Saturday, April 20, 2013

Storms of Steel: Firefight 3 "Wind or Sniper?"

In this Conflict of Heroes scenario, a Russian force must assault a German-occupied village. The Russians have two hidden sniper teams and eight infantry squads; the Germans have two hidden rifle squads, plus a squad and two heavy machineguns in the village. In this one, the Soviets start off with an advantage in command points, but they need them.

Josh started by taking sniper shots at one of the HMGs, doing one hit and forcing me to spend most of its action points rallying. A few Red units came in from the northwest corner, losing one to machine gun fire; most of the rest came from the southwest, with one running into a hidden German unit in the field. I'd been trying to get that squad into the building on the west side of the map but had unwisely activated it too soon in the turn, so when the Russians ran into it, it couldn't do anything. On turn two, that unit was quickly killed by close range fire, although the HMGs quickly polished off a couple of Russian squads in return. The ability of the HMGs to fire three (or four, with a CAP) times per turn made them deadly. The Russian northern prong got down to point blank range before succumbing to the HMGs; the southern prong made it to close range on the next turn, but was whittled down to two squads. At that point, the Russians had one detected sniper, one hidden sniper, and two squads; the Germans still had both HMGs and two squads functional, so the Russians resigned.

It's not immediately clear how to win this as the Russians. They have to cross at least seven hexes of open terrain to get from the cover of the building at the west edge, to the woods at the south of the village. They aren't hidden when they enter, and with only five turns to clear the village, they don't have time for hidden movement. It seems a human wave is the only option, but the German machineguns make that expensive.

We'll trade sides and see if I do any better.


Hoo, boy, did I do better.

As the Russian player. I put one sniper in the building on the west edge of the board, and the other off the north edge of the village, with a LOS to both machineguns. I brought in two squads as bait, to draw fire from the HMGs and get them to use up their actions; this cost me a squad, but meh, Russians. And it meant the HMGs couldn't respond if they discovered my snipers. When the HMGs were spent, I activated my snipers. Using Command APs prolifically, two shots at +2 killed the first HMG, and a single shot at +2 managed an instant kill on the second one, and Josh resigned. I still had six squads I hadn't even gotten onto the map.

So it seems that this scenario is sensitive to how well the snipers do. Partly that rests on careful use of CAPs, and partly it's just rolling well when you need to.

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