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After Action Report (AAR) of Alpenfestung V

Page history last edited by Marc 6 years, 6 months ago

You are here: Home > After Action Report (AAR) of Alpenfestung V

 



 

Flyer

 

This was the official Flyer for the tournament: Einladung ASL Alpenfestung V (.jpg, 350 kB)

 

 

Date

 

The Alpenfestung V tournament took place Friday, April 19th until Sunday, April 21st, 2013.

 

Venue

 

We played in the «Seeblick» vacation home.

 

Participants

 

1. Marc B. (Switzerland)

2. John T. (Germany)

3. Jan L. (Switzerland)

4. Michael S. (Germany)

 

 

Scenarios

 

The choice of scenarios for the long round (5.5 hrs.) was:

 

I. No way out. Germans vs. Poles in Poland. September, 1939. 7 turns. From «Doomed Battalions», Module #11. (Estimated Playing Time: 5:15 hrs.)

II. Frontiers and Pioneers. Germans vs. Russians in Russia. June, 1941. 6.5 Turns. From Action Pack #5. (4:52 hrs.)

III. Point of the Sword. Germans vs. British in Normandy, France. June, 1944. 8 Turns. From «For King and Country», Module #5a. (4:57 hrs.)

 

Download the long scenarios (Alpenfestung_V_LongScenarios.pdf, 2.8 MB) 

 

The choice of scenarios for the short round (3.0 hrs.) was:

 

I. Clearing Carentan. Germans vs. Americans in Normandy, France. June, 1944. 6 turns. From ASL Starter Kit Bonus Pack #1. (2:27 hrs.)

II. Village of the Damned. Germans/Italians vs. Russians in Russia. December, 1942. 4.5 Turns. From ASL Action Pack #3, «Few Returned». (2:50 hrs.)

III. Eviction Notice. Germans vs. Russians in Russia. September, 1942. 4.5 Turns. From Historical Module «Valor of the Guards». (3:09 hrs.)

 

 Download the short scenarios (Alpenfestung_V_ShortScenarios.pdf, 3.0 MB) 

 

Results

 

First Round

John (as the Russians) vs. Marc (as the Germans) in Frontiers and Pioneers. John wins.

Michael (as the Poles) vs. Jan (as the Germans) in No Way Out. Michael wins.

 

Second Round

John (as the Russians) vs. Michael (as the Italians/Germans) in Village of the Damned. Michael wins.

Jan (as the Russians) vs. Marc (as the Italians/Germans) in Village of the Damned. Marc wins.

 

Ranking

 

1st: Michael (2:0) - Tournament winner

2nd: John (1:1), winner of First Round

3rd: Marc (1:1), loser of First Round

4th: Jan (0:2)

 

After Action Report (AAR)

 

Marc

This years' spring edition of the Alpenfestung was a gathering of veterans of earlier Alpenfestung tournaments: Michael, John and Jan. The weather couldn't haven been in sharper contrast to the one of Alpenfestung I, which also took place in April back then. While we had our breakfasts and dinners outside two years ago, we woke up this time with dense fog in a snow-covered landscape on Saturday morning! 

 

My first game against John was a very close call. The scenario demanded two victory conditions for my attacking German forces: Seize a certain section of a village, and stay below a particular casualty threshold. I managed to get a firm hold of the village within three turns, but I paid a high price for the tank duels. I mostly won them, but the Russians took out enough of my Panzer to push me beyond the casualty limit.

 

My learning from the scenario:

      • Have a careful eye on Line of Sights - I was engaged by Russian tanks at locations that weren't advantageous to me.
      • When being enganged in disadvantaged positions, think twice if it's better to return fire or to disengage, possibly with the help of a Smoke Dispenser.
      • After a successful attack, switch to a defensive and more cautious mode early enough. I kept on pressing my attack despite being already in the victory area.
      • Stay away from infantry - especially when they are armed with Molotov Cocktails... I paid my lesson when I moved adjacent to a Russian squad with one of my tanks, which went up in flames after the resulting attack of the squad.      

 

The second game against Jan had a very different feel to it. This time, I was the German/Italian defender of a village in the midst of the winter of 1942/1943 in Russia. Jan split up his attacking forces into two sections. When the larger section came onboard, I opened fire on the large stacks of high-value target as soon as there were in normal range. My rolls were good enough to cause difficult morale checks or even direct casualties. As two out of three Russian leaders were killed in the first round, it took very long - too long, in fact - for the broken units to recover to fully regain the initiative. The second section on the other side of the village made a steady, but slow progress. While I was pushed back little by little, the Russian progress was much too slow to cause great concern, so the outcome was very clear in this game. Yet, I enjoyed the scenario and the pleasant and fluid gaming style of Jan. The scenario showed:

 

      • Broken infantry units without leaders take a long time to recover - make sure that every section of your forces includes at least one leader. If there's only one leader left in one section, make maximum use of cover and avoid stacking.
      • When on the attack, the Movement Phase is your prime time, not the Prepare Fire Phase. Why? Because you don't win ground and push the enemy back by just firing at him. You need an overwhelming firepower to do it this way, which is rarely available. Also, as long as your enemy has safe rout paths and rally locations, you will soon face a «revolving door» effect of formerly broken troops returning to the frontline...
      • Avoid stacking. Stacking is good only for exceptional situations where you are dependent on the movement bonus of your leaders and/or the high leadership modifier to make your fire more effective. Otherwise, stacking just increases your vulnerability and your casualties.

