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Subject: My Return to St. Nazaire rss

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Mike W
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It had been over two decades since I had last played Raid on St Nazaire. I wrote up the details of those dozen games from long ago in a session report. The warm reception to those AARs by the few fans of ROSN inspired me to get the game back to the table. And I wanted to write a detailed blow-by-blow session report of a fresh game.

I decided to first play a rules-refresh game to reacquaint myself with everything. It did not go so well...

Session MW13
I ended up with only 10.6 VPs for a staggering loss. But I also realized after the play that I made a couple big rules errors that greatly affected my results. The biggest mistake I made was requiring my boats to use 2 movement factors to move from the Approach to Zone A on 0128 turn, misreading the rule about needing 2 MFs through the Approach to Open Sea. Courtesy of this mistake, the Campbletown was sunk in Zone C before ramming the Southern Caisson and landing her 6 commando teams. The other early naval combat error I made was on the 0134 turn. I did not limit the Dockside Defensive Fire to 5 guns in Zone A. Since 6 guns could target Zone A, I did not bother to roll for hits since even a 6 would not need a modifier to hit. Not to say that I would not have had 12 DDF hits anyway without the mistake. So I am glad that I played the practice game first to refresh the rules. And now for the main event...

A note on nomenclature: G2/245 = 2-strength Stosstruppen unit in area 245, G4/5-1 = 4-strength unit in reinforcement area 5 (11-36), G2/6-2 = in reinforcement area 6 (41-66)

Session MW14

0128
Harbor Defense and Dockside Defensive Fire (6 Hits each):
Designated Campbeltown = MC (2 Crew, 1 Brett)
1. TML270/15 = FIRE
2. TML270/15 = SUNK
3. ML447/21 = MC (3 crew, 3 Birney, ammo loss) + Evade
4. ML446/23 = MC (Speed Loss, 1 crew, 1 Hodgson)
5. ML446/23 = KO + Turn Away
6. ML457/25 = KO
7. ML457/25 = Evade
8. ML307/31 = MC (2 crew, 1 Bradley) + Evade
9. ML307/31 = MC (2 crew, 2 Bradley, ammo loss)
10. ML306/35 = KO + Turn Away
11. ML267/51 = MC (3 crew, 2 Moss, ammo loss) + Turn Away
12. ML268/53 = C (Pennington) + Evade
Covering Fire: No Hits
Naval Move: TML160/41 torpedo destroys Sperrbrecher137(300)
German Activation: G2/245, G2/5-1, G4/5-1

Not a bad start. Only faced half of the possible shots from HDF and DDF. Only lost 1 boat on 0128, and none are on Fire. The situation at the end of 0128:



0134
Harbor Defense:
Designated Campbeltown = MC (speed loss, 3 crew, 3 Brett)
1. ML298/63 = MC (2 crew) + Evade
2. MGB314/13 = MC (1 crew)
3. ML267/51 = Evade
4. Campbeltown = MC (2 crew, 2 Smalley)
5. ML192/43 = MC (speed loss, 1 crew, 1 Burn) + Evade
6. ML192/43 = C + Evade
7. ML307/31 = KO + Turn Away (note only 1 crew remains)
8. ML457/25 = MC (1 crew, 1 Walton) + Evade
9. miss - Zone B no searchlight (412 in Z, 342 in A, 142 in C)
Covering Fire: 336-gun disrupted
Dockside Defensive Fire (A = 3 guns, B = 4 guns):
A1. ML307/31 = C (Bradley) + Evade
A2. ML457/25 = C + Evade (now Turn Away)
A3. ML307/31 = C (Bradley, ammo loss) + Evade
A4. miss (dr 6)
B1. ML262/45 = KO + Turn Away
B2. ML443/33 = MC (2 crew, 1 Wilson) + Evade
B3. miss (dr 6)
Landing: Birney (3, 2 ammo) and Wilson (5) at 336; Newman, Hooper, and Haines at 366
German Activation: G6/262, G4/156, G2/146, G4/443
German Move #: 5
Land Combat:
1. Birney grenade destroys disrupted 336-gun
2. 344-gun misses Wilson

