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Red Barricades
A vile American Conspiracy! Call the UN! O! The Humanity! 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
"This one last offensive should do the job!" 22%  22%  [ 2 ]
"For the Motherland and the Commissar, Charge!" 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
A great ASL Module. I'd like to read the replay over coffee and doughnuts. 67%  67%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 9
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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:59 pm 
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The plan is on a more strategic scale for the next several CG days.

P has accumulated some troops and I want to destroy them. The gutted factory is an easy win whenever and it's vulnerable to outside indirect fire because it has no roof. So ima ignore it for now. What I want to do is create situations where if he heavily defends inside factories, I can trap the defenders inside each respective factory by cutting off the exit routes, and smashing their middles.

So Oct 19 is about advancing the strategic plan. Goal is to take some easy hexes in the L-10 M10 factory (because I can cut off troops fleeing east from within it), and to pin forces deployed near the NE corner between pioneres and offboard artillery and wipe them out. Pushing hard on the left flank will bring a pincer a bit around the east side of the factories.. one arm of the strategic trap I am going to try to create.

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"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:57 am 
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19 October Stalingrad: A Bloody Morning or The Best Laid Mice of Plans and Men oft Become a Learning Experience

Turn 1 the Germans set up with units on the roof of M11, observing in U17 a Russian conscript on the roof. An obvious (but concealed) Russian MG kill stack sits in W10 L1. I set up MG kill stacks in M5L1 and R4. A PzIIIL starts in L3, and Stugs in T3 ne hexside bypass, and U2.

Turn 1. The Germans in M11 gun down the conscript in U17, but in Russian defensive fire the MG stack in W10 goes on a rate tear and guns down 2.5 German rifle squads and the 8-1 leader stacked with them. Yes that is a huge bit of luck, good on his part and bad on mine, but I should have recognized the possibility and realized that the better option was to move off the roof rather than shoot in prep fire, because all the Russian conscript could really do was observe for a low-life 50mm mortar nearby. A German artillery request during German PFPh also red cards despite being a 9 black 3 red deck. A better result is achieved by Germans in L11 who gun down two Russian squads in M12. So while the turn has started well for the Russians, the Germans get a bit of revenge. During the Russian player turn a hidden AT gun on level 2 fortified stone building BB12 shocks the PzIIIL in L3, which ultimately becomes an AFV kill, but the Pz crew survives.

Turn 2-3. The Germans start well obtaining smoke grenade smoke in V1, vehicular movement smoke in V2, and vehicular movement smoke in V5. My 80mm OBA drops smoke in front of the fortified L2 Russian ATG, so he now can't see anything save for birds in the sky. During my DFPh I use the same module to drop an FF on Russians who are impeding my advance down the road on the east side. Squads moving adjacent to a solo Russian X2 are serially pinned so the DC I wanted to lay on his head does not get used. Ultimately it doesn't matter because good AFPh shots break the Russian who later casualty-reduces of interdiction trying to route through open ground. Then shit gets ugly. P has 120mm OBA and lays it down, drawing THREE black cards to put an FFE on the pioneres entering at U1. One draw for battery access, another because the hidden observer can't see the ground level in the target hex, another because there are on-map unknown (concealed) Germans adjacent. The minor subsequent miracle is that the FFE only casualty reduces a squad, while at the same time Battle Hardening an 8-3-8 that passes the MC on a snake-eyes, and who also spontaneously generates a Hero. Our various MGs go to work, his not quite tearing any more (and eventually in Turn 3, malfing four of his own MGs two heavy and two medium, while the Germans malf two HMGs). Between my advancing fire and the M5 and R4 kill stacks, I net another Russian squad. P obliges me twice by moving via Sewer Movement into L10, being detected by a kill stack there, and shot out during his movement phase. Two more dead Russian squads. Meanwhile, on the SW corner of the map, P goes on various rate-tears with his MGs but only manages to break a squad. P brings down 80mm OBA for two turns on Germans in stone rubble. It is ineffective and in Turn 3 German he permanently red cards the 80mm OBA. This is followed in Turn 3 by the Germans permanently red-carding their own 80mm OBA, so my plan to trap a bunch of Russians between my OBA and pioneres on the NE corner is shot to hell. Worse still, KV1s enter the map; the good news is that they enter on Turn 2 in JJ23 which is way all helengone off the battlefield. It's going to be at least three turns before they're in a position to do anything. The other good news is that in 30-something campaign days, P is only allowed ONE KV-1 Pn of two tanks. Tanks are also fragile, and the transmissions on the KV1-m1942 suck, so if they ever stop moving they may not be able to start again. Meanwhile, the hidden Russian observer who can't see the target hex and can't see units on the ground chases my Germans to U4, drawing two more black cards, but not yet attempting to lay down fire (which would be another card draw). He's drawn one red card with that modules, so if he draws another he loses it.

