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Here is where you can sound off on the 5 scenarios for the Rumblings of War IV tournament. Let us know what you thought of each one, how you tackled each one, what you liked or disliked, etc.

As for the authors for each one, they are as follows:

South of Vevi - Sergio "Kingfish" Castillo

Things go Bump in the night - Wyatt "WWB" Barnett

Squeezing the Melon - Jeff "Jwxspoon" Weatherspoon

Frontier Firefight '40 - Kevin "Kinch" Kinscherf

Retreat from Metemma - Marc "Marc S" Sullivan

****SPOILER****

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Ok, permission to speak freely is granted

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I should probably withhold comment until I see the scores, but I can't help myself. Did anyone playing the Allies (South Africans) in Things Go Bump in the Night get a decent score?

It seemed to me that everything in that scenario was in the Germans favor:

</font>

  • Germans had better armor</font>
  • Germans did not have to exit all of their units so they could establish a blocking force</font>
  • The Germans had a very narrow exit zone (for vehicles) to defend</font>
  • Every single Allied unit had to exit, virtually forcing the Allied vehicles to drive into an ambush</font>

The only thing the Allies had going for them was that it was night and the Germans had to get relatively close in order to wipe them out. On the other hand, that also made it easier for the German flamethrower - yep, I stumbled across it.

Since I had the Allies, I assumed that the Germans were in the same position, i.e., they had to exit all of their units and needed to decide which resources should be allocated to exiting and which to fighting. Forcing both sides to make these decisions I thought was a novel concept. But it turned out that there was no need for the German to decide this - it was already determined by which units were eligible for exit.

I'd love for somebody to prove me wrong on this by telling me that they achieved some sort of stunning victory (or even a draw) as the Allies.

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Short comments about the scenarios...

Things go bump - this one was flawed in my mind. Far too wide a corridor for units to pass by resulted me never seeing opponent and we both got BORED big time here.

Squeezing the Melon - I liked this one a LOT. Map was excellent and challenge for defender (me) good one. Troop composition was pretty equal but my opponent was whacked. My single Panther was pretty low on ammo but it was quite enough in the end (I think I had 3 APs left LOL)

Frontier Firefight - map was too long in E-W orientation as it took me and my opponent 15 turns to see each other. Also a bit too much fortifications for defender (me) and thus quite hard for attacker.

Retreat from Metemma - I liked this one. Map was quite narrow but then again defenders forces (me) we pretty scarce so I guess it was ok.

South of Vevi - felt nice and played well but my original opponent surrendered on 36th turn because of too much mauling. Kingfish himself offered to play it to the end and thus we got more reasonable final score.

All in all nice afterglow LOL

Thank you for players all a like - and even bigger thank goes to organizers smile.gif

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Great job on Squeezing the Melon. The map was extremely intricate, especially with all of the hills and gullies. Made for some very interesting LOS opportunities.

I didn't win this scenario (as the Germans), but I had a great time trying, despite several frustrations.

I lost a trench that I placed across the road in an effort to link two buildings. I think other people fell prey to this little trap. Most terrain that does not permit trenches does not allow you to place a trench in it during set up. Roads, however, allow you to place the trench during set up, but then it gets removed on the first turn.

I lost my Panther to a long-range side-turret hit. It was dashing up the road, trying to get behind the church when it got hit by an American tank up near the first bend in the road on the American side of the map (about 1,400m, I think). Kind of depressing since he was exposed for such a short period of time, and, if I'd used a covered arc to rotate the turret, the shell might have bounced off the front of the turret.

What was the longest range armor/vehicle kill in the tournament? My Panther got a kill at 1,368m before it got KO'ed.

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First, let me say, that the tournament was excellent. I enjoyed the challenges each battle offered. This was my first tournament and the level of competition and the tactical situations offered were first rate.

