ASL9 - TO THE SQUARE 

Legion attacking as the Russians

Rami defending as the Germans.

ROAR (G:R - 30:42) - 3rd October, 2008

Played with 109 VASL Logfiles (Nov, 2009 - May, 2010)

            I played this scenario a number of times way back in the early days of my ASL career. The most notable was the last time I played it when I had returned from Japan for only a few weeks and tried to fit as much ASL I against my mate JP as I possibly could. He was the Germans, I was the Russians and as usual his defence was a tight as a duck's arse. I fought hard to crack the line and failed miserably until I finally freed an AFV and sent it crashing into the victory building... thereby claiming control... JP was quick to pull out the rulebook (for once) and pointed out that parking an AFV IN a building does not constitute Control of that building. I was not impressed but it was obvious that the victory was his.

            I have a point to prove in this game and am very happy to be playing the Russians again.


German Setup

Rubble has been placed in 1G6, 1P8,  21J5, 21X2, 21Y2, 21CC2

Board 1

K2                467

I10               HIP     Wire

R6               HIP     Wire

Y10              HIP     Roadblock (with 21I10)

AA4(1)        2x ? [467]

Board 21

D6                2x ? [447]

K4                MMG 467

O10             3x ? [467]

R6                2x ? [467]

S3                4x ? [MMG 467, 8-0 ]

S6                HIP     Wire

W1               3x ? [LMG 467]

BB9             3x ? [467]

Board 20

B4                HIP    HMG 467, 8-1

F1                467

G2                HIP     Wire

H1                HIP     Wire

H2(0)            HIP     50L AT 228

H2(1)           447

H3                9-1

I2                  HIP     Wire

I3                  LMG 447, 8-0

Q2                2x ? [467]

            I think that unless Rami has been very cunning with his HIP the setup at-start looks to be too bare on Board 1. He might be making it too easy for the Russians to gain some early ground for free... or it could be a trap.


Russian Setup

            I am making a very strongly weighted attack to the North of the board

B9                3x 447, LMG, 8-0, T34-85 (CE, motion)

C10             3x 447, T34-85 (9-1 AL, motion)

E10             3x 447

H9                2x MMG 447, 8-1

I10                T34-85 (CE)

J9                 2x 447

K10              3x 447, 2x LMG, HMG, 9-10, T34-85 (CE, bypass w. L10)

M10              2x 447, Radio 8-0

FF9              2x 447

            The Attack is designed to smash through the quickest and most direct route to the target building. I am going to move my Radio up closer so that I can direct Harassing Fire onto his men as they move to counter my own attack.

            The 2 Squads right out on the far Southern side of the battlefield are there to draw his men away from the target building. Experience has shown that even when greatly outnumbered an opponent will usually allocate equal number to hold off units which are in a distant flanking position. If he doesn't decide to counter these units then I will use them to get behind Rout lines or sneak into the victory building.

          


The Game

The situation at H-Hour prior top jump-off

          

            This AAR will be written up in a looser form to my usual blow-by-blow style. In part this is due to the nature of the Scenario and in part this is due to the length of time it took to play the game. I have noted the details but they will not tell enough of the whole story any more.

 

The AAR will be told in 3 parts:

 

Frontal Crust

            Traditionally the Germans will place a small number of their troops in the 'front lines' on Board 1. These are intended to slow down the assault and keep the Russian guessing. They are also generally trying to score easy kills against the AFV.

 

Middle Defence

            Because the nature of the Russian attack is generally known by the time they have reached Board 21 the defence on this board is more condensed and tries to stop the attackers, instead of just slowing and biting at them. The terrain here is not as well suited to defence as Board 1 though and this means different tactics are required for the Germans.

 

Last Stand

            Obviously this is centred around the 20H3 victory building. Because the Attackers are all drawn to this location then the Germans will put roughly a ¼ of their forces in or around this building.

 

Note that there is also the option for the Russians to exit 30VP off of the Western edge of the board to gain victory. I have never attempted this, though it has often helped the cause of the attacker by keeping the Germans defence spread out even with such a clear building to control.

