Winter War [Chrono]

Where to start with this conflict?

I’ve read enough on the topic both old and new – S&T 33′s take on this battle, as well as more recent writings using new archival data in a book called The War of the White Death, to do a bit of brain dump. However I think nearly everyone has a good handle on the situation and the result!

All good stuff. The bottom line is we face a situation not unlike that of the Prussians fighting @ Jena in 1806. Where the Prussian Army fought a conventional (for then) battle. While the French brought their innovations in Corps structure, maneuver warfare and encirclement to bear upon the Prussian forces, who were summarily crushed.

The here Russians fought a WWI style conflict, of massed arms, and bloody frontal assaults. While the Finns through need and lack of resources fought a more modern style of battle. The result is different but the dichotomy of approach is the similar.

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S&T # 26 Grunts session 2

For game #2, we decided to use exactly the same set-up as in #1 (q.v.) and just total up the points from both games. Whoever had the most after two games would be the winner. We still were not using the artillery rules, and as there were no Commander units, porters or ARVN, we did not play with the leader or interrogation rules. Otherwise, it was a Standard game

Dan took all the pictures from the VC side since he had all the information. As you can see, he put most of his valuable caches in the jungle furthest from me and hardest to protect. I figured he might do that, but I didn’t have much of a choice. After bringing down his helicopter last game, I figured I needed to be careful to avoid losing any of mine. I separated my company into three groups. Alpha group, which included Company HQ, landed right in the middle of the map in the rough, protected from snipers by the raised highway that crosses the map. I did this to conserve my options–they could go up or down. Bravo team hit the bottom of the map, with one squad heading left to check out the out of the way items. Since I had put some valuable caches in the corners (where they would require a good deal of movement to get to), I figured Dan might do the same. Charlie team landed in the broken terrain next to the leftward jungle (all directions relative to the Americans).

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S&T # 26 Grunts

Dan and I looked forward to this game. It was tactical, which I normally don’t like, but there was so much color, it looked like a winner. Plus, there had been lots of buzz, lots of fond memories. We got together on February 24, 2012 for a quick spin of the Basic game. It was fun, but a bit silly with bullets whizzing through forests as if they weren’t there.

Because the rules are bit strangely laid out, we weren’t quite sure how we should set up or handicap each player. We settled on playing the basic set-up with most of the Standard rules: Alpha Company flies in on helicopters on a search and destroy mission. In the area are a number of food, ammo and weapons caches and heck of a lot of Victor Charlies, some hostile, most just farmers.

(start)

You’ll notice I made Grunt a block game. That was a stroke of brilliance. Throughout the Basic game, Dan had to keep flipping his counters to remember what was what. Took forever. With blocks, we kept the fog of war and things moved very quickly. So I tried putting most of my caches in deep jungle, the idea being they’d be hard to get to. The problem is, VC take as long to penetrate the trees as GIs. Luckily, I started with an advantage. One of Dan’s Helos happened to be in the range of one of my units (the regular in the bottom right) and got shot down. Right away, I was up 60 points.

(Turn 3a)

Unfortunately, the rest of the game all went Dan’s way. I had a pair of snipers near the middle of the map, and one of them tied up a couple of his squads. Dan got a lucky shot, and the sniper was felled quickly, freeing up the soldiers. He also got 10 points.

(the end)

All in all, it was a one-sided affair. My Charlies couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn (except for that lucky helo hit) and Dan’s Americans were eagle-eyed.. probably from all that hunting. But then we went back to the rules and it seems the VC are supposed to get a 75 point handicap when the Americans deploy a company straight up and the VC have the basic setup. Now, the Americans didn’t have the couple of extra fire teams, and we weren’t playing with the optional artillery/air-strike rules, but it’s pretty clear the VC need some help. We decided I had won, 155 to 125, but we would play another game with swapped sides with the exact same rules, in the interest of fairness.

On to Session #2!

S&T #25 Centurion

Editors note, as a lover of Ancients I have added a few additional facts from S&T 25.

Dan and I had so little hope for this game that I didn’t even bother to do a Fat Greek. Mea Culpa.

Here’s the story: The time frame for this game was December/January. December is traditionally a horrible month for gaming due to the holiday commitments. In January, we were in Kaua’i for a week over two weekends. We also had a number of other gaming commitments.

But that’s all back seat. The fact is neither of us are all that interested in the Roman Empire, neither of us were that impressed with Renaissance of Infantry, and Centurion looked like RoI, but dumber. That said, we recognized our obligation to our adoring fans (“Hi, mom,) so we at least went through the trouble of cutting out counters, reading the rules, and desultorily playing a scenario.

Original Map

We chose the first scenario, the Romans vs. the Numidians, because it seemed to have a decent mix of unit types. We didn’t even bother to make a new map–I recycled the RoI map I’d made for the Battle of Legnano.

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S&T #21 Anzio Beachhead #3

Game #3 was the first real game–the one that went down to the wire. I played the Allies again, learning from my first game’s mistakes and from Dan’s set-up.

I felt like the Allies had a pretty optimum set-up. I didn’t attack the German garrison at Padiglione until my second phase, but I did have to kill it so it couldn’t be used to negate a river advantage.

Dan tried a couple of risky moves on 1D, neither of which are readily apparent from this map. On the left front, he tried a massive 1-1 attack to turn my flank. It was risky because he had a 1 in 6 chance of dying outright. Instead, I bounced his troops off the map, which meant they got to come back on *any* map edge two turns later–a way around the pesky 50/50 reinforcements split rule that I had suggested the game before. As it turned out, those troops may have been more useful putting pressure on the Allies for turns 1 and 2, but we’ll never know.

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