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Subject: The ASL Solitaire bot plays ASL 3 - The Czerniakow Bridgehead rss

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Peter Kossits
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Earlier this year I came up with a way to play the scenarios in the first ASL SK box solitaire using a small deck of cards to drive the "opponent"'s decisions. A little while after those rules stabilized I dipped my toes into using my solo bot in a scenario using full ASL rules and played The Guards Counterattack with it.

The ASL Solitaire Bot plays Guards Counterattack

Since then I've been inching forward, gradually adding more standard ASL rules and testing out more and more scenarios with it. I've been trying to limit myself to the scenarios that came with Beyond Valor for now and am playing infantry only before trying to add in Guns and then AFVs.

Among the scenarios that I've played so far are The Tractor Works, Fighting Withdrawal and Commando Schenke. I've played those several times each and have had some good enjoyable games, but nothing really exciting enough to be worth posting in a session report. My rules also wavered a little bit as I played as I tried out different approaches to concealment and HIP and have only really settled recently.

I recently finished up a play of the Czerniakow Bridgehead which I found particularly enjoyable and thought I'd share.

I last played this scenario way back in 2005-6 by email as I finally started to gain some confidence with ASL after almost a decade of trying to play the game.

This is a strange little scenario if one reads the historical description. Even though it plays out as Germans vs Russians - the Germans weren't really Germans and a lot of the Russians weren't really normal Russians either. One also gets the sense that this will be a casual German probe against a demoralized enemy with the Germans having the upper hand, but it really plays out as a fairly desperate advance by the Germans who are being relentlessly hunted by the "Russians". The scenario situation and victory conditions seem oddly matched to the event being modeled, but if one forgets about the actual history and just plays the scenario for what it is, the game is fun and very interesting.

In my first play, I remember enjoying it much more than I expected to and thought that the initial turns when the Germans have to cross the bridges under enemy fire were incredibly exciting. I have always been very interested in D-Day, and, though it may sound strange, planning and executing the river crossings via those 4 bridges always made me feel a bit like Eisenhower and company planning the D-Day beach landings...but on a far smaller scale. The German player needs to balance suppressing the Russians who can contest the crossing of the bridges with the need to move quickly. And he also gets to pick and choose which of the 4 available bridges he will attempt to use.

Set-up

The rules I devised for the bot in this scenario involve a little game before the actual game where the board is covered in suspected enemy positions and the player has to select the positions one by one and then make a chit draw from a cup to see whether an enemy unit was actually set-up there by the bot.

It's a fun way to start up the game and with a bit of luck, a German player may manage to even make the bot's defense weaker than usual against the offensive set-up he plans to use. Of course, the plan may backfire too and the player may find that his planned axis of advance has far more enemies in front of it than he expected, leading him to re-evaluate his plans.

In my play, the bot's set-up and my initial set-up looked like this.



The hexes with single Russian ?'s in them represent the OOB given ? markers on the Russian side. Most of those hexes will have a single 337 in them. Others may have leaders or SW thrown in as well. I won't know until the "Suspects" activate, usually in reaction to my movement. The suspects that are out of play and far from my own units will gradually move towards the fighting as play progresses using a quick and simple mechanism.

I had planned to use the 2 rightmost bridges for my assault even before the bot had placed a unit, so my goal was to try to minimize the defenses on the right side of the board. It didn't quite work. There ended up being more units there than I was hoping for, but I decided to go ahead with my plan and set-up on the right anyways.

The advantage to using the two bridges on the right is that I can set-up my attacking forces in such a way that they can quickly and easily support an assault on either or both bridges. Ideally I will advance my units across both of the rightmost bridges but if unpleasant surprises occur I will be able to shift forces and cross most of my units on the single bridge of the two which ends up being most lightly defended. I didn't see that type of mutual support being possible on any other two adjacent bridges and decided that any other axis of advance would be more risky.