 


 Frontal Crust

 

            There is only a single German unit in my LOS at start and with the sheer weight of fire I am able to bring to bear his life is short indeed. However this placement meant that there were units who fired whom I might have preferred to move straight up... this being my HMG in particular. I do not eliminate the enemy with No Quarter as this will preclude me from Mopping Up in the victory building, so I start the game aware that I will be lugging many prisoners along with me instead of shooting them out of hand.

 

            I use whole squads to scout out his HIPs but to my surprise there are none, my men are intending to drive in a straight line from their jump-off points to the target building and I am able to pretty much travel the length of Board 1 unhindered. This doesn't stop me being cautious, I use my AFV in overwatch and move valuable units carefully, but individuals squads make it to Board 21 in no time and with no losses.

            It is only when I cross the line onto Board 21 that the firing starts and my first loss is a T-34/85 who is Recalled thanks to a SAN result! The next loss to me is a natural snake-eyes which KIAs a 447 as he attempts to make it into the built up area leading to the target building. On the other hand the Germans discover that even as Area Fire the 85mm Guns of the Russian AFVs can be painful.

 

            On the Southern flank my 2x 447 are managing to draw Germans to them in the form of 2 Squads. This is a win for me and even if I just sit here all game the loss of 2 of this units from an already depleted force will a blow.

 

           

The Russian Attack gains half the ground needed in a short time with only unlucky losses

 

Russian Losses:    447        (T34/85 Recalled)

German Losses:    247        (247 Prisoner)

 


Middle Defence

 

          Without a doubt the main battle should be fought in the centre of the map. This is a great location for slowing the Russian down and for reinforcing against the main thrust of the attack, but only if the moves are made fast enough while there is still freedom of movement. As it happens his men are basically staying here to create a speed-bump for my men in the centre... but this allows my men to move down the far Northern side of the city unimpeded.

 

           The Germans eventually try to move to counter my attack but I have good LOS opportunities and also have placed my Radio 8-0 upstairs in 1L7(2) which stops him from moving too far if he doesn't want to lose Concealment. Thus with his defence still being unstructured and not presenting much of a barrier to my movement I continue to move forward easily. Unfortunately I manage to Bog one of my AFV in Wire as it attempts to get to 21W9 to really stitch up his lateral movement. Otherwise the attack is going well. My OBA comes in a Harassing Fire which does no damage to him but basically means his men in the middle of the board are unable to relocate without risking losses.

 

           By the time we are at Turn 4 the Russians have travelled as far as the mid-line of board 21 with strength and my AFV are openly moving on the roads now as one attempts to swing behind the Target Building. I have some men in the middle slugging it out with the Germans holed up there and AFV are supporting them too. I could bypass them and head straight for the building, but this would open me to attack from them on my flanks and it is better to tie them up here than have them harassing me in the building itself.

 

           The dice in the game so far have been pretty consistent. Mine have been about the average, I am getting some good hits, but he is also getting some good MC passes as well.

           Rami's dice have been equally consistent... they have been atrocious with the odd miracle shot happening.

 

           The Russian attack still moves on relatively unchecked, he had placed a few units in the central block of buildings on Board 21 (between 21W2 and 21FF7) but they provided no more than a minor nuisance. In fact, so quick have my men been to pour through the holes in his defence that I have managed to get a T-34 right down to 20C4! This is actually BEHIND the target building. In every game I have played of this scenario I have found the Russians can easily sneak AFV down the Northern edge of the board to place it behind the Germans and in a perfect position to therefore dictate the nature of the defence of the Victory Building.

 

           As this Phase of the battle ends the Russians are pushing hard against a fragmented German defence. The units to the South have essentially not moved, they are holding 2 Germans units in place. In the middle the battle is hard, but it is the Germans who must take care, again I am happy to keep a 1:1 squad parity here if this stops him reinforcing 20H3. In the North of have an AFV behind the building, I also have a number of squads about to attack towards the building itself from its East and the North Eastern aspects.

