Our Friday night game with my regular STL opponent saw the conclusion of ASL 17 - Lost Opportunities. While, the night's gaming was filled with tense and exciting moments...it would also prove once again the power of random events in the chaos of ASL combat.
The start lines at the beginning of the US Phase Turn 2. My hopes were high that I could get some badly needed breaks and slow down the German assault.
And yes...I finally fired my second story MMG at the mortars...good grief was I in a fog in the previous game turns. Silencing the mortar on the west flank would ultimately prove to be ineffectual...but I was nonetheless thrilled at the time!
Something which I noticed during this session and was equally true in our last gaming session, is that my opponent's Defensive Fire Phases were very successful overall. My opportunities for skulking were few and far between. I had so few forces left, that I wanted them in position to stop movements and also to try and break some of the 4-3-6's running around.
Surprisingly, the 4-3-6's hung in there for much of the scenario. I broke the 4-4-7's almost more often than the 4-3-6's.
My STL opponent is a cautious player. Despite the obvious weakness of my much reduced defenses, he continued to fire rather than move. He wanted to knock out my MMG on the second floor, before moving aggressively up the center.
He would succeed in pinning my MMG and DM'ing the 3-4-7 manning the MMG, but again his units didn't move rapidly forward. He knew he had plenty of time, so was content to reduce my defenses even more.
I couldn't disagree with his assessment. With nearly 4 full turns left, there really was no need to risk getting too many squads broken.
In the very next rally phase...my dice aided the German cause. My DM'd MMG 3-4-7 crew rolled boxcars as my 9-1 in a fury must have gone total Commissar on them!!!
Of course, sometimes...you gotta trust that your 9-1 knows what's he doing!!!
The next happy moment came when the German Marder shot the gap between A7 and B6. My anti-tank assets at this stage of the game were largely idle, so the Marder's biggest concern would be the MMG on the 2nd floor...but my 9-1 failed to take possession with dr of "6".
I had mistakenly written off the Marder after it was out of HE and Smoke. But it's 2 factor AP shells ended up causing me a lot of grief.
Despite having eliminated my MMG gun crew and the fact that my 9-1 didn't have possession...the Germans were still content to blast away on the east flank and center.
The dice also aided the American cause late in the game. A lucky snake eyes at 14 +1 eliminated a feisty 4-3-6.
Cause...every Snake eyes deserves a Boxcars, as my boys missed their next morale check and fell to a DM'd and ELR'd half-squad.
Finally satisfied that my boys were sufficiently suppressed, my opponent launched the long awaited coup de grace!
My 9-1 finally got the 30 Cal firing away, but was unsuccessful in taking out the Marder crew. On the West flank, my 8-1 and 7-4-7 fired furiously into the woods to slow down the Germans.
The next movement phase by the Germans was calculated to reduce the potential risk of spraying fire from my 7-4-7. The goal was to get a squad into the D4 building and secure the first of 4 required building locations. The plan would work as I DM'd C3 and D3. But unfortunately they would leave a huge kill stack in C2.
At this stage of the game, the end was near. My opponent switched off operations in the center and to the east. The way forward was on the west flank.
My 9-1 with the MMG and my 8-1 and 7-4-7 were all that stood in the way of final victory.
Interestingly, my 7-4-7 on the far east flank defied the odds and survived all the fire thrown at him by the Germans. They would succeed in keeping the Germans from making any progress along that flank.
They would inflict the most punishment of any of my units in this scenario.
The final German movement phase was aided when my 7-4-7 in D2 broke, leaving my 8-1 to face the entire German force by himself. The Germans would secure three buildings in one fell swoop.
The end came in Advance Phase the German 8-1 led the charge into the final held US building. My 8-1 leveled his M1 Carbine and prepared to defend himself at 1-10 odds.
As the close combat ended, the Germans had secured their 4th Building location and the immediate victory!
For the Germans, a victory and a well-earned rest.