One of the disadvantages of using the rightmost bridge is that the Russian player has a very good and obvious location for his HIP units on the second board (the German sniper is there right now) that can shut down the bridge for a while.
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Peter Kossits
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German turn 1

The game begins with a "bombardment" on all Russian MMC on the top board. All Russian MMC have to take an NMC. This is a great opportunity to reduce bridge defense and maybe even get some easy CVP as well.
To win, the Germans need to have more CVP than the Russians at the end of the game and also to be able to exert 20 Firepower points using units on the bottom board at the end of turn 10. This is an odd old fashioned sort of victory condition that one doesn't see much any more. These days it's more common just to specify a number of Good Order MMC and/or SW.

The bombardment resulted in a lot of breaks and pins across the entire map. No boxcars for an easy CVP though. The defenses at the two bridges I am about to use have been seriously compromised.



In the Prep fire phase this turn, I will be trying to break the units that have LOS to my two bridges as well as their entrance and exit hexes. I'll be making lots of moves trying to overwhelm the defense and hopefully make some big leader led moves at the end of my MPh. I'm also not deploying into HS at all, because the guys I move across early may (in spite of being CX) be trying to get into CC with a bridge defender to take him out of play for my turn 2.

I fire my biggest firepower stacks at some of the exposed defenders and manage to break/ELR a Russian leader on the right but I can't affect any of the squads.

For my first move, I advance a squad far from a bridge forward trying to get the bot to place his residual where it won't affect my main moves over the bridge. The bot can't resist the 4(-2) shot I offered and he breaks my squad.



I try the same maneuver with a 2nd squad but he pins in the residual and doesn't draw any additional fire.

A 3rd squad trying the same maneuver survives the residual and draws a 2(-2) from a pinned Russian squad on the right. My squad pins and there's no new residual placed. The two defenders of the rightmost bridge have now both first fired.

Now I try a big speculative move across the bridge with one squad who CX'es. The bot fires a 1(-2) at the bridge entrance which I survive and I move onto the bridge.

At this point I am unlucky and a partisan HIP stack reveals and takes a 2(-3) on me while I am on the bridge. I was hoping to postpone the appearance of the HIPs until after the good 9-1 leader had entered play normally. The partisans pin my squad on the bridge. The good news is that the partisans can't place a firelane along that road due to Ammunition Shortage.

That stack appearing in that spot may make the rightmost bridge a little hot for the next turn or two.

The bot has used half of his HIP allotment and may still surprise me one more time.



Turning my attention to the neighboring bridge, I try to get a CX squad across there.

He succeeds and makes it into the orchard/road next to the large stone building.



There wasn't much threatening that move at all, so I decide to try a leader led stack across the same bridge. A pinned Russian squad does try a 2(0) through the orchards but gets no result and places no residual and my guys reach the same hex that the CXed scout ended his move in.

The second pinned Russian squad in the vicinity tries a 2(-1) at the end of my move, rolls badly and gets no result. And again the orchards swallow the residual.

Nice bot behavior though! No shots at all against the scout, but two shots once the leader tried to come across.



Most of my guys have moved by now. I shift a small two-squad stack from the right side of my line to the left setting up for a move across the leftmost bridge next turn. There is so little resistance on the board right now I am able to move them to the bridge entrance hex and park them there in the open. They'll advance onto the bridge itself in the APh and will be poised for a big move on turn 2.



In the Defensive Fire phase, there's not much, but the partisan 337 squad tries a long-range 1(0) against my guys pinned on the bridge....and roll snake-eyes. Fortunately that shot is not leader led (the LMG/Leader fired alone earlier) and it cowers down to 0. Phew!
In the AFPh, I have a chance to score my first CVP against a broken squad, but it gets lucky on its MC.

Broken units retreat and my guys advance onto the leftmost bridge and into the big stone building.



It was a good turn, but absolutely bloodless. No casualties for either side so far.
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Russian turn 1

Russians rally no one but the guys hit by the bombardment last turn lose their DMs.

My Germans have one squad to rally and I roll boxcars. First blood to the Russians and I am down on CVP.

I'm hoping that not all of the Russians will skulk and that they give me a chance to break down the defenses a bit during the coming DFPh.

The Russian bot gives me my wish and firegroup against two of my guys who pinned in the open last turn and they roll snake-eyes for a 1KIA.



Another firegroup shot at my leader and squad on the 2nd bridge, but no result there.

