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Subject: The Jagdpanzer who would be a Panzer (Mission 10) rss

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Jesse Hughes
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Serious spoilers ahead. Unlike most of my session reports, however, this one is not a traumatic experience. No trigger warning necessary, unlike last mission which may have triggered or caused PTSD for some readers.

Condition 1: The mortar strike
This mission is split into two parts. The first part, I was fairly confident the squad could get through in one piece, because they weren't on the map. There was still a decent chance that Guilfoyle would accidentally shoot himself or someone else, but luck was with me.

The mission begins with Map A. All twelve German counters plus both pieces of armor (plackart and codpiece) begin on the southern edge, aiming to escape towards the north. Each turn, you get to place two markers for mortar fire, which may be inaccurate if placed anew or "walked" a short distance (the former less accurate than the later). If placed in the same hex twice, it is guaranteed accurate the second time.

I thought this part would be fun though also worried it could be tedious, moving so many Germans and having only the placement of mortars under my control. I'm sure that many will find it tedious, but I actually enjoyed it. It wasn't Ambush! as we generally think of it nor would it be good to do this game after game, but I'll probably do it again, despite the optional rule to skip Condition 1.

I aimed at the soldiers exclusively, at first only because of opportunity but later I realized this was good strategy. I have a thread in the Strategy section about this. I lucked out, with the Panzer missing an accident check and throwing a tread. That's as good as a kill, essentially worth eight VPs with no risk to my men. I aimed the shots each time with maximum overlap of adjacent soldiers, so that a miss might hit someone else. The only exception was repeat fire or walking the shot. I tended to leave the wounded, since they walk slowly and I could pick on them later. None of the wounded escaped alive.

Thanks to good rolls for advantage, I killed six out of twelve Nazis. I don't know if that's better than average, but I felt like luck was on my side. With the Panzer also gone, the remainder of the game looked good.

Setup for Conditions 2-4
My squad consisted of veterans Berkowitz, an NCO with IN 5 and WS +2 who has been with me since Mission 7, Connie with IN 3 and a newly improved WS 0, also dating back to Mission 7 and Higgenbottom, my once despised and now merely loathed GI dating back to Mission 2. His IN is now 1 and his WS remains at +1. The slew of new recruits include NCO Abernathy, IN 3, and Privates Dimsdale, Egbert and Freddy, each with IN 2 and perfectly average for that initiative, and Guilfoyle, a truly dreadful IN 1 with WS -2. Higgenbottom sneers at the incompetence of this greenhorn. He is not accurately described as wet behind the ears. His whole head is submerged.

Berkowitz got the bazooka and pistol and took most of the rounds, with two bazooka rounds carried by the otherwise useless Guilfoyle. I packed twelve grenades, though this was unnecessary since the Jagdpanzer stayed buttoned up. The German strategy is a bit better in this regard in Move Out! I also gave Connie a satchel charge. Connie and Dimsdale got SMGs, Higgenbottom a BAR and the rest rifles.

Conditions 2-4: The battle in the village
Germans enter by events, not activation rolls. I decided I wanted the group to enter in a single hex (would've been pissed if a grenade went off!), which I never do, but I wanted them to deploy in the village in a tight formation, with the two commanders in command radius of each other and a single stack meant fewer events encountered before I was ready as well as faster deployment. I entered on the northern edge of Map B (the top of the map is west) on the railroad tracks, to head them into the first few buildings straddling the road and tracks. I made it to R5, where I was intending to break up the group, when I hit the first event. A single German soldier entered in A1, the southwest corner. He immediately headed north, following the edge of the map (row 1), for two turns while I was waiting for the awareness check of Round 2.

The next round, two more Germans appeared just east of the first guy. Almost all of my guys made their awareness checks (not Guilfoyle or Egbert). I planned for Dimsdale and Freddy to intercept all three Germans. I quickly moved them to the woods hexes Q2 and R2. Later, after the Jagdpanzer had entered and I saw that automatic fire wasn't an issue for Q2, Freddy joined Dimsdale in that hex.

Abernathy went prone in hex Q5, within the wooden building and with Dimsdale and Freddy both within his command radius (as well as many other soldiers). Egbert took up the window at the other end of the three-hex building (hex O6). Connie made it to the two-hex stone building in hex Q8 and Higgenbottom in hex R7 of the same building. Berkowitz headed around the north side of that building, towards the shack in hex S10. Guilfoyle was late to move out, due to panic, and I was a little worried, because by this time the only officer who had lived through the mortar attack had entered in the middle of the south side and was hauling butt to cross the railroad embankment. Guilfoyle managed to get it together early enough to join Berk in the hut (though I was seriously worried about tank fire in that thing).

Two other Germans entered from the southern side, near the middle as I recall. The Jagdpanzer entered from the eastern road on the southern side, hex A17.

By this time, one of the soldiers from the second group had entered the field of vision for Dimsdale, and he incapacitated him in the open, lying prone, hex J5. The second soldier who had entered with him had IN 1 and had fallen behind. The first soldier to appear on map, the one who had followed the west edge (row 1), was approaching column L when Freddy and Dimsdale spotted the IN 1 grunt. Three shots fired, all misses as he was prone in the wide open! He escaped into hex L5 in the stone, T-shaped building just as the first soldier left the trees and headed towards the wooden building in which Egbert and Abernathy hid (hex O6 and Q5, respectively).

