Monday, 30 July 2012

AAR - ASL SK1 Scenario #S3 - Simple Equation

ASL Starter Kit #1 (MMP)
This second scenario "Simple Equation" in our ASL Starter Kit series is based around the Allied assault of Aachen, Germany in October 1944.
Simple Equation

Attacker: American (3rd Batt., 26th Infantry Regiment) (ANDREW)
Defender: German (404th Regiment, 246th Volksgrenadier Division) (GARY)
Turns: 6.5 Players: 2 OBA: None Night: No
Aachen, Germany 1944-10-12

RESULT: Game conceded in turn #5 . Germans (GARY) win.

Aachen Germany 12th of October 1944: The battle for the city of Aachen had been raging since 10th of October. A complicated series of maneuvers designed to encircles the city from both the north and south had been occupying the attention of the American command. These few units committed to the frontal assault of Aachen had some tough going. Not only were the Aachen defenders numerically superior, but they were fighting on their home soil for one of the cherished Nazi symbols; Aachen home of the First Reich.

The Battle of Aachen was a battle in Aachen, Germany, that took place in October 1944 in World War II. At the time of this battle, there were only about 20,000 civilians living there; the remainder of the 160,000 inhabitants (1939 census) had been evacuated by German commander Gerhard von Schwerin to protect them from Allied attacks. When von Schwerin contemplated surrender to protect the city's artifacts from air raids, Hitler had him removed. Hitler then sent about 5,000 Volkssturm to defend the city, commanded by Gerhard Wilck.

Victory Conditions: The Americans win immediately if they control 25 or more building hexes on mapboard z.

Initial Setup
Turn 1

Early American movement and defensive fire from the Germans

The green arrows above reflect early American movement as they CXed (double-timed) most of their units moving them individually into buildings H3, I4, J3 and K4. They took some fire from a few of the German units, but only had one unit pinned in H3. In return the Americans used fire-groups on I2 breaking the 7-0 leader and forcing him to later rout back to X1.

The map below shows a snapshot at the end of the American turn 1.

At the end of American turn #1
So overall some heavy firing from the Americans and some fairly insignificant fire from the Germans (who are mostly out of range), but limited damage on both sides.

Turn 2

Turn 2 saw a little movement in the centre by the Americans as they tried to gain a foothold across buildings I2, J1 and K2. during this drive a couple of smoke grenades were released in I3 and J2 to mask their crossing. All did not go smoothly though as one of their early 6-6-6 units broke and was forced back. The Americans did manage to take J1 and K2, but with a weaker force than they had wanted as most of their units still sat across the street. On the other side the Germans had limited movement and were under constant pressure from the heavy American firepower with units breaking in R1 and Z1. The Germans are trying to achieve a controlled retreat to slow the Americans down, especially in the key centre hexes. 

The American advance grinds to a halt.
Turns 3 & 4

A second American push!

Where to begin!? These turns saw a real push from the Americans as they laid more smoke down in K5 to mask their advance in both the centre and the right flank.

A couple of mistakes were made giving the Germans an opportunity to catch the Americans in the open albeit through the smoke and the German HMG in X1 peppered hexes L2, M2 and M3, but three good order American units still managed to successfully reach the right wing. In the centre the Germans had a point blank opportunity to attack the woods hex J0 (Pinned marker) from X1, rolling on the 36 column. I rolled 6,6 to completely fumble the attack (and break an HMG and a LMG!!!) but critically still managed to pin some of the American units including the flamethrower (which could not be fired by a pinned unit!). The Germans then used their advance phase to move back out of X1 and into X2. I had the option to go into close combat in J0, but have been concentrating on the controlled retreat to maintain my units. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me on the ass!

Turn 5

With only two full turns left the Americans (Andy) needed to push on through the centre and on the right flank to try to take the building hexes required for victory (25 in total on board X). Initial PREP fire on W2 pinned my units and his dropped SMOKE in I1 to protect his units who were advancing individually towards the woods hex between G1 and I1. I fired everything I had from my stack in X2 and (through mostly residual fire!) managed to break all but two of his advancing units (an 8-0 leader and a 6-6-6), which ended up in the target woods hex. Note the positions of the American units on the right flank, they would soon also be moving.

American units in the centre break under heavy German firepower.

On the right flank the Americans had three fairly strong units (P2, P1 and N0) and an excellent 9-2 leader. Fortunately for the Germans I had managed to rally the broken units in the building hex R2 and waited for the inevitable American attack. As they advanced, I managed to successfully pin the unit in building hex R1 and then fired on the unit approaching through S2. At this point any further firing would have likely broken my units as they came under sustained enemy pressure, so I elected to hold and wait for close combat. Back in the middle a rogue unit also assaulted into K1, but was immediately broken.

Americans surround buildings to the East.

In close combat for building hex R2 the Americans made a successful ambush roll and had enough bonuses to kill off all of the German units before they had a chance to respond.

Americans now control the eastern buildings, but are running out of time in the centre.

By the time we had reached the German turn 5 things were beginning to look very difficult for the Allies. Many of their broken units were without a leader to rally them and still under DM and they still had 22 or so building hexes to capture in two turns. The Germans on the other hand rallied successfully and moved (out of LOS) their units into prime defensive positions whilst keeping the American opportunities for defensive fire at an absolute minimum.

The expected final American push in the centre doesn't happen.
The Americans then conceded the game.


  1. This review would be more help if the identity of the counters in each stack were listed.
    I can only guess at the identity of the bottom counters.
    Ken Moore

  2. Another useful bit of information would be the locations of the two fortified buildings.
    Ken Moore

  3. Thanks for your comments Ken.

    I've re-posted a couple of older AARs on ASLSK (this being one of them) simply to keep a record of the scenario online. Unfortunately I no longer have access to the original VASL log-files for these old scenarios and therefore couldn't always add the level of detail that you have requested.

    Often writing AARs is a bit of a balancing act between covering enough detail and keeping the article manageable. I've taken on your feedback and will consider it when writing up our next AAR for S43 - Clearing Carentan.


  4. Played S3 with a friend last night.
    Used a setup up similar to yours with the fortified buildings at V1 and X1.
    Results were similar.
    By the end of turn 4, the Americans controlled only four buildings on south edge of board Z.
    The Americans conceded at 10:30pm because our FLGS closes at 11pm.
    The German unit in I2 withstood an incredible three flamethrower attacks before retreating.
    The Americans created three new leaders during moral checks.
    During the game, the German ability to successfully survive moral checks seemed to be much better than average.
    Keep in mind that my opponent and myself are new to the ASL system and not completely knowledgeable about the rules.

    Ken Moore

  5. Good going to get through 4 turns in an evening, I'm trying to pick-up my pace, but that can be tough for the attacker as even simple movement mistakes can prove hugely costly.

    Do you use VASL and/or record your AARs?

  6. Do not use VASL or record my AARs.

    Ken Moore