In the bot MPh, a lot of the forces out of play on the far left start moving aggressively towards the fighting. I get lucky and break a squad with a long-range shot. The battlefield is so big and there aren't many Russian leaders so I have a feeling that anyone I break will not be coming back for a long long time, so I'm just going to try to break the opposition one squad at a time.

I luck out and a 2nd squad blunders into the residual of the first shot and also breaks.



And finally one of the Suspects "redeploys". This is a neat mechanism I came up with to simulate all of the guys under ?s creeping closer to the fighting. In my first attempts at this scenario I was actually moving each of the individual concealed stacks and it was very time-consuming and the stacks also were abandoning some nice defensive terrain. It didn't feel right.

Then I came up with the idea of simply taking the concealed stack farthest away from any enemy and moving him smack dab in front of the path of the most advanced German unit. There's a bit of randomness and obtaining the new position for the Suspect is similar to resolving a sniper attack in terms of mechanics.

By doing that once each turn, near the end of the scenario all of the Suspect stacks should be in very good positions right in front of the German advance.

Worked like a charm. Quick and easy way to simulate the whole group slowly moving closer into better positions.

I take strong shots at good targets with all of my large stacks on the far side of the river and come up empty, breaking a MG in the process. My most advanced units however in the stone building do manage to get a nice BRK/ELR result on their closest adversary.



The Russians move up few units in the APh and reoccupy the position they skulked from and the turn ends. After turn 1 they have 3CVP to my 0.


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German turn 2

On to turn 2. The objective is to break down the bridge defenses a bit more and try to get some more guys over the river.

My Germans rally 1 of 2 broken units.

The Russian bot rallies 4 of 4! And I now have a LMG firing at long range along the road I will use after I cross the most central of the two bridges I am using.

These guys aren't suffering from Ammo Shortage like the partisans and can lay a firelane, but because its only a LMG, the fire lane won't have any FP past 6 hexes - so it's not as bad as it could be.



In my prep, I fire my big MG group with 9-2 leader at the HIP group that popped up last turn. It's pretty key to shut that hex down. These guys also have a LMG and are situated along a road, but they can't lay a firelane since they are partisans suffering from Ammo Shortage,
I fire a 16(0) and wound the leader and break the squad. ROF follow-up breaks the leader and CRs the squad. Looks like these guys are done.



Now my group which is already across, fires at some Russians in a nearby building. I CR a broken squad and pin the 447. Good result, but the 447 can still make things difficult.



I take another big shot at that stack and this time break the 447.



Resistance has pretty much been broken at the more central bridge, but I don't have any more units to move and can't take advantage of it this turn.

A large shot at the other bridge on the right flank obtained no result and that is proving to be a much tougher nut to crack.

In my MPh, I move up a just rallied HS on the far right. His job is to draw fire before I move my stack off the bridge into cover and he did admirably, drawing First Fire from 2 units and passing a pair of pin checks.



And my 467 on the right bridge performs an illegal assault move to exit the bridge avoid moving adjacent to the Russian in CC7. No matter how well you know the rules, you always discover bone-headed mistakes when going through the logs afterwards. One of these days I'll get a clean play of this game. [Quiz for new players: Can you spot the mistake with the 467?]



In the large building opposite the central bridge I deploy my men in attack formation to take on the defenders hiding in that building and I successfully move my troops off the bridge here and into cover in the building.



The Russian bot takes one weak defensive fire shot in the large building.

I return fire in the AFPh and also don't get a result.

In the APh I advance into CC with the defenders of the large building and move other units to guard the approaches of the building and also to hit the defenders of the rightmost bridge from the flank.



The CC is fairly even and both sides attack 2:1 versus only one squad - the Germans also attack a leader along with the squad. Both sides make their attacks, and it settles into Melee. But I will have a far easier time reinforcing this battle than the Russians will.



Germans have lost 2.5 squads so far and Russians have lost 2.5 squads and a 7-0 leader giving me a very slim lead in CVP.

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Russian turn 2

Russians rally 2 of 4.

Germans rally 1 of 1.

During Prep, the Russian defenders of the rightmost bridge, pin my HS on the bridge, taking two shots to do it.



The units on board 23 try to move closer to the fighting and I pin one of the closest ones with a long range shot.



