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Subject: 136 - The Agony of Doom rss

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Eoin Corrigan
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I consider myself a newcomer to the world of ASL, as I've been playing in earnest for just 5 years. I'm conscious that there's a back catalogue of classic ASL scenarios which I've never played. Part of the attraction of ASL is the value of separate but shared experiences - we all have our stories to tell about Bread Factory No. 2 or the Capture of Balta.

So, since commiting to ASL I've made an effort to balance my play between new scenarios and older classics. So far, I've played 15 of Beyond Valor's 24 scenario offerings. The Agony of Doom has been on my playlist for a long time, not least because it features two of my favourite boards; boards 3 and 5.

We chose to play sans balance, despite the ROAR record which seems to indicate imperfect balance - we were playing for fun.

In Agony of Doom a mixed force of Soviet heavy and medium armour, two IS2s, an ISU 152 and two T-34/85s, with plenty of truck and leg borne infantry, try to cease the Board 3 village from a brittle German infantry force supported by a 75mm anti-tank gun and reinforced by two Jgpz Vs. It's April 1945, so the German ELR is low and the Soviet infantry is a healthy mix of first line and elite troops.

I attacked with the Soviets in fairly direct fashion - it's Ost Front after all and even if Stavka are all about misdirection and cunning ruses I'm old fashioned and I thought of my attack as an unspoken homage to the tankers of 1941, charging forward in their KVs and T-35s to add a few more kill rings to the barrels of the Pz IIIs and IVs.

Back to 1945. I managed to kill a hulldown Tiger I in exchange for an IS2. No mean accomplishment, although I've often thought that ASL's depiction of the Tiger I flatters to deceive. It can be a very vulnerable unit.

The Tiger did manage to shock another IS2 and the ISU152 but both recovered and took up hilltop positions with reasonable views of the Bd 3 village interior. Meanwhile the T-34/85s and truck mounted infantry sought to bypass the German conscripts by travelling down the Bd 5 road. Some of the truck mounted infantry made it, some didn't due to accurate German small arms fire and residual firepower placed on the road in question. Of course I could have halted the trucks in front of the residual locations but we just don't roll that way in my 1945 Red Army. Berlin awaits and my boys are looking forward to planting the Hammer and Sickle atop a ruined Reichstag.

My Soviets pressed the core German defence from the Bd 5 flank and directly from their Bd 3 entry points, and managed to take out the 75L AT Gun guarding the German flank with accurate MMG fire. However, soon after two fearsome JgPz Vs appeared, which my opponent used aggressively, crashing through woods unexpectedly to wrongfoot the T-34/85s supporting the Bd 5 flank assault. APCR shots hit and bounced, as did AP deliberate immobilisation shots. The T-34s were in enough trouble when the German sniper piled on and recalled a previously mini-stunned T-34. (Note to self: use reverse motion attempts more often when facing 18 armour factors.)

At the same time the Soviet flanking infantry and German defenders clashed and a massive melee developed on the Bd 3 / Bd 5 seam. With two T-34s burning the JgPz Vs manouevred to take on the ISU152 and IS2 on the hill overlooking the village. I felt that I needed to apply some AFV firepower within the village, so the IS2 moved forward to enter the outskirts of the village, threatening the German infantry with 122mm of HE shell.

The German infantry went pyrotechnics crazy as 'fausts and 'schrecks were unleashed. Many missed but it only takes one hit. One did hit and as (i) the remaining ISU152 was stationary and ACQ-1 by a JpPZ, (ii) the Germans were winning the melee on the board seam, and (iii) Soviet infantry were now outnumbered, I gave up my plans to impose a command economy on Bd 3 and conceded. It may be 1945 but Fritz can still offer up a serving of pain.

Great fun. No nonsense, late war pugilism on classic boards.
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Peter Veenstra
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Thanks for the AAR
This sounds like a real nice scenario. I don't own it however..
Did you take pictures? (love pictures..)
Regards,
peter
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Pierce Ostrander
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Eoin Corrigan wrote:
We chose to play sans balance, despite the ROAR record which seems to indicate imperfect balance - we were playing for fun.


Nice report Eoin. Thanks.

Most of the tension in an ASL scenario is caused by uncertainty about your ability to accomplish the goals of your side in the time allowed. For most gamers, tension = fun.

All other things being equal - a more Balance Scenario is more fun.
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Greg Taylor
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Eoin,

Thank you for sharing. As others have noted this is a great write up.
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Eoin Corrigan
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fubar awol wrote:
Eoin Corrigan wrote:
We chose to play sans balance, despite the ROAR record which seems to indicate imperfect balance - we were playing for fun.


Nice report Eoin. Thanks.

Most of the tension in an ASL scenario is caused by uncertainty about your ability to accomplish the goals of your side in the time allowed. For most gamers, tension = fun.

All other things being equal - a more Balance Scenario is more fun.


Thanks, Pierce.

Good point, and I hear you. I certainly enjoy a tense tournamnet game in which victory lies in the balance and I think that it's entirely appropriate to apply balance provisions to scenarios which seem like they may have a balance issue.

In this particular instance I was playing a long time, regular opponent in a non-competitive setting, so we opted to ignore any potential balance issues and to play the scenario as printed.

But you're right - there's no doubt that the tension of a closely fought game using a balanced scenario is fun.
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Eoin Corrigan
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pveenstra wrote:
Thanks for the AAR
This sounds like a real nice scenario. I don't own it however..
Did you take pictures? (love pictures..)
Regards,
peter


Hi Peter,

No photos of this one, unfortunately. The Agony of Doom is included with Beyond Valor, the core ASL module, so if and when you join the ranks of ASL players it will be yours
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Craig Ambler
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Great report and as this is one of my favourite scenarios I may have to try it again myself.

Thanks for the exciting report.

Craig
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Eoin Corrigan
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Craig Ambler wrote:
Great report and as this is one of my favourite scenarios I may have to try it again myself.

Thanks for the exciting report.

Craig


Thanks, Craig, appreciated.

Also, if you do play it again let us know how it went
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