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Subject: 162 Armored Car Savikurki rss

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James Lowry
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Patch and I decided to go back to the Finns for our next ASL game, which led to us selecting 162 "Armored Car Savikurki" from Hakkaa Päälle. During the Winter War, a small group of Finnish troops (4 squads), aided by a single armored car, is trying to break out to their own lines, blocked by seven squads of Russians. The Finns have winter camouflage (though ranges are a bit short for it to matter), and the Russians suffer from Early War Doctrine, which only means that conscripts suffer a automatic -1 to CC attacks against them.

The Russians are mixed 1st Line and Conscripts, with a Commissar and a 7-0, LMG and HMG. The Finnish 648s enter on the first turn, with the AC following on turn two with a 9-1 AL. They have seven turns to get across half of board 42 and exit 5 EVP (other than the AC or its crew), which isn't much, and yet is over half their force. I had the defending Russians, and set up a loose line to try and delay the Finns as much as possible. I mostly covered the more open southern route which wouldn't hamper the AC as much. The north is all woods with a clearing and a single road, and got two conscript squads to hold things up until I might redeploy to cover it. Also, the HMG was in the back as a second line, and placed to fire straight down the road deep into woods. I nearly put the boresight in T9, but decided I was more worried about him avoiding that obvious shot, and put it in V4.

Patch came in on the north route, and his third move put him into T9. The HMG fired down the road (Patch: 'Did not even think about that. '), for a NMC which he passed. His last move gave me an un-Hindered shot from U8, which revealed to do a 1MC which he failed.

Situation, Finnish Turn 1.

The Finnish squad self-rallied on my turn. My main goal of course was to stay out of the way of the 6FP non-cowering Finns while making sure they didn't just sidle past the defense. After a little contemplation, my conscripts in the U8 wooden house fired on the squad that had moved adjacent, and broke them with a NMC.

The biggest problem with my redeployment was that the squads with the furthest to go were conscripts (note for next time: concentrate conscripts in the center). Patch's only fire was on my revealed conscripts, which thankfully did nothing.

Situation, Russian Turn 1.

Patch failed to rally his new broken squad, and brought in the AC along the wood-road, and immediately drove up to U8 and broke and disrupted it. I fired the HMG in their defense, but it missed and lost rate. Patch came up to my line and fired on Y10 without result. I possibly should have stayed in place, and tried to tie him up in CC (assuming I didn't get Ambushed or attack back, I was looking at surviving a 1:2 -2 attack), but judged it better to self-break and rout back to my Commissar for recycling into the next defense line.

Situation, Finnish Turn 2.

We both rallied a squad for my second turn, but of course I couldn't even try for a self-rally as the only other broken squad was disrupted. The big challenge of the turn was getting the two squads from the south flank across the CC5-T9 road in view of the AC, who indeed did get a K/1 against one squad; thankfully the surviving HS kept it's cool. (Overall, my conscripts were performing very well.) In Final Fire, he got a PTC to reveal my 7-0 stack, and pinned the LMG squad.

Situation, Russian Turn 2.

Patch fired on the 7-0 stack for Prep, ELRing the leader to a 6+1 while only pinning the squad. He also fired on the other end of my line, revealing the squad there, but failing to affect it. The AC moved up the road and bounding fired into Y8, but thankfully rolled high. I wasn't able to do anything to him, even with a FFNAM bonus, but he did break my squad in Z9 with advancing fire.

This time, my 1st Line squad in Y8 was pinned, and had two squads adjacent to him, so he self-broke before facing a 3:1 attack while pinned.

Situation, Finnish Turn 3.

The Commissar rallied the 6+1 and one squad, but reduced the LMG squad to conscripts. Worse, Z10 had a clear shot at my rally spot (not noticed during RPh), and reduced the squad to a HS during DFPh.

Situation, Russian Turn 3.

