Nor'easter III: After-Action Reports
Well, the Nor'Easter is done. The two finalists (can't remember their names, sorry) were finishing up yesterday eve when I left. They were playing Last of Their Strength for the championship. About two dozen guys showed up for some good gaming.
My first scenario on Saturday was Tiger 222 (ToT 7) against Steve Johns. I've played this one once before, losing as the Americans (no mean feat given the record on this one) and I ended up with the Americans again. My ATG went in the same spot, in a Level One building sighting down the entry road on the German right and also with a clear view of the entry area on the German left. I also left a token HIP halfsquad on the other side of the river to keep him honest. Another HIP halfsquad with a bazooka on the left side of the bridge in an orchard just in case. I ended up getting his two PzIVs easily enough with the ATG. I do some decent damage and am feeling confident. He doesn't bother to occupy three of the buildings on the opposite side of the bridge nor does he search for my HIP half-squad. I'm feeling _more_ confident. Then my 8-1,666/mmg stack breaks. A subsequent morale check on the 666 results in snake-eyes followed by boxcars...Disruption. Resultant German sniper CRs the disrupted squad. I still feel confident with my hold cards (HIP half-squads) still available. Next to last turn, he charges the King Tiger across the bridge...side shot with the 'zook...Hit! But the TK does nothing on an 11. Ok, I still have my ace river half-squad which will be free to roam on the last turn. Last turn, I need three points and the river half-squad can get 4 and last resort, two dashes with 1 FP shots can get 4 points more. Still confident. Long range, 1-1 shot pins my river HS. Dash shots break one guy and pin the other. Game over. What the hell is a guy supposed to do to win as the Amis in this one?
Second round I play A70 Wintergewitter. I love this scenario. I've won and lost as both sides in this and consider this one very well balanced. But I still like to attack in this one. I pretty well rolled up the Russian infantry in short order but the T34s posed a special problem as I traded a PzIV for a T34 and had lost APCR on the other PzIV. My opponent did a great job of using the Wadi on the German right to get right next to the village out of LOS and also ended up in Crest. Made it tough for me to get these last two T34s either of which could win the game for him. Next to last turn I swarm his T34s. I come out ok with tanks surviving with potential side and rear shots as he has to move his tanks on his last Player Turn in order to get them in the village. On his last turn, I got one T34 on the start MP. The second got into the village but ended up shocked and a side shot from a PzIII took him out for the German win. A very tenacious opponent who just never gave up.
Third round, CH26 Close Order Dreil. Never played this one before. The German SS won my first game, I won my second as the German attacker so I decide to go for the German SS attacker in this one. I also decide to go for a bold style of play. A little reckless but what the heck. This one has the Polish Airborne troops during Market Garden keeping the Germans from getting buildings along the length of board 42 (in fact most of the scenarios in this round were played on board 42...a strange sight to see at the tourney...every board 42 in use.) The Poles are under ammo shortage, have one piat, one mortar and a MMG. The Germans get a couple of half-tracks plus the halftrack sporting the 81mm mortar. The Poles also have an AC coming in mid-game as well as a 10-3 leader riding a ladies bicycle. I figure to go balls to the wall and get someone in the Polish rear real fast and disrupt things. At worst, I end up with wrecks and finding out real quick what the defense looks like. And this is pretty much what happened. I blasted down and found the piat and MMG real quick. I decide to keep up the pressure and a large stack kept double timing through the woods on the left as well as a platoon on the right taking advantage of the grain. Sure, he had plenty of shots but the mortar broke quick, I overwhelmed the piat and he boxcarred the MMG. By the time the 10-3 and AC were coming in things were well in hand. His forces were down to almost nothing and the game was conceaded on Turn 5. I don't know how I would rate this one (record has it even up at 10/10) but the up-the-gut style of play made sure this game wouldn't go the full 7 turns and it was fun.
Sunday morning finds me playing against Robert Modarelli. I was convinced to switch scenario columns for the good of the tourney and we ended up playing RP2 Glory Road. This is a Rout Report reprint and I played the original once against Brian Youse at ASLOK some years ago. I lost as the Brits that time. This time I decide that attacking has served me well to this point so its no time to change. I get the Japs. This one has a Brit contingent of 2nd line troops defending against a Jap 1st line force with 2 LMGs and 2 Lt mtrs and 3 Chi Has. The Brit is trying to keep the Japs from crossing the stream thats on Overlay 5. Heavy rain is in effect as well as dense jungle. Net result is Brits in stone buildings (+2 dense jungle, +1 rain) with kunai and palm trees as additional hinderances. The Jap lt mtrs are pretty much useless in this as there is little place for them to shoot from and their WP and Smoke is N/A in the rain. (A little side note, the Japs are initially in trucks...they have 5. And if they lose three trucks, its a Brit win.) My Japs move up, tanks in the lead. They position themselves out of LOS on the roads (exist by SSR). I lose one Chi Ha to the 2 Pdr (expected). Turn 2, I crash one tank off the road and into bamboo so I can get a bead on his kill stack. I bog in the bamboo but it doesn't matter because now I can shoot at his kill stack and the 2 Pdr can't see me. Everyone unloads and the crew from the dead Chi Ha ends up finding one of the minefields (good use for them). As the one Chi Ha beads in on the kill stack, he moves the kill stack back giving me a clear run for the stream (if I go through the minefield). I decide that boldness can be rewarded and I throw my 10-1 and two squads through the minefield and into the stream. The mines do nothing on their attacks and I can then advance into the now vacated foxhole previously occupied by his kill stack. In a different part of the stream a 9-1 goes berserk taking the accompanying 447 with him. This pretty much opens the flood gates and I am poised for a win on Turn 4. Meanwhile, his sniper has been going slow but sure.
