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Introduction

Welcome to Let’s Play – Advanced Tobruk System with Norsk Ridder. This
session report is part of a series of session reports for the squad-level wargaming
system ATS. Content about ATS is pretty scarce here on BGG, so I decided to
begin this series of session reports to do some missionary work for this fantastic
system. I will intersperse ATS rules in my session reports, where I think it fits to
give an impression of the system.

My spare time is limited, so I can’t say in which frequency I’ll publish new session
reports, but I try my best to keep them coming. I’m also thinking about a Geek list
with all my Let’s Plays, but this is something for the future.

Most session reports will be solitary plays, but some will be played with my
wargaming buddies.

English is not my native language, but I’ll do my best. If you find some really bad
mistakes, feel free to send me a PM and I’ll correct them.

Enough for the talk! Let’s start shooting!

Scenario 1 – Clash of Armor

Situation
27 May 1942, south of Bir Hacheim, Libya. German panzers (mostly Panzer III)
start a major attack with a wide sweep around the British southern flank. What
they don’t know is that they will meet Grant tanks in conceal positions. Will the
superior numbers of the Germans or the better frontal armour and the two guns
per tank of the British make the day?

Briefing and Setup


I play this mission solitary and it will be kind of a trainings mission for me, since I
have read the rules a while ago and want to use the first few session reports to get
into them again. I hope this all-vehicle mission is a good way to start. Victory
points are awarded to both sides for kills as well as exiting vehicles on the eastern
edge.

My tactic for the British is: Wait for the Germans to come in range and shoot them
to pieces, relying on the thick front armour of the Grant and its two guns.

The Germans must setup in three groups of five tanks with a minimum of 2 hex
between groups. My tactic for them is: Tank group 1 with five Panzer IIIh will
attack the hillock directly with the extra punch of 4 APCR shots. In ATS the
number of APCR shoots depends on the number of vehicles eligible to carry them.

Tank group 2 with two Panzer IIIh, one Panzer IIIg and two Panzer IIIj try to flank
the british position and attack from the south, hoping to get some shoots at the
weaker flank armor of the Grants. If this does not work out, they will try to exit,
getting the bonus VP for the Panzer IIIj. Tank group 3 with 3 Panzer IIIg and the 2
weak Panzer IV will make a run to the eastern edge.

Turn 1
The Germans start platoon moving the panzers of Grp 1 in direction of the hillock
in hope to draw some fire. They are spotted by the Grants, but hitting a moving
tank at this range is impossible. The two other German tank groups use cross-
country movement to move forward. The distance keeps them out of LOS of the
British tanks. The British decide to do nothing and stay concealed.
Turn 2
The panzers of group 1 switch to single unit movement in hope to draw some fire
from the British, which they do. Three Grants reveal their position by firing at the
tanks of group 1, but all shots miss at this distance.

The second group of Panzers uses cross-country movement to close the distance
to the British from the south-west. Two tanks from this group come under fire from
two Grants south of the hillock, but all shots miss. All tanks of this group stop,
beside of the two Panzer IIIj which continue movement to get to a better position.

All panzers of the third group continue their movement to the eastern edge.

Turn 3
The British win the initiative in the Fire & Movement segment and start firing at the
stopped panzers of group 2. The first Grant misses its target, but a round of the
75mm sponson gun on the second Grant hits the turret of one stopped Panzer III,
penetrating it easily. The whole tank brews up, as the hit ignites the internal
ammunition storage of the turret. First kill in this game!

The other two stopped panzers of group 2 try some flanking shots at the Grants,
but miss both.

The two Panzer IIIj of group 2 and the tanks of group 3 continue their cross-
country movement in the south.

The German tanks of group 1 begin to spread out in front of the hillock in hope to
get into positions for flanking shots on the Grants. As the south most panzer
moves into the first hex the British elite tank commander gives order to fire at it,
fearing to lose it out of the covered arc of the 75mm gun. Both shots miss.

As the second panzer moves it gets under fire from two Grants, which can just use
their 37mm cannons against it. One shot ricochets of the front turret armour, while
the other ricochets from the lower hull front armour. No effect, but both Grants
have now a BOT marker on this tank, which doubles their Rate-of-Fire against it in
future turns.

The third panzer of group 1 is not so lucky, getting a critical hit against the turret
from the 75mm gun of one Grant. The second German tank goes up in flames.

The two north most panzers of group 1 try to flank the hillock to the north. One
tank gets shot at by two Grants, but stays unharmed (miss and ricochet). The
other tank can now move freely, because all Grants have shot. It uses full cross-
country movement to get to a very dangerous position for the British in the north.

