Postby Keith Collins » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:15 am

Another thing I discovered while reading the ordinance notes.

The Japanese 20L ATR needs to be manned by a crew to avoid unqualified use penalties. :oops:

I was wondering what that "extra" 2-2-8 crew in the OB was for.
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Re: Lessons Learned

Postby Randym » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:09 pm

OK, that makes sense. The HMG and MMG were crewed as well - didn't know we had an extra.
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AAR: Bloody Red Beach.

Postby Koz » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:55 pm

(Note: All the pictures are cropped by the BB program so open in a new window for the full sized versions.)

Well we all took the plunge, so to speak, and ran a beach landing scenario. It was 10 turns long so I knew we wouldn't finish it, but I was very surprised to see how close we actually came.

I was told sometime in the past that all the beach landing stuff looks like a monster in the Rule Book, but once you play it, it makes a hell of a lot more sense. I can confirm this. Granted we didn't have a thousand beach obstacles or rough surf to complicate things, but the actual landing stuff was very painless.

We also played with cave complexes. I had figured these rules out in the past, but never had played against one. Yikes. What a nightmare.

To start off Dennis had a VASL map of the area blown up about 3x the actual size. I have been debating this, but I think I am finally going to take the plunge and scan in all my regular maps to blow up to oversize hexes. I am spoiled with the RB sized hexes on the hedgerow maps and this playing on the huge hexes has convinced me this is the way to go. Kudos to Dennis for this. Finding space was a pain, but he map certainly helped with the counter densities.

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The game starts with scads of Japanese in caves. We have to take all the lvl 3 hill hexes of one hill mass, or 1 lvl 3 hill hex of both masses. As a gentlemen's agreement, since we knew this was going to be a 4 player learning game, we all split our OOBs down the middle and went for the 1 hex each hill victory conditions. Players are Keith and Randy as the evil fanatic Japanese bastards, and Dennis and I as the noble marines coming to rid the world of the godless sons of Nippon. ;) ;)

The game starts with the Marines heading into shore. Note that not a single Japanese is on the map. The entirety is set up HIP.

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Dennis is on the far side of the picture and I am towards the near side. You will notice the acquisition counters starting to bracket my amtracks. These are the 90mm mortars Keith and Randy have. These things were a plague to me. They are firing from Dennis's hill mass objective on the far end of the board. Due to a minimum 14 hex range, they never bothered Dennis. They ruined me though and I could do nothing about them. Nasty pieces of equipment.

On Dennis' side of the board, the marines drove up to a seawall and landed out of LOS unmolested. There was an obvious choke point at the angle of the beach and Dennis had a lot of fun trying to get through it as it was bore sighted to a 75mm infantry howitzer and I think some Machine guns. Dennis and Keith will have to tell you what happened on their side of the map as I had my hands way too full with Randy's japs to pay too much attention there.

Here you can see me approaching the beach. My big LVTs are out of the picture just unloading my waterproofed shermans at this time. I had not realized that they could not cross the reef so there are also 2 half squads starting a long wading trip ashore. They never got into the game. The large 39pp capacity Amtracks are by Keiths finger, earning another round of shots from the 90mm mortars. Thankfully the mortars did not hit any of my wading amtracks. The two support Amtracks with the 75* guns are lagging behind as their 11 movement points has me only moving 3 hexes a turn(11/4), unlike the other amtracks whose 12 mp give them 4 mp per turn (12/4).

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The plan was to land a large assault force in the shellholes and treeline by Keiths hand to assault up the middle or left through the trees as defenses showed themselves. A smaller force would land V0-V2 to assault down the trees and buildings on the right. I dumped folks on the bech immediately, forcing the recall of the amtracks and loosing their firepower, but I thought the marines would be better served on the ground with their 8 morale, than in the amtrack where they die as easily as conscripts based on the fickle crew survival roll.

My origonal idea was to set up a kill stack in V2 with my 10-2, 2 HMGS and a squad and a half of infantry. The 90mm mortars quickly disabused me of that idea as i was not going to have them exposed in airburst terrain. I then pushed up to V1, in the open but I was concealed having advanced under an amtrack and I was in the blind spot of those damned mortars.

I then decided to recon up the road to check out the right flank and expose caves while inside the amtracks and immune to infantry fire unless from above as the Amtrack was open top. I knew better than this as I explained above and Randy got me with a HIP half squad in the T1 hut, with that big anti tank rifle in the japanese OOB. He killed the amtrack and I botched the survival roll on both the squad and HS in the tank. The crew got out though taking an HMG with it as a scrounge. We later realized a comedy of rules errors as Randy had manned the ATR with a squad rather than a crew, and the amtrack crew should not have been allowed to scrounge the HMG as you can only scrounge when voluntarily abandoning a vehicle. The ambushing jap was subsequently broken in Advancing fire, and had to abandon the 5pp (!!!) ATR, but it had done its work. Lesson learned. Do NOT recon with vehicles loaded with infantry. I lost 1/6 of my force with that one shot. Plus a mortar and Demo charge which is desperately needed to suppress and seal the caves.

