Sunday, March 7, 2021

Our Games ASL Scenario RB11 Oh Joy and MM43 French Counter Attack

It's been another week of three games of ASL. But I almost hesitate to blog this week as I was pretty much annihilated in all three. I mean it was an awful three games for me. It happens from time to time and I'll admit it's not fun. Losing a competitive game is tough, but getting wiped out without doing much to your opponent can be humiliating. And I had three of those kinds of games in a row. I'll only blog the two games this week with Dan. The third game was S54 Operation Natzmer, which I played with my regular STL opponent. I would lose decisively as the Russians. I rolled badly as the Germans entered a veritable kill zone and my opponent didn't. And with a 2 ELR, I broke and went down hard. It was a hard loss. ROAR has it with 5 German and 4 Russian wins. So again, my loss had more to do with just lousy rolls when I could have inflicted serious damage on my opponent. This will be a common theme in this week's AAR's. 

I'll start this week's AAR with our Saturday game, which was ASL Scenario RB11 Oh Joy. Designed by Brian Youse, this scenario is set in Stalingrad to the southeast of the Barrikady. A small, Russian force with three tanks tried to push back the Germans in an attempt to gain more room for the 45th Infantry Division being hastily ferried across the Volga. Time was critical if the Russians were going to get the reserves across the river. This small force would be successful in taking several German trenches and making an impression on the Germans far in excess of their weakened size. 

Normally, Dan and I are pretty evenly matched in games, but when it comes to Eastern Front urban battles...Dan is the master and I the student. My defense in this game would be woefully ill-equipped to stop Dan's assault. Walking wounded and 4-2-6's would kick me in the teeth.

As the defending Germans, I would command the men of the 79th Infantry Division. This force would consist of 1 x 5-4-8, 3 x 4-6-7's, and 5 x 4-4-7's led by an 8-1 and 7-0 with an MMG, 3 x LMG's,, an ATR and a DC. I would have 3 x trenches, 12 AP and 1 AT Mine. For armor support would have a MKIII, 2 x Stugs and a 37L Half-Track.

As the attacking Russians,  Dan would command an adhoc group composed of 118th Rifle Regiment and HQ and 62ns Army Staff. Many of Dan's boys would also be walking wounded. Yeah Dan was going to kick my behind with walking wounded. Ya gotta love it. This force would consist of 1 x 6-2-8, 1 x 4-5-8, 1 x 5-2-7, 2 x 4-4-7's and 3 x 4-2-6's led by a 10-3, 9-0, 9-1, 8-0 and 7-0 with an MMG, 2 x LMG's, an ATR and DC with a Flamethrower T-34 and 2 x T-70's. 

And now for Dan's Pre-Game Comments:

"The Russians must take one trench and have a favorable CVP ratio over the Germans.  Because the tanks are radioless they will all be in a platoon with the 10-3 and 6-2-8 assaulting with the OT-34, the 6-2-8 will have the DC.  I will exchange the 8-0 for a 9-0 commissar to stack with the 5-2-7 walking wounded with an ATR.  The other 9-0 will be with the 4-4-7 walking wounded with a LMG the 9-1 will also be with a 4-4-7 walking wounded LMG and take the norther block.  While the 7-0 4-5-8 and MMG set up in the level 1 location to see over the rubble.  The tanks will take the southern road and then shift to the northern road with the OT-34 leading the way.  Hopefully the German armor can be defeated in detail and does not swarm the Russian tanks. "

A look at the German defense. I tried to do a little rope-a-dope on Dan by placing a trench out of sight on the bottom of the map. I really anticipated Dan's attack to hit me in the north and so placed my mines up there. 

Dan's armor would show up in the south. UGH...oh...and the 10-3 was armor assaulting with the 6-2-8 with a DC and a flame-throwing T-34. OH JOY...yeah...not so much!!!

Turn 1 - I lay two fire lanes as Dan's 10-3 comes charging ahead with the flame tank of death. None of my shots would hit home and Dan's 10-3 would be a cloak of invincibility for the 6-2-8. I had forgotten how hard it can be to take down a 10-3 with a 6-2-8. It ain't easy!!

In Advancing Fire, Dan's T-34 would destroy my first Stug...only needed a 7 or less. I never had a chance. Dan's 10-3 would wipe out the adjacent LMG squad. In my part of Turn 1 - I would send the other Stug to try and get a side shot on the T-34...since it had MALF'd its MA. I would miss and he would flame me and destroy me. Both Stugs gone and both had done nothing.

Turn 2  Russian - Dan's 10-3 places a DC on my ATR Squad, while the tanks head north. I was in real trouble.

Dan would break everyone on the south and my 8-1 would wound. My half-track would get rate of fire, but do nothing to Dan and then I would MALF the MA...cause I can't go a game without a MALF. Boxcars...occurring with much more frequency than is healthy for a fun game. At this point, Dan was on the way to capturing the southern trench and he would only need one for the win. But Dan is an aggressive player, so he made the following moves. He moved his 10-3 to get the ATR, he kept concealment and moved adjacent to my brokies so he could waste them in CC, and then he moved his tanks down the road and onto my other trench locations. My MK III would get a lucky intensive fire hit and destroy the T-34. Then my 5-4-8 with a DC would take down a T-70 that rolled over top of their trench. I teased Dan about being a bit too aggressive with his armor, particularly as he had the game won and there was little reason to give the Germans even positive CVP's. 