Another good turn. No boats lost, none on Fire, boots on the ground. The situation at the end of 0134:



0140
Harbor Defense:
Designated Campbeltown = KO (one more hit could sink her!)
1. TML160/41 = FIRE + MC (2 crew)
2. ML262/45 = KO
3. ML268/53 = MC (2 crew, 1 Pennington) + Turn Away
4. ML268/53 = KO + Turn Away
5. TML156/55 = MC (3 crew) + Turn Away
6. MGB314/13 = C + Evade
7. MGB314/13 = KO + Turn Away
8. ML457/25 = C + Evade
9. ML447/21 = KO + Turn Away
10. TML156/55 = KO (dr 6, Searchlight 142 secures hit)
11. ML306/35 = MC (3 crew, 2 Swayne)
12. ML192/43 = FIRE + MC (2 crew, 2 Burn)
Covering Fire: no hits
Dockside Defensive Fire (A = 3, B = 0, C = 5):
A1. ML267/51 = KO + Turn Away
A2. miss (dr 6)
C1. MGB314/13 = FIRE + KO
C2. TML160/41 = KO
C3. MGB314/13 = Evade (dr 6, hit secured due to Fire)
C4. miss (dr 6)
Naval Move: Campbeltown rams Southern Caisson with speed 1, MGB314/13 and TML160/41 both on fire and abandoned, TML177/61 torpedoes Lock Gate/212 with No Effect
Landing: Swayne (4) and Burn* (3) at 336; Woodcock at 366; Campbeltown teams at 111 (full strength except Smalley 4, Brett 2)
German Activation: G2/6-1, G6/6-1, G4/6-2, G2/152
German Move #: 4
British Land Combat:
1. Birney disrupts 344-gun
2. Roy disrupts 222A-gun
3. Roderick disrupts 222B-gun
German Land Combat:
1. Haines loses 1 point and 1 ammo to Long Range Fire from 462-gun
Demolition: Smalley preps and destroys the Southern Winding Station/216

* I did not realize until the 0222 turn that I landed Burn at the wrong location (336 rather than 366). His boat was on Fire, so he most likely would not have made it to 366. He did play a meaningful role in the Old Town, so please don’t invalidate the rest of the session due to this mistake.



0146
Restore: 344-gun, 222A-gun
Harbor Defense:
Designated Campbeltown = Evade
Designated ML192/43 = MC (2 crew) ---> SUNK
1. ML306/35 = Evade
2. MTB74/65 = C + Evade
3. ML306/35 = MC (2 crew) ---> SUNK
4. ML262/45 = MC (1 crew) + Evade
5. ML457/25 = C (Walton) + Evade
6. ML268/53 = FIRE + KO
7. ML457/25 = C (Walton) + Evade (now Turn Away)
8. TML156/55 = FIRE + MC (2 crew) ---> SUNK
9. ML267/51 = KO + Turn Away
10. miss (dr 5, Zone B no searchlight)
Covering Fire: no hits
Dockside Defensive Fire (A = 3, B = 0, C = 3):
A1. miss (dr 5)
C1. ML262/45 = MC (3 crew) ---> SUNK
C2. ML298/63 = Evade
C3. Campbeltown = KO (only 1 crew left)
C4. ML268/53 = MC (2 crew, 2 Pennington) ---> SUNK
C5. miss (dr 6)
Landing: Hodgson (5) and Bradley (1, 1 ammo) at 336
German Activation: G2/6-2, G4/412, G2/212, G4/426
German Move #: 2



