Saturday, February 6, 2016

ASL Scenario 18 - The Roadblock Turns 1-4

Our Friday game saw my STL Opponent and I once again pulling a scenario from Paratrooper. On this night, we would play out the first four turns of ASL 18 - The Roadblock.

This will be the final Paratroop scenario for us as we move on to some other theaters of action. While I love the Paratrooper scenarios...I am ready for something different. It's been tough battling against the American 7-4-7's these many games. My STL Opponent and I had the opportunity to play both sides throughout the Paratrooper scenario replays and both had varying degrees of success. As we played through these, it brought me back to the 1990's when I still lived in St. Louis and my opponent and I played all of these on my old card table in a basement in O'Fallon, MO. Life seemed simpler then and our gaming filled with a lot less work stress. Fast forward to 2016 and both of us are much older and suffering equally from rough times in the work world.

So it was a welcome escape to transport ourselves once more to the Normandy Bocage...

 My opponent drew the Americans and hence the defense. My Germans have to exit 20 VP worth of men and tanks on the south edge of board 24. N <- is that way. Keep in mind by SSR there are no hill or valley hexes. It's a flat area criss-crossed by bocage.

 Turn one, my Germans must all enter through Hex 4I1.  I lead with the MKIV and Marder 1. Both have a squad with an LMG. They zip to the southeast and uncover no enemy units.

My tank assets were nothing to write home about...but my thinking was to just run them off the board as fast as possible to get a quick start on the 20 required exit points.

 My Grenadiers followed up in stacks of three, each with a leader. Given the long range from the Americans...I decided to risk a bad hit from the US 9-2 and his MMG. My boys in D4 paid for my folly. Even a 2 factor shot down 4 is not a good thing. My 7-0 rolled boxcars and went down...and two of the three squads were turned into half-squads. OUCH... 

 One of the other reasons for taking such a risk was also due to the SSR for German movement after Turn 1. A DR prior to each movement phase dictates how many squads may move that are not with a leader.
 While my 7-0 went down with a of my squads rolled snakes and created a Hero. Hmm a 7-0 for a Hero...yeah...I'll take that trade any day.

 At the conclusion of Turn 1, my forces hadn't really moved all that far.

 In the US portion of Turn 1...a great and mighty thing happened!!! The MMG with the 9-2 MALF'd and would stay that way for three consecutive rally phases.

 With MMG silenced for the moment, I began moving fast and furiously forward. I had a lot of ground to cover.


 As my Grenadiers struggled to make up ground, my Marder and MKIV trundled through what I hoped would be a gap in the American lines. I knew the 57L AT Gun was hidden somewhere...but I hoped it wasn't where I was headed.

Of course it was waiting for me. The crew targeted my Marder I as it followed behind the MKIV. It had to change its covered the first shot had almost no chance. But dang! He rolled a 4, kept ROF and then rolled a 3 on the second shot. Just like that my Marder I was toast.

Pretty nice shooting...
My opponent tried to console me with..."It was a lucky shot." Yes it was...

 Next opponent channeled his inner Private Ryan to try and bazooka my MKIV from behind. Thankfully he missed.

 Meanwhile my Grenadiers continued to surge ahead. The Americans, minus their MMG could only watch.

 As my boys moved up, my opponent made some moves to shore up his center.

 I had correctly guessed that a bazooka team was concealed in V0 to the east. They were just waiting for my MKIV to move into the orchard hex. My dismounted riders who, rolled for smoke..."1" yeah baby! As soon as the smoke was popped, my MKIV gunned the engine and rolled forward. A bazooka round passed to the rear as it sped away. Just like that my MKIV was through the American lines and in the clear!

 Time to make tracks!

 My MKIV would successfully exit the south board edge!

As these may be my only victory points of the game...I'm going to celebrate a little!!
 I knew that the US MMG with the 9-2 would eventually be repaired. It was and it proceeded to mangle my 9-1 stack with 2 x MMG's. I had used this stack against the US 9-2 but both my shots were 10, and 11...can't do much against a stone building with those kinds of rolls.

But...on the third ROF shot, my opponent MALF'd the MMG again.

 It took a while...but my mortars finally got into range of the 9-2 and began dropping rounds on the position. Lots of hits...but no effects.

 I continued to Prep the US 9-2 position...but did absolutely nothing...not even a PTC. Meanwhile I rolled a 4 for how many leaderless units could move. And that would be a problem as I had begun to thin my stacks as I got closer to the US lines.

 I continued my desultory fire on the US 9-2 position...but again to no avail. My other forces moved up, but took fire from both US flanking positions.

 The relative German and US positions at the conclusion of Turn 4. Completing 4 Turns in 2-1/2 hours was a quite a feat. It's nice to keep a good pace of play now and then. My Germans have made some solid progress, but as we head into Turn 5, the Americans can begin receiving their reinforcements..5 x more 7-4-7's is not something that excites me...

Already looking forward next Friday's game.

The US 9-2 represents 1st Lt. Turner Turnbull.

1st Lt. Turner B. Turnbull of the 505 PIR of the 82nd Airborne served in Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy. He was killed-in-action near Ste-Mere-Eglise, 7 June 1944.

 "Colonel Vandervoort detached a platoon under Lt. Turner B. Turnbull and sent it to organize a defense at Neuville which was reported to be lightly held by the enemy. Lt. Turnbull moved through the town without opposition and deployed his men on the high ground north of the town. He was hardly in position before the enemy attacked with a force outnumbering the defenders about five to one.  The platoon fought stubbornly and for eight hours held its ground. The small action had a significance which Turnbull did not realize at the time. The fight at Neuville kept the enemy in the north at arm's length while the defenders of Ste. Mere-Eglise beat off a simultaneous attack from the south. The cost of the platoon's gallant stand was heavy. Only sixteen of the forty-two men who had gone to Neuville-au-Plain survived to be withdrawn late in the afternoon to rejoin their battalion". Lt. Turnbull received the Silver Star for this action. He was killed later by German artillery fire.

Lest we forget.

1 comment:

  1. Unless the roadblock hex was assigned by SSR, it could have been HIP at start. I hope the Germans thought to bring the light mortars in as dismantled, so they could move farther.