 

I enjoyed Alpenfestung V as much as the earlier editions - Michael, John and Jan really became great ASL gaming partners and friends, also through our gatherings in Switzerland. I am already looking forward to Alpenfestung VI in summer of 2013!

 

John

Once again we had the privelege to visit Alpenfestung for a weekend of good food (and drink), good company and fun gaming. We really enjoy the atmposphere and it make the 3 - 4 hour drive well worthwhile. Everytime we visit the weather seems to be different so this time rain and snow was on the agenda, although the sun did come out on Saturday (or so I am told). I don't pay much attention to the weather much when trying to stave off a wave of advancing German troops.

 

After dinner on Friday we played a sketching game which really showed up my lack of talent in that regard. Luckily Walli was scoring for me so I often got the benefit of significant doubt. This allowed me to finish the game in the respectable final position of 6th (out of 6).

 

On the Saturday I got to play Marc in the first scenario and we chose "Frontiers and Pioneers". I was the Russian defender and had to defend two separate locations with a relatively small force supported by tanks which may or may not be able to move. Marc had three possible entry points but I sealed one of those off with a show of armour force (this is where 5/8" dummy counters really help). This move could have backfired if the one real tank there (my strongest) failed to start but fortunately for me this was not the case.

 

After several game turns where Marc performed a wide sweep on his motorcycles it became clear that one of the victory locations was most likely going to fall. This left getting enough casualty victory points as my main (only) chance of victory. Luckily Marc was assisting me in this by seemingly rolling 12's with every dice roll in the rally phase which took out at least 1 if not 1.5 squads. I also got the opportunity to use a Molotov cocktail for the first time (with success) on one of his tanks. I don't know who was more surprised by this turn of events, but I guss it was Marc. It then came down to a final tank on tank battle with my main tank which had managed to re-position itself and with one final good roll we reached the CVP threshold. Almost simultaneously Michael was declared the winner of the other match.

 

In the final against Michael we chose to play "Village of the Damned" which I had played once before in Scotland. We both wanted the Russians and I won the dice roll which meant Michael got the balance of an extra squad which would prove crucial in the end game. I have one small uncontested AFV with which to get in the back and play havoc with rout paths. At one time an Italian squad even wanted to surrender to it but I don't think this is possible? Michael put up a stout cloak and daggers defence but the overwhelming force of the Russians still made steady progress. There was one nasty scare in which it appeared that I had lost a crtitical close combat only to discover that I had actually previously ambushed and eliminated him. Yes, I know A.2 stands but we don't play like that at Alpenfestung....

 

On the last turn there was only one concealed Axis unit left and I attacked him with everything I had without stripping concealment (note to self - walk into the location to strip concealment in future when you have overwhelming force...). We jumped into close combat but I could only remove half a squad due to the concealment status giving Michael a narrow victory.

 

In looking back at the two sceanrios I get the feeling that I won the one I should have lost and lost the one I should have won but that's just the way ASL is.

 

A big thanks to Marc and everyone present for another great weekend. It was also welcome practise for me since I am going to Stockholm soon to play against some very good Swedish players and will no doubt be taught some harsh ASL lessons there...

 

Congratulations to Michael on the tournament victory and I hope I can get my revenge at a future edition of the Klein aber Fein Alpenfestung 

 

Jan 

Once again it was Alpenfestung time - and once again I thoroughly enjoyed it! And once again I learned some more lessons which at some point in the distant future will hopefully enable me to score more than the last place.

 

The first scenario "No way out" saw the clash of a strong polish force against german defenders. Heavily outnumbered the Germans put up a good fight but barely managed to hold their objective. After being pushed out of most of the buildings they came back with strong reinforcements, including tanks! But they unfortunately were never able to regain initiative and, after losing the tanks, had to withdraw permanently.

 

The second scenario "Village of the damned" should have seen an easy victory of a russian force in pursuit of some Germans who decided to put up a stand in a small village. Dividing the force in two parts to allow for a classic scissors-manouvre did not go well - the first shoots put many of the Russians to flight. Only slowly did they regain their morale... but too late to win the scenario...

 

I am looking forward to the next installment of the "Alpenfestung" and meeting Marc, John and Michael again! And maybe, just maybe, I may be able to win :-).

 

Michael

I had great fun. I was glad that Andrea was able to take part in the event. Check out my blog post AAR.

 

Photos

 

Ground Snow and Low Visibility - very poor weather conditions on Saturday morning... and this in mid-April!

 

Very much appreciated help from Jan and John (amongst others) in the kitchen to prepare our dinner on Friday night (the menu was Mushroom Soup and Caesar Salad).

 

John is ready for the German attack on his Russian forces in June, 1941.

 

The motorized flank attack worked out - so far...

 

Dinner on Saturday night - the Salmon and Lemon Risotto took forever, but it was worth the wait.

 

An original Scottish Whiskey to rise the fighting spirits... :o)

 

This Alpenfestung's winner trophy - an original Croix de Guerre medal from France.

 

Some weird ASL humour on Sunday morning... :o)

 

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

 

 

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