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Subject: Scenario E - Hill 621 rss

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E Henry Thripshaw
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Scenario E - Hill 621

Playing the classic Squad Leader scenario converted over to ASL. This is available free with all the other "Classic ASL" scenarios on MMPs website in the downloads section.

Wednesday January 23rd, 2013
Jerry - Germans defending.
Me - Russians attacking.

We decided to restart the classic SL scenario after playing a couple turns previously.

This time I setup with my 9-1 leader and two 5-2-7 squads upstairs on level 2 with 2x MMG to interdict the hill hexes. Jerry had two squads fail the pre-game task check and break. See the setup photo.


It got off to a bad start for my Russians as the first defensive fire shot I take with my MMGs I roll an 11 (both MMG are b11). For my random selection, I roll snake eyes! Sweet, not only a wasted snakes roll but both guns malfunction. I subsequently broke one and repaired the other.

In German turn 1, Jerry high tails it for the hill and sends a 4-6-7 with LMG to the northern hill at 2Z6. He leaves the 9-2 with squad and HMG back to cover my initial movement phase.

The Russian turn 1 is non-eventful other than destroying one of the malf'd MMGs. Jerry's 9-2 fumbles and rolls and 11 on his shot and my guys are able to push forward with no fear. Here's the scene after Russian turn 1.


German turn 2, Jerry double-times the 9-2 with the heavy to try to get him back on the hill before the commies get too close. He brings his armor in on the South side and slides them around the back curve of the hill. He gets his AT gun into 2R5 but he has the halftrack there too. The 9-2 with HMG is not in play yet, but he does get a 4-6-7/LMG up on the north hill in 2Z6 and another on the southside of 621 in 2J5 while a 3rd squad/LMG is in 2S7 on the cliffs.

My Russians keep pouring forward and luckily don't face any OBA yet. My 6 T34s come on mostly on the North side and push to gain acquisition on the German squads in overwatch on the hills. Overall it's been uneventful with only 1 Russian squad broken. I should mention my 9-1 leader high tailed it downstairs and rushed forward after 1 of the MMG was broken. He's now in the building in 406. Here is the situation after 2 turns.



German turn 3 saw the German Panzers split with two taking to the hill and two others heading behind it to protect the reinforcement entry hexes on the west edge and protect against a flanking move. Jerry's attacks were ineffectual with that AT gun and halftrack and he mostly skulked out of site. The halftrack moved up into 2R6 and the 9-2 and heavy advanced up into 2R5. In defensive fire, one T34 acquired the halftrack and the AT crew was broken and routed downhill out of site. A 2nd German squad was also broken on the southern part of the hill.



In Russian turn 3 we finally saw some resistance. The 9-2 with the Heavy got busy and broke 3 squads in the middle of the Russian attack. The German halftrack was destroyed in prep-fire but didn't flame up as I rolled a 10 on the TK roll. Jerry finally got the radio contact and put down a spotting round, but he'll have to wait until turn 4 to see if he can catch a gaggle of Russians in the woods with shellbursts. One T34 took to the Northern Hill along with 2 5-2-7 squads point blank to try and dislodge and eliminate the 4-6-7/LMG in 2Y6. Jerry will probably move down the hill and try to escape out the backdoor. The Russians have 3 squads on level 1 of Hill 621 and a lot of manpower pushing forward.

Here is where we stand after 3 turns where we stopped until next week.


It's been fun so far, but not very bloody. I expect that to change. We'll see if Jerry can get the OBA down and catch me in the woods. That leader will be sure to get some defensive fire and hopefully I can break him. Jerry will get reinforcements in Turn 4 with a 10-3 leader and some 8-3-8 squads. It's about to get very interesting on the hill. The AT gun crew rallying will be key for Jerry as if they get up in his rally phase turn 4, they can get back on the gun before the Russian's move again. If not, I may push a T34 into the vicinity.

