|This is just another After Action Report
from the most enjoyable ASL-event in Europe. Granted, I
havent been to all the tournaments in Europe and I
may be a bit biased but for me the Arnhem event is the
highlight of the ASL calender year.
The after action report with include several pictures taken at the event. In advance I will apologize for the somewhat fuzzy quality of some of the pictures I just got a new camera phone and I am still trying to figure it out. The pictures are still useful though. The first part of the AAR will focus on the tournament, after that therell be a bit about the rest of the event.
Please allow time for the pictures to load
ROUND 1 vs. Pär Nilsson, Bofors Bashing as Germans
Look at those flying trucks I can shoot at with AA Guns
|The scenario was pro-British so there was
a bit of balancing from the tournament director. My
glider landing wasnt exactly a smashing success as
one glider was pulverized by AA fire and 2 gliders
crashed total losses 2½ squads, 7-0 leader, LMG.
I gathered my forces for the initial assault and advanced
in while the dust was still providing me with good cover
but I still had to move in to point blank fire to
pile on the pressure. At this stage the British were
firing blanks which enabled my firegroups to start
breaking down the defenders piecemeal. Once my attack had
gained a strong hold of some good positions the Brits
were stuck in their defensive positions and once they
broke they were as good as out of it. My final assault on
the last gun ran into some difficulty as I had to charge
across a couple of runways
suffice to say there
were plenty of dead Germans. But, the survivors managed
to get the job done as they recovered the last Bofors-gun
in the last rally phase.
The British defenders had 51mm MTRs in their OB. Pär had set them up in building so theyd look like MGs while concealed. It worked to a certain extend as one of my squads ended up standing point blank to an LMG rather than a mortar.
|Personally I wouldnt
have given up the mortars firepower against an attack
that was likely to attack through the woods. The scenario
appeared to be a bit rigid for the British defenders as
they couldnt do much except hold their positions
and hope to repel the attack.
ROUND 2 vs. Tomas Davidsson, No respite as Brits
My flanking attacks look good too bad everything else is stuck in the sand
|My british troops had to defend a small
village in the desert against some unusually well-trained
and well equipped Italians. Demolition charges,
Flamethowers, mortars, medium machine-guns, tanks (well -
not really "tanks"), several nice leaders and 7
morale squads ... what more can you get from the
The Italians tried strong and aggressive flanking attacks with the infantry while the heavy weapons would apply pressure through the centre. Unfortunately all the Italian leaders where away from the centre of the front so as the Italian centre collapsed quickly my defenders could focus the firepower on repelling the flanking attacks.
It didnt take long before the Italians were crumbling and withered away - the Italian heavy weapons (MMG, FT, Mortar, AT-Guns) were never a factor. After that started to happen Tomas changed his objective from trying to win the scenario to try and destroy some tanks. He managed to get 2 1 in close combat and one with a thrown DC as my Armoured Car drove adjacent.
It was a very nice scenario. Even it wasn't particularly close.
ROUND 3 vs. Andreas Carlsson, Last Roundup as US
So thats how gun duels work. Damn. I wont forget that one in the future
|In round 3 I faced yet another Swedish
player from the infamous Swedish ASL-Mafia Andreas
Carlsson. Andreas and I seem to play exciting scenarios
against each other so I was very happy with this
Faced with the objective to take control of a village against a german defending force relying heavily on their one JagdPanther TankDestroyer and a 75mm AT Gun I decided to move around the bulk of the defenders with my mobile force.
This plan meant I had to go through a bottleneck area as it turned out thats where he kept his Tank Destroyer (and well hidden AT Gun) and that cost me my best tank quickly and put me into a position where my attack was stuck in that bottleneck. Next turn I decided to be very aggressive in an effort to break out of that position my first Sherman (Tankdozer) set into high gear and drove directly towards the German Tank Destroyer Andreas took out his AT Gun and fired a couple of rounds at my Sherman as I am trying to move into a position to shoot the German TD in the side, failing to destroy it with first fire and intensive fire. At this point I get to tell Andreas about the rules for gun duels when the ROF square on the counter is white the Gun Duelling modifier is halved which meant my Sherman shot first and there was no more German Tanks.
|Short after the AT Gun crew
was eliminated by my infantry and just like that my
position changed from bad to very good. After that turn
of events his infantry was taken apart piecemeal as my
remaining vehicles dominated the remaining battle.
The Germans didnt have much in the town to begin the scenario and I cut off the retreat pretty well but the remaining germans defended the town valiantly taking out 3 tanks. One German heroic leader particularly showed courage under fire dashing through a hailstorm of bullets and 3 direct hits from the US 90mm Tank. He was eventually killed in close combat as I advanced in with superior numbers.
Andreas conceded the game as his forces where as good as eliminated and with plenty of time left for me.
ROUND 4 vs. Mel Falk, Slow and Steady as Chinese
Pitiful chinese, I'll deal with them in a hurry
|In Round 4 I had the
pleasure of playing against Melvin Falk for the first
Even after a night on the town looking a bit tired Melvin is a superb player. My objective was to exit a big part of my force. I decided to try and squeeze down the left side of the map.
