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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Novym Godom Comrade!: Scenario #5 rss

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David G. Cox Esq.
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Combat Commander: Europe


Scenario 5

Port Macquarie
May 19th, 2009

Comrade Cox vs Herr von Peake



Background

Selwyn and I are working our way through the Playbook. We have played scenario 1 twice, scenario 3 and are now up to scenario 5. We are playing all the East Front scenarios with me controlling the Soviets. When we finish in Russia we move to the U.S. scenarios I will, at that stage, take control of the Axis troops.

So far the score is 2:1 to Selwyn. I won the first game (cause I knew how to play the game). Selwyn has won the last two times we played. I feel that he was incredibly lucky both times – the first time I out-played him and was poised to win when the sudden-death ending came around. The second time I was extremely unlucky in a couple of crucial melees and managed to drag defeat from the jaws of victory.


Set-up
The Soviets set up first. I set up Sgt. Kovalev on my left, in the woods, with four squads. Sgt. Bikovets is placed in the building in the centre of my set-up area, with two squads. Sgt. Maisky is just behind Bikovets, in the brush, with two more squads. Sgt. Kaminsky is on my right, in the brush, with four squads.

Selwyn and I actually discussed his set-up. It looks like a big ask for the Axis as they have only three squads, one team and two leaders. However, they do have a heavy machine gun, two light machine guns and a satchel charge.

After discussing fire fields Selwyn placed Sgt. Ganz and a light machine gun in a building close to his edge of the board and on his right-hand side. Everything else went into the forests and buildings that were covering the bridge.


The Battle
I’ll be honest – I thought it would be a cake-walk – I had overwhelming numerical advantage, I had a leadership advantage and I had good quality troops with SMG Guard squads.

I was going to be patient and take my time to build a hand of cards. The plan would be to advance cautiously. Lay smoke, move next to the Germans, and then advance to melee. I would start collecting Ambush cards. The problem would be the smoke cards – the Russians only have three in their entire deck.

I started with two Ambush cards in my hand and little else. I discarded. Selwyn played a card in response that gave him reinforcements. He took a 12-strength radio. I made an advance in the centre with Bikovets and Kaminsky started to move his units towards the swamp on the right-hand edge. Next turn Kovalev moved his units through the forest on the left flank.

And then it all happened. The heavens opened up and unleashed an artillery bombardment like you have never even imagined. It was accurate and fell in the middle of Kovalev’s troops. Sgt. Ganz had the radio and he was calling it in. I had no recovery cards and Ganz followed up with a second bombardment and three of Kovalev’s four squads were eliminated. After only four or five turns I had lost one quarter of my squads and made no real progress. On top of that, Selwyn had a look at the cards in my hand and discarded the smoking card I had been holding.

Okay – I must change the plan. I had hoped to move Kovalev’s four squads against Ganz and felt that four squads and a leader would be, at least, a match for Ganz and his light machine gun – I just hadn’t counted on his artillery.

The plan is now to move Kovalev and his surviving squad to the protection of the building in the centre of the map. Meanwhile Bikovets, being one of my better leaders, takes most of the squads in the centre of the board to reinforce Kaminsky on the right. Maisky and one squad can occupy the building previously occupied by Bikovets – Maisky’s job is to stop any Germany units getting cheap victory points by exiting the map.

Shortly after Bikovets had taken most of the squads over to my right Selwyn got more reinforcements which popped up just near my map edge and promptly exited, gaining double victory points.

To make a long story short, I had lots of troops in the woods just across the road from the main German force. A couple of times I moved a single squad onto the road just to see if the Germans had a fire card – each time I discovered that they did.

Selwyn’s Lt. von Karsties called in the artillery and it actually landed in his hex and caused a lot of units to break. However, he had a recovery card and they pulled themselves together rather quickly.

I finally played a smoke card – damn! It is only a four.

One of my squads moved into the smoke-filled hex. He took a lot of fire. He broke a couple of times but Selwyn was not able to finish him off.

I played an advance and then two ambush cards. Selwyn played an ambush in response. The melee come down to an even dice roll. I was lucky to win and took out von Karsties, a squad and the heavy machine gun. I suddenly felt a shift in the initiative of the game. Up to that point I had felt frustrated. I was making little headway, losing units and causing no aggravation of any sort to my Swastika- loving opponent.

At this point I was able to start using Sgt. Bikovets and his large fire group to start shooting at the entrenched Germans across the road. Selwyn kept rallying them and brought Ganz across from the right-hand German flank. Selwyn wanted to use Ganz to call in more artillery.

I was able to eliminate a couple more German units in a shoot-out.

Meanwhile Koralev and his squad left the safety of their building and started advancing on my left, now that Ganz had vacated his trench.

At this point we had three rapid time checks. The German reinforcements (a mortar and team) appeared and Korvalev and his squad were able to move up, advance and melee with a plus 9 on the dice.

They were successful and we achieved an automatic victory as the Germans surrendered, having lost five units.


Aftermath

I really feel that Selwyn had been lucky to win the two previous encounters. This time I felt that I had been lucky to win. The battle had not gone according to plan. Selwyn had been lucky to get that artillery so quickly and had used it with great effect at the very start.

I felt that my plan was reasonable and that I had been a touch unlucky at the start of the game but was really lucky that the squad which managed to cross the road managed to survive the amount of bullets that were flying around it for quite some time before getting an advance card and then to win an even melee.

Combat Commander is an enjoyable gaming experience and I am starting to wonder, “do battles ever go according to plan and is luck ever going to be a small factor in deciding the outcome.”

On this occasion the game was really decided on a single roll of the dice. The melee between my single squad and Lt. von Karsties decided the game. It was an even dice roll and had I lost the melee I feel that Selwyn would have won easily. As it was, he lost his heavy machine gun, his best leader and his confidence. From that point on it was a fairly easy win for the Soviets - but it could just have easily gone the other way.

Interestingly, this is exactly the same as the finish to our previous game. In that situation I had a comfortable advantage but lost the initiative, and the game, on a single dice roll. In that instance I, too, lost my best commander who was at a significant location at a significant time. I went into that melee with plus three on the dice but ended up with a drawn result so all combatants were eliminated.





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David desJardins
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da pyrate wrote:
I started with two Ambush cards in my hand and little else. I discarded. Selwyn played a card in response that gave him reinforcements. He took a 12-strength radio.


You can't take a radio with the "Hidden Unit" action.
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Joel Langenfeld
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Thanks - I hadn't caught that one. Looks like I'm about due for a rules-review.
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John McLintock
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SkunkyBeer wrote:
Thanks - I hadn't caught that one. Looks like I'm about due for a rules-review.

There are 3 ways in which you can gain new units in CC:E, to wit:
1. Reinforcements event.
2. Infiltrators event.
3. Hidden Unit action.
Artillery can only be chosen during a Reinforcements event.
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Barry Ingram
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+ Walking Wounded event.
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John McLintock
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TommieSL wrote:

+ Walking Wounded event.

Erm...
JMcL63 wrote:
There are 3 ways in which you can gain new units in CC:E

That's a 'Gotcha!', I believe!
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