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After Action Report (AAR) of Alpenfestung X

Page history last edited by Marc 4 years, 2 months ago


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This was the official invitation for the tournament: Einladung ASL Alpenfestung X




The Alpenfestung X tournament took place Thursday, July, 7th until Sunday, July, 10th, 2016.




We played in this vacation home in Walchwil (Kanton of Zug).




  1. John T. (Germany)

  2. Jan L. (Switzerland)

  3. Keith H. (U.S.A.)

  4. Marc B. (Switzerland)




This was the selection of the scenarios for the three rounds:


First round: Early War 1939 | «Case White»


I. An Uncommon Occurance. Germans vs. Poles. September, 1939. 6 Turns. (4:27 hrs.)

II. Rattle of Sabres.  Germans vs. Poles. September, 1939. 7 Turns. (4:58 hrs.)

III. Maczek Fire Brigade. Germans vs. Poles. September, 1939. 5.5 Turns. (5:22 hrs.)


          Download the Scenarios of round one.


Second round: Mid War 1943 | «Bougainville Island»


I. First Crack at Hellzapoppin Ridge. Americans vs. Japanese. December, 1943. 6.5 Turns. (4:27 hrs.)

II. Cibik's Ridge. Americans vs. Japanese. November, 1943. 8 Turns. (4:39 hrs.)

III. Unhappy Trails. Americans vs. Japanese. November, 1943. 2 x 5 Turns. (5:17 hrs.)


          Download the Scenarios of round two.


Third round: Late War 1944 | «The long retreat»


I. Food Fight. Partisans vs. Russians. April, 1944. 6 Turns. (3:33 hrs.)

II. Ishun Tank Traps. Germans vs. Russians. April, 1944. 6 Turns. (4:27 hrs.)

III. The Old Town. Germans vs. Poles. August, 1944. 7.5 Turns. (5:14 hrs.) 


          Download the Scenarios of round three.




First Round

Jan (as the Germans) vs. Marc (as the Poles) in Rattle of Sabres. Marc wins.

Keith (as the Germans) vs. John (as the Poles) in Maczek Fire Brigade. Keith wins. 


Second Round

John (as the Japanese) vs. Marc (as the Americans) in First Crack at Hellzapoppin Ridge. Marc wins.

Jan (as the Japanese) vs. Keith (as the Americans in First Crack at Hellzapoppin Ridge. Keith wins.  


Third Round

John (as the Russian partisans) vs. Jan (as the Ukrainian partisans) in Food Fight. Jan wins.

Keith (as the Russians) vs. Marc (as the Germans) in Ishun Tank Traps. Keith wins. 




1st: Keith (3:0) - Tournament winner

2nd: Marc (2:1)

3rd: Jan (1:2)

4th: John (0:3)


After Action Report (AAR)






Once again it was time for the "Alpenfestung"! Maybe I'll start this aar (written not in capital letters as I will not be able to match Keiths AAR) with a more general note: the switch from biannual (2 times a year with 1.5 days each) to annual (3 full days of ASL goodness) is working very well and does provide enough time to play even longer scenarios and allows for really forgetting about the daily routine and concentrate on what we like to do best - which is obviously playing ASL. And it offers the time to get to know each other better and appreciate the fact that you are surrounded by very nice and kind people!


As for the various Scenarios there is not much to add (as I am only the third to recount our weekend). My play against Marc ("Rattle of Sabres") saw me off to a very bad start. My two-pronged attack was quickly blunted and at no point I was really in the position to pose a danger for Marc. The second scenario against Keith ("First Crack at Hellzapoppin Ridge") saw a nail-biting fight of the US Marines to get rid of two 150 guns. Initially I thought my setup was a mess (especially after Keith made his first moves) but in the end it worked out surprisingly well (albeit unintended so), even though I lost this one as well, but literally on the last die-roll.  The third and last scenario ("Food Fight") pitched me against John. Lucky die-rolls in the beginning made sure that it did start well enough, however with not enough troops to cover the full ground John quickly found the one loophole that I had to leave open. Fortunately enough he was not able to exploit it to the full extend which allowed me to keep the upper hand. Unfortunately we were not able to finish the scenario but given the overall situation John conceded.


