Saturday, November 19, 2011

ASL scenario replay: Raus' Sour Krauts (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.

Greetings fellow ASL players!

Dave Hauth and I played the Vincent Maresca scenario, Raus' Sour Krauts.  I found this scenario on Tim Hundsdorfer's ASL web site

You can read the battle prelude here.

Here's how it turned out. 

Splat!  A thorough blunting of the Soviet advance.  A Red Army disaster.

The game lasted through the first two shots of the German Turn 1 Prep Fire Phase at which point Dave had had enough.  I can't say I blame him.  He was down two T34s and a squad.  Another squad was broken.  And his third T34 was bogged within the sites of my smokin' hot 75L ATG.

Here's how it looked.

Weep, Mother Russia
Since the folly of a central attack is now clearly demonstrated, I speculate on 2 alternatives that might have more success.

Roundin' the bend
Option 1:  Flank

Enter your armor, with its full complement of riders (I'd recommend elite troops for the job), on either the extreme east or extreme west flank.  Gather your tanks in the blinds of woods and orchards, staying out of LOS of the top of the hill, as much as possible.

Set up the 1st line infantry so as to harass the Germans and keep them from moving toward the point of attack.  The light mortar and the MMG set up on the elevated road, with a leader just behind it to rally broken troops.  

On Turn 2, the tanks break out and go for the hill.  At this point, I think, it would be okay to be a little reckless.  Swarm the Germans and engage them at close range so that your Turn 3 reinforcements can charge directly across the bridges and straight into the fight.

Guns a-blazin'
Option 2:  The direct approach

Of course, there is always another option.  The clench-your-teeth-and-run-the-bridges option.  Send one tank platoon across each bridge.  At the end of Turn 1, you can be engaging Germans at ranges of 2 to 4 hexes.

It might work.  The Germans can't kill everything.  (Can they?)  And let's not underestimate the psychological effect of audacity.

Expect casualties.  But if you can tie up the Germans, your Turn 3 reinforcements might arrive just in time to turn the tide.


After this playing, Dave is convinced that the Russians are faced with an impossible task.  I agree that the Germans might be too strong.  After all, I completely blunted his initial wave with a single ATG.  (But, then again, he did enter his T34s directly into the sites of my gun.)

It's a bummer when a game goes this badly, but it does happen.

One nit:  The unarmored half-tracks seem superfluous.  There isn't enough time to tow guns around the map.  On the other hand, if there were an SSR that required the Germans to set up the ATG in tow behind the half-tracks, that would add an urgent twist to the German set up.  And it might help with play balance, as well.

I'd like to say thanks to Vincent Maresca for taking the time to design this scenario.  I don't know Vincent personally, but maybe I'll have the honor at a tourney one day. 

Gotta love this game.


Vincent Maresca said...

Wow - who designed this dog?  - Vincent Maresca

Rob W said...

Dade, if you love Kursk scenarios then you must buy Crucible of Steel from Bounding Fire. It just came out. 32 scenarios, 9 mapboards that represent the area around Kursk with three sets of double-wide boards, and excellent manual with articles on fortifications and the Kursk terrain, 6.5 full counter sheets, although most replace the white. Core counters from Blood & Jungle and a nice set of notes and battle rules.

Played a scenario AST night from CoS and it was sweet.

Dan Binmore said...

It's weird, because I don't know Advanced Squad Leader (although I have played some table top games) but I think these are usually my favorite posts on this blog.  I have no idea why.  Perhaps the enthusiasm in the storytelling?

Don R. Kabob said...

I disagree that it's a dog.  I won this as the Soviet side and we all know what an incompetent boob I am.  The key, as Dade points out, is audacity.  Balls to the wall. Yes, if the German maintains ROF it's trouble, maybe more than in other scenarios.  The German can just as easily be forced into intensive fire shots that gut his AT defenses.

On the unarmored halftracks you may have a point.  I wouldn't want to play this one as the Germans if they have to set up hooked up, but then I wouldn't want to play this as the Germans, as my comrade Cariaga knows well!