Saturday, January 21, 2017

Our Friday game - ASL Scenario 55 Retribution (Turns 1 and 2)

For our Friday game, my regular STL opponent and I selected ASL Scenario 55 Retribution. It's always fun to play the golden oldie scenarios. My opponent and I also chose this scenario as it is primarily and infantry only engagement and plays relatively fast. My STL opponent likes to keep our game nights to two hours. So, sometimes it can be tough to get through a larger scenario and keep good game momentum. So all in all Retribution was a great choice for the evening's ASL.

The scenario takes place in Palma di Montechiaro, Sicily. A quick Google search revealed that it is rather nice tourist destination with some remarkable architecture. No doubt, some of it rebuilt following the war.

Of interest to me personally is it's close proximity to Agrigento. Agrigento is the birthplace of one of my first bosses. Back in 1991, I reported to Anthony Drago, who immigrated to the US from Sicily. Personally, I think everyone should have a Sicilian Boss at least once in their career. Tony taught me a lot of business lessons and one of the earliest was he would never accept my first answer to solving a problem. He'd always send me back to get a better answer. And if he was particularly agitated (which was frequent...did I mention he was Sicilian?), Tony would get angry, start talking too quickly and suddenly he would be speaking Sicilian. It was a bit comical at times. But I tip my hat to Tony and to the lessons he taught me. Now on with conquering his homeland!!!

Beautiful Palma di Montechiaro, Sicily.

My opponent would draw the Americans and the men of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment of the famed 3rd Division. He would have 5 x 6-6-7's, 11 x 6-6-6's, a 10-2, 9-1, 8-0, and 7-0 with two HMG's and three MMG's. Talk about firepower...good grief a walking arsenal would be coming at my Italians

This scenario also comes with high SAN numbers of 5 for the Italians and 4 for the Americans. The Sniper would be heard from early in the game.

As the Italians, I would command the men of the 177 Reggimento Besaglieri and 207 Division Costiera. I would have 10 x 3-4-7's with an ELR of 3 and 10 x 3-4-6's with an ELR of 1. I would have 2 xMMG's and a 65* Arty piece. Leadership would include a 9-1, 8-0, 7-0 and a 6+1. Not bad for defending a town full of stone buildings...but the ELR of 1 would be very problematic.

My track record with the Italians is a bit spotty. I have won some great scenarios as the Italians and I have suffered some pretty bad losses too. I'm never really confident when deploying them, but comes down to the dice. If you have hot dice and make your MC's then things can work out for you and your Italians. If not...well...surrender will find its way into your plans.

 The Victory Conditions are nice and straight forward. The American Player wins if at the end of any turn he controls 6 of the 8 multi-story buildings and has 1-1/2 more CVP than the Italian Player. I set up with the intent to minimize my losses by keeping my men out of stacks as much as possible. 8-1/2 Turns is a long time to avoid being slaughtered, but knowing my opponents penchant for caution...I figured I might be able to hang on to three buildings just long enough to get the win.

I just had to hope that my boys would make a morale check or two.
My opponent's initial setup did and did not surprise me. The boys lined up to enter the gully made perfect sense, but I was less sure of the boys in the wheatfield. The 10-2 was clearly going to camp out in the X1 stone building and act as the Death Star to remove my pesky troops from play. He would be successful.

 The American 10-2 would definitely earn his modifier in this game!
 As expected, the main US push was through the gully. My Italians couldn't see anything, but knew bad things were headed their way. The 10-2 set up shop and in Advancing Fire laid waste to the first of my units. Putting squads on the second floors sounded good in my head...but it just made them fine instruments of target practice for the US 10-2.

NOTE: All the woods and brush are actually vineyards in this scenario.

Moving through the gully is certainly the choice move and should put my opponent's men in good position to move quickly into the town.
 As mentioned earlier, the high SAN's would definitely make for some active sniper action. My Italian Sniper successfully DM's one of the 6-6-6 squads. They would, however, rally very quickly.
 The US 10-2 continued to rake my positions with MG's and my boys would break and ELR with wild abandon. I was not rolling particularly well for much of the night. When you have 6 morale troops with an ELR of 1...I recommend not rolling "11's".

My opponent's fire was on target and he was maintaining ROF, which ensured the further destruction of my boys.

 I did roll snake-eyes on one Morale Check...yeah Heat of Battle and Italians...let's just say they ain't friends. I rolled an 8 and promptly surrendered. YEE HAW!!

I suffered one more indignity on the Wind Change Die Roll. My opponent and I had agreed to use the friendly and hostile country information reveals. And my opponent received a gem when a local revealed the location of my HIP 65* Arty (we think we did this right, but in case we didn't...let's just pretend that we did.)

 Si...the gun is over there.

We concluded Turn 2 and called it a night. The Americans had reached the edge of the cemetery and look like they will be able to get into the town in the next two turns. The US 10-2 is eventually going to have to move, as his targets go to ground in the town. So things should get interesting! Looking forward to picking things back up next week!

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