I think the pictures from Marc show it pretty clear - it was once again a fantastic weekend with great people and a lot of ASL play. I am surely looking forward to next year (and keep my fingers crossed that given the rising number of possible participants I am among the chosen few to participate ;))!



Alpenfestung was the most unique ASL experience I have ever had.  It was truly Amazing.  The food, the swanky venue with fantastic views, the ASL, and especially the company was all just phenomenal.  We cannot thank Marc, Jan, John, and Walli enough for the fine hospitality.  We had a Wonderful time.


Our affinity for Switzerland comes through our interest in the dog breed, the Bernese Mountain Dog.  So, when I spotted Marc’s Alpenfestung tourney advert on gamesquad a few years ago, it pricked my interest and we communicated back and forth over the years and I followed the Alpenfestung Tourney webpage.  I actually made a concerted effort a couple years ago to make it to one. 


In February, Marc advertised Aplenfestung X for summer ‘16.  I filled in the online forms and when the date was chosen there were four players for three slots.  Marc, as Host/TD always gets a slot.  Marc sent a short charming YouTube video of his daughter, the Queen, pulling names from a bowl.  My name was dramatically, for me at least, drawn last.  I was sure be bring Tribute to her grace.


I told Kelly I was signing up and when the video was launched we watched it together.  We were really stunned but now I had to come up with a good itinerary to sell to her on this project.  We did and it was super cool.   


The participants reviewed and voted online for the venue.  We chose an ultra modern accommodation overlooking Lake Zug from AirB&B.  It was a cool place with stunning views.  The food was also voted online.  Marc did most of the cooking and is an Amazing chef.  We had the most wonderful leisurely meal times out on the deck chatting. Best Tourney food I ever had.  And, John brought a Stunning single malt scotch. 



The scenarios Round One were Case White: Poland.  Round Two was Bougainville and Round Three was Ost Front.  The scenarios were published a couple weeks before the Tourney so I had no chance to look anything over.  There was a nice selection of scenarios, interesting, and doable in the allotted time.  It was nice to see so many scenarios designed by the Bunker Crew get picked for the Tourney.  After the big soccer game we drew lots for matchups. 


Round One John and I were matched.  We both wanted to play J113 Maczek Fire Brigade.  He bid Poles and I bid Germans, “when in doubt:  attack.”  The problem is the Germans have a long way to go and little time to get all those buildings.  Fun scenario and it played tight.


The Germans sent their tin cans in on the upfront Pole setup.  A few rolled left and found the AT rifle, but most lived a good while, got good smoke (dischargers).  A couple MMC moved up, coved by their AFV and smoke to slowly clear the way to the German left through the woods.  An AC ran around popping Dummies and overrunning a way forward Pole MMC.  Most went up the German right.  John recovered well to early setbacks.  He did well to withdraw and consolidate.  He played his AFV well and there was a hell of a fun tin can fight in the center of the village but the Germans eventually got the upper hand among heaps of wrecks for both sides.  Our game really swung radically back and forth the whole game.  But, once the Poles start to break they don’t comeback too good.  The issue was in doubt to the end but in the end my Germans eked out the win.  It was a Blast playing John.  We had a really fun game.


Round Two: Jan and I chose OB 9 First Crack At Hellzapoppin’ Ridge.  We both bid USMC so we diced for it and I got the Marines.  I love the IJA but not against the USMC.  Those guys are tough with lots of firepower.   But the Marines have to capture hill hexes where the jungle has been blasted to half level debris (by SSR) vs. IJA trenches, pillboxes, and two deadly 150 GUNS.


The Marines setup a heavy firepower multi hex fire group on their right to suppress the one big gun in LOS.  A couple MMC moved way left around the hill but most concentrated on working their way up the center left where there was a bit of cover.  The going was slow and the casualties were high but the Marines ground their way up the hill and pushed the IJA into a small pocket for a hard fought win vs. a tenacious opponent.  Jan made a great stand against heavy USMC firepower.  Jan was a fun opponent who put up a hell of a fight to the bitter end:  Chaz would be proud, “play to the end.”  The Marines avoided CC as much as possible and relied on high moral and heavy firepower to carry the day. The scenario was a blast.  I would play it again as either side but I think the USMC has the upper hand.


