Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ASL: Fight for the Barrikady (Pt. II)

Note to readers: This post won't make a lick of sense to anyone who isn't familiar with the Advanced Squad Leader game system.

Fellow Berserk Commissar Sonny Eberts (Santino, the Bull) and I are enmeshed in a savage struggle for the Stalingrad Barrikady, CGIII.  Sonny and I will each maintain a blog correspondence as the game progresses with the agreement that neither will read the other's blog until given express permission to do so.  Readers are encouraged to comment!  Got a problem with where I placed my AT gun?  Speak your piece!  Just be sure not to inadvertently reveal any information about Sonny's plan to me or vice-versa.

You can read my entry for the previous game day here.

Aftermath of Day 1:  Big acorns, small oaks

The biggest roll of the day for Campaign Game Day 1 was the "1" I rolled at the end of turn 5, thereby ending the game just as Sonny's Germans were poised to rush uncontested into building K10 and the L10 factory. The perimeter at the end of the day looked like this...

Perimeter at the end of Day 1

Sonny purchased two rifle companies and a Stuka group for Day 1.  With the benefit of hindsight, I think this may have been a mistake.  Sonny was attacking across a very narrow front with four companies!  His force was massive and unwieldy.  The attack was ponderous.  Sheer weight of numbers carried him up into building F5 and beyond, but he did not get into any of the factories, and I was still contesting building M6 when the day ended.

On my side of the table, my Molotov capability led to building B12 burning down, which was good.  But beyond that, it did nothing.  Methinks the 2 CPP I spent on it could have been better used for Fortification points or artillery.

The casualty ratio for the day kept pace with German needs, but it was hardly a shellacking.  The Russians suffered 25 CVP, while the Germans suffered 14 CVP.  Considering the size of Sonny's force, he didn't put a very big hurt on me. 

I came away from the day with my force largely intact.  My biggest losses of the day were a dug-in KV tank (lost to a Stuka), and one of my AT guns (malfunctioned, then disabled).  Although I lost the scenario within the limited confines of the daily victory conditions, I counted the day as meeting my overall strategic goals:  the Germans had not reached the river, and I kept all my leaders and heavy support weapons.

And now comes the dawn...

My retained forces for Day 2 are as follows:
  • 426 x 13
  • 527 x 5
  • 628
  • 447 x 18
  • 228 x 2
  • 10-2, 8-1 x 2, 10-0, 8-0
  • KVII M42, dug-in, hex U9
  • 45LL ATG
  • ATR x 3, MMG x 3, HMG x 2, LMG x 2, Lt. Mtr. x 3
Not bad.  One and a half rifle companies, a militia company, and a depleted sub-machine gun company.  Decent leadership.  And my fortifications guarding the river are still intact. 

Sonny sees this...

I am allotted 17 CPP for Day 2.  My purchases are as follows:
  • SMG Guards Coy (reserve) 6 CPP
    628 x 9
    9-0, 8-1
  • Militia Coy (depleted)  4 CPP
    426 x 9
    MMG, ATR, Lt. Mtr.
  • 120 Fort Points 3 CPP
    Trench x 3
    AP mine factors x 18
    Wire x 2
    2 squads HIP
    Dummy counters x 9
  • T60 M42 Pltn 3 CPP
    T60 M42 x 3
  • 80mm Mtr OBA module 1 CPP
My long term strategy is to build a line of defense that runs the entire length of the board, running roughly along the V thru X hex rows.  So, I will add to my fortifications in the north, extending them southward.  Meanwhile, my militia will fight and die in the factories, buying time for the troops behind them to dig their trenches.
I'm buying the elite SMG company and the armor platoon for one reason:  to guard my ELR.  I saw what happened to Dave Hauth in our recent game and I'm going to try to avoid a similar fate.  With these two purchases, I add a -3 modifier to my ELR roll at the end of the day.

Day 2 setup

It will be interesting to see how the T60s fare on this battlefield.  Ideally, I would purchase them as dug-in tanks, but this time, since I can't easily predict where the German will attack, I'm opting to keep them mobile.  There are a couple reasons that lend to the attractiveness of this option:  1) weather is overcast, so I have no fear of Stukas; 2) Sonny's platoon of MkIIIs was recalled at the end of day 1, so there will be no German armor set up on board. 

The 80mm Mortar OBA will be directed by the 6+1 in the second level of O18 where he can see over the "low" O10 factory.  From this vantage, he can drop shells to either side of the O6 factory, and even all the way out to the jump off point of any German attack toward the river, around hex W3.

I've placed trenches in X8 and Y8 to link up the Chemist's shop with the defenses to the north.  This sector is manned by my reinforced rifle company.

My two militia companies have affixed their bayonets and are hunkered down in the factories awaiting Jerry.  A political officer is on hand to provide patriotic instruction and the 10-2 has a kill stack backing them up. 

The elite SMG company is in reserve to the south in the L14 and F16 factories.  The 1st line SMG company guards against any southward advance along the railway.  My 45L ATG backs them up further south.  And the reinforcing T-60s may be coming this way in response to a serious German effort.

So far, so good.  Sonny is going to have to hit me harder than he hit me yesterday, or I'm going to quickly become too strong for him.  But I expect he knows this...

To be continued...

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