Another suspect deploys and the movement phase ends without the immediate pressure on my men being any higher.

I'm very happy that the two units at the rightmost bridge fired rather than skulked. That gives me a chance to deal with them now and hopefully get some good movement across that bridge next turn.
I take 3 large shots and only manage to CR an already broken unit.



No routs.

Very light moves in the APH and now it's time to continue that Melee.



Russians attack only one of my squads and I attack everyone. I would normally try to capture the 426, but I've decided that I don't want to be dragging prisoners around with so much movement in front of me. This will be a No Quarter scenario for the Germans.

I make my roll and the CC ends.


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German turn 3

On to turn 3. The nice thing about some of these older Beyond Valor scenarios is that they are long. This scenario is 10 turns long. This means that one turn of bad attack rolls doesn't mean that you have to start making suicidal moves to keep to your timetable. You can be patient and just stall a bit and see what happens next turn. It's true that while you are stalling, the out of position Russians are beginning to encroach on your advance, but if you keep your eye on things, you can play a patient attack in this one.

I'm not at the point yet where I feel I have to move accross the river at all costs, but we are getting close to that point.

Germans have no rallies and the Russians rally 1 of 3.

In my prep fire, I use my big MG stack to once again try to reduce the defenders of the rightmost bridge. A 12(+1) shot yields no return. Then a slightly weaker 12(+2) shot by the neighboring stack rolls snake eyes! A 3MC breaks and ELRs the closest unit to the bridge exit. There is still one squad covering this axis of advance but the defenses are largely gone at this point. But, I ended up firing almost all of the guys I need to move.



We will however try to make some big moves across the other bridge.
A 467 AMs over the stone wall adjacent to the broken squad and leader to reDM them and force them to rout away from the road I will use.
My HS moves off the bridge and is broken by a shot from the remaining good order Russian squad.



A 8-0 leader and squad try to make a move across the bridge. They do well until entering the residual where they suffer a 1KIA and the leader is eliminated and the squad breaks. I should have stopped these guys 1 hex short. I can tell by going through this log that I was starting to feel some pressure to move forward more quickly.

Sigh. One more rules error discovered. The squad failed his LLMC but was also automatically broken by the KIA result. he should have been CRed but I didn't do it - I just applied a break. I highly recommend the exercise to new players of playing a game in VASL and annotating it. And then going back over it a week or so later to find errors.



A squad acting as scout CXes and successfully crosses the other bridge, but when I tried the same move with a large leader led stack, they were fired upon early in their move suffering one squad break.



The stack however kept moving and made it to just outside the large stone building.

The units currently in the building move out to take up positions at the stone wall. They will be making it more difficult for the Russian reinforcements to get close.



The Russian bot has no defensive fire shots which is always a good sign. It means they are stretched thin.

Advance fire yields no results.

German broken units rout to safety and Russian broken units and leader rout away from the building straddling the right bridge.



In the APh, I take up more positions against the stone wall preparing to perhaps jump forward a bit next turn.

No CC this time and the turn ends. CVPs at this point are 9 to 6 in my favor and it looks like I don't have to worry about this part of the victory conditions too much any more.
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Russian turn 3

The bad part about these long 10 turn scenarios is that doing a detailed AAR is a lot of work.

Russians rally 1 of 4. Germans Rally 0 of 2.

In the Prep Fire phase, the Russian bot takes one 4(+3) shot at the squad which successfully traversed the rightmost bridge and gets no result.

The HIP partisan with the LMG in the threatening location is back in action - although he is now a HS. He tries to move up to get back in the fight but is cut down by my men behind the stone wall.

There is a steady stream of squads moving up from the west.

One Suspect redeploys to a better position and you can see that the ? markers are slowly but surely assembling in front of the path I will need to follow to get to board 8.

My MG stack finally gets a decent series of shots and eliminates the last squad close to the right bridge. The way is clear for quick movement next turn.



On the left flank, I fire at and reveal the first Suspect. This is one which was redeployed from an out of position hex earlier. It turns out being a simple partisan squad who survives the NMC and PTC I threw its way.



No shots in the AFPh.

Russians rout 1 and Germans rout no-one.

In the APh, Russians begin to close in on the left flank. I now have 12 CVP to the Russians 6.