 

End of Turn 5: The Russian attack has been very successful up to this point, the Germans are tied down and unable to mutually support

 

Russian Losses:    447

German Losses:    237, 2x 247, 7-0, 9-1        (236, 447, 467 taken as Prisoners. Prisoner HS KIA)


Last Stand

 

           There is a real scare for the Russians as a HIP in 20B4 (HMG 467, 8-1) Street Fights the forward T-34/85. By a miracle the attack fails and Rami can legitimately claim that he is getting the raw end of the deal here. This was an excellent defensive position wasted on an ambush that should have worked but unfortunately did not. With this HMG out of the way I start to push men into the building itself. He is reeling, there is no doubt of that and as I mop up a few stray Germans I am able to stand on the doorstep of the prize and also bring up some more men and AFV to support the attack. Without the ability to do anything except stand and fight (in the Building) or pull back and try to disengage (in the centre) the Germans are having their game dictated to them by the Russians and the dice.

 

           It is time to try my luck and push into the building, and this is (of course) the moment when things go badly for me... Firstly he reveals a HIP 50L AT in 20H2; this was expected, there is always an AT Gun in this location! What was not expected was a 6-shot ROF run which kills 1.5x 447s. Then I get into the building and am immediately locked up in CC with half of the force who entered (2.5 Squads total managed to get in)  - this CC continued for 2 full turns and ends up costing me a Squad. The other Squad quickly heads upstairs to cut off his Rout Routs and enforce Encirclement on the units up here.

 

           After a single turn of decent luck it is time for the Germans to suffer again, the AT Gun swings around to fire on an AFV and in the seemingly endless run of ROF shots a 6,6 is rolled to Malfunction the Gun. With my men surrounding the building and with 3x AFV to fire and lock up units with Freeze-Sleaze the Germans are running out of hope fast. I am able to break the HMG position with Adjacent AFV fire, and then I lock down the few remaining defenders in the building so that they can be easily CC-ed or shot at till they break. By this time however it is Turn 9 and time is starting to run a little short.

           The Germans have almost no hope of reinforcing in time, and they have only a single unit in the building who is not locked in overwhelming CC. That unit is a broken 467 on the top floor of the building, it is DM thanks to the Russian unit sitting next to it. My men try to kill it and as luck would have it they score a HOB result which sends them Berserk! This is potentially a disaster, if I don't kill him this turn then I will have no chance to declare Mopping Up and secure the building. The game hangs on knife-edge and out of certain loss Rami now stands with the potential of an unlikely save.

 

           Germans are doing all they can to make it to the building as fast as possible, but they are either gunned down in the street by the superior numbers or forced to travel too far by the Harassing Fire OBA (which has been only of nuisance value this game). It all depends on the final Berserk Squad... he is CR-ed by TPBF as he enters the hex of my 447 adjacent to him, and then, thankfully, KIA'd in CC Phase. There are no more unbroken German units in the building and I am able to Mop Up in Turn 10. 

 

Russian Losses:   226, 3x  237, 2x 247,  447    (gain a 7-0 Thanks to a CC roll)

German Losses:    467, 228 (crew), Hero       (HS, Squad Prisoners KIA)

The Russians Control 20H3

ALLIED VICTORY

 


Conclusion

           This game ended up being a lot closer than I expected it to be. Time really started to run out for the Russians and while I accept that the final HOB -> Berserk result might have made the game last a turn longer then expected I still cannot deny that I might have taken turns 4-7 at a more relaxed pace than I should have. I also shudder to think of the changes I would have had to make if Rami had been more aggressive with PF (he did not take his first shot until Turn 7).

 

           The Russian rightfully won this game but I will not end it without commiserating with Rami who has suffered one of the worst run of DRs in a long time. His initial setup cost him the game in many ways but it was the DRs which ensured that no matter what mistakes I made he was not going to be able to wrest it all back.

 

            In very much enjoyed the game, despite the very long playing time. Both Rami and I were busy with our own lives and neither of us were able to do more than a log-file or two a week. It is a scenario which is always high on my replay list and surprisingly (for me) it is one which I have never played as the Germans. 

            As the Russians I urge you to consider sneaking an AFV and possibly some Riders down the Northern edge of the board once you clear board 21. This is something which has always caught my opponents by surprise.

            As the Germans I think the best defence will be based on fluidity. A gutsy Russian might consider a mass breakout to gain the Exit VP and this means that Defenders will have to be ready for something on the far side of the board to the Victory Building. But if the Russians don't try to run off-map then those units need to get to the building ASAP! Also the Germans need remember that slowing the Russians in this one can score the win... 10-turns looks a long time for time-wasting tactics, but it is not as easy a task for the Attackers as it looks

           

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