Greetings fellow ASL players! Thanksgiving weekend would be lacking without a day-long gaming session, would it not? So I spent a busy day today, raking leaves and running errands for my beloved wife that I might have all day tomorrow to game with ol' Dave Hauth.
Dave and I are set to play the Armies of Oblivion scenario, Return to Sender. This scenario represents actions that took place in Serbia, in late 1944, when the Bulgarians left the Axis and sided with the Allies, turning on their hitherto comrades. This action has elite Germans defending a hill from a horde of Bulgarian troops supported by armor they had seized from the Germans.
Dave has the part of the Bulgarians; I'm the Germans. I'll lay out my plans today, then tell how it all turned out in a future post.
Here's to the Fatherland!
|Dave see this|
The Victory conditions are straightforward: at game end the Bulgarians must control all level 3 and level 4 hill hexes.
Bulgarian advantages are unopposed armor, high mobility (there are 6 trucks to transport infantry) and 30 squads. The scenario length (10 turns) also works to the Bulgarian advantage, but I suspect the issue will be decided one way or the other long before turn 10.
German advantages are the big Flak guns, which will have no problem cutting through the armor of those requisitioned panzers, and the huge disparity in troop quality between Germans and Bulgarians.
As the German, I think my biggest advantage is the difference in infantry quality. My elite Germans will tear up those poor Bulgarians, tanks or no tanks. The Bulgarians have two platoons of shaky troops for each one of their 5 leaders.
My defense is devised with an eye to exacting a toll on Bulgarian infantry and not worrying over much about the 2 panzer platoons. The three 88L Flak guns are positioned with good lines of sight across the battlefield, and I'll trust them to make life difficult for marauding armor.
My first order of business, in constructing this setup, was to place my Flak guns, both big and small. Here's what I did.
|Flak gun placement|
But, of course, given the quality of his infantry, he will need to use his panzers aggressively. A difficult quandary, methinks. We'll see how he handles it.
The small Flak guns are set to whack Bulgarian infantry making their way across the low board 11 hills. Not an inviting prospect for the Bulgarians. And with such poor troop quality, broken units will be slow to rally. Dave's leaders will, I predict, have their hands full rallying, probably for the entire game.
Next, I placed Roadblocks.
At this point in the setup, I organize and place my infantry. I've got 14 squads and three leaders with good support weapons and foxholes for fortification. The Bulgarians enter from off-board, so my allotted 16 concealment markers can all be used for dummies.
I divided the infantry between the leaders, 4 squads per leader. The remaining 2 squads are setup in ambush positions and fulfill my allotted HIP assignments.
|Upper-right sector: Tank trap|
|Upper left sector|
The 9-1 directs the HMG, supported by the light mortars. Everyone is holed up in Foxholes and ready to beat feet back to the victory hill if the assault comes too strong. Of course, if things go wrong, these troops will be quickly isolated and destroyed. C'est la guerre, mon frere.
|Lower left sector|
If the attack falls on the right flank, these troops will head for the victory hill to await the final assault.
Before ever having rolled the dice, it looks to me like this scenario presents a pretty tough row for the Bulgarians to hoe. I've told Dave as much. We'll know soon enough, I suppose.
Update: What a disappointment! As I feared, this scenario is utterly lop-sided in favor of the Germans. The 88L Flak guns commanded the approaches to Board 50 and the Bulgarian infantry "perished like straw in a great fire," as Professor Tolkien put it. Bummer!
I wonder... is there anyone anywhere who has won this scenario as the Bulgarians?