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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Two 1st time players in Fat Lipki - One and a half game AAR rss

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Marek Kubiak
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At last I managed to play one and a half of CC:E game over Vassal, with
Conor Hickey
Ireland
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my regular Twilight Struggle opponent. It was the first time for both of us. The obvious choice was the Fat Lipki scenario, with me appointed as German commander.

We didn't take any snapshots, so here is a naked map for reference: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/170462/combat-commander-e...

I set up von Karsties with LMG and 3 squads around G10 entry point, and Winkler with the last squad near N10 entry point. Conor sent 3 of his squads with MMG and cpr. Krilov through O1 entry point, and 5 squads with MMG, LMG and sgt. Kovalev entered the map through A2. Open objective is 2VP for each objective, hidden objectives were obj. 2 = 1 VP and obj. 4 = 2 VP

Kovalev took the objective no. 2 and was moving via the edge of the forest, exchanging fire with von Karsties' LMG squad settled in the building near the pond (objective no. 5), while other 2 squads took objectives 1 and 3 and sleeping there for the rest of the game.
Kovalev tried to break von Karsties' squad using heavy fire, but von Karsties men were veterans (through event) using concealment when needed, so I believe they were not even suppressed once. And their LMG was much more deadly, killing two Soviet squads and destroying the LMG. Soviets were reluctant to charge on the bulding through the road and open terrain, so I was happy with the friendly exchange of bullets when I got an extra fire card.

Meanwhile on the right side of the map (from my point of view) Russians took the building with orchard (objective no. 4) and their MMG under cpr. Krilov's command spotted Winkler's squad left on the open ground (I assumed both MMGs will go with Kovalev and left them uncovered) and took the shot, breaking Winkler (poor guy, just arrived on the front, punished for stealing some provisions while sitting behind the lines). I ordered him to move under the cover of woods, then Dietl, hero of the Reich realized that under Winkler's command, they will all get killed in no time, stepped up, told Winkler to pull himself together and lead the squad through the woods in the direction of building occupied by Russians.

They sneaked closed to the building, but they were spotted by the enemy. Krilov ordered the squad inside the building tho advance, hoping probably to drive Germans away from the woods, so he can mow them down with MMG, but Dietl was no fool. Germans ambushed advancing Russians and killed every one of them, quickly taking the buliding. Krilov, unpleasantly surprised, ordered to open fire at the building, missing the opportunity to counter attack in hand-to-hand combat with superiority in numbers. Germans were quite safe in the building, fire did them no harm. Dietl, seeing the hesitation of Soviet officer, lead his men to charge on the MMG squad. They fought fiercely and slew all of Krilov's men - including the corporal himself - and destroyed the MMG. Then Dietl turned his head at the last enemy squad in the orchard and ordered to attack. Soviets were just standing there, confused and stripped of will to fight, so they died quickly to the last man. (Wow, this was really big moment, like from the movies, cardboard hero
acted like a real hero should!)
. Objective was cleared an under German control.

Dietl heard firing coming from the direction von Karsties' squads were, so after securing the house and the orchard he lead his men into the wood again, looking for more Russians to kill. Unfortunately saergant Kovalev was much more experienced leader than Krilov. After his scout reported Germans spotted in the woods, he knew something bad happend to Krilov. He judged that von Karsties won't move from his safehouse, so he took remaining MMG and two squads and moved to confront Dietl. Dietl heard them coming and thought about retreating to the house, where he could set defensive perimeter easily, but feeling invulnerable after the won melees he decided to wait in ambush for Kovalev's men.

He didn't realize that Russians knew exactly where they were. Heavy
fire from MMG caused Winkler to panic (again) and soon enough the whole squad was broken. Dietl tried to do everything to recover morale of
his colleagues, but Winkler broke down completely running away in the direction of enemy, where he was mowed down by MMG and the rest of his squad was sweeped moments later.