I would lose each of the close combats and watch my boys be wiped out. It was tough especially as I knew the game was over already. You don't want to concede a game just because you are losing, but I was getting whipped pretty good like the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, but at least they got some field goals!!!

By SSR the close combat would be Hand-to-Hand...but I rolled the 9's and 10's like I normally I wen down hard.

With two trenches taken, Dan had the game well in hand.

I gave the concession at the end of Close Combat. I only two two squads left and there was no way I would take back the two lost trench locations. So I congratulated Dan on an overwhelming victory. I felt bad that I hadn't really given him any kind of challenge. This was one of those games where it was over when Dan moved his first units. 

Mission accomplished for the Soviet Walking Wounded of the 118th Rifle Regiment.

And now for Dan's Post-Game Comments:

"The plan worked.  Thanks to some hot dice.  I rolled the Germans SAN of 3 at least a dozen times.  The 10-3 and 6-2-8 were unstoppable and even the 4-2-6 squads kept concealment and were able to get into CC concealed.  The StuGs went down against the FT and the 10-3 shot the half track with the captured ATR shocking it.  The scenario is pure Stalingrad with squads dying by the half squad and in bloody H-t-H melee.  It was over fast as the Germans had bad rolls in CC and two trenches fell.  My thanks to Grumble Jones for another great ASL game."

Why yes...yes you can!

And now for my next stunning I mean ASL Game!!!

Our Wednesday game would MM43 Meuse - French Counterattack. Designed by Karl Bodenheimer, this scenario depicts a French attempt to retake Gaulier Bridge over the River Meuse. A large contingent of French FCM 36 Tanks would sweep towards the bridge. Germans armed with PAK 36's waited patiently for the French to come into view and systematically took them down and stopped the attack.

I played this scenario back in 2019 against my regular STL opponent. I would win as the French win my opponent MALF'd the gun covering the orchard side of the board. I would then run two tanks off the board easily.

But this time against Dan, I would be the Germans trying to stop the 10 French Tanks from getting two off the board.

I won't get into super detail on the opposing forces. The Germans have 3 x 37L AT Guns with a 9-1 leader versus 10 x French FCM 36 Tanks. That's it and nothing more.

ROAR has this scenario with 2 French and 0 German wins. The ASL Archive has it with 3 French and 1 German wins. This is one of those tough scenario designs where it can be hard to recreate the historical situation given the randomness of dice rolls in ASL.

Grain is not in season, so the French Tanks will come into view relatively quickly. The orchard on the North edge are the biggest problem for the German player.

And now for Dan's Pre-Game comments:

"The French need to exit two tanks.  They must enter and move using platoon movement.  The plan will be for the French to not stop and fight.  Just to keep moving and stay in motion for the German turns.  One three tank platoon will enter on the P row and aim to exit from Q row.  The second three tank platoon will enter on M row and exit from the same.  The two two tank platoons will enter on the G row and D rows and exit from the same.  The tanks will try to keep the turrets facing the German AT guns to minimize side and especially rear shots.  Hopefully the German guns do not get too much rate.  And the French takes can pass the TC for breaking from platoon movement if a tank is shocked or immobilized."

There are a limited number of places for setting up the guns. I planned to shoot early and often...but then I remembered...I never get rate...oh's the thought that counts...

My boys were ready.

Turn 1 - Dan's platoons move forward. I fire all three guns and get a hit or two, but no penetrations and no rate. Not good...

Turn 1 German - I fail again to connect and MALF the center gun. My gun in the orchard immobilizes the lead tank in the platoon...but this will be a bad thing for me.

I really struggled to damage these tanks.

Turn 2  French - Dan's immobilized tank destroys my gun in the orchard. I fail to repair the center gun and Dan's tanks roll forward. My third gun is unable to get any hits/and or penetrations.

The immobilized tank had done its job!

Turn 2  German - I MALF my remaining gun....cause I like to roll 12's...what can I say...

German Pak 36 crew...let's listen in...." many times have I told you to bring enough ammunition for a 7 turn game!?!" "Dieter...the shells are heavy...I couldn't carry them all..." "Great...that's just great..."

Turn 3- Dan runs 9 tanks off the board edge for a complete and overwhelming victory. My congrats to Dan on yet another total victory. It really doesn't get any better than this. 

Dan's tanks would continue their advance all the way to Berlin!!!

And now for Dan's Post-Game comments:

"The plan worked.  Only one tank was immobilized and 9 tanks exited most on turn 3.  With the tanks passing the platoon movement TC one tank exited turn 4.  They were helped greatly by two guns breaking down and few getting rate.  Also the immobilized tank stayed in the vehicle and got a return fire shot that hit and destroyed a gun.  Eliminating the crew and leader.  The scenario can swing widely on results depending on the Germans getting rate and results.  With a 5 or lower getting a results they have to get rate and hits.  Two out of three hits will bounce.  The scenario plays very fast with this game lasting 30 minutes.  My thanks to Grumble Jones for a quick and fun game!"

Ok...that's my sad story for this week!! 

Dan and I will return next week for some more off the hook ASL Action!!!

We will see you then!

1 comment:

  1. I feel for you. When I read 10-3 I thought that could swing things with just a couple of low rolls whilst you need to roll low to have much chance of dealing with him. And rate never appears with multiple targets!