Steve M
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I've played Cold Front before, but played it so incorrectly I stopped halfway. Not this time, I was determined to play it through. Was it worth it? Short answer, it's always worth it with Combat Commander.

SCENARIO
1941, Russia. Winter kicks in and the Germans are surrounded by Siberian troops (The kind I imagine would have gone on to fight James Bond on skis during the Cold War..).
Double VPs for exiting troops (who wants to be here in the cold anyway?)

SETUP
Russians set up along edge of map, without MGs and anxious to move, as little cover is provided and a long trudge through the snow, marshes, and forests seems necessary.

Germans drop trenches (the only emplacements allowed all battle) and sit cozy in the central forest, overlooking the bridge and ravine. A fine view and a warm coffee, the Germans are settled in for the long haul with superior weaponry to put them at ease (Time: 5/13).

EARLY GAME
The Russians made immediate use of their mobility, pushing up through a southern marsh and into a thick forest, the exit objective within sight. A few buildings stood at the edge of the northern river and the Russians advanced into them as soon as possible, incurring the loss of a commander. This provided enough cover to successfully distract the German fire attacks during a planned push through to reinforcements. The Russians drew an objective, The Bridge for an extra VP, not great news with the score in German hands.

First Russian Advance


MID GAME
The Germans rarely moved during the early game, taking as many fire opportunities as possible and simply trying to burn time, knowing full well they couldn't uproot and leave their posts, they needed to prepare themselves for the fire fights ahead.. The Russians would reinforce after pushing valiantly through tremendous German fire power on the north and south flanks, incurring minor losses. In each case, the troops heading home outnumbered the casualties. The VP count had now barely tipped in Russian favour.

The Breakthrough


END GAME
Troops, weaponry and command were now breaking down all over the battlefield. In many cases some Russian troops had barely been able to function since arriving at the scene and gave way to eventual panic, routing clear out of sight.

Time was drawing near and only barely within Russia's control. Both sides were now akin to their original positioning, facing off across the river. As the remaining forces scrambled for cover, the German HMG squad and Sgt. Kovalev suddenly sprinted for the bridge, running clear through to the Russian outposts, setting up in a house within range of the fresh Russian reinforcements. Taking fire every step of the way, they arrived unscathed and ready to lay down the hammer, eagerly trying to slip past the reinforcement line.

Contemplating the run..


Russian troops burst forth into the adjacent forest to backup their suppressed and shell shocked troops, exchanging fire with the German squad. A lone Russian squad ran across the Bridge, retaking the Secret 1VP, now of extreme importance with the score wavering at 0.

Desperate for even a few immediate VPs and no option to run, the Germans jumped into the woods and engaged in melee, outright ambushing an extra commander the Russians had brought forward. Despite their attempts, the Germans were over their heads in such extreme weather and the Siberian troops proved victorious, immediately killing the forward German forces.

As the lone forward Russian squad ran for reinforcements, a fire broke out and displaced them as a German team was awaiting their movement into a clear LOS. They broke out of fear, certain the end was near. As soon as they were down, the Soviet Hero appeared, rallied the squad and ran to victory, sealing the Russian win. Retreating into the tree line, the Siberian troops await the German retreat.

The Russian Hero arrives*

*although when he heads home, off to the Gulags! - I've been reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.. :(
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70561.The_Gulag_Archipela...

THOUGHTS
Wow. It took me awhile to play though this on my own, but I'm glad I kept going. Most of the action appeared Mid-Late game and some really difficult moments for both sides really shined light on how balanced and interesting this Scenario is. I'd like to see what the Russians can do with a large enough fire group - they weren't able to move too many troops at once and simply ran when they could, desperate for reinforcements. The Germans were too outnumbered to move much at all, although I still think the frantic push in the late game was a worthwhile shot, it really did come close.

Final Map


Final Score
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Richard Pardoe
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Nice report...looking at the Final Map - just wanted to mention that BLAZE can't be placed in water terrain. So no burning marsh - even if it is frozen cold.
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Steve M
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RPardoe wrote:
Nice report...looking at the Final Map - just wanted to mention that BLAZE can't be placed in water terrain. So no burning marsh - even if it is frozen cold.


Interesting, I wasn't aware Marsh was considered water terrain.. it's hard enough to move through, a blaze didn't help!
 
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Richard Pardoe
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ececec wrote:
Interesting, I wasn't aware Marsh was considered water terrain.


* Water Barrier
* Stream
* Marsh

are all considered water terrain as mentioned in the rules (and noted on the Terrain Chart).
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David Janik-Jones
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Great War Commander, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander Europe, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Combat Commander Pacific
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Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzy┼╝ Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
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Great AAR. I'm in the mid-point of this scenario over Vassal and the Germans (me) are in a desperate situation. My HMG was the one broken at the start of the scenario and a random event fell at the wrong range and eliminated the HMG leaving my weapon's team without. Drags. Only in mistake have the Russians managed to move into the marsh and force action on my part. Great scenario, this one. Thanks for the AAR.
 
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Steve M
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DaveyJJ wrote:
Great AAR. I'm in the mid-point of this scenario over Vassal and the Germans (me) are in a desperate situation. My HMG was the one broken at the start of the scenario and a random event fell at the wrong range and eliminated the HMG leaving my weapon's team without. Drags. Only in mistake have the Russians managed to move into the marsh and force action on my part. Great scenario, this one. Thanks for the AAR.


I really like this scenario. The limited options for safe passage for the Russians is quite interesting, I believe the marsh route is the safest, but it is extremely costly and opens into road hexes, making it risky without smoke grenades.
 
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