BFP-128 “The Devil’s Armpit”
I played this scenario against Robin Reeve last Saturday face to face. We agreed that this is a fun offering, and I thought it was hard to play. Thinking my attacking Polish force overwhelming I misjudged and was held off by a skilled German defence. I took some photos and wrote some comments on the turns, we played until turn five, when I conceded. Also, a few comments on PiF.
- This scenario appears in Poland in Flames
- Producer: Bounding Fire Productions
- Not linking to the review on Desperation Morale as I find it terribly opinionated
- Not nearly enough playings on ROAR for a verdict
- Playing time is about 8 hours
Poland in Flames
The scenario is from Poland in Flames and I really like the offering. The scenarios I or others like Elmo have played so far have been intriguing and fun offerings. They’re mostly large, but I guess that’s ok, as these are not beginner scenarios, and the veterans tend to play quicker. What really got me however, was the quality of the map boards and counters, I find them to be of most excellent quality. Also, like Elmo mentions, a real boon for those gents who do not own a copy of Doomed Battalions, so they can play the scenarios in the pack.
In addition the added choices for designers through new leader types and Russian infantry I can only applaud. This will add more variety to the game. Actually, there’s quite a bit of variety already, but more is always better!
As for critique, Robin and I agreed, that some of the squads broken side looks like an HS, and the HS like a broken leader. Also, the black unbroken squads look like a HS as well, as the leftmost figure on the counter is hard to make out. However, this did seem like a first world problem at best.
This is my plan. I did not know it would go so terribly wrong. In hindsight the pincer idea was quite the brainfart. Playing the Polish, I got 23 squads to attack with plus two pretty big smoke machines, which I did manage to use to good effect on my first turn.
When the time for defensive fire came around however, one of the mortar crews succumbed to a casualty mc. After leading a nice initial attack, this event started a downward spiral of events that unfolded cruelly slow over a timespan of about five hours. The initial attack on the left flank is also shown in closeup above, by the way.
The Germans withdraws carefully. I do not get good shots except a squad and leader in the open, they break!
Then it’s my turn. I roll snakes on a rally and another berserker turns up. Then a casualty MC on another squad. During my turn, Robin get some good dice. I get KIAs and replacements, failing all MCs.
The first reinforcements arrive for the Germans. They come in slowly from the back, denied double time. They won’t engage for another turn. I roll my fifth boxcars.
Robin executes his fallback defence flawlessly. My shots have no effect.
I have setup the mortar again and fire two smoke shells into the building complex that I’d like to take over this turn. However, I find that I have run out of steam on the left flank. Too many broken squads, so no punch. Despite the smoke, I cannot take the buildings.
The first wave of reinforcements arrive for the Germans. The second wave is on it’s way, but slowly and won’t be here until later. Robin gets a good prep fire phase, two more K/2 for me, which I fail. This also replaces one of my leaders. I get my 3rd zerker, which I’ll loose just like the other two due to withering fire. It now becomes clear that spreading my forces evenly against the German SW was not a good idea at all, because there are many of them and it would have been better to attack with a Schwerpunkt. I invoke No Quarter.
Robin gets a couple of Snipers during the game, but he never activates. My Sniper removes some dummies. During turn 3 Robin gets good dice.
None of my brokies rally. My squad in M18 has not rallied for three turns now. I sigh. Then I roll my sixth boxcars for my third casualty MC. The Germans invoke No Quarter as well. No hope flares. However, this turn I get some good dice.
When Robin’s turn comes around, he rallies a DM squad with a 3. During prep, another 3 replaces another squad of mine. I sigh some more and wish there was beer.
As Robin handed me the dice for the WCDR, I had to face the sad truth: the Polish attack had failed. The Germans now have more squads on the board and are in a strong defensive position. I had too many losses, but the main mistake was splitting my force in the first place. Great scenario, but I’d play this one again any time!
Hope you enjoyed this one!