Round Three saw Marc and I matched with 2/0 records for the trophy.  We chose J120 Ishun Tank Traps.  We both really wanted the attacking Russians.  We diced for it and the loser, Marc, got the balance, which was only a Russian 9-2 to a 9-1. 


Crazy Tank Trap SSR led the Russians to drive around the OT AFV looking for Tank Traps.  I only drove into one but pushed AFV around to the German left anyway sweating bullets with ever MP expended.  Russians used riders as much as they dared.  I ‘found’ the PaK 75 pretty quick and he took out a good heap of Russian tanks until he broke it shooting at a MMC.  Marc put that gun in a great spot but its loss gave the Russian AFV free movement (except the hidden Tank Traps) to maneuver into a position to blast the German left that was lightly defended.  That gave the Russians a way to maneuver around the board edge to get in behind the Germans and grab the back buildings.  I think he stayed around a turn too long, and failed to get enough MMC back into the VC buildings.  The Germans on the little hill with a VC building in the middle put up a stiff resistance but eventually the Russians were able to get a few MMC on the hill and with supporting AFV, blast the Germans out for a hard fought win.  Marc played a tough game but losing the PaK 75 like that hurt him real bad.  It led to the Russians turning that whole flank.  It was a fun scenario vs. a Great opponent. 


Alpenfestung X was an amazing experience.  Great ASL with great company in a stunning environment. Kelly had a blast out with Walli and the trophy made it home without a scratch.  Many, many thanks to everyone for making an amazing trip that much more special. 


And if that wasn’t cool enough, John and Walli took us to dinner in Valduz, Liechtenstein.  That was very nice. 


I will try to add photos. 




Our 10th edition of the Alpenfestung was the gaming highlight of the year for me. I know, this year isn't over yet, but it's very hard to beat this attractive combination of old and new friendships, characterful ASL scenarios, a wonderful venue and delicious food. What I especially liked was the very different feel of each scenario: The early war scenario against Jan was a very fluid, skirmish-like cavalry clash in wooded terrain. The mid war scenario against John was a dense battle against a mighty and stubbornly defended hill. I could almost feel the tension of my Marine Squads when they scrambled to run up that hill. The late war scenario against Keith looked like a successful defense against the Russian assault until my anti-tank gun malfunctioned. It was disheartening to see how quickly my entire line of defense crumbled without effective anti-tank capabilities. All three scenarios were highly enjoyable and instructional about tacticts and theater-specific rules. Thanks, Keith, Jan and John for this wonderful social and gaming experience! I was well worth all the preparation work.  





Our venue in Walchwil - I only realized we had the entire house to ourselves once I arrived on site!


The terrace had a breathtaking view over Lake Zug and the surrounding hills and mountains!


The Rigi, a popular tourist destination on Lake Zug. Walli hiked there on Friday afternoon.


Our 'Case White - Poland 1939' is about to begin. From left to right: John, Jan and Keith.


This firefight between mounted German cavalry and dismounted Polish cavalry went on forever - after the Germans realized their ineffective fire, they decided to charge! However, it was stopped cold on the road and bridge towards the enemy positions.


In the late afternoon, it got warm and stuffy in the living room. Time for a refreshing swim in Lake Zug!


We didn't use the spring board. But it looked tempting. :o)


Dinner at sunset on the terrace.


The last stand of a Japanese gun position... after a tense and bloody fight for the hilltop, the Americans could finally charge the last pocket of resistance. 


A magic moment over Lake Zug!


Round 3: Russia 1944. Partisans fighting over food rations, and Russian tanks trying to escape German tank traps near the town of Ishun...


The winner trophy for Keith: By chance, I modeled exactly the scenario he played against Jan. Even the jungle trees blasted by artillery fire were there.


Did we manage to wet your appetite for our jubilee Alpenfestung XI in 2017? Please send me a message if you want to be updated about its planning.


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