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After Action Report (AAR) of Alpenfestung VII

Page history last edited by Marc 9 years, 11 months ago

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





This was the official Flyer for the tournament: Einladung ASL Alpenfestung VII (.jpg, 333 kB)




The Alpenfestung VII tournament took place Friday, April 4th until Sunday, April 6th, 2014.




We played in a vacation home in Schmitten (Kanton of Graubünden).




  1. Marc B. (Switzerland)

  2. Eric S. (Switzerland)

  3. Daniel T. (Switzerland)

  4. Jan L. (Switzerland)





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


I. Charging Chaumont. Germans vs. Americans in Belgium. December, 1944. 6 Turns. From ASL Journal #8. (4:27 hrs.)

II. Piercing the Peel. Dutch vs. Germans in Holland. May, 1940. 7 Turns. From Module #11, Doomed Battalions (Third Edition). (4:19 hrs.)

III. Russe! Drown in the Wolga! Russians vs. Germans in Russia. September 1942. 6 Turns. From Valor of the Guards. (4:13 hrs.)


Download the Long Scenarios for Alpenfestung VII (3.0 MB) here.


The choice of scenarios for the short round (4.0 hrs.) was:


I. Counterattack at Carentan. Americans vs. Germans in France. June 1944. 6 Turns. From Winter Offensive Bonus Pack #2. (3:38 hrs.)

II. Riding the Coattails. Polish vs. Slovak in Poland. September 1939. 6.5 Turns. From Out of the Bunker #1. (3:40 hrs.)

III. Obstinate Canadians. Canadians vs. Germans in Germany. February 1945. 5.5 Turns. From Operation Veritable. (3:40 hrs.)


Download the Short Scenarios for Alpenfestung VII (2.6 MB) here.




First Round

Eric (as the Dutch) vs. Jan (as the Germans) in Piercing the Peel. Eric wins.

Daniel (as the Americans) vs. Marc (as the Germans) in Charging Chaumont. Daniel wins.


Second Round

Marc (as the Germans) vs. Jan (as the Canadians) in Obstinate Canadians. Marc wins.

Daniel (as the Germans) vs. Eric (as the Americans) in Counterattack at Carentan. Daniel wins.




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

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

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

4th: Jan (0:2)


After Action Report (AAR)



After the mixed feelings about our last vacation home at Flumserberg, we chose one in Schmitten, a tiny village in the beautiful Kanton of Graubünden. I travelled to Schmitten two days early to explore that area a little, and it was worthwile it! My hike on the evening I arrived led me to the Landwasserviadukt, a high train bridge crossing the small Landwasser river. The next day, I hiked to the Belfort, the ruin of a medieval castle, and its surrounding woods and villages. Lastly, on the day of the other player's arrival, I visited a train museum in Bergün. It showed how challenging it was at the end of the 19th century to build the train tracks along steep mountain flanks, over bridges and through tunnels. Up to this day, many constructions of that period are still marveled as an engineering masterpiece.


The new vacation home in Schmitten turned out to be a very unique and charming place. We had lots of space for gaming, eating and sleeping. It was fun to explore the house when I arrived, it took me quite a while to look into all rooms, niches and wardrobes. The kitchen was fully equipped and we found everything we needed.


My first game against Daniel proved to be both challenging and fun. I spread my forced over the breadth of a whole board, trying to tie down the attacking forces in a fighting withdrawal. However, in one turn, many of my (half) squads succumbed to the attacking American units and broke. Daniel used heavily the notorious tactic of Vehicular Bypass Freeze, and managed to gain complete freedom of movement in several instances. On a deluxe board with few hexes between the attacker and the final objective buildings, this proved fatal for me. My defending forces didn't manage to rally, and even my reinforcements had no room to unfold and were quickly decimated, too. Even though the first two round went pretty well for me, the downward spiral afterwards marked a clear and well deserved victory for Daniel. My learnings: Have a least some units in the victory buildings, and don't fan out too wide in the face of a highly mobile attacker with many vehicles. Second, be aware of the notorious Vehicular Bypass Freeze and act accordingly (I still have to reflect what countermeasures there are against this tactic). 


My second game against Jan had a very different feel to it. I played the attacking German forces in a night assault against his entrenched (and often hidden) units in a mostly wooden area. I had more units than Jan's Canadians, plus a number of tanks and halftracks. I managed to reveal his defending squads one after another and eliminate them, mostly in close combat. His artillery strike briefly disrupted my right flank, but was not enough to stop the momentum of the entire attack. My learnings: As the defender, set up in a way that your units can mutually defend themselves, and don't hesitate to change your position if it proves to be of little value regarding the route the attacker takes.


I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of this recent Alpenfestung - both the playing environment and the gaming itsself was very relaxed. The motto of my Alpenfestung series held true: «Playing challenging ASL scenarios, without hurry, in a stunning environment».           



I had quite a long ride from the Bernese Oberland and picked up Eric in Zürich Altstetten as well. Schmitten is pretty high up, at about 3000', so a winding road up into a high valley with a beautiful lake and then higher still towards the old pass road. The house in Schmitten was ancient and one sleeping rom had such a low ceiling that I could not stand straight. I also had a chance to fix some salad sauce, my favorite hobby!