Turn 2...his sniper immobilizes one truck.
Turn 3...his sniper immobilizes another truck.
Turn 4...his sniper immobilizes truck 3. End of Game, Brit win.
This scenario is a _DOG_ with that possibility. There is not a _damned_ thing to be done to prevent this type of sleaze Brit win. Rob, being the gracious winner, agreed wholeheartedly and allowed me extreme whining rights. (Didn't keep him from taking the W but, hell, I'd do the same.)
Completely frustrated with this I spend the rest of the afternoon beating up on Bob Walden's Germans against the overwhelming firepower of an American company in a test scenario.
Regardless of my two losses that hinged on bad luck (but to my opponents' credit they had to position their forces so as to take advantage of the luck), the Nor'Easter was a success. Vic Provost did a great job with the able assistance of Scott Romanowski and others.
Carl D. Fago
LOCA Group, Nuclear Engineering Department
Yankee Atomic Electric Company
email@example.com 508-779-6711 x2318
The ASL Nor'Easter is over, and I have a lousy 2-2 record. Worst I've ever done in a tournament. Who's dumb idea was it to have this dumb tourney, anyway?
Actually, I had a blast, as did most of the participants. The weather was awful, but we were warm and dry in our comfy digs at the Tara Sheraton in Framingham, MA for Nor'Easter '97. 26+ people showed up for the ASL tourney. Below are my notes on the games I played. The only excuse I can offer for my lousy showing is that there are some great players out here (I lost to the #2 and #3, respectively) and I had a miserable cold. How's that? No good? I didn't think so, either...
Round 1: BB10 Surrender or Die (German v. Ken Crouch)
We each got our side of preference on this one. SoD is a old Schwerpunkt scenario that we foisted off on BackBlast. It's still one of my faves. It's really tight, although I can see why some people think it's pro-American at first, given the numbers of squads. But the 2 Panzers are tough, and they proved tough this time, too. Ken set up a little too widely spread, without adequate BAZ coverage in the center. It wasn't too tough to stand back with the tanks, shoot up the Amis on turns 1 and 2, then dash around behind them with the tanks on turn 3 for nasty encirclement and failure to rout. As usual, it came down to a tussle for the little building in the woods on the Ami right. Ken's troops melted away just as he needed them the most, and his dice went sour. 1-0
Round 2: CH19 Into the Valley (German v. Randy Knight)
I liked the German odds here, and bid for them. I set up the AT gun in OG on the level 2 hill/cliff hex on the German left, a common spot, I'm sure. It 1) never got rate and 2) never scored a hit, with 6 shots, some with 8 final TH. Then Randy's T34 CH's it out of existence on a JFA ("just for aquisition") shot. Nonetheless, I fight Randy's Russkis to a standstill in the center of the board. On the last turn, however, Randy charges a T34 /into/ one of the victory buildings, and avoids cellar collapse. Not thinking in terms of vehicles /ever/ controlling a building, I let it go. However, the VC say "...control of building /locations/..." and the AFV controls the building location as long as it's there. A HS in the building could have won me the match. A lesson to those who always say "it takes infantry to capture buildings." Not always. 1-1
Round 3: SP7 Delayed on Tiger Route (British v. Scott Romanowski)
I play Scott all the time and I've never beaten him yet. This was no exception. Smarting from the "technical" loss to Randy (the whining goes on!), I'm pretty reckless in this match with Scott--which one should definitely not do, against someone of Scott's caliber. My Brits storm through the woods on the Northern half of the board, while the jeep/gun wait offboard to make their dash. Scott, of couse, has a great, flexible setup, and has his forces hidden in the woods right where I'll be at the end of the CX dash. His SS pound the Brits, and I lose too many CVP. The jeep makes its run down the board 1 turn too early and gets creamed by a 8+1 shot from a squad/LMG. The game is close, but only because my dice got very hot and because I pushed really hard. But I came up a couple of exit CVP short, and conceeded. 1-2
Round 4: A60 Totsugekki (Japanese v. Chris Meyers)
It's Sunday AM now, and I've settled down a bit. I bid for the IJA and win, with Chris taking the balance (whatever it was, I don't remember being impressed.) My tactics were classic IJA: a few suicide squads trade step reduction to force defenders to lose concealment, and the rest of the force stay concealed, pushing forward and threatening flanks/CC/infiltration whenever possible. Most of the attack goes right up the middle, and takes the Chinese guns from my right to left. I loose more squads than I like, but the job gets done, and I feel a little better. 2-2
Round 5: NA
Carl Fago and I decide to drop out. We're both double loosers and decide to do a AH playtest. Can't remember the name, but it has the most ungodly US firepower I've ever seen. There were about 12 US 1st line squads (each with a .50 cal, HMG, MMG, or BAZ) attacking, supported by armored cars and halftracks, against a force about a quarter the size. It is a bridge scenario, which I like. Overall, it was fun, but when the main US force enters on turn 2 and gets organized on turn 3, the FP is unstoppable. There's 2 .50s, some HMGs, a bunch of MMGs. Not to mention the squads' 6 FP. Carl had 2 .50s and a HMG, manned by 3 squads, at a range of 12 (of course), directed by a 9-2, just /wasting/ everything on my side of the bridge. It seemed to me like the designer might have been trying too faithfully to duplicate an actual US Army mechanized infantry unit. ASL ain't up to it, brothers. The average US TO&E is way more than you ever see in ASL. There needs to be a little bit of abstraction there for playability's sake. The allies won WWII for a reason: overwhelming resources. But that's no fun in the game.
