Thursday, March 24, 2011

La Gleize from the west

  This photo of a wintry "light mist" sunrise appears to have been taken from the north side of the La Gleize - Stoumont Rd, looking south and east. The high point in the center may be the Notre Dame l'Assomption church.

  During the CG scenarios of Dec 23rd, massive American forces will be pouring into town from this direction.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

La Gleize - Day Two

We played three turns of the 20AM CG date on Saturday. I didn't have my camera, and my phone pictures don't look very good. The short story is that most of the fighting has shifted north to Borgoumont and the road leading SW towards La Gleize.

   More to come.....

Friday, March 18, 2011

La Gleize - Day One

     I love ASL campaign games. But other than TOP SECRET playtests, I hadn't played a CG in quite a while. So when Jim asked if I wanted to take the American side in La Gleize, I accepted.

   La Gleize wouldn't have been my first choice. Although "broken" is a bit strong, I think this is a generally fair criticism.

The first 10-11 scenario dates the Ami is dancing around the German perimeter. The German can out buy the Ami for infantry for those first 11 dates and the Ami doesn't really get enough stuff to make a decent attempt at assaulting the German positions. Then on the last 2 dates the Amies get around 350 CPP to assault the German. Probably enough to do the deal.

In short, nothing much happens for 11 scenarios...then the last 2 scenarios the Germans are just a punching bag.

-- Tater

    That said, the ROAR results show a 6-3 advantage in favor of the Germans. The KGP campaigns cover a fascinating chapter of the war. And, it's ASL. How bad could it be?

   The opening battle is more like a tournament scenario than a campaign date. The Americans get five Shermans, an infantry platoon, and enough CPP for two more. The Germans get a few SS platoons, and 30 CPP. However, the German purchases must set up as reserves.

    My initial platoon entered and almost immediately started taking fire from a German LMG squad in a good up slope position in X51. Throughout the game the Americans in this area would exchange fire that squad, with the Germans mostly maintaining the upper hand.

    In Jim's early game, he moved a few squads across the bridge to try to take up positions east of the stream. I got a good turn 2 reinforcement roll bringing on my five Shermans. Seeing them roll up made the Germans think better of their move, and they high tailed it back across the bridge. Up north, Jim sent a few squads to run around Borgoumont and gobble up strategic locations.

    Soon my two purchased infantry platoons came on. I sent one platoon into the woods east of the stream, the other moved to capture the stone LVP bridge.

   Four shermans moved in to woods passing all bog rolls and creating some trail breaks. We managed to break a few of the main armaments, and also x-out the fuel on the flame tank. Still, there was enough firepower  to break and rout a panzerschrek toting half squad down into the stream .

   Jim got a successful release roll and activated a panther reserve that had been lurking nearby. The panther moved up and burned a sherman in the treeline with an advancing fire shot.

   My "bridge platoon" massed their firepower and broke the German squad guarding the bridge. A sherman
moved down into the stream to challenge the now rallied panzerschrek squad (and to duck out of the panther's LOS). The schrek didn't miss. Another sherman burning. The US mortars started laying white phos which allowed the flame tank to escape the panther's sights.

   With the cover of the smoke, two US squads crossed the stream and moved up adjacent to the Mill.  One  was broken by the panther's machine guns, the other moved into close combat. The US achieved ambush, and killed the German squad and leader, taking control of the LVP location. Huh. That went well!


  In the bottom of the turn, the panther moved up adjacent to the mill building, got an improbable hit with snakes on the adv. fire shot, and the GIs would have to rout out of there, giving the building back.

   The German counter attack on the bridge did not go as well. A reserve-released halftrack and squad tried
a bold armored assault move, challenging the bazooka team who had crossed the bridge. The bazooka killed the halftrack, and the squad's fire broke the infantry.

   The Americans achieved the CG victory conditions with 10CVP. Would have preferred to have held the mill, but all in all, an acceptable opening.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

La Gleize

  Jim and I started a KGP III (La Gleize) campaign last weekend. There was heavy fighting around this place. This a Google Earth image. You can make out the small bridge leading to the narrow passage between the buildings.

