[A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (Full Version)

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balenami1291 -> [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 8:53:19 AM)

In what follows you will find an AAR of a game between two human players. The chosen scenario (“The Bunker”) is set in the very first days of the Operation Barbarossa.

24 June, 1941. General Situation: The Germans have crossed the Bug river and are in full attack mode towards east. The Soviets have fortified Hill 53 with bunkers, anti-tank guns, and tank support. Portions of the German Panzer Grenadier Regiment 33 must take and hold the bunker and road in five turns.

The game will be described from the Germans point of view. Orders are clear (fig.1): Wehrmacht forces must occupy the village, the bunker on the hill and secure the road. ASAP.

Our forces enter the motherland:


balenami1291 -> SETUP (3/4/2012 8:55:36 AM)

For the job our command give us plenty resources. Four panzers, three of which more devoted in the anti-tanks duties (two PzIIf and a PzIIIe) and one as infantry support (a PzIVd). Our enemy should be weaker on that regard, but at least a light tank and ATG guns are expected. On the infantry side, both forces are roughly equivalent, but as the German commander I must preserve foot soldiers in order to conquer the bunker. A couple of trucks are at our disposal to speed up infantry movements: we are also in race against time. It must be noticed that trucks have a bonus on movement, but only on roads: clearly this is not an easy task to pursue, with those hidden Soviet forces all around us and trucks are fragile to enemy fire.

Although the Russians have relatively small numbers, both terrain and time are on their side. Woods and houses are very good places to conceal units and provide cover. Hills have a strong impact on visibility. To maximize those tactical advantages, four Soviet units are placed hidden during the setup and this means an almost total “invisibility”, not just the good old “fog of war” effect. The only way for us to reveal those units is by firing (and scoring a hit) on suspect hexes. If the enemy moves or fires, he lose the cloaked status, but especially in the latter case, it can be to late… Moreover the Russians can setup almost everywhere in the map. As a consequence, it’s quite hard for the Germans to know where & when the enemy will ambush our men/vehicles, but of course some guesses have to be made to lay out a plan.


balenami1291 -> Round 1 (1/2) (3/4/2012 8:57:26 AM)

At the onset of the first round, no enemies are in sight, as expected, but nevertheless they may be not too far, in order to protect the village. To assault those houses it’s tempting, because conquer it on the first turn will reward with precious victory points. To probe the village’s defenses, an infantry unit is sent into a woods hex with a good LOS on houses (fig.2): a Soviet foot unit showed up, but nothing more.
We know very well that our plan must combine speed and caution. My first guess is that Russians don’t put much effort in protecting the village and, more generally, the first section of the map. No suppression fire will be used to reveal potentially hidden units nearby. At the crossroad, the advance toward the village give us other proofs that our speculations about enemy forces in the area should be true.


balenami1291 -> Round 1 (2/2) (3/4/2012 8:58:42 AM)

The first task is to destroy the infantry unit in the house, minimizing risks: the PzIVd seems the obvious choice for this assignment (fig.3), but dice are against us and this sturdy Soviet unit, although suppressed, has time to recover before eventually bite the dust. Too bad: time losses have to be avoided!


balenami1291 -> Round 2 (1/3) (3/4/2012 9:01:50 AM)

Conquering the first objective was pretty easy (fig.4), even if time consuming, and no further trace of the enemy presence showed up.

Anyway, just going straight through the village, seems rather dangerous right now: it cannot be considered fully cleared, yet. For this reason, protected by both the PzIIf, trucks take their way in the clear terrain at eastern side of the village. Slower, but safer. During this advance, the escort panzers identify an enemy T-26b in a woods (out of range till now). The other major menace to disclose is the still hidden ATG, but let’s proceed to next task: clearing the village.


balenami1291 -> Round 2 (2/3) (3/4/2012 9:04:28 AM)

The other major menace to disclose is the still hidden ATG, but let’s proceed to next task: clearing the village.

Carefully, our infantry approaches the other objective hex, but the enemy doesn’t react, exhibiting a cold-blooded behavior (fig.5). If the enemy is hidden there, we are in trouble because he will have a +4 on a close combat attack. Thus I decide to spread suppressing fire on the hex before actually entering in it. This is a slow maneuver, but if it works the enemy eventually lose its hidden status and gets a hit. I decide to proceed in this way to avoid losing units too soon: a fundamental assignment in small scenarios with few units. Damn it! A wasted shot! Nothing happens, but the victory hex is awarded without fighting: good. But where is the enemy? The village was almost empty. The Red Army left it nearly undefended, but anyhow it was enough to delay a bit the German forces.


balenami1291 -> Round 2 (3/3) (3/4/2012 9:06:13 AM)

Now it’s time to face the Soviet tank.
Unfortunately the approach isn’t painless (fig.6).

