Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Conclusion of ASL Scenario 18 - The Road Block (Turns 6-12)

Our Friday game was the long awaited (did I say long) conclusion of ASL Scenario 18 - The Roadblock. Good grief...this game sat idle so long that I almost forgot which side I was (not really).

Work, holidays, illness, and stupid stuff conspired to keep my regular STL opponent and I from finishing this great game sooner. And I'll be honest the stupid stuff has been and continues to be a an issue for me. While details aren't appropriate, suffice to say, that the simple commitment to playing is a rare and golden thing among ASL players. I've gamed with those who have this and those who don't. So I will offer my sincere thanks to those players who make and keep their know who you are and your love for ASL is much appreciated.

 And here's a delay of game flag for the other folks...

Ok, my rant moment has now passed...on with the AAR. When we last visited this scenario, my Germans were tied up trying to root out and get past the US Paras holding the town center. I had managed to send two groups of men around the west edge, but the rest of my force was either broken in the backfield or heavily engaged with the Paras tenaciously holding out in the town. The success of my opponent's defense in the town would secure a victory for him in the end. I spent too many valuable turns trying to get past the "Roadblock".

US 7-4-7's are serious bad-ass troops. I would make the mistake of getting too close to them near the end of the game with predictably bad results for my Germans.

 As we picked up with the bottom of Turn 6, the Americans were still holding strong in the town. My initial attacks had been thrown back and I had a number of broken squads littering the backfield. At game end, I would leave 6 broken squads behind. My officers were too valuable to move my other forces forward due to the SSR limiting the number of squads I could move each turn. Then of course, once I had moved far enough forward, it became impossible to go back and rally the stragglers.

 Sometimes you are forced to leave folks behind...but I would sorely miss those six squads as we came to the final turns of the scenario.
 M opponent had done a nice job of covering the gaps. I was hard pressed to find a way to thread the needle without being caught in the open. The US forces in S5 were particularly bothersome. I had to find a way to put some pressure on the Americans and create a gap.

 The US reinforcements moved into the gully and hunkered down. My STL opponent struggled initially with the gully rules and then realized that sitting in the gully was letting me just run straight at him...cause he couldn't see me...from down in that gully.

 As we moved into Turn 7, the Americans had reset and had strong line holding my boys in check.

"This is Currahee!!!"

 Back on the south edge, the US forces had fanned out in the gully.

 Turn 7...I began moving hard and fast along the east and west edges. Some lucky breaks on the US forces assisted my cause!

With the Americans in the bottom of the gully, I sprinted my boys along the western edge. None of these fellas would escape off the board, except for the 8-0 officer. But...they would provide a critical base of fire against the gully boys.

My STL opponent was very successful in rallying his boys after breaks. This ability would keep his forces in my face for crucial turns.

"by Jimminy...they wouldn't stay broken!!!"
I pressed forward and was determined...(no matter how foolish) to get into my opponent's grill. The clock was ticking and  I was tired of fighting these same US squads. The Americans naturally opened up and blasted my boys in R4 and pinned the two squads in Q3.

All along the line, the Americans unleashed torrents of fire and my boys broke and/or pinned.

The US 7-4-7 in P2 sensed an opportunity and rushed into close combat with 2 x pinned 4-6-7. UGH!! My opponent won the ambush and wiped out both squads....that hurt...

Back at the gully, the US forces had finally gone to crest and began exchanging fire with my boys.

Despite the mauling I received, I was still able to claw forward into the town and would succeed in eliminating the US forces.

And just like that...the way was open. But did I have enough time left to get my boys off the board???

My 9-1 Officer was doubtful...but after a quick conference...we both agreed that there was a was small...but if everything went according to plan...the Germans could still win this thing...

He gave the order..."Angreif!!!"
Meanwhile, back at the gully, my opponent slid a 7-4-7 quietly through the gully right into the heart of my advance. Suddenly, my opponent liked gullies again.

This 7-4-7 squad would ultimately stop my 9-1 and his stack from exiting the board.

Back in town, I left a 2-4-7 with an MMG to keep the last remaining US 7-4-7 from sneaking around behind me.

As we headed into the final turns, my Grenadiers were in position to make the final sprint off the board. The Americans were ready...and confident that they would stop me.

After so many missed gaming was a minor miracle that my opponent and I had gotten through nearly 6 turns of furious action in just under 3 hours of play. 

Yeah, I thought so too!!!

Prep fire on Turn 12 presented me with some dilemmas. I really didn't want to fire anyone. I wanted every man running for the board edge. But, the Americans were in position to hurt me and hurt me bad and the units selected to Prep had no chance of exiting the they fired away. On the west edge, they DM'd a key 7-4-7 to open the escape lane used by the 8-0 Officer.

But on the east edge, the 7-4-7 that popped up from the gully survived all my attempts to break him.

They were going to stop my escape no matter what...

All that remained was to make a run for it. 

I checked with the boys "are you ready?"

 My boys knew that this was it...the game would be decided on this final movement phase...

In the center, my Hero and a Squad ran across the bridge.

They wouldn't make it and the Hero would be KIA'd at the very board edge.

On the east edge, my boys made their sprint for victory...

The Americans were ready...opened up and shattered my forces.

Only this small handful of my boys successfully exited the board.

Despite their best efforts, the Americans had the victory.

The Road Block may have been a defeat for me, but it was a pretty thrilling finish at the end. We took this scenario to the last bit of the final 11-1/2 turn of play. So another great night of ASL was had.

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