South of Vevi - I have rarely had such a strong defensive position. I gave up the single flag to pull in my forces and form a hedgehog. The loss of that one flag practically gave me an impregnable position. Map was great. Force balance in the Allied favor. smile.gif

Things Go Bump in the Night - This one didn't work for me either. When I started this scenario as the Germans, I believed that there had to be something more to this than simply a straight drive across the map. But there wasn't. Both my opponent and I sent recon out into the desert to see what that big map was about. The briefing for the German at least was misleading. With the German briefing he should never fire a shot and not try to stop the Allied player but go directly off map. Rommel would have your hide if you changed those orders and he was counting on you next morning. No fire fight for you. Force balance seemed very much in the German favor. Again great map. :(

Squeezing the Melon - This is my tournament favorite. This wasn't a good map. It was diabolical! The forces and choices to be made were very complex and far reaching. As the Allied player I didn't move my paratroopers into the village. I sat them with an LOS/LOF to the bridge where my bazooka teams killed the Panther and at least one more PzIV if not more. Can't remember at this moment. Only a single German tank reached my side of the bridge but they did sit there on the road and hit everything that tried to move around the bend. This scenario had it all for me...great force balance, excellent map, good time frame that the battle played out in. :D

Frontier Firefight - I was completely wiped out in this fight. The Italian defense was just too strong for my moves. If I played this one again I would obviously do some things differently. My opponent took every advantage he had. IMHO he had too many. The terrain favored the defender. Wide open with no covered terrain until you had crossed a lot of open ground. AT assets more than equal to the attacker. Armor that was more numerous and equal to the attackers. The force balance was off in this one for me. BUT with different tactics...a different opponent,,,a different day...who knows? This is one I would have to play again before passing judgement on. :confused:

Retreat from Metemma - I played this battle as the Axis. The defender in this fight has little or no say in what happens. It is simply a case of how fast and how hard the attacker wants to move. The defender doesn't have enough forces to influence the attacker's advance. Can he kill units? Yes, and they do. Can you withdraw to better positions after you fire a shot? No. The map is so narrow that the Allied player with his flood of units can simply move forward and take out any defenders position. This in itself is not unusual. That is after all what rear guard actions are all about. What made it bad for me is that the Allied player had far too much time. Most advances are not slow and methodical plodding along at turtle speed after a beaten foe. The whole idea of a rear guard is to slow the advance. In this scenario the Allied player can move as slow as he wants and insure a victory with overwhelming firepower and all the time in the world to bring it to bear. Good map. Good force mix. Game too long by about a third. :(

Having said all of that about each of these scenarios, whether I liked them or not doesn't matter. For in a tournament, like in real life, you get the orders that are handed to you. These tactical situations were absolutely believeable.

I could see getting the orders for every one of these scenarios. For general consumption I would change a few things, for the tournament they were awesome. Life isn't fair. Neither is combat or it appears tournament gaming... :D

Great job on the tournament.

Panther Commander

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Ace,

I played the Brits in “Bump” and I was on the loosing end of a draw, 53-47.

You’re right about the armor. That was a “lesson learned” in my AAR.

I didn’t realize that the Germans didn’t have to exit everyone. In fact I think my opponent exited only a couple of units and I thought that was why it was so close.

Two other surprises I had in that game, not all carriers have weapons (I can’t believe I didn’t notice that) and vehicles can’t cross rough in CMAK (what a rude surprise that was).

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Originally posted by Ted:

Ace,

I played the Brits in “Bump” and I was on the loosing end of a draw, 53-47.

You’re right about the armor. That was a “lesson learned” in my AAR.

I didn’t realize that the Germans didn’t have to exit everyone. In fact I think my opponent exited only a couple of units and I thought that was why it was so close.

Two other surprises I had in that game, not all carriers have weapons (I can’t believe I didn’t notice that) and vehicles can’t cross rough in CMAK (what a rude surprise that was).

