With my regular STL opponent out of action for our regular Friday game, I was able to play a game with Dan Best. For this night's worth of ASL goodness...we looked to the far...far north...all the way to HAKKAA PAALLE!!! Finally...I got to play a scenario from this awesome module. And it would be the first time playing the Finns since the 1990's.
We settled on ASL Scenario 174 - Lagus Assault Guns. I drew the Finns and the defense. Dan drew the Russians and the burden of attacking my self-rallying Finns in the woods of their homeland. I would have 10 x 6-4-8 squads with 2 x Stugs, a Panzerschreck, 81 Mortar and MMG to fend off 2 x T-34/85's, an SU-152 and an IS-2 supported by 4 x 4-5-8's, 4x 4-4-7's, and 6 x 6-2-8's with DC's and Flamethrowers....not Flamethrowers...I hate Flamethrowers...really I do...I hate'em.
The VC for this scenario were essentially, that the Russian player wins by controlling 6 or more buildings within 3 hexes of 17R4 and/or by have 5 or more Good order squads and 2 AFV's with functioning MA north of hex row 17M/32U.
Dan's Russians were more than ready to bring the hurt to my Finns!
Dan's opened turn 1 with an aggressive move on Board 17. I had defended against a similar movement on Board 32, but the Russians were schwerpunkting me on the other side!!!!
One of the SSR's that hurt my Finns the most was the 1 hex range for use of the German Panzerfausts. The Russians seemed to know exactly where to stop...it was uncanny!!
Haahha...very funny Alexi...very funny....
I held my fire until full Defensive Fire. This protected me somewhat from bounding fire..but it also messed up some good First Fire Opportunities, which I probably should have taken. The eternal dilemma...shoot...stay concealed..shoot...stay concealed...
That's easy for you to say...you haven't got an SU-152 in your grill...Dos Equis dude...
Overall, Dan's Russians got onto the board and to their 1st turn objective line pretty much untouched. The Russian 8-1 had broken, but everyone else was ready to go.
The next Rally Phase would go badly for Dan's DM'd 8-1 as he boxcared the roll and accidentally shot himself. As we shall see, the Dice Gods were angry with Dan during this scenario.
In my part of Turn 1, my 81mm Mortar opened up on the Russians on the left. I had hoped the tree bursts would help me out. I actually did roll a snakes, but Dan's Russians shrugged it off after I rolled an 11 on the effects die roll. Dice...can't play with them...can't play without them...
On Turn 2, Dan's Russians really turned it on and went at me hard...
On both the right and the left, my Stugs were engaged with one taking on the IS-2 and the other a T-34/85. I went for two Panzerfausts as the SU-152 lumbered into range...but missed both attempts. Dan's Russians were also beginning to push me back in the wooded center. Things were getting really dicey.
The dice continued to serve the Finnish cause as the SU-152 suffered a low ammo roll. For the remainder of the game, Dan would be very judicious in the use of the SU-152.
Here we have the SU-152 as it moves ahead...let's listen in "Comrades...you must shoot the Finns hiding in the Z7 house. We can't just shoot blindly at concealed units Dmitri...we are under ammo shortage!!!"
The tank duel on the right went to the Finns as they brewed up the T-34/85 in DD2.
And then incredibly, the Stug on the left rolled a critical hit on the IS-2 and took it out.
Great shot Brynjolf!!!
Brynjolf's fame was short lived as the SU-152 roared a blast that destroyed Brynjolf's Stug and crew.
Yeah...you don't want to mess around with one of these bad dudes!!!
The Russians had just managed to gain the edge on the tank ratio...when the remaining T-34/85 malf'd its main armament. This would go on to have great significance for the game.
"Nikita...shouldn't we work on the gun now? Leonid...this is a 7 turn game...we have time for some vodka!!"
As Turn 2 neared its end, both sides had been bloodied, Three tanks were burning and the woods were filled with dead Finns and Russians.
But as rough as Turn 2 had been...Turn 3 was even rougher as Dan's Russians came at me full force and right into my grill. And my attempts to take Final Protective Fire literally blew up in my face as three of my squads broke in the process. UGH!!!
Nothing like watching 6-2-8's with DC's coming right at ya!
But as bad as things were in the center...things got even worse on the left. Dan's remaining tanks, both headed right for my 81mm Mortar position. A 4-4-7 and a the tank crew from the IS-2 joined in the assault. My 9-1 managed to stop the IS-2 tank crew with some well aimed MMG fire...but there was no stopping the rest of the Russian force.
The battle in the center would result in a captured Finnish 6-4-8 and the breaking of two more squads. But incredibly, on the right, my Stug with the support of 2 x 6-4-8's successfully repelled the Russian 6-2-8's and Flamethrower squad. It was one of the best Defensive Fires I have had in many a game.
Back on the left, the Russian 4-4-7 jumped into CC with my mortar crew. Neither side would roll low enough and we were locked in Melee.
And then just like that the game was over...in the Rally Phase of the Finnish part of Turn 3, Dan attempted to repair the T-34/85's malf'd gun. He rolled a 6... RECALL. That left Dan with only one AFV with a functioning AFV. And that meant, according to our interpretation of the VC...that Dan couldn't win the scenario. So he offered the concession and the game concluded with a Finnish victory.
It would appear that Nikita and Leonid had a bit too much vodka...
My thanks to Dan for another terrific night of ASL gaming!
That's right Tyrion...CARDBOARD VIA SKYPE...it rocks!!!