It was nice to rejoin the fight one again on Friday nights. I haven't been able to get in a game since early June and with my Texas Tournament cut short by illness...I was itching to roll some dice again.
My regular Wednesday opponent in St. Louis asked to reschedule to Friday evenings and I was able to oblige him. He too was happy to be rolling dice again, especially after the death of his 11 year old Alaskan Malamute, which had hit him hard in June. ASL is great for taking your mind off other things...at least for a few hours!
That's right...we always have time for ASL!!!
For our first game back since Regalbuto Ride, we selected Lash Out. We had played this one back in 1991, so were both interested to see how it played out a second time. I drew the Germans and was tasked with moving across Board 16 and exiting no less than 6 VP by game end. Facing my 14 Squads would be 6 well led US 7-4-7's.
My plan for my German Grenadiers would be to RUN and RUN fast...as fast as a Leopard...the next couple hours would prove whether or not my boys could CX fast enough across the map!
The German set up was restricted to be adjacent to Hex 16L6, so my boys were fairly concentrated. My opponent surprised me with a line in the wheat field anchored by the 9-2 and MMG. In pre-game planning, I had anticipated swinging to the south and through that very wheat field. So plan A was out the window. Plan B would involve going for the house and running over the north board edge.
My 9-1 and 8-1 stacks quickly put down spraying fire on the US Half-Squads in the house. Both squads DM'd and my plan was ready for prime time! My 7-0 and 8-0 would both take three squads a piece and made for the house.
I sent two squads with an LMG to the south towards the K9 woods. They were both broken by US MMG fire and then zapped again by ROF. I rolled 4's on both morale checks and activated the US Sniper with 1's on both rolls. In a blink of an eye, an entire squad was KIA'd.
All in all, the first Turn went well for my Landsers. The northern shoulder was open and my boys were poised for a breakout.
The US line suffered a bit from being two hexes into the wheat field, but that also reduced the impact of my fire at them as well.
Cardboard via SKYPE...yeah baby!
My opponent's troops kept me pinned down as they began readjusting to counter my expected move along the north edge.
As Turn 2 opened, I put the pedal to the metal and went flying along the north edge. My boys had control of the building and would eliminate both Half-Squads. With the wheat fields for cover, my 8-0 and 7-0 stacks sprinted for the Row W woods.
The race was on...we had to get to the woods before the British Sherman trundled on to the board!
Yeah...that's how I roll...
To finish up my Turn 2, I moved my MMG onto the first floor of the house in order to cover the wheat field and hopefully chew up the Americans as they fell back.
My 9-1 stayed on the ground floor and focused on rallying my broken boys.
In his rally phase, my opponent rolled snakes on his self-rally and an 8-0 was born!
I would not roll snakes once during the game...but a host of boxcars would plague me throughout the night and cause casualty reduction and a broken MMG.
My opponent couldn't help but laugh as I threw down multiple boxcars...
Despite my poor rolls, my Grenadiers were quickly winning the foot race to exit the map.
The Americans struggled to move through the wheat field fast enough.
The British Sherman arrived on Turn 2, but was limited to 3 movement factors per SSR. This would greatly assist my cause!
Prior to my MMG breaking, it managed to do its one main task. It kept ROF and managed to DM two 7-4-7's as they ran back to counter my northward moves. It would be a decisive moment for my Germans!
My opponent kept the pressure on and was still able to inflict damage with both his paras and Sherman.
But the dice gods also hurt the Americans as he broke his MMG and would go on to 6 it in the next Rally. Whew...was that lucky for me.
Despite my opponent's best efforts, my Landsers won the race and in top of Turn 5 I managed to exit 8 VP's for the win.
Yes, it was a sweet victory, which I hadn't tasted since March...
Now...we had a strange incident occur during the play, which scared the dickens out of me and nearly inflicted some bodily harm. My son likes canned chicken and when he opens one..the smell immediately fills the house...and it's not really pleasant. So I was burning the cranberry candle above. It sits on the shelf above my PC.
Well...apparently it got too hot and cracked...sending the heated shard right down on me. I was stunned and went to pick it up and promptly burned my fingers. My opponent was of course baffled by my behavior at this point in the game.
So remember kids...don't handle hot shrapnel!!!
See you next week!