ASL Monday – The Yelnya Bridge

What a great little scenario on map 47, J102 The Yelnya Bridge from ASL Journal #7. 4.5 turns of condensed goodness. Map is very busy and tough to go through. A bit of everything, SS, assault engineers, couple of tanks and armored cars attacking over bridge/stream defended by rather poor Russian conscrips, a bunker ATR and MMG & couple of trenches. Time and terrain was on Russian side, but that was about all. I opted to play Russians, and set up the defense a bit poorly – next time have to remember to use the trenches to slow down the vehicles (or at least not in behind orchards…), and on the other hand, place bunker and artillery piece in a bit better locations. Goal for the Germans was to either capture three buildings near bridge or exit 20 CVP. Lot’s of options to exploit – and a darn good chance to roll out true combined arms attack.Yelnya bridge - 1

Anyways, German assault came in from direction I did attempt to lure them into, and while one armored car managed to pass behind my position, I did manage to stop the other. However, poor artillery position left the tanks free to go as they liked and AT rifle was not good enough to kill the tanks. That said, the focus of the attack was clearly to get the exit VP – which was a tad tough for Russians because the AFV alone accounted about the needed amount. That said, I had a commissar. At least half a game I had him. Yelnya bridge - 2

After this game nobody can claim that ASL has no command and control, or events. What happened was a sequence of events that nobody could predict. Besides of interesting very low FP attacks that caused a bit of havoc among the German attack there were couple of game chancing snipers. First Russian sniper stunned German armored car… great – except the roll that caused sniper to stun the car crew managed to break only squad able to attack it. Darn. 😀

Meanwhile Russian MG put up a good show by maintaining ROF for 6 times in a row. Too bad there were too few Germans around!

Yelnya bridge - 3

Meanwhile elsewhere my dear commissar was performing admirably. He had just rallied AT rifle squad back in action on gunpoint (before that he rallied another conscript in proven fashion and battle hardened the fellows. Very good tactic that. Drawback was the German sniper that broke one Russian defender… a prelude to the events to follow). In following Prep Fire Phase Russian artillery fired a squad on the opposite bank and got a critical hit. However, when rolling for effect, result was 11 and squad passed unharmed – pretty good for 24FP attack 😀 (I am most dangerous at IFT 4FP – so be warned if you ever play against me… Firelanes and residue, oh well… they are killers with me). Well, that’s all right then, but the critical hit was also SAN which meant that the sniper activated. What happened next was brilliant. Sniper moved, targeted the Commissar and a AT rifle squad underneath. He killed the Commissar, broke the squad. However, the squad was so relieved to get rid of the Commissar that they actually passed LLMC. Fantastic! 😀

Now that mister Commissar got to know how it feels to be rallied on a gunpoint Russians chances to win reduced dramatically. After that momentous moment there was no realistic chance to win but who cares when the game is such a fantastic one!

I made a few setup mistakes, but also see only now that my artillery position was not that bad, I could have fired also on the left side, but did not realize that early enough. The LOS on map 47 is a bit challenging, but nevertheless, scenario is a really good one indeed.

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