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German turn 4

Resistance at the bridges seems to be over and the fighting is now moving to the two stone buildings next to the bridges on the far side. Hopefully this will let me perform some quick safe moves and fast-forward the session report a little bit.

I will be hugging the right side of the map as I move down the boards. My next goal is to move my large MG group to the next "anchor" point in the advance and pivot all of the other moves around the anchor. When the other units have moved past the MG group, then the MGs and leader will move to the next anchor point.

The MG group should be able to hold off and delay all Russians trying to approach from the West more or less single-handedly.

Germans repair a broken MG and pass 2 of 3 Rally attempts but roll a 6,6 and suffer a Fate CR.

Russians pass 1 of 3 Rallies.

I perform no Prep Fire.

I start out by moving a squad aggressively down the road on the far right, trying to get the last HIP units to pop out and he succeeds. A 8-1 leader, LMG and 337 Partisan appears halfway down board 20 in a huge stone building.

A 2(-3) shot breaks my moving squad.

I don't have to worry about HIP for the rest of the game.

And I follow up with the move I really wanted to make - an aggressive leader led, double time move of my big MG group all the way adjacent to the next anchor point. The bot does not fire.



I try another aggressive leader led stack move along more or less the same route, but this one gets spotted by a Russian 458 who fires at long range and rolls a 1,1. It cowers but it's still a good enough shot to break 3 squads in the first hex of their move.



The HIP stack manages to pin one of my forward squads early on in its move.

I successfully manage to move many squads and leaders off to the right moving around the pivot point formed by the MGs, before the bot manages another pin near the central bridge.



The bot takes one shot in the DFPh, but no result.

I manage to break one Russian squad in my AFPh. I miscalculated a bit. The guys who fired here ended up not moving, so I should either have Prep Fired or declared Opp Fire here. I lost half of my FP and missed a decent chance at getting a CR.



In the Rout phase, a conscript squad attempts to surrender near the rightmost bridge and I declare No Quarter.

I advance and there is no CC.

During the advance phase, I make a decision to pull the 9-2 off of the MGs and into an adjacent hex to help with a hopefully quick rally. The MGs are CX and could definitely use the extra -2, but I have a feeling that the Russians won't be able to approach too close to this position next turn and take a chance.



Also, my first unit enters a hex on the middle board which wakes up the Russian sniper. Up until now, there has been no Russian sniper, but now there will be a lot of potential sniper activity and I need to watch myself - both in terms of the shots I take myself and the shot opportunities I leave the Russian bot.
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Russian turn 4

The Russian bot fails at 2 Rally attempts and the Germans make 1 of 4 rallies.

In the Prep Fire phase, the HIP units which revealed last turn fire 2(0) at my MG position and score a 1MC. Two of three crews break and one rolls a 6,6 for Casualty MC and is eliminated.

Looks like the broken squad that the leader is currently busy rallying next door will become an ad-hoc MMG crew rather than joining his platoon-mates.

The presence of the -2 leader with the MGs would not have changed any of the results.



Five other bot stacks elect to move.

Four Russian squads and a leader approach my left flank, guarded by two squads and a 8-1 behind a wall. I decide to hold fire here until an enemy attempted to move adjacent but none was so brave.

One suspect deploys and now there are no ?'s left on the far left side of the map.

In the DFPh I continue my strategy of just patiently trying to break the Russian squads one at a time and I fire 8(+1) at the closest enemy, getting a BRK and ELR.



On the far right a 4(0) versus a broken stack gets a CR, bumping up my CVP advantage.

The Bot gets no results in the AFPh.

The bot advances units on my left flank and there is no CC.



CVPs currently stand at 15 for me and 9 for the bot.
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German turn 5

German rally 2 of 4. The squad with the 9-2 leader near the MG position rolled 6,6 and becomes a half squad, which is perfectly in line with my intention to use him as a MMG crew. That is my 6th Fate result on rally attempts.

Russians rally 1 of 2.

In the Prep Fire phase I fire with the group behind the stone wall who have temporarily taken over the job of reargaurd that I had planned to perform with my MG group. The MGs and leader are still not functioning effectively.

