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Subject: First Play - the rest of the First Day rss

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Russ Massey
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14 Cavalry Group

This looks like the only formation able to get in the way of Pieper this turn, so I choose to activate it. The SNAFU roll is 8, -1 for fatigue, -2 for date, +1 for optimal distance; a result of Partial. The halved movement should be enough to accomplish what’s needed. The three combat units move to block the crossings of the west branch of the Our and put an AVZOC on the RR to Honsfield, which will force Pieper to fight through two units to get to Honsfeld and the open road. The HQ relocates to 3617 to keep the formation within command radius. No enemy units can be seen for barrage purposes.

There is a roll for second activation of 3, which fails. I would have used it to lower fatigue if it had been successful. [Actually, not allowed on a second activation - only the initial one]

As the German I consider barrelling forward with Pieper, but the units of the 14 Cavalry Group are very weak. It’s possible that the 3FJ, low quality though they are, could take out the defender and get a unit behind the battalion of the 99th that held up KG Holz earlier.

3 FJ

The SNAFU roll is 3(!), -1 for coordination, -2 for fatigue, -1 for mixed formation, +1 for date, +1 for optimal distance, -1 for crossing the streams - a result of Fail. So much for that plan. I execute a failure flip and lower fatigue from 2 to 1. The formation only gets a second activation on a 6, and rolls a 4. [You don’t get a second activation chance if you do a failure flip on the initial activation, but no harm here] That was a quick turn.

99 Infantry

The US 99th ID rolls SNAFU 7, -1 for fatigue, -2 for date, +1 for optimal distance for a Partial Activation.

The single allowed OBJ marker is placed atop the 12VG units in 4321. The front line infantry battalions mostly fall back a hex or two and then the three available artillery points are used in barrages against the three 12VG stacks adjacent to the division’s units. [I hadn’t remembered that US Artillery can do 2 point destruction barrages outside the Attack sequence. I would probably have doubled up on KG Holz’s stack] All the targets are in woods Terrain and none are hard, so 4+ will be needed to cause a hit. II/27 takes a hit and drops to 3 steps and II/89 drops to 4 steps.

For placing an OBJ marker the division’s fatigue can increase on a 1. The roll IS a 1, and fatigue for the 99th goes up to 2. A 5+ is needed for a second activation, but the roll is a 4 and the formation is Done.

KG Pieper

There is no point in Pieper delaying any further. His SNAFU roll is a 5, +1 for fresh, -1 for coordination, +1 for date, +1 for optimal distance, -1 for ghost giving a Partial Activation.

[I originally forgot the Tiger breakdown rule. Went back and rolled a 4, so no losses at the start of his activation]

The OBJ marker is placed on 3/394 in hex 4220. 6,7/I moves to Bucholz and then along the RR to 4219, where it enters the AV EZOC of the 14th Cavalry’s light tanks. This forces a Stopping Engagement. The German unit has AR 5 and AV 3 for a total of 8. The US unit has AR 4 and AV 1 for a total of 5. No modifiers apply and no supports are involved. The German rolls 9, increased to 12, which is a target loss and retreat. With only a single step the US unit is eliminated. The German unit is still in the Limited AV ZOC of the supported 3/394 to the north, and uses its second fire to try and drop the support. The German get a +2 this time, and a roll of 7 gives a target drop result. Pieper’s unit is Finished, but has allowed the rest of the division to press past the US battalion.

Pieper’s recon company zips forward to Bullingen and successfully places an OBJ on the town, following up with an Attack against the 254 Engineer static unit defending the place. I was going to use Pieper’s sole point of Art in a suppression barrage, but the target is outside command radius. I decide therefore to make a Shock Attack at +2. The roll is 5, and the Recon take a step loss (to 1) and the engineers a step loss (to 2), and hold. I don’t want to risk losing the recon unit, so move to 3722 and Finish rather than carry out a second shock attack. [Which wouldn’t have been legal anyway, as the recon OBJ counts as a fire action, so Spitze is Finished after the Shock Attack. The move after attacking is also illegal, bur the unit could have moved to the final hex before the Shock Attack anyway]

To get Bullingen within Art range I move Pieper’s HQ to 3720. A PzrGren Battalion Attacks Bullingen with a Suppression Barrage and an Assist from Spitz. The engineers are wiped out and the town falls.