To add insult to injury, I unload another amtrack on the beach. Being the only target in LOS of those mortars, it attracts all the fire. Both Mortars go on a ROF spree, the first breaking a squad and a half of units on the beach, and the second eliminating the lot for double breaks. Left on the shore is a flame thrower and dmMMG. I lost 1/3 of my force and half my engineer kit getting ashore. OUCH!

The next photo shows about turn 4 or 5 when I am now fully ashore. A japanese cave has revealed itself on the hill top, and attracted our sniper. This was the high point of my organized attack. I was about to encounter the little known Japanese sniper Sgt Hathcock-san. No. Hathcock-sama!

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Keith and Randy decided on a warm sniper roll that Randy needed the sniper more than Keith did. The shifted the counter an put it into U2. I was joking with Dennis at one time "oh sure! Take the low odds shots. Wont hurt you a bit!" ;) That bastard sniper was on fire. In the end, he killed my 10-2, broke 3 full squads, 2 half squads, broke up my HMG kill stacks, and kept my tanks buttoned up most of the game. Unbelievable!! This also greatly slowed down my playing speed as my plans kept getting set back as Keith hollered "Sniper!" from their side of the board, and then pinned or broke key squads in my planned attack. My thanks to the other players as I took a long time on some of my moves as I had to rethink my attack repeatedly with the now sniper lessened forces.

Grouching aside, I did have success. On the left, I advance down the finger of woods and exposed a pillbox in R8. Randy had misread Keith's setup and pointed the CA in the wrong direction (Q8/R7 rather than S8/S9) This allowed me to advance unmolested through the shell holes and between the S7 cliffs and the S9 woods. Fortunately another pillbox was in S11 covering the R8 pillbox. Obnoxiously, the 90mm mortars could also cover this pillbox and the S9 T10 approaches to both pillboxes. Nice integrated defense from an ASL master. When the cave popped up in Q8, I realized I had a tough nut to crack on this side of the map. I drove the 35mm amtrack to S8 to interfere with Randys movement, put a squad on it to protect it from tank hunter heros, and then shifted the bulk of my forces to the middle to attack along the T5 woods mass. I left a final squad in T9 for flank security. This was a good idea, but I forgot about the interconnected tunnels and bunkers so the Squads defending R8, withdrew into the cave complex, and S9 used tunnel movement to reoccupy R8. I almost stopped this by moving a Squad into the abandoned bunker, (Which would have blocked tunnel movement) but the 90mm mortars broke the Squad before it could get in. Trying to finish the broken squad off, they fired the mortar again and I rolled snakes for a Heat of Battle roll. Unfortunately this generated a berserk unit who charged the S11 bunker and ultimately died to point blank fire. Had he not gone berserk I would have got the bunker. Keith calmly reoccupied it and put an end to that nonsense.

In the center, I slowly shifted up the hill into the woods mass. As this was out of enemy LOS, this went very well except for two things. 1: I had dropped a flame thrower from a full squad to be picked up by a trailing HS shifting over from the left. Over 3 turns of recovery attempts, the FT was never recovered!!! The second bad thing. The sniper. He had a field day in here and every time I got concealed squads up there ready for the push, he would swoop in and break them and I would have to rally again. This was VERY frustrating as I found a hole in the defense, moved through it, and then got hit repeatedly by Hathcock-sama where I should have been safe. The only good thing I can say about the sniper is that Dennis was making headway on his side of the board, rolling all those 5's.

On the right, disaster. I started out good, striping a Jap in the P5 cave and clearing out a foxhole in R3. Annoyingly, neither of my *75mm Amtracks could find their willy pete. I rolled them into T3 and T4 and managed to get the occasional stripe when my acquisitions got my to hit number up to 5. Of course this is "whack-a-mole" and Randy skillfully retreated the striped Japanese squads into the complex for replacement with a fresh bugger. I think I only got two stripes and 3 breaks on HS the entire game. To combat the tanks, Randy pushed a big anti aircraft cannon into a cave in O5. Bad luck for Randy occurred when he broke it the first turn, repaired it immediately and flubbed a to hit shot the next turn, then Keith gacked two critical hit kill rolls on the third turn of exposure. I got a stripe on the crew at one time, but its nearly imposible to hit anythign in a cave with that big TEM modifier. Seeing the inevitable, I got the T4 amtrack out of its LOS and into R4. During all this time the sniper brutalized my kill stack until it was a collection of blood and abandoned guns in the open.

