Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ASL Red Barricades: Today the Volga, tomorrow the Vistula (Pt. III)

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.

Dave Hauth and I are engaged in a playing of RBCGI:  Into the Factory.  I'm the Reds.  He's the Jerries.

We're each maintaining a blog correspondence as the game progresses.  We've a Gentleman's Agreement that neither of us will read his opponent's blog until given express permission to do so. 

Readers are encouraged to comment!  Speak your piece! Just be sure not to inadvertently reveal any information about Dave's plan to me or vice-versa. 

You can read earlier episodes of my account:
You can read Dave's blog here

Aftermath of CG Day 2

Disaster... that's how I describe Day 2.

Things started well for me when Dave stumbled right into my ambush on the west edge of the board.  I stung him well over there, blunting his initial thrust down the board edge.  Meanwhile, he advanced very cautiously through the factories such that, at the beginning of Turn 3, I was feeling pretty confident.  I had evacuated the J13 and J15 factories with minimal losses and was lined up to hammer him when he entered the big O10 factory.  All was proceeding as I had hoped.

But then, his overwhelming firepower destroyed my forces in the west, and his tanks led the charge into the O10 factory, shattering my lines.  My goal of holding the O18 building was quickly proved forlorn as the Germans, using Panzers, busted through my strong-point like it was nothing.  At that point, I was in full retreat in the north and trying as best I could just to salvage as much as possible of my rifle company.

In the south, things were better.  I held my own against his advancing rifle company in the K27 factory, and I'm still in control of the P21 factory. 

The casualty points tell most of the tale.  The Germans scored 61 CVP; the Russians, a mere 29 CVP.  But that's not even the whole story.  Take a look at the perimeter.

Day 3 Perimeter
Notice that ominous salient up near the Commissar's House?  Now, any thoughts I may have had for defending in the north are over.  I'm faced with the prospect of having to defend the Commissar's House and hold my ground in the south for the next day.  The Chemist's Shop and the riverbank are German for the taking and there's nothing I can do to stop it.

The good news is that Dave is low on elite troops so he is almost compelled to buy a Sturm company (or maybe even Pioneers) if he hopes to maintain his thrust.  Also, he simply doesn't have enough troops to man the entire front.  On the other hand, since he purchased a Heavy Weapons platoon, he has plenty of machine-guns and, now that he holds not only the Power Station, but building O18 as well, he can set up nasty fire groups that can rain hell on my troops at almost any point along the perimeter.  Not a good situation.

Day 3:  Stand and die

I'm cornered.  There is nothing to be done but stand and take my medicine.  If I can withstand one more day of attack, I might be able to hold on.  Things look bleak, at this point.  But Commissar Nikita gave me my orders:  Hold at all costs.  So, here we go...

My retained forces are these:
  • 447 x 13
  • 527 x 7
  • 426 x 6.5
  • 10-0, 9-1 x 2, 9-0, 8-1, 7-0 x 2
  • HMG x 3, MMG, Atr, Lt. Mtr.
  • KVII M42 (disabled CMG) dug-in U9
  • T60 M42 dug-in O23
Not a lot to work with, eh?

I'm allotted 16 CPP for Day 3.  These are my purchases:
  • I5 Militia Coy 4CPP
    426 x 12
    MMG, LMG, Atr, Lt. Mtr.

  • I2 Guards SMG Coy (reserve, depleted) 6CPP
    628 x 7

  • O2 Btln Mortar w/Pre-registered hex P20 (scarce ammo) 2CPP

  • G3 INF Battery 4CPP
    76* INF Gun x 3
I hate to complain about dice rolls, but I'm going to do it anyway. I had a string of bad rolls when I rolled up my reinforcements, resulting in a depleted Guards SMG company, with no DC, and a single leader. Then, to add insult to injury, I rolled up scarce ammo for my Battalion Mortar module. Less than ideal.

Dave sees this...
Red bear at bay

Things look pretty desperate. This could very well be the last day of our campaign game, depending on what happens. The German salient in the northern factories necessitates that I abandon everything in the north. Even the Commissar's House is vulnerable.

But while the situation is bleak, I must remember that his forces have been whittled down.  He only has about a half a company of elite troops remaining from his Day 2 forces.  Certainly, he will have purchased more for Day 3, but unless he spends the extra 3CPP to set them up on board, he will have to enter them on Turn 1 and hustle them across the board to get to the action.  That buys me a little time.

Day 3 setup
My plan for the day is to skulk as much as possible, stay hidden, and try to keep the Germans away from the eastern board edge. There's no profit in trying to anticipate where the German hammer will fall.  Let them come.  We're as ready to die today as we will be tomorrow.

Day 3 setup, north
There is not much to show in the north.  I have 2 platoons of unfortunate militia troops stationed in the Chemist's Shop.  Between them and my KV tank, I hope to at least make him work.  The Commissar's House is also vulnerable.  But I don't feel I have the troops to spare to try to defend it.  My SMG company gets the unenviable task of putting up a thin line of defense and hoping the Germans choose another target.
Day 3 setup, south
I've loaded up the factories in the south.  This is where I make my final stand.  This area is well protected from his high-level vantages in the Power Station and the O18 building, which I hope will force him to come in close where I can punish his troops in close combat.  It will also be hard for him to land artillery in the area due to the restrictive lines of sight.

In order to avoid the fiasco of Day 2, where his tanks crushed my line of defense, I purchased a battery of infantry howitzers.  In addition to putting out some murderous fire, especially at close range, they can place smoke which will hinder long-range German target-seeking.  My 80mm Btln Mortar will drop smoke in the pre-registered hex (P20) to further shut down German fire bases.

Beyond that, I can only hope for the best against some pretty long odds.

We're scheduled to play on December 27th.  Wish me luck... I need it.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Tim Hundsdorfer said...

Dug in tanks? Dade...

Do you play VASL? We should do a game. As I remember I owe you a shelacking from Utah.