[Previous Date: Sep 15]

Two of the VotG campaigns begin on the same day (differing in scope), and both are pretty obviously set up for the Russians to do a night counter-attack after the first day (thanks to some bonuses). Despite the (not unexpected) beating I took the first day, I was up for following the script, and we jumped off in September 2008…:

Sorry for the long delay here, but Patch’s life has been crazy lately, which delayed his setup for the night battle.

I must say, I was wondering if this was such a great idea when looking over my purchase options and thinking over just how many troops I lost during the day scenario. And there’s the fact that no matter what, I couldn’t buy more than one company and two platoons of infantry.

A local push seems the ticket, and the logical place is in the southwest. He had fewer defenders there, and advancing in that area would shorten my lines, which could be a real boon.

The problem: Each unit I buy on-map costs 2 extra CPP. Buying bulk infantry was already a challenge.

So, I opted for buying everything off-map and entering a lot of troops near the east-edge front line. Which, as it turned out, had the advantage of not being what Patch expected.

What I didn’t expect was Recon. It’s not listed for purchase on the main chart, so I forgot about it. Robbed several units of Cloaking status and told him that something was decidedly up in that region. His DF was largely ineffective, but the one MC he got broke an entire platoon of 527s in the center of my assault line.

I also didn’t expect him to have spent FPP on fortifying K36. So that assault bounced.

Over in M36 (a road hex), I advanced in and failed to get ambush (2 vs 2 Final drs). The “GAH!” when I revealed 3×628 elites may be the highlight of the scenario. CC went reasonably well. I killed a 467 and a half (out of 2) and he killed a HS. Now, does he fire into the Melee or not…?

Situation, after RPh, German Turn 1. British Cloak counters entered from off-map.

Tork commented:

“My front line is very similar to yours (maybe a hex or two further east around the Station) going into a potential night counterattack. The extra cost of buying on-map troops really does push the Russians into looking at the east edge for the location of their attack.”

I can see three ways around the 15th night counterattack being on the east edge:
1) Don’t lose too many troops during the day.
2) Take the one-time bump of 8(?) CPP to pay for on-map setup, and an extra goodie or two. (I really need to get my SAN back up.)
3) Delay the attack by 3 or so turns as the entering troops move across the map.

I thought about going for three. The bad news is that it gives the Germans a chance to find someone and start firing off starshells, which limits the ability to get into CC easily. The good news is that it keeps the bulk of the Germans under No Move for a long while, and if things go poorly when they break loose, the Germans won’t have time to swarm the line and make big gains off the axis of attack.

Another week, another turn. Or a bit more, we’re into my Turn 3 as of tonight.

Turn 2 was pretty quiet, as I was still mentally reorganizing what to do as I realized just how stymied I was on the east edge. A point driven home when Patch nailed a concealed stack in K37 and reduced 3×426 to 2xdisrupted HS. They routed back to my Commisar who promptly motivated one by shooting the other HS.

I’ve got things nicely built up and deployed so that it’s unlikely that he can get far tonight. In the mean time, a lot of my other forces are arriving at Plan B — the west edge.

Patch revealed early that there was no one in F37–with 4 locations around it occupied, that was inevitable. However, his Sniper ended up hitting F38, and showing that there was no one there either. I was hoping to have another turn as he pounded it. His one stack that could see the fighting in the east has occupied the locations. About what I expected, and Turn 2 is no more than I could really expect, but I had hoped that it would last until 3. Now to see if I can defend the area near the Rail Station.

Patch has sent his kill stack leader from I35 into the area, presumably to wake everyone up. He’s paid for it since they then cowered three times in a row! They could just barely see G40 and got a PTC despite cowering. Two further shots also cowered, the last one on a ‘2’. Pinned one squad, broke a 7-0, and… sent a 426 berserk. Considering this means a charge across the square, I don’t think they’re going to last.

Meanwhile, a fair amount of my line has moved up to his. Patch was unhappy at first when I let loose with a FT attack in a location where only the target had LOS to them. Sadly, the roll was ’11’. However, he denies anyone having seen the attack, implying that E41 is empty. I wondered how much of the stacks over there were bluff. I think I’m about to find out.

