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After Action Report (AAR) of Alpenfestung VI

Page history last edited by Marc 7 years, 5 months ago

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

 



 

Flyer

 

This was the official Flyer for the tournament: Einladung ASL Alpenfestung VI (.jpg, 224 kB)

 

Date

 

The Alpenfestung VI tournament took place Friday, July 19th until Sunday, July 21st, 2013.

 

Venue

 

We played in the «Flumserberg» vacation home.

 

Participants

 

1. Marc B. (Switzerland)

2. John T. (Germany)

3. Eric S. (Switzerland)

4. Michael S. (Germany)

 

 

Scenarios

 

The choice of scenarios for the long round (4.5 hrs.) was:

 

I. Art Nouveau. Germans vs. Belgians in Belgium. May, 1940. 8.5 turns. From Module #11, Doomed Battalions (Third Edition). (4:28 hrs.)

II. To the Rescue. Germans vs. Russians in Stalingrad, Russia. October, 1942. 6.5 turns. From Historical Module «Red Barricades». (4:36 hrs.)

III. A few Rounds. Germans vs. Canadians in Germany. March, 1945. 7.5 turns. From Historical Module «Operation Veritable». (4:36 hrs.)

 

Download the Alpenfestung_VI_LongScenarios.pdf here.

 

The choice of scenarios for the short round (3.5 hrs.) was:

 

I. Grebbe End. Germans vs. Dutch in Holland. May, 1940. 5.5 turns. From Module #11, Doomed Battalions (Third Edition). (3:14 hrs.)

II. North Bank. Germans vs. British in Oosterbeek, Holland. September, 1944. 7.0 turns. From Module #5a, For King and Country. (3:17 hrs.)

III. Bloody Bois Jacques. Germans vs. Americans in Belgium. December, 1944. 5.5 turns. From Journal #8. (3:00 hrs.)

 

Download the AlpenfestungVI_ShortScenarios.pdf here.

 

Results

 

First Round

Eric (as the Belgians) vs. John (as the Germans) in Art Nouveau. Eric wins.

Michael (as the Canadians) vs. Marc (as the Germans) in A Few Rounds. Marc wins.

 

Second Round

Michael (as the Americans) vs. John (as the Germans) in Bloody Bois Jacques. John wins.

Marc (as the Americans) vs. Eric (as the Germans) in Bloody Bois Jacques. Eric wins.

 

Ranking

 

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

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

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

4th: Michael (0:2)

 

After Action Report (AAR)

 

Marc

For the first time, the Alpenfestung did not take place in the Seeblick. Instead, we booked this vacation home at the flanks of the Flumserberg, with a great view of the Churfirsten Mountains. I loved the outside sitting place, where we also had a tasty and relaxing Barbecue on Saturday night. The inside... was not so much according to my taste. The house just had too much stuff in it. Less would have been more. So for the next Alpenfestung VII in spring of 2014, we will move on again.

 

Both ASL scenarios I played were nail-biting experiences. My winning confidence in the first scenario against Michael, A Few Rounds, was rather initially low when his defending Canadians managed to pin me down on a large section of the front. My three advancing tank monsters (Sturmmörser) were ambushed by his powerful British 76mm LL anti-tank gun. Luckily, the AT gun first missed, and then malfunctioned after firing intensive fire. The three tanks were slow and not very flexible (they could only fire in their own Prepare Fire Phase), but every time they hit their target, there were no survivors in that doomed impact location. One after another, I could mop up the remaining resistance nests. Finally, I could rush his last broken unit just in time to win the scenario. Every time I play Michael, I feel that we are at about the same playing level. I remember well the challenging scenarios I played with him (for example, 'Tavronitis Bridge' of Alpenfestung III). 

 

The second scenario on Saturday evening and Sunday morning against Eric had a very different feel to it. I played a unit of attacking American paratroopers against his well-entrenched German units in dense woods. A Scenario Special Rule (SSR) allowed units in foxholes to treat woods as Pine Woods, turning a LOS obstacle into a LOS hindrance. Of course, these wildly changing LOS situations were not easy to handle. Sometimes, I received fire through three, four or even five Pine Woods hexes, at other times, we skipped firing phases because there were no LOS between our units. I received a significant blowback when his 80mm offboard Mortar Battery fire hit in the midst of my advancing units. The shelling left all units broken and routing to the rear and flanks. After a recovery period, I managed to make a strong and fast push forward, but Eric put up defending positions at my required board exit hexes in time. So even with superior firepower and numbers, I did not manage to tear a hole in his defensive lines in time to open up a corridor to victory. It was a close call, but we could award Eric the win on this scenario with a good cause. I should have used my recovery period to advance as quickly as possible, instead to delay my advance to gather all troops. My lesson after this scenario was: ASL has to do a lot with the correct timing of your attack/defense!             

 

John

After enentually finding the new location for Alpenfestung VI (it set up concealed) we arrived just in time for dinner and a couple of beers (always a good way to start). The location was fine but I also preferred the original location which had a bit more atmopsphere and the better view.

 

After dinner we played a medieaval combat card game which did not end too successfully for me.

 

I had the pleasure to play Eric in the first round and any thoughts of an easy ride playing against someone who had not played for 5 years were quickly dismissed. A canny set-up (with all defenders HIP at start and an unknown complete order of battle due to the SSR) posed real problems to my motorcycle-transported troops. The scenario hinges on clearing the roadblock in time to drive the tanks off but with my air support arriving too late, an over aggressive start and low rolls from Eric (he did warn us in advace to be fair) left me with an uphill struggle. The final straw came when I sen the wrong tank to the front which, despite taking out some of the enemy, succumbed in the close combat phase leaving me with no option other than too concede defeat (almost exactly at the same time as Marc and Michael finished). Congratulations to Eric for going on and winning the tournament (we like to be nice to first-timers!)