The Commissar finished off the conscripts for Patch's turn 4. He declared Op Fire with Z10, and then broke and disrupted my forward HS in Z8, while only firing one squad of three. The AC moved up two hexes, used bounding fire on AA7, got a PTC to reveal it, kept rate, and then got a K/1 to reduce it to a HS of broken conscripts. The HMG fired on the one squad that came into its LOS, but in two shots, it only managed to generate a Hero.

His advancing fire finished off AA7, revealed a conscript in AA9 with a 1MC, which it passed, but left it vulnerable to another 1MC which disrupted it. Rout saw a squad and a half surrender to him, leaving me with two squads and two leaders.

Situation, Finnish Turn 4.

The only action for my rally was the Commissar Recovering the LMG that had been manned by Enemies of the People. The HMG managed to wound the Hero and pin the squad with him, but nothing more. The other squad skulked, while the 6+1 went back to the main wood line to join the Commissar so they could man the LMG together. He took a NMC from the AC on the way, but passed it with no trouble. The HMG squad was the only thing in LOS after MPh, but Patch couldn't manage to affect it. I traded the LMG over to the 6+1 as the Commissar was likely to be needed for rally, though putting the LMG with a ML 6 unit wasn't necessarily the best idea. I also advanced the HMG into the lighter cover of the woods in EE7 so it would be out of initial LOS of the AC, and could potentially cover the board exit better.

Patch moved forward into contact with my squad in the woods with two of his, while the the other two worked their way along the board edge. The AC moved up a hex, into view of the HMG, which missed, and the AC's return fire did nothing. AFPh broke my squad, but at least didn't disrupt him. Unfortunately, my plan of routing back to my leaders fell apart as I realized that EE7 was a valid one-turn destination. I took Interdiction, and lost a HS.

Situation, Finnish Turn 5.

Naturally, my DM conscript HS did not rally for my turn 5. My HMG managed to pin the squad in DD9 on it's first shot... and malfunctioned on the second. My LMG stack skulked away, and Patch concentrated fire on the HMG. The AC managed to get a HoB on the broken HS... which disrupted. Everything else combined into a 16 +0 shot for a K/3 that reduced the HMG squad, with the survivors ELRing to conscripts, and the other HS dying.

Patch had two turns left, and I just had a LMG to stop him. Patch started up the AC and moved into my leaders' hex. I figured my best chance was to disable the AC before it got there and fired in the adjacent hex, and hit, but couldn't penetrate the armor. I tried CCRF once he got in, and couldn't even get close. Patch then walked all his infantry off for a solid win.

Afterword

It is a fast scenario, and the first two thirds were certainly very enjoyable. But I'm really unsure just how things could go any better. ELR 2 is just murder, as disrupted conscripts are way too likely an outcome, and that was with me doing my best to avoid any sort of heavy fire from the Finns. Even so, I passed a lot of 1MCs at ML6, so I can't complain too much there.

Admittedly, I did think more in terms of the more open south and the path in the middle, which allow faster movement. However, with seven turns for 16 hexes, speed isn't that important, so the edge woods is probably the best approach unless the Russians put everything there.

I think DD4 really is one of the best places for the HMG. It can do something with any approach the Finns take, mostly thanks to that long, straight road, and is far back so it doesn't get instantly taken out by the Finns.
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Magister Ludi
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I like the winterized boards! Great write up too.
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Gabriel Gonzalez Pavón
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EXCELLENT AAR!. It does look very hard for the soviets with solid Finnish play, both sides excelled in doing their best...
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Perry Cocke
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As I read along, it seemed like the Finns had better luck, getting numerous K/- results, and the Russian HMG not doing anything to speak of.

But I wasn't there.
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James Lowry
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I have been noticing that I seem to do better with ROF 1 than 3....

As far as overall luck... it's hard to say. I wish VASL's stats tool would analyze anything it's seen in a log, rather than what's been rolled directly in the current session.

The Finns certainly did well on some luck, but the Russian conscripts passed a surprising number of 1MC and the like, and overall did better than I expected. On the other hand, the AC did really well and unhinged anything it came near.

Also, the forces are so small, that once I lost anything it had a disproportionate effect on my ability to resist.
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