Patrick DeGeest
United States
Fort Pierce
Florida
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Yes, you read that right... a 34-5 whoopin! Unfortunately, I was Germany. My buddy Jake was Russia. Here's a quick summary of our latest game session:

TURN 1- Things were pretty even during the first turn. As the Germans, I used a little smoke as cover while I maneuvered into better positions. We traded some shots and had some exciting infantry battles. By the end of the turn, each side managed to kill 2 units and Russia kept all control markers. Things were pretty even at this point.

TURN 2- The first 90% of this turn was more uneventful maneuvering. I also sent a couple units toward the control markers on map 4 but couldn't quite reach them. Near the end of turn 2, I noticed the Russians were very low on resources (at least visibly) and decided to rush the Russian position on the hill. I sent some tanks up the hill and ran headfirst into a Russian ambush. I managed to kill 1 unit and hit 2 others but, largely thanks to the ambush, I lost 3 units in the process. By the end of turn 2, things were looking bad for Germany.

TURN 3- By turn 3, Germany was now in the unenviable position of having to break through a strong defense while being outnumbered in both units and CAPs. Germany managed to take the control markers on map 4 (which weren't worth anything at this point) but Russia easily mopped up the remainder of my failed hill assault thanks to some hot rolling. I only managed to destroy a Russian truck. By this point, Russia had essentially won the game... and all before the T-34s had entered the battle.

TURN 4- The game was pretty much over but we played one more turn to see the T-34s in action. They re-took the lost control markers and steam-rolled most of my remaining units. I managed to finish off a damaged Russian tank for my lowly 5th VP.

TURN 5- Germany Surrenders immediately. We still gave Russia the final control marker points to come up with the painful 34-5 score... MEDIC!
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JL Meseguer
Spain
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Great review, Pat.

I have played this scenario 5 times, 4 with the Germans (2 loss - 2 wins) and once with the Russians (1 win).

Last 2 times I played with the Germans I won using this tactic:
1. I placed smoke directly in front of the Russian AT and used my other infantry tank to assault it in turn 1.

2. I then moved my artillery and dropped them in front of the first hill and in following turns used the trucks to "annoy" the Russian (basically, contest or conquer the control markers) and the artillery to try lucky shots, specially if the Russian shows them his tanks' flank.

3. I don't get in CC with the Russian tanks unless the Russian leaves himself very open (he may always have one nasty card hidden, as I experienced in my first games).

4. I used the Armored Transport to go deep and take control of the south-eastern control marker in turn 1 (I need 1-2 CAPs for that). Then took control of the other control marker in turn 2.

5. And I keep always 2-3 CAPs to be able to escape if the Russian activates hidden units. Because it is easier for the Germans to manoeuvre, I could almost always shoot at the Russians flank armour, while he was forced to shoot at my front. In a static exchange of fire the Germans have a lot of chances to lose this scenario.

6. And I was a bit lucky with the rolls, )

As Russian, I think the best strategy is to wait as much as you can before starting to activate your units. The problem for the Russian is that he can only shoot once per unit, so if the German does not get close enough you run the risk of shooting once and missing, so better to shoot only when you have a high chance of hitting or destroying a German tank.
 
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Patrick DeGeest
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Florida
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Yea, I'd definitely like another shot at this one to try an alternate strategy... I think 34-5 is the biggest losing/winning margin I've seen on these forums.

Your strategy seemed much better. I definitely should have used more smoke than I did and moving in for CC probably lost the game for me.

Was your artillery effective up there? You'd have to get them in pretty close to avoid the long range penalty in which case they seem like they'd be sitting ducks with their low defense. Although my plan of sending them to take the control markers on map 4 obviously wasn't the right choice.

After my debacle, I read the other 'Bunker' reports and saw a comment from Ewe basically saying that the first hill is a trap and its best for the Germans to just go around to the 2nd set of objectives. I didn't even think of that (I think my brain has been corrupted by the 'just blow-up your opponent' mentality of many war games) but I like that each FF is wide open and can be approached with many different strategies.
 
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JL Meseguer
Spain
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The German artillery is not very effective in this scenario, but:

1. The Russian won't spend his tanks' actions to shoot at these units even when they are loaded on a truck (unless he is adjacent or in CC), because he'll prefer to try and shoot at the German tanks.
I made sure that they were far enough from the Russian infantry in the woods, though (anyway, the AT gun and the Russian infantry in the woods are the first Russian units I try to destroy).
I placed them so that they are 5 hexes from the control markers of the 1st hill so that they don't get the -2 to their firepower.

2. In the first turn, I move the artillery and trucks just after taking care of the AT gun in the forest. This means that almost all my tanks are fresh and the Russian player will think it twice before spending his resources to shoot a truck so early in the turn.

3. Because I surrounded the hill with my main force of tanks and went for the objectives on map 4, usually the Russian tanks will be showing their flank armor to the artillery (so not to show their flank to your tanks). That means that you'll need 9-11 to hit a tank. Considering that each artillery can shoot 3 times per turn, it's not too bad.

4. I always leave one German tank to move last near the artillery units. That way, the Russian will think twice before sending a tank to CC your artillery. I leave the tank behind one small wooded hex, so that it won't be easy for the Russian tanks to shoot at it.
 
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