All in all, a great time. My wounded pride notwithstanding, I had a lot of fun. We'll be doing it again next year, so come on up to New England next spring for Nor'Easter '98.
Tournament Report: Went 3-2, 3-0 on Saturday but 0-2 on Sunday.
Ended up ranking in 5th place! Psyched!
This AAR is based on memory, and I apologize if my recollections are not quite what really happened. Especially during Totsugeki, where my brain was trying to figure what to do in the future, not remember what happened... I tried to capture the general idea though.
Lessons Learned: Get access to all the scenarios before the tournament. After choosing your groups, work out a defensive setup for every possible scenario (My opponents were very pleased to learn that I had a setup ready, and they did not have to make themselves scarce for 20+ minutes). For the final scenarios, prepare for both groups as the matching system could have you playing someone who wants to play group B while you want to play group A... And also use a cup wide enough so you do NOT have to pick it up every time you need to get the dice out...
Round One: vs Lee Neeman (Portland, ME)
My Choices : Tiger 222 His Choices: Tiger 222
Broich Bash Broich Bash
Surrender or Die Surrender or Die
Therefore, we went with Tiger 222
I was the American defender. Plan was to pound on the germans as they tried to cross the river, hope for flank shots on the King Tiger from ATG or HIP bazooka. One squad HIP on far side of river to take back building locations in the end game. Setup: HIP 57L ATG in the stone rowhouse adjacent to the bridge exit. Boresight bridge entry hex.
HIP 346/Baz in orchard two hexes from bridge.
HIP 666/2AT Mine daisy chain adjacent to bridge exit.
HIP 666 on far side of river in woods on left side hiding.
HIP 666 in rowhouse on left side, watching the amphibious
666/MMG/8-1 covering the bridge. Boresight one of the far hill/buildings, hope for initial shot on somebody bypassing the building for a 4-3 attack.
666/Baz in graveyard adjacent to the bridge.
7-0/DC in same hex as ATG, moved out and back in as
346 covering far right amph crossing point.
2 AT Mines in bridge exit (yes, serious fire sack...)
AAR: Ger T1. SS halfsquads searching far right and far left.
Squads run through hill buildings. Tiger II went into bypass on hill buildings, stop. Pz IVs came in and set up behind wall. MMG missed firing at squad in BS hex. Advancing fire missed. Area acquisition gained by Pz IVs on bridge and bridge exit.
US T1. Skulk and hide. No shots, no effect in DFPh. Advance back to bridge watch positions.
Ger T2. Smoke placed in bridge and bridge exit. (ACK!) SS squads rush the bridge, take 12+2 PBF from squad in graveyard, break all but two. Those advance into bridge exit. HIP 346/Baz opens fire, breaks baz on first shot. HS clear more buildings on far side of river, both flanks.
US T2. Baz fire on Pz IV through smoke misses. PBF on squads breaks one. 7-0 places DC into smoke on bridge exit, breaks them both!
Ger T3. Lots of germans rally. Prep fire useless due to smoke. Pz IV starts, moves into bridge entry hex. ATG fires, hull hit, burning wreck! SS squads move into bridge and bridge exit hex, with DFF pinning some. Two Schwimmwagens rush across the bridge, and die into the process (one to a AT mine, the other to small arms). Expose 666/Daisy chain next to bridge to kill that VW. HS on far side of river runs into HIP 666, breaks on 12 even shot. Opponent shocked to find him! It was my only unit on the far side of the river... SS squad advances into ATG hex and another into 666/Daisy chain hex, melee results in CC with squad, CC over quickly with crew, and crew is dead...
US T3. Germans recover my ATG. The squad/MMG fire into smoke, try to stop flow of germans. Not that successful. His DefF breaks 666/Baz squad and they die from failure to rout. Now out of Antitank weapons... Melee with my squad I roll snakes, leader creation! Make a 8-1 leader, they kill a german squad, but they die themselves. My leader creation gave the german two extra CVP!
Ger T4. Tiger fires, no effect due to the smoke from the
burning wreck. He fires my ATG at my MMG post, no effect. Pz IV
moves adjacent to my squad on the far side of river, as he has no
squads to prevent my 666 from retaking lots of buildings over
there. More germans rush across the river. He advances 9-1/squad
into same hex as my HIP 666 in rowhouse, rather than moving and
giving my a 12-2 attack. I stay concealed, and he misses on his
US T4. Stay in melee, skulk in general. Not much left. 9-1/SS squad miss again!
