Yesterday was cold.
In so many ways. While the sun shone its rays were feeble. The breeze took away what warmth there was. I should have know something would go wrong today.
The car rolled to a stop.
The imposing Major exited the vehicle and provided me a snappy salute. I felt honored.
Major Bill was back in town!
We entered the lair. We talked thru what each other had been acquiring, what was favorite at home and we settled into a WaW scenario that in hindsight I had played once before on VASSAL.
The Defense of Anhausen. Major Bill wanted to see me win as the Russians. He and his gaming buddy were stuck on how to win. Not recalling the scenario I assumed it was more of the same from my martial friend. Great logistics, not a field commander in the Third World War tho! :).
So I gladly took the Soviets. The wind picked up. Clouds rolled in….ominous signs.
Bill and I have played WaW on and off for nearly 2 years now I think. Not once have the Dice Gods smiled on him, not once have we had the satisfaction of his fist raised in triumph. Why? I dunno. But Major Bill has style of play that his opponents are likely to discern after a while. This lets me get the upper hand in tough situations, most of the time.
The good news was regardless of who wins we have a good time, and I was glad for the company. Since I rarely play face to face, or talk war gaming, sometimes its like being a kid at a party with new friends. I crap on and on. Eventually tho I settle down, get all the latest off my manly boobs and move onto a more relaxed form of gaming. We had most of the day and intend on playing a range of games as it struck us to do so.
So. there we were Turn 1. The Brits can setup forward within a certain distance of a bridge hex.
Bill starts back in town all hunkered down with Improved Positions (IP) at the edge of town. Very, very cautious. I got to take 4 hexes of that town to win. But there is some solid cover, in parts so we will see. Bill has 3 long range weapons (2xMILANS and a TOW arrayed vehicle of some sort). 14 range and 25 hex ranges respectively.
The Sovs have…hmmm 3 T-64s and two Sagger teams, with 3 other platoons all in BTRs…. WTF.
A quick look at the map.
So the yellow circles are the first hurdle. How many units do you have to sacrifice in a turn to get by. Ends up just 2. So a T64 bits the dust. Even at extreme range the T’s cant disrupt the ATGM. In my second play thru here, I screw up and lose the HQ @ that 2nd yellow circle. We did a re set as a partial “third play” assuming I did not make the HQ error. Still no joy.
Given the blue dotted arrow choices my first play we tried a blend of approaches and that failed. On the 2nd play we went all out out straight north. the plan being cross behind the town, sneak thru the woods and then dismount the two sagger teams by the 2nd bridge.
Pushing at the same time the other platoons forward on foot. I sent BTRS forward empty to absorb fire as a sacrifice to get my HQ into the woods with one btr & a dismounted sagger. So that if I got an early activation in a subsequent turn the HQ dice could help with extra hits on the ATGM vehicle.
The advancing infantry cant close too close, as they face overrun from the Scimitar vehicle platoon. So really the ATGM has to be out of action AND the Saggers ducking for cover too, so ideally a T-64 can push up to cover with Opportunity fire.
Turn 5 sees the Soviets in a mess, an abortive attempt to go to the hills is expensive. Meanwhile the North march goes poorly also. I turn the heat up. In the room not on the map. This is one scenario where playing with the “then current for BnB” rules is advised. the TUS rule makes it too easy for BnB vehicles and infantry to save against the attacks. better to have the Brits rolling to save those hits in the IP locations.
We arrive too late to make it. this is about 9 or 10. The ATGM vehicles are tough to get at. 2 dice+1d6, and another if they have not fired. OR negate on the first hit. Ouch.
The 2nd play thru was not much better. My revised approach was marred by the stupid exposure of the HQ as previously mentioned. See him below sitting in the open happy as a lark.
Soaking off a BTR or two is now not much of an option. I’m short on guys. The 2 Sagger platoons need to sit back, and shoot. while 3 platoons attack one hex at a time, and one platoon in support to replace a reduced or disrupted unit.
Even with a HQ reinstated the scenario is tough on the Soviets. I think that this one might need some tweaking. I’m going to replay a couple of times and see if there is a solution to the puzzle. Clearly given that this game is 12 turns long, dismounted infantry is part of the solution. it taks 6 turns with no interruption to be 2-3 hexes from Annhausen ready to assault, by the most direct route. BUT they have to stay in command. So that means the BTR & HQ have to move into supporting locations. Looks like a series of very careful moves is required.
So Bill now has popped his WaW Cherry and won a game! It was a merciless victory.
Congrats Bill and thanks for brining this challenging scenario to my attention. May the dice always favor him…..when he plays someone besides me!!
As for the rest of you WaW players. Take a look at this. Put it on the board and post back how you fared! Either here or on Facebook. Love to know the answer to the riddle.