  The buildings on the east side of the stream are not represented on the KGP map, and are likely post-war construction.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Raid on Rodimtsev AAR Part 2

   As we edged towards dawn, the attack in the north had been cut to ribbons. There was just enough German strength to hold off a half hearted Russian counter attack.

   In the center, my attackers had found some defenders skulking around just south of the Voentorg. We broke one Russian squad and killed another in CC. The main trouble in this area was the wire and mines which slowed down the attack by a few turns.

  By now, stacks of mostly concealed Russian reinforcements had spilled into the area around NKVD/GPU house. I had no real hope of crossing Penzenskaya street now. My new, more modest goal, was to use Mr 10-2 to silence the .50cal in X9 that was causing me problems further down the street.

    A concealed stack moved out into the shellholes across from my 10-2 stack. I thought it was a decoy, there to draw my fire away from X9. I didn't take the bait.

   Turns out, it wasn't actually bait. The Russian flamethrower flipped and routed the whole 10-2 stack. Then he took everything we could throw back at him with 10 gallons of combustibles on his back and nothing but a shellhole to hide in. What a creep.

   This game would be decided in the south.

   As turn six began, we were in position to make the big final push. The Russians got their final reinforcement group.

    Mr 10-3 was commanding a stack with two HMGs in it. A squad and a half (with the one remaining flamethrower) had gained a toehold in a fortified location in the Waterworks.

    I would need some effective fire to break a hole in the Russian wall. HMG stack: boxcars. Random selection: yahtzee.  Flamethrower: boxcars.  That. Hurt.

   We pushed on getting across the street in turn 7, and winning a close combat. The Y17 building was in big trouble, but the Russians in the Waterworks had survived the worst and were hanging on.

   In the top of the 8th I tried to sprint a squad and Mr 10-3 off the east edge. Getting them off would have been worth three stone hexes. The squad pinned, and the leader broke. Ball game.

   In the end the Germans had 21 stone hexes of the needed 26. Had that infantry managed to run off map, I still would have been two hexes short. And to be fair, had we played the bottom of the 8th, the Russian would have taken back one hex unopposed, and as many as 2-3 more with some effort.

  Great scenario. Tense and close. But for a very bad dice streak, it may have been VERY close. It's very large and takes some time, but it's well worth it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Raid on Rodimtsev AAR Part 1

 We finished Raid on Rodimtsev from the new journal a few weekends ago. The Russians held off the German onslaught with 4+ stone hexes to spare.

  Jim posted an AAR on Gamesquad here.

   For my German attack, I decided that my concentration should be in the south. The southern edge is the only place on the map where the Germans can attack from two sides. It's also the furthest point from the majority of Russian reinforcements. Logic=Awesome.

   The caveat is this: setup restrictions for this scenario force you to be widely spread out at start. The real decisions are about where to place your big weapons. I place both my HMGs, and two of my three flamethrowers in the southern third of the map area.

  My thought in the north was just make some effort, and hope to get lucky. A successful attack along the north edge (i.e., capturing building W1) could be a spectacular development, as it would greatly threaten the Russian reinforcements. Losing ground there would be devastating for the Russians.

  Trouble is, I knew from experience that attacking in the shadow of Pavlov's house was more than a little difficult. Jim had the proper precautions taken, with wire, mines, a MMG, and a 45L covering the German axis of advance. I managed early on to breach a fortified location of the flour mill, and get a squad in the building.

  That would be the high water mark of the attack in the north. Eventually, the well placed Russian weapons and relative lack of cover would wear the German force down.

 In the middle, I wanted to have just enough of a threat to make the Russians play an honest defense. As the game moved along, I hedged on this strategy. I kept the middle elements largely in place, when I would have been better off moving 2-3 squads further south to participate in the main thrust.

  More to come.....