Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advanced Squad Leader (MMP) ~ "Into the Vienna Woods" [AP52]

Game: Advanced Squad Leader
Scenario: "Into Vienna Woods" [AP53]
Participants: Jim "HeavyD" D, Myself
Time: Sat, Nov 26th 4.00PM - 7.00PM

Action Pack #5 featured scenarios from the Eastern Front Around here at least we have played many of the scenarios from it. This one "Into Vienna Woods" is one that I have now played twice. This one looks appealing when you see it. Its played on half board 58 (hill) and only lasts six turns. As the Russian you have 15 MMC's and a couple of Assault Guns to counter a gang of 11 SS squads lead by a 10-2. As of this writing it is 50/50 (42/42) on ROAR, which is perfect.

HeavyD and I are into our 2nd month of our get back on track with ASL program and selected this one to play. I chose the Soviets as I had played it back in '09 as the Germans. I didn't recall much from the game other then I played my friend Dave Angrisani. The Victory conditions are very clear here, the Germans have to run up the hill and take all of the level three hexes and hold them by the end of the game. There is a trench counter in each of the level three hexes and Alpine Hills are in play (in short, hills will block LOS along the same level). The Russians start out with 5 5-2-7s, 1 2-2-7, 1 8-0, 1 LMG and 4 "?" markers. On their half of turn 3 the Russians get substantial reinforcements. This group has 10 4-5-8s, 1 9-1, 1 8-1, 1 8-0, 3 LMGs as well as a SU-100 and SU-76. As the playing area is so small, these reinforcements can enter the trench line the turn they enter (some of them at least). 
My Set Up

The German player has a very nice force of 11 6-5-8s, 1 10-2, 1 8-1, 1 8-0 2 dm MMGs, 3 LMGs and a PSK. They too can be in the trench line on the turn that they enter. It is my job to keep them out. As I looked at the board whilst setting up didn't see anything that had me really worried. I simply set up most of my guys on top of the hill in the trench line with 1 squad on level two (all starting Russians have to be at least at level 1) and a couple of dummies at level one. 

The Steamroller

Things went well early on. I was quite pleased with how my dummie stacks made HeavyD be cautious around them. I did a little long range fire (when your squads range is two, long range is 4-5 hexes away) at some of his squads as they started their assent up the hill. Each time though when a MC was called for his guys were up for it, I don't think I broke a single unit of his during his first movement phase. As the movement phase progressed I didn't get that worried though as he was saving his 10-2 death-star stack for the very end. Most of his movement had been very passive to this point, so him not breaking much wasn't that much of a concern. However when the 10-2 and his band of thugs made there way up the hill without any of my fire slowing them down, I started to get a bit worried. It was also at this point in the scenario that I realized that I had completely blown my set up. 

End of German first Movement phase

When his turn was over, I was starting to go into shock. I had three 6-5-8s and a 10-2 (plus a couple of MGs) adjacent to my trench line. I had a squad or two break from his advancing fire as well. I skulked on my turn, hoping to rally my guys and survive his prep fire. 

HeavyD working me over during his turn 2 Movement Phase

It got ugly early in the prep fire phase. He started breaking units right off the bat. After his withering Prep fire he made a few cautious moves to get adjacent to me on his side of the hill. I pointed out that he could CX one of his guys and get around behind me on my side of the hill, eliminating some of my route options. My defensive fire again was fruitless, not breaking a single unit. He advanced into the trench line and cleaned up in the CC phase. It was over. I conceded at the end of the turn as he still had one more movement phase to clean up my last one or two squads that were in the trenches, then he'd be ready and waiting my assaulting forces.  

End of German Turn 2...Those are Germans in the trench line

Even though HeavyD did well on his MCs, this wasn't about dice, this was about me missing the point. My initial force of 5.5 squads has to be a speed bump. I have to fight him as soon as he enters the map, I should have 3-4 squads down on level one close to his entry hexes. This allows me to engage him right away and takes away the range advantage that his units have over mine. I should have only left one or two squads on the hill with the LMG to cover the trench line. I know that I'll loose all of my initial force now, I should have set it up better to slow him down so that my reinforcements would be able to get to the trench line while he is still fighting his way up his side of the hill. 

The day was not lost, Dominion was sitting there...the new expansions (Hinterlands) was just begging us to try it out so we did. We ended up playing a few hands of the new set and having a good time.

Dominion Saves the day


  1. Always tough to loose a scenario to set up. I have played this scenario as well (you seem to be following my played list LOL) I was the attacking Germans and whilst I managed to get the Russians out of most of the Trench line he held the last one and fought back to retake enough for the win. I really enjoyed that game. It's also a good pack, one of the more played AP's I own


  2. Okay I do not feel so bad anymore about this scenario as I made the exact same mistake playing the Soviets at ASLOK in 2010 against Jim Burris. I was prepared to never play this one again, but now I'm much more in tune with the tactical puzzle thanks to your summation.