Once again...Big Kansas and Grumble Jones stood toe to toe on the boards of the ASL Realm and did battle. Upon whom would the dice gods shine their favor. As sword met sword, we realized that the dice gods are fickle and would visit joy and sorrow upon us both in equal measure...such is the sacred way of ASL...
As we began Turn 5, my Fallschirmjaeger scanned the bocage to see where the Amis would strike first.
On the other side of the Bocage...the Amis stared back and plotted our demise.
Looking at my positions at the Bridge, in the center and holding the west edge...I felt confident that I could survive one more movement phase. I mean really...how bad could it be...????
Well...remember what happened to Hopper and his men....yeah...it would be like that...
Worn out by 4 turns of epic fighting...I was hoping that Big Kansas would consolidate and occupy key Tactical Locations under his current control. How foolish I was to think such a thing...
The Americans moved forward with the same intensity as they did on Turn 1. And my depleted Fallschirmjaeger would be hard pressed to determine which threats to fire on as Big Kansas toyed with my defenses.
Only trouble is...it wasn't waiting for us...it was coming right at us....
One of the painful lessons of fighting in Bocage is the realization that it helps the attacker way more than you would expect it to. My defenses have consistently allowed the Americans to get into flamethrower and then Close Combat range with my forces. I have paid dearly for this error in my defensive strategy as I lost invaluable squads and officers in Turn 5.
Yes...yes I did...
A bit of a stalemate had occurred on the hill as my Pak 40 and 5-4-8's presented a bit of a dilemma for the NPH Sherman. But Big Kansas would pull off quite a move with that Sherman even with NPH driving it. And it might quite possibly have been the move of the game...but hold that thought...we'll come back to NPH and crew...
At the bridge, the Americans had still failed to cross and the Germans had one final surprise waiting for them.
The red arrows tell the tale as the Ami's surged forward to gain ground and possibly annihilate the remaining Fallshirmjaeger.
In the northeast corner, my remaining 2-3-8 half-squad continued to bedevil his pursuers. But certainly it is only a matter of time before they finally go into the POW compound.
stay alive boys...for as long as you can...and maybe Rally...you can do it...yes you can...4 or less boys...that all you need...
And now we survey the epic series of moves that Big Kansas orchestrated to punch a hole in the German line.
In the center, US infantry moved in the open to draw German fire. I had to hold my fire to cover the road...but this would spell doom for my boys in the hill top foxhole. My Fallshirmjaeger fought back and got some good hits on the Amis, but they made their morale checks. UGH!!!
Having failed to pin or break the Amis...my boys could only wait for the inevitable advancing fire maelstrom.
Then the sound of a Sherman Tank engine turning over brought chills to the spines of my brave Fallschirmjaeger. NPH's tank was on the move. I had hoped that Big Kansas would move the tank out of harm's way to preserve it for the next CG Turn...but no...the Sherman moved east towards my 7-0 and 5-4-8 squad. I held my fire...how close would the Sherman get...then it was within range...but still I hesitated fearing an overrun. Then NPH performed a bounding fire attack and in a hail of coaxial mg fire and 75mm HE...my boys broke and just as the American infantry surged up the other side of the Bocage. Close Combat would be inevitable result of this.
I just never saw that move coming and failing to fire my Panzerfaust even at 2 hexes and at a moving target would have been better than just getting shot to pieces.
Yep...a salute is in order.
"NPH Sherman...keeping making the other dumb sumbitch die for his country!"
My defensive fire didn't get the job done. The Amis suffered some damage on the road and when crossing it...but the main concentration in the center was virtually untouched by German fire. And now the toll would have to be paid...
Hit'em boys with all you got!
Miraculously my boys in the foxhole survived...we had lived to fight another phase...right!?!
"Hans...we're good right...Hans...???"
No...my boys weren't ok as the US 8-0 once more sent streams of molten fire into their position. KIA...no survivors...
The US phase ended with the Close Combat in P16. And once again, I fared poorly and lost a half-squad as the Melee continued. In my turn, my boys tried to move into what blocking positions they could to try and stop the breakthrough that was occurring. I was personally beginning to seriously despair that I was on the verge of throwing the whole CG.
As the German phase of Turn 5 came to an end, I had recovered the house in R12 and my mortar in R13. The Americans routed into the wire hex and would escape into the Draw. The Melee in P16 ended badly for my remaining half-squad. And the Amis in O16 found themselves with a bundle of German POW's.
What a bummer...
But the bad news didn't stop there...Big Kansas hadn't rolled us out of the CG Turn at the end of his portion of Turn 5, which meant, we were off to Turn 6. With my defenses and nerves shattered, I prepared to deal with one more American movement phase.
And at the bridge, I revealed my final Teutonic surprise in the form of a 40LL AT Gun.
Turn 6 boded evilly for my boys. We had almost nothing left and the Americans were staring at a breakthrough all across the front.
GO...GO...GO...time to break their back!!!
The Americans came on hard once again. Flame forced my boys away from the PAK 40.
But...one German move from the previous phase would now pay off. My Paras in K19 waited for the NPH Sherman to make a move. It started...check for Panzerfaust...YES...fire...hit...KABLOOEY!!!
The final Sherman tank is Kaputt!
Along the west edge, the Americans pushed forward and will move their line well forward.
The final stand of the night would prove to be one of the bright spots for the Germans. Big Kansas was determined to seize the bridge hex.
My boys vowed to hold the bridge!!!
The US troops surged forward onto the wire before the bridge.
But my 40LL AT Gun and 8cm Mortar managed to keep them pinned.
Good job little 40LL...
End of the US phase of Turn 6...my remaining forces are in desperate peril...but on 1, 2, or 3 Big Kansas will roll us out of the CG and bring an end to the pain...I await the roll...oh no...a "5"...NOOOOOOOOOOOO.....
Please Kathy...I can't go another US movement phase...please...no more...no more!!!!
"Keep moving boys...kick 'em in the ass and don't let up!!!"
One more turn boys...one more turn...you can do it...