I played British in Bump and did ok too, in fact got a 52 - 48 "victory" (draw) but I did find the German armour a bit tougher than mine. I made sure to exit my useless infantry as soon as I could by depositing them on the other side of the impasable gully (rough terrain) on my right hand side. The enemy also massed for a board edge rush on the opposite side, which helped. I was able to exit some of my useless carriers once the infantry were dropped off. I did okay in some standoffs too despite being outgunned 20mm to 13mm.

Glad to see some other comments on scenarios that I felt were a bit unbalanced, so maybe my scores won't be as bad as I feared.

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In Squeezing the Melon, I was rather surprised that Allied units at the bend in the road could see and engage German reinforcement units coming from their set up zone. Not complaining, just kind of amazed - was this an intentional design feature or just a happy accident? It was a very unexpected situation, the other terrain is so dense I had no expectations for long range encounters.

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

In Squeezing the Melon, I was rather surprised that Allied units at the bend in the road could see and engage German reinforcement units coming from their set up zone. Not complaining, just kind of amazed - was this an intentional design feature or just a happy accident? It was a very unexpected situation, the other terrain is so dense I had no expectations for long range encounters.

There was a similar (but, in my opinion, worse) situation in Retreat from Metemma. My opponent positioned his Italian tank on the hill on his left. It had clear LOS to my reinforcements and was able to open fire on them before they could move.

I liked the situation in Squeezing the Melon. The German player's reinforcements arrived out of LOS and had to move forward to expose themselves.

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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Ted:

Ace,

I played the Brits in “Bump” and I was on the loosing end of a draw, 53-47.

You’re right about the armor. That was a “lesson learned” in my AAR.

I didn’t realize that the Germans didn’t have to exit everyone. In fact I think my opponent exited only a couple of units and I thought that was why it was so close.

Two other surprises I had in that game, not all carriers have weapons (I can’t believe I didn’t notice that) and vehicles can’t cross rough in CMAK (what a rude surprise that was).

I played British in Bump and did ok too, in fact got a 52 - 48 "victory" (draw) but I did find the German armour a bit tougher than mine. I made sure to exit my useless infantry as soon as I could by depositing them on the other side of the impasable gully (rough terrain) on my right hand side. The enemy also massed for a board edge rush on the opposite side, which helped. I was able to exit some of my useless carriers once the infantry were dropped off. I did okay in some standoffs too despite being outgunned 20mm to 13mm.

Glad to see some other comments on scenarios that I felt were a bit unbalanced, so maybe my scores won't be as bad as I feared. </font>

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In Squeezing the Melon, I was rather surprised that Allied units at the bend in the road could see and engage German reinforcement units coming from their set up zone. Not complaining, just kind of amazed - was this an intentional design feature or just a happy accident? It was a very unexpected situation, the other terrain is so dense I had no expectations for long range encounters.

That also came as a shock to me smile.gif - fortunately not too much damage was done - but I never even thought to check it.

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High Water Mark: Crushing ambush on Hill 208 as Allies - a whole German platoon wiped out(Sorry Green As Jade ;) )

Low Water Mark: The Italian M11 in 'Retreat from Metemma' - multiple penetrations (seven in one turn!) and still it sat there successfully stalling my advance untill the end :mad:

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Melnibone:

In Squeezing the Melon, I was rather surprised that Allied units at the bend in the road could see and engage German reinforcement units coming from their set up zone. Not complaining, just kind of amazed - was this an intentional design feature or just a happy accident? It was a very unexpected situation, the other terrain is so dense I had no expectations for long range encounters.
This was intentional. There are several 'keyhole' firing positions on the map that benefit whichever side uses them. In particular on the hill overlooking the town, an AT gun placed to fire back into the town area can have protected los that covers everything from the initial bend in the road al the way to the other side of the river, and everything in between.

jw

[ June 17, 2004, 12:32 PM: Message edited by: jwxspoon ]

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Originally posted by jwxspoon:

Melnibone:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />In Squeezing the Melon, I was rather surprised that Allied units at the bend in the road could see and engage German reinforcement units coming from their set up zone. Not complaining, just kind of amazed - was this an intentional design feature or just a happy accident? It was a very unexpected situation, the other terrain is so dense I had no expectations for long range encounters.

