My old friend and ASL nemesis, Dave Hauth, is back! Fresh off our recent Red Barricades game, in which I finally seem to have found an effective counter for his "fortify the riverbank" strategy, Dave is ready to give it another go. This time the game is RBCGIII: the Barrikady, with yours truly in the role of General Von Paulus and Dave doing his best impression of grandfatherly Marshal Zhukov.
For your vicarious ASL enjoyment, both players will once again maintain a blog correspondence as the game progresses with the agreement that neither will read his opponent's blog until given express permission to do so. Dave and I have faced off in so many ASL campaigns and scenarios that a Gentleman's Game is both assumed and assured.
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 Dave's plan to me or vice-versa. You can read Dave's blog here.
What to do? What to do?
Coming so freshly off a recent game, as the German commander, I'm not certain how I should launch my attack. The German entry area is somewhat limited. Fortunately, I can defer the specifics of my attack until after I see Dave's setup. But since Dave and I only recently completed a game in which I broke through the Russian defenses to win the riverbank, this time I'm inclined to try something different.
My inclination is to attack southward along the west edge of the board, or else try a stab right into the heart of the Russian defenses, with an objective of attaining building K10 by the end of the day. 'Tis to be thought upon.
In any case, my initial forces are these:
- Rifle Coy
467 x 12
9-1, 8-1, 8-0
HMG, MMG, LMG, Atr, Lt. Mtr.
- Sturm Coy
548 x 12
9-2, 8-1, 7-0
MMG, LMG x 2, DC x 2
- Btln Mortar
80mm Mortar OBA
Offboard Observer: M1
Pre-registered hexes: G11, M5
- PzKwIIIL Pltn
PzKwIIIL x 3
9-1 Armor Leader
- Rifle Coy 7 CPP
467 x 12
9-1, 8-1, 7-0
HMG, MMG, LMG, Atr, Lt. Mtr.
- PIIIH Pltn 3 CPP
PzKwIIIH x 3
- Medium Artillery with Offboard Observer 5 CPP
100mm Artillery (Plentiful Ammo)
Offboard Observer: E1
|Where will the shells drop?|
The 80mm mortar is set to drop smoke on building M5, or perhaps to bombard the rubble in the area around G10, where any Russians will not have the benefit of stone buildings for protection. The 100mm lacks a pre-registered hex, and so will drop a spotting round somewhere along the E hex row and see what develops. Beyond these general plans, I will go no further until I see Dave's setup.
The dawn reveals...
And here it is.
The first thing I notice is that Dave appears to have defended the river, and more specifically the area around building Z1, rather lightly. I also see that there are two "big" concealment markers up by the Chemist's Shop: looks like a dug-in KV platoon to me.
The path to the river looks so inviting that I think I smell a rat. There are no reserve counters on board. An interesting fact! So, he didn't spend a lot of CPP on infantry. And I don't see any wire counters either. So on what did he spend his points? I suspect that somewhere in all those multilevel buildings, or perhaps on a rooftop somewhere, there is a leader with a field phone and a direct connection to some Russian guns over there across the Volga. Maybe very big guns. That thought makes my palms a little sweaty...
Dave has set up fairly strongly along the railroad line to the west. In particular, the upper level of F13 appears to be a leader-directed machine-gun nest. But I expect I can chase Ivan out of that area with my artillery. In fact, my 100mm observer in hex E1 has all kinds of inviting targets around the B12 building and southward. And there is also this: if he has a lot of infantry in the area, he probably doesn't have his artillery trained on it.
I'm going to go with the "vanilla" German attack. Crash on down the D through G hex rows in a more or less southeasterly direction. If I can end the scenario with buildings K10 and M5 within my perimeter, and if I've attained a 3 to 2 advantage in casualties, I'll say the day is won.
To be continued...
Looks interesting and predictable. Will be interested to see what Dave has up his sleeve.
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