British Land Combat:
1. Roy disrupts 222A-gun
2. Roderick grenade destroys disrupted 222B-gun
3. Smalley hits 2 points off G4/245
4. Purdon eliminates G2/245
5. Newman and Hooper eliminate G6/231
6. Haines eliminates G2/212
7. Birney disrupts 344-gun
8. Burn grenade destroys disrupted 344-gun
German Land Combat:
1. 462-gun long range fire misses Hooper
2. 434B-gun long range fire misses Woodcock
3. G2/245 misses Purdon
Demolition:
1. Woodcock preps and destroys Swing Bridge/211
2. Chant preps but has No Effect/Charges at Risk at Pump House/222
3. Wilson preps and destroys Power Station/315
4. Campbeltown is SCUTTLED by single remaining crew



0152
Harbor Defense:
Designated - None
1. miss (dr 6)
Covering Fire: no hits
Dockside Defensive Fire (A = 3, B = 1, C = 0):
A1. ML267/51 = KO ---> SUNK
A2. ML447/21 = KO + Turn Away
A3. miss (dr 6)
B1. miss (dr 6)
Landing: Walton (4) at 336
German Activation: G6/411, G2/353, G2/5-2...ALERT LEVEL 2...G2/234, G2/143
German Move #: 6
British Land Combat:
1. Roy grenade destroys disrupted 222A-gun
2. Roderick eliminates G2/245
3. Hodgson and Swayne eliminate G6/321
German Land Combat:
1. 462-gun long range fire misses
2. 434B-gun long range fire misses
3. G2/234 misses Roderick
Demolition:
1. Purdon fails prep on Northern Winding Station/253 (dr 6, needed 5 or less)
2. Chant again No Effect on Pump House/222

The last commando team lands. Succeeded in landing 17 of 19 teams, only Moss and Pennington did not make it. Four teams were half strength or worse on landing (Brett, Birney, Bradley, Burn). I was conservative this turn with Swayne and Wilson in the Old Town due to the German units on the other side of Swing Bridge/321. But the German Move Number at 6 slowed them down.



0158
Restore: All 4 Searchlights restored to power
Harbor Defense:
1. ML307/31 = C ---> SUNK
2. miss (dr 6)
Covering Fire: no hits
Dockside Defensive Fire (A = 3, B = 1, C = 0):
A1. ML447/21 = C ---> SUNK (no more targets in Zone A)
B1. Miss (dr 6)
Naval Move: ML443/33 passes from Open Sea to England (4 crew, 0 passengers)
German Activation: G2/5-1, G4/465, G4/5-1, G4/134, G2/236, G2/433, G6/331
German Move #: 5



British Land Combat:
1. Wilson eliminates G4/427
2. Hodgson and Swayne hit 3 points off G6/331 (should say only 3 points...)
3. Newman, Hooper, and Smalley hit 5 points off G6/262
4. Roy eliminates G2/233
German Land Combat:
1. G4/155 and G2/143 miss Roderick
2. G3/331 eliminates Swayne
3. 434B-gun long range fire misses
Demolition:
1. Purdon preps and destroys Northern Winding Station/253
2. Chant damages Pump House/222

I lose my first commando team on the ground, and it was a demo team that had not yet gotten its primary target. Most blame lies with Hodgson causing only 1 point off G6/331.

0204
Harbor Defense:
1. ML446/23 = MC (dead in water, 2 crew)
2. ML446/23 = C
3. ML457/25 = MC (2 crew) ---> SUNK
4. ML446/23 = KO ---> SUNK (no more targets)
Naval Move: TML177/61, ML298/63, and MTB74/65 pass from Open Sea to England (15 crew, 11 passengers)
German Activation: G4/5-2, G6/352, G2/215, G4/145, G4/233, G6/423, G6/154
German Move #: 5



British Land Combat:
1. Hodgson eliminates G3/331
2. Haines hits 3 points off G6/351
3. Hooper eliminates G1/262
4. Newman disrupts 462-gun
5. Roderick hits 2 points off G4/155
6. Roy eliminates G2/143
German Land Combat:
1. G3/351 misses Haines
2. G2/433 misses Walton
3. G2/155 misses Roy
4. 434B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Hodgson
5. 464B-gun long range fire misses Newman
Demolition:
1. Chant preps and destroys Pump House/222
2. Brett preps but has No Effect/Charges at Risk at Northern Caisson/256

