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Subject: Last Man Standing rss

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Bill Vee
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I playtested a homebrewed scenario where Soviet Rifle squads defend a hill against Waffen SS Pioneers. This was inspired by the Cemetery Hill scenario from Fighting Formations.

Maps 5 and 6.

The Soviets need to hold out for 7 turns and have prepared defenses: 1x Bunker, 3x Trenches, 5x Minefields, 5x Barbed Wire, 1xAT Grenade, 1x 5cm Mortar. While the Soviets have no leader counters, a T34-76 and a BT-7-2 arrive later in the game. Barbed Wire and Minefield counters are set up face down and Soviet infantry units and support weapons are hidden under the trench & bunker markers or under flipped down fortification markers. Hidden mines and barbed war are flipped face up when a German unit moves or advances into an adjacent hex. Concealed Soviet units are revealed when attacked or make an attack.

The German units have the Sturmpioneers special ability (see below), supported by good leadership (a -2 Leader at the start, a -1 Leader coming in with reinforcements mid game) and are decently equipped (total of 2x Grenades, 2x Satchel charges over the course of the game.) The Germans also have excellent fire support: 3x StuGs, start with a Fighter Bomber counter and draw a random Fire Support counter on Turns 2,4 and 6. The Fire Support draw pool consists of 1 x Fighter Bomber, 3 x Light Barrage, 2x Heavy Barrage, 2x Move Counters. Move Counters counts as no fire support received.

Sturmpioneers: German infantry unit can use a satchel charge to eliminate a mine or barbed wire counter in an adjacent hex. The German infantry unit using the satchel charge must be within 1 hex of a German leader to use this ability.

Victory Conditions: 1VP for the side with the most infantry attack strength points within one he of the cross roads on the level one hill. Soviets get to add the cover modifiers for trenches/bunkers occupied by defenders.

1 VP for the side with the most infantry attack strength points on the level 2 hill. Soviet get to add cover modifiers for trenches/bunkers occupied by defenders.

Playtest notes:
Soviets placed the bunker on the top of the hill and spread their remaining fortifications across the length of the map. While there was some decent cover along the middle of the map, a thrust in the centre would expose the Germans to both the Maxims. The Soviet left flank was protected by the river and there was no cover to be found

The Germans chose to attack on the Soviet right flank on the opposite side of the map from the hilltop bunker. The Germans traded time for decent cover and were vulnerable to only one Maxim. The Germans eliminated a Minefield, punched through the thin defenses and steamrolled their way across the map towards the hilltop. The Germans were ready to storm the bunker but were overrun by the Soviet AFVs arriving as reinforcements.

It all came down to the German's last turn, when the remaining two German half squads, with an MG-34 and MG -7 (useless in this case), led by a -1 Leader and armed with a grenade and satchel chagre (very useful in this case) close assaulted the last Soviet infantry in a bunker. The Soviet Squad and Half Squad (and their Maxim) had little chance against 4:1 odds and the Leader and Grenade die roll modifiers. Germans eliminated their leader and the half-squad with the MG-37the two half squads fulfill the casualty requirement for attackers.

As expected, carnage was the order of the day. A little too bloody due to tanks (on both sides) overrunning the enemy.

I have a fondness for StuGs but three of them were too many for this scenario.

