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Subject: AAR: S3 - "A Simple Equation" rss

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Andrew Swan
Australia
Randwick
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Time for another kicking from game with my 20-years-of-ASL mentor, Paul the mollusc.

We've played S1 and S2 both ways, and so far our first playing of S1 had been my closest sniff of victory (which because this is a WWII game, doesn't yet smell like napalm).

Anyway, we rolled for sides in S3 and I drew the Yanks, whose squads are all 1st line 6(3)-6-6's, i.e. nice range and FP compared to the Jerries' 2nd line 4-4-7 and Conscript 4-3-6 squads. Both sides have about the same number of squads, leaders, and SW. The Yanks get an FT, whereas the Germans get a bunch of stone buildings to hide in.

The Germans set up first, with Paul spreading them pretty evenly along the R1-FF1 hexgrain, with a few speed humps advance elements in the I2/J1/K2 buildings.

I then set up my Yanks. The FT obviously had to go in the middle where its short range (1 hex at full FP or 2 hexes at half FP) could be employed with relative safety; both flanks feature 3-4 hexes of open ground as an earlier session report describes. Being a newbie, I forgot there's a higher chance of an FT breaking down when in the hands of a non-elite unit (I did wonder why the US OOB included an Elite HS!), so I set up with it being carried by one of the 6-6-6's.

The 2 US MMGs are good weapons, but I had trouble deciding how they should be employed. Ideally they would stay in place and provide suppressing fire as the other squads moved up (especially since the squads manning them outrange their opposite numbers by at least two hexes and could therefore add their full FP while only receiving half FP in return), but in practice I struggled to find such a spot for them. Either Paul had all the LOS worked out to the nth degree, or I was just inept at finding a site with both reasonable cover (i.e. a building) and LOS to more than one enemy unit. In the early game I moved one to C5, hoping to shoot down the road at I2, but by the time they were in position, Paul had already retreated his unit out of that building, so I had to spend another turn or two moving the MMG somewhere more useful.

Anyway, being a bit leery of all the open ground on the flanks, I deployed the bulk of my squads for a push up the centre. This plan (and really the whole scenario) was hard to execute for a number of reasons:
- had to transfer the FT from my non-elite squad to an elite unit (I ended up using a leader at Paul's suggestion, rather than the Elite HS)
- there's not enough room to squeeze 14 squads through such a small corridor, not only because of the stacking limits, but also because putting more than two squads in one hex was just asking for trouble, given there were so many defenders with good LOS to the middle ground
- Paul found a good place (W2) for his leader-directed MMG stack, a stone building with LOS to the J3, K2, and L3 buildings.
- when I finally got the FT into position for a shot, it malfed on its first use (you'd think they'd check the petrol tank before setting off)
- my squads should have been able to make smoke 50% of the time, given their good "3" smoke exponent. However I rolled more than a healthy number of sixes, meaning not only that the smoke grenade failed, but also that the unit in question couldn't do any more actions in that MPh.

I think at one point, over half my squads were lying broken in the central corridor. Luckily the US have good broken-side morale and therefore bounce back quickly (although Paul seemed to manage the same rate of rally success with only 6 morale on his broken side, hmmm). So I was able to get my assault started again, but time was ticking away, and I still hadn't made it into map Z, let alone captured any of the 25 building hexes that I was supposed to.

Because of the big and seemingly invulnerable German MMG stack in W2, from whom even my units in buildings weren't safe, I swung my attack to the left flank, which meant crossing plenty of open ground towards the more lightly-armed defenders on that side. This ended (predictably) with squads breaking or (just as bad in this situation) being pinned only a hex or two short of their objectives.

Finally a lone squad with a wounded leader that I had run up the right flank managed to enter building R1. This turned out to be the only building hex (of the required 25) that I captured. We skipped my final turn because of real-world time pressures, but it's unlikely I would have taken more than one or two more hexes.

What's more, I never even found out which two buildings Paul had fortified (an SSR). Maybe I fired at those buildings and it never made a difference, or maybe they were deeper into German territory.

At least I was able to solve the eponymous simple equation: open ground + crappy smoke + empty FT + bad play = failure!

In conclusion, I know I made some mistakes in setting up and directing my troops, and was unlucky with the reliability of my FT, but it also seems like the US have a tough job in this scenario. Paul seemed to share this opinion. I'd be very interested to hear how people have won this scenario as the US (or I can just wait until next month to see how Paul does it!).
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Paul Carmouche
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Ferndale
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game_boy wrote:
We've played S1 and S2 both ways, and so far our first playing of S1 had been my closest sniff of victory (which because this is a WWII game, doesn't yet smell like napalm).


I take this joke to mean that you think napalm wasn't used in WWII. In fact, the first use of napalm occurred on July 23, 1944, during pre-invasion air strikes on the island of Tinian, part of the Marianas island chain in the Pacific. It was used by the Allied Forces in World War II against cities in Japan.

And what is more important: napalm is represent in the full ASL rule set! Yes! It's right there in section G17.41, which comes with ASL Module 8: Code of Bushido!

EVERYTHING is represented in ASL -- even reindeer-pulled sleighs.

But really, it's much more digestable than one would imagine.
 
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Andrew Swan
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Randwick
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You're right, it was a joke ... in fact I can add that napalm was also used by US aircraft in support of the Aussies fighting on Tarakan. It was highly effective and much feared by the Japanese (according to interviews with some of the few prisoners taken).

The post-WWII reference comes from the fact that only since Apocalypse Now (set in the Vietnam War) has napalm been famously said to smell like victory.

Now if there's any humour left in my joke after all that explanation, I'll be very much surprised!
 
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Paul Haseler
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Andrew
I think you did make at least one (No Effect) shot at the fortified building (note the singular).

For this scenario, I advise picking a two-hex building to hold as long as possible. It should be in a position that will persuade the American player to undertake a methodical attack (both to use up precious turns and to prevent a rush into the victory buildings further back).

The German's best leader (8-1), best weapon (HMG), and a decent squad (447) ought to go into the fortified building, with a squad in the other hex. There also needs to be a couple of squads protecting the flanks of any key position, also to act as reserves in case of problems...

PaulH
 
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John Boone
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Nice write up. The results of the up the middle tactic sounded very similar to what happened to me.
 
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June Hwang Wah
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funpaul wrote:

EVERYTHING is represented in ASL -- even reindeer-pulled sleighs.

But really, it's much more digestable than one would imagine.

The reindeer?
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Andrew Swan
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grognard wrote:
funpaul wrote:

EVERYTHING is represented in ASL -- even reindeer-pulled sleighs.

But really, it's much more digestable than one would imagine.

The reindeer?

Yes, but only if you cook them slowly (+2 DRM for green/inexperienced cooks)
 
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