 

After a refreshing and thoroughly to be recommended swim in the Walensee lake we had an excellent outdoor barbecue (the lamb steaks were fantastic). It was just a shame another Alpenfestung veteran Jan could not join us as originally planned. In the tournament I got the chance to try to gain revenge on Michael for my close defeat in the final of Alpenfestung V.

 

I again played the German defenders and, similar to the final between Eric and Marc, the scenario turned on the effectiveness of the Artillery. The field phone was a godsend because I did my best to lose radio contact each roll (I think 2x11 and 1X10 at least). The line of site rules were not easy due to the pine forest and special rule for foxholes but I believe we played everything correctly. I managed to whittle away Michaels forces whils keeping my defensive shape without him ever really achieving a breakthrough. I was well stocked to hold off the last turn "suicide" rush for the win.

 

 Thanks to Eric and Michael for 2 enjoyable matches played in great spirit and fun (which is the main attraction for me).

 

Special thanks to Marc for organising this unique and great mini tournament. Walli also looks forward each time for the food, outdoors and, most of all, the excellent company.

 

Eric  

After 5 Years of ASL abstinence I was was a little bit curious to meet and play with all the old Alpenfestung Grognards. But after a hearty welcome from everybody, a fine dinner and the familiar feel of setting up a ASL Scenario I was happy to have joined and ready to fight on Saturday.

 

In my first game I played the Belgien Chasseures Ardennais against John's Germans. My hole force did set up HIP and I could secretly reenforce my troops by a 9-1 Leader and a Tank. I decided to set up upfront and do a fighting withdrawal toward the important Roadblock where one of my Tanks and two Squads would be my last line of defense and, hopeful, a nasty surprise for the Germans. My Plan was working pretty well as the Germans where advancing rather cautious and a Fire Lane from my MMG was forcing the German Motorcycles off the Road and future slowed them. With few, but crucial, rolls being low the German losses started to mount. John had some bad luck with his reinforcement rolls and as the longed for German Panzers finally arrived at the front, time was already running short and John had to take some risks to get to the Roadblock. He moved his PzKw I forward and at the moment his wife, with a cheerful "Hello", entered the room, I rolled Snake Eyes with the 12.7 ATR from my Tank and the CH finished the German Panzer off. It was now almost impossible to exit the required VP so John decided to give Victory to me. It was a great Scenario that cries for a second try !

 

The second Scenario had me again on the defense, this time with the Germans against Marc's US Paratroopers. This Scenario was special as LOS beyond the adjacent hex was only gained while in a foxhole. I set up well up front with equal strength on both sides and  a MMG guarding the Exit area. Marc's initial tactic took me totally by surprise. He entered with 3 Squad Stacks and all on my left  flank. No pinning force of my right. As my defensive fire showed no result the superior (and much feared) Advancing Fire of the US Para Squads broke and killed my defenders quickly. A embarrassing loss in 4 Turns was forming before my inner eye ! But with some luck my OBA fire drifted right into the middle of Marc's squads and after resolving FFE2 2/3rds of his Force was broken and/or reduced to Halfsquads. Nevertheless the Exit Area was wide open and my right Flank Troops were just slowly reaching the Fighting Area. Marc hesitated for one turn to rush the exit with his remaining Force and so the window closed again. The last Turn saw the US throw all his squads against my now rather solid line, but now was "Eric low roll Time" and, fittingly, Marc was failing all his MC and 1MC. 

 

It was a great Weekend and I will try to seize one of the rare Slots to participate again next time ! Marc did a great Job with organizing the event, Thank you again Marc !

 

Michael

I was quite happy that I was able to go to Alpenfestung twice in one year. Both times my wife Andrea joined me. She enjoyed hiking in the mountains despite a lingering head cold. As usual, the company was very good. Meals were well organized by Marc. I have to agree with him about the new Battle Barn. There was an eclectic mix of stuff in that place. Our bedroom had a half dozen binocular cases, with no binoculars. The weather in Flums was much better than the heat we had back in Baden-Württemberg, so we were happy to escape.

 

My first session with Marc was a real pleasure as the advantage swung back and forth between us. I felt it could have gone either way. However, the dice gods gave Marc the 3 factor MG shot he needed when he needed it. My second game versus John was very tough. John had a great defense and I could only bash against it. I have pictures and more details on my blog. I had hoped to do better, but enjoyed myself immensely, just the same.

 

Photos

 

Our new location - an Airbnb vacation house on the Flumserberg, near the Walensee.

 

The famous Churfirsten mountain range.

 

Breakfast on Saturday morning.

 

Michael is contemplating his optimal setup...

 

Ambush! Luckily, the Gun crew misfired it and malfunctioned their anti-tank gun.

 

The resistance of the British troops is finally broken... no wonder with three Sturmmörser in sight...

 

The beginning of a patriotic BBQ... ;o)

 

...including the famous Cervelat (Swiss sausages)

 

The dinner can finally start.

 

Sunset over the Churfirsten mountains.

 

This is an aerial reconnaissance photo from an altitude of about two meters - with the help of the trampolin.

 

The end of the second scenario. Eric and Michael are sorting their counters.

 

Marc presents small gift (an Osprey book) to Eric, the tournament winner.

 

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

 

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