I fire 8(+1) at a nearby stack containing a mix of regular Russian troops and partisans and BRK/ELR two of the three.



I have an effective MPh in which many troops surge forward. The bot activated a Suspect, which ended up being a 337 partisan and leader, and ended up taking 2 poor shots at my moving units but no results.
In the DFPh, the Russian sniper is activated and he moves infallibly to the hex containing my second best leader who is leading the entire advance. Luckily, only the accompanying squad is broken. That might delay me a little bit but it's better than a killed leader.



I take no AFPh out of respect for the Russian sniper.

In the APh, the group behind the stone wall retreats in preparation of rejoining the main advance. Other units move to form large leader-led stacks as I am hoping for a big MPh next turn. I should be able to make it about halfway down board 20 with most of my guys.


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Russian turn 5

Russians rally 1 of 2.

Germans rally 3 of 3 and I will be able to get my MG stack functioning again as intended next turn, barring any disasters here.
The bot takes 2 poor shots in the PFPh and everyone else will move. There are three 447s and one partisan 337 in position to attack my left flank.

The partisan squad tried a clever flanking move far to the north of my position and I manage to break it. What is clever about this move is that he moved to a position from which I would be in Open Ground and have no TEM at all. Because of the seriousness of that move I ended up First Firing everyone which leaves me a bit vulnerable to the next 3 squads to move.



One more squad moves north, but this one I manage to pin with my one functioning MMG who also lays a firelane.

The last two squads make safe moves to the south, approaching my MG position rather than attacking the group behind the wall.

The bot redeploys one Suspect closer to the action.

I take no defensive fire shots and the bot almost gets the sniper to trigger again with an AFPh PTC but otherwise gets no result.

In the APh, a 447 moves to a position just across the road from both my MG position and wall position.


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German turn 6

Germans have no one to rally!

Russians rally 1 of 2.

During the PFPh, my MG group goes on a minor ROF tear and breaks a squad leader stack that is squarely in front of my planned access of advance. The partisan leader is also wounded.



The group behind the wall decides to provide backup for the MG group for one more turn and has an ineffective prep shot.

The bulk of my forces make aggressive moves along the right edge of the board using the large building for cover. A partisan squad and leader took one shot but obtained no result.



The bot took four DFPH shots against the MG and wall positions without getting a result.

In the APh, the 9-2 leader finally returns to the MG stack and the HS he rallied is ready to reclaim the MMG that was left here.
We advance to the front of the stone building near the bottom of board 20 ready for the final push to board 8.



CVPs are currently 15-10 in my favor.
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Russian turn 6

Russians rally 0 of 3.

A German HS recovers a MMG.

During the PFPh, a partisan squad performs the first MOL check of the game, with a point blank attack on my guys in the stone building at the bottom of board 20. No MOL and no good attack result either.

The bot peppers my MG group and my wall group with a few low odds shots and gets lucky versus the newly reassembled MG stack. MMG broken and leader pinned.



A 447 repeats the clever move of last turn outflanking the wall and my position there is beginning to be untenable.

Elsewhere, the bot moves closer to my guys but nothing very aggressive.
In the DFPh, I manage to break the 447 which outflanked me.


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German turn 7

Germans rally 0 of1 and Russians rally 3 of 4.

Four turns left to advance 6-8 hexes and prepare a perimeter on board 8.

As in the start of the scenario, I now have enemy units in front of me. There are 5 suspects covering the roads leading to board 8. Most of these will turn out to be lone 337s. There's another 8-1 leader and partisan squad in close proximity to my lead units in the stone building.

Time to maybe slow down a little and reduce the defenders before sticking my neck out too far? I decide not to spend time exposing the Suspects by fire. I have 48 FP halfway down board 20 and only need to get 20 onto board 8 to win, so I can afford to lose a few units in movement, which is a more efficient way to get the Suspects to expose themselves.

Prep fire from my MG group breaks the squad stacked with the leader closest to my vanguard.

My first scout assault moves into the road and is fired at by a Suspect which reveals itself.

A second squad AMs right next to it and the most threatening Suspect of all reveals and ends up being a dummy!



Another suspect reveals and breaks one of my squads, but we are making good progress along the right edge of the map.