0210
Restore: 462-gun
German Activation: G6/463, G4/456, G6/256(return-occupied), G6/5-2
German Move #: 3



British Land Combat:
1. Haines eliminates G3/351
2. Hodgson eliminates G2/433
3. Roderick eliminates G6/143
4. Smalley misses G4/143
5. Roy and Hooper eliminate G6/492
6. Newman disrupts 462-gun
German Land Combat:
1. G4/488 hits 3 points off Newman
2. G4/494 hits 4 points off Hooper
3. G4/143 misses Roderick
4. G2/155 misses Roderick
5. 434B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Hodgson
6. 464B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Hooper
Demolition:
1. Wilson preps and destroys Swing Bridge/321
2. Walton preps and damages Swing Bridge/343
3. Purdon preps but has No Effect/Charges at Risk at Swing Bridge/261
4. Brett destroys Northern Caisson/256 (needed to roll a 1)

0216
Restore: 462-gun
German Activation: G6/422, G2/213...ALERT LEVEL 3...G4/444
German Move #: 6



British Land Combat:
1. Roderick disrupts 462-gun
2. Newman grenade destroys 462-gun
3. Hooper misses G4/494
4. Roy eliminates G4/494
5. Hodgson and Woodcock eliminate G6/428
6. Birney hits 4 points off G6/422
7. Burn misses G6/413
German Land Combat:
1. G6/413 eliminates Burn
2. G2/422 misses Birney
3. G4/488 misses Newman
4. 434B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Haines
5. 464B-gun long range fire misses Roy
Demolition:
1. Wilson preps but has No Effect/Charges at Risk at Lock Gates/313
2. Bradley preps but has No Effect/Charges at Risk at Lock Gates/331
3. Walton preps but has No Effect/Charges at Risk at Swing Bridge/343
4. Purdon waits until Newman and Hooper cross back to Zone 2 before attempting Swing Bridge/261 again. (I later realize it would have been better here to send everyone across the 261 bridge into Zone 4, and try to exit survivors at Reinforcement Area 6(11-36). I feared the guns at 464 and German reinforcements coming from Area 6.)

The turn of self-sacrifice: Burn, Birney, and Hodgson rush into Zone 4 to give the demo teams time to destroy targets 313, 331, and 343. Newman and Hooper hold their ground despite casualties to buy time for target 261.

0222
Naval Withdrawal: Group 6
German Activation: G4/6-2, G6/156, G6/354, G4/243
German Move #: 1


British Land Combat:
1. Birney grenade attack eliminates G6-G6-G4/410 !!
2. Hodgson eliminates G6/448
3. Walton hits 5 points off G6/448
4. Roy eliminates G4/492
German Land Combat:
1. G1/448 misses Haines
2. G6/354 hits 1 point off Haines
3. 434B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Haines
4. 464B-gun long range fire misses Roy
Demolition:
1. Wilson destroys Lock Gates/313
2. Bradley damages Lock Gates/331
3. Walton destroys Swing Bridge/343
4. Purdon has No Effect on Swing Bridge/261

Things were looking bleak at the Old Town bridges, but some lucky British attacks buy time for the demo teams to work on their targets.



0228
Naval Withdrawal: none
German Activation: G4/6-2, G6/326, G4/5-1, G6/215, G6/263, G4/5-1
German Move #: 6
British Land Combat:
1. Hodgson misses G1/448
2. Roy and Roderick eliminate G6/263
German Land Combat:
1. G1/448 misses Hodgson
2. 434B-gun long range fire misses
3. 464B-gun long range fire misses
Demolition:
1. Walton preps Lock Gates/331, but will wait for Birney to cross
2. Purdon damages Swing Bridge/261