The last turns saw Keith taking over as Randy had to leave. My shermans had come ashore and I maneuvered them in preparation for my final assault. On the left, Keith had abandoned the S11 bunker while reoccupying R8, and I decided to send a HS there to cut the tunnel paths from the boards center. I had forgotten about the Mortars and Keith made me pay for the mistake with a broken squad. My sherman had moved to S8, but I was forced to shift my 35mm amtrack back when Keith pulled a cute one and sent a squad running down the uncovered beach and grabbed the flamethrower from the pool of blood and carnage from the initial turn of the beach landing. Fortunately I had rallied a squad in T5 who was able to cover the route of any further advances into my rear area. Keith missed the amtrack with the flamethrower shot and ran the thing out of fuel. I canistered him for a stripe and the squad retreated back to the V8 huts to be a further nuisance.

The center was occupied with rallying the sniper brokies, and shifting back up to the front line. When combined with the forces from the right I had a solid line ready to push off next turn as long as the sniper stayed inactive.

On the right, I have end ran a squad, pursuing the broken ATR crew while trying to expose any caves on the hill flank. They had exposed a MG trap on the board edge, but survived, and had moved to N3. The amtrack crew and their scrounged HMG werein R1, threatening a fire lane againt any flank attack. The second sherman had made it to U2 and as ready to smoke.

At this time we had to call the game to a close as it was almost 8:00 and folks still needed to drive back to Santa Fe and Los alamos. The game ended with us in this position...(Well almost as a couple squads are unconcealed and the japs had not retreated to V8 yet)

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My planned next move was to use the Shermans to smoke R6 from S8 and Q5 from U3. This would have allowed my concealed units in Q4/R4/S5/S6/N3 to assault move in the smoke and hopefully take Q6 and P5. There I would have dug in in preparation for the inevitable Banzai. I would have armor assaulted from R4 with the amtrack so I am rather confident I would have been able to get to the top. Holding it is another thing.

Notice the carnage around U3. Hathcock-sama's sitting in U3. You can see abandoned HMGs in U2 and U3, their broken crews in T1 and V2. Just south of V7 is the spot on the beach where I lost all the marines to the Mortar. T2 has the amtrack remains from the ATG gun shot. The crew and HMG are in R1, marked opportunity fire in case any opportunity offered itself.

T5 is filled up with broken units and a 8-0 leader. I was living in fear that the sniper would go there and kill off my last remaining rally leader. My last leaders were in Q4 and T8.

On Keith and Dennis's side, Keith said he was starting to unload the japanese troops out of the caves in preparation for a Banzai charge. Dennis had captured his Level 3 location and was waiting for me to get mine. We had a Naval OBA module due to arrive the next turn so Keith's assault on that hill would have been a nightmare. Uphill, in Kunai, through naval shellfire against marines with Machine guns...Not a prospect I would have enjoyed. Those 90mm mortars that plagued me all day would have been history though, as their observers were on the hill crest right where Keith had to cross to get his troops against the lvl 3 hills.

All in all a great game. I think it was still in contention. Dennis had his side of the board under control from what I saw, while I took a beating on the beach and was bled white by the sniper. If randy was able to get a successful Banzai set up next turn to keep me off of the hill top, I dont know if I could have taken it back. Close as can be in a balanced scenario.'

This is definitely one I want to play again.

His Sniper dice wuz so hot they dun eks-plooooded!

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Re: Lessons Learned

Postby Randym » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:23 pm

Nice write up! Just a few comments:

I had no idea the ATR would be that good. Guess I was still thinking of the 1-12 ATR's from the East Front, which always seemed to be an exercise in futility. The 20mm Japanese one is much better, and would have been even better if I had remembered to write down the bore sight hex. :? It also explains the extra crew counter we had.

I should have left the AA gun where it was originally set up, and brought the 50mm MTR into the caves. Would have had a few shots down onto those open top amphibs.

Glad Keith was able to run a squad down the beach to pick up the FT. I was waiting for something like that!

The sniper number of "5" was nice. One reason we avoided exposing anyone on turns 1-3 was not only the planes but the "6" sniper number.

I agree on the enlarged maps. If Keith does take the plunge and invest in a laminator, I am willing to kick in/share costs to get the boards color copied, enlarged and laminated. Cool.

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Re: Lessons Learned

Postby Koz » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:29 pm

Just noticed the picture links are kaput again...THose off my site not Daves...

I'll send Dave the pics to see if he wants to put them on the DWAC page till I fugure out this Mobile Me account's settings.
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Re: Lessons Learned

Postby Dear Leader » Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:23 pm

Chris,

I posted those pics on the gallery so you should be able to use those absolute URL refs in your post(s) in lieu of the remotely hosted URLs that are causing grief.

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Re: Lessons Learned

Postby Koz » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:06 pm

Fixed the pictures. Thanks for hosting Dave.
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