ASL Best of Friends 2
Best of Friends 2 (MMP)

The sun hung low on the horizon, casting long shadows across the war-torn fields. The air was thick with the acrid scent of gunpowder and the metallic tang of blood. Miory, a once-peaceful town nestled in the heart of Belarus, now bore the scars of relentless conflict. Its cobbled streets, once bustling with life, were now littered with debris and the broken dreams of its inhabitants.

Operation Bagration was in full swing, a symphony of destruction orchestrated by the Red Army against the Nazi invaders. The Soviets called it the Great Patriotic War, a name that echoed through the dense forests and rolling hills like a battle cry. But for the weary entrenched soldiers, it was simply survival—a desperate struggle for life and liberty.

The Belarusian soil, soaked in the blood of its sons and daughters, bore witness to the ebb and flow of war. Over three years of brutal occupation, more than 200 cities crumbled, and 9,000 villages vanished into the annals of history. The fascists, with their insatiable hunger for cruelty, had murdered an estimated 1-2 million Jews and prisoners of war. Over 400,000 souls were forcibly taken to the heart of the Reich, leaving behind a land scarred and weeping.

German soldiers wait in a ruined village

On the eve of June 28, the Belarusian guerrillas struck the first blow. Explosions rocked the night, shattering the silence like thunder. The railway lines that fed the German war machine were severed, fuel and ammunition halted in their tracks. The invaders stumbled, their supply lines severed, their resolve waning.

And then came the storm.

During the Russian Minsk Offensive of 1944, Leutnant Gottlob Bidermann found elements of his Grenadier-Regiment 437 cut off from a much-necessary retreat. By the time the order was given (and received) Bidermann found himself nearly encircled and his units had to fight their way out to rejoin the German line … already a few kilometers behind them.

ASL AAR: Bidermann’s Escape (BoF18)

Module: Best of Friends 2 (scenario pack)
Scenario Publisher: MMP
Scenario Designer: Mattias Rönnblom
Date: July 5, 1944
Location:
Miory, Belarus

Download the VASL .vsav setup file.
Download the VASL .vlog playthrough.

Neal’s Perspective:

Defender: Russians (Elements of 103rd Rifle Corps)

Russian Defense Plan

Ahhh, my love for playing the Russians knows no bounds, especially when defending, which is technically what they’re doing here despite being on the overall offensive in the summer of 1944. But I need to contain and cut off Scott’s encircled Germans, determined to break out of the local area and return to their side of the quickly changing front.

I have a ragtag handful of Russian squads (6) and two average leaders (8-1, 8-0) with no opportunity to swap for a political commissar (1944). All my equipment, inlcuding my tanks, have B11. Great.

T-26 AFV
T-26s AFV

Speaking of tanks, they’re the bright spot. Two T-26s enter on turn one using platoon movement as they are radioless. But they are basically impervious to Scott’s SdKFz 10/5, and the Germans have no other AT weapons, not even access to PF! So I need to get my tanks set up in position to cover the roads to contain both his infantry and halftracks. My plan, initially, is to plant them at the crossroads, one pointing east and the other HD and pointing south. The sooner I take out his halftracks the quicker and I turn my AFV’s attention to covering his infantry … and supporting my infantry. I’m just afraid he might try to blitz his halftracks off the board and get 2/3rds of his VC requirement super early, because they can’t really go toe-to-toe with my T-26s

My dummy concealment I’ll set up forward to keep my real units from being overrun. I have no idea where he will enter so I’ll spread out accordingly, but back from the entry area, so I can react accordingly.

Scott’s Perspective:

Attacker: Germans (Elements of Panzerjager-Abteilung 132)

German Attack Plans

To blitz, or not to blitz, that is the question.

Do I go balls out with my half-tracks down the road and try to get them off the board as soon as possible (securing 2/3rds of the exit VP), or do I wait? There’s no way Neal will leave the roads uncovered, and my half-tracks have no side/rear armor, so they can easily be taken out by small arms fire, especially at point-blank range next to a road as I drive by. Nope, I don’t think I can risk the half-track blitz gambit. On the other hand, they are no match at all against his T-26 so I can roll them on and expect to go toe-to-toe with them.

The other alternative is to just commit them in support of my infantry (using their decent 6 IFE FP) and if I lose them I lose them because they’ll probably end up wrecks anyway and will never get off the board. I guess I’ll just have them hang back a bit and see what Neal does with his Armor.

SdKfz 10/5 Halftrack
SdKfz 10/5 Halftrack

I do have a plan for my infantry though! Based on Neal’s setup I’m going gangbusters with all my units across the top of the board. Coverage looks thin up there but I have much better terrain coverage. The only trick will be getting across the road (hexrow Y), but I have increased smoke capability so that should help.

Let the escape begin!

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GET TO THE CHOPPA…!!!


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N. Ulen & S. Rowland
Neal & Scott are just two dudes who have known each other since junior high school. We fumble our way through scenarios and make fun of ourselves doing video AARs of our ASL games. Almost all of our games are played on VASL.
asl-aar-bidermanns-escape-bof18A quick playing scenario featuring two platoons of Russians, with inferior equipment but decent (albeit radioless) AFVs, trying to stop superior German infantry to exiting 3 squads off the board. It's small size makes it susceptible to being dicey.

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