Jim and I got in our playing of 165 Nothing But Courage with plenty of time to spare, because I conceded after 3-1/2 turns. I had the defending Russians, and I honestly don't know how the Russians have a chance in this.
I spread out my defense at start. I think this is a requirement, as the Finns get three FFEs in turn 1, If they manage to catch a bunch of squads, or worse a few tanks, that's a disaster. The alternative, however is also terrifying: spread out on No Move counters and watch as the ski equipped Finnish supermen out maneuver, and slice and dice your troops. Lots of surrendering. Lots of pain.
The Russians have 5 AFVs, but they must begin the game Abandoned, with their crews outside (again on No Move counters.) I admittedly have not studied this battle, but from the bit I did read about it, I do not see the historical justification for the No Move / Abandoned tank SSRs. This scenario appears to have been designed by someone has a sadistic dislike for Russian soldiers.
Getting ready to take on my first Hakkaa Paalle scenario, and just my second scenario of any kind since last summer. We've selected 165 - Nothing But Courage. The scenario is based on a Finnish counter attack of Russian positions near a rail station in Honkaniemi, Finland, 1940, a battle which featured the only Finnish tank action of the Winter War.
We chose sides randomly and I got the defending Russians. I fear my dice are already betraying me. I'm often wrong about favored sides when eyeballing a scenario, but at first glance this seems a bit hard on the Russians.Though the sides are roughly equal in quantity and quality, the Finns have a lot of things going for them. For starters, there's a very restrictive SSR which puts the Russians on No Move counters for up to three turns. The Finns also get three (!) FFEs as a pre game bombardment. They have skis and winter camo.
Of course, these aren't just any Finns. These are ASL Finns, which means they can self rally, deploy and recombine without a leader, and fire a rifle with one hand while building a snow hotel with the other.
The early results on ROAR have this as 2-0 favor of the Finns. Sure, it's statistically meaningless, but I still would like to have seen a Russian victory there.
But enough pre-game whining. I'll save some for for Saturday.
Was able to sneak in a playing of this scenario from AP 9 last week. Jim and I both thought it was a very strong scenario.
The Gurkha player has multiple possible victory conditions. There are five way in which they can acquire a VP, and they are potentially rewarded for achieving them quickly.
The Gurkha player wins if he has 1 VP by the end of turn three, or 2VP by the end of turn 5, or 4 by the end of the 6-1/2 turn game. I thought from the start that 2VP by turn 5 was the most plausible path to victory, and set my timetable accordingly. The big catch is that there is a CVP cap of 12 on the good guys.
The bulk of my infantry was set up on board. I max-deployed and then deployed some more during the rally phase. Jim was set up with the MMG looking straight down the road that divides board 62.
Over the first few turns I sent some infantry up both sides of the road toward the MG nest, and a larger force pushing hard to the east and board 8b. I had three vehicles set up on board, and brought the others in on the west edge. The mortar carrier took up a position to bring fire and smoke on the MMG, while two others moved put the northern edge.
I lost three vehicles. Two to the Japanese guns, and one to a tank hunter hero. All were crewed vehicles so the defenders racked up 6 CVP just on vehicle crews. By the end of turn 4 I had all but eliminated the group around the MMG in the center, and had broken through in the east with a large force. There was good chance to take the 8bCC13/CC14 VP area in the next turn. Unfortunately, Jim had done some damage, and I was right up against the cap.
When his wounded leader took out a half squad in HTH CC, we were done.
The major mistake I made in this was bringing all of the vehicles into the fight. The mortar carrier is an effective jungle weapon and needs to be used from the jump. The other vehicles however, serve as little more than Japanese CVP opportunities. If I had it to do again, I would keep them off board for several turns, or at least until I had located the Japanese guns.
The other issue is all the deploying. While I think it is an effective strategy in several ways, there is a trade-off. Half squads are much easier to pick off in CC, which matters a lot in a CVP capped world. I should have been more careful to keep the halfies out of CC when possible.
Jim and I both like the scenario a lot. I'm looking forward to playing more from this pack.