This was intentional. There are several 'keyhole' firing positions on the map that benefit whichever side uses them. In particular on the hill overlooking the town, an AT gun placed to fire back into the town area can have protected los that covers everything from the initial bend in the road al the way to the other side of the river, and everything in between.

jw </font>

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Retreat from Metemma.

The M11 is a terror, but, it can be taken out by the ATRs and the M11 can't stop infantry very well. It simply doesn't have the ammo to put a serious hurt on the infantry.

The Italian defender has a variety of options as to how to defend and with the tankettes has some serious counterpunching power.

The Italian being able to place his tank to overwatch the reinforcement entry zone was an oversight on my part, I didn't think the Italians could get LOS from his setup to the reinforcement zone. I try to setup reinforcement zones specifically so this won't happen. It is always possible that an aggressive defender will still manage to get LOS to the reinforcement zone no matter how you protect it.

I'll use scattered trees in the final published version to improve the protection of the reinforcement zone. My apologies because I understand how this really wrecked the scenario for you.

-marc s

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Had a squint at the scores, now it's time to put a dint in the Canadian GDP...

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'South of Vevi'

Strider(58) / Brent Pollock(42)

I liked this one, even though I found there was not much to do as the Allies after set up was over. My main gaff was not noticing that the weather would preclude air support, so I had my 2 x Bofors in AA positions rather than AT positions. Also, I shouldn't have bothered with anything on the right front flag, even though I didn't have much of anything there, just Company A (mortars and carriers and the HQ for spotting). Lost my right-hand AA/AT pair when they were trying to relocate, and that let panzers close in during the end game on the big flag at the back. All other flags had an entrenched, reverse sloped platoon.

'Things go bump in the night'

Brent Pollock (49) Pitt Panther 31 (51)

I liked this one just because of the tension of not knowing when something would loom out of the dark. I agree that the Germans (me) have the edge except for the fact that a large proportion of the SHOULD EXIT FOR POINTS crowd is truck-bound...and I underestimated the amount of time it would take those things to trundle through the rocky stuff. The Allied player doesn't have to worry about this as the carriers have great mobility. In the end, I blew a win by being to slow and not exitting enough. As to the Allies having too small an exit window, that seems like 20/20 hindsight. As the German, the FOW kept me from knowing:

1. where the Allies were starting (other edge...right in my way...in between...);

2. what their force composition was (would I hit a belt of 2 pdrs...after all, I was toting PaK 38s and 105 howitzers...would I get slaughtered by a company of Stuarts...).

If it turns out that they have a lot of infantry waiting to stop me up close, then cross the gully, their exit becomes a lot wider.

'Squeezing the Melon'

Brent Pollock (17) Deadly 88 (83)

This was my least favourite, and not because I did so poorly (which reminds me...what could "Capitano Gino" and "Redwolf" possibly have done to score lower than I as the Axis...my mind boggles...the AI could have defended better than I did...). My only problem with this scenario (other than what looks to be compass errors in the briefing...and "TgBitN" also had this problem) was that I could not believe that the Axis forces would've been disposed the way they were - strong company locked on the far bank, loser platoon on the near side. I especially did not appreciate having to set up my Heavy Weapons core:

75L ATG, 2 x 81 MTR, HMG, 120 MTR FO, Dug In Pz IIIN

...on the far side, when they really should've been on the friendly side giving the ranged fire support they were designed for. As I stated in my AAR, the whole set up reeked of being a "set up" but there was nothing I could do about it.

If I'd been given a freehand during set up, the Conscript bozo platoon would've been on the far bank as an alarm force, and the engineers on the near bank ready to blow the bridge if the Allies were going to sweep it.