Ger T5. Prep fire pins my MMG group. Pz IV moves back around and crosses river (6 CVP). Tiger crosses river, moves next to 8-1/MMG group, breaks them BFF. HS moves to replace Pz IV on guarding my 666 on far side of river. 9-1/658 moves out of melee hex, takes a 12+2 from my squad, and his squad breaks! 9-1 stays up, but SMC cannot control building locations! The last VW with floats moves across the bridge, up on the hill with my broken 8-1 leader to cut his rout. However, a unarmed vehicle, especially in the same hex (in bypass) does not count. Another 348/8-0 moves adjacent to 346/7-0, advances into CC. Another squad advances into rowhouse with my 666, he is CX for advancing uphill. CC no effect.
US T5. 658 fails to rally DM, leader assisted. Prep fire useless. 666 on far side goes after building location. 346 on far right moves next to another building location on the river bank, taking lots of DFF from Tiger, but all misses. He advances into the building to take back 2VP. Final CC, I win vs CX 658, no result on far side of river, and no result vs 346/7-0. Final VP total, 35 german CVP, needed 40! Bloody close!
Round Two vs Scott Romanowski (Lowell)
Bread Factory #2
I am german attacker.
Rus Setup: Weak in two victory buildings, strongly in Admin building (three hexes, level one plus cellars in each hex). Very weak on south flank.
Ger Setup: 9-2/HMG/468/LMG/468/LMG/467 in wooden building with LOS to first of the VC buildings. Assault force in two hexes north of there. HS in gully to run through the culvert. Berserk force sets up dispersed so if he goes out & about, he won’t take everyone with him. One 467/LMG sets up on south edge to watch my flank.
AAR. Ger T1. 9-2 kill stack breaks a concealed 447. Everyone in assault force moves. HS in gully gets a 4-2 shot from northern building, breaks. Most of my squads make it to the RR embankment. Advance kill stack to the RR line, with LOS to the large stack of ? in the first hex of the Admin building. Advance a non-concealed squad into shellholes next to that hex, as Rus takes wall advantage.
Rus T1. His 9-1/HMG is in the ground level of the admin building, preps at my kill stack, and breaks the 468/LMG and 467/LMG. Also breaks assault force adjacent to the Admin building. He does some shuffling inside Admin building. My DefF breaks squad in first level of VC building. He routs his broken guys out of VC buildings into Admin (?). Not much else.
Ger T2. Try to rally, nobody coming up. 9-2/HMG fires on the russian HMG, pinning them. Big whoop. Assault move squads into shellholes next to admin. Break. Assault move squad from berserk force across street. Make it! Also assault move far south flanker squad, trying to get into the eastern factory area, get between his reinforcements and VC. Reinforcements come on, head for RR line. Advance assault force closer. Advance south flanker squad into the building! Advance another squad into western VC building! Still do not have wall advantage vs rus HMG.
Rus T2. Commissar was in the Admin building. Rally the troops or else... HMG prep vs german guys adjacent breaks them. I thought that was the key position on the map. Why is this not working? ATG shows up in Admin building with great LOS to the VC building, opens fire with rate. Gets the -2 acquisition on my squad but it is okay. My 9-2/HMG opens up with 7 ROF shots! However, only break one russian squad. But russian sniper DMs a broken squad that I really needed to rally... My squad inside Bread Factory manages to break the last Russian squad in the VC buildings! That squad routs back to the Admin block. His advances do not reinforce the VC area. Does he have something planned?
Ger T3. Some guys rally, thankfully. Sgt Esser finally goes berserk. 9-2/HMG tries to suppress russian HMG, but fails. The berserkers have to charge past the VC building as the nearest russian unit is in the area east of the admin building though, and gets KIAd by the guys in the Admin block. Does not matter how high your morale is if you are dead... Push squads from assault force across the street into Bread Factory, reinforce success. Some do not make it, a guy dashing gets casualty reduced. His ATG breaks a squad in the VC building. Still got a good hold on it, after the advance phase get two more squads into there.
Rus T3. Commissar rallies everyone nearby. Surprise. ATG breaks one of my guys in the bread factory. HMG is unsuccessful. Reinforcements come on, seriously blocked by my flanking squad that got in back of the main line. My defensive fire breaks the HMG squad, but another advances in to take over. Scott makes a sudden realization—he messed up on which buildings are the VC! He thought I needed to take the Admin block! Oops. He tries to advance his squads into jumpoff positions for a counterattack.
Ger T4. 9-2/HMG fires, versus the russian HMG. What a river of lead went back and forth between those two hexes all game... Pins the russian. Guys in the bread factory skulk and hide. Assault move a squad next to the HMG to act as bait. He gets broken. Advance somebody there then. Advance back into the bread factory.
Rus T4. ATG fires, nothing. HMG breaks my adjacent squad.
Moves his reinforcements, draws my fire from my blocking group.
Some guys break, but others move closer.
Ger T5. My rallies are pretty pitiful. Prep fire from 9-2/HMG is deadly! Breaks 9-1/HMG group, and some of his counterattack bunch. In the bread factory they try to skulk and hide. His defensive fire breaks one of my squads.
Rus T5. Prep Fire no effect. He tries to move towards the VC buildings. 9-2/HMG takes serious offense at this and hoses them down! More deadly fire from the bread factory. At least six broken russian squads, not even the commissar can rally all these guys. Russian concedes.
