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Tide of Iron: Stalingrad» Forums » General

Subject: Iron Horsemen scenario: experiences? rss

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Jon Darlington
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As I mentioned in another thread, we've struggled with this scenario which seems to be a tough battle for the Germans. We've played this twice, with a long discussion in between about "lessons learned" and possible options, and both times it was an easy victory for the Soviets.

Maybe we're approaching it the wrong way? I'm curious how others have solved this puzzle as the Germans.

In this scenario, both sides have roughly equivalent forces. Both sides easily control one VP in their own rear area, and then the game becomes a contest over the third VP hex near the center of the board. However, that hex is a little closer to the Soviets than to the Germans; and in fact the Soviets can occupy it on the firstturn. From that point, the Germans must take it back while the Soviets defend and continue to reinforce it.

The Soviets can get a MG in position on turn 1 to cover most of the approaches to that VP buildling using opportunity fire. That's not a death-sentence; the MG can miss or be suppressed. But it's one more obstacle for the Germans.

The Soviets get four sniper counters they can place anywhere at the start of the game, while Germans get three "hunt the sniper" actions. The Soviets can use each sniper counter as an action all by itself; but for the Germans to neutralize those sniper tokens requires an action AND exhausting one of their squads.

We found that hunting the snipers was useful, but drained the initiative from the Germans on that critical first turn. And if the German player simply ignores the sniper tokens in order to take other more aggressive actions, they suffer casualties from their critical models. (In our case, this cost the Germans two officers and the corresponding +1 move that they needed badly).

It's still quite possible for the Germans to mount an attack on the central building despite all this; on our second try I was able to suppress one of the defending Soviet squads there, dodge MG fire, and assault with a German elite squad. But the dice came up about even and the assault failed, and by this time I'd taken irreplaceable casualties getting this attack into place. Even if that one German squad had taken the building, there was a second wave of Soviets moving up who could more than likely have taken it back with an assault of their own.

Essentially: the forces are just about equal; the Soviets are much more likely to seize the key objective first thing on turn 2; and other little things like the snipers seem to favour the Soviets in this one.

Other experiences would be certainly be interesting to see!

I did read the report of this battle on the 1agames site:

..... Plans

..... Rounds 1 and 2

..... Rounds 3, 4, 5

But that outcome seemed driven by some missteps by the Soviets and some wonky dice.

Incidentally, we did use the variant rule that allows cavalry to dismount at the cost of two MP rather than exhausting the unit.
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bill jaffe
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yeah i remember that game it had some truly weird things happen but that's not uncommon for this game.
I always found that no matter what starts as a good plan you have to be ready to shift on the fly as the fortunes of war smile or cry on you

it's a hard for the Germans to win and i do not expect them to win many of this scenarios it is slightly favored to the Soviet player

bill
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Jon Darlington
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skinsfan wrote:
yeah i remember that game it had some truly weird things happen but that's not uncommon for this game.
I always found that no matter what starts as a good plan you have to be ready to shift on the fly as the fortunes of war smile or cry on you

it's a hard for the Germans to win and i do not expect them to win many of this scenarios it is slightly favored to the Soviet player

bill

Re. adapting plans: I agree. The whole purpose of the dice is to make sure the game doesn't play out like Chess (or *shudder* Diplomacy). No matter what the odds suggest should happen, half the fun of the game is scrambling to deal with those setbacks that occur when things go much worse than they "should" have. (Or exploiting sudden opportunities when they unexpectedly go better.)

Balance tweaks aside, the first scenario does a good job introducing players to the basics of the Stalingrad environment. I'm looking forward to Shot for Shot, since it brings so many more Stalingrad-esque rules into play.
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Hss Hss
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When I played this scenario solo the German won. And the German won rather easily too. So I got the opposite reaction. It surprised me,...
 
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Willem Boersma
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Grand Stone wrote:
When I played this scenario solo the German won. And the German won rather easily too. So I got the opposite reaction. It surprised me,...


As I said, I find it to be pretty balanced for the reasons pointed out by others above:

- roughly equal forces
- both sides can easily take control over 1 VP objective each which makes the main fight concentrate on the central objective.

Note that taking the objective "too early" might only expose those forces to superior enemy forces in this scenario!

I indeed always did get the impression this is an introductory scenario to Stalingrad. I personally enjoyed shot for shot and the third one (the fight for Mamayev Kurgan) a lot more.
 
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bill jaffe
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yes Iron Horsemen is designed to acquaint you with Stalingrad, keep an eye on the web site good things are going to start happening content wise

bill
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Jon Darlington
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Cool, thanks folks.

Since others have had such different experiences, now I'm curious to check our play and try it again and see what we can do.

We kind of threw our hands up after the second attempt with the same predicted and dramatically lopsided result.
 
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Hss Hss
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It may also be playing style dependent.

Sometimes, a careful personality may have more problems in a given scenario compared to a aggressive one. Assaulting a hex is important.
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Jon Darlington
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Grand Stone wrote:
It may also be playing style dependent.

Sometimes, a careful personality may have more problems in a given scenario compared to a aggressive one. Assaulting a hex is important.

Yup... that wasn't really the issue here though. I was able to put things into position for a risky assault in the second game, but as I mention in my original post, even if it had succeeded the Soviets had 3-4 squads in position to take the hex back the next turn.

Tom and I talked about this yesterday and I might sketch out what happened to make our experience, and the timing of things, clearer.
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