Saturday, December 13, 2014

ASL 77 Le hérisson (The Hedgehog)

Once more our  ASL duel continued with our latest Friday night contest,  ASL 77 Le Herisson. Big Kansas rolled for sides and secured the role of the German attacker. I would defend as French Colonial Troops trying to keep the Germans from securing 11 of 14 multi-hex buildings or by inflicting 25 CVP on the Germans.

This scenario would go the distance and only be decided in the very last close combat of the very last turn. Saber to Saber...bayonet to bayonet...

For whatever reason...despite my poor record of winning...I seem to do very well with the French. And for this battle I would have French Colonial Infantry in the form of 4-5-7 squads. They would perform gallantly in the coming battle.

On the opposite side, the steady 4-6-7's of the Wehrmacht made ready to complete their conquest of France.

 My boys lay out their defense. I had two road blocks and one HIP squad and a fortified building location.

My French would be hampered by Ammo Shortage. I rolled enough 12's to eliminate an LMG, a MMG and my only HMG.

I would sorely miss this firepower throughout the game.

 The Germans would win immediately by gaining control of 11 of the 14 available multi-location buildings on board 20. All of the buildings were stone and this would give considerable weight to the French ability to defend. I placed my roadblocks with the intention of securing a broad section of the front. Big Kansas elected to attack exactly where I didn't have any roadblocks. So initially my roadblocks would not be a factor.

But roadblocks are always fun to have anyway!!

The Germans would be supported by three SiG's for smoke creation and  general obliteration of my forces as required. Unbelievably a French 4-5-7 would survive with only a break when struck by a critical hit by a SiG late in the game. This same squad would go on to secure the final French defense.

Pretty good support vehicle overall.

 The German assault focused on the North board edge and after about two turns, they were able to eliminate and/or capture the three 4-5-7's holding that shoulder. Well placed smoke on my main defense points really shut down my machine gun fire and enabled the Germans to move forward.

Once I felt that the Germans were dedicated to the Northern Shoulder, I dispatched some of my boys to run back and set up some delaying actions in the backfield.

The German 10-2 kept his Landsers moving forward despite some early losses to several 2-4-7's who became casualties and CVP, which quickly rose to 11 of the 25 needed for a French victory. These early losses would force the Germans to be more conservative in the later turns.

The German 10-2 rendered great service in the early turns...but would be stymied by a pinned squad through the middle turns of the game.

One of the bright spots in the French defense of the Northern Shoulder was the double stunning of one of the SiG's. It would be recalled, but then destroyed in Close Combat by the 4-3-7 in DD2. They would not survive to celebrate.

         15 of my Colonial Troops were captured by the Germans.

Despite losses, the Germans had a very solid attack wave pushing right at the core of my defense.

I really believed the Germans were going to be successful in this assault and take out my center building.

The French 9-1 was almost certain that doom was imminent.

 My little 2-3-7 meanwhile was racing in the backfield to find a suitable position to delay the Germans.

 And then just like that the German wave was gone. The French sniper activated and wounded the German 8-1 and DM's the squads there. They would have difficulty rallying and would leave two of the critical German LMG's out of action for much of the game.

Three Close Combats ensued. The Germans won in the North, the French in the South and MELEE ruled the center.

 The French breathed a sigh of relief. The doom that I thought was aimed at my center had shifted to the North as the Germans went on a real estate grab for buildings.

 Securing building locations!!!

The Germans continued to smoke my primary center forces, while they scrambled around the Northern Shoulder and took control of my wide open backfield.

Despite the smoke, I still took shots and managed to inflict some more CVP on the Germans, which quickly put me up to a final total of 18 CVP.

To say I was worried would be an understatement. My forces were stretched to the max and I couldn't possibly keep the Germans from taking buildings. I focused on trying to hang on to my center building and at least three more in the South. 

On the positive side my French Sniper Chick kept the HMG Squad with the 10-2 pinned for two consecutive turns. This was hugely helpful to the French cause. 

Vive le Sniper Chick!!!

One of the SiG's moved far into my backfield in an effort to control the east/west road that bisected my Northern and Southern forces. My 2-2-7 tried to harass it without much success. The SiG would go on to make crucial smoke that allowed the Germans to move into the Southern sector of the battlefield. Hats off to Big Kansas on placing smart, tactically savvy smoke. It messed with me the entire game. Clearly Big Kansas didn't read my signs...

 The German tidal wave in the backfield continued undaunted. And I was scrambling to figure out how to hold out in the South.

I had barely gotten into position when the Germans came on for the win. One 4-6-7 had managed to create both a Hero and an 8-1 Officer.  So led by these Heroic figures...the Teutonic wave rolled towards me.

 In the center his SiG's rolled forwards. One VBM freezed a half-squad with a captured German LMG. By game end, this SiG would be immobilized by that half-squad. The remaining SiG would Malf its Main Armament...ending the threat from these terrors of the battlefield.

 The outcome of the scenario would come down to the troops in the square above.

The Germans came on with a fury...but lucky die rolls in D-Fire checked their advance and left them with only the Hero and a Single 4-6-7 to go into the final close combat with a French 4-3-7 and 4-5-7.

 Neither side would win the close combat, which left the 11th building still in French control at game end. And by the narrowest of margins...the French claimed a victory.

Game's end....with the locations of the 10 buildings secured by the Germans in a hard fought contest that absolutely came down to the final close combat. It just never gets better than that. 

 And remarkably...I remain unbeaten when playing the French. Vive le France!!!

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