I have owned Berlin: Red Vengeance almost as long as I have been playing ASL. After collecting all the needed core modules and such, B:RV was the first non official ASL product I ever bought.
One of my first PBEM (not VASL) games was B:RV 2 Run For Your Lives against Xavier Vitry many years ago. And yes, like most of the opponents I have had over the years, X whipped my boys soundly.
Mike and I got going on the campaign, with me playing the Russians. It was major fun and he schooled me as he almost always does. Our highlight was me trying to drive a couple of IS-2’s across one of the bridges that he had placed wire on. I was reluctant to chance it. He tells me I have to be pretty unfortunate to get a tank stuck on wire……… I ended up MIRING both of the big fellas on the bridge……. yeah, not just bog, but I failed the mire chance on both of them too.
Nonetheless, Berlin is the World War II fight that intrigues me the most. There is just something about a desperate fight by a beaten army to hang on to a destroyed capital city that draws me to it. I can’t explain it more than that. So B:RV scratched an itch for me.
When Aussie Adam Lunney, one of my oldest PBEM buddies took me up on a PBEM game and asked to play some of the stuff he has, but never played, B:RV came up, and I immediately said yes. We have had a few ASL scuffles over the years, and have always had a good time.
B:RV 1 Tactical Doctrine is a small scenario set south of the Spree in which some of the last remnants of the 3rd Reich counterattack to retake some buildings lost to the Russian horde……… sticking to the German army’s tactical doctrine even when all hope is lost. His goal is to get more CVP than me and must take 4 LVP in my setup area.
My defending Russians were elite and first line units, an HMG, MMG, a couple of LMG and a DC, defending their foothold on the German side of the Spree river. Adam’s Germans were comprised of the SS 658’s and a handful of 2nd line 447’s, the usual support weapons with 2 DC’s and supported by the late war behemoth King Tiger.
5 turns of in your face ASL. Adam set up his 658’s one floor up for a turn 1 prep, trying to get my Ivans to duck while his troops moved up. One thing I love about VASL is being able to label weapons and name leaders. I had an HMG and MMG which I named “Old Reliable” and “Just Old” respectively. As the game progressed I was forced to re-name the HMG as you will see. My sniper is always named “Deadeye”, although I can’t really say why, he usually acts like he forgot his rifle.
The scenario started well for Adam, he broke the MMG squad, the HMG squad, and began his assault.
The German assault looked to be on target and well timed. Adam jumped my pinned squad in CC and reduced him. In my turn I felt the best course of action was to let the melee continue as it was, and get out of the way of the big firepower stacks still looking down on my Russians. Adam complimented my boys for their bravery.
So, summarizing: My front line got busted up, and Adam was into my buildings on turn 1…… looks like my typical game. I re-manned my positions knowing that time was not on Adam’s side and prep fire was not going to be in his bag of tricks for long. The true assault troops would need to get forward to help the old men and boys. My turn 1 prep was nothing to write home about. No damage to the men in black. Sometimes I wonder why I play this game…….
It was about this time the game started to swing my way. (that’s right, I said it) I advanced into CC with the 447 who had invaded my building, got the ambush, declined Hand to Hand, beat that Nazi and withdrew one unit….. I mean what did you want me to do?….. he took my dead guy’s machine gun and I wanted it back. Unfortunately, the actual assault troops were heading my way. I got back to my HMG, and couldn’t find it. Why me?
But hey, who needs a machine gun? The inept 628 who couldn’t locate A FRIGGIN’ HEAVY MACHINE GUN promptly teamed up with the guys next to him and broke the German assault in the northern part of the map, first the stack led by the 8-0 and then the boys led by Mr. 9-2. Adam had made his way back into the first building hex he entered, but the unit broke and routed upstairs. The German stack with the 9-1 made his way south and was preparing to do some serious damage as you will see. This is the point where, having finally found my FRIGGIN’ HEAVY MACHINE GUN, these clowns promptly broke it on the first shot. I re-named “Old Reliable” to “Worthless Junk” and well deserved if you ask me.
Adam delivered his DC expertly from tank created smoke. I was unable to stop him. One fateful roll of the dice later and the hex was rubbled. Not only did Adam show a blatant disregard for my Russian unit, he apparently needed to punish the poor German slobs cowering in the room upstairs. A whole new Adam revealed himself…….. I never knew. Then he had the gall to advance into the rubble. Little did he know, I had some DC intentions my own damn self.
For as long as I have been playing my regular opponent Mike, he has called DCs “candygrams”. Naturally I had to name my DC the very same. Despite a valiant effort by every German unit and weapon including the King Tiger to stop my delivery boy, he faithfully got his candygram to the proper address. I thought perhaps I would be able to rubble Adam’s rubble, it was not to be, but we rid ourselves of the invaders, securing the building once again. As the casualties mount for the SS, it is looking grim for the home team.
With only one move left, and the balance of the German units too far away to make a difference, Adam conceded while mumbling something about needing a “B-52”, whatever that means……..
It was a pretty basic scenario. There wasn’t much in the way of strategy. One side attacks the other, attempts to smash their faces in and take away their stuff. I got the victory, but can’t really say I did more than shuffle units back and forth and Adam got the short end of the stick. I didn’t even get to use my HMG because the dumbasses holding it either broke it or couldn’t find it……. Fortunately, it was short and quick.
Adam has asked for another game and we will stay with B:RV, scenario 6: Opera of Death. The SS have holed up and fortified the Kroll Opera House. I will again have the Russians, but will be on the attack this time. Look for the report in a few weeks.
Thanks for reading.