Sunday, December 4, 2011

Advanced Squad Leader (MMP) ~ "Liberating Bessarabia" [113]

Game: Advanced Squad Leader
Scenario: "Liberating Bessarabia" [113]
Participants: Rikk "Flaming Tank" M, Myself
Time: Sat, Nov 12th ~ 10.00PM - 12.00PM
         Sun, Nov 13th ~ 4.30PM - 5.30PM

As I have recently clipped out all of my Axis Minor counters, I wanted to play a scenario using them. I started with the Armies of Oblivion module and quickly found this one. It was the right size and had a little early war armor. When I looked it up on ROAR it also fared well. It's easily the most popular scenario from the module having been played and reported to ROAR around 100 times. Its 56% pro-Romanian, which is a great balance percentage.

The scenario takes place in Bessarabia in July of 1941. The Romanian 1st Armored Division is attacking a city called Branzeni. The scenario has two half boards (49 & 22) with the Russians setting up East of a Road a few hexes in from where the Romanians will be entering. The Romanians have to Control 6 or more multi-hex building in order to win. The scenario is 8 turns long. Most of the Multi-hex buildings are near the border of the two boards. The Romanians will have some open ground to cover in addition to a gully to deal with. Since I was defending in our last scenario, I elected to take the Romanians in this one.

Rikk's Russian OB looks contains; 7 4-4-7s, 4 4-2-6s, 9-1, 7-0, 2 MMGs, 2 LMGs, 1 ATR and 6 "?". Additionally, he starts out with 2 BT-2A's (37L) and 2 BA-6 Armored Cars (45L). The Russian ELR is 2 and their SAN is 3. There isn't a lot of depth to defend in, so I expect him to set up as far forward as he can given the terrain.

After both side have set up

The Romanians OB consists of: 14 3-4-7s, 9-1, 8-0, 7-0, 2 dm MMGs, 3 LMGs, 1 dm 60mm MTR with a 8-1AL along with 4 LT vz35 (g) [37] and 2 R-1 (t) [CMG]. The vz35's are really nice, they have 3 frontal armor and 4/4 for MGs. These are the most potent weapons I have. The are very vulnerable to the 45L's and somewhat vulnerable to the 37Ls as well. The Romanian ELR is 3 and their SAN is 2.

Rikk, as expected set up with nearly everything up front, just across the road. I could see that on my right he had two of his AFV's hull down behind a stone wall covering an important intersection. He had another AFV on my far right and the last AFV was set up back in my left covering the road. I knew I would be able to make some good progress on the first turn as there were a lot of LOS hindrances and some buildings blocking his view. Additionally there are not any good level 2 hexes for him to use. All buildings are wooden via SSR.

Turn 1

End of Romanian Turn 1

My initial movement phase went well for me. I was expecting more fire from Rikk, but then again most of the shots he had weren't going to be very good. I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted my tanks and how to use them. I didn't want to even engage his armor until I had an idea what was where. All if his AFVs were in very strong positions, 3 of them were hull down on the first turn. My tanks are too important to me to risk any early on.

Turn 2

End of turn 2 on the Left

Rikk stays passive on his first couple turns. I am able to engage the MMG in hex 49F8. This is important because he can lay a fire lane down the whole road from this spot. I wasn't sure on the LOS initially but thankfully it is open. Rikk brings up one of his tanks (radioless) to support his infantry on my left. He leaves a hull down position that I was worried about. He does it so that he can get some fire on the big building on my left which is now teeming with Romanian squads.

End turn 2 on the Right
My turn 2 goes well again. I see that Rikk has a BT-2A on my left in the street. I will be able to pelt it with MG fire with the four MGs I have in the building. In the center Rikk's ATR takes out one of my mini tanks and immobilizes the other one. I have a couple squads break on my left, but I have a leader near by to rally them and can do that in cover. On my right I continue to poor fire into his MMG in the big building. I am able to get most of my guys up to to road in cover during the turn, he's going to be facing a lot of fire power should he not skulk in his turn.

Turn 3

Hex 49F8, after the Critical Hit.

In his half of turn 2, I got some good shots off.  I was able to shock his AFV on my left with MG fire and getting a CH on the MMG covering the whole road on my right. Rikk skulks with most of the rest of his force. With the BT-2A shocked on my left, I now see an opportunity to focus my attack there with a couple of my tanks. By then end of my turn, his tank is aflame and I am pushing across the street on my left. I've had a couple squads break but so had he. The MMG not interdicting the road is big as is the vz35 I send over there to take out his shocked tank. With this tank here, Rikk cant stay there with his infantry, allowing my to get across the street in good shape.

The loss of Rikk's BT-2A on the left
 Turn 4

Rikk begins by sending another tank over to cover his left. The two in the middle are busy shooting at my infantry. One of his AFV breaks his MA. Rikk decides to pull back and play it safe on his half of turn three, not electing to stay in the buildings right on the street.

I make excellent progress on my left. With the 2nd vz35 in the area I am able to use the terrain to my advantage and get right up next to several of his squads. He's only got a couple of 4-2-6s over on this side and they have very little room to escape should they break. In the center I am able to get a leader over there to rally a couple of broken squads in the gully and I start to shift a couple more squads over in this direction to pressure him.
End of Turn 4

On his part of turn 4 he pulls back where he can. The two AFVs in the center bug out as he needs them to prop up his melting infantry on my left. I am able to eliminate/capture 2-3 squads on my left as they break or disrupt and have no where to rout.

Turn 5

The start of Romanian Turn 5

On my right I send forward the a vz35 I have lurking there to cover the intersection. The other one I move up to the wall that he has just abandoned and take his ACs under fire (from hull down). He breaks one of his MA's in defensive fire. Things go from bad to worse for Rikk on left. Rikk isn't able to stop me from getting to his last few squads on his left. These guys are covering a couple VP buildings and when I am able to break them he throws in the towel.

Final Positions, end of Romanian Turn 5

Both of us really enjoyed the scenario. Its easy to see why its the most popular one in the module and obviously is getting a lot of play. I expect its also getting used a lot in tournaments. I would happily play it again as either side. I think Rikk had the right idea on how to defend in this one. The CH on the MMG on my right was big. That being said, I think a roll here or there could have made this one a lot closer.

1 comment:

  1. Played this as the Russians a few years ago against what was then a fairly new player. It was great fun and played out well. I won in the end but I had to do a little counter attacking if I remember correctly.

    Your blog remains one of my favorite Cheers!