Attacks by fire are conducted by Pieper’s trailing units against the 3/394, knocking off another 2 steps (to 1).

KG Pieper loses Fresh status and becomes Fatigue 0.

The roll for second activation fails with a 1.

[At this point I took a break and re-read the rules during a leisurely bath. You can’t do this with the OCS rulebook unless you enjoy sitting in cold water for an hour or two!. I went back and noted my previous errors with square bracketed comments - nothing game breaking I’m happy to say]

1st SS is possibly in a position to drive through 12 VG, crash through the 2 battalions on the road, and leapfrog past Pieper with a decent 2nd activation (which has been failed by every single formation so far). It’s the US turn, and they have to take this into account. 9th Infantry, coming from the easternmost ‘P’ entry hex could likely manage to get troops ahead of Pieper, and so is chosen for activation.

9 Infantry

The SNAFU roll is only 4, just barely scraping a Partial Activation. Lead units get as far south as 3631. As usual the roll for a 2nd activation fails, and the formation is done, having got nowhere close to where it was needed.

1st SS Panzer

SNAFU roll is 2. Aargh! They manage to achieve a Partial. I now realise that the double-stacked VG units on the roads leading past the single-step US battalion in 4220 mean I’ll have to use a tac move unit to take it out, as truck units would be stuck in overstacked hexes if they tried it. KG Knittel is the only tac unit in the division, and is too far back to reach the target with a half move. The division races as far forward as possible, reaching the crossroads at Loshermgraben with lead units, and penetrating 12VG which gives coordination markers to both units. The formation’s Supply Train is flipped from its ghost side.

There is no fatigue, and being a Fresh unit, the formation needs a 3+ to get a second activation. The roll is 6.

The SNAFU roll is 10, giving a Full Activation - finally a commander who knows what he is doing! Both OBJ markers are placed on Hunnigen, covering the 3/394 blocking the road, and the unprepared 1/23 in the town itself.

Knittel flips to its 2AV side and moves through the two VG battalions in 4321... At this point I begin to have my doubts. 3/394 has limited support, which puts an AV ZOC on that hex. Let me check the rules again. Yep, tac units have to stop in such a hex, and being overstacked they cannot carry out any form of attack, and will have to retreat at the end of the Activation. I can’t see anything preventing them acting as a spotter though, so the unit calls in a Barrage to try and knock out the pesky defender, which only has a single step left. The roll is 2, for no effect, and Knittel is Finished.

OK. There are other ways. The I/1 Motorised Battalion is able to drive to 4219 (Pieper gains no coordination marker for being passed through, as the Formations are buddies) and Attack 3/394 from the south. A suppression Barrage is called in to give a total +3 modifier to the attack. 6+3 results in the attacker losing a step (to 5), and the defender being eliminated. The hex is taken and receives a traffic marker.

II/1 Battalion dismounts from its trucks and marches to Hunnigen, carrying out another Attack with an artillery point for Suppression. I check and confirm that unprepared units do not benefit from Support. The roll is 3+5. The SS take a step loss (to 5), and the US retreat to 4024. The attackers advance into the village, and are Finished. A traffic STOP marker is placed there.

With the way forward clear, the rest of the division advances centred on Murringen/Hunningen. In the overstacked hex, the 12VG bicycle battalion is forced back to make room. The roll for fatigue is successful, and the formation remains Fresh.

The American have two formations left to activate, 1st Inf, whose path south is blocked by the vdH paradrop at Baraque Michel, and 2nd Inf who are holding the front line.

2 Infantry

The division establishes Prepared Defence. All its units are within 6 hexes of the HQ, so should benefit. SNAFU roll is 6, and a Partial Activation is gained.