We have one CC. A Russian conscript enters a hex with three German squads, goes hand to hand, kills a German squad, but is captured and interrogated, yielding no information, in Turn 2 O9 building. By Turn 3 I have a revolving door pair of skulking concealed squad stacks, so rotating the prisoners to the rear, regaining concealment, and maintaining force is not a problem. Also, by Turn 3, pioneres with 2 flamethrowers are in M6, so it has rather suddenly become much much more dangerous for P to move adjacent to Germans in the northern most two factories. Also, deep inna hearta factory, some Russian conscripts who routed to a Commissar for hugs wind up being shot by the Commissar in the rally phase. Fight and die by the commissar or else just die by the commissar is the order of the day.

After 3 turns I have taken basically zero stone locations (actually even lost one), but the casualties amount to 9.5 Russian squads in exchange for 3.5 German squads and a PzIII (but not the tank crew). Since one of his squads was captured I've actually got 22 CVP worth of kills, versus his 11 CVP, so I am close to winning the day on the Body Count (unless of course his luck streak with the 120mm OBA continues). Frankly, I'm not so sure it's important that I win the day, but if I don't win it, I'd prefer to take my casualties in tanks. So I'd like to trade a tank for more Russian squads or for one of those KVs.

This leaves me pondering what to do with the remaining 2-4 turns in the game. The attack on the NE corner will likely stall with his 120mm OBA running around there, the level 2 ATG, and me with no OBA to lay smoke. So I can't achieve that left wing of the pincer thing that I wanted. But I have lots of units waiting to enter the map and at least 2 more tanks available to support them, so there is a potential of using a strong attack on the SW corner and gaining some ground there while isolating and killing a few more Russians. If I can finish off an even dozen Russian squads, it will have destroyed equivalent to the infantry replacements he purchased this CG day. All his other CPP were expended in OBA, fortifications, and KV1s. And who knows. My MG kill stack in M5L1 might get his own rate-tear and make a mess of some targets.

Next installment in two weeks, where we will continue starting with German Turn 4.

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"Fuck the king." - Sandor Clegane

"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:07 pm 
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Thinking back on it there were much better ways to bump off P's rooftop guys with much lower risk. Lesson. Learned.

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"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Well, P's use of OBA to attack hexes he could not see was counterindicated by the rules in two places unless his F.O. is one hex away from one of my pionere squads. In that event, Ima eat that forward observer next turn.

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"Fuck the king." - Sandor Clegane

"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:59 am 
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For those of us who are not absolutely perfect grogs, which I am not, and P is not, OBA is one of the things that is easy to get WRONG because the rules are complex. The rules are complex because early iterations produced gamey tactics. So the rules work pretty hard to make sure that player battlefield omniscience is not transferred down to the squad level. The rules also work hard to make sure players' units have line of sight, which involves figuring out who can see whom in 3D-compressed-to-two-dimensions. We messed up OBA in my favor on the 17 Oct day and resolved it by canceling the fire mission on the map when we started the next turn. So we'll likely do the same thing in this case.

And yes, I know that computers can do all that. But tabletop gaming is massively more fun than computer gaming, IMO.

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"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Got two more turns done today for Oct 19. With the OBA rules figured out, the Russians massive artillery bombardment turns out to be less easily applied. The attack renews in the NE corner with Germans assaulting as far as the BB3 gulley, the Z2 stone building and the W5 stone building as a two more squads of Pioneres with a leader enter the map via V0. The BB12 stone building fortified Russian 45LL takes a shot, misses, takes a second shot, and breaks the gun. Ultimately P destroys it on a repair dr=6. Along the way he also breaks and then repair-destroys a 50mm mtr, an HMG, and an MMG. Take that Bainbridge Scholars!! One of his KV1s goes as far as V5 and another to Y7 but both fall back as a much more nimble PZIIIL works its way around to AA5. Along the way, P goes an a short rate tear with an HMG in W2 but the MC battle hardens a Pionere squad, again, and creates another Hero, again. In Turn 5, the Hero lays a DC on a Russian 1st line MG squad in Z4, casualty-reducing and ELR-ing it.

In the middle, almost nothing happens. Squads break and fall back. New concealed ones shuffle forward. Lather, rinse, repeat.

On the SW edge, P sneaks a concealed 1st line SMG squad into F-14. I close combat with 3 squads. P opts for a 1:2 but cleanly muffs it on a DR=10. I succeed. Scratch another Russian squad. A StugIIIB enters turn 5 to C22 and starts pounding an MG in G22 with 75mm fire and there is not a thing P can do about that thank you very much.