The russian error in which buildings are the VC hurt, but not as much as it could have. Squads in the Admin building could not be hurt by my 9-2/HMG. A bigger part of that was letting my flanking squad get between his reinforcements and the objective. That cost those guys a full turn, plus casualties. A fun scenario, a serious slugging match. The bread factory is an exposed spot...
Round Three vs James Manfredi
His first choice was Butcher’s Bill. That was my last choice, as I had never gotten my hands on that scenario. His second choice was Franzen’s Roadblock, which was my first choice. So be it.
I am german defender. Plan is to trade terrain for time in the left woods mass, delay enough to make him take chances with his vehicles, which the Tiger then kills. Put the Tiger back in the rear (CC8) with a good LOS across the board around the pond, boresighted the building at Y6 four hexes away. Cleared up with some pregame rules lawyering whether I can record off board the tank crew being CE, or did I need to put the counter on the collection of 5/8" counters. More worried about his infantry than his tanks. Hide the HS/PSK team in the brush in CC6 to watch the road and the flank of the Tiger. Most of the infantry is in the left woods mass. Squad and a half is watching the right side. Place the roadblock (illegally in fact, needs to be on a road... Thanks Rob) on the far right side of the board to stop the end run through the brush. Dummy Tiger (two 5/8" ?) in the orchard in DD3 in the rear. More dummies in the two hex building on the front line.
AAR. Brit T1. Enter on his left side in the open with all the vehicles, with two large stacks coming in along the woods line. Other infantry does armored assault through the plowed fields. No DefF, vehicles stay in motion, infantry advance concealed next to me.
Ger T1. Back up, trade terrain for time. Not going to shoot at concealed targets, stacks look impressive (mostly HS and PIATs though!). Advance so he is not adjacent, and needs to Prep at concealed targets to clear ground.
Brit T2. No prep fire. Moving HS on my right flank reveal some dummies, tiger fires CMG to try to pin scouts. Comet moves along right edge, into Tiger LOF. He stops, waits one MP, and fires! Needs a four to hit. Rolls a four! Hull hit, needs an eight and kills my Tiger!!!!!!!!! ACK! Crew survives. I was going to wait one more MP and fire myself, needing an eight for a hit. Rock back on my heels big time! Moves up the infantry along the woods line, staying concealed with big stacks next to my concealed squads. He is very confident, play proceeding very fast.
Ger T2. Back up, try to figure out what to do. Try to keep a cohesive line. See a possible exit VP problem with my right flank. Try to get a squad over there along the north edge through the orchard, so move him north now. Do not leave anyone adjacent to the brits.
Brit T3. Infantry and tanks move up, take positions in the center of the board. Infantry pushes up on my right and along the woods line. Very confident british. Brush now a problem for me, as my cover disappears. Advances a 248/7-0 into CC with my right side HS. I kill both units for two VP.
Ger T3. Some of my squads stand and fight, shoot for no real effect. Squad in north tries to dash across the street from DD6 to DD4 to get to my right side, KIAd in the street... DefF breaks one of my exposed squads in Z5, who low crawl to AA6 to try to get away...
Brit T4. Infantry move up to outflank me on my left. Threat on the right seems to be over for now. Center infantry moving up into the Y4 woods. The Stuart and one Comet move up to Z4 and bypass Z5, stop. Other Comet moves to overrun my broken squad. However, the HIP PSK team proceeds to put a rocket into the side for a flaming wreck! Yeah! Two VP for the dead crew. German morale recovers! One thing about moving the vehicles last, is that when you run into a HIP unit there is nothing left to react.
Ger T4. PSK prep fires at the stopped small Stuart. A miss, but not by much. I feel I have to try for the CVP sudden death cap. Find isolated british units and kill them. Double time a squad around my left flank, trying for his rear via the U7/U6 path, where the scout car is sitting in motion next to the woods. Send another squad and HS towards Y10 where one of his HS is sitting. He throws the kitchen sink at my PSK team in DefF, but those heroes pass a 1MC and a 2MC. The AdvF PF misses the motion scout car. The british HS voluntarily breaks to get away from my infantry. My CX squad goes into CC with the scout car. Motion, OT, but I am CX. I forget to roll for ATMM (oops). Both miss.
Brit T5. He tries to kill that PSK team, but I pass the morale checks. Very little movement, as everybody fires. My PSK team DefF fires at the stopped small Stuart. A hit and kill! Another two CVP for the dead crew! We mistakenly believe that his motion scout car holds my squad in melee, and the squad cannot DefF at the scout car crew (yes still has target selection restrictions, but can use its FP or PF on the in hex target). Still, both miss in CC.
Ger T5. Squad in melee fires PF at the scout car, miss. PSK
team fires at the stopped Comet, hit and flaming kill. In the CC
phase, my now not CX squad kills the scout car for the final two CVP and the victory!
Was this one snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, or defeat from the jaws of victory?
Round Four vs Allen Loiselle (Northampton)
Both of us chose Totsugeki for our first choice. That was easy.
By die roll, I am chinese. Both agree to use IIFT.
