Now, when we left Parry and Strike after 3 Turns, the Germans were down three Panther Tanks and the Russian armor was at the foot of the hill...ready to advance and push the Germans back.
But unfortunately, there was a serious problem. The Russian tanks could not fire up at the 2nd Level Hill hexes, which naturally swarmed with German infantry equipped with 15 Panzerfausts.
It's one of the truths of playing ASL that has hurt me over the decades...what you don't know in ASL will hurt you and often severely. I've rarely been pleasantly surprised by a rule. And in Parry and Strike, it became clear that my line of T-34's were as good as dead. All that remained would be the mechanics of rolling the dice.
All week long...during my 20 mile drive to work each morning, I had run my options through my head...but I came into tonight's game prepared for the devastation that would be unleashed by the German infantry.
Yes...sometimes...the ball goes between your legs....
The impeding Russian defeat can be seen very clearly. The Germans had the high ground and my T-34's were not in motion as the Germans crept up to the edge and remained concealed. Naturally, my plan was for my armor to just blast the holy snot out of the Germans...of course not being able to fire at the 2nd level hill while adjacent was not factored into my original plan.
My opponent understood the advantage of the high ground and would watch my boys die valiantly trying to take it from him.
Following a Boxcars (the first of three that Big Kansas would roll in just barely two turns of play) on the Wind Change die roll to start Turn 4, Big Kansas' Germans moved into position and in Prep Fire phase began popping off Panzerfausts. Unbelievably, only one tank would be lost in Prep Fire...but it was my Stalin II...which was a huge bummer.
It wouldn't be until my movement phase that Big Kansas would unleash holy hell on my T-34's at the foot of the hill. Each one started...and each one died in place as Panzerfausts slammed into their hulls. My infantry moved in position to try and keep the battle alive...but it was clear at the end of Turn 4 that the Germans were marching to victory.
Along the south edge, the Germans moved some boys to the hill and others moved to mess with my bogged T-34 and to grab the abandoned Russian MMG in B1. The 5-4-8 that moved to attack my bogged T-34 would roll two "12"s. The first while firing a Panzerfaust which casualty reduced it and the second came on a morale check, which finished it off. That would be the only loss suffered by the Germans in the final two turns.
The blazing T-34's would eventually spread fire to the adjoining woods and wheat field.
Having turned back the German infantry on the south edge, I worked to free my bogged T-34 and succeeded. I then doubled down on bogging and promptly bogged another T-34 in the same place.
The final coup de grace was delivered in the form of Close Combats, which would succeed in eliminating the last of the Russian resistance.
...and yes...I didn't win any of the Close Combats...no need to rub it in...
On the south edge, my unbogged T-34 went on to meet a fiery end at the hands of a Panzerfaust. And my final remaining T-34 mired in the woods....but I suspect the crew did that on purpose...some Commissar action may be necessary!!
A final look at the German victory on the hill. They successfully parried and struck my Russians.
...but I blew up three Panthers...
Game end. Big Kansas takes a hard fought victory after the Russian concession at the end of Turn 5.
I like this...and it's very true of ASL.
Our next game will be LFT's Romania Victor...so until then...stay concealed and keep Rate of Fire!