At the end of Turn 5, the "end of game" dr is a 5, where he needed a 1 to end the CG day, so we WILL have a Turn 6 Friday evening. At the moment, he has 16 CVP inclusive of the PZIII his ATG destroyed early in the game, and I have 31. The "win loss" for the day could go either way but I am much more pleased now, than I was at the end of Turn 3. My strategic goal for the NE flank seems to be in reach and I've shot out 29 CVP of squads and gun, and that is REALLY good. I don't give a rat's hind end about the PZIII because tanks can be recalled. Killing lots of Russian infantry is a Very Good Thing. In infantry kill CVP, it's 27 dead Russians vs. 12 dead German CVP. That's a minor win IMO. If I can kill more infantry with losing more, it becomes a significant win, even if I technically lose the CG day. Forcing the Russians to purchase Infantry Cos rather than OBA, tanks, and other support, is a good thing.

Too bad he rolled the KV1s back. I was really hoping he'd stay close for another turn because I wanted to use a Hero and a Fanatic 8-3-8 to lay a DC on it. He only gets two KV1s for the entire MONTH of campaign game days, and both are on the map. So killing them would be another good thing.

Goals for Turn 6. Push the NE corner forward three more hexes. Kill at least 3 more Russian squads. P has not counted my tanks very closely and does not seem to recall I still have not shown one of my PzIIILs. It's off map, waiting a good opportunity to pounce.

Also. one of his broken units is desperately trying to run away along the river edge below the bluffs, vicinity of DD5. I'd like to interdict that or overrun it and wipe it out. Also want to extend my map edge control to row DD. Seems completely doable at this point. Extending map edge control forces him to spread out his defense further on the next CG day.

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"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:09 am 
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Would be easier to follow with screen shot maps ! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:41 am 
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I posted some earlier for reference. I did not take any screenshots the last two sessions. Just plain forgot the digital tablet thingie. But I will bring it on Friday, so at least you will be able to see the German and Russian dispositions at the end of the 19 October campaign day.

P says he has hit his allowable limit on Militia purchases and started the current CG day with something like 80 squads. That's a huge force. And I have bumped off roughly 14 of those already. So that's a casualty rate of 18% that I have inflicted, and I'm the attacker. It's no wonder that I have not taken a ton of ground in the current CG day.

Hecque, if I could inflict 18% every day, I might be able to eventually just bleed him dry of infantry. But that's a huge pool of Soviet reinforcements to work through, so maybe not.

It has a classic Stalingrad look and feel. I gun down Russians and move forward. He counterattacks, kills a much smaller number of Germans, breaks the rest, and pushes me back. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If we get a "Clear" weather day I will buy more Stukas. Nothing says "Nuts" to a KV1 like a Stuka.

I have to check out the "board edge entry hex" rules. At some point... something like 23 October, I get to enter anywhere along the ENTIRE western 2-map edge. So the day before that, I will take an Idle Day so that I will have a whole bunch more force available to take advantage of that first day of expanded perimeter. That will also allow me to have much greater force at the point of attack, and P will have to be much more dispersed to defend the entire front.

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"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:15 pm 
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Other concerns.

As the CG days progress, players track something called their ELR (Elan Loss Rating). If you fail a morale check (2d6) by a number greater than your ELR, your squad deteriorates. A 1st line squad becomes a second line squad. A second line squad becomes a conscript. Their combat values and morale decline commensurate with loss of elan.

Each day both sides make a DR to determine whether they lose ELR. The Germans start at 4, the Russians at 3. It's one of the only real advantages the Germans have in the contest. But each time a side selects "attack" for a CG day, they accumulate a penalty to their ELR retention die roll. After the current CG day, the Germans will be at serious risk of loss of 1 ELR.

The problem of course is that the Soviets can reinforce faster than the Germans, courtesy of their much lower CPP costs for things like infantry companies. So if the Germans take an Idle Day, the Soviet defense is commensurately stronger than the enhanced German attack capabilities.

This is something I need to ponder. It might be desirable to take an "Idle Day" after the current CG day to protect my ELR. The disadavantage is that the Russians will have many more ground units on the map on Oct 21 if I do that. The advantage is that at least in artillery, we will have parity. Finally, of course, when the a player chooses "attack" they get the advantage of determining which portion of the Board will see action and concentration of force. The attacking player has the initiative so to speak.

We shall see where thing stand at the end of this CG day... October 19 1942. Also it makes a difference if October 20 will be sunny rather than overcast. If it is sunny, a cheap solution to the KV-1s is readily available: Stukas.

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"And the story was whatever was the song what it was." - Dire Straits


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 Post subject: Re: Advanced Squad Leader
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:28 pm 
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When you mentioned taking the idle day, I was wondering about the trade-offs of the Russians getting stronger ... so the plus would have to be based on the attacker advantage of knowing where he is attacking ... and the defender not knowing ... but use as must "masking of intent" as possible, to make it hard for them to guess.

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