I am chinese defender. I have my setup all ready, but chicken out at the last minute to move an HIP squad from around the left gun to to left center kunai field in V4. My plan is to wheel around from upper right to the lower left, fighting to the death for the last leftmost gun. My other HIP DD squad is adjacent to this gun. I talk during the setup about the conventional wisdom of hiding the HIP squads in the bamboo. try a little misdirection... My 9-1/2MMG/2squads kill stack is in V3. Two LMG are on the right flank, along with the dummies. One LMG is guarding the left flank.
AAR. Jap T1. He does a strong attack along his left center, both the path and the woodline, and up his left board edge too. My initial firelane there cowers, but some DFF attacks by their neighbors kill a HS and one of his leaders! Reveal my kill stack but no effect. He does not advance into CC into the bamboo, but stay adjacent. Lots of concealed stacks left, plus he keeps deploying more HS (with DC?). Axis still along my right center around the bamboo.
Chi T1. I pull back on the right, running to GG7 and EE7.
Trading terrain for time. Try to avoid giving him any DefF shots.
I move my kill stack into V4 AM, thinking that I am safe. WRONG!! His mortar is in X1, and rolls a three and then a snakes! End result is that both squads AND the 9-1 AND one of the MMG are destroyed! ACK! I did not need to have him in the field of fire either, mental mistake. Advance back into the bamboo path in Z3 to stall. Defenders in the CC6 area advance back to the woods line.
Jap T2. Reveal the HIP squad in V4 to recover the intact MMG. His prep fire breaks my squad in Z3, but it did its job. He moves into X3 around the bamboo, and into AA4/BB4 area. His left flank runs to FF4. He has two broken LMG is short order. No advance into CC, as my guys are mostly still concealed, and his frontline troops are CX or pinned.
Chi T2. He tries to repair the LMGs. Promptly kills one. No result on the other, and it does not come back until the last turn... Pull back again, try to rally the troops. Forgot to start the area acquisition process! Where is my brain?
Jap T3. Axis of attack is on my right center. My dummies take a lot of fire. He forgets to move a big stack (9-1/squad/HS) on my far right. Guns fire on adjacent hexes to get acquisition. His advancing fire yields MCs, but my guys pass them like SS.
Chi T3. Guns fire on adjacent hexes area target type, to get acquisition. Wonder of wonders, no breakdowns. Try to position my MMC to get the japs to move into the acquired hexes.
Jap T4. Once my squads break, they have trouble coming back up. Guns defF! Drives back Jap HS, breaking a couple. Good effects rolls, even if no rate of fire.
Chi T4. The commissar bonus for the Jap leaders brings back up his HS. Guns prep fire! Drive back those Japs now adjacent to the right gun, but a concealed unit is adjacent to the center gun. Move the MMG to W7, then advance it to where it can cover the palm tree path.
Jap T5. His prep fire on the right gun defenders in successful. My squads on my right are falling apart. Leaves only a crew and one squad still unbroken on my right. Advances into the right and center gun hexes. He only advances half squads into the gun hexes. His concealed guy ambushes my center gun crew, who gets promptly bayoneted. My crew and his half squad kill each other on my right. He takes the the center gun!
Chi T5. Move my squads to cover the palm tree path in the middle from the far left side. DefF breaks my left gun crew. They rout away into the jungle. Advance a squad into the right gun hex, try for recovery.
Jap T6. His prep fire breaks the unqualified gun crew on my right. Oh well. He is surrounded and will die for failure to rout. DC hero created who runs into my foxhole next to the gun and blows himself and one of squads to pieces! The palm tree path line is broken with the loss of one of my squads, but the DefF reduces some of his guys too. His force on my right declares a Banzai charge against the broken squads who are a roadblock of the dead. This clears that bulwark up quickly. He goes into CC with the owner of my MMG (who had been HIP), who was a DD squad. He declares HtH, and I use the -1 bonus of a DD squad, so we kill each other, and the MMG in the process. Running out of good order units.
Chi T6. Rally Phase. I have two MMC that I can rally, and if both pop back up I can put enough MMC in adjacent hexes to the last gun so that I do NOT think he can get there. BOTH FAIL! I needed that now dead squad! Set up squads adjacent to the gun on two of the four possible entry hexes, and two squads plus a leader in the gun hex itself. Feel reasonably confident that the position is safe...
Jap T7. More Banzai charges! One from the center where two squads charge into the last gun hex. My FF could not hit an elephant. The bunch from my right that took care of my roadblock of the dead also move adjacent to the gun. My DefF does nothing! Both my squads break in advancing fire. . End of game.
Any game where it comes down to the last movement phase of the last turn is alright by me. Allan made a big point of not advancing into CC with unconcealed MMC unless the chinese defenders were pinned. That was a big threat to keep me backing up, as he was constantly trying to put concealed units adjacent at the end of his turn. I know they were only half squads, but the ambush modifiers are still good. At least I made him dig deep into his bag of tricks...
Round Five vs Robert Modarelli (Waltham)
Both of us are brain fried! We know that Last Of Their Strength is a better scenario, but The Lighthouse is much shorter. Since Rob had asked to be in the other category (A), I gave him choice of sides. He wanted to be Japanese for LOTS or Lighthouse. We went with Lighthouse.
