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Subject: Session of Demo Scenario - Solitare - How'd I do? rss

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Martin Moyer
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Milwaukee
Wisconsin
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I've become interested in L'nL BOH and I decided to download the demo from the website. Part of my interest was because I wondered how well the game would lend itself to solitare play. I was interested in finding out if there were any glaring tactical or rule mistakes that I made while hoping to entertain for a at least a few minutes.

I'll set the stage if you aren't familiar with the demo scenario. It takes place on map 15 and the American's set-up defensively with 2x2-5-4, 1x1-4-4, an M1919A4, a sniper, and Cpl Medrow (6-0-6). The German's enter the map from a random map edge with 3x1-6-4, 1x1-5-4, 2xMG34, an MG42, a medic, and Lts. Plassman and Koch (7-1-6) with the objective of trying to control four of seven building hexes within two hexes of H6 (the center of the south part of the board).

The first decision is where to set-up the Americans. Since a shaken unit can't rally without a good-order leader I decide that I have to keep everyone close together (within one hex of Cpl Medrow). I end up with two possiblities; the light forest behind the wall in hexes G4 and H4 or the stone building in I5 and I6. The Stone building provides better defense compared to the forest/wall (+4 to +2) but provides a poor field of veiw (the wall at G4 and H4 is blocking terrain so the buildings to the north east are mostly out of veiw). I decide that the light woods and the wall will have to be where I start and I place the 1-4-4, and 2-5-4 (with the M1919A4) and Cpl Nedrow in H4, and place the other 2-5-4 in G4.

Turn 1: The Germans Enter

The next decision is what to do with the Germans. My die roll indicates that the Germans enter from the north edge of the map. After looking at the map I decide that there is no way that the German's can circle around and reach to wood buildings around G6, G7 and F7 without being hit with opportunity fire. I also notice that these German's don't have the ability to move/assault so I can't try to bait any American's into firing (and becoming spotted) and have later units move/assault. I decide to split the German's into two groups. Group A has Koch, 1-6-4 (with the MG42), and 1-5-4 and enters the map in hex G0 and moves double time through G1 and G2. Since the Germans can't move/assualt the Americans don't have to worry at all about being attacked so they pass on their first impulse to wait for the Germans to set up.

Group B (Plassman, 2x1-5-4 (each with a MG34) and the medic) enter at J1 and move double time into J2 (I think this is hedge and not boccage) and J3. With the Germans done the American begin to open fire. I activate the sniper in hex I5 and everybody fires on someone but the end result is that no causulties are taken and all units are rallied before the operations phase of turn 2.

Turn 2: Feeling Each Other Out

The first time I played this scenario solitare I didn't have the Germans spot as much and instead I had them move one group and draw the American's fire and then return fire with group B. This time I decide to try another approach and try to spot. First Koch (in G2) tries to spot the machinegun nest in H4 but he fails. Then, Cpl Medrow tries to spot Plassman in J3 but fails. Finally, Plassman tries to spot Medrow and his men in H4 but he also fails.

The Americans pass on their impulse and the German's have no leaders left but they know that they have to get moving if they want to control four building hexes by the end of turn six. Plassman decides to send the medic and a 1-6-4 (with an MG34) across the road from J3 to J5 in the hopes of drawing the American's fire. Medrow obliges by opening up on the German squad and hitting well enough to cause causulties and wound the medic. Plassman and Koch fire back on the American position while the other American squad (at G4) returns fire on Koch (shaking them) and the Sniper eliminating the shaken half-squad that tried to cross the road in the first place.

Turn 3: The German Charge

The rally phase of turn 3 saw all the Germans rally but Cpl Medrow and his two squads remained shaken. I realize imediately that this is bad. The German's had won the intiative so they decide that the best approach is to charge the American position and eliminate the shaken soldiers by melee. This move would expose them to opportunity fire (Koch from the American squad and Plassman from the sniper) but I feel like the benifits outweigh the risks. First Koch charges the American position but the squad in G4 uses opportunity fire and a good die roll to shake Koch, reduce the full squad to a half-squad and eliminate the half-squad.

Undaunted, Plassman and his lone remaining squad charge out of hex J3 into I3 and the sniper uses opportunity fire but doesn't stop Plassman and the Germans spend their final three movement points to hop over the wall and eliminate all the American forces in H4.

Turn 4: Now What!?

At this point the American situation looked grim. Luckily, the rally phase saw Koch and his men stay shaken in the middle of the road so the next turn would be between Plassman's squad and the leaderless American squad with their wild-card sniper. Unfortuneately, the iniative went to the German's and Plassman opened up on the American squad and shook them which would make them useless for the rest of the scneario because there was no leader to rally them. Panicked, the squad retreated into the building at F5 knowing that they were soon doomed.

The sniper still managed to make himself usefull by shaking Plassman's squad, hoping to slow the German's down just enough to squeek out a victory all by himself.

Turn 5: Setting the stage for endgame.

The sniper, trying to hold of the Germans himself would reduce Plassman's squad to a half-squad (I think I may have screwed up the rule at this point of the sniper only being able to damage one counter per attack - otherwise I was very lucky to hit the squad again; and once more in the following turn). But Koch would finally rally and would lead his remaining half-squad into building F5 and eliminate the shaken American squad.

Moving into hex F5 triggers the scenarios only event which is for reinforcements. The Germans have the option (this is my interpretation anyway) of having 4X1-6-4, an MG34, an MG42 and Sgt Baumann enter any map edge (south excluded). This would seem great except that the Americans would then get to have Major Tom (6-2-6),1x2-5-4 (with a BAR) and Hero Walker (2-2-6) eneter from any adjacent map edge on any impulse after the German's enter. I decide that there isn't enough time for the German reinforcements to be useful and that the American reinforcements might tip the balance back to the Americans (in retrospect, this was a bad idea).

Turn 6: Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat (or is it the other way around).

The last turn of the game starts with a two German half-squads facing off against a single American sniper. The Germans need to control three more building hexes in order to win the scenario so they can not bother to engage the sniper and must instead dash for the buildings in hexes G6, G7, and F7. Koch goes first and captures F7 and G7 without drawing the snipers fire but the sniper shoots at Plassman's sqaud in G5 and shakes them stoping them cold and winning the scenario for the Americans (the scenario rules state that a leader can not control a building hex).

The game does create a neat "story" of a single sniper holding off an attack (although I'm pretty sure I messed up the rules) and some people might find the abrupt end of the scenario unsatisfying since the Germans could have easily won if there was another turn (although the sniper might have been hard to hit since his modifier would have been -6 inside a stone building). I should have had the German reinforcements enter since they could have double timed it down the road to hex I5 and eliminated the sniper while gaining control of another building hex. Actually, it might be interesting to "go back in time" and replay the end of turn five. Baumann and three German squads (the fourth wouldn't be able to be in the same hex and wouldn't be able to double time) eliminate the sniper in I5 while the Americans enter from the west mapedge (and probably move into hex D5 since they can't make it into F5 to melee Koch) and try to stop the Germans from getting the last two building hexes. I think it would be a tall order for the Americans to stop them.
 
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John Brady
United States
Virginia
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Very nicely done.
 
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