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Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #1» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Learning ASLSK series: S2 War of the Rats rss

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Jonathan Davis
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Wake Forest
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Today I realized that what I'm doing here in this series is much along the same lines of what Scrub is trying to do with his blog: http://triplepbf.blogspot.com. I've been reading it and enjoying it. My idea for this series came from frustration in trying to look rules up while playing S1 solo the other day. His blog didn't consciously factor in, but I might not thought of doing this if it weren't for his blog. So kudos to Scrub and his blog and the inspiration (that's such a cheesy word, I mean it in a non-cheesy way) he's been to many.

So, onto capturing Stalingrad! I decided to cheer for the Germans again. I wasn't nearly aggressive enough with them in Vierville, and I wanted another try. They also had all the toys. I thought this scenario would be kind of a snooze. Line 'em up and knock 'em down. Then I decided to make a concerted effort to actually use the DCs and FTs at any cost just so I could get some experience using them.

The setup: The Russians decided to try putting a big kill stack in J5 with the MMG & LMG and a nice leader. They also put lined up a few squads in E8 through H6, and threw a few squads and an LMG to guard the Eastern edge. The Germans realized that in this type of scenario where everyone's lined up, kill stacks don't make all that much sense because you lose a lot of flexibility for little ol' leadership modifier. Consequently, the Germans lined up all the MGs in hexes H5-L2. Lining up in L2 was to keep those units in long range of the eastern Russians who had a whopping range of 2! The Germans threw the rest of the soldiers to the west. I gave the 9-* leaders the DCs with the hopes to get them to blow up the Russian kill stack, and I put the FT in the far west to mop up any Russians that way who broke. With the defeat of that hex, the German strategy became "divide and conquer."

There is way too much to recount, so I'll just hit the highlights. The second leader with a DC was able to plant it on the kill stack successfully, blowing them to smithereens. It took breaking the whole hex to do it successfully, and even still, he had to do it wounded.

Following giving up those small buildings, the central russian force retreated back to victory building L6, quickly getting caught in CC with a lone German leader. The leader managed to lock them in, so that the Germans were then able to maneuver in the FT (long story on how he gave up trying to fight the Western russians) to fry them all, with only the German leader surviving, unscathed! It was in the process of taking the L6 building that I remembered my desire to use smoke more often. The Scenario SSR was what reminded me. ("Talloaf, don't forget smoke next time!")

For most of the game, the O6 was occupied by only a leader and two broken units with very low broken-side morales (4 and 5). The Germans sent some troops in to eliminate for failure to rout, so that they could worry about building F8 free and clear. By then, though it was turn 5, the Russians had vastly reinforced building F8, and the Germans just ran out of time. As a moral victory, the Germans captured all but one Russian MGs, but they all broke on their first shots.

Some rules I goofed: Once or twice I accidently ELRed when I should have casualty reduced him. I completely forgot that the B# of a MG is reduced by 2 in SFF/DFF. I also completely forgot that MMGs can't move and then be fired in that turns AFPh, either one or the other. I forgot briefly that orchards negate Interdiction. Also, apparently wounded SMCs do not get 6MF when they rout. I definitely played that they did. I forgot that non-elite MMCs tend to break FTs, but I realized that early on enough to justify starting the scenario all over, with a new setup. On several occasions I definitely forgot the -1 IFT DRM for attacks against the German FT.
Oops.

Some rules I needed to look up: Broken units cannot drop SW within their IPC limit when they rout. SMCs are in fact considered elite so DCs and FTs do not suffer a -2 X#. FTs cannot join in on a FG. Units cannot drop SWs in APh.

One last question for all of you, is it appropriate to log solo plays on ROAR?

Strategy lessons: Leaders are definitely the best choice to place DCs. They'll take a lot of abuse moving next to an enemy. The can assault move into the smokey, adjacent hex, and still have enough MF to place the DC.Just remember to lay smoke for them.

Another lesson is that time management is critical. It doesn't matter how ovewhelming you take two of the three victory buildings. You still have to cross a large greenway and clear the entire building of Germans in the few turns that are left. Part of this was my inexperience and failure to gauge just how much you can actually accomplish each turn.

I did use smoke with some success. Smoke exponents of 4 are your friend.

Stacking was a bad idea for the Russians. The lack of stacking in the W is what saved the day for them. Well that and skulking. The Germans were completely ineffective over there.

Lastly, if I were to play the Germans again, I would not use the divide and conquer. If you need some reinforcements in one of your divisions, there isn't enough time to get them from the other side of the board. Drive the Russians out systematically from E to W, or preferably W to E.
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the scrub
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Thanks for the kudos! Much appreciated. Sometimes I have no idea is anyone is even reading the darn thing. But I realized that just doing it is helping me learn.

And thanks for the AARs/session reports! We all have to get the word out that ASL is pretty awesome!
 
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Martijn Vos
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I also decided that leaders are best for handling DCs. I haven't played this scenario yet, but considering

1. the MF needed to place a DC,
2. the defense fire you can expect when placing a DC and leaders' higher morale,
3. DCs are one-use weapons and leaders usually need to stay a bit behind the squads,

this all adds up to leaders being perfect DC handlers. Just the threat of a leader that might run forward and place a DC when the defender uses up all his defensive fire might be enough for the defender to not shoot so much during your MPh. If that works, it might even be better not to use DCs at all, but only threaten with them. Of course when he does fire all his defensive fire at other targets, take that opportunity to place the DC somewhere nasty.

Also, stacking sounds like a really bad idea when you're facing FTs and DCs. In your position, I'd have put the FT opposite the Russian kill stack. Prep Firing an FT on a big stack is about as good as it gets for the Germans.
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