I am American attacker with fried brain. All Japs are HIP, so I do my initial setup and move. Two squads to enter right side of central jungle, rest of squads plus leaders and SW to come in on right side on the one hex wide jungle strip. Screwed things up royally. I had all my squads initial orders written out, but I did not follow it. Screwed up my searching the huts and jungle. Works out okay, because Rob did not reveal anyone on Amer T1.
Jap T1. Rob reveals a half squad in the central jungle complex (S5), prep fires on my adjacent to my cx squads. Mistake, I would have advanced in CC HtH concealed. Needs teamwork to set a trap like that, along with another unit to watch the US squads do NAM so they lose their concealment, to maximize ambush modifiers. He also moves some japs concealed from hiding in the woods near the lighthouse adjacent to said building. My DefF on the HS does nothing. Put together the MMGs. No japs go into the upper levels of the building. The jap HS in the woods advances away.
Amer T2. No one to fire at, so everybody moves except for a HS on my left flank. Immediately reveal a 448 in V6. He shoots breaks a HS in the road. Rest of my guys move towards X8/X9/X10, search, clear the area. Realize about now that I am moving directly into the wind, making smoke grenades bloody useless! Advance into the street, setting up my firebase with two 667/two MMG with the 9-1 leader.
Jap T2. He pulls his 448 back from my squads, goes up the hill, takes my defF for no effect. Does NOT advance anyone up to Level Two of the lighthouse, giving my firebase no target. This reverse slope stuff does stink sometimes. Does have 448 in Y6 tripwire.
Amer T3. Realize I need to push this big time if I am going to get anywhere. Run one squad and leader around AA8/BB7. They get hit by WP smoke shot by spotted fire mortar from CC5. Break. Move squads to jungle in Y7. DefF misses. Leave one HS behind watching the jap HS in the jungle around S7. Firebase moves up to Z7. Advancing fire does nothing. Advance firebase into Y7. Advance squad into the hex with the 448 in Y6, try to clear the way with bayonet. Lose...
Jap T3. 448 in Y6 backs up, no targets for my defF. Rob has units in CC6, BB5, CC5, and DD5. 448 goes back to Y6.
Amer T4. My prep fire firebase is a 36 even shot on the Y6 448. I need a 6 or less for a KIA. I roll an eleven. He reduces the 448 to a 347 on the 2MC, but he is still there. I try to run two squads and the sergeant around the CC7 area, but get broken. On his DefF, his 6+1 attack on my firebase breaks the squads and the 9-1 leader is wounded. End of game, I concede.
The American needs to push things very boldly, too boldly for 7 morale squads to handle. That kind of audacity is very dangerous vs HIP japs in concealment terrain. Rob did a good job of not letting my firepower do any good due to lack of targets.
Round 1 A69 Broich Bash (Germans) vs. Rob Modarelli
Of the three scenarios in this column, I had played one twice, Rob did not want to play another, and we had played each other in Broich Bash before. Broich Bash was the only acceptable choice. At least when we diced for sides we got the opposite of what we had already played. I set up to repel an attack from the south, since that's the way I had attacked. The Americans can win by controlling buildings 24U4 and 24R4 alone; they cannot win without controlling at least one. Rob, of course, came in from the north.
Bad luck started on first move, as he entered a M24 with a Baz/666 riding. He had mis-counted MP, so changed his TCA to force his infantry to bail out. They and the bazooka broke. The CE M24 continued on into LOS of my 9-1, HMG/467 in V3h2, who stunned the crew. His attack was concentrated around M9, with a ht and 666 in K7, and a M24 and 666 in 19O1. A ht and two 666s went to 24L3 to reinforce the M24 on the flank.
I moved my SPW 251/10 to N2 to try to eliminate the ht and DI the M24. He pinned the crew, but we managed to get the ht in my next MPh anyway. We never got to try for the M24 as Rob moved it out of LOS to around L7, but my sniper recalled the other. I sent the SPW around behind the US lines to try for rear shots, but Rob's alert mortar crew put a shell right into it (CH of course).
The SPW killed a ht, but the crew survived. I was moving a HS with a PSK up to shoot at Rob's last M24 but he intercepted it with that crew. He advanced into CC but I was confident, 2:1 odds after all. He rolls a 2, killing my HS, destroying my PSK, and creating an 8-0! Arggh!
By the start of turn 5, Rob had captured M6 but was down to one M24 and 5 or 6 squads, all around M6-M9. I had about 5 squads holding S8, R4, R5, P4 or 5, and N10, most of them concealed. With only two turns left, Rob conceded since it looked impossible to take either R4 or U4 in time. 1-0.
Round 2 RB3 Bread Factory #2 (Russian) vs. Jim Torkelson
This was a good lesson in how not to read VC! I read the VC "...buildings F42 and G43..." then set up and played as if they read "F42 and G41"! On turn 3, Jim pointed out that I now had to retake the buildings. I think my heart only missed one beat. Maybe two.
It was a good city brawl; I skulked in cellars and fired lots of FP at point-blank targets. But as I tried to retake G43 the dice decided to favor Jim. His 9-2-directed HMG got 7 ROF (which won him the ROF award), I rolled two 12s on MCs on the two squads ADJACENT to G43, and got wiped out everywhere else. I lost, but I held on to G41 ;). 1-1.