Pictures to follow when our hosting admin gets time away from playing tech support to India to figure out what happened in the server move.

“We’ve popped on through turn 2 and on into turn 3. Things are moving far more slowly this game than last, mainly as the Germans just can’t move. I’ve a lot of stuff behind the railroad station, and just can’t see what’s happening to the east.”

“Rindis made a push for the east, but hit a bunch of units and a fortified building location which has stopped him cold. He’s reinforcing but hasn’t tried a push there since Turn 1. To the west, though, he’s shoving a lot of cloaking counters as he probes the other end of the line. Hard to do anything about it, as there’s little than can move outside of the K37 building area. That’s slowly changing, as I’ve a moving leader in the railroad station assault group (F36), and they’re about to start marching. I may lose ground to the west (regardless of what I have concealed/HIP, there’s a lot coming in), but Rindis is sure to lose the railroad station.”

“My SAN of 6 is paying off, now that he’s no longer lodged under Rindis’ own sniper, breaking a squad and ATR in I40. I hope to see a lot more of him over the next few turns.”

Russian Turn 3 Pre-Advance. Night not shown as it wouldn’t display correctly.

Tork asked:

“Interesting! What is your NVR now? Three starshells covers most of the action, but certainly not all.”

“NVR was 2, but leapt to 3 right off the bat. I’ve been keeping the front lines well lit, but it backfired this turn when I illuminated my lines, but not the hexes in front.”

I’ll admit that without some inspiration, or a complete screwup in illumination, I’ve pretty much given up on the east edge. I either unconceal a bunch to hit the fortified building (which is keeping a good concealed stack of its own, or I walk into a lot of firepower focused on the street.

Thankfully, we pretty much had exactly that on the west edge. Due to a combination of poor rolls (I think he only got three starshells off this turn) and placement, the illuminated zone pretty exactly followed his line. We’ll see what’s left of the line after CC….

We’ve been making decent time, and just hit the beginning of my Turn 5 tonight. The fight in the west has been going… well. I pretty much shoved him out of the ‘D’ line of buildings all the way up to near the rail station. But, there’s a fair number of troops in that area, and I know the Dummy % should be low. So I backed off of there during my turn 4, and hit the end of the line with a pair of Cloaking counters. He turned out to have a squad there, which was Ambushed by the two squads (one per Cloak-426 & 527) that I moved in. Sadly, all I got (even with HtH) was a CR, which blew my cover. Thankfully he missed his roll against the 426.

My Sniper has been more active than his over the last turn, and it’s been hanging around the east edge area, slowly breaking his troops. I was even starting to wonder if I was about to get somewhere when he finally hit and revealed the ‘?’ in L36, who then died a pretty quick death with all the other firepower around. He even revealed that K36h0 had 3×467 and a 8-1.

He’s now marched the 4 MG-toting HS in I35 into K36 (shifting two of the squads there to K36h1). That’s a lot of FP on my doorstep, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Even with all that, it’s going to be slow going to clear out all the reserves I have in the area, I just hope the game ends soon.

He also hit a Cloak over near the west edge, and found it had 2×628 AE and a 9-1. He failed to faze them, and since they were adjacent, and backed up by an MMG…. His MG stack (he has too many of the things) broke, and he suffered two CRs in the process.

In CCPh, he got a CR on the 426 and I wiped out the 247. Right now losses are about 3:2 in his favor. Not too bad after the first turn disaster knocked out a platoon, and mostly, I’m trading Conscripts for first-liners. If I can keep things from breaking loose for him, I’ll be reasonably satisfied by the night’s work.

Situation, beginning of Russian Turn 5. Both 9-0s are with MMGs.

“Things have gotten a bit busy.”

“Rindis’ sniper has been bouncing about once again despite being knocked back to a 4. It broke a squad, the went off again and killed an 8-0 and a HS, and broke a squad with a LLMC.”

“I finally cracked the cloaking counter in L36, revealing a single 447 which reduced to a 226 on a ’12’. I’m happy it’s not a dummy, but given the amount of firepower it absorbed I’d be happier if there had been more there.”

“With the forces arrayed against the rail station finally freed, my heroic (and fit) 8-1 ran back across the board once again, joining the MG teams which are moving into the K36 building. I’ve been hampered by the lack of a good fire base to deal with his unit, and now that’s finally forming up.”