About the same time, Egbert spotted a German soldier in the brush south of the raised railway, hard against the stream (hex G10) and dispatched him. Dimsdale incapacitated the German near the rubble pile threatening Abernathy's position, leaving the IN 1 guy in the stone, T-shaped building. A long run, with turns contributed by both Abernathy and Berk, brought Connie into the same hex, where he assaulted the hapless grunt. Next round, Egbert rushed into the building, but Connie finished off the Nazi without need of assistance. The three Germans first to enter had been wiped out, along with a fourth who had come later.

This left the Lieutenant and another soldier still heading north. Connie had been in a good position to cut them off prior to his sprint to take care of his man, but that ship had sailed. Higgenbottom was still in a wooden building (hex Q10) and Berk and Guilfoyle in the shack in hex S9. Now, there's something I was forgetting. Oh, yeah, I remember. There's a Jagdpanzer.

But there's also a Sherman. I haven't mentioned the Sherman entering, because I was a little annoyed he'd shown up. Clearly, I had things under control. It's like the cavalry swooping in to rescue the 101st Airborne. Go find a little old lady to help. We got this.

Anyway, the Jagdpanzer was taking his time to enter things, and I had sussed that he'd skirt the wooded hill and exit the easternmost road to the north. It was his shortest path. I had to find a way to avoid being spotted by him, at least until Berk got a shot off, while still dealing with the Lieutenant and his underling. This task was made harder by the fact that I forgot a very basic rule: Jagdpanzers can only fire forward.

Or perhaps this was a new model, with a turret and everything.

Anyway, a stroke of luck: the two remaining soldiers ended their turn east of Higg's building, adjacent to his hex. There are no apertures on that side, but self-preservation kicked in for them. They spent a couple turns lying in the dirt or crouching and looking for a shot in vain as Egbert and Connie closed in from the north.

The Nazi tete-a-tete coming to a close, the German infantryman decided that now is the time for action, since his Lieutenant ordered him to decide that. He ran around the north end of the building and jumped inside for cover. (The order was to move and snap fire if anyone was spotted. Since Higg was prone behind a window, he hadn't been spotted after two moves, so I decided the German ought to finish his move and enter the building.) Landing on the already prone Higg. Next turn, we had advantage and Higg incapacitated him with an assault. I gave the man a BAR when all he really needed was a truncheon.

Berk got his shot off with his trusty bazooka, knocking out the treads of the Jagdpanzer, and retreated from the wooden shack for fear of return fire from that beast. But that beast was not facing the shack. Apparently, I'm not the only one who forgot the limitations of Jagdpanzers. He had no reason to run.

The Sherman entered the area from the west and shot at the Jagdpanzer, but the armor held. The Jagdpanzer apparently also forgot it was a Jagdpanzer and returned fire illegally. Them Germans are crafty and unscrupulous and don't care about the rules of the game. No matter, that shot also was ineffective.

The following round, the Lieutenant went looking for his buddy, found an inviting window and leaped in. Landing, once again, on Higg. Higg, Abernathy and Berk all had turns at that point, which is a good thing, since it took Higg three assaults to put the Lieutenant down. He was dead, but at a significant cost. The stock on that beautiful BAR was scratched all to heck.

The same turn, the Sherman finished off the Jagdpanzer, stealing the kill from both Berk and Connie (who had a satchel charge) and the two of them had agreed to take joint credit for the kill no matter who did what. You know, like Lennon and McCartney or something.

The mop-up and combat points
Eight men, none injured. In fact, I'm not positive but I think there were no German attacks at all, aside from the totally illegal shot from the Jagdpanzer (and which I will report to the good men and women in The Hague). I'm afraid the Germans were too tuckered from their run across map A to bother pulling triggers on map B.

At this point, I cheated to avoid a boring end sequence. You're supposed to exit the map to end the game, but I noticed that there are no hex paragraphs, only events. A lot of the random events rolled during rounds had been "None" and the others were not special, so rather than play out the leaving of the squad, I checked all of the possible events I could hit while bugging out. Not a one of them would affect the end of the game in any way, so I ended it, having acquired the maximum number of VPs (23, if I counted correctly).

Hey, I could use a little easy mission after the last one.

Thirty-two points to distribute. Three to Abernathy and four to Berk, for giving turns and (for Berk) taking out the treads of the Jagd, which was sufficient to count as a kill for VP purposes. Berk increased his PC to 8. Connie received five for assaulting the fella in the stone building and increasing his WS to +1. Dimsdale received four, as did Egbert and Freddy. Guilfoyle received two points, once I remembered that he had indeed been on this mission. Higgenbottom received six points for showing them pesky Nazis what they do to trespassers down in Dardanelle, Arkansas. He increases his IN to 2, which makes my once pitiful IN 0 guy the fourth best man in the squad.

And also means that the fourth best man in the squad will be replaced with the hands-down worst man in the squad if he snuffs it.

