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Subject: S6: Released From The East rss

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Kilgore Trout
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While reading through the details of this scenario it became clear that I was still sketchy as how ASL defines building control. In Scenario S6, Victory Conditions require that the Russians have control of at least 2 key buildings on the map.

Before seeking to make a simple thing complicated, I remembered several weeks ago when Perry wrote to me to always first review the definitions (Sec 2.0) in the Rulebook:
* Must be GO unit
* No presence of enemy unit
* Not all hexes of multi-hex building need be occupied if no enemies present when GO unit enters.


Another discussion at the following link (started almost 6 years ago) adds more detail to possible combinations/variations to this:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/635303/building-control

*If your MMC or SMC was last to pass through building (but is no longer in the building), you still have control of that building.

One of the responses on this thread indicate that while an MMC can control a multi-hex building by “passing through”, this is not possible with a SMC. The assertion wasn’t challenged in the email thread, but it seems that this point doesn’t necessarily jive with the wording in the ASKSK rulebook, which merely states that the unit must be GO (not MMC vs SMC).

Review of an even earlier thread (from 2007):

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/5087074#5087074

* Jay Richardson clarifies that either an enemy GO or broken unit can prevent your building control.
* An enemy cannot regain control of a building previously lost without performing the same tasks as above.
* There is a difference between Gaining Control of the building and Retaining/Having Control of the building. In order to clarify the differences, the thread cites specific rules in full ASL (A26.1). ASLSK doesn’t get into gaining or retaining or even the possibility of neither side having control.

Both threads are worth reading and help broaden your knowledge on what is surely an important aspect of ASL. There doesn’t yet seem to be any short and sweet answer in how to handle Scenario S6, so I decided to follow the rules with the following assumptions:

*The Russians start S6 with control of no buildings. The Germans control all buildings.
*The Russians need to gain control (following rules above) of at least 2 key buildings and not lose control back to the Germans of those buildings before the end of the game.



Enough on building control. I think I can cautiously proceed…

The Germans set up first and the Russians enter from the northern portion of the map in Turn 1 (and perhaps Turn 3). Mostly because the Special Rules allow it, I will choose to hold back a platoon of Russians (let’s say 3 4-5-8 squads, the 8-1 leader and the DC) until Turn 3 as reinforcements. Those that enter in Turn 3 can come from the North or the East; the trade-off in delay for better placement may prove useful, depending on how the Russians fare in the first two Turns.





Turn 1

I’ve read several other AARs done through the years to get some ideas of what set ups work for both sides. For the Germans, the strongest leader and MMG are placed in hex S5. The balance are spread across the front-northern hexes - attempting to guard all 3 buildings.

Based on this, the Russians decide to focus their effort toward the east side, avoiding the powerful MMG and 9-2 leader. Instead of setting up further west and sweeping toward the south and east, I’ll have them take on the Germans in a full frontal assault, going for the 2 buildings in rows “D” and “L”. Let’s see how their winter camouflage works for them.



As the Russians enter the playing field, the Germans draw first blood, sending 1 DM Russian squad seeking shelter in the woods. Some of the Russian squads elect Assault Movement to try out the FFMO SSR, others take greater risks and move right up to the German squads positioned in building J8-L8. Neither side rolls particularly well; those attacks that are effective usually end with the defender making their MC or PTC. The Russians close in and survive most Defensive Fire, but then manage to do nothing with their AFPh.



Shot at the beginning of RT1 CCPh.


In the CCPh, we see two separate skirmishes:

CC(E9); No Ambush; Russian 9FP (-1drm leader) vs. G 4FP. No Effect
G4 vs. R4 (choosing to attack only 1 MMC); 1 R is eliminated.
The balance of squads settle in for Melee.
CC(M9); Germans get Ambush; G4-R4 NE; R4-G4 NE. Now in Melee also.


German PBF in the PFPh doesn’t amount to any damage to the Russians. The Germans use their MPh to bring in the squads far from the west to better fortify the eastern positions.
Likewise for the Russians, even at PBF, their DFPh is ineffective. The Germans use their APh to retreat back and form better defensive positions and firegroups.

To close out the Turn with the German CCPh:
CC(E9): G4-R4 NE; R4 (-1 drm)-G4 German squad is eliminated.
CC(M9): G4-R4 NE; R4-G4 NE. Melee continues.