0234
Naval Withdrawal: Group 1
German Activation: G6/6-1, G6/244, G6/5-1, G2/311
German Move #: 1
British Land Combat:
1. Bradley and Haines miss G2/327
2. Wilson misses G6/325
3. Birney eliminates G1/448
German Land Combat:
1. G6/325 hits 3 points off Wilson
2. G2/327 misses Haines
3. 434B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Birney
4. 464B-gun long range fire misses Roy
Demolition:
1. Walton still waiting for Birney to cross back to the Old Town
2. Purdon preps but has No Effect/Charges at Risk at Swing Bridge/261

0240
Naval Withdrawal: none
German Activation: G4/151, G6/332, G6/5-1, G2/5-2
German Move #: 2
British Land Combat:
1. Birney and Hodgson eliminate G6/331
2. Haines misses G2/327
3. Roy and Purdon eliminate G6/492
4. Hooper and Smalley miss G6/245
5. Chant eliminates G6/245
6. Roderick hits 1 point off G6/232
German Land Combat:
1. G6/324 eliminates Wilson
2. G2/327 eliminates Haines
3. G5/231, G6/126, and G4/126 eliminate Roderick
4. G4/126 and G4/233 hit 5 points off Chant
5. 434B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Hodgson
6. 464B-gun long range fire misses Roy
Demolition:
1. Walton destroys Lock Gates/331
2. Purdon destroys Swing Bridge/261

I was a little too aggressive moving toward the Southern Caisson this turn. I had dreams of taking out the couple ships in the Normandie dock and exiting out of Area 6(41-66). Instead a low German Move Number put Roderick and Chant into a crossfire to be cut to pieces. This is when I realized moving across the 261 bridge to Zone 4 is a better plan. Next turn Roy and Purdon will abandon their comrades and move to Zone 4.



0246
Naval Withdrawal: Group 5
German Activation: G2/254, G2/123...ALERT LEVEL 4...G6/264, G8/5-1, G6/6-1, G6/113, G6/6-2
German Move #: 2
British Land Combat:
1. Roy disrupts 464B-gun
2. Newman and Smalley eliminate G4/206
3. Bradley eliminates G2/327
4. Hodgson hits 1 point off G6/319
German Land Combat:
1. G5/207 eliminates Chant
2. G5/319 eliminates Birney
3. 434B-gun long range fire hits 1 point off Woodcock

0252
Restore: 464B-gun
Naval Withdrawal: Group 3
German Activation: G6/344, G4/432, G2/5-2, G4/445, G6/112, G4/466, G6/351
German Move #: 3
British Land Combat:
1. Hodgson grenade attack eliminates G5/332
2. Woodcock hits 2 points off G6/352
3. Walton hits 2 points off G6/352
4. Newman hits 2 points off G5/253 but Hooper and Smalley miss
5. Purdon eliminates G4/466
6. Roy hits 5 points off G6/465
German Land Combat:
1. G4/352 hits 1 point off Woodcock
2. G4/352 hits 1 point off Walton
3. G2/253 hits 2 points off Newman
4. 434B-gun long range fire misses Hodgson
5. 464B-gun long range fire misses Roy



0258
Naval Withdrawal: none
German Activation: G4/222, G6/231, G6/6-1, G6/133, G6/165
German Move #: 5
British Land Combat:
1. Walton and Woodcock miss G6/361
2. Newman eliminates G3/253
3. Purdon eliminates G1/465
4. Roy disrupts 464B-gun
German Land Combat:
1. G6/361 eliminates Bradley
2. G6/206 eliminates Newman

0304
Restore: 464B-gun
Naval Withdrawal: none
German Activation: G6/442, G2/114...ALERT LEVEL 5...G6/422, G8/245, G4/364, G8/6-1, G4/164
German Move #: 3
British Land Combat:
1. Hodgson hits 5 points off G6/330
2. Walton hits 3 points off G4/365
3. Hooper grenade attack has no effect on 254
4. Smalley hits 2 points off G6/254
5. Roy eliminates G4/461
6. Purdon misses G6/461
German Land Combat:
1. G1/330, G1/365, G2/352 all miss
2. G8/208 eliminates Hooper
3. G6/208 and G6/254 eliminate Smalley
4. G6/254 eliminates Brett
5. G4/254 hits 2 points off Roy
6. Long range fire hits 1 point off Woodcock

