Chick Lewis
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Claremont
California
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Played two games of scenario 38 "Not One Step Back", the one with the Russians in the DEEP gully, completely exposed to devastating firepower of the Germans on the ridge above them. Both Russian leaders are likely to die promptly, leaving the Russian player to muddle on as best he can.

Frustration levels for the Russian player can get pretty high, as he has zero advantages. German fire attacks are generally 14 to 18 firepower, and no place to hide from them. Short ranges of the Russian units mean he can sometimes make 4-firepower attacks in return. In general, Fire cards are nearly as useless to the Russians as Command Confusions. Russian squads can't even make smoke. Their '6' broken morale makes it difficult to recover them. I found myself hoarding 'Light Wounds' actions in my four card hand. Russian squads die right and left.

Both games in which I commanded the Russians ended in Russian surrender. However, in both cases I was ahead on points, and sudden death had not occurred on time trigger eight, as by the odds it should have. Yep, Russians got hammered and frustrated all game, but VERY NEARLY WON in each game.

So scenario 38 seems to me to be VERY well balanced.

This got me to thinking. Since this is one of Kai's scenarios, and she is detail-oriented and smart, the fact that the Russians are compelled to suffer so much abuse and frustration must be deliberately designed into the scenario.

Yep, that is the key. To win as Russians in this scenario you must get your heart into the same place as a poor unsophisticated Russian infantryman who has been ordered to take NOT ONE STEP BACK ! You see your officers die, and your friends butchered around you, but you must be stalwart, resolute, and hold on in the face of overwhelming force. You must maneuver your lonely squad to best advantage, staying alive as long as possible, but knowing that ultimately, merely slowing down the Germans is worth your own life.

With the above realization, I like scenario 38, and want to play it as Russians a third time. I know I can win it, with play which is a bit more clever, and with, perhaps, just a bit more luck.

Chick
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dustin boggs
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Victoria
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I found playing the Russians you almost have to have a commissar mentality and push even when you feel you shouldn't.
 
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David desJardins
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Burlingame
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I don't think it's balanced or even close. Same as the invasion scenario in CC. Could it be won on a lucky day? Perhaps. But balanced? No way.
 
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Christopher
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So does anybody have a new perspective on this scenario, with a strategy that might work for the Russians?

We played this yesterday, and it was possibly the shortest game we ever played.

The infantry gun team was wiped out in mere seconds, and then one by one the Russians were shot to pieces or routed off the map. The Germans never bothered to leave their starting positions, except a couple of times to burn Move cards. There was never any threat at all to the Germans.

It seemed like a waste of time to play this one.



 
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Kai Jensen
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Santa Rosa
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Just read an AAR today by Gary Barr where he won this scenario with the Russians here. Just wish I remembered how to link to another thread... blush Did that work?

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Mark Buetow
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McHenry
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Move! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
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pitferret wrote:
Just read an AAR today by Gary Barr where he won this scenario with the Russians here. Just wish I remembered how to link to another thread... blush Did that work?



Yep.
 
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Christopher
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Looks like it was a fun game, but it's not clear from the AAR why the Germans rushed the bridge with a single leader and squad (with all those Russians so close by), leaving the rest of their forces on top of the hill, out of command and possibly out of LOS.
 
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Mattwran
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LONGMEADOW
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So I discovered a strategy to win this scenario with the Russians. It consists of being dealt the Pillbox in your opening hand, plopping it down on the bridge, and advancing in a squad plus leader into it to help out the weapon team (I had started a leader and squad nearby). Then in the redraw draw a reinforcement action, shift a unit out of a cover hex to make room, and then roll a medium machine gun team from the support table. The machine gun helped cover the approaches to the bridge and objective 4 plus the units in the pillbox were nearly impossible to break and could recover easily. The Germans were solidly behind on VP when the time ran out.

Clearly all due to my skillful play!
 
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Alexei Gartinski
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Amman
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Did something similar to what Mattwran suggested in my recent re-play of this scenario, though the Pillbox appeared on the bridge almost at the end of the game... The Russians won relatively easily, but mostly because the Germans advanced down the hill towards the bridge (which in this scenario cost 5 VPs) and into the gully, and found themselves within range and LOS of most Russian units, including their deadly gun! So the "two leaders who died" in this game were Germans...
 
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