My attack wasnt well enough thought through as it should have been and I quickly got stuck in tight quarters with nowhere to go. Melvin set up a strong line and I couldn't push through.
The decisive moment was when one of his squads went beserk and charged into my position where I had 2 squads with MGs and a Stuart tank.
The squad survived the hailstorm of fire, broke both squads in advancing fire (democharge targeting the tank) and then in the close combat phase destroy the tank with a bit of help from the concealed leader he ambushed and destroyed it ... then proceeded to withdraw into a position giving 2 of my squads failure to rout.
|That was pretty much the end
of the game. A desperate attempt to make a breakthrough
failed and I conceded.
ROUND 5 vs. Boudewijn Van Schalkwijk, Canicatti as the Germans
Even while watching his Shermans popping like popcorn Boudewijn took it with a smile
|We both tried to get the
Americans but he won the dice-roll. Looking
at the OB we quickly agreed that it was the more
interesting side to play ... lots of squads and lots of
tanks ... that should be sufficient to run over that
small group of germans ... right ... right ... right ?
My setup wasnt anything fancy. The 2 50L AT Guns were set up in positions where they could see as much as possible. The rest of my units didnt seem to matter. The plan was to start firing as soon as they saw the US Tanks.
The plan was simple and my dice executed it well.
I started firing and didnt stop until most of the tanks were destroyed and the game was won. Didnt take very long. 50Ls with ROF 3 shooting against Shermans will get plenty of hits and statistically the Shermans will be destroyed one by one unless they stay outside line of sight. Thats what happened in our game and from what I saw around the gameroom the same thing happened in for the other guys playing this scenario.
Boudewijn took it well and we agreed it was not a good scenario for a tournament.
ROUND 6 vs. Eric Bongiovanni , Setting the stage as Germans
Now where did I put all the HIP guys ? why didnt I have more defending units where hes attacking.
|I went for the attackers as
usual and luckily Erick already had a setup prepared.
Looking at the boards the most obvious way to attack would be to try and secure the two buildings on the left flank and the single building in the centre. So, I assumed that was what the Russians would be defending against and I decided to make a right-hook attack directing enough forces to try and gain control of the building in the centre and sending the rest deep into enemy territory to take control of the two buildings at the rear OR drive enough vehicles out to meet the exit victory objectives.
It turned out that my assumption about the Russian defence was correct and Erick had pretty much built a fort on the left flank and with a solid defence in the centre too.
The initial approach suffered a setback when Ericks 9-2 leader directed the .50 caliber HMG to kill 2 squads and a leader. My boys quickly struck back eliminating the only Russian AT-Gun and put a big layer of smoke on the HMG guy.
Halfway through the game the Russian received 4 medium tanks in support.
|Erick acted aggressively with
the tanks, but they were all acting along and without
much supporting each other. In my turn 3 I sent my tanks
out to take them out. One was destroyed my bounding fire,
another was completely surrounded and Shocked, the third
was face-to-face with one of my Tiger Tanks and the 4th
was pretty much unsupported and I suspect I could take it
It quickly became obvious that the Russian defence was well out of position, but considering the fact that most of the Russians were HIP I couldnt really know for sure so I think I played a bit slow. We only got to play 2½ turns of the 5 full turns.
Erick conceded the game for tournament purposes, but in our mindset it was still a completely undecided game. I still had plenty of potential exit VP in mobile vehicles (tanks and halftracks) to fulfil the exit victory conditions and as a backup plan I could still win by controlling 3 of the buildings. He had 2 squads in the buildings in the rear and only one un-broken squad in the building in the centre against my 2 squads with a leader with a FT in support. With half the game to go it could have gone either way.
The tournament was enjoyable as always. The scenarios were interesting with the odd exception of Canicatti and got to play against 4 new opponents which is always nice. Finishing the tournament in 4th place with a 5-1 record was not unfortunate. Nice though. As always the tournament is very well organized and everything runs smoothly. Huge thanks should go out to the Tournament organizers Peter and Liz Struijf. They did an out standing job once again. Congratulations to Mel for winning,
the Left Tournament Directors Mr. and Mrs.
Struijf have just a few seconds ago congratulated Melvin
Falk on winning the Arnhem 2006 event. Notice the shadowy
figure storming out of the picture - that's Melvin Falk
carrying his 17th copy of Beyond Valor (prize for
Battlefield tour this year went to the Belgian Fortress
Eben Emal. The structure was formidable with a 2-level
tunnel system below and several cupolas with 75mm or
120mm guns supposed to cover most of the expected front
in case of a war breaking out. Unfortunately it was not
at all prepared to defend against mobile modern warfare.
Built inside a mountain overlooking the lowlands below.
the Left a couple of Swedish ASL'ers are trying
to come up with new Rules for "Human Pedestrian
Stroll attack" a variation of the "Human
Wave" ... in the background the formiddable Cupola
120 can be seen.