If the Germans win the initiative on the next turn, the British will be in trouble.
Turn 4
The British win again the initiative in the Fire & Movement segment and use it to
defend themselves against the threat from the panzer in the north. The north most
Grant has two options here. It can turn just the turret for one shot with the 37mm
gun at a +1 DRM or it can turn the whole tank to shoot with both guns, but then at
a +3 DRM. The tank commander decides to turn the tank. The first shot with the
37mm misses, but the second shot with the 75mm is straight on the target and …..
hits the track, immobilizing the panzer for the rest of the game.

When a vehicle is immobilized in ATS you have to check, if the crew abandons it.
In this situation the Germans stay in their vehicle. I think this fits, because they are
in a good spot. But in the next impulse they don’t fire back at the Grant, which just
fired at them. They notice a juicer target up on the hillock. The hit strikes the lower
hull of the Grant and penetrates easily the thin flank armour, but fails to make any
damage.

More shots are exchanged between the Panzers and the Grants, but none
manages to do significant damage.

But then we see some real action from two of the moving tanks of group 1. Both
tanks move directly towards the Grants and shoot their APCR rounds, while
moving. One Grant is hit from two hex distance and at this range the round
penetrates the thick front armour of the turret and kills everybody inside the British
tank. The second Panzer comes under fire from two Grants, which did not manage
do land a damaging hit, while he moves to a good shooting position. Shortly after
the poor Grant brews up, being hit by an APCR round in the flank aspect of the
upper hull.

One Grant on the hillock revenges his comrades by hitting the Panzer IIIh, which
landed the flanking shot, with both his guns. Once again a Panzer turns into
burning metal.

The stopped tanks of group 2 try some long shots, but miss.
The moving tanks of group 2 continue their flanking movement and the panzers of
group 3 are driving on to the east edge.

At the end of turn 4 the VPs are 20:12 for the British, but Panzer group 3 exits in
the next turn the Germans will get 30 victory points for them.

Turn 5
Once again the British win the initiative and the Grant north of the hillock goes on
killing spree. Its 75mm kills the immobile german tank, while its turret turns to light
up another german tank with the 37mm gun.

The stopped Panzer IIIj misses its flanking shot at the Grant south of the hillock.

The last German tank of group 1 joins its comrades as burning wreck as one
37mm round from the Grant on top of the hillock penetrates its turret armour.

When the moving Panzer IVj hits the south most Grant with a flanking shot in the
upper hull, but rolls a 10 on the K-Kill table, the Germans take this as a sign and
decide to try to exit all vehicles now. While the Panzer IVj turns to the east edge.

The nearest Grant turns its turret and fires the 37mm at the flank of the panzer and
hits, but the round does not make any damage.

Noticing the change of the German tactic the British elite tank commander gives
order to his driver to turn his tank and fire both guns at one panzer of group 2.
Both guns hit with the 75mm making the kill shot.

The last Panzer IIIh of group 2 moves as fast as possible to the eastern edge.

The tanks of group 3 exit the map and earn the Germans 30 VPs, which evens out
the score with 42:42. The next turn should be decisive.
Turn 6
I decide to stop the game after this turn, because it is late already and I will not
have the time to play the coming days, but really want to publish this game report
on BGG.

Some shots are exchanged between both sides, but all miss or are non-
penetrating. The moving Panzer IV exits the map and the last Panzer III moves
even faster to the eastern edge.

I assume that the last Panzer IV will be shot up pretty bad in the next turn,
because he has now BOT markers from two Grants on it, which means that the
tank will be likely hit by four rounds in the next turn. Two Grants will manage to exit
the map as well, so the final score will be:
The British get 50 VP for kills and 12 VP for exited vehicles, for a total of 62VP.

The Germans get 12 VP for kills and 50VP for exited vehicles, for a total of 62 VP.

A DRAW!

Debriefing
Ok, first and most important, I missed out the rules for suppression. A vehicle, that
is hit without further damage has a chance of becoming suppressed. This would
have changed the flow of the game, because I had a lot of hits, that didn’t do any
damage, but I cannot judge what effect this would have had on the outcome.

This all-vehicle scenario was very exciting. I could clarify many rule questions and
game mechanics and look forward to the next scenario, this time with infantry. The
tactics of both sides work, but could be improved. The British should have let the
Germans come closer, before opening fire on them. Especially the 75mm of the
Grant is a mess at long range.

The aggressive attacking of the German tank group 1 was fun, but maybe they
should have waited a little bit longer for the tanks of group 2 to finish their flanking
movement. I’m pretty happy with the decision to have one tank group just for
exiting.

This session report was very detailed. I doubt, I can keep this amount of detail up
in the coming session reports, especially with bigger scenarios.

I hope you enjoyed this session report and are eager to read the next. If you find
any game situation curious, it could be that I made some rule mistakes. Feel free
to correct me in the comments.