The T-26b fires and hits one of my PzIIf, but with some luck the damage isn’t mechanical and I have the right card to counter psychological and crew injuries: “Auto-Rally”. The Soviet tank can be very dangerous for our panzers, but two powerful shots per Round are unlikely: the second Russian shot is ineffective, indeed. Now it’s my turn to fire and the odds to hit are 27%: two shots, zero hits and the Round ends. Wunderbar!
Clearly, enough forces adopted a defensive, in-depth strategy in order to delay our advance. In the next Round we have to decide if it’s time to speed up our action or take our time in further “seek and destroy” operations.


balenami1291 -> Round 3 (1/4) (3/4/2012 9:09:08 AM)

Luckily enough, the Germans again gain the initiative. It’s a very important advantage right now since it gives us the chance to operate without suffering immediate risks from the enemy tank. First of all I decide to play the “Dual Attack” card (fig.7). It permits us to skip the next two turns of the enemy: should be sufficient to destroy the T-26b.


balenami1291 -> Round 3 (2/4) (3/4/2012 9:11:05 AM)

The idea is to attack the tank from behind, where the armor is thinner, and obliterate it with a single powerful shot. Mission accomplished…almost. The tank takes a hit and cannot fire back and tries to take cover seeking safer hexes (fig.8).

It’s quite evident that if this tank remains alive and kicking, it will be an annoying delay factor for our plans. Last but not least, our blood lust must to be satisfied! A quick chase, an “11” with dice and the T-26b became history… Move on!


balenami1291 -> RE: Round 3 (3/4) (3/4/2012 9:12:32 AM)

We are ready to go forward heading for the last two objective, but without forget caution. There are other dangerous enemies around. At last our units are well positioned to launch final the attack (fig.9)…


balenami1291 -> RE: Round 3 (4/4) (3/4/2012 9:14:17 AM)

But the Russians are setting up a nasty surprise (fig.10): a counterattack! The little town is the target, and a lonely German unit will be not enough to defend against the upcoming Soviet forces. In the first firefight, though an opponent riflemen take a hit, the “Auto-Rally” card now helps our enemies.

Our adversary relies a lot on this counterattack. He is trying to find us unprepared and take back objective hexes. We have to answer by diverting a significant amount of our forces, from the main attack, to village defense.


balenami1291 -> RE: Round 4 (1/3) (3/4/2012 9:16:52 AM)

Let’s start with bad news: Soviets have the initiative. Their counterattack almost fully succeed. The Russians recapture an objective, while in the other one a bloody close combat fight is ongoing. Our detachment will join the battle in the next Round (fig.11), but to accomplish this result, the proficiency of our chain of command was posed under a severe test (aka we have spent a lot of the so called CAP: Command Action Points). To conquer the bunker we have only an LMG Squad: this unit must be preserved alive at all cost!


balenami1291 -> Round 4 (2/3) (3/4/2012 9:18:27 AM)

Soviets cannot be everywhere. To counterattack behind the lines, the forward objectives must be relatively unguarded and actually the rearmost objective falls without fight. Now the LMG men are bearing for the bunker, with the support of two panzers. The approach through the hill will be safer but also too costly in terms of Action Points (these are points that will be needed for more than just moving) an so too slow and time is up! We have to take our risk: the main concern is the ATG that, soon or later, will appears. And there she is! The 45mm ATG fires (fig. 12) and barely misses!


balenami1291 -> Round 4 (3/3) (3/4/2012 9:19:53 AM)

A panzer take cover, but the 45mm gun must be destroyed! I decide for a frontal assault (fig. 13). The Russians put also a Maxim machine gun in the fight, but no one of the next four Soviet attacks succeed, even if the odds are near 60%!

