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I posted in the "Rulebooks on your table" thread that I had just gotten the Band of Brothers KS package and had plans to play this past Saturday. I'm happy to report that it actually happened!
We first played the training scenario with me as the Germans defending the bridge and building while Brian's paratroopers had to attack across open ground and a canal to reach me. I elected to keep the MG weapon team, figuring the extra firepower was worth letting the scenario go one more turn. One turn into it we were both pretty astounded that he only had four turns to accomplish his mission, but as we went on we discussed where we think we each could have done things differently.
For example, the American's proficient firepower was only 1 less than it's normal firepower, which means they were pretty effective at using assault fire and op fire, something Brian didn't take advantage of initially.
He succeeded in getting a squad across the bridge and into the first building where I had a suppressed squad defending, but I passed my morale check before the melee and we succeeded in eliminating each other. While it was good to eliminate one of his superior squads (all mine were 2nd line troops), it was very costly losing one of my three units in this small scenario. I should have tried moving my other squad across the street into this first building at this point but decided to stay in place to cover the bridge, which probably cost me.
He ended up taking the building objective on turn 3, leaving me in the position of either rooting him out of there or rushing onto the bridge to re-capture it and try to survive a turn of fire and rout checks while moving in the open. I elected to try for the building and failed. Victory to Brian and the US.
This was such a short/quick scenario that we decided to switch sides and try it again. You'd think that I'd do even better with the Americans as I used lessons learned (like assault fire moving into the nearby woods and spending a turn suppressing the Germans) but you'd be wrong
I generally rolled terribly and had only fully suppressed one unit by the end of turn 2, so I felt I had no choice but to try rushing across the bridge and into the nearest building. My first two squads to move out were suppressed and both failed their morale check to continue moving, becoming stuck in the open. One of them failed a rout check later that turn and retreated back to the woods, while the other was eliminated in turn 4 by the MG team.
I tried pushing forward again on turn 4 and couldn't succeed in getting my closest unit across the open ground, leaving my last squad too far away to even make it to the objective building. Victory to Brian and the Germans.
I think I waited too long to make my push. Even failing to get much suppression on the Germans, the time pressure was great enough I think I should have moved forward sooner. If I'm going to get suppressed and reduced, better to have it happen sooner than later so I have sufficient time to reach the objective.
I really liked the system. We kept consulting the rules initially to see what all the modifiers and conditions were for various things, but in the end it really does boil down to "morale check to do anything, roll your target number to hit." Brian liked it but wasn't as impressed as I was with the streamlining.
I also really like final op fire, in which a used unit is still allowed to make an op fire attack against each enemy unit that moves adjacent to it, including if it enters multiple adjacent hexes. It feels right, plus it reinforces the importance of suppressing the enemy before moving up since (like all things) final op fire requires a morale check before acting.
We moved on to Scenario 1 which had Americans moving across a board covered in hedgerows, trying to exit at least 4 units off the far side.
I was the Americans in this one. I spread my units out across the width of the map board and advanced enough to take fire and start figuring out which enemies were real and which were decoys. Once I had a handle on that, I tried to suppress the Germans on one end of the line while pivoting around to the other side of the board to try making a run for it down the clear half-hexes along that edge.
My plan was working. I had a couple squads set up in defensive positions along the hedgerows while the rest of my troops swung around and headed for the far end of the board. But...
The "pivot" took too long. I was confident that I could get my guys safely down the "corridor" I had secured but the extra turn I spent pivoting and setting up a couple covering squads meant I didn't move fast enough. At the start of the last turn, I only had two squads in reach of the far edge and was at least one hex short of getting anyone else there. Victory to Brian and the Germans.
Maybe I'm just too cautious. Or I'll blame the dice, which really continued to let me down in this scenario too
Brian thought he'd be heading out soon so we moved on to Scenario 2, our first 2-board map. I was the Germans this time, setting up in a village of wood and stone buildings, while the Americans set up in the adjoining bocage board. The victory condition was pretty straightforward: eliminate all German combat units by the end of turn 7.
My forces consisted of 7 2nd line squads and several decoys. I elected to take the allowed exchange for this scenario -- swapping out 3 squads for a pair of 1st line squads and another decoy. This meant Brian only had to destroy 6 units to win, but I really wanted the superior firepower (and especially the proficient firepower) of the 1st line troops.
I decided to try being a little sneaky in this one. I set up a couple decoys in the furthest stone buildings on the map, put a couple 2nd line squads up front to cause some initial problems for the Americans, and then concentrate the rest of my troops over on one edge of the village, leaving the central and opposite sides mostly decoys. I hoped he would think the furthest stone building was my "Alamo" and would head that way.
Since he had a time limit to destroy all my troops he simply set up all his forces along the forward edge of his half of the map. I decided not to spend any command points on the first turn and he literally rushed his two reduced squads forward into my lead units. I failed to suppress either of them with op fire and, because they were so close, only got one shot each at them before they entered melee. He eliminated both my units but I also eliminated both of his, only needing one "hit" on each pair of dice since his units were already reduced.
We both thought that wasn't a very good way to start his attack, but perhaps he subconsciously felt the time pressure since I had just lost two in a row due to time constraints. He was a bit more cautious after that, using his MG team to lay down some suppression along the main road into the village while moving up his squads on either side, while I generally bided my time and let him come to me, simply moving some units/decoys between buildings here and there in what I hoped would be a vaguely threatening way, heh.
I did reveal a 1st line squad on my left and used it to keep his squad suppressed in a copse of woods on that side, and moved a real 2nd line squad forward on the right into some buildings to try catching two American squads moving in the open. One routed and had to retreat back to the hedgerows, while the other held its ground but then I spent a command point the next turn to fire on them before they could take cover and was able to reduce them.
It took most of the game for the Americans to work their way further into the village. Since it was the last turn, he rushed a couple squads into a final melee against a couple of my squads but it was impossible to win the scenario. My first and only victory of the night.
I look forward to getting to some bigger scenarios, and the addition of guns, vehicles, and indirect fire.
Combat Commander, Up Front, Breakout Normandy, Fields of Fire! The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!
Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
That sounds very familiar.
I "enjoy" the tension of knowing I need to suppress, while not being able
to do it because I'm shooting at possible targets in cover from a distance. You've got time limits so you want to go, but if you go out in the open without having achieved any suppression, you'll pay for it. Then you get some suppression, and if it is early enough in the turn, you go! Go now! If late in the turn, maybe you just whack them again hoping for full suppression so you have something to begin with for next turn, but do you have another turn to spare?
My wife says it drives her crazy. But we finished a Scrabble game the other day (her choice), so it is my turn to pick a game. I'm ready to try a Texas Arrows scenario, since I've heard so much about 'em.
Yeah, and you guys seem to have picked up the system quickly. Keep playing, and writing!
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Ahhh....my misspent youth...
to four scenarios in an evening.
Nice write up !