Wednesday, 26 December 2012

AAR - A80 Commando Schenke

I prefer to play shorter scenarios in general, and there are some great ones to be has in the ASL manuals. I happened to come across Commando Schenke, a 6 1/2 turn game in Manaul '95 Winter, and when I looked at the squads in play I couldn't believe my eyes!

Russians - 10 (4-4-7's), 3 (5-2-7's), 8-1 SMC, 1 MMG, 2 LMG's and 13 additional concealment counters
Germans - 10 (4-6-7's), 9-1 SMC, 8-1 SMC, 7-0 SMC, HMG, MMG, 2 LMG's PLUS 5 Non SS (8-3-8) assault engineers, 10-2 SMC, 2 F/Throwers and 4 DC. The additional squads may not set up with the first line squads.
Even after looking at the mapboard,1, (pretty much bog standard city map) considering the objective (control building 1X4 at any point or no good order Russian MMC at game end) and observing SSR's (Multi Hex Buildings are two storey, Moderate EC, Russians can fortify four locations of the objective building) I still rubbed my hands in glee (by the end of scenario though I was shaking my head in dismay!). The Russians have to carry out a fighting retreat to the buliding, and with Russians being Russian they break quickly, however it gave them an extra 2 MP to continue running back to the objective building where it was fairly easy to rally them back with the Russian Commisar my opponent had situated inside. At the game start I hammered away at his squads, scoring a few KIA's with Flamethrowers and MG's, but at the start of turn 3 I fell into the beginners pitfall - if they are shooting they ain't moving! And after reading articles written about the same sceanrio it isn't just beginners doing this - players get excited like me by the firepower of the 8-3-8's and start trying to inflict casualties instead of using their smoke to move everyone up the board to the objective. Even after performing a very efficient flanking manouver (if I may so so my self ) and surrounding the target location on all sides it was turn 5. Add in the time it took to try to breach the wall , which invariably does take time when the building is rammed with enemy MMC, it was a very hard ask. I did however get in the building on Turn 6 (which normally would have meant certain defeat however I was given the balance at Game Start) and after pouring 4-4-7 and leaders in (most of my 8-3-8's were broken due to the attempted breaches on the fortified locations and I decided just to leave them and take my leaders into the building due to time constraints) I predictably won almost all CC's but you can't win ' em all, and I was stuck in melee at game end with the last 2 remaining squads.
I read a very good article on this scenario, and the author points out that a level headed Russian player actually tends to have a higher chance of winning, and I looked this up on ROAR which confirms this, as well as the fact that it is one of the most popular scenarios. There are a lovely line of buildings and trees the the east of the board that will allow you to flank nicely if done with and get up close to the objective building quickly (the Russian's are generally set up to far apart to cover one particular area of the play area). So bascically - be clever with the use of your 8-3-8's.
If anybody has played this scenario, I'd like to hear how theirs panned out as well.

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