Played my first game against Marc, who unaware of VBM freeze and not using his AT capabilities to the fullest, allowed me some nice maneuvers. Had not played Deluxe ASL in a while as well, so it was great fun. The scenario also featured a Meat Chopper and I got to OVR a defending squad with 36FP; something I have wanted to do forever!


Second scenario againt Eric was cool too: we played "Counterattack at Carentan" which I had played before. Playing the Axis, I broke a trail for the AFVs on the left flank and broke through. Got some very good SMOKE rolls and the American paratroopers could not see anything. Lucky victory!


I then played another friendly: "Riding the Coattails". Great stuff as well.


So I enjoyed the tournament a lot - great location, great people, nice scenarios!



The long travel from Basel to Schmitten was quickly forgotten after seeing the beautiful Mountain scenery and the great House Marc has organized for us.


After Dinner we picked opponents, scenarios and sides. I had to fight Jan and we chose the Infantry only Scenario "Piercing the Peel". I had played this Scenario Solo some ten years ago and I remembered it as somewhat boring. Let's see how this one plays FtF.

My setup had a big Oversight and Jan's Germans made it evident on his first Turn. I had no LOS to the vital Crossroad and therefor the Germans advanced rather quick toward my Position. By turn 2 or 3 he was already in possession of one of the two Bunkers he needed to win. Albeit Jan said he is a ASL Beginner he sure is not a Beginner in rolling Snake Eyes. His Light Mortars were scoring Critical Hits with frightening regularity. Only two, on my first thought, badly placed squads emerged to be King of the Battlefield for the following Turns, hindering the German advance. Finally, Jan managed to get a 3 Squad plus Leader Stack through the fire zone and only a Final Fired half Squad was in his way. The FPF resulted in a K/2 and Jan's Random selection produced 3x1 and a 4. Wow, I started to hope again. But the deadly mortars did their duty and therefor the last Turn saw a melee between a German Squad and a Dutch Leader in the Bunker with two die rolls to determine the winner. I did win, but hey, this game had really two winners in my opinion - for the gaming experience at a minimum.


So I met Daniel in the final. He told me stories about his ASL career on the drive to Schmitten and I had my doubts of having a chance for a win against him. Playing the US Paras defender I was thinking of all the stories I've read about how the Normandy Bogage favored the defenders and therefor was slightly optimistic. Not knowing the Bogage Rules very well I found them soon to be more hindering to my few defenders than to his attackers. I was frantically trying to plug holes in my defenses. Also, he surprised me by easily braking a Trail through the woods with his tanks which I had thought to be way more difficult. That much for not knowing the Rules to good. There was some hope for a short period as I managed to kill a Tank or two but the outcome was never really in doubt. Daniel played a great game and I learned a few things and a few rules which I think I have played wrong for years. 


All in all Alpenfestung was a great experience again. Marc did a outstanding Job in organizing everything, thanks again to him !! I would not like to miss any future Alpenfestung but with the growing popularity, Marc will have to limit participation to keep the spirit of his Tournament as a small and personal event. Which is great, so don't miss it (or better do ;-)



Once again it was Alpenfestung time. After missing the last location I was curious to see what the little village of Schmitten would be like - and nice it was! A beautiful location and quite an improvement over House "Seeblick", our former location. Arriving late on Friday after work I was just in time for... DINNER! (and setup :-))


In the first scenario against Eric I chose the Germans and it did start well. Rushing to my first objective I managed to capture it in a very short time. Unfortunately my attack slowed down quite significantly after that and even with very mortars bringing destruction from above I did not manage to overrun a well established defensive position. So it came down to deadly hand-to-hand combat up to the very last round! At this point however my forces were no longer in the position to stand their ground and so they... lost.


The second scenario saw Marc as my opponent. This was one of those scenarios were you just know, you just know with setup, that this is not going to work out. Badly set up I did not manage to put up any significant action against his forces. Only my offboard artillery was able to disrupt his flank but it did only prolong my suffering. So in the end it came as one would expect - I lost (again).


So once again Alpenfestung delivered - offering a small, personal tournament setting with great people and great food! Looking ahead I would only expect one thing to change... my Win/Loose ratio! :-)




On the hiking path leading from Schmitten to the river valley below. 


The famous Landwasser Viadukt - a railroad engineering masterpiece. 


The castle ruin Belfort sitting on a hilltop.


Our vacation house - a medieval building in the heart of the small village of Schmitten.


A Swiss halbert for self-defense was also part of the inventory.


The best thing about this old phone was that it was still in service! When have you used a dial plate the last time? ;o)


Our gaming table - with Eric looking up some ASL rules.


Daniel ready for some action...


American tanks and halftracks ruled the streets.


«Their fate is sealed!»


A German armored column approaching the woods edges at night. 


Daniel's winning prize: A small winter diorama. By chance, this is exactly the side he played in the scenario against Marc: Americans attacking in winter.


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


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