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VIERVILLE, FRANCE, 7 June 1944: On D+1, the 101st Airborne found itself embroiled in a two-fold effort: consolidating its units which were scattered all over the Cotenin Peninsula and establishing a firm eastern perimeter to protect the American landing at Utah Beach, Vierville, which lay a few miles inland from Utah Beach, had been liberated by American units on D-Day. Vierville was a major traffic thoroughfare since the southwesternly road which passed through Vierville led from Utah Beach to the German strongpoint of St. Come du Mont. On the morning of June 7, elements of the 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR moved out from Vierville towards St. Come du Mont, leaving Vierville virtually unoccupied. The Germans took this opportunity to launch a series of counterattacks on Vierville in hopes of cutting the road to St. Come du Mont.

Only three full squads and one half squad were stationed in Vierville. My Germans advanced into the area both from the West and the East: in the West, three 2nd-level squads from the 919th Grenadier Regiment, and in the East, three 1st-level squads from the 1058th. I quickly advanced to make contact with the Americans. My squads in the East had some rough going: by the second turn, one squad and a leader had been eliminated, and another squad was broken. This was all the work of a single American squad, who fought well and bravely in the midst of the town. In the East I quickly took hold of the building in hex L3 (one of my objectives), but was soon bogged down by withering defensive fire from the Americans wedged in between my two groups.

Things went from bad to worse: The 919th's leader was wounded and two of the squads (including the one which had taken L3) routed South into the woods; there they stayed, weeping, for nearly the entire scenario. For a brief time I had no effective leaders on the board. American squads in K6 and N6 were also well-positioned to fire at my incoming reinforcements.

Fortunately I was able to position squads in O6 and P6 by the end on my turn 2; this didn't necessarily get my any closer to my objectives, but it did put me in a good position to fire on incoming American squads; sure enough, as the Americans came marching South down the main street, they were subject to very effective fire. I also recaptured L3 with the 919th's sole remaining effective squad. The end of turn two represented a good turning point in the situation.



The German squad in L3, locked in melee with its foe, would prove to be my most valuable unit. This second-line squad vastly outperformed my Elite squadrons. The American squad was killed, and my squad readied its rifles, training them on the Americans massed on the road.

At the beginning of the third turn, I moved my squad in O6 to N5, and it drew a LOT of fire--but fortunately it all had no effect and it passed all Morale Checks. Reinforcements came in and, though I suffered some casualties due to the precise fire of the half squad in K6, I was able to flood the Northwestern section of the town with units.

During Allied turn three, Joey decided to rush L3, out in the open. He moved a three squad stack with a leader; should they make it, surely my sole second-tier squad wouldn't survive! The rest of the 919th was still routed, and it was alone. My Squad in O6 fired at the Americans as they moved--to no effect. Then my squad in N5--still no effect. They ducked into the building in M4--my squad in L3 fires, with a +1 Die roll modifier. I rolled a 3! All three American squads broke! Another American squad closed in, moving to M3. My squad fires Subsequent First Fire, and completely eliminates it. Kills for the L3 squad: 2 squads, 3 broken squads. The Americans begin to panic. The trusty squad in K6 dashes out into the open but is gunned down and routs back inside.

At this point the battle was mostly over. I swarmed the lone American squad stacked with the 8-1 leader and kill them. All of them. My two squads from the 919th finally rallied, and I move my troops into position to begin taking shots and the broken and disrupted American forces. The Americans do rally and make one last ditch assault on L3, but now the position has been reinforced, and my trusty squad there is able to eliminate two more squads and a leader.

End position:



Total Casualties:
Americans: 8 squads and 3 leaders lost. (59% casualties)
Germans: 3 squads and 1 leader lost. (27% casualties)

The primary reason for the high American casualty rate, I think, was the repeated use of frontal assaults which exposed his squads to a great deal of fire while they had no cover. I think the allure may have been the fact that L3 was held by only a single squadron; however, this scenario showed that one squadron alone can do much to defend itself.

A great deal of this game seems to be about maneuvering and positioning. I think that my time playing Chess will serve me well in future plays of this game. One of the first lessons of Chess is that you should keep one's lines of attack open if you wish to optimize the effectiveness of your forces. For instance, you should leave diagonal lanes open for you bishops to attack and not block them. By the same token, one should, in ASLSK, look for good open fire lanes. L3 and M4 provide such position against enemy forces approaching from the main North-South road.

We both did have to spend some time consulting the rulebook, but the last two turns went fairly quicky. The scenario took us 3.5 hours to complete.
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Merric Blackman
Australia
Waubra
Victoria
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Very nice report.

If I may ask: What program made the pretty pictures?

Cheers,
Merric

 
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VASL. If you don't have any local face to face opponents, as is the case with me, I highly recommend you get it. There is also VASSAL which supports many other games.
 
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Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Welcome to ASL - sounds like a great start! From the sounds of your report, the Americans could have made better use of smoke grenades to cover their advance, and probably held off the assault for another turn. While the Amis don't have a whole lot of time in the scenario, they do have overwhelming firepower by the third turn or so. IMO, the job for the American squads that enter on turns one and two is not to take the VC buildings right away - it's to clear a path for the reinforcements and make sure that either smoke or prep fire allows the big American leader and his squads to get in position for a coordinated assault on turns 4 and 5. Your opponent pushed a little too hard, I think, and you (rightly) made him pay for it. In any event, it sounds like a fun game. It's definitely worth playing the scenario again before moving on (though I like S2 a lot also) - even though it's a simple scenario in terms of rules, there are a lot of important ideas at work there.
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Yes, I keep thinking about the tactical possibilities of this scenario and would like to play it more. The more I think about it, the more I consider this to be the Chess of wargames.

I'd like to play this game with a variety of opponents--GeekMail me if anyone wants to play on VASL.
 
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Joey Jones
United States
Warrior
Alabama
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Nice report Luke.

As the American player in this game (my first game of ASL also), I learned a hard lesson about moving out in the open. I forgot all about using smoke to cover movement until it was too late. I'll most likely play this scenario again before moving on to the next one.

 
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Would you like to switch sides and play it again next time? I'm up for that.
 
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Joey Jones
United States
Warrior
Alabama
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Sure, send me an email, and we'll set up a time.

thanks

 
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Andy Daniels
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California
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tppytel wrote:
IMO, the job for the American squads that enter on turns one and two is not to take the VC buildings right away - it's to clear a path for the reinforcements...
That's why, when playing the Germans in this scenario, I like to put a squad or two up in R7 or Q6 as soon as possible. Those forces can often delay the Americans long enough that they then don't have enough time to evict me from all of the VC buildings. R7 is a bit risky, however, since there's no good rout path out of there.
 
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