1/23, which retreated from Hunningen in the face of 1SS Panzer, marches into Butgenback to block the road crossing of the Warch. Other battalions move south to protect the HQs. No OBJ marker was placed, as it seems better to avoid fatigue than to take a couple of Barrages.

The roll for a second activation fails.

326 VG

SNAFU roll is an 8, which gives a full Activation despite the 2 fatigue. I need to work out how to use the 88s in stand off support here. There are two US units from the 99th is sight, but both are in Terrain. Does that stop ranged attacks? Ah, the 88s are firing from the position of the Supported units, so can only fire at enemy in Terrain if there is a friendly unit from the same formation adjacent.

I put 1 OBJ marker on the 3/395 Infantry battalion in Hofen, and the other on the 2,99 recon TF in the woods at 4031. The 88s first engage the infantry to drop the Limited Support. The roll is 9+1, which drops Support. I/753 then Attacks, with an Assist from I/751 and a Suppression Barrage. The Germans roll 10+1, causing 2 step losses on the yanks (to 4), who hold their position.

II/751 approaches the US recon unit through the woods, and calls in the 88s. A 4+2 has no result. The 88s use their last shot on the same target to roll 7+2, which drops Support. After checking the modifiers any Attack would be at -1, so a last point of Artillery is called in as a Destruction Barrage instead, reducing the TF to a single step.

A roll of 2 means that fatigue goes up to 3.

The Formation needs a 6 to get a second activation, and fails with a 3.

1 Infantry

The last US Formation is the Big Red One, with teo full regiments advancing south through the Hohes Venn.

SNAFU roll is 8-1, just managing to scrape a Full Activation. A double OBJ is placed on the vdH units blocking the road south through the marshes. Two battalions Attack the vdH HQ and A Company of the paras, with a Suppression Barrage. The roll is 7+6 (or even higher if the vdH MSR counts as blocked - let me check when this is assessed… It’s in the prep phase, and since this Formation was placed Done in the reinforcement phase it never got a prep phase. I guess this makes sense for paras in the turn they drop). The D2 eliminates A Company, and the HQ retreats to 2930 and gets a coordination marker.

The remaining battalion of the 26th Regiment disdains an Assist, and hits vdH B Company alone, with 11+5. They are really, really dead. With no combat units left on the map the vdH HQ is removed.

The 18th Regiment marches quickly to put two battalions in Waimes to hold the crossing of the stream against Pieper. The third battalion and the HQ take position at Malmedy. The units are unprepared, and will need another activation to flip. First fatigue is tested, and increases to 2. A 4 is rolled for 2nd activation, and the 1st gets to go again.

SNAFU roll is a 6 for a Partial. The 1st adopts Prepared Defence, and flips the battalions in Waimes.

The American have now run out of Formations, and the rest of the turn is up to the Germans.

I decide to let 277 VG slide southwards out of the path of 12 SS Panzer, hoping they can put some hurt on the 2 battalions of the 99th that now have 1 SS Panzer cutting off their retreat. 12 SS Panzer will then try to force through the woods towards Krinkelt and drive a wedge between the northern and southern elements of the 99th and 2nd divisions. 150 Panzer Brigade is in reserve and will wait to see the best route forward.

277 VG

SNAFU roll is 9+0, for a full Activation. Both OBJ markers go on the 1/394 battalion in 4423, covering 3 frontline and 1 reserve battalions in the Double Tap zone.

Two VG battalions move into the marsh in 4524 and Attack 1/394 with a Suppression Barrage. The roll is 7+1, for 1 step loss each. The US battalion is down to a single step. A second Art point is called in as a Destruction Barrage, but the roll of 3 fails to kill the unit.

Two more VG battalions march down the road to 4523 and Attack the neighbouring 2/394, still at full strength. The roll of 8+1 causes a step loss to each side.