0310
Naval Withdrawal: none
German Activation: Armored Car/5-2, G6/143, G6/366, G8/5-1, G6/5-1, G8/432, G4/424, G6/5-1
German Move #: 6
British Land Combat:
1. Roy grenade attack eliminates G8/490
2. Purdon hits 6 points off G8/486
3. Walton hits 3 points off G6/365
4. Hodgson eliminates G1/330
German Land Combat:
1. G6/493 and G2/486 eliminate Roy
2. G6/201 hits 1 point off Woodcock
3. G3/365 and G1/365 miss Walton
4. 464A-gun long range fire misses Purdon

0316
Naval Withdrawal: Group 4
German Activation: G6/244 (withdrawn), G8/345, G8/5-2, G8/244, G8/322 G8/441
German Move #: 1
British Land Combat:
1. Hodgson eliminates G4/365
2. Purdon hits 4 points off G6/493
German Land Combat: Woodcock, Walton, and Purdon eliminated

0322
German Land Combat: Hodgson eliminated

End-Game Demolition Phase
1. MTB74 delayed torpedo damages Lock Gate/212
2. Campbeltown destroys Southern Caisson/111




SCORING
10 Primary Targets = 49
Southern Caisson = 12
Lock Gate 313 = 4
Lock Gate 212 damaged = 2
Sperrbrecher137 = 1
Crew/passengers to England = 6
FINAL POINT TOTAL = 74 for a British Victory


Overall it was a good game for the British. It all starts with the initial naval rush into the port. If luck keeps the boats afloat long enough to land most of the commando teams, you should be in good shape. Landing 17 out of 19 teams is excellent, right up there with my best performances.

A couple lessons were learned this game. On the strategic side, I realized that the best plan to leave the Normandie Dock area is across the 261 Swing Bridge into Zone 4. I don’t think I have ever done this before, other than maybe heading to the U-Boat pens in one game. At first I feared the guns at 462 and 464 as well as the Reinforcement Area 6(11-36). But those guns can be easily overrun with force. And while the Reinforcement Area is a concern, perhaps more important is that part of the mapboard does not have many other locations for German activation... a lot of black-numbered areas. I will give this strategy a try next game.

The next big lesson learned... this will be the last time that I do a fully documented raid. The added time in order to record and write-up every detail was a bit too much. Next time I will just rely on some pictures and high-level notes jotted down on the game log.

Hope you enjoyed my session.

edit - learned how to make embedded pictures bigger!
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Lonnie H
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Re: The Return to St. Nazaire (MW14)
Thanks for the time and effort in putting the play down.

I agree that just an overview of the highlights would probably do as a happy medium.
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Eoin Corrigan
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Re: The Return to St. Nazaire (MW14)
Great AAR, many thanks.

I plan to play at least one game of RoStN this year, and posts like this help spur me on.
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Bart de Groot
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Re: The Return to St. Nazaire (MW14)
Eoin Corrigan wrote:
I plan to play at least one game of RoStN this year, and posts like this help spur me on.


Ditto.
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joe mcgrath
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Thanks for the great AAR. I just acquired a copy of this game, but have yet to play it. Your post inspires me to plow through the rules and get to it!
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John Falcon

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As an old time boardgamer, who is returning to the hobby, I look upon this game and cringe when I recall giving my copy away many years ago. Since my work schedule precludes me from enjoying co-op gaming any longer, I have returned to this hobby via the solitaire route, making the loss of this title even more disheartening. Well, your fine AAR made me decide to overlook what I thought was rather a high shipping rate, and repurchase this game on the lone ebay offering! I will look forward to becoming reaquainted with this excellent old chestnut!
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