And onto the next mission. But I just might leave Higgenbottom at home for safety's sake. He's become too valuable to use.
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El Pinios
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I remember condition 1 as tedious and a bit looong...but will not skip it next time I play this mission (let's say in 20 years cry)

Great AAR!!
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Jesse Hughes
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Speaking of tedious and long, sorry this session report went on and on. Somehow, I didn't realize it's so much longer than the previous ones.
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El Pinios
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Long does not mean boring
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Kristopher
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Like I said previously, you'll find yourself "cheating," like that ending, a lot.

You should have set-up on the ridge over-looking town, and in the church steeple. Easy pickings. Like I said, I wiped them out before the Tank or Jadpanzer even entered.
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Jesse Hughes
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Lhowser wrote:
Like I said previously, you'll find yourself "cheating," like that ending, a lot.

You should have set-up on the ridge over-looking town, and in the church steeple. Easy pickings. Like I said, I wiped them out before the Tank or Jadpanzer even entered.


Yes, those are good positions. After I finished the mission, I read Billy Compton's session report on this and he made pretty good use of the hill, but for the fact that he put an MMG there and suffered pretty bad injuries due to inabiity or unwillingness to abandon the spot on the right times.

The sighting rules in this game are a little weird, treating buildintgs differently than forests/brush/rubble/rough hexes and also than embankments like the raised railroad. Sometimes, I don't take the time to figure out the advantages of higher terrain because of these oddities.

For instance, the steeple cannot see hex F6, because the rail embankment blocks it (the guy in the steeple is not adjacent to the embankment hex). If the railroad was raised, but without embankments, then the steeple could sight F6. If hex K9 (the railroad hex) were woods, then no problem with the sighting. If F6 were a building, then the sighting would fail, since hex K9 is closer to F6 than to the steeple.

It's a screwy system, but I don't amend it because the cards presumably take the sighting as given in deciding strategy.
 
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Jesse Hughes
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I was thinking about your suggestion and decided to carefully go through the rules and mark all of the hexes which can be sighted from V8 and S13. The two can be found here and here, respectively.

I'm sure I made some errors. If anyone is as pedantic as I am and checks, let me know what screwups you find.
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Kristopher
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I jotted it down in my Risk campaign book. I always used to do that so I could replay my moments of glory over a glass of brandy in the sleeping quarters. --Arnold J. Rimmer--
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What's the Pink? What you CAN see? Or What you CAN'T see? The buildings are at Level 3 - the edge of the hill at Level 3. As far as my reading of the LOS rules, they shouldn't block line of sight. (except maybe the adjacent hex.)
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Jesse Hughes
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Lhowser wrote:
What's the Pink? What you CAN see? Or What you CAN'T see? The buildings are at Level 3 - the edge of the hill at Level 3. As far as my reading of the LOS rules, they shouldn't block line of sight. (except maybe the adjacent hex.)


I'm sure you meant the buildings are at Level 1.

The poorly chosen color indicates what you can see. I chose pink because it is the universal color of danger and so these are the kill zones. (I actually chose a dark red but then added transparency, resulting in pink. Who knew that would happen? It could not have been predicted.)

From the rules (with the errata included):
Quote:
Within these aperture re-
strictions, an LOS cannot be traced
through a building hex at the same
elevation as both sighting hexes. If
the two hexes are at different ele-
vations, the LOS is blocked if the
building hex in question is closer
to the soldier at the lower eleva-
tion than to the soldier at the high-
er elevation.
If exactly equal, the
LOS is blocked. Note: The church
steeple in hex S13 on Map B is
two levels tall. It blocks the LOS
between hexes at Level 2 – hexes
Q14 and in hex U12, for example.
(See LOS Nr. 3)

I tried to apply this rule. For instance, V8 can't sight I4, because I4 is three spaces from the T-shaped building that line of sight goes through, while V8 is farther than that.

Make sense?

It is odd that the rules for buildings is so different from the rules for woods, rough, etc.
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Kristopher
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Yes I meant level 1.

But this doesn't make sense, since the level is two whole levels different. I can see if we're talking about the steeple, but we're talking single story buildings and a cliff two levels above it.

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Jesse Hughes
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Lhowser wrote:
Yes I meant level 1.

But this doesn't make sense, since the level is two whole levels different. I can see if we're talking about the steeple, but we're talking single story buildings and a cliff two levels above it.



I'm not arguing what makes sense. I'm just taking the rules as given and applying them without any judgment as to whether they make sense or not.

I could see using your rule (if the difference is greater than one elevation, the building blocks only the adjacent hex), but when I did the map, I wanted to follow the rules as stated, not a house rule variant which is more sensible.

The same point could be made regarding crest hexsides. They block all view, no matter the elevation of the hexes involved. What the heck must they look like? A level two crest blocks all level three sightings?

Embankment hexsides, too, block line of sight in weird ways. Level three sighting level one can't see the guy if there's a level two embankment between the two (not adjacent to the sighting soldier) no matter how far away the level one guy is. If the sighter is at Y1, the embankment at hex W1 and the fella at A1, with nothing but open in between, the sighting fails, per the official rules.
 
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