I'll update as we continue the game.
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Andrew Young
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And if you never have, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.
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Indeed a classic.
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J.F. Van Natta
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Looks like fun. I'm interested to see how this plays out.
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Erwin Lau
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It is worthy to buy ASL just to play this one scenario. Hill 621 rocks!
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Andy Beaton
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It'll get bloody fast. I'm just starting turn 10 in my iteration of the scenario, and it is one of the all time greats.
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Eric Storch
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This is one of my all-time favorite scenarios for SL. Never played the ASL conversion though. I may have to give it shot though.
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Brian Roundhill
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estorch wrote:
This is one of my all-time favorite scenarios for SL. Never played the ASL conversion though. I may have to give it shot though.


Do. It is one of the all-time greats in ASL.
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E Henry Thripshaw
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Okay, I apologize for the lengthy delay. We kept playing weekly and just finished the game this last week. It took so long as I've had several business trips and a vacation cut into the play time. We average about 2 hours a week and I'm somewhat slow, so let's just say we took our time and let the battle develop. I'm going to upload the sessions as I crop and upload the photos. I'll continue to the conclusion. The good news is I have pics of just about everything.

We left off at Turn 3. We pickup the action at Turn 4.

So first off we have the situation in Russian Turn 4.



You can see Jerry's spotting round came down in 2J8. He wasn't satisfied there and would move it north to try to catch more of the Russians.

In the German's movement of Turn 4 you can see Jerry moved his reinforcements with the 10-3 leader into the anchor of his infantry hill defense at 2L5 at level 2 between the two level 3 hills. It's a tough spot to approach (as if you'd want to with a 10-3, 2x 8-3-8, MMG + HMG. It would force the Russians north of that spot throughout the battle. You can also see Jerry drove his halftracks and other reinforcements up the south side of the hill. A leader with radio (100mm OBA) is at 2H3. A leader with the radio and 80mm OBA with the spotting round is at 2M5 on level 3. He might as well been wearing red pants for all the attention he was about to receive.

I drove my T34s up onto Hill 536 on the north (right) to prevent reinforcements from entering on the north and to use the level 2 hills to fire at his troops on the backside of Hill 621. I wanted to keep him DM and leave him no safe place to rally or stage a counter attack. This worked well in the mid game for me.

Finally I'll point out the abandoned German AT Gun in 2R5 at level 2. I was able to break the crew and they routed back. This would play a big part in the battle eventually. Early on it was a big blow to Jerry as he was unable to engage my T34s and prevent me from having freedom of movement on the north hill (536).

Here is a shot of Jerry searching for a spotting round or his reinforcements or something.


German Turn 5:
Jerry moved the spotting round and brought it down in 2M9. He chose harassing fire and I was only saved by a series of high rolls as he caught one of the Russian leaders and several squads in the woods to get some nasty shell bursts. In addition to the 3 broken squads showing and the pinned squad, there was a squad KIA in M8. Not bad, but there were still plenty of Russians holding ammo waiting to pick up the guns on the ground.



Other notable activity was a PIN on the OBA leader on the hill and notice his crew creeping back towards the AT gun. They would advance in to try to reclaim it (the photo was after his movement phase). Also note his reinforcements, the armor now lined up on the road behind the hill.

Finally, one of my T34s (2Z4) on the north hill has acquired a target on the backside of hill 621 (2P4). This was the beginning of my making the level 2 hill hexes on the west side very dangerous for any German units.

More to come...

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E Henry Thripshaw
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Mid-game.

After Russian Turn 5:


The photo shows after the Russian turn including advance. Action this turn included the fight for the AT Gun goes to the Russians. Jerry advanced his crew back in and regained possession of the AT Gun, however the crew broke under point blank fire from 2 squads in 2R6. That would be the last time Jerry's infantry would hold level 2 on the north side of the hill.

Also notice Jerry got the 2nd leader with the radio and 100mm OBA onto level 3 at 2J4 where he was immediately noticed by the SU122 and SU152 reinforcements.

During the Defensive Fire, Jerry brought down more 80mm OBA and removed a few of the broken, DM squads that were trying to get off the hill. This midgame look was really where both sides held for quite awhile, trying to push back but there was not much movement.