Finally, the group sheltering behind the wall, CX and make the long move to rejoin the main advance. They take a longer more cautious move that is completely safe.



The bot takes one Defensive fire shot but completely devastates my MG group except for the leader. This group has been breaking constantly while in this hex!



I take a single AFPh shot and manage to BRK/CR one of the partisan squads which has revealed itself this turn.



After the APh, my leading units are only 3 hexes from board 8.


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Peter Kossits
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Russian turn 7

Russians rally 1 of 4. Germans rally 1 of 4 and roll another 6,6 for fate in the MG group. The HMG has now been dropped. That is my 4th Fate result - 5 CVPS.

The bot does nor prep and marks everyone for movement.

The bot assaults my MG position in an attempt to wipe them out. I roll a 8(-3) and get a 3KIA against the first who tries to move adjacent.

I regret not placing a firelane after this shot, but in retrospect it was probably good that I didn't since I maintained ROF.

A while later a second Russian squad approaches and is BRK/CR by my MMG - the only functioning weapon in this hex.



A conscript squad tries to approach and is eliminated with a 1KIA and I am now out of shots and there is still one Russian squad which hasn't moved yet. He braves the residual and is BRK/Disrupted and my MG position manages to hold out.

A Suspect redeploys right into the area of board 8 that I will be moving into shortly.

I take one DFPh shot and succeed at revealing a Suspect near board 8. Risky move though, since I come close to triggering the Russian sniper which is one of my biggest fears at this point. I feel that I have the win, but the sniper can change that quickly.

The turn ends with my side having a more or less clear run into the victory area.



CVPs are 20 to 12 in my favor.
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Peter Kossits
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German turn 8

Germans rally 1 of 3.

Russians rally 2 of 4 and suffer a Fate roll on a leader rally. Unfortunately it's only a flesh wound. I could have used the CVP.

In the Prep Fire phase I break the only partisan capable of firing on my advance to Board 8.

My MG group takes a shot and misses at one of 2 nearby enemies. I really want to start moving these guys, but there is one MMG crew that has so far refused to Rally.



Aggressive movement and I have 15 of 20 FP on board 8. I'm close to claiming the victory condition now.

The bot takes three defensive fire shots at my MG position without result.

I advance into a stone building on board 8 and my position looks very good.


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Peter Kossits
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Russian turn 8

Russians rally 2 of 4.

Germans only have one broken MMG crew and he fails again. These guys are so exposed at this point he will never get rid of his DM.
The bot takes one shot at the MG position without result and flags everyone else to move.



The MG position is still holding out, but the Russians are getting closer and closer with more pressure being applied each turn. The only functioning MG in this stack was malfunctioned.

A suspect redeploys adjacent to my units on board 8.



I take only one DFPh shot and attempt to force that suspect to reveal but fail to get a result.

In the RTPh, the MG group is forced to split up due to an adjacent enemy and a broken unit. An alarm bell in my head has now started ringing and I'm starting to suspect that all of these guys will be lost.



The turn ends with CVPs 20 to 12 in my favor. There are 7 CVP in the MG group which is being threatened. It's closer than it looks.



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Peter Kossits
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German turn 9

The repair attempt on the broken MMG rolls 6 and removes it from play and the broken crew again fails to rally. Now I only have 2 FP available to guard this entire group.

Russians rally 0 of 3. I keep making the same mistake over and over and correcting it before getting too far. Normal leaders can't attempt to help partisans rally. The problem is that normal leaders and partisan leaders appear very, very similar.

On board 8, I try once again to reveal the Suspect and succeed this time with a 2MC on a 12(+2). The Suspect was a simple 337 squad and he pins.



More and more Germans flow into board 8. I now have over 20 FP present here and this will "wake up" the remaining Suspects and make them actively counterattack me.

In DFPH, the Russian bot rolls snake-eyes on a 12(+1) versus my old MG position and eliminates the good order crew there. CVPs are now 20-14.



On the very next shot, a 4(+2) versus the adjacent 9-2 leader and broken crew, the bot rolls snake-eyes again. The leader breaks and the broken crew CRs. The CVPs are now 20-16. Wow! That all fell apart very quickly.



