Generally as a rule, I don't blog my Friday Games with my best friend from St. Louis. In the early days of my blog, my games against Scott in St. Louis were the primary staple of all my ASL and of my blog posts. Scott and I grew up together in St. Louis and began playing ASL on a regular basis in 1989 after finally putting Squad Leader away. Up until 2013, Scott had been my only opponent for nearly all of my ASL life. And after attending the 2013 Texas Tournament...I realized how badly I had learned the rules and how badly I was playing the game. It was an awakening. And it was at that time and place that we headed down different paths. I wanted to keep learning and improve my game and squeeze all the juice out of ASL that I could. My friend in St. Louis didn't share that interest. For him, a game of ASL once or twice a month was all he wanted. Now I was able to get our understanding of the rules moved forward and we play way better games than we did back in the day. To some extent it does make me sad to be moving on a different ASL track than the guy I shared so many ASL adventures with, but time moves on and I have been very fortunate to add new players to my opponents and in so many ways, I am living in a Golden Age of ASL. Naturally, Scott and I will continue to play ASL and I'll always be grateful that we have shared this ASL connection for 30 years now. That's a pretty amazing thing.
Now, I will admit, since Dan Best and I are not playing this Saturday or next...I was sorta looking forward to a nice long break from blogging. I love to blog, but the average AAR takes 4-6 hours to complete...so sometimes a little time off is welcome.
But the scenario, which Scott and I elected to play this Friday night would be MM52 Riverfront Property from the Kansas City Club's, 2019 March Madness Close Combat Pack. And this particular scenario is designed by Keven Adams, who I am lucky enough to consider a friend. Keven's Stalingrad designs in the various March Madness Packs are very good. So, I really wanted the opportunity to do an AAR on this scenario.
The scenario is set in Stalingrad on 18th, November, 1942. The action depicts the efforts of the German 546th Regiment to dislodge the remaining Russians of the 241st Rifle Regiment on the west bank of the Volga River.
German 546th Regiment of 389th Infantry Division versus Russian 241st Rifle Regiment of the 95th Rifle Division.
November 1942 would be the time-frame for the German Operation Hurbertus, which would embody the last efforts by the Germans to clear all Russian forces out of Stalingrad. Success would elude the Germans and this scenario accurately depicts the desperation of the Germans to finish the battle and that of the Russians to hold their last footholds west of the Volga.
My primary source material for this AAR...noooo….just kidding. Island of Fire by Jason D. Mark is what I was actually looking at!!
Ground snow would be in effect during this scenario.
After rolling for sides, I would be the defending Russians. I would command the hard bitten fighters of the 241st Rifle Regiment of the 95th Rifle Division. These men would hold their positions and the Germans would be encircled three days later. My force would consist of 9 x 4-4-7's, 2 x 2-4-8's led by a 9-1 and 8-0 with an MMG, LMG, and 2 x ATR's.
The entire battlefield would be covered in debris. In fact, I would run out of debris counters to place on the map. I would have two trench locations in 40Y4 and 40Y5. The Germans would win if they had control of both locations at game end.
As the attacking Germans, Scott would command the grenadiers of the 546th Infantry Regiment of the 389th Infantry Division. By November 18th, this regiment would be closer to battalion strength and nearing the end of its combat effectiveness. The attrition of the fighting in October had severely reduced the German units in Stalingrad. Scott' force would consist of 8 x 4-6-7's, 4 x 4-4-7's, led by a 9-2, 8-1, and 2 x 8-0's with 3 x LMG's, 2 x DC's and armor support consisting of a PZ MKIII G and SPW 250/9 Halftrack.
For the most part, Scott practiced his usual caution as he moved. But then inexplicably he moved a stack right out in the open. I hit them from a 4-4-7 at ranged and managed to break Scott's boys. And the Russian Sniper would be incredibly active. I would roll at least 4 "1's" and for the first half of the game, my snipers would deal the most damage to Scott's Grenadiers. Here the first of the 8-0's is KIA'd by a sniper. The second 8-0 would follow shortly.
It definitely seemed to my opponent that I had more than 1 sniper in action!!!
My snipers would change the course of this battle.
Scott would miss his 8-0's as his Grenadiers would break and have no one available to rally them.
Scott sent his grenadiers on a broad front with his armor assets headed down the middle. Keep in mind the anti-tank ditch counters actually represent a gully that runs the length of the road.
Scott's 9-2 would scan the area trying to find where the Russians were hiding.
Scott would succeed in revealing three of my units as Pin Checks and Normal MC's forced me to reveal my units.
Scott's 9-2 would focus on my 8-0 with the LMG. He would succeed in breaking them.
After probing along the entire front, Scott shifted his effort towards my left flank. This made sense. There was good cover and it was closer to the trench victory locations. But Scott would leave too many squads hung out on the right flank.
Go get 'em boys!!!
Going into Turn 5, my boys still held both trench locations, but everywhere else my boys were dead or broken. The Germans had the strength to win...but were too far out of position to make a run on my trench locations.
The final German movement phase would show a strong move from the left flank...but my MMG laid down the long planned for Fire Lane and stop the final attack. Game over....Russian Victory!!!
Happy Fathers' Day to all you Dad's out there!