Dietl was the only survivor and saw Russians coming to finish the survivors of the gunfire, so he decided to take to hell with him as many Russians as he could. He took down almost the whole squad alone,
before they finally butchered him. Few minutes later, Kovalev seeing no chance of succeeding against German patrol ordered his troops to retreat. Germans won the game - with 10 VPs if I rememeber correctly. I will remember for sure the heroic deeds of Dietl, it was the most fun part of scenario and the best proof of Combat Commander: Europe's quality in terms of telling the exciting stories of WWII battlefields.

We decided to play this scenario again with switched sides. Conor gave me initiative and took the building near the pond with von Karsties and LMG squad, second squad took objective no 3 in the woods, last two squads were assigned to Winkler (poor guys) and entered through N10 entry point.

I assigned Krilov and 3 squads to enter through O1 entry point, and Kovalev took all MGs and 5 squads to face von Karsties "indahouse". My battle plan was to create large firegroup with 5 squads and all MGs, which has a chance to break Germans hiding in the building and charge them while they are broken.

Krilov and his 3 squads took quickly the house with the orchard and satisfied with their progress they stopped to relax and enjoy
the views. Winkler's man did the same (no wonder, they have a better chance surviving that way), so all the action was between Kovalev and von Karsties troops.

Kovalev ordered his men to move under cover of the trees, out of German LMG's range. The only opportunity for von Karsties to fire his MG was when Soviet squad stick their head out of the woods to get the objective no.2. Karsties ordered to fire and immediately Soviet squad panicked and 3 other squads fell down to the ground from just hearing the shots! (They were behind the trees, Cower event showed up and Kovalev moved already, leving them outside of his command range). Seargant knew, that it will be hard to achieve anything with soldiers shitting their pants from just hearing enemy gunfire...

Kovalev decided to leave broken squad behind, ordered his men to pull themselves together in some harsh words and continued his move through the woods. His 4 squads positioned themselves near the edge of the woods close to the house occupied by Germans. German LMG begun to shoot at every moving bush or leaf, but tree cover was enough to set up MGs without taking casualties.

Kovalev then realized, that he made a mistake and he could arrange his troops in much better way, but it was too late for making amendments under enemy fire. So he ordered his men to cover the house with suppressing fire. Effect was immediate, because the German LMG's fire ceased. Although he knew it was very risky, Kovalev decided to seize the opportunity and ordered his men to charge. (I had all cards I needed to attack - Recover, Move, Advance, Ambush and Initiative card). Too bad that due to his earlier mistake LMG and MMG crews had to advance, leaving only MMG and regular squad as asupport. Soldiers charged across the road and all the hell broke loose.

Germans immediatly saw opportunity to fire - although they weren't able to use their LMG - and von Karsties ordered to go all out at the incoming Russian troops. (It was a very long turn, we used Initiative card a lot). Kovalev watched his 1st squad reaching positions to storm the house wihout the scratch and waved his second squad to follow their comrades. All was good until the moment he was crossing the road and felt the bullet hit his leg. He fell down in the middle of the road, his men didn't notice him staying behind. He watched them reaching the house and stopping, seeing their commander is not with them. Kovalev shouted "Charge! Attack the house! Attack you fools!", but his voice couldn't be heard through all the gunfire and his soldiers just got to the ground, looking for cover, simply unsure if thy should get back to save their commander or continue the attack. (Kovalev was the only unit that was broken, so he sits in the middle of the road waiting for the sentence now. The other problem is that Conor drew Interrogation event discarding my only Advance order, so my squads in the open are sitting ducks. Attack seems to be broken down,
Kovalev is about to die and without him I will have big trouble coordinating the attack on the house. It's German turn now, but unfortunately we had to pause the game as it was well past midnight Talking about the cliffhanger


Few words about a game itself - it is a great game in terms of mechanic, gameplay and the story the game is trying to tell. We finished the play right before I was going to bed and I couldn't sleep as my blood was still boiling from the emotions I felt during the game, thoughts of things I have done wrong and plans for the next battle. I am not a very emotional type of person, at least not for games - until I met my cardboard soldiers in Combat Commander. I am officialy in love with CC:E, can't wait to play more to see if
the love at first sight vanishes or stays strong.