Meanwhile the LMG squad reached the bunker’s rear side: it was a relatively risk free maneuver because units in the bunker cannot change facing: they are unable to attack my men.


balenami1291 -> Round 5 (3/4/2012 9:21:39 AM)

It’s the showdown. Once again, I have luck on my side for the initiative roll. With the initiative won, the ATG is destroyed before it can fire back. Our panzers are safe now, and with their support the bunker falls in the hands of my brave MG34 men. Meanwhile, unfortunately, Soviets recapture all the village’s key points, but our forces are far superior now and it’s time to strike back. After a chain of house by house firefight, the German forces are exhausted: enemies do well and keep the partial control of the village (fig.14).


balenami1291 -> Aftermath (3/4/2012 9:23:06 AM)

Anyway, the Russian efforts are not enough and I win the scenario (Victory Points are 16 to 10 for the Wehrmacht) thanks to the heavier casualties inflicted and to the objective hexes under my control. I have to say that my opponent definitely grants the honors of war, since in crucial moments dice behaves as another enemy for the defender of Mother Russia. The greater anti-tank/anti-personnel potential given by our panzer did the rest of the job. The last screenshot (fig.15) shows the map at the end of the game.


balenami1291 -> [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 9:25:25 AM)

Acknowledgements to

Roberto B. I played this scenario several times with him (also in the boardgame version). He was a very challenging opponent as the Russian commander!

Marco I. (aka cyberdisc). He helps in proofreading and also translated this AAR
in English (or a sort of…[:D], TN), moreover he transmitted to me his passion and enthusiasm for this game.

The Dice: For this roll destroyed the Soviet Tank!
For the Italian version of this AAR:

Josh -> RE: Acknowledgements to (3/4/2012 10:58:07 AM)

Allow me to say; thank you! [&o] 

vonRocko -> RE: Acknowledgements to (3/4/2012 2:34:40 PM)

Awesome thanks! I hope there are alot of scenerios, looks like they play fast.

jamespcrowley -> RE: Acknowledgements to (3/4/2012 3:26:49 PM)

Thanks for a great AAR.

It would be interesting to see this firefight again but this time played solo against the AI.

parusski -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 3:51:06 PM)

I am...speechless.


wodin -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 4:29:39 PM)

I'm also more interested in an AAR against the AI. Pretty please.

Good little write up though. I hope there are alot of longer scenarios.

rickier65 -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 4:49:13 PM)

Thanks Angelo,

I enjoyed that AAR. I like short battles with just a few troops.


balenami1291 -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 5:27:18 PM)

The page of this game at matrixgames' site reports


Also included are all ten original Awakening the Bear! scenarios as well as eleven new Frontier scenarios, five new Commanding Heights scenarios and a very flexible “Partisan Road” Point Buy scenario. For those with a creative urge, Conflict of Heroes also comes with a scenario editor which allows players to create and sharecompletely new scenarios using the Awakening the Bear units!

There are little scenarios as those reported in the AAR and many bigger.
If you compare this scenario list and the board game's one you discover the are much more big scenarios in the Computer version.

I thought hard before choose this one.

With bigger scenarios I could show many more game features:

- Group move;
- group fire;
- indirect fire;

and so on.

But I preferred a little one because everything happens in this AAR is an important matter to discuss.

For Example, The picture shows an huge scenario's start-up (there are a lot of reinforcements for the next turns you don't see!! ).


vonRocko -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 5:33:16 PM)

Now that looks nice!![sm=happy0065.gif]

TheGrayMouser -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 10:36:12 PM)

Hmm, I just realized something in this AA rpt, in that the unit silhouttes , stats etc all rotate with the counter....  
Its not big deal but I can see it being a little "cumbersome" even disorienting, especially when playing into the depths of the morning.

I guess Ill have to get used to picking up and rotating my monitor;)

balenami1291 -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/4/2012 11:26:42 PM)


ORIGINAL: The Gray Mouser

Hmm, I just realized something in this AA rpt, in that the unit silhouttes , stats etc all rotate with the counter....  
Its not big deal but I can see it being a little "cumbersome" even disorienting, especially when playing into the depths of the morning.

I guess Ill have to get used to picking up and rotating my monitor;)

When you roll over an unit (both friendly or enemy) with your mouse, a bar in the bottom of the screen appears and shows everything you need or you can see.

this picture is a part of the above image uploaded in my previous post:


Prince of Eckmühl -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/5/2012 3:08:00 AM)

Good job with this mi1291! [8D]

wodin -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/5/2012 8:34:11 AM)

As with most wargames many are interested in the AI far more so than anything else. To put any possible AI concerns to bed can we have an AAR against the AI pre sale.

Also how difficult is it to mod the trees and buildings in 3D view. I'd have preferred them to look exactly like the 2D view, they seem to stand out a little compared to the rest of the art style. I may end up using the 2D board and going to 3D to check contours.

Rik I also like small battles, however if all of them a short the game would be finished in a week. Longer larger battles will increase overall play time is it does look like it plays fast.

undercovergeek -> RE: [A.A.R.] 24 June, 1941: the struggle begins (3/5/2012 9:59:33 AM)

Wodin - ill challenge you to a PBEM - easy going, relaxed, dont expect turns on a daily basis just at your own speed

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