“To the west, Rindis has begun overrunning my line. My MMG fire base was reduced to a pair of HS and a broken leader and had to fall back. The hole has been plugged with the units arrayed against the rail station, but I miss the MGs. Rindis is posed to take a chunk of real estate now, but he’s moving closer to a wall. As we enter turn 5, I figure Rindis as 2 turns to exploit his gains, but he’s at risk of losing ground to the east in exchange.”

“I’m ahead about 3:2 in losses thusfar, but it’s been a lot of conscripts for my first line units. Not a good trade.”

And the night assault is over! (Thank goodness, it was getting kind of thin on my side of the line.)

The main event on my turn 5 was assaulting the ‘?’ stack in B44. After a Sniper broke one squad, all I had left was a 527 and a Cloak with a single 426. The 527 had to CX to get in, reducing my Ambush bonus to a -1 (+1 CX, +1 Lax, -1 Stealth, -2 ‘?’). Patch managed to get Ambush and Withdrew… eastwards into C45. (There was another Cloak in B43.) In the East, I shuffled units around, trying to delay him getting anywhere until the game could end.

He started moving up during his Turn 5 in the east and in the Rail Station, taking the final two hexes. I fired on him, as he had to not AM to get in, but kept it minimal to keep him honest on later moves. I pinned a squad that moved into M36 on the east edge, and he rolled a ’12’ with the squad that claimed F39, getting me something permanent for his trouble.

His escapee from CC moved into D36, dropping a MTR as it went.

End of game dr was ‘2’, just low enough to end the date.

Here’s the initial cut at the end of game perimeter (the big pile of Germans in the north were originally in K36hc/K36h0/K36h1):

The big surprise for me was that the big stack in E39 turned out to be dummies. I just figured he wanted a big reserve in case I found a way into the Rail Station.

One question, the HS in D46 is obviously isolated. What happens with the MTR in D45? Despite the lack of strategic location there, do I get to pick it up between scenarios?

“Well, night has ended, and it wasn’t as bad as I had feared.”

“Night fighting in the city was a new experience. I set up three strongpoints – K36, I35, and D40. I anticipated a push back to reclaim K36, so I dropped a company in the area and fortified the lower level. I threw a kill stack in I35h1, which could see the buildings lining the square, and in D40, on the west flank, I threw a few squads backed by a pair of MMGs to offer an anchor point if Rindis pushed in the west. Combined with the forces arrayed to take the rail station, which I figured would be a fight, I was left thin and threw a lot of dummies to the west to fake a line.”

“Rindis surprised me by completely abandoning the rail station, which left a lot of units pinned under No Move counters, as they had no LOS to any enemy units (and had no hop of same). I was forced, when I finally gained freedom of movement, to shuffle leaders across the map to get troops moving, and that took several turns.”

“In the meantime, Rindis made a slow but steady push against K36 but was stopped cold when he ran into my fortified building hex, which he didn’t expect. That side of the map settled in a stalemate as I struggled to strip concealment and break units, and Rindis slowly shuffled reinforcements to take their place. In the west, he had more success as my line of concealed units was too thin to so anything against multiple cloaking counters. However, Rindis played very cautious, possibly as he was losing troops at a 2:1 rate (though mainly all conscripts), and only regained the D column south of the rail station and the C46 intersection (despite my lonely HS lodged in D46). In exchange, I took the rail station entirely.”

“An interesting date. Tater’s success was on my mind in this scenario, and I’m glad Rindis didn’t push harder than he did. I was definitely outnumbered down there, and I expected to lose up to the 40 hexrow before I could stabilize the line.”

“Armor was largely useless this date. I kept everyone CE (and finally got tagged by a “1” Sniper result) to improve LOS and lose the BU penalties, but against stone terrain and concealed units, with no hope of gaining acquisition, the best I ever got was a 4 TH, which meant a lot of wasted DRs. Rindis tended to hold onto his concealment to keep me guessing, though, and I never had a crew fired upon. I’ve been having the same problems with them in daylight, and I’m wondering if they’re not more effective as mobile smoke platforms.”

[Next Date: Sep 16]