Our Friday game was the conclusion of Scenario OA21 Gunter Strikes Back. And indeed Gunter did strike back with a win over the British...in what would end up as a hard fought scenario.
When we left the game last week, we had completed Turns 1 and 2 and the Germans seemed to be in the pilot's seat for confirming a victory. With their Sherman eliminated, the Piat malfed and eliminated and the mortar captured...the British position looked tenuous at best. But this is ASL and anything can and will happen in this game. And so it did...
Despite the setbacks of Turns 1 and 2 the British infantry were still in position and ready to deal my Germans a bloody nose. My STL opponent had come into our resumption of the game determined to hang on and grind out a victory for his defending British. Optimism goes a long way in ASL. We have heard it said and written many times...that you should always play to the very end of a scenario, because the worm can and often does turn. What looks like certain defeat in Turn 2 becomes a certain victory by Turn 4.
On another note, I was really excited that my regular STL Opponent and I were able to play for the fifth consecutive Friday evening. It felt like 2010, when we first began playing ASL with Cardboard via SKYPE.
Turn 3 began with my armor assets positioned to threaten the objective building hexes. The blue star indicates where the British 9-1 and LMG were positioned. I would choose to move very aggressively on Turn 3 and would get smacked around pretty good.
I would miscalculate where my opponent's dummy stacks were and end up moving adjacent to real British units. It would cost me a full squad of 5-4-8's, my 9-1 Officer and leave another 5-4-8 broken and ELR'd. YIKES.
Interestingly, my 2-3-8 half-squad in G10, would go on to move up and survive everything the British threw at them for the remainder of the game.
As my infantry were located at the wrong end of the runway...I spent Turn 3 moving them into position.
The British in L7 and I7 threw back my initial movements and the British 9-1 in I9 also slowed me down.
One of the great things about British infantry is that they do not cower. My opponent rolled doubles frequently during his D-Fire and enjoyed being reminded that his boys didn't cower.
On Turn 3, my opponent elected to stand in place. In hindsight, probably a mistake. He would eventually make a move in the final turn, but it would be too late then. At this point in the game, my opponent may have missed his best opportunity to push the game out of reach for my Germans.
The other decision that surprised me was that my STL opponent never went after my armor with his infantry. Having played some other fellas in the recent past taught me that putting your armor too close to infantry can be a bad thing. So I really expected the British 8-0 and 4-5-7 to move into the H7 smoke filled hex and take out my Half-Track in CC. But...it didn't happen...fortunately for me.
Seems to fit ASL pretty well. I myself, am often "wondering what the hell happened?"
Going into Turn 4, the British were in the same positions they had been in since Turn 1. This was allowing my Germans a certain freedom of movement and the opportunity to dictate where the fight would take place.
Turn 4, British phase, represented the last opportunity for the British to move. And they did. The British in L7 and I7 both attempted to move towards the objective building. German fire succeeded in breaking all of them. So by the end of Turn 4, only the British 9-1 (now battle hardened to a 9-2) was unbroken.
My opponent was certainly frustrated. For much of the evening, he made morale checks without any difficulty, but when he had to make them...missed them all.
Turn 5, German Phase was a clean up turn for the most part. My 8-1 and the three remaining 4-6-7's sprinted down the runway and along the roads to engage the British 9-2 in CC and close out the game.
My Marder crew were all thumbs up. They had been instrumental in eliminating the British infantry in the victory locations.
The British 9-2 was pinned as my boys flooded into Close Combat with him. 10+ to 1 odds. Just the way I like 'em!!! I won't lie though...I was sweating my opponent rolling that miracle snake eyes. But he rolled a 9 and that was the game. The Germans had won.
Game end, the Germans control the objective building hexes and secure the victory.
Time to reflect on another great night of ASL and already looking forward to next week's contest!