Monday, May 23, 2011

AAR: DASL3 Storming The Factory

Advanced Squad Leader VASL
Deluxe ASL 3: Storming The Factory
Germany: Michael R.
Russia: John H.

For this weeks round we picked the deluxe board scenario Storming The Factory.  This one pits a force of 20 German SS squads against a factory of 22 Russians during the advance on Rostov in July 1942.  Notably missing are the ususal toys we associate with factory assaults: flamethrowers, fanatics and fortified locations.  Instead the Germans get a randomly arriving set of PzIVF2's and the Russians get Molotov capability to counter this armored threat.  The Germans get ten turns to take the factory, but must use this generous amount of time wisely to reduce the Russians to a variable, but ultimately low, number of squads. 
Initial Setup
Setup requires each side to start rather densely packed in their respective starting areas.  My plan was to use the extra time afforded by the scenario to attempt a double envelopment of the factory to prevent a Russian fighting withdrawal.  My armor force came on randomly at the very first opportunity which required me to take the Russians down to 3 squads (not squad equivalents).   
German Envelopment On Both Flanks
The tanks were able to take advantage of their quick arrival and helped the right flank forces quickly threaten the east sector of the map.  The left flank advanced methodically up to the west and south approaches to the factory.  The critical phase occurred at two points around turn 4.  On the left flank I pushed one PzIV into the factory followed by its supporting infantry force.  They survived all attempts to dislodge them and would dominate the factory interior for the rest of the game.  The other decisive factor was a series of berzerker Russian squads on the right flank that charged the maneuvering armor, abandoning their heavy machine gun and unhinging their defensive line.  They did manange to flame one of the Panzers with a Molotov but at the expense of an exposed right flank. 
Factory Encircled
From that point the fate of the factory was sealed.  The balance of the game was spent reducing the encircled Russian defenders until they finally surrendered.  This scenario, like many of the early deluxe board designs, features size without sophistication.  It does provide a good primer on basic urban block fighting with large maneuver elements, but is not a scenaro that will be revisited often. 

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