While contemplating Patch and I’s next game, I remembered a scenario back in the ASL Annuals that featured Ukranian partisans after WWII. So, I proposed that, and Patch accepted, taking the NKVD forces. Looking at the record later, it turned out to be very pro-NKVD, so we went with the Partisan balance, not that it helped.

The scenario takes place in early 1946, as the Soviet Union continues to try and regain control of western territories. The UPA had fought against the Germans after realizing they didn’t even want a puppet government for the region, and then against the USSR as it advanced back west. One sweep across the area came across a training camp in a thickly wooded area. The scenario uses board 34 (cutting off rows A and GG, per errata), with the forest (B13.7) rules, which I think I’ve run into once before. The Russians set up fourteen squads of conscripts and ten elite HS along one side, and the UPA enters, trying to get across the short side of the board (10 hexes) in very dense terrain and break out with at least 14 EVP (12 with the balance). They get twelve partisan squads, 9-2, 8-0, 4 LMGs, and a MTR to do this in six turns.

Of course, the biggest wrinkle in this scenario is both sides are using Russian brown. In FtF play, I assume you just be very rigorous in making sure your counters (and “?” especially) are facing you. On VASL, if you see a stack of “?”, then it’s not yours, and the rest you tell by the type of unit. Still, we tried switching Chinese counters partway through, as they have a good match for the 337s. Annoyingly, their LMG(r) and 50mm MTR(r) have slightly different stats than the actual Russian LMG and MTR. (I had originally thought of it with the idea that the “?” would match, forgetting that Chinese “?” are two-tone just like their units, and don’t “borrow” “?” like the Hungarians—why do this?!? Though that does make using Chinese “?” with the Partisan counters a possible good idea in FtF play.)

Patch set up along the north side of the road, with no real obvious weak points (there’s more than enough units to scatter around, the question is where the good ones are). The wise idea is probably to go for one edge or the other and hug that, forcing the distant units on a long trek. I didn’t like some of the open ground there though, nor the fact that a pair of T-70s enter on either edge on turn 3, and could well be on top of me. So, I tried the next best thing: hugging a stream as an ‘edge’, and interdicting the bridge over the stream.

I worked my way into positions I wanted on turn 1, but I made a serious mistake in not hustling more. I could have gotten another hex in, and didn’t. I will say that I have not dealt much with extensive woods-roads, and was still struggling with LOS questions. (It felt like if you’re adjacent to a woods-road, you can see into it, and then see down the road itself, if it continues in a straight line. This is incorrect, but it took a while to adjust how I was “seeing” the terrain.)

Situation, Partisan Turn 1. “It’s the board 25 version of board 5.”

One of Patch’s MTRs was in Y3, where it could see across the stream to my flanking force, but thankfully it only got one shot, which missed. His first attempt to cross the bridge pointed out how poor my firepower and range were, but I did break a squad on the bridge and put residual on the entrance to it.

Situation, Russian Turn 1.

I assembled my MTR during Patch’s turn, but fared no better than he in my Prep, getting a single shot on the bridge. My next problem was falling victim to worrying more about what the enemy can do than making him worry about you, and I was too cautious. The Partisans can have some advantages in CC, and have to force the issue. I moved up as much as I could without losing concealment, and Patch assembled his other MTR in Y7, pinned my MTR U9, revealed two stacks to fire, and was unhappy when my 9-2 showed up… who promptly pinned with his squad. I got to CC in T5, where the conscripts managed to avoid being ambushed, and neither concealed unit attacked, and in S5 when I ambushed and killed a HS.

Situation, Partisan Turn 2.

Patch self-rallied his squad in his second RPh, and pulled out of contact while moving everyone else up. I had a nice range-2 shot at U5, but only managed to pin his squad and HS on a 1MC. On the other hand, my sniper went off, and broke… the most distant unit he had, who then routed towards the action.

Situation, Russian Turn 2. We changed the partisan units out for Chinese counters for ease of identification.

My MTR got a ROF-tear for my Prep, but mostly couldn’t get a result, and Patch passed the 1MC and PTC I did get. I took another shot at U5, breaking the HS, and sending his conscripts berserk. (“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 15 HOB before.”) Since we were in contact in rough terrain, movement was mostly shifting around, though I did bump-reveal R4; partially for the scouting, partially for the lack of -2 for Ambush later, and partially in hopes they’d fire and of course only affect the moving unit. Patch nearly bit on that last but thought better of it at the last moment.

I had various thoughts for my revealed 9-2, but decided to stay cautious with him instead of hoping to squeeze around the lake by going to P4 (possibly should have chanced it, things were already getting too confined, but the O4 stack was too scary). Patch’s only effective fire was the berserk squad, who revealed two squads and broke them both with a 1MC. I managed to break the squad I revealed earlier. I went into CC in S2, got Ambush, but failed to capture a conscript squad on a 3:2 attack.

Situation, Partisan Turn 2.

Patch naturally put the two T-70s on the east edge entry, and self-rallied the HS the sniper broke, while my 9-2 failed two rally attempts. His MTRs went after mine, but only managed to pin my squad. The berserk squad charged down the road and into S5, taking two 1MCs with no trouble. (My hope had been to take out S4 in CC, get “?” in S5, and then the zerkie would go down to S6 where the 9-2 could direct a -4 shot….)

The two tanks drove down the road, ending next to my trailing units, and re-DMed the squads in R5. This ended with them eliminated for Failure to Rout, as the only possible destinations were R4 (next to the Melee) and Q6, where Patch dropped “?” to kill them. He fed a squad and HS into S4, and killed one of my squads, getting a new 8-1 in the process. In S5, I managed to capture the berserk squad.

Situation, Russian Turn 3.

As of turn 4, I was in a real bind, with a melee in front of me, tanks directly behind, and the Russian forces gathered all around. I was basically out four squads (not counting the melee), and was rapidly being reduced to being unable to exit enough to win. I still gave it a try. In my second move of a pair of “?” squads took a 3MC to reveal them and break both of them. This also trapped most of what was left between high firepower, the tanks, and the melee. I tried circling the MTR squad around for a possible run, but he broke immediately to a 1MC. Final fire encircled R5, broke the 8-0 and sent a squad berserk. They killed the prisoners in AFPh to immediately become non-berserk (shortest berserk either of us has seen, and the first massacre), and I lost the two squads to FtR.

I moved the 9-2 and two squads into the melee, a squad into T2, while encircled ones went into Q6. The melee in S4 went horrible again, with me not getting any results (on poor odds, but the rolls were horrible), while Patch took out the 9-2 and a squad. That left me with 10 possible EVP left on the board, but we finished the CCPh anyway. In T2, the Russians got ambush, and withdrew out, and in Q6, I got ambush and withdrew past the Russian line.


I think this scenario is a bit more balanced than the record says, but relies on really good Partisan play. Not only did I not have that, but I had some bad luck along the way.

Most players probably don’t realize that the partisans can have a fairly good time of it in CC, and if they can get in before the Russians can really converge, they can possibly negate a single line of defense. The hard part is this requires starting two hexes away; AMing one (for concealment), and advancing in. Turn 2 is kind of the entire window for this, which means the scenario does also need some work. But, a single Russian unit is either an elite HS (3 FP, even odds), and you refuse to attack, and keep moving, or it’s a conscript squad, which is lower odds, but is Lax against the partisan’s Stealthy. Also, despite No Quarter being in effect for both sides, you can still try to capture units in CC, and that’s a -1 vs inexperienced. (You then take their rifles and abandon them to avoid guard penalties.)

But that requires doing well in the ever-chancy business of CC. Which is one of the places I fell down.