Edit: I missed two casualty points needed for the two defending units in the close assault.
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Bill Vee
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I was looking for a more Eastern Front-feel for the German side of the map. I replaced map 5 with Map 17. Thank you, Wombat Zombie!
Barry Zomani
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Tooled with the starting forces (apparently less is more!) and scenario specific rules:
thumbsdown Ditched the concealed Barbed Wire and Mine Fields. The defender now sets up these fortifications faceup.
thumbsup Soviet infantry not set up in trenches and bunkers are concealed under Fox Hole counters.
thumbsup Added another Soviet Half-Squad and Mortar, which gave the defenders a small chance of taking out the StuGs and a slightly better chance at taking out attacking infantry. Airbursts are no joke. I like this change as it gives the Soviets something to do during the first couple of turns. The Germans started to approach with caution, making sure to keep their infantry out of sight of any Soviet spotters.
thumbsup The Soviet reinforcements arrive just in time to stomp any German unit that's in the wrong place at the wrong time. Germans have to be careful to make sure the StuGs are also well-positioned for overwatch.
thumbsup Soviets can split their Rifle Squads during set up.
thumbsup Soviets now get a 2 Support Weapons drawn from a pool during set up. The attacker doesn't know which support weapons they are. No duds here. Could be one or two AT Grenades, or maybe they have an AT Grenade and regular Grenade. If the Soviets are lucky and draw a Fire counter from the pool, one of the "support weapons" is a hidden BTR-7. I'm still on the fence about that last one. On the one hand, the BTR-7 provides much-needed anti-armor. On the other hand, it may be too nasty a surprise. I should playtest with the hidden BTR-7 as one of the two starting counters.
thumbsup Germans start with 2 StuGs instead of three. Instead of starting with a Fighter Bomber, the attackers receive a Light Barrage (and draw from the modified German Fire Support pool).
thumbsup Germans reinforcements Turn 4 instead of 3 but get a few more bodies to throw into the carnage. The slightly later arrival forces these guys to hustle.
thumbsup I like the Sturmpioneer special rule but now limiting it to Squads, Half-Squads within one hex of the -2 Leader. And the firing unit must conduct the demolition during the Fire Phase. (No Defensive Fire demolition for you!)

1st Playtest of the evening: Reduced the number of troops on both sides. Became a turkey shoot with the Stugs blasting away as the Soviets had little fire support and nothing to do during the first few turns. Not a fun session and led to many of the changes described below.
2nd Playtest: Much happier with these changes. Still very bloody.


What's this? Ending a move on an open hex? And without using an Assault Move? In the face of a Rifle squad and a half-squad in a bunker up the hill? Both equipped with Maxims? Madness. Lucky goons. Crazy though.

The fools survived long enough to take the trench close to the bunker and call a heavy barrage to eliminate the Rifle squad, commence the final close assaults on the bunker and the entrenched Soviets in the Level 2 woods. The only survivors of that stack were the -1 Leader and a half-squad. The -1 Leader was king of the hill while the half-squad snuck back down the hill to hide in the trenches, ready to claim a victory point for occupying the cross-roads area.

Germans win with 1 Victory Point. (1 APFP point for units on the hill: the -1 Leader). No VP awarded for control of the level 1 cross-roads. The last Soviet unit, the BT-7, was eliminated during the bottom half of turn 7. The BT-7 stole a complete victory away from the Germans by gunning down the -2 German Leader and pinning the Waffen SS half-squad in the control area.

I think I'm happy with the tension in the game but have yet to see a Soviet win. Still, I think I'm ready to put this together in the scenario template and call it a solid draft.
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Edward Kowynia
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Thanks for the thoughts and notes from both of you. I like the changes to the rules for the blind draw of the support weapons and also the change for the enhanced abilities with proximity to the leaders. Sounds like a close fought affair after the changes were implemented.
Thanks, for sharing.
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Bill Vee
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siredofk wrote:
Thanks for the thoughts and notes from both of you. I like the changes to the rules for the blind draw of the support weapons and also the change for the enhanced abilities with proximity to the leaders. Sounds like a close fought affair after the changes were implemented.
Thanks, for sharing.

Thanks for the feedback, Edward! I'm close to completing the first version so you and the other V&V folks that are interested can play this scenario. Looking to get the file up in the next 24 hours. I'll post an update here once the file is been approved.

Foo Dog wrote:
If the Soviets are lucky and draw a Fire counter from the pool, one of the "support weapons" is a hidden BTR-7. I'm still on the fence about that last one. On the one hand, the BTR-7 provides much-needed anti-armor. On the other hand, it may be too nasty a surprise. I should playtest with the hidden BTR-7 as one of the two starting counters.

I think I found a potential solution:
One of the counters in the Soviet Support Weapons pool is an "Immobile!" counter. If the Immobile! counter is drawn, the Soviet player must reveal the Immobile! counter during the Turn 1 Soviet Command Phase. The Soviet player sets up a BT-7-2 on Map 17. The BT-7-2 must be in terrain that provides cover and must be at least 2 hexes away from a German unit. Place the Immobile! counter on the BT-7-2.

 
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Bill Vee
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The Cemetery Hill scenario PDF is up in the files section.
 
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