Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario #14 – At the Crossroads

After losing my first anniversary Combat Commander ladder game last month, I was really hoping that July’s scenario would go well for me.

I was perilously close to reaching .500 level in my Win-Loss ratio, so that was another consideration for this month!

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about the ladder tournament for Combat Commander run by the glorious Patrick Pence of Patrick’s Tactics & Tutorials fame. I joined the Ladder in May 2021 so this is the second July that I’ve played.

This month’s scenario is #14 At the Crossroads from the Combat Commander: Mediterranean expansion. This scenario takes place in 1939 with some surrounded Polish troops trying to break out through the German ring to get back to the Polish lines.

Thus, the Poles are the attackers and the Germans are the defenders.

My opponent was Marc W and he was the Poles (light blue) against my German (grey) defenders.

(Reminder that you can click on all images to make them larger)

The Poles use the French deck and also the French “only 1 discard when you discard” restriction. So they can be in tight!

Unless they draw some good cards.

The Germans don’t have a lot of units, but do have a mortar (as do the Poles) that can be spotted from Sgt. Biermann. That means even though it’s in the middle of an orchard, it can fire at the entire board.

My mortar only ended up firing three times, and twice it missed.

I did set up in a rather forward position, but I felt like all of the board sides were covered by machine guns in case Marc ran his men down one side or the other.

Being in buildings would help them stay unbroken unless a big fire group was formed as well.

As you can see in the bottom left, my objective chit made every objective hex worth 3 extra points. That made it imperative to hold on to as many as possible.

Marc had never played Combat Commander though he has played many other wargames. I was quite impressed at his rules knowledge, as while he had to be reminded of a couple of things (as do I sometimes), there was never a case where he didn’t know a rule.

With a swarm of Poles but only limited discards, would he overrun my paltry forces or would I prevail?

You’re going to have to keep reading to find that out.

The Poles started with a move down the east side of the map, out of my line of sight (LOS). They then fired at my forward Rifle squad in hex G3 (Objective 5) to see if he could do anything.

He couldn’t.

One of the things for me was that I never seemed to lack at least one Fire card.

That’s mainly because if I only had one, I would often keep it just in case Marc moved. I would only fire on my turn if I had at least two.

Though not always.

Since the main Polish fire group is opposite the Objective 5 building, it felt good to maybe neutralize it a little bit.

And it worked!

Unfortunately I had used all of my Fire cards so when Sgt. Picard (Picardowski?) continued his move south with his troops, I couldn’t stop him.

With bullets, anyway.

Thankfully I had a Wire card that stopped them.

After later firing at the Poles in the Wire (sadly to no effect), the German Rout order caused the broken Poles to rout off of the board (Patrick called these “cheap victory points” and I don’t disagree…but any VP are important!). I played a Rout order and the broken Poles left the map, much to my celebration.

The good thing about this scenario for me was that, any time the Germans happened to break (which wasn’t often), I had a Recover card to quickly bring them back to good order. Since all of my units were in buildings, Recovering was pretty easy.

The Germans also kept firing at the units in the Wire with Picard, managing to break one, and then Routing it away from Picard (is Picardowski a real Polish name? I don’t think so, but it still fits).

I managed to break and then rout the unit with him, which became somewhat of a running joke.

Picardowski then broke for the Southern board edge! The Germans had one more opportunity to fire at him but sadly didn’t do anything to him.

The Chasseur that tried to follow him into the Wire broke, however.

The Germans Routed that squad and made it so that due to overstacking Marc had to deploy it into two Teams and one of those were eliminated.

Continued fire at Picardowski did not result in any good result though!

Picardowski then took the opportunity to run off the board without his troops. Since Exit points were doubled, that gave Marc 4 points!

But we still laughed at him for abandoning his troops.

While Picardowski ran off the board, the Polish Air Support event broke the German squad in Objective 5, but they quickly recovered.

Marc tried to rally his broken units but they stubbornly resisted actually doing anything.

A German Rout order managed to bring the Polish BAR squad to the edge of the board (more cheap VP! But sadly not)

A subsequent Polish discard resulted in a German hidden unit! A Weapons team and LMG was placed to prevent any more Polish leaders running down the east side of the board without their men.

Subsequent German Mortar fire (the only hit of the game, I think!) killed the broken Team that resulted from the Polish overstacking.

A German Time trigger brought Picardowski back onto the broken BAR squad on the edge of the map.

Would that be good for them? Maybe!

Finally, though, a Polish Recover actually recovered a squad! The BAR rallied.

Another Time trigger finally brought on the German reinforcements, and since the Germans hadn’t lost anybody yet, this meant bad things for the Poles.

The Polish tried to advance on Objective 5 but withering small arms fire from the building put a stop to that.

While the leader didn’t break, both squads did!