The Russian advance into 2R4 and 2S4 DM'd the broken Germans in the woods and eliminated a couple of units. Other notable advancing was done onto Level 3 in 2N5,2O5,2P5. I mainly did this to gain possession of the hill hexes and also force the issue with the leader with the radio and 80mm OBA in 2M5, however it proved disastrous in the next pref fire turn.

I drove my first T34's onto Hill 621, getting one to 2O7 another in bypass moving up to level 1 at 2S6, and the CE one in 2Q5 taking the lead on the western side, hoping to hold the corner. The north side of Hill 621 was now firmly in Russian hands.

After German turn 6:


Well this clearly shows the damage Jerry inflicted with his prep fire in Turn 6. All of the tanks at the base of the hill used their firepower to break the Russians and drive them from the top of the hill. I believe the damage was 1 squad KIA, 1 squad casualty reduced and the third just broken. This hard lesson kept me off the hill for the next several turns.

Jerry rushed his 100mm OBA into action to get it down, it wasn't optimally placed at 2P8 and he got poor rolls, however it certainly could put a kink in the Russian push up the hill, especially if he could nudge it just north into the woods where my precious 9-1 leader was driving the stragglers forward for a late surge.

The good news for the Russians was that the 8-0 leader with the radio in 2M5 was broken and forced to retreat down the back of the hill. My T34's in 2W5 and 2Z4 on level 2 were proving effective in making Jerry stay on the southern portion of level 1 of the hill as the level 2 hexes were visible and thus no place to rally. I was feeling comfortable at this point. Too comfortable...

more to come.
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E Henry Thripshaw
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Russian Turn 6:


The Russians continue to push while bringing on the reinforcing SU122 and SU152s.

In 2N6, the Russian T34 risked bog to enter the woods and get up close and personal with Jerry's PzIV in 2L5 (hex of death). Unfortunately for the Russian crew, the tank was hit and destroyed.

The 2nd T34 on the north side got up the hill and took position in 2R4 just in case Jerry had any ideas of bringing his own armor up the hill on the north side. The T34 in 2Z4 was immobilized by the AT gun at long range in 2H3.

One SU152 and one SU122 gained acquisition on the 100mm radio and leader in 2J4 as I hoped I could force him to move before the OBA ruined my afternoon. Other reinforcements are in 4Q1 and 2X7 and 2U7.

Not much else going on as the general Russian infantry push shifted northward to avoid the OBA and take advantage of the hidden level 2 shelf.

German Turn 7:


Lots of broken Russian squads from the OBA attacks are now congregating in 2Q4 in the hidden ravine, out of sight. The gun battle between the immobilized T34 on the north hill and the AT gun goes on with both gaining acquisition but neither able to deal the killing blow.

The leader with the radio 100mm OBA was turned into a fine mist on the level 3 hill from a hit from the SU152. The radio remarkably was not destroyed, however it was malfunctioned. The FFE2 would come off the board at the end of the turn (for good).

The hex of death, 2L4 with the 10-3 2x 8-3-8 MMG,HMG under a PzIV remains the lynchpin of Jerry's defense. Nobody can stand the return fire and stay in LOS and the T34 that tried the woods was eliminated. My thoughts turned to just trying to maintain the status quo and bum rush him later in the game if necessary.

Jerry decided to drive some of his halftracks around the south edge of the woods in row G and try to distract and annoy my reinforcing armor. I was driving around crew exposed, so I suppose he had the desired effect of making me button up, but it was a debatable move.

More to come...


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Martin Vicca
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Are the T-34s RST vehicles or has that been removed? If o, they can't fire if CE.
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E Henry Thripshaw
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Vinnie37 wrote:
Are the T-34s RST vehicles or has that been removed? If o, they can't fire if CE.


Well if you look back at the photos from German Turn 6, you'll see one in 2O7. It is a solid white square indicating Slow Turret, not a broken line white square indicating restricted slow turret, so I believe they are fine for firing crew exposed.

The interesting thing we found about them is their deceptive "1" ROF number. Looking in Chapter H, you find that it actually reduces .1 for each month prior to a given date (sometime in 1944 I believe), so they don't actually have ROF at the time of this (fictitious) battle in 1942.
 
