Friday, February 18, 2011

Advanced Squad Leader (MMP) ~ "Insult to Injury" [AP47]

Game: ASL
Scenario: Insult to Injury [AP47]
Participants: Joe "YJ" C, Myself
Time: Saturday, Feb 12th ~ 12.00PM - 5.00PM & Sunday, Feb 13th ~ 1.00PM - 6.00PM

This all started with YJ and I wanting to play the Kursk Mini-CG from J3. So we picked a Saturday and planned ahead, choosing our sides and making our OB selections, then I sat down and set the boards up. I failed my Scenario set up TC and called off the first scenario because I was confused about the wording of the German set up...I posted on CSW (no help), I bothered Pete on FB (he said it was fine)...nothing. So I decided to find another scenario that was similar to the Kursk Mini and found this one. It's nearly a perfect match to the first scenario in forces and size. Its also designed by Pete Shelling, the Kursk Mini designer. Then I looked at ROAR, oh dear, 19-9 in favor of the Germans. My Hubris leaned over and said "we can handle that, just give YJ the Germans and we'll take the balance", and that was that.

After Russian set up, HIP guns are visible, prior to German set up
The OB is pretty big and diverse for both sides, so I'll skip it. The scenario takes place in July of 43, in the middle of Operation Zitadel. The Germans have an Elite force of Infantry (SS) as well as about half a dozen tanks and assault guns including two Tiger I's. The Germans are attacking, Victory is determined by multi-hex building control (5VP each) and mobile vehicles (2VP each) with in 5 hexes of the two clusters of multi-hex buildings (on each side of the map).

This is after German Turn 2 I believe
The Russians start with a force of 4-5-8s on the map and get three turns worth of reinforcements, including 12 tanks (T34s, T70s and KVs). There are three maps, with the two VP locations roughly on each side in the middle. There are two stream overlays in the middle restricting the Russian players options around his reinforcements in that he has to choose one side or the other, its hard to traverse the board once you have picked a side to enter on.

Turns 1-3

A good view of the whole map at the end of the 2nd turn
YJ started off driving three of his tanks (two III's and one Tiger) right in the midst of my HIP guns. This made my Hubris very happy as my 57LL took out all three. The Tiger I got it in the prep fire phase on a side shot that I happened to just notice as I was looking around for things to shoot at with the 57LL as I had maintained rate after taking out the 2nd Pz III. I needed like a 5-6 to hit and rolled a 4, side shot, 1 Tiger down for YJ. My Hubris and I were pretty happy in these early turns. I  moved on my first turn reinforcements and took up what I thought were very good positions near the right hand VP locations. YJ was going to have to come at my tanks to drive me out of the VP area. YJ was also mostly ignoring the left hand VP area, where I had set up all my on-board forces (leaving only dummies on the right).

What the right hand VP area looked like at the end of German Turn 2
Turns 4-7

It has been a while since I've played a scenario with this much armor on both sides (yes, I am starting to explain, so you know what that means!).  Thus I approached the defense of my right on some ideas that are not (in hind sight) the best choices for a Russian player with many more vehicles then the German in 1943. In short as you can see by my deployment, I put my AFVs in potions that were near or in the 5-hex radios of the location they needed to be in to get the VPs at the end of the game. I placed them in groups so that YJ would have to face two or three tubes each time he wanted to go after some. At this point I had killed three of his tanks and was content with sitting back and making him come to me and my many more AFVs then his. He of course did this, choosing his fights wisely. In several cases he'd roll up with one STuG against two or three T34s and take them out. He hits better and penetrates MUCH better then I do. I am needing 4-5 to get a kill and he's needing 7 or 8. Even if we trade kills I am still in good shape as I can run him out of AFVs. Well trading wasn't in the cards today.

One Amazing Stug IIIG
The above picture captures my late game attempt at revising my Russian armor plan. YJ had started to get the upper hand on the Right, killing 4-5 of my tanks at no cost to him. He had moved his remaining Tiger into the center of the town and his SS Infantry was pushing my hapless 4-4-7s slowly away from the VP buildings. I had to do something. The left was never going to get taken by him,despite him sending all of his Infantry reinforcements and late arriving armor to that area.

I was still mathematically alive for a victory as long as I could take out several of his AFVs while keeping my remaining ones alive and in the VP areas at the end of the game. So I started playing my armor like I should have from the very beginning. I rushed one of his STuGs with two KV-1S's and a couple of squads. He missed, IF'd and broke his gun (woohoo!). Both of my KVs were still alive and in an excellent position to get an additional HT and STuG the next turn. In the CC phase my 5-2-7 + 8-1 leader gacked their CCV attack against the STuG (yeah, the one with the broken MA and no manned usable MGs). It was at this point that I knew in my heart of hearts that there was no way he was NOT repairing the MA on the STuG and killing my two KVs. Sure enough in the next Rally phase he repairs the gun...and the rest was history. I played on though...still at least mathematically in it, but I knew I was done for, I had not seen my Hubris at all in hours.

YJ was finally able to kill enough of my AFVs to ensure his win. I thought YJ played a very good game. He stuck to it after the devastating opening couple of turns. One thing I love about board 56 (the one on my right) is that even though nearly every hex on it has some sort of terrain in it, it is as open as a desert board when it comes to LOS. The buildings on this map are small and there are LOSs all over the place. Its a real nail biter trying to decide if you can see that guy across the street behind the one shack. In nearly every case where he and I had a close LOS it was open!

Lastly, I'll mention the part where YJ figured out the set up for the first Kursk scenario in like 9 seconds after looking at it! Thus next time (early March) we get together we will start that Mini-CG which I have it on good account that its an excellent time. All in all though, even though I lost this totally unbalanced dog! ;) I couldn't think of a better way to spend the ten hours it took to play it.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent AAR Yockbo. I must say that the Amazing Stug III was the highlight of the game for me, although he did eventually die (as was only fair?). As always, and excellent time.

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  2. Great AAR as always. Try Gamesquad for set up or rule questions. Someone tends to answer fairly quickly. I would say it's best to then stop reading as you start to get opposite points by the bucket load.

    10 hours of ASL in a day, I don't get many of those a year.

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