Astrang Crossings – A Crossfire Battle Report

The Kingston Irregulars tried my Astrang Crossings Scenario.

Dick Bryant commented that …

We tried the draft scenario last night with 8 players. Initiative was by the two British set-on segments-i.e any German player on one side of the River lost initiative it would go to the German player on the other side. When he lost it the clock would be diced for and the initiative would go to the Brits and so on.

We found that without some off table fire support for the breakout forces to provide smoke, at least, the Germans could not meet the victory conditions.

I think the scenario must be balanced more. Perhaps if the Brits lost the 25# gun.

We’ll try it again at some point but you should try it and see if I am correct or we just had poor generalship that night.

Dick reiterated that the “the problems were essentially caused by the off board guns and mortars.”

When I asked how significant the British indirect fire was he replied…

Very! The German breakout units managed their 1st initiative onto the table (couldn’t be fired at on entry) OK and suppressed a MG and sqd in the nearest house-They came in at E4. The 25# and 2″ and 3″ mortars then proceeded to suppress and kill 2 PLATOONS of the Germans in the fields. Recon by fire was attempted to locate the observer, but to no avail! We managed to clear the houses near the E4 entry point but by then were decimated. German fire was starting to come from across the River as well. German forces from Dinxperlo were ineffective because of their commander’s refusal to use Recon by Fire ( a very underused tool in CF, in my opinion) because “he would be spotted”. My view is better to be spotted while in cover than when crossing open fields!. Though the Germans across the river had AVERAGE die rolls, they could not suppress the fire from the Brits on their side against the breakout forces. During the game and in review, I could find no lines of sight where in the German forces across the river could provide smoke cover to the breakout forces!

Though several of the German players forgot my motto “There are no lead widows” I don’t believe that more aggressive action, nor better die rolls could have saved the day.

We agreed the British on-table mortars should be reduced from 8 FM to 6 FM each (perhaps 4). And we discussed ways to reduce the potency of the 25 pounders. I have ended up giving them 3 FM instead of 8.

Separately I decided the breakout force should be “Reckless” to reflect the near suicidal determination of such troops to escape encirclement. This means they behave like Russians and Japanese when charging to contact, i.e. ignore Pins and get killed by a Suppress.

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