In the APh, I move more units into board 8 and have a nice little perimeter set up there.


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Peter Kossits
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Russian turn 9

The Russians rally 3 of 4.

The broken German 9-2 fails to rally and that is bad news for me.
Now that the Germans have the win condition, I resolve all of the remaining Suspects. There are 4 partisan squads to be placed on board.
In the PFPh, we have our 2nd MOL check of the game as a partisan squad who has been doing a good job at surviving while adjacent to much bigger stack attacks. He shoots 6(+3), with no MOL, and scores a nice 1MC against my biggest stack.

Leader passes, but 2 squads break and a third pins.



It's very possible that the Russian bot has just taken the win back.
The bot's units move towards my board 8 enclave. Some are cautious, but others are aggressive and pay the price. I get a CR on a partisan squad, earning me a valuable CVP point.



In the DFPh, I finish off the surviving HS.
And try as I might I can't get a result on that partisan squad all the way at the bottom of the board.

On board 8, I am forced to rout upstairs and that building is starting to seem a little fragile.

My broken 9-2 leader is barely holding on.

CVPs are 22 to 16 in my favor. The 9-2 leader would be worth 6 as a prisoner.

At the moment I have only 15FP on board 8, which is 5 short of the win.
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Peter Kossits
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German turn 10 - LAST TURN

The German 9-2 leader fails to self-rally. On board 8, one of the 2 broken squads comes back.

And now the Germans have the win back again!

Russians rally 0 of 5.

I basically just need a CVP or two without losing anyone else to be able to win even if the 9-2 leader surrenders.

Two PFPh shots against the heroic partisan squad at the bottom of the board come up empty. I did get a 1MC, but he easily passed the check.
In the MPh, I'm not sure what I was thinking but I made a desperate push to pump more guys into the board 8 area. I suppose I wanted to make the area a bit more immune to the effects of a single lucky shot taking my FP below 20. It worked but it was definitely risky.



Russian bot gets no results on his DFPh shots.

In the AFPh, I pin a partisan squad which sets up a CC with advantage.
In the rout phase, my 9-2 leader is finally forced to surrender.
After my advances, there is one CC on board 8.

There is no ambush. Both sides miss their rolls and it settles into a Melee.

I currently have 41/20 FP on board 8 so I think that part of the victory conditions is safe.

CVPs however are now tied 22-22 which means the Russians barely have the win.


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Peter Kossits
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Russian turn 10

And finally on to the last turn. I can't believe I'm losing this big meaty scenario to a deck of cards!

I need to somehow gain a single CVP more than the Russian does here, during the Russian turn.

I have some very nice DFPh possibilities against the 337 all the way at the bottom right. And then there is that low odds Melee that I'm no longer able to reinforce.

Russians rally 0 of 6.

Germans fail to rally their only broken squad in the upper floor of 8FF1.

In the PFPh, the partisan squad at the bottom takes another MOL check, fails, and then rolls 6,6 on his attack. These guys are suffering from ammo shortage so that is an ELR fail and they split into two HS. That's good for me.



All other bot units move but they are too far from the action to have any impact.



In the DFPh, the Germans are desperate for a CR or KIA.

My first shot, 8(+3) versus the partisan HSs fails.

Next a 6(+2) versus a concealed adjacent enemy a little north of board 8 also fails.

A big 12(+2) versus the two partisan HSs finally gets a 1MC, but may wake up the Russian sniper.

One of the two HS breaks.



The sniper wakes up with a 2 roll.

And only pins the German sniper. He has done that twice so far in this game. Luckily for me, he is very poorly positioned due to not being activated very often.

Now I just need a good follow-up on that broken HS.

A 8(+2) attack gets no result and now I only have one stack left who can fire at him.

An 8(+3) also fails to get a result and everyone in the vicinity has shot.

The bot gets no AFPh results.

After the advances, we come down to the crucial CC resolution.



Germans have 1:1 and Russians have 1:2. Basically I need to roll a 5 to win the game.

Russians attack and roll 6,6. The poor roll doesn't help me too much though.

Germans attack and....
also roll 6,6!
and the Russian bot wins due to a tie on CVP.


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Eoin Corrigan
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Superb AAR, many thanks!
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