Our Monday night game was the first two turns of ASL Scenario AP55 - The Generalissimo's Own. My regular Monday night opponent, Scott Holst has so far picked out some really interesting scenarios to play. It's a breath of fresh air not to be in the French Bocage or the Russian Steppes. On this occasion, I drew the Chinese and would be the attacker, going up against a formidable Japanese defense. Mr. Holst would have the burden of holding off a substantial Chinese force that would enter on Turn 1 and Turn 3. And additionally, the Japanese have two Fighter Bombers at their disposal. All in all a very good scenario at first glance.
The setup caused some initial confusion as Scott had accidentally grabbed board 35 instead of 38 at his end. So when my armored cars entered the board on a road hex...Scott at his end of the SKYPE call had me entering in orchard. The Cardboard via SKYPE method is not without its challenges from time to time. But after correcting the map board, we were off the races!!
The Chinese win this scenario by amassing more CVP at game end than the Japanese. Furthermore, each building location on Board 2a would be worth 2 VP. So I determined to make the buildings my initial objectives.
As my Tanks entered the game in Platoon movement, I learned a new rule. Using armored assault with platoon movement, would only allow for one tank to have a squad assaulting with it. Despite this limitation, my tanks and infantry entered the board and went after the first Japanese held building location.
There would be no stopping us!!!
My Chinese also had 2 x 20mm AA Guns and 1 x 37L AT Gun. I moved these into the center. I really am not sure of their value overall...but I do think it can't hurt to have the 20mm's ready to take on the Japanese Fighter Bombers.
Probably...the biggest head scratcher for my opponent was watching me move these fellas from the south edge of Board 38. Probably not my swiftest move...but by the middle of Turn 2, they were getting close to the woods housing my opponent's mortars. So I have high hopes that this group will give a good account of themselves.
I am confident that these squads have hidden talents!!
Did I mention that my opponent had a formidable defense? If not, let's take a serious and loooong look at the pain, Mr. Holst has created for my Chinese.
Fighting against the Japanese is never easy!
A good overview of my Turn 1 entry onto the board. My armored cars led the way and quickly attracted the attention of both Japanese Mortars. Fortunately, no shot found its mark.
The Japanese mortars are pretty cool to have as they have Smoke and White Phosphorus.
My forces that entered board 2a from the east came forward in one solid wedge. My Hero and one 4-4-7 leapt into CC with a concealed Japanese 4-4-7. My opponent would choose to keep them concealed...but they would be cut down trying to exit the building in the following turn.
My armored cars weathered the initial rounds fired at them by the Japanese mortars!
In his Prep Fire phase, my opponent quickly dropped smoke on my boys. This smoke would help cover the coming attack of a Japanese Tank Hunter Hero.
With a fearsome battle cry, the Japanese Tank Hunter Hero came charging at one of my tanks. My surrounding armor and infantry unloaded against this lone attacker...but were unsuccessful. This intrepid Tank Hunter would trade his life for my tank successfully!
The Tank Hunter was successful in destroying my tank!
So at this stage of the game, I had lost one tank and the Japanese Sniper had managed to KIA a half-squad of Chinese.
On Turn 2, I again moved my units aggressively. My tanks from the south rolled up to confront the mortars, while my AA and AT guns unlimbered and made ready for action in the center. And on the east side, my infantry again launched forward to get in position for close combat against a 4-4-7 squad.
Japanese tanks and guns also opened up on my forces with no successful hits.
Another Japanese surprise was the 20L Anti-Tank rifle. It didn't land any hits...but not wanting to see what damage it might be capable of inflicting on my armor.
Scott's Japanese laid down a lot of fire in Turn 2, but my boys were able to weather it pretty well.
I set my AA and AT guns in a central position with primary concern being to have some defense against the Japanese air power. Meanwhile my boys from the south were moving towards the Japanese mortars.
Watch the skies boys!
My Hero and 4-4-7 squad succeeded in winning the close combat and securing the second of two building locations. Their success was tied to the good combination of armor and infantry fire that reduced the Japanese 4-4-7 to a half-squad prior to the close combat.
My first boxcars would go on to disable the BMG on one of my armored cars.
The Japanese continued to put down some heavy fire in their Turn 2 Prep Fire. But again, my boys were able to survive it.
A final look at the map as we called it a night in the middle of the Japanese Turn 2 Movement Phase. My Chinese made some decent progress, but there's a long way to go yet!