Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Our Saturday Game - ASL Scenario AP 8 - A Bloody Harvest

For our Saturday game, Dan Best and I went back in time play a classic scenario from Action Pack 1. The scenario we chose was AP 8 - A Bloody Harvest (designed by Kevin Meyer). All of the Action Pack 1 Scenarios are available as a free download from Multi-Man Publishing. 

I chose an iconic image for the AAR header picture. It's quite possibly the most famous image of German soldiers ever published. The look of grim determination of the Grenadier on the right as he prepares to hurl his potato masher grenade speaks volumes about the power of the German Wehrmacht in the early days of the Second World War. I would love to know what fates befell these two Grenadiers. 

AP 8 - A Bloody Harvest is an infantry only scenario consisting of 7 Turns played out on Board 43. It is focused on the actions near  Pabiance District (near Lodz), Poland  on September 7th, 1939. Here in the corn and sunflower fields of Poland, the Grenadiers of the SS Leibstandarte would be bloodied by the Poles of the 2nd Infantry Division. A small measure of payback would be achieved before the Poles were forced back by the relentless advance of the Germans. 

After rolling for sides, Dan Best would be the scenario defender and command the Poles of the 2nd Infantry Division. The 2nd was a reserve division of the Lodz Army. It would fight hard to resist the German invasion, but would ultimately capitulate on September 29th, 1939. 

Dan would have to control the village compound around Hex 43N8. His Poles would win if there was a good order Polish MMC within 2 hexes of 43N8.

Dan's force would consist of 9 x 4-5-7's, led by an 8-1 and 8-0 with an MMG and 2 x LMG's. Not a huge force, but adequate to cover a 10 hex wide front.

As the scenario attacker, I would command elements of the 1st SS Regiment  "Leibstandarte" .  By SSR, my grenadiers would not receive the broken morale benefit of SS. In the early days of 1939, the 1st SS had yet to become the veteran formation that would achieve both fame and infamy from nearly every theater of the German war.

My force would consist of  12 x 4-6-8's, led by a 9-2, 8-1 and 8-0 with an MMG and 3 x LMG's. A nice size force for the task ahead.

The clock struck 5:00 PM...the SKYPE Line goes live...and so it begins...

And in ASL...

 I'd like to say I had a plan...but frankly...I just intended to move forward and see what would develop. I knew Dan's MMG was in level one with a nice field of fire. But I had a lot of ground to traverse and would need to do it quickly..."Vorwarts marsch!!!"

 My strongest push was on the left flank. I had a good edge to take on the front trench and come at it with some protection. I was still at very long range for the Polish MMG. My 8-1, 3 x 4-6-8's and all 3 x LMG's would act as my base of fire. Dan would get a NMC against my 8-0 and three other 4-6-8's as they emerged from the wheat field. I would make every roll...and Dan noted that such a early dice rolling success was both unusual and ominous. And indeed, my dice would serve me well throughout the scenario.

 As my dice gave me success...on the Polish front....Dan's began to hurt him with Pins and Breaks.

Dan did roll some snakes and the first would cause a half-squad to go berserk, which would end badly for them.

 My rolls continued to be quite unusual as I survived point blank shots from the Poles and went fanatic and added a Hero for good measure.

Things were definitely getting weird in Grumble Jones Land...

 My luck in Turn 2 continued as I managed to break the Polish MMG Team. The way for movement was now open.

 My Hero went into CC and cleared out one of the Polish Trenches.

 The right flank was now open.

 The center trenches also fell to my grenadiers as my boys moved steadily forward. I would lose a half-squad, KIA'd while crossing the road, but the remainder of my force moved ahead in tact.

 A DM'd Polish half-squad would manage to escape to the compound.

 Dan's MMG team rallied and went back to their level one perch to rain down fire on me. I scattered my squads into line to reduce the risk of losses.

The Poles radioed that the Germans were advancing in strength towards the compound.

 My 9-2 with the MMG and my 8-1 with the three LMG's would do good service in providing a solid base of fire. My 9-2 would manage to break the Polish MMG team again and my 8-1 would manage to stop the Poles on the right from retreating into the compound.

With  my force in position and nearly all the Poles in the compound area broken...it was time to push hard into the victory location.

 As I rush forward, a concealed Polish 4-5-7 would unload a vicious volley of fire and KIA a 4-6-8. Yikes!!!

 Despite the loss of a full squad, the rest of my force carried on into the compound.

 My luck continued as the Poles broke under Advancing Fire. The compound was in German hands as the Poles routed out and into the adjoining fields and woods.

 Only a Polish 8-0 with an LMG remained unbroken and uncaptured.

The rest of the Poles would surrender to my Grenadiers. A total of 4 Polish Squads and two Officers would become prisoners. With that, Dan offered his concession and the Germans had the victory. Dan and I had played 6-1/2 turns in around 2 hours. It had been a fast and furious game that was in large measure decided by lucky German dice and unlucky Polish dice.

It had been a strange evening of ASL. This scenario is traditionally very tough on the Germans as it was historically. ROAR has it with 63 German Victories and 120 Polish. So this highlights only too well the impact of the dice in this particular scenario. But as Dan reminded me at the end of the game..."ASL is a dice game." ...and so it is. 

As always my thanks to Dan for another great night of ASL. Dan and I will be taking a bit of a break for the next two weeks to spend time with family and enjoy the Memorial Day Holiday that is fast approaching. Dan and I will return on Saturday June 2nd for a playing of ASL Scenario G Hube's Pocket. I am already looking forward to playing that classic scenario. So until then, I wish you all a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend!

See you soon!


  1. Indeed ASL is a dice game, a fact that I have learned all to well recently; as usual great AAR

  2. For those coming along later, AP8 has the following errata: "Delete the two Allied Minor LMG and give the Polish Elite and 1st Line squads Assault Fire." The PDF on the MMP site has the corrected card already.

    X8 and X9 are critical hexes for the Polish to occupy at game start, IMO.