Having written all that, I don't feel like I had absolutely no choice in the matter: I did oodles to contribute to the lopsided score, as did my opponent, who put in an attack that was a joy to watch...if you weren't overly attached to the Axis forces. My biggest mistakes were not knowing that my trenches would be spotted waaaaaaaaayyyyyyy before their occupants would've been (result = plastered by OBA before firing a shot...including a KO on the ATG), and being fatally indecisive with my FO's fire missions. Cap that off with a mishandled counterattack and having a Panther fire 7 x AP rounds in one turn and NOT HIT A BLOODY THING...and you've got a right proper disaster on your hands.

I certainly agree with those who praise the map - it was very groovy...especially the depth of the river valley.

'Frontier Firefight '40'

Levitacus [sub'd in] (60) Brent Pollock (40)

I'm guessing from a scan of the scores that my experience was much like the other Allied players, going from,

"this'll be easy...I'll just blow past the listening post with some brief fire support from my light tanks, then take out the guys guarding the oasis after pummelling them with TRP-directed OBA..yeah...that's the ticket...piece of cake.."

...to...

"ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod...how the hell are we going to kick them out of this forward trench system...get out of the wire you stupid buggers...where'd those tankettes come from......isn't there any cover around here more substantial than a rodent-nibbled patch of weeds..."

Still enjoyed the challenge though, and I liked getting snookered by my original opponent, who set up nothing around the flag on my left flank, and all his forward force on my right side...I of course, went down the right side. But that's not the best part; this is the best part - by the time I realised it and had taken the right hand flag, I didn't have enough time to get anyone with ammo over to the undefended flag (my one mobile tank had run out of ammo), so it ended neutral.

'Retreat from Metemma'

Panther Commander (29) Brent Pollock (71)

I didn't feel all that pressed for time in this one and they main reason I didn't do better is I should've:

1. just backed off of the FT tankette once I'd missed my initial chance at grenading it, instead of frittering away the better part of an infantry platoon continuously trying to get it;

2. kept most of my AFVs back until the ATRs had been taken out by the infantry. An overly cautious advance by the engineers on my right flank didn't flush them out fast enough.

It seems to me the main edge in this one is in morale - my khaki-clad boys didn't get phased by much and seemed quite fit, too.

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[ June 17, 2004, 04:31 PM: Message edited by: Brent Pollock ]

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Originally posted by Brent Pollock:

'Squeezing the Melon'

Brent Pollock (17) Deadly 88 (83)

This was my least favourite, and not because I did so poorly (which reminds me...what could "Capitano Gino" and "Redwolf" possibly have done to score lower than I as the Axis...

I tried to get fancy. I set up the AT units on the hill, firing back towards my map edge onto the road. Sharpshooters and mortars were also positione there. However, my opponent sent a company of paratroopers through the scattered trees there. Not only did it maul all the heavy weapons, the infantry I sent there was shot up on the move.

My reinforcements were all blown up by the M10s positioned to threaten my reinforcement zone, a scenario feature I didn't like. If the Allied player realizes there is this spot then the Axis player cannot do anything anymore.

I also didn't like the differently colored setup zones. I don't agree this is a good scenario design tool.

Futher on the bad side, I was digging out the Panzer III - only to have it knocked out before doing anything useful. It would have been more useful to leave it in place.

Horrible performance on my part and my opponent realized the good shooting positions, sneaked the infantry on the far side of the river in in a perfect way and was lucky to roll up my heavy weapons by his choice of infantry approach.

Overall the most inportant idioticy on my part is not realizign what scattered trees in CM mean - good concealment, people are almost on top of you before you can see them, pretty fast, it is entirely possible to cross the map through scattered trees. This made me lose both on the forward hill and in the near side village where my units were hidden, not holding fire with covered arcs and hence the paratroopers could make it from invivible tree positions into the safety of the houses within one turn, which didn't allow me to cancel the move order in time.

I don't think I have anything to do with my shot up armor in the rear. The map gives the Allied player the opportunity to control it if he is clever enough to figure the LOS situation out.

