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. You can read my previous entry here.
Aftermath of Day 3
Well, the results of Day 3 have given me some breathing room. Here's the perimeter.
|Perimeter, end of Day 3|
I was able to destroy nearly two full companies of Russian infantry and, although I didn't quite reach the river, I captured the trenches and pillboxes that comprised Dave's defense in the northeast portion of the map. My men can hear the Volga lapping against the shore. The results in that sector were brought about by a very fortunate drift of my Nebelwerfer to hex AA8, where it fell on the core of Dave's river defense, including a concrete pillbox that I had not previously discovered. While the rocket pounded those troops, my Sturm company, supported by the reinforcing Panzers crashed into his trench line, leaving the Red Army troopers with nowhere to go. All in all, I destroyed an entire company of infantry over there.
The Russians suffered 65 CVP, the Germans, 42 CVP. That's a pretty good ratio, especially when you consider that 24 of my CVP were from armor. I lost only seven and a half squads of infantry. Also, even though I swore I would not, I did advance southward in the west and in the factories and was able to gain substantial ground, including Building B17. I lost all three of my purchased PzIIIH tanks, and my one remaining StuG G. But I was able to destroy one of the T34 M43 tanks that Dave had purchased, and I immobilized another, leaving it in a very precarious position (hex T14).
I choose the Attack chit once again for Day 4. My retained forces for the day:
- 548 x 10.5
- 468 x 11
- 467 x 10
- 447 x 1.5
- 9-2 x 2, 9-1 x 3, 7-0 x 2
- HMG x 3, MMG x 4, MMG (r) x 2, LMG x 3, ATR x 2, Lt. Mtr.
- PzKpfwIII H (immobilized in hex Q11)
- Rifle Coy 7CPP
467 x 12
- Nebelwerfer w/pre-reg hex (scarce ammo) 3 CPP
Pre--registered hex: I23
- Stukas (early entry) 2 CPP
- PzIVF1 Pltn (depleted) 5 CPP
PzIVF1 x 2
9-2 armor leader
Plan for Day 4
My goal for this day is to stretch the front. Now that the Russian numerical advantage is not so pronounced, it is time to start forcing Ivan to have to guard a wider approach. So, with that in mind, there are two options: attack southward along the river, or down the western edge of the map.
I'm going to opt for the latter: push right down the board edge. I think this is the safer approach. I expect that Dave will anticipate a strong effort to grab the Chemist's Shop. But, in this, I choose to disappoint.
|The ol' right hook|
I23 is the pre-registered hex for the Nebelwerfer. I have to imagine that, no matter where it drifts, it is going to rain down some misery on Red Army troopers. I'll allocate my forces after I see Dave's set up.
Upon seeing Dave's setup, the need to "stretch" the front becomes all the more apparent.
|Ready to rumble|
There are Russians at every point in the front. Except for one. It seems that Dave has left the ground to the west of the railroad completely unguarded. But, you'll pardon me if I remain just a tad suspicious, eh? It seems highly unlikely that B23 is completely empty. And, in fact, looking over his setup, I cannot account for the one mobile T34 M43 that I know he has retained. So it is out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered.
Nonetheless, he can't have much over on the extreme west, and that's the way I aim to go. Buildings B23 and C28 are both on the agenda for the day. In fact, I'll run as far down the west side of the map as I can get. But I don't expect it will be as easy as it looks.
Beyond the west edge creep, I hope to do some clean-up work in the K15 and O10 factories. I'll use my Sturm troops there. And I will definitely be going after the immobilized T34 in T14. I'll also make a grab for hex DD0 and try to clear the AT ditch in DD5. But these are all secondary goals.
I want to have a very long perimeter at the end of the day. And that means I want to grab as much ground as I can on the west edge of the map. I'm going to need to take an Idle day soon, and in order to do that with any degree of security, I need to make the Russians feel stretched.
Let's see how it goes...
To be continued...
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