Round 3 SP7 Delayed on Tiger Route (German) vs. Bob Walden
We both wanted the Germans, a roll gave Bob the British with the balance (exit only 9 VP instead of 11). I had the StuG in N3, (8-1, LMG/658) in P4, LMG/658 in O8, 348 in P7, and I forget the rest. He pushed through the woods as expected and ran into my ambush points. I fired at a few of his broken units. He responded by battle hardening or generating heroes or both! He had three heroes at the end of the game!
By moving through the woods in the north, Bob not only took advantage of the cover and restricted LOS, but also hampered any German exits. Starting turn 4, the Germans can exit off the north edge; for every 5 VP (FRD) they exit, including prisoners, the required British exit VP increases by one.
Once I moved the Stug to I6 to cover the I-column road, Bob entered his jeep and ran it down the V4 road. This jeep, ATG and crew are worth 5 VP alone. My 8-1 in R4 had a PF but missed by one. The LMG/658 in P5 didn't need a PF. Their 8+1 shot eliminated the jeep in P3. No survivors. Bob admits that he should have waited one more turn, because I would have had to fall that squad back to block his infantry around N8.
We ended up fighting around I9-J9 on turn 4b. I managed to break a 648 and trap it in I10. When he didn't break my unit in I9 the game was over. He no longer had enough VP to win, and since he had already invoked No Quarter, capturing prisoners to exit would be very difficult. 2-1
Like all the Schwerpunkt scenarios this is a small, fast-playing blast. Ten squads, four leaders and two vehicles on a heavily-wooded board.
Round 4 CH14 Ninety Minute War (Japanese) vs. Mike Pierzchala
Mike and I had played this by email a while ago, so we switched sides and tried it FTF. I entered three squads at R0, three at GG1, and six in the middle. His MMG post in 37DD6 step reduced a couple squads before it fell in CC. Meanwhile my middle force had found Mike's (8-1, MMG/447) in 22I9 and 447s in K10 and L9. I took casualties but forced them back. Meanwhile, the three squads on my right had gotten to 22N6 and N7 still concealed.
My left flank, which had been reinforced by another squad from the center ran into 447s in D8 and E9. I smoked one and inched forward. I had a 3_4_7 in C10 when Mike's 447 in D8 tried to pull back. I fired on it in D7, it went berserk and came back! Nothing happened in that CCPh, so I reinforced next CCPh and killed it while losing a HS.
By this time my center had broken Mike's MMG force and I pushed to H8. The 8-1 and 447 had routed to G8, where they were eliminated when I invoked No Quarter rather than capture them.
The dice smiled on us both on turn 6a. Mike had four 447s (D5, I6, E4, H4) plus a broken HS and 7-0 in F3. One more 447 (I suspected two HS instead) was still HIP. It started with my mortar in G9. I fired WP at the 447 in D5. CH! 12 on his MC! With rate, I fire WP at the 447 in I6, but have no more. So I fire HE. CH! Another broken 447.
I sweep into the G6 building and Mike first fires, subsequent first fires, final protective fires, final protective fires, final protective fires, and final protective fires. I may have missed an FPF there. One of his 447's rolls a 2 on an FPF attack, HoB sends it berserk. The other, just a normal 447, FPFed almost as many times. He reveals HSs in E4 and F3, but I roll into the building. I kill the two 447s in CC and face only three HS backed into F3.
Mike preserves them in turn 6b, but I kill them in 7a for victory. 3-1.
Round 5 LN4 Tempest at Tombe (Japanese) vs Stephen Johns
This short, 4.5-turn scenario has USMC Raiders starting almost on top of the Japanese. I set up heavily around 7D2. The trench, 9-1, MMG/228 and 448 go in C2. A foxhole, MTR/447 in D1, the second foxhole, MTR/347 in C3, and a 447 in D2 complete the defense. The rest of the infantry go in the huts with the 448s on the left, closer to 7D2. I plan to fall back to around 7D2 and F1.
Steve's first turn started badly when his stack of (9-2, MMG/558, MMG/558) does nothing. He moved into CC in three hut hexes. Despite his concealment, he does not ambush anyone and all everyone survives in all three CC's. In my turn I break his 9-2 and one squad, then win two of the melees. I lose the third and Steve captures the 7J1 hut and creates a leader.
We exchange fire and I break several squads, but Steve's victorious hero and 558 move to 7J0. I break the squad but the hero carrying a DC sticks around. He later throws it into 34I10 as DF, it only pins my 447 but wounds his hero. My mortars keep throwing WP on his kill stacks in 34D9, F8 and G8. It broke a squad or two, but the main effect was reducing their fire. When you're firing through a hex or two of palm trees at someone in +1 or +2 TEM, an extra +2 hurts.
On turn three his PFPh comes through and he mauls my line in 34F10, G10, H9. He kills my I10 force in CC but is running short on time. On turn 4a he sweeps forward and captures all the huts except 7D2. He ends with one squad in 7E1, I have two squads in D1.
On turn 4b I break his unit in E1. I have a squad in D2, two in D1, and a squad and crew in C2. On this last turn, Steve has to eliminate either D1 or C2 in order to get to D2, and he only has one stack that can see them. The dice do not cooperate and Steve concedes. 4-1
Scott Romanowski `-- c8 ]