Two battalions move to 4425 but do not attack, as there would be no artillery support. The HQ and remaining battalion relocate to 4624, clearing the advance of the SS division. The fatigue roll is passed and the level stays at zero. A six is needed for a 2nd Activation and the roll is a 5. The Formation is Done.

12 SS Panzer

SNAFU roll is 6+0, for a Partial Activation. An OBJ marker goes on the 3/395 holding the wooded trail leading to Krinkelt. Both that Battalion and the one a hex to the south have Limited Support from 99th ID’s towed AT guns.

5,6/I pzr flips to its 4 AV side and moves adjacent to both US battalions. It Engages the northern unit to attempt to Drop Support, rolling 4+2 and just scraping a success. It uses it’s second fire to try the same thing on the southern unit, and a 7+2 is equally effective. The unit is Finished.

III/23 Motorised Battalion enters the forest in 4527, where it STOPs. They are joined by the III/26 PzrGren Battalion, which Attacks with an Assist from the previous unit and a Suppression Barrage. A roll of 6+3 results in 1 loss each.

KG Bremer, the only AR5 unit, drives into the 5,6/I Pzr’s hex and tries a Shock Attack to force the stubborn 3/395 to retreat. 9+1 is just short of what is required. Both sides lose a step.

Stacking restrictions now prevent any other units of 12 SS Panzer getting to grips with the defenders. A Destruction Barrage removes 1 step from the 1/393 and the rest of the division closes up on the front lines. The Formation loses Fresh status and becomes Fatigue 0, and then fails to get a 2nd Activation. It’s not that easy to bull your way through Prepared Defences!

150 Panzer Brigade

SNAFU roll is 10+2 for a Full Activation. The Brigade drives quickly west to the vicinity of Lanzerath, in the gap between Pieper and 3FJ. An attempt to gain a second Activation fails on a 1.



So how did the first Day go? A lot smoother towards the end, as I think I now have a good handle on Attacks, Barrages and Engagements. Support is the trickiest part of the system to get my head around. I think I have the concept fairly well integrated, but I’m still not sure how to use Support effectively. That’s hardly surprising at this stage, and I’m also still feeling my way around what a Formation can expect to usefully accomplish. Looking forward to the next turn.
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Austin Richards
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Per Lynn Brower in the BCS CSW forum, "Yes, a formation can declare a fatigue recovery before the SNAFU roll of a second activation. BUT you cannot recover in a second activation if you did a recovery in the formation's first activation."

I like the AAR!
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Lynn Brower
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Solon
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Hello Russ,

Thank you for a very detailed AAR on the first day of KGP scenario in Last Blitzkrieg. A truly outstanding effort for first time through a new system.
I know for a fact I did not do as well when I first met BCS.

I do have a few corrections to offer.

1. In your 14Cav section you mention that you cannot Recover Fatigue on a Second Activation. Actually you can Recover provided you did not do a Recovery in the first Activation. And you got the Flip Fail Recovery exactly correct for 3FJ.

2. In your KG Peiper section you have KG Spitze make a Shock attack on 254 Eng in Bullingen. You indicate the NetDRM = +2.
KG Spitze is AR5+1Dual for 6 and 254 Eng is AR2+1Terrain for NetDRM=+3
Your DR=5+3 = 8 which is A1 D:Situational Traffic.
254 Eng is Unprepared and cannot be assigned to any Formation which means they cannot be in Prepared Defense and the village of Bullingen is not Defensible Terrain so 254 Eng must take the Situational result as a retreat.
Unfortunately (for the engineers) they have no MA and cannot retreat so they are elim. KG Spitze must advance after combat into Bullingen where it must STOP (2nd Fire Event use OR the Traffic result; same outcome).

3. In your 326VG section your attack on 3/395 shows a DR10+1 =11 result.
Attacker is AR2+1Asst+2Supr=5 AND Defender is AR3+1Terrain=4 for an NetDRM=+1. Note 3/395 is not in PrepDef due to range from HQ.
DR10+1=11 means D1 + retreat. So 3/395 must take 1 SL and must Retreat.