I promise to continue the AAR when we finish the game.

This was my first AAR ever (see what CC:E made me do?), so comments are welcome (especially those useful ones ninja)
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Conor Hickey
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This is the first time I had played CCE apart from some solo messing about to get the rules straight, and it was remarkably enjoyable. I don't think we got much wrong rules-wise and I was very impressed just how much fun even this basic scenario was.

My 'real world' copy will be getting some play time this weekend, that's for sure.
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Don Smith
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klancyg wrote:
Few words about a game itself - it is a great game in terms of mechanic, gameplay and the story the game is trying to tell. We finished the play right before I was going to bed and I couldn't sleep as my blood was still boiling from the emotions I felt during the game, thoughts of things I have done wrong and plans for the next battle. I am not a very emotional type of person, at least not for games - until I met my cardboard soldiers in Combat Commander. I am officialy in love with CC:E, can't wait to play more to see if the love at first sight vanishes or stays strong.


Welcome to what I consider to be on of the finest wargames of all time.

Enjoy!
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Chick Lewis
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Great writeup ! Thanks for taking the time to write and post it ! Also, congratulations on your excellent command of English.

That said, I think there is a small chance that two errors crept into your play.

When Dietl showed up in the first game, he cannot be activated by Winkler, nor Winkler by him, so it would take two orders to move them both. Likely you just left Winkler behind.

In the second game when Krylov headed across the road, if he was moving with a squad, that squad would need to stop with him when he broke.

But probably you were playing everything correctly, and I just read too much into your excellent tale !!

WELCOME to the addiction that is Combat Commander !!

Chick
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Marek Kubiak
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Thanks for the warm welcome, I am glad to be home at last I just hope that I will be spending more time here, not visit once a year...

Chick, you are right, we made both errors that you pointed out - I forgot that Dietl is a leader and activated him with Winkler (who turned out to be superhuman able to activate other leaders - and I called him 'poor Winkler', my bad).
I also forgot that when moving the stack it technically has the movement points equal to slowest unit, right?
Luckily, that mistake can esily be reversed and I am sure Conor will be very happy having one more target sitting on the road
Thanks for pointing it out, we won't make those mistakes again.

All in all I think it's not bad for the first play, just two errors made. I must say that the rulebook is one of the best I have ever seen, kudos for the author and all the people involved in the process!
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Mark Buetow
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klancyg wrote:

I also forgot that when moving the stack it technically has the movement points equal to slowest unit, right?
Luckily, that mistake can esily be reversed and I am sure Conor will be very happy having one more target sitting on the road
Thanks for pointing it out, we won't make those mistakes again.



Combat Commander, you will find, is all about precision in the rules. What you say is not technically correct. Rather, the rule is that units moving together must begin and end their movement together.

It's a minor point but you will learn the game much better if you stick with speaking as the rules do. You'll see why that's important as you get more into the game.

Glad you enjoyed it!
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Marek Kubiak
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got it, thanks!

It's almost the same - but sometimes 'almost' makes a big diffrence.
 
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Conor Hickey
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Malacandra wrote:
klancyg wrote:

I also forgot that when moving the stack it technically has the movement points equal to slowest unit, right?
Luckily, that mistake can esily be reversed and I am sure Conor will be very happy having one more target sitting on the road
Thanks for pointing it out, we won't make those mistakes again.



Combat Commander, you will find, is all about precision in the rules. What you say is not technically correct. Rather, the rule is that units moving together must begin and end their movement together.

It's a minor point but you will learn the game much better if you stick with speaking as the rules do. You'll see why that's important as you get more into the game.

Glad you enjoyed it!


I'm happy to be reminded of this rule, will making wiping out the foolish Russian charge a little easier
 
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Marek Kubiak
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TwoShedsJackson wrote:
I'm happy to be reminded of this rule, will making wiping out the foolish Russian charge a little easier


I can't thumb it, sorry. whistle
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