Photo above is situation at end of Turn 1.




Turn 2


The Russians continue to move forward. There isn’t much German Defensive fire at this point, and what does occur doesn’t have an effect. The Russians, during the AFPh, form a FG in hexes E8/F7/G7 and, even at half FP, DM the German squad in D6.

During the RtPh, the German in D6 elects to make a run for the leader in the building in E5. This gives me a chance to review the rules for Routing Interdiction as well as take advantage of the SSR that gives the Germans an extra 1 point to their broken morale level. The German rolls successfully and makes it to E5.

In the APh, a Russian squad from M10 joins the Melee in M9. 2 Russian squads enter L8 to initiate CC in that hex.
CC(L8): Russian Ambush; R8-G4. German squad is eliminated.
** In this hex, the Germans had one 4-6-8 MMC and one broken LMG. I am assuming that the LMG is eliminated along with the 4-6-8 since it was broken and knowing that a Russian unit cannot repair a German LMG.
CC(M9): R8-G4. German unit is eliminated. G4-R4 (Chose to attack 1 MMC) - NE.
The playing board now at the end of the Russian’s Turn 2.



For the German’s turn, they elect to avoid Prep Fire and use their MPh to skulk, returning to their original positions in the APh.




Turn 3


The Russian reinforcement platoon is placed along the eastern edge, setting up off hexes A2 and A3.



They realize that the 3rd building (along row “R”) has been unoccupied from the beginning and they could make a sprint to take control. The Germans have only kept one squad (currently in O6) near building "R" to keep the Russians honest.



Rule Check:

During the Russians MPh, the 4-5-8 squad in K9 elects to Assault Move into hex K8. At that point, the German squad in L6, with LOS to K8 announces Defensive First Fire.
The Germans have a 4-6-8 squad with MMG and 9-2 leader. SSR in Scenario negates FFMO.
Thus the attack takes place at 9FP/-2. The DR is “3-2”. ROF is lost but the IFT result is “K/2”
The Russian squad is CR from 4-5-8 to Elite HS of 2-4-8.
The 2-4-8 unit then does MC and rolls “6-6”. This sends me back to the rulebook to review what all of this means. Within the definition of Casualty Reduction: “… combat result that eliminates a HS…”. Section 3.2.1 under heading NMC says “A unit that rolls an original 12 on a MC suffers Casualty Reduction..”
I thus conclude that this unit is eliminated after suffering two quick CR in succession

4) Finally, a First Fire marker is placed on the stack in L6 and a “4” Residual Fire marker is placed in open hex K8.

Did I play this event out correctly?


The Russians use the rest of their MPh enter the buildings in row “D” and row “L”. CC is engaged in hex E4, but with no net effect and tying them up for Melee in subsequent turns.



Above: Position near the end of Russian’s Turn 3.

The Germans miss out on a huge opportunity to push back the Russians with Point Blank Fire. Only one Russian squad is left demoralized. There is some more skulking but little other action. 1 German squad joins the Melee in hex E4, but there is yet no effect during the CCPh.



Turn 4

All squads on both sides make their rallies and return to GO. In fact, both sides in this scenario spend little time demoralized. All units have at least an 8 MC to make and the Germans pick up an extra 1 modifier to their broken rally recovery attempts.

During the Russian turn, the most significant event takes place in the central building:



Having survived PBF the previous turn, they pay back the favor with a 32FP/+3 attack into E6. This breaks both the key German leader and the MMG squad. The Russians follow up during the MPh to move a squad to K6 (who survives defensive fire from E5) to properly surround the broken Germans in E6. During the RtPh, they cannot rout and are completely eliminated.

In the APh, Russian squads in D4 and E5 join the ongoing melee in E4.
The Russian squad in K6 advances into E5 to initiate Close Combat. He is outnumbered here, but my goal was to hopefully “tie up” the German squads to allow the other Russians to join the fray in later turns.

CC(L5); no ambush; R4-G4 NE; G9-R4 NE; counter is flipped to melee.
CC(E4); R13(-1 drm) - G9 NE; G9(-1 drm) - R13 NE. Melee continues.

I need to turn back to the Rulebook to review if there is anything in the rules for CC that would allow more than 3 squad equivalents (+1 leader) to enter a hex to join CC. Apparently, the 3 MMC limit holds for CC as well.

