Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Conclusion of ASL Scenario 16 - No Better Spot to Die - Turns 5-1/2 through 9

Our Friday night game saw the conclusion of ASL Scenario 16 - No Better Spot to Die. This particular scenario took us three sessions to complete, but we had a blast throughout. Like a good football game, the lead changed several times over the course of 8 full turns. And by the time, this game concluded, both sides were bloodied and weary. And the conclusion of this scenario would be true to the determined fight put up by both sides.

But as we started our SKYPE session...I once again felt confident that my boys would achieve victory...

ahhh...but ASL is a fickle mistress...and the dice always find a way...

Ready for action...

This scenario's victory conditions require the German player to control 3 buildings on Board 24 at the conclusion of Turn 9.  9 Turns is a long time...and would prove to be too long for my Landsers.

The other interesting aspect of this scenario is SSR #3, which requires either side to have their best Good order leader to take an NTC should more than half of that side's original squad count are broken or otherwise not in good order. Failure of the NTC would result in that side requesting a truce, which could be accepted or rejected. As fate would have Germans would refuse two truce offerings by the Americans...

Of course...there would be moments during Turns 7 and 8 when I would wonder if I should have accepted the American Truce offer...

The Snipers would once again show themselves for both the Germans and the Americans with lethal consequences for us both. In the case of the Germans, I had finally moved a 4-6-7 with an MMG into the gully. After having moved everyone else, they were to going to move last and help secure the building in Hex# J8. The US Sniper changed that in a heartbreak by pinning them.

Having established my central position in the woods separating my opponent's forces, my strategy was to break the US 7-4-7 in J8 and the crew of the adjacent 57L AT Gun, while moving a squad or two into some of the M row buildings. My plan had one critical flaw which had not yet revealed itself to me...

One of the things which would hurt my cause later in the game, would be my careless handling of my broken squads. My opponent would pay special attention to my broken half-squads and it would be the difference in the scenario.

The green star denotes another one of the critical gaps in my strategy. While moving into the center, I assumed that the concealed US 7-4-7 would eventually engage my Renault R35 Tank. But my opponent realized that the gully could serve his needs as well as it had the Germans. He ignored my tank and crept down the gully to gain the rear of my boys in the woods. I had thought of leaving a squad in the H5 gully fork hex. As I watched my opponent gain my rear...(sounds bad however you imagine it!!!), I knew I had made a huge error.
In such little ASL game is often lost or won...and this single 7-4-7 would rescue my opponent's cause.

As previous AAR's have revealed, my regular STL opponent likes to eliminate enemy squads. This proclivity would serve him well in this scenario as he eliminated my DM'd half-squads.

But even as my opponent ran his 7-4-7 into my exposed rear...I had succeeded in pushing the Americans out of the J8 house and pinning the stalwart US crew of the 57L AT gun. 

I was still feeling pretty confident. After all, it wasn't like John McClain was running the American effort...right!?!
Then the John McClain moment came. My opponent...whose truces I had rejected was now in my grill and causing mayhem. His gully 7-4-7 rushed into close combat with a 4-6-7 with one of my precious LMG's. Close Combat...oh how I hate it...because I just can't seem to win them. 

My internal screaming would eventually come out as my opponent's 7-4-7 would ultimately destroy 2 of my 4-6-7's in close combat and break enough others to snatch victory from my grenadiers.

That's right...tell me when it's over....
Even though my opponent was disrupting my Landsers had managed to secure three buildings. Now...if we could only hold on to them...

There it was...the moment when I had my three buildings...but the 7-4-7 K6 and the dang AT Gun crew were still battling hard. 

How quickly the game had changed. The US anchor positions on the North and South were both occupied by my boys...but in the woods were now home to a pesky 7-4-7 that was dealing death all around me. Not content with killing my squads, it also took aim at one of my Renault R35 Tanks with predicable and painful results.

Scratch another German Tank!

Yes...I needed a hug...

In the North my final tank had succeeded in forcing the Americans out of the J2 house. So I had taken four buildings...but in the center, the US 7-4-7 was hammering away at my boys with one of my LMG's. And I wasn't passing my morale checks...

Yes...I went once more into Close Combat with the crew of the 57L AT'd think I could at least win that one...but no...MELEE...seriously...??!!!

My opponent's DM'd 8-0, 7-4-7, and 3-3-7 would all rally. Good one point, my opponent was down to 1-1/2 he was once more on the move. The gully 7-4-7 in K6 would successively break units. Two of my broken half-squads would gain the attention of one of my opponent's 3-3-7. This 3-3-7 would move to ensure that both half-squads would be DM'd. They would be out of the game and would help force me to take the dreaded Truce NTC.

My boys were starting to wear down.
Only two turns earlier...the center was all but a German Teutoberger it was an American forest preserve. A single 7-4-7 had all but taken the center from my Germans. My building control had fallen to just two and time was running out.

My turn 8 movement phase...the critical moment in the battle had been reached. I had two building...but needed a third. My 4-6-7 battling the US 57L AT Gun crew had dispatched them and was free to make a run to the 010 building. But could they survive the fire from the K6 7-4-7...??
My boys would make it as my opponent rolled a 10. I had secured a third building once more. But I had to ensure control. I had succeeded in pinning the K6 7-4-7. This convinced me that I could send another 4-6-7 into Close Combat with the hated 7-4-7. I had to ensure that my boys held on going into Turn 9.
My opponent transformed before my very eyes and I suddenly realized that I had made my last mistake.
Yep...I should've known better...

Going into Turn 9, the heroic K6 7-4-7 had eliminated yet another 4-6-7. This single squad...who I mocked in the previous blog post had destroyed one tank, killed 2 x 4-6-7's in close combat and broken two other squads. They had single-handedly kept the Americans from losing the game. Furthermore, they had forced my Germans to take the dreaded Truce NTC.

I failed the Truce NTC and my opponent immediately over baby!!!

Soooo close...I had the buildings I needed...all I had to do was pass an NTC...but I rolled a 9...

The hero squad of this game. This 7-4-7's...the "Gully Boys" had managed to shred my Germans.

...c'mon you don't have to rub it in...

The American 8-0 also did an outstanding job. He held the North flank the entire game.

A final look at my hero squad...the boys who made the final run to secure a third building location.

So after accepting my Truce offer...the game ended and will go down as a draw...but even as a was a great game!

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