Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2000 08:55:12 -0500
From: "Dave Reenstra" 
Subject: ASL: Re: Gem in the Rough

Hi Paul,

(You wrote)
> After I give the scenario (No Way Out) some positive press Dave writes

(and I wrote)

> >I have to disagree here, rather strongly. This scenario has future woofer
> >written all over it, IMHO. I've played it twice now, as the German both
> >times, and lost both to admittedly excellent players.
> I've only played it once against a good player so you speak from more scenario
> experience but I'll challenge your thoughts anyway.  For the record I'd take the
> Poles too.
> > Here's why I think its unbalanced (and for the record, I believe that both of my opponents
> >agreed with my assessment). The Poles initially outnumber the German
> >defenders 2:1 in squad equivalents (and aren't they superior in quality to
> >boot?), plus the tankettes are virtually unopposed, except for the AT gun.
> >The terrain is dense, so the Polish infantry should have no problem moving
> >up on the village through the woods without stripping No Move counters from
> >the Germans. The Germans are most vulnerable at this time, under No Move
> >and facing cloaked stacks.
> The Germans must set up an officer and maybe a half squad far forward to ensure
> that as soon as the tankettes enter (which they must do T1) a star shell gets
> fired. Furthermore the Germans must set up so that as many Germans as possible
> set up forward to see this vehicle and be freed from no move. This doesn't
> matter too much as the Germans have plenty of time to scurry back to defensive
> positions. Coming through the woods is clearly the best strategy for the Poles
> but progress is still fairly slow even cloaked except along the path. There is a
> nice LOS from one of the board edge set up hexes to some of the open woods hexes
> he will try and bypass. A HIP trap here can be quite effective. In my game I
> broke his MMG squads here and as usual at night it took em a while to get back
> in the game.
> The German mortar can have some sport against Poles in Woods so set it up with
> that in mind.

One of my opponents (Ray Woloszyn), actually contemplated doing without the tankettes. He figured that all they'd really do was give my Germans the chance to get off their No Move counters. Any Germans that set up far forward, anticipating that the entry of the tankettes will release them from NM might just find that they spend the *entire* scenario stuck in place, as the Polish infantry bypasses them through the woods and the tankettes never come on. Seems pretty risky to count on your opponent to give you the use of some of your desperately needed infantry. In such situations, my opponents can be counted on to do the opposite of what I expect/need them to do.

> >The Poles only have a short distance to cover
> >and plenty of time, IIRC, the German reinforcements don't enter until Turn
> >5?!? In addition, the Germans are Lax by SSR, so I don't see them winning
> >.many CC's, especially if the Polish player uses cloaking and concealment to
> >his advantage.
> It is worth noting that Germans stacked with a good order leader are not
> considered Lax.  Also if you have managed to bring some fire to bear on the Poles they Green
> pretty easily so if green squads attempt to CC you in normal building terrain
> they will only have 3mf and thus be lax as well as cx. Nevertheless while
> cloaked the Poles are dangerous

But the board 42 village is very hard to defend for just this reason, the woods provide a covered approach right up to the first buildings. Unless the German player sets up units in the woods, the Poles can walk right up to the village without the Germans getting *any* shots. And any Germans setup in the woods risk being bypassed and sitting on No Moves all game.

Also, it will be hard for two German leaders to cancel the Laxness of 8 squads, the Poles will find a way to exploit this considerable advantage.

> > I don't see how a Polish player can avoid wiping the board
> >with the German at start forces, long before the German reinforcements come
> >on. By the time the reinforcements enter, the Poles will have eliminated a
> >large enough chunk of the German at start forces that they should be able to
> >maintain their numerical advantage. The German armor will typically have no
> >difficulty handling the Polish tankettes, but the Germans desperately need
> >infantry to re-take or hold buildings, infantry which will be in short
> >supply during the endgame.
> The Germans shouldn't strongly contest those buildings close to the woods mass.
> They must preserve their troops for the last few turns. The Poles have to take
> and hold 6 buildings so they will have to cross open ground. Once the German
> tanks come on this is almost impossible. The Germans get the last throw of the
> dice and may only have to retake 1 or 2 buildings.

> One thing that does work against the Germans is that in the last turn the Poles
> should drive their surviving vehicles into any unoccupied buildings to capture 
> them and force the Germans to use a valuable squad to retake them.

I haven't studied board 42 in detail, but, IIRC, aren't there six or more buildings on the Pole side of the crossroads? The woods practically lead right up to three or four of them on the right side (German perspective), and the Poles can go through the grain and over the hedge to grab three more on the left. That's six or seven without even having to cross the road.  Like I said before, it's a short distance to travel in 8 turns.

> >Marty Snow and I had a question come up during our playing of this scenario:
> >when is a Roadblock revealed at Night? I think we had a Polish tankette and
> >the German AT Gun looking to duel it out, down an LOS that crossed the
> >roadblock hexside. Marty declared a shot and I told him it was blocked.
> >Question was, did I have to place the Roadblock at this time? Or should I
> >have had to place it sooner (so he didn't have to declare the shot)?  Or
> >should I have not even had to place it yet? Seems to me that it should have
> >been pretty obvious that no LOS existed, but the Night rules state pretty
> >clearly that a Fort only gets revealed at Night under certain conditions,
> >and having LOS to it or the Fort blocking LOS aren't listed as conditions.
> >In fact, we decided that the closest condition that E1.16 gives is "its
> >protective TEM is used", which technically doesn't even apply here.
> The way we played it, it was revealed if in an illuminated location or when it
> blocked a LOS, but the shot was taken as for normal blocked LOS. My concept of
> reality supports this approach.

Hmmm, trouble is that nothing in E1.16 supports this.

> >Move the entry of the German reinforcements up a turn or even two and you
> >might have a match in "No Way Out". And, IMO, "Art Neuvou" is the best
> >scenario of the DB module.
> This would help the Germans greatly of course. For the record the existing
> balance is pretty feeble as the 6 NVR doesn't make all that much difference
> versus 4 and can even help the Poles.

Yep, I think in one of the matches I played, the NVR went right up to 5 and stayed there. Didn't make much of a difference.

> Having played Art Nouveau as well and been defeated by a wounded leader mounting
> a motor cycle (using his 4MF instead of the 3 normally) and then driving off for
> victory by 1MP and 1VP I agree this also a good scenario. Unfortunately 3 black
> or 3 red chits really screw it up.

Admittedly, I haven't actually had this happen. In the three times I've played it, the draw was either 1B 2R or 2B 1R.  

> Thanks for your comments,

No problem, it looks like we're actually having a scenario discussion. ;)

Return to AAR Page

This page last updated 1/4/00

Submit your AAR/comment