So I was rummaging quickly for a scenario to play against my WaW buddy the other day. In a rush, looking for fun and fast.
As it often happens you look at a scenario and think..hmm, that don’t look real fair, but what the hell it must be ok. That sort of thinking is fine if you playing solo. BUT, picking sides for a 2 person game via VASSAL investing a precious hour or two…uhuh….No Sir. That scenario better be locked down. It better be tight, and it needs to be balanced enough..not perfect just enough.
This then is the second such scenario from Blood and Bridges where those pointed aspects of desired scenario attributes are not fulfilled apparently. Grrr.
As I set up the sinking feeling started. I hoped very quickly for the roll for sides to allocate me to the Soviets. T-80s and 4…..yes FOUR long range (14 hex) BRDM/BMP-2 style vehicles, in improved positions, with infantry support…Nope I got the Brits.
So lets stop right there.
Of course none of that matters if you have a mission that is sensible or terrain that works for you or suitable forces and supporting forces. So, let us review the situation.
Situation : The BAORs job is to capture 2 or more towns to make a show of it. Any less would not be cricket. In fact it is easier than that. Really you just need to capture a hex of each town or a bridge hex.
So where are the towns? Rieden, ok good approaches from the North around the lake thru the trees for Infantry – Good. Limited access via west due to said lake and bridge…..hmm. Haln is one of the next objective hexes to the East, which is on the river, covered from one side by 2 bridges, and open ground to the North, crops to East. EVEN Further East lies Berndorf….where you guessed it the final two hex locations are. Bugger me.
So an objective spread of some kilometers(?). Super. Berndorf, may as well be on Mars. Either you go thru Haln and then thru crops (2 turns from Haln to Berndorf) or you cross more than one bridge. BUT wait….you could go around the tree line running North East and come via the open ground…..Are you feeling it?
Force Mix: The force mix in this as always, desperate situation must be suited to the task? Nope. 3-4 Platoons of incredibly kick ass Challengers, and 3 platoons of Infantry. Oh and a AA asset……sigh. Out numbered and out gunned. Yeah Soviets get Air and ARTY!!!! I forgot to mention that. Out gunned….
Now given that I wrote nauseously and long about the Defense of Anhausen I shall spare us further histrionics. Suffice to say that while the Brits have Challengers, they are DEAD in the WATER in this terrain with this opposing force mix. Just wrong……
Time: The other factor I failed to mention in which we ascertain suitability and balance is time frame. This scenario as with DofA, is 11 or so turns long. Bravo. Lots of time…..But for what?
Lets assess with a fresh set of eyes and the battered ego of a staunch British Tank commander who is writing his Debrief (assuming he was alive), he knows that he can’t do a Monty and blame the 82nd Airborne at Eindhoven for holding up XXX Corps, so what gives?
In hindsight knowing that we are playing a defense forward, somewhat aggressive player,what was our winning strategy got to be?
Because friends, I have faith that, in Lock’n Load games there HAS TO BE A WAY TO WIN EACH SCENARIO ON EACH SIDE.
Especially since he deployed his 4 Improved positions FORWARD of the towns, but screwed up his deployment by spreading himself across the 3 VP towns and their respective hexes. This caused some headaches for CiC. but he managed ok.
Outgunned, long distance objectives, lots of time.
There it is.
Who is really outgunned?
The Challengers have a range of 10, with 4 dice on a 3 to Hit (4^3^). Lets not argue about capability creep and who has the best tanks back in ’85. This tank had a big ass gun (120mm) that fired a long way, accurately. Good enuff for me.
10×2=20. Yes Sir it does. 20 Hexes…..Using Extended Range!! The Challenger can fire 20 hexes, and lose just 1 on its to hit taking to a measly 4^4^. Wow….. Why did I not see that. Its even in the NAME of the SCENARIO!
These guys can sit and shoot at anything that approaches, and try and take out the Soviet long range stuff before the Soviet BMPs can even get a shot off. If the slightly shorter range T-80s close we can take them on as well. By stacking an HQ with one platoon, we could get 6^ 4^ on those IP emplaced BMP’s. That is why the scenario is 11 turns long.
Disrupt, reduce Improved Place units while you close with Infantry on foot. Protect them from Overrun, and close and kill.
So. now that we have some, hope and some clear thinking we have a game plan.
Next, a fresh look at Challenging the Bear.