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Andy Beaton
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Thripshaw wrote:
Vinnie37 wrote:
Are the T-34s RST vehicles or has that been removed? If o, they can't fire if CE.


Well if you look back at the photos from German Turn 6, you'll see one in 2O7. It is a solid white square indicating Slow Turret, not a broken line white square indicating restricted slow turret, so I believe they are fine for firing crew exposed.

The interesting thing we found about them is their deceptive "1" ROF number. Looking in Chapter H, you find that it actually reduces .1 for each month prior to a given date (sometime in 1944 I believe), so they don't actually have ROF at the time of this (fictitious) battle in 1942.


You might be thinking of the broken white square for one man turret. The heavy white square is restricted slow turret, and the fine white square is slow turret.
You might also be misreading the segment on vehicle rarity, which decreases over time for design-your-own scenario. The ROF doesn't change.
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Al Cannamore
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Thripshaw wrote:
The interesting thing we found about them is their deceptive "1" ROF number. Looking in Chapter H, you find that it actually reduces .1 for each month prior to a given date (sometime in 1944 I believe), so they don't actually have ROF at the time of this (fictitious) battle in 1942.


Wasn't familiar with that. Looking in Chapter H, I see reference to Rarity Factor "RF" but not Rate of Fire "ROF". Can you point out the ROF reference?

Edit: Andy beat me to it
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E Henry Thripshaw
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See, this is why I love posting in public, besides showing off my ignorance, I learn so much! Thanks for the corrections everyone, my game will only improve from here lol.

I'd blame the shot of vodka that Jerry insists on every session, but that wouldn't be fair (and I enjoy it too much).

I'll keep updating the AAR, only a couple more sessions. Of course, with all these errors we are going to need to replay it now to ensure historical accuracy.
 
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E Henry Thripshaw
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Back to the scenario...

Russian Turn 7:

(Photo taken after Russian movement, before German defensive fire phase)

After my SU152 cleared the OBA leader off the hill last defensive fire, he decided to drive up to level 2 to try to take on the German death hex 2L5. Of course, he drives up and Jerry nails him with snake eyes. Who says Russian tanks don't have smoke? In other action, Jerry's 8-3-8 under the PzIV in 2L5 used both machine guns to blaze away at the poor saps in 2N7 woods with the T34 wreck. He first broke, then reduced, then turned them berserk. They weren't long for the Hill it appears.

I drove two other tanks up on the east side of the hill, one more T34 and a SU122 with passengers in 207 and 2P7 respectively. I figured we were nearing the end and I wanted them available for overruns and point blank fire at/from the level 3 hexes soon.

If you notice way up at 2S2 and 2T2 you see two tanks in reverse motion. I had driven around the corner and fired point blank. The first tank (the one in T2) survived DFF and got a point blank bounding fire kill on the tank in 2Q2 at level 1. He then reversed and backed around the corner. The 2nd tank (SU122) tried the same thing but forgot to go for special ammo and missed. He reversed but couldn't get entirely out of sight...

2M1 has Jerry's wounded 7+1 leader with the 80mm radio and assorted broken units. That leader would soon play a pivotal role as the Russian infantry continues to stack two and three deep all over the northern part of the hill.

German Turn 8:

This looks to be taken after the turn completed. The main action was Jerry finally pushing with his infantry on the south-east side of the hill. It didn't work out. He tried to get several squads close for Fausts I assume in his next defensive fire phase but most were broken and routed down the hill. There is still a 8-3-8 and crew poking around just in case.

The crew on the AT gun at 2H3 was broken by the immobilized T34 on the north hill that had them acquired. They died via boxcars either on the morale check or self-rally, can't remember.

My reverse movement gambit was a one for one affair as my SU122 was killed in prep fire. Jerry rounded out his advance by pushing his infantry on the western side of the hill up to level 2 in 2N4 and 2O4 and put his 10-3 leader (CX) in 2M4 with a HS and MMG.

The end game was approaching. More to come...

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Martin Vicca
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Got around to checking. T-34s are all RST so cannot fire if CE.
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