As a suggestion, I would say the scattered trees should have patches of swamps, rough or open ground to break up the monotomy and make finding positions and lanes in there more challenging.

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Say what now...you can dig out dug in tanks :confused: I thought that sucker was padlocked in place.

Also, in case I confused anyone with my comment about blowing the bridge with the engineers, I meant that strictly from the angle of "my take on what really would've happened", rather than what could've been done in the game. [stop a few moments to check the briefing]...hmmm...I could've sworn the briefing forbade blowing the bridge, but all it states is "Do not let the Americans take the bridge", which to my mind means I had permission to detonate. The only downside is that I think it might be one of those heavy-duty bridges that is impossible to take out with only a pioneer platoon or so...and the fact that we would've liked to have crossed to the safe side first, which would've been tricky...unless the Pz IIIN and OBA smoke could've covered us...anyone try to blow the bridge?

Originally posted by redwolf:

Futher on the bad side, I was digging out the Panzer III - only to have it knocked out before doing anything useful. It would have been more useful to leave it in place.

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Well, this was my first ROW experience, and I got crushed like a cockroach in a mosh-pit in most of my games, although no insect ever enjoyed the process of crush-itation like I did.

Thanks to all who make the tournament happen!

Here are some observations in no particular order:

Bump was an example of a scenario that could and should have been sublime. The premise was sound, the map great, and the forces light and fast enough to really rip around the huge map. However, having both sides going for exit points doomed this scenario for any opponents who basically just circled around each other like two sock-footed brawlers in a dark room. I think that going back to the original premise (at least from the Axis side) of the Allied screening force trying to head off the Axis forces (or vice versa) would improve this game quite a bit.

Melon was in my opinion the best overall battle, but disappointing for me on one point. Maybe I'm whining too much, but I was completely unprepared for the American paratrooper encirclement. As far as I was concerned, the moment I lost the near side of the town to the paras it was all over but the dying. The concept of the scenario was brilliant, but even the slightest hint of an encirclement in the Axis briefing would have made me more properly paranoid in my setup.

I got crushed in Frontier Firefight, and was amazed to see that some actually managed to do rather well from the Allied side. The MkVI "tanks" (ha!) were spectacularly useless, and the 2in mortars once again proved their worth - none. Compare those against the ammo-rich Italian Brixias. I tried to pull a left-heavy attack, using my ATRs as a skirmish line to hold his defenders in place, but the moment my forces came up over the lip of the escarpment I was mowed down. My opponent did a great set-up which gave him sweeping arcs of fire against my legs. I grew to dread the cough of the deathless Italian 47mm, and then watching that beer can of a shell come bumbling toward my guys... One suggestion - lower the wind a bit so that at least the 2in mortar smoke shells would be useful.

Vevi was my second favorite game. My opponent (Allied) and I had a rousing battle that was up for grabs right until the very last turn. While I usually don't enjoy set-piece battles as much as fast-moving ones, this one had an interesting map and enough forces to really make a full-map fight. A couple of quibbles - it could have gone a few turns more - and I felt that the AA guns on the Allied side were a bit excessive considering that the majority of my vehicles had their guns disabled by about 2/3 into the game - a feature that always struck me as being a bit unrealistic.

Retreat was an interesting battle that I bumbled during setup by placing too many of my forces too far forward. My supposedly deathless M11 was overwhelmed by a charge of ATR Carriers who circled around to get butt shots - kudos to my opponent SlawReg for this simple but deadly tactic. The endgame was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed running my little tankettes and the flamethrower tank around the map trying to stem the tide.

Once again, thanks to all!

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Originally posted by jbertles:

The concept of the scenario was brilliant, but even the slightest hint of an encirclement in the Axis briefing would have made me more properly paranoid in my setup.

Hmmm...I thought it did give a hint...I was playing Axis and after reading it I certainly expected Allied forces to appear at some time on "my" side of the bridge. Funnily enough in my AAR I stated that it gave me too big of a hint - I like surprises smile.gif

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