Wu Wei
Germany
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Learning from the mistakes of my opponent (see AAR of our last game), I chose a radically different setup, and placed my guns in open ground, two hexes away from the northern edge of the map. I placed most of my MMCs between the guns and the edge:



This setup has a few advantages:
Most important, there are no blind spots. If the Germans want to conquer one gun, they have to face all of them. And I intend to use the TH process to profit from the higher ROF and the acquires, and only switch to IFE in emergencies, for Final Protective Fire.
The guns are a minimum of five hexes away from the woods in the west and the stone building in the south, so if the Germans want to use them as cover, they can only shoot at me with half FP.
If they make a direct run from the northern edge, they will have to stack, run into a lot of point blank fire, and every unit that breaks is in danger of being eliminated due to failure to rout or routing off board. Since the ATTACKER has to rout first, it doesn't matter much if a few of my MMCs break, as long as German units break, too.
This leaves the woods in the east as the best angle for the Germans, and I invite them to run into point blank of my rightmost gun.

(How I would attack this position as the Germans: Split the forces into three parts. The biggest one attacks directly from the east. The second one, with the MGs, attack from the west. The third, with some half squads and DCs, enter from the north, but only in turn two or three, when the allied are thinned out. Try to force the guns to often change their CA. Rush when the opportunity presents itself and hope for the best.)

My opponent set up like this:


This is going to be bloody!

The Germans start to move from the east, and I give defensive fire, but I hold back the guns, because I want to fire at the biggest stack.
The forces in M and O don't move yet, which is fine by me.
This is the situation at the beginning of my DFPh:



A few pins, a few breaks, but my gun is in no immediate danger of being conquered, and until now I only had to use two of my squads, thanks to residuals and FPF.

I start my DFPh with the infantry, to maximize the effect of the guns later, and only manage to pin the squad in R0. But that's only foreplay. Now I cut loose the guns. I start with R2, change CA, fire – and roll boxcars! Malfunction! That hurts!

My remaining guns manage to pin the last unpinned unit in T2. Not perfect, but for the next round I have a few acquired targets, and that will at least frighten the Germans a little bit.

In the AFPh, the Germans manage to break another of my squads (Q2), and then the remaining German forces advance, and my lone half squad in N0 ends up in close combat and is eliminated; a sacrifice I was willing to accept when I put it there.

Admittedly, this doesn't look too good for me:



But my weak squads don't have to damage the Germans, they only have to block the way to the guns and force the Germans to rout off board if they break.
But first things first: I don't manage to repair my gun. But to compensate, my PFPh is fun. My remaining guns wreak havok on the Germans in T2, eliminating one and breaking the other. My lousy 2-4-7 in K1, with a lucky roll of 2, eliminates the leader in N0 and breaks two of the three squads; if my Australians in N1 hold, they will have to rout off board! The Germans shoot everything they have at them, my opponent rolls low. The leader breaks, but the squad holds! Brave Australians! I love it when a plan comes together. (To be fair, I was lucky. A few low rolls by my opponent and average rolls on my side, and I might have lost the game just there. But I think I would set up in a similar fashion again, I just don't have a better idea.)

So, round 2 starts like this:

Not too bad. Although half of my forces are broken, I feel confident that I can cope with the Germans in N0 and O1. If the Germans in R0, S1 and U3 make a rush, they will likely conquer my gun in R2, but it's of no use to me anyway, and if they do, they are in open ground and easy target for my remaining guns.

The turn goes by with a few more of my squads breaking, but I manage to break the squads in O1, too, and they have to rout off board. Good riddance! The now lone squad in N0 moves into close combat with my 2-4-7 in M1, resulting in mutual elimination, which is fine my me.
At the end of the second enemy turn, the northern front is clear, and although I suffered heavy losses, the enemy forces in the east have to move over plenty of open ground to reach my guns, I won't have to change CAs to hit them, and have a few squads and half squads left to sacrifice to slow them down. I feel confident that I can win this.

So, that's the status:

The Germans have two unbroken squads and three half squads left, sharing two leaders and three LMGs. The three broken squads and the broken leader are likely to recover soon, nothing I can do about it. I have one squad and three half squads without support weapons, and three broken squads with three broken leaders and two LMGs. And, of course, I have two functioning 40mm guns ready!

I manage to rally nothing, but two Germans and their leader do. My PFPh yields nothing. I move the DC a little closer to the enemy, just to scare him and draw fire away from the guns, and move my squads between the middle gun and the enemy. There is nothing more that I can do.


In the third turn, the Germans finally make their move and take the useless gun. Perhaps I should have moved the crew away, but I hoped to the last moment that they might be able to repair the gun.

Ha, a big stack in open ground, with two acquire markers on top of it, this is like christmas.
I manage to break a few Germans, but not enough to repel them completely.

Turn 4:

The Germans don't manage much. In the DFPh, my gun breaks the remaining Germans in R2 and they have to rout away, but are replaced by a new one.


Now it's my turn again. I can't do much. The first gun breaks the reinforcement in R2, and I manage to get seven(!) shots out of my gun in N2, which is kind of fun even if it doesn't accomplish much.
I move my half squads around R2, to cut off any rout paths for the squad there, and it works. They are eliminated!

Turn 5:

The remaining German squads move up to the edge of the forest. Bullets fly left and right, but to no effect. Finally, the Germans move into close combat in R2 and S3. My half squad in S3 is eliminated, but the Greeks in R2 fiercely defend the gun: Melee!


This is endgame. I have hardly any units left, but so does the Germans. Just then, my second gun, the one in P2, decides it is finally time to malfunction. I'm down to three squads and a gun.
I decide to advance one of them into melee at the gun, but it continues indecisive.

Last turn for the Germans:

I am confident that I can win this – up until I roll a six when I try to repair the gun in S2 and it is destroyed. Suddenly, the Germans are only one gun away from winning! This is going to be close.

Every German unit and every leader rushes at my last gun. I switch the last gun to IFE, and in the movement phase I manage to pin or break all but a single half squad in O3. But I can still final fire in my DFPh, and manage to break it, thus winning the scenario.


Lessons learned:
- Guns with high ROF won't last. Sooner or later (in my case sooner), they WILL malfunction.
- ROF is a swingy thing. On average, I should be able to get around 2 shots out of a ROF 3 gun. Most times, I got one. One time, I got 7, I just kept on hitting, but without doing much damage.
- I am not sure if the slightly higher ROF of TH compared to IFE justifies the lower FP. It ignores the TEM, but a 8+1 is still better than a 4+0, and you have to hit first. So, that might have been a suboptimal decision.
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Perry Cocke
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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Nice AAR. Thanks.

Good defense, but I think you correctly describe the best way to attack it.

IFE is better than TH in these circumstances.
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