While the Polish tried to rally those troops, nothing happened except for suppressing one of the Polish squads.

The German squad in Objective 5 fired again and killed one of the squads that was waiting in the road to advance into melee.

Another Polish squad moved into G2 under the Polish leader, but defensive fire broke them as well! The Polish right flank was pretty much decimated.

While the Polish tried to Recover both squads, a Prisoner of War event caused one of them to be eliminated!

With Objective 5 being worth 10 points, that’s not a good thing for the Polish.

Funnily enough, the Germans kept trying for “cheap” VP by Routing Polish units off of the board, but that didn’t always work. It did sometimes, though.

German fire did eventually destroy with a double break the last broken unit threatening Objective 5, though.

Time triggers kept happening and we were approaching the first Sudden Death trigger (on the “6” space of the Time Track).

The newly re-arrived Picardowski had rallied his BAR unit and moved them toward Objective 4, but they stumbled into Wire in the gully hex across the road.

Picardowski and his men Advanced out of all of that, right next to Objective 4, but Picardowski’s new hex turned out to be a Minefield!

While the squad survived, Picardowski broke like the coward he is (he did run off the board without any of his men, you know).

The Germans played a Rout and moved the other Polish leader closer to the board edge. Then another Rout, while not moving him, did Rout Picardowski right off the board edge for even more German VP.

After some ineffective firing, the Germans triggered another Time Check, but Sudden Death was averted (it wasn’t worth using Initiative for rolling a 5 or less).

However, another German fire and Polish morale check caused another Time check! Which unfortunately for the Poles did result in Sudden Death.

The scenario ended with the Germans having a massive lead. Even more so because, while we forgot to do our hidden objectives so I don’t know what Marc had, I had “each Objective is worth 3 VP” which gave me another 15 points.

Thus I ended with 43 VP (plus or minus what Marc’s objective would give me or take away).

Marc had a big problem getting the cards he needed and he couldn’t form the big fire groups that would actually do anything to me.

I had Fire cards most of the time when I needed them, and when he did manage to break a German unit or two, I had a Recover card handy. I even saved at least one when I could, just to make sure that’s what happened.

One thing I didn’t mention when it happened was that I drew a “pick another public Objective” event and it happened to be “Objective 5 is worth 10 VP” so that gave me even more points.

Marc was never really able to threaten me because he couldn’t draw the Advance cards he needed, even when he did move to be closer to me. I had a Fire card ready to obliterate them, and sometimes had Hand Grenades or other things (to increase my firepower).

I was happy to see that no German units were ever eliminated, which is even better because with my units scattered around the board, I was really susceptible to Snipers. But that never happened.

Marc was a great opponent and a welcome addition to the Ladder. I hope he has better luck in August and draws a side of the scenario that’s not stacked against him.

That makes me 9-5 on the Ladder and the August scenario will be one from the base Combat Commander: Pacific module.

That should be fun!

If you want to join the Ladder, just contact Patrick (email address at the Youtube channel I linked to above) and maybe we can get a game in!

Combat Commander Ladder – After Action Reports

May 2021 – Scenario #112 – Sonnenwende
July 2021 – Scenario #23 – No Man’s Land
August 2021 – Scenario #34 – Encircled at Hill 30
September 2021 – Scenario A – Grassy Knoll
October 2021 – Scenario M6 – Breakout
November 2021 – Scenario #35 – Spartakovka Salient
December 2021 – Scenario #51 – The Uneasy Wait
January 2022 – Scenario #65 – Road Trip
February 2022 – Scenario #75 – Sturmgruppe Beton
March 2022 – Scenario #90 – The Man Who Would Be King
April 2022 – Scenario LoM9 – Operation Mercury
May 2022 – Scenario #119 – Sky Fall
June 2022 – Scenario 009 – Rush to Contact
July 2022 – Scenario 014 – At the Crossroads

13 Comments on “Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario #14 – At the Crossroads

  1. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario #9 – Rush to Contact – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  2. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario #119 – Sky Fall – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  3. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario LoM9 – Operation Mercury – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  4. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario 90 – The Man Who Would Be King – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  5. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario 75 – Sturmgruppe Beton – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  6. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario 65 – Road Trip – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  7. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario 51 – The Uneasy Wait – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  8. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario 35 – Spartakovka Salient – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  9. Pingback: Combat Commander Pacific – After Action Report – Scenario M6 – Breakout – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  10. Pingback: Combat Commander Pacific – After Action Report – Scenario A – Grassy Knoll – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  11. Pingback: Combat Commander – After Action Report – Scenario #34 – Encircled at Hill 30 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  12. Pingback: Combat Commander – After Action Report – Scenario #23 – No-Man’s Land – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  13. Pingback: Combat Commander – After Action Report – Scenario #112 – Sonnenwende – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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