In this same section you fire your Standoff Support 88 unit 3 times. Once to drop 3/395 Support and twice on 2,99. You only have as many 88 shots as you have steps available in the Standoff Support unit so the third shot was not possible. Furthermore 2,99 is a Dual Unit and does not have Support. One of the advantages of Dual units is that they carry their support with them and it does not Drop. One of the disadvantages of Dual units is that they are AV units and can be engaged by enemy AV units or Standoff Support without need of an OBJ. So you could have DTed 3/395 which in this event would not change the result.

I want to compliment you again for an outstanding first turn play through.
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Carl Fung
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doclb wrote:
Hello Russ,

Thank you for a very detailed AAR on the first day of KGP scenario in Last Blitzkrieg. A truly outstanding effort for first time through a new system.
I know for a fact I did not do as well when I first met BCS.

I do have a few corrections to offer.

1. In your 14Cav section you mention that you cannot Recover Fatigue on a Second Activation. Actually you can Recover provided you did not do a Recovery in the first Activation. And you got the Flip Fail Recovery exactly correct for 3FJ.

2. In your KG Peiper section you have KG Spitze make a Shock attack on 254 Eng in Bullingen. You indicate the NetDRM = +2.
KG Spitze is AR5+1Dual for 6 and 254 Eng is AR2+1Terrain for NetDRM=+3
Your DR=5+3 = 8 which is A1 D:Situational Traffic.
254 Eng is Unprepared and cannot be assigned to any Formation which means they cannot be in Prepared Defense and the village of Bullingen is not Defensible Terrain so 254 Eng must take the Situational result as a retreat.
Unfortunately (for the engineers) they have no MA and cannot retreat so they are elim. KG Spitze must advance after combat into Bullingen where it must STOP (2nd Fire Event use OR the Traffic result; same outcome).

3. In your 326VG section your attack on 3/395 shows a DR10+1 =11 result.
Attacker is AR2+1Asst+2Supr=5 AND Defender is AR3+1Terrain=4 for an NetDRM=+1. Note 3/395 is not in PrepDef due to range from HQ.
DR10+1=11 means D1 + retreat. So 3/395 must take 1 SL and must Retreat.

In this same section you fire your Standoff Support 88 unit 3 times. Once to drop 3/395 Support and twice on 2,99. You only have as many 88 shots as you have steps available in the Standoff Support unit so the third shot was not possible. Furthermore 2,99 is a Dual Unit and does not have Support. One of the advantages of Dual units is that they carry their support with them and it does not Drop. One of the disadvantages of Dual units is that they are AV units and can be engaged by enemy AV units or Standoff Support without need of an OBJ. So you could have DTed 3/395 which in this event would not change the result.

I want to compliment you again for an outstanding first turn play through.


Being taught by Professor Lynn is an honor!
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Russ Massey
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Lynn - thanks for the response. I hadn't expected the turn to be error free, and I wasn't disappointed

I see where I went wrong with Fatigue recovery - I generalised the rule on failure flipping to apply to all recovery, whereas you can actually deliberately choose to recover in a 2nd Activation.

I realised after the write up that I'd got the Spitze attack on Bullingen wrong. I was treating combat Terrain as Defensible Terrain for Situational retreats (and I think I may have confused Points of Interest as being Villages, and Villages as being Cities for a brief period).

I hadn't noticed the errors you point out in the 326VG section. I was thinking that the unit was in command radius of the HQ for Prepared Defense, and forgot it need to be within 6. I'm not sure what happened with the 88s. I think maybe I used the 3 AR rather than the 2 steps for the number of allowed shots.

The point about Dual units not receiving Formation Support had definitely slipped past me - that's something I'll have to be aware of.
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Lynn Brower
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I don't know about 'professor' or how much of an honor any reply by me is, Carl.
 
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Lynn Brower
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Thank you Russ,

You put together a great first turn.

And Carl knows how many mis-plays I make after 3 years of play testing!
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