Our Friday game saw the conclusion of A-37 Dreil Team. My regular STL opponent and I had actually imagined that we would have been spending this particular Friday at the St. Louis Tournament. But work and life's other chores kept us from attending this year's tournament. Hopefully, next year!
Our previous two sessions of play of A-37 had confirmed that this small scenario packs some tactical punch. When we left things two weeks ago, the British had successfully destroyed the Panther tank and crossed the river at both bridges. Going into this night's gaming, I was greatly concerned whether or not my Germans would hold. And it would come down to the final British move on the final British turn before that question would be answered.
As we began the German phase of Turn 5, I was very worried about the approaching British at southernmost bridge. My boys over there were all broken. So I would need to get them rallied and quickly!
Help would be on the way!
I prep fired hoping to slow down the once-berserk British 4-5-7. They had made the deepest penetration into my front.
Having completed my Prep Fires, it was time to skulk back and avoid British retribution. My 4-6-7 in I6 jumped back to I7, while their 9-1 made a dash for the broken boys in K10. J8 was a death hex...but I had to risk it!
The British Defensive fire would be destructive on the east edge of town, but my 9-1 would successfully make it to the broken boys.
With just one officer left, my 9-1's value could not be overstated. I had to keep him in the fight and that would involve some risk as the game progressed.
In the very next Rally Phase...my gambit paid off as all of my boys rallied!
Turn 6...I expected my STL opponent to follow form and go for the Prep-Fire softening up prior to moving. I had my boys ready to interdict any movements.
In my first Defensive Fire roll...I broke my LMG with a nice boxcars. Not good...
Despite my LMG breaking...I managed to stop the 4-5-7 in G1 and when my opponent rolled a "12" for the MC...we said goodbye to half of those Berserk Panther Killing dudes.
That would be the extent of my retribution for the remainder of the game.
Having rallied my boys, I left the 2-4-8 and LMG to hold off the British in the south, while my 4-6-7 and 9-1 double-timed it to cut off the expected British run for the board edge.
As we neared the end of the game, my opponent's kill stacks began to grown in power. I couldn't stand up to them.
And wouldn't you know it...the dang Sniper would show up when I could least afford it. My freshly rallied 2-4-8 with the LMG and the mission to hold the south...took a direct Sniper hit and broke.
The Snipers were definitely effective in this scenario.
The Sniper forced me to make another unhappy choice. I sent my 2-4-7 and 4-6-7 to try and stop any off board exiting, while my 9-1 made another trip south to rally the broken 2-4-8 before the British launched through my open gap.
My 9-1 was getting a workout and earning his stripes to be sure!
And man if he didn't come through again with an immediate rally of the 2-4-8. My Opponent barely held back his disgust at yet another successful German rally. The South and West Flank was once again secured.
A little lucky tonight aren't we mate?!?
Of course luck is all a matter of perspective. My opponent finally made his move to win the game. It was balls out for the British.
Let's go Lads and give it to them...
So there I was this one time playing ASL...when I thought I might actually win a game...but...then....
I had left my 4-6-8 with LMG in a dangerous position and I paid for it...hard...
But Turn 8 came and went without a British exit. So in the German Phase of Turn 8, I made my final moves to try and stop the last British efforts to exit the board and win the game. I would have a 2-4-7 and 2 x 4-6-7's left to hang on for the victory.
At the end of Turn 8...my boys were ready. We knew where the British were going. The boys to the south didn't have the movement factors necessary to exit the board...so it would be up the British in the north to find a way to run past my defenses.
TURN 9...horns blared, whistles trilled and war cries erupted from the parched throats of the determined British infantry.
It's moments like these that make ASL such an awesome game. Both players know...that the decisive game moment has arrived. One of us will win and one of us will lose...and the dice have yet to be rolled to decide the issue. On the other end of the SKYPE call...I could hear my opponent running through his proposed movements. He had enough boys to win the game...but how many would the Germans stop???
My opponent sends his men forward. The first two British squads are broken and pinned. At this point, I can hear resignation in my opponent's voice. I reassure him, that he is still in the game. His 8-1 has 3 x 4-5-7's with him and they are easily within CX range of exiting the board. Only one German unit had yet to fire...a 4-6-7 on the 2nd floor of the office complex...waiting for the 8-1 stack to move into the open.
My opponent sighs...and sends the stack forward...it's all or nothing...win or lose...my 4-6-7 fires...I roll the dice...an "11"...oh good grief...the British charge through the fire...and through the other residuals...shrugging off every bit of it. They exit the board and it's game over...a British Victory!
In a game of nearly miraculous charges on both sides...we can only clap our hands for another fantastic ASL finish...