Russian’s Turn 4 ends with all German squads (save one) now engaged in Melee to defend 2 of the 3 key buildings.



There isn’t much for the Germans to do until their own CCPh. The one available German squad settles back a bit deeper into his building to delay dealing with the oncoming Russians.

During the CCPh, the Germans in E4 change strategy a bit and elect to attack only 1 Russian squad at G4-R4, still with no effect. The Russians also fail to make their die roll.
In hex L5, the German G9-R4 attack is finally successful, eliminating the Russian unit.




Turn 5

The German has regain full control of hex L5, but now suffers PBF FG in PFPh (say that 3x fast..) at 24FP/+3. The German leader breaks and then both of the squads he led follow suit.

The Russians now, during the MPh, move unimpeded across the board toward their respective goal locations.

In the RtPh, the Germans in L5 are eliminated for failure to rout. This gives the Russians control of building “L” - 1 out of the 3 key buildings toward meeting the Victory Conditions.

During the CCPh, the Russians (at R13-G9) finally make their roll and eliminate the German squads. (The Germans are ineffective in their attempt to take out the Russians). This gives full control of building “D” to the Russians, who have now taken 2 out of the 3 key buildings.

At this point, the Germans surrender. They have 1 remaining GO squad and are not in a position to “regain” control of either of the two lost buildings.



Final position at end of the game.


Conclusions:

This is the first scenario where I began to “get” the great advantages in surrounding broken squads. Since both sides’ squads had sufficient leadership and great MC numbers to keep them in the game, it came down to Close Combat and Failure to Rout that made all of the difference. The Russians used their superior numbers to close in, survive Defensive Fire, and then swarm positions with CC. Once engaged, the Germans were tied up for many Turns - unable to win but also unable to break free.

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Bruce Probst
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The important thing to remember with regard to Control (not just Building Control, but also Location and Hex Control) is that any unit -- no matter what it's current condition, so long as it's armed -- can deny an enemy unit from gaining Control. So, a broken, wounded, Disrupted 6+1 Leader on the top level of a building can deny Building Control to any number of enemy units located elsewhere in that building. While he exists, they cannot gain Control.

To gain Control, you must be an armed, Good Order Infantry MMC (A26.11), and the Location/hex/building that you are attempting to gain Control of must be devoid of all armed enemy units.

(Armed vehicles may also gain Location/Hex (not Building) Control under the circumstances described in A26.12.)

A SMC may never gain Control in ASL, and it would be disappointing if ASLSK didn't say the same thing.
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Gary Logs
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kilgore234 wrote:

While reading through the details of this scenario it became clear that I was still sketchy as how ASL defines building control. In Scenario S6, Victory Conditions require that the Russians have control of at least 2 key buildings on the map.

Before seeking to make a simple thing complicated, I remembered several weeks ago when Perry wrote to me to always first review the definitions (Sec 2.0) in the Rulebook:
* Must be GO unit
* No presence of enemy unit
* Not all hexes of multi-hex building need be occupied if no enemies present when GO unit enters.


Another discussion at the following link (started almost 6 years ago) adds more detail to possible combinations/variations to this:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/635303/building-control

*If your MMC or SMC was last to pass through building (but is no longer in the building), you still have control of that building.

One of the responses on this thread indicate that while an MMC can control a multi-hex building by “passing through”, this is not possible with a SMC. The assertion wasn’t challenged in the email thread, but it seems that this point doesn’t necessarily jive with the wording in the ASKSK rulebook, which merely states that the unit must be GO (not MMC vs SMC).

Review of an even earlier thread (from 2007):

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/5087074#5087074

* Jay Richardson clarifies that either an enemy GO or broken unit can prevent your building control.
* An enemy cannot regain control of a building previously lost without performing the same tasks as above.
* There is a difference between Gaining Control of the building and Retaining/Having Control of the building. In order to clarify the differences, the thread cites specific rules in full ASL (A26.1). ASLSK doesn’t get into gaining or retaining or even the possibility of neither side having control.

Both threads are worth reading and help broaden your knowledge on what is surely an important aspect of ASL. There doesn’t yet seem to be any short and sweet answer in how to handle Scenario S6, so I decided to follow the rules with the following assumptions:

*The Russians start S6 with control of no buildings. The Germans control all buildings.
*The Russians need to gain control (following rules above) of at least 2 key buildings and not lose control back to the Germans of those buildings before the end of the game.



Enough on building control. I think I can cautiously proceed…

The Germans set up first and the Russians enter from the northern portion of the map in Turn 1 (and perhaps Turn 3). Mostly because the Special Rules allow it, I will choose to hold back a platoon of Russians (let’s say 3 4-5-8 squads, the 8-1 leader and the DC) until Turn 3 as reinforcements. Those that enter in Turn 3 can come from the North or the East; the trade-off in delay for better placement may prove useful, depending on how the Russians fare in the first two Turns.





Turn 1

I’ve read several other AARs done through the years to get some ideas of what set ups work for both sides. For the Germans, the strongest leader and MMG are placed in hex S5. The balance are spread across the front-northern hexes - attempting to guard all 3 buildings.

Based on this, the Russians decide to focus their effort toward the east side, avoiding the powerful MMG and 9-2 leader. Instead of setting up further west and sweeping toward the south and east, I’ll have them take on the Germans in a full frontal assault, going for the 2 buildings in rows “D” and “L”. Let’s see how their winter camouflage works for them.



As the Russians enter the playing field, the Germans draw first blood, sending 1 DM Russian squad seeking shelter in the woods. Some of the Russian squads elect Assault Movement to try out the FFMO SSR, others take greater risks and move right up to the German squads positioned in building J8-L8. Neither side rolls particularly well; those attacks that are effective usually end with the defender making their MC or PTC. The Russians close in and survive most Defensive Fire, but then manage to do nothing with their AFPh.



Shot at the beginning of RT1 CCPh.


In the CCPh, we see two separate skirmishes:

CC(E9); No Ambush; Russian 9FP (-1drm leader) vs. G 4FP. No Effect
G4 vs. R4 (choosing to attack only 1 MMC); 1 R is eliminated.
The balance of squads settle in for Melee.
CC(M9); Germans get Ambush; G4-R4 NE; R4-G4 NE. Now in Melee also.


German PBF in the PFPh doesn’t amount to any damage to the Russians. The Germans use their MPh to bring in the squads far from the west to better fortify the eastern positions.
Likewise for the Russians, even at PBF, their DFPh is ineffective. The Germans use their APh to retreat back and form better defensive positions and firegroups.

To close out the Turn with the German CCPh:
CC(E9): G4-R4 NE; R4 (-1 drm)-G4 German squad is eliminated.
CC(M9): G4-R4 NE; R4-G4 NE. Melee continues.



Photo above is situation at end of Turn 1.




Turn 2


The Russians continue to move forward. There isn’t much German Defensive fire at this point, and what does occur doesn’t have an effect. The Russians, during the AFPh, form a FG in hexes E8/F7/G7 and, even at half FP, DM the German squad in D6.

During the RtPh, the German in D6 elects to make a run for the leader in the building in E5. This gives me a chance to review the rules for Routing Interdiction as well as take advantage of the SSR that gives the Germans an extra 1 point to their broken morale level. The German rolls successfully and makes it to E5.

In the APh, a Russian squad from M10 joins the Melee in M9. 2 Russian squads enter L8 to initiate CC in that hex.
CC(L8): Russian Ambush; R8-G4. German squad is eliminated.
** In this hex, the Germans had one 4-6-8 MMC and one broken LMG. I am assuming that the LMG is eliminated along with the 4-6-8 since it was broken and knowing that a Russian unit cannot repair a German LMG.
CC(M9): R8-G4. German unit is eliminated. G4-R4 (Chose to attack 1 MMC) - NE.
The playing board now at the end of the Russian’s Turn 2.



For the German’s turn, they elect to avoid Prep Fire and use their MPh to skulk, returning to their original positions in the APh.




Turn 3


The Russian reinforcement platoon is placed along the eastern edge, setting up off hexes A2 and A3.



They realize that the 3rd building (along row “R”) has been unoccupied from the beginning and they could make a sprint to take control. The Germans have only kept one squad (currently in O6) near building "R" to keep the Russians honest.



Rule Check:

During the Russians MPh, the 4-5-8 squad in K9 elects to Assault Move into hex K8. At that point, the German squad in L6, with LOS to K8 announces Defensive First Fire.
The Germans have a 4-6-8 squad with MMG and 9-2 leader. SSR in Scenario negates FFMO.
Thus the attack takes place at 9FP/-2. The DR is “3-2”. ROF is lost but the IFT result is “K/2”
The Russian squad is CR from 4-5-8 to Elite HS of 2-4-8.
The 2-4-8 unit then does MC and rolls “6-6”. This sends me back to the rulebook to review what all of this means. Within the definition of Casualty Reduction: “… combat result that eliminates a HS…”. Section 3.2.1 under heading NMC says “A unit that rolls an original 12 on a MC suffers Casualty Reduction..”
I thus conclude that this unit is eliminated after suffering two quick CR in succession

4) Finally, a First Fire marker is placed on the stack in L6 and a “4” Residual Fire marker is placed in open hex K8.

Did I play this event out correctly?


The Russians use the rest of their MPh enter the buildings in row “D” and row “L”. CC is engaged in hex E4, but with no net effect and tying them up for Melee in subsequent turns.



Above: Position near the end of Russian’s Turn 3.

The Germans miss out on a huge opportunity to push back the Russians with Point Blank Fire. Only one Russian squad is left demoralized. There is some more skulking but little other action. 1 German squad joins the Melee in hex E4, but there is yet no effect during the CCPh.



Turn 4

All squads on both sides make their rallies and return to GO. In fact, both sides in this scenario spend little time demoralized. All units have at least an 8 MC to make and the Germans pick up an extra 1 modifier to their broken rally recovery attempts.

During the Russian turn, the most significant event takes place in the central building:



Having survived PBF the previous turn, they pay back the favor with a 32FP/+3 attack into E6. This breaks both the key German leader and the MMG squad. The Russians follow up during the MPh to move a squad to K6 (who survives defensive fire from E5) to properly surround the broken Germans in E6. During the RtPh, they cannot rout and are completely eliminated.

In the APh, Russian squads in D4 and E5 join the ongoing melee in E4.
The Russian squad in K6 advances into E5 to initiate Close Combat. He is outnumbered here, but my goal was to hopefully “tie up” the German squads to allow the other Russians to join the fray in later turns.

CC(L5); no ambush; R4-G4 NE; G9-R4 NE; counter is flipped to melee.
CC(E4); R13(-1 drm) - G9 NE; G9(-1 drm) - R13 NE. Melee continues.

I need to turn back to the Rulebook to review if there is anything in the rules for CC that would allow more than 3 squad equivalents (+1 leader) to enter a hex to join CC. Apparently, the 3 MMC limit holds for CC as well.

Russian’s Turn 4 ends with all German squads (save one) now engaged in Melee to defend 2 of the 3 key buildings.



There isn’t much for the Germans to do until their own CCPh. The one available German squad settles back a bit deeper into his building to delay dealing with the oncoming Russians.

During the CCPh, the Germans in E4 change strategy a bit and elect to attack only 1 Russian squad at G4-R4, still with no effect. The Russians also fail to make their die roll.
In hex L5, the German G9-R4 attack is finally successful, eliminating the Russian unit.




Turn 5

The German has regain full control of hex L5, but now suffers PBF FG in PFPh (say that 3x fast..) at 24FP/+3. The German leader breaks and then both of the squads he led follow suit.

The Russians now, during the MPh, move unimpeded across the board toward their respective goal locations.

In the RtPh, the Germans in L5 are eliminated for failure to rout. This gives the Russians control of building “L” - 1 out of the 3 key buildings toward meeting the Victory Conditions.

During the CCPh, the Russians (at R13-G9) finally make their roll and eliminate the German squads. (The Germans are ineffective in their attempt to take out the Russians). This gives full control of building “D” to the Russians, who have now taken 2 out of the 3 key buildings.

At this point, the Germans surrender. They have 1 remaining GO squad and are not in a position to “regain” control of either of the two lost buildings.



Final position at end of the game.


Conclusions:

This is the first scenario where I began to “get” the great advantages in surrounding broken squads. Since both sides’ squads had sufficient leadership and great MC numbers to keep them in the game, it came down to Close Combat and Failure to Rout that made all of the difference. The Russians used their superior numbers to close in, survive Defensive Fire, and then swarm positions with CC. Once engaged, the